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This type of compensation structure might work for programmers, but I think it would be extremely problematic to implement for many other classes of employees essential to a successful company. Specifically, this wouldn't work for people who function within a highly mercantile ethos, for whom the exertion of leverage in negotiation, political connections, and aggressively tiered performance-based compensation are expected and customary as a key determinant of compensation.

These dynamics, which generally offend the sensibilities of engineers and people who are accustomed to perceiving the world in highly deterministic, logical ways, play to the strengths of "sales sharks," marketing professionals, regional/channel managers, etc. It is not in these people's interest to have salaries transparently tiered, disclosed, or roughly equal for identical classes of role. If these people couldn't do some combination of (manipulate | persuade | flatter | schmooze | arm-twist) someone into giving them higher compensation, they aren't very good salespeople.

They would come to see a business with Fog Creek-like political conditions governing compensation as having perhaps noble goals, but not competitive compared to other opportunities at other companies. However, a successful company needs a certain amount of these people in order to grow.

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