In 2009, the startup where I was working was hitting the skids, and our investors (correctly) were not willing to back us. We all kept grinding for a month or two in honorable futility, but after a while, my bank account depleted and I had to go.
To make various ends meet and to keep my mental health during the wind down however, I took up some contract work that I found through various friends in the SF startup scene. One company that I really liked and did some small stuff for was Burbn, which was a mobile-only location check-in that was hinged around taking photos of your location.
Missing my friends in NYC (I made a lot of friends in SF, but my inner circle were my college buddies from CMU; I went to tech and they went finance, sigh), I decided to leave SF to head to NYC and get a fresh start.
As I was leaving, I wanted to tie up a few loose ends, so I emailed my contact at Burbn and said I was likely to be unavailable for any more work, but that I liked the project and hoped for the best for him. He responded and said that he was near funding on a small pivot, and that if I was interested, there might be a full-time role available. I declined - I was mentally done with SF and the startup scene (Larry Chiang, 111 Minna, the rise of FB spam-crap like RockYou, etc.) as it was then.
That person was Kevin Systrom; that pivot was Instagram.
I feel that they missed out more on the rocketship journey of being on a startup. And even then that's not everyone's cup of tea.
The "money doesn't make you happy" camp compares $70,000/year and $200,000/year; not $200,000/year and "I have enough money to never work again if I don't feel like it."
If you can put 1-2.5M dollars into investments you can pull safe returns of enough to live on indefinitely and never need to work again.
Making >$200k a year and being frugal it is not that hard to put together 1-2.5 million dollars in capital.
At 10 years of 250k with a 40% tax rate and 30k in annual expenses with 7% average returns, you pull down about 70k in capital gains at 5% returns in year 10 (so you can keep 2% extra nominal in to keep up with the fed's inflation target and maintain that purchasing power forever). $70k is less than you made, but is more than enough to live on without working for the rest of your life.
> being frugal ... 30k in annual expenses
Requires budgeting and is a bit of a standard of living lower than most people would prefer. Especially if they got kids.
Plus how you going to live in SV on $30,000 a year when rent alone is that much?
> 7% average returns
So requiring those 10 years are during a bull market.
There's a big difference between "work at a startup for a good salary living an average life for 10 years" and "live in a shoebox with 10 other guys, eat nothing but lentils and beans, and own no possessions for 10 years"
> So requiring those 10 years are during a bull market.
If your bull market includes the 2008 crash, then yes.
"The last decade provided an average return of 6.88% in the stock market. The lower return takes into account the tremendous loss the market took in 2008." https://www.creditdonkey.com/average-stock-market-return.htm... (question 2)
The main differentiator between rich people and others is the fact that rich people don't have to work. This is the biggest freedom. I figured out that I don't need to be rich to do that.
I still work, but I mainly do this because I want to. I say no to things that I don't like and I've never been employed (I'm an employer myself).
I wouldn't trade this freedom for 10-20k/month (which I could achieve, but I would have to work my a* off). Deciding what to do with your time is the ultimate freedom.
edit: I worked like this in the past (making good money and having lots of stress), but nowadays I don't see the point anymore. Even if you like your work, wouldn't you prefer to work on your own visions and on your own terms?
Background of this question: Also form Europe (Austria), an EE engineer but modestly paid and overworked. I figure I should pivot to a passive income source as even switching jobs won't imporve my quality of life since companies are overly stingy on paying competitive salaries and most try ot burn you out in the long run as they try to be more competitive and government will tax the hell out of you the more you earn so I figure why bother, my healh is worth more than that.
1. Know your numbers: How much do you need to live? How much do you spend each month? How much money can you save up in your job every year?
2. Save up. Live extremely cheap and save every penny. You need enough money to live for ~9-12 months without any income, e.g. if you need 1200€ you need to save minimum €14k - no holidays and expensive stuff until you've reached your number. This is your lifeline money.
3. Save a little more: You need to invest money to make money. You need about €5-10k minimum for investments (buying domain names, themes, content, designs, ...)
4. You have saved up €20-30k? Continue the plan. Otherwise continue to live extremely frugal and increase your income.
5. There are many ways now: build websites, AirBnB, flipping stuff, writing books ... - first, you have to build something. After you've found something that works, you continue to increase the profit margin and automate the process (also utilizing manual labour). You can only do this if you already have some money, this is the reasoning behind step 1 and 2.
- - -
In my calculations, you need to invest roughly €30-40k to make €1-3k/month in completely passive income (I achieved it with 5-10k, but I was lucky).
It's definitely achievable in 3-4 years to save this amount of money if you commit to a frugal lifestyle, save up and invest it correctly (I achieved it in some months, but as I said, I was lucky).
I think it's not fair to sell you the idea that it's easy - although my journey was extremely straightforward, I know that most people struggle to even make a dollar online. But I can assure you that you will find a way if you're committed to leave your day job behind.
But please make sure that you have enough savings, I know many people who left their job and after 6 months they ran out of money. You don't want to be the defeated one who wasn't well prepared for this type of lifestyle.
Incidentally, I'm not sure if this statement has any validity outside US. I wonder why that is.
Edit: Found my answers on quora, I’ll let you look yourselves as I don’t want to link to what may be gossip but I had a laugh and a wave of nostalgia for those heady nonsense days
I actually met Larry at a bitcoin event a while back. Seems like a normal guy. Is there some back story I am not aware of?
The chances are low that life is better now, after losing out on a chance to be an early part of Instagram.
That's like saying a homeless person's life may be better than if he had a home. Ya statistically that scenario is possible.
But if you had a choice, do you really want that homeless person to stay homeless and just keep telling him "your life may be better now"? Or do you want that person's life to improve so that he eventually has a home?
Just name one important relationship he formed in NYC. Done. (Or any of the other infinite ways events could have unfolded more favorably in NYC than in a hypothetical SF)
An engineer in America is wealthy, and has lots of opportunity to see and experience new and interesting things. The idea that his life is almost assuredly worse just because he forwent one unlikely opportunity to become wealthy 50x over instead of just 5x over is silly.
Of all the choices he’s made and will make, I doubt that was a very important one.
I don't think the argument is conclusively "Done" after naming one important relationship he formed in NYC.
I can name one important relationship he would have formed if he stayed in SF. A relationship with the founders of Instagram. That relationship is valuable too.
What makes you doubt that this choice is less important than other choices he will make in the future?
You don't need to consider the infinite possibility of events that could have unfolded. You really only have to consider the origin event--if you had the chance to choose again, would you make the same choice.
Homelessness is a financial hardship that actually will ruin your quality of life, which stands in stark contrast to being a homeowner. Whereas making 150k/yr in NYC instead of 2m/yr in SF just means you have plenty of space on hardwood, instead of too much space on marble. The relationship between wealth and quality of life is logarithmic.
That's not the question being asked. Obviously being an early employee at Instagram is better than having an above-average engineering job in NYC, and more money is better than less money.
The question is, do all of the events that unfold throughout the rest of his life after he moves to NYC sum to a better life than the events that would have unfolded if he had taken that job and stayed in SF?
It can't be known, we can only speculate on the probabilities.
If we know for certain that Instagram will be the success that it is, that means NYC and SF present two radically different sets of human relationships and life experiences spanning decades, but in NYC he will make a lot of money and in SF he will make an excessive amount of money.
When I consider the infinite variation and possibility contained within those unforeseeable human relationships and life experiences, and think about the impact those factors have on a person's quality of life, I don't think there's even a comparison to be made between that and the difference between making lots of money and making tons of money. The relationships and life experiences will be the dominating factors in these outcomes. Since they're both unknowable, the relative probabilities of either NYC or SF resulting in a better life lie somewhere close to 50:50, even if we know he would have been successful at Instagram in SF.
I actually do think it was an important choice, just not because of Instagram. He was tired of SF and the contemporary startup scene, and Instagram's success was still very unlikely at that point. Staying would have been a bad decision.
It's egotistical to assume that it being you instead leads to the same result
I mean, what signals lead you to believe one scenario is more likely than the other?
It didn't sound like he was a weak employee in any way--if anything, he sounded like a strong employee because the founder of Instagram wanted to create a full-time role just to keep him, despite not having much money for the startup back then. I would assume the founder of Instagram is a better judge than I am, of who is good to hire.
It's possible that Instagram would have been more successful if he was there to support it back then.
Startups still have "lottery ticket" chances. Better, but still not a guaranteed payoff.
What if instead of IG it was Theranos or Color (or that startup that nobody heard of)?
As for me, it worked out - soon after arriving in NYC, I took a chance at starting a company for myself. Unlike Burbn/Instagram, which I would have liked from a market perspective, I went all-in on an idea and an industry that I truly loved. I managed to raise a little bit of funding, hired a great team, and exited 10x a few years later. Still at the company, now CTO. Love it more and more every day.
Right around the same time I started my company, I also met a beautiful woman who is now my wife. Bonus!
Do I think about what could have been? Sure. But I didn't let it stop me from plowing ahead and moving forward. What happened yesterday or last week or last year only impacts you to the extent that you let it. All you can ever do is believe in yourself and make the best decisions you can with the information available to you.
In the valley you leave the trench and come back to find that all your friends are rich.
No words can alleviate that regret. But if you’re having near misses like this you’re actually really close to something good.
I go to the gym most days and am pretty well disciplined but I still feel this way every so often (I've been ill earlier this week so I'm feeling down, which is probably what bought this on). How does someone get traditional discipline?
I can relate. I cry myself to sleep every night thinking about those bitcoins I didn't mine, back when you could get hundreds on a single GPU overnight.
If he could have sold them at that price without moving the market, that is.
(Also, this is a plot point in Bostrom's "The Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant" - the last people to die will really be mourned, and people will then start asking if, maybe, they could have started working on the problem sooner...)
That’s the only thing and best thing you can ever do in life.
I doubt they would be that much better off...
> We’re planning on taking some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again. Building new things requires that we step back, understand what inspires us and match that with what the world needs; that’s what we plan to do.
h/t to Bloomberg's @sarahfrier, who also says this:
> My sources say the Instagram founders are leaving after increased tension with Mark Zuckerberg over the direction of the product. IG culture/priorities very different from FB. See my April story for background
> Without the founders around, Instagram is likely to become more tightly integrated with Facebook, making it more of a product division than a company within Facebook, sources say
Given the "brand tax" of Facebook in the current climate, I really hope they avoid this for their own sake.
I left hipstagram a long time ago, it made me feel anxious and addicted.
Network effects though. As long as people aren’t quitting as villages, Facebook network effects will keep them alive for a long time.
Monica HQ is a personal CRM. It is NOT a social network. No relation with the project. Previously on HN: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14497295
Anything associated too closely with the Facebook name could become associated with these negative connotations.
But you have to give credit to how the company started and how it's been running all these years. Instagram is still flourishing (and grew in the face of competition from Snapchat, even by copying its features and making it better) and seems like a nicer group of communities with a lot less of the nastiness that's seen on Facebook (I don't have much first hand experience, but do see some feeds on the web). That's not easy to cultivate, and for reasons I haven't read about or examined, the Instagram users have self-selected such a group to be in.*
Here's hoping the founders start something new and fresh, far from privacy invasive platforms.
*: I'd be interested in any writings about how these communities developed to be what they are.
Instagram today is completely different from the way it started. The app is different, the community is completely different. Literally nothing is the same. It doesn’t even resemble what it once was. It has completely devolved. It may very well be the most toxic property out there. It’s hard to imagine something more phony, optimized soley as a way to waste your time tapping away giving “likes”. Watching somone use Instagram is one of the most depressing things I can imagine in terms of human social interaction.
IG was an app designed to share photos in the moment. It was a digital Polaroid. That was a pretty cool idea. That core feature is essentially gone and so is the community around it.
IG now is a platform of the least common denominator. 90% of the posts are garbage spam that takes the form of meme/image macro hybrid abominations designed to get likes. I don’t even really know what you call them. They aren’t videos, or flops or even memes. The best phrase I can think of is digital media noise. IG is like some kind of weird digital static. If you wanted to broadcast incompressible nonsense into outspace the best way to do it would be broadcast the explore tab on IG.
>IG now is a platform of the least common denominator. 90% of the posts are garbage spam that takes the form of meme/image mace hybrid abominations designed to get likes.
I guess you aren't following the right people or accounts, then.
I've seen plenty of engaging and cool content. I've even become friends with people from the opposite side of the world. Basically a modern kind of pen pal.
And this all happens while I'm still able to share photos in the moment.
The only thing about IG I absolutely hate is the non-chronological feed. It's ridiculously terrible, even reloading before I've seen the most recent posts.
I did that before with Facebook, and Twitter, and forums, and WoW, and MSN, and ICQ and IRC and MUDs...literally any form of online interaction. This doesn't set Instagram apart; it happens despite the fact it's a hyper-optimized advertising app.
But you know what? People I've met on IG aren't the types I would've found elsewhere on those other networks. And why does "setting it apart from the others", to paraphrase, have to be an issue? In that sense IRC and forums are exactly the same.
And no, hyper-optimized advertising app would mean I'm constantly seeing ads for products that fit what I like, which is further from the truth than any of this. I rarely, if ever, follow brand accounts, so I rarely, if ever, am subject to "hyper-optimized" advertising.
IG is like twitter in that the more effort you put in to curate the people you follow, the more rewarding your timeline is. I never look at Explore, but I look at the pictures in my own timeline and enjoy them.
The thing that Twitter most needs is some way to find and sort by topic or category. And I haven't been able to find any resource to help me find accounts like the ones I most enjoy. You'd think, with all this machine learning that's supposedly going on, someone would find a way to lead me to the people I would enjoy reading, based on some "seed" accounts.
I'm on about my 12th account, and I barely pay any attention to it, because it's just too much work to put what I'm reading into context, and then switch it 72 times to catch up my feed. And I follow less than 200 accounts! God help the poor souls who have thousands of follows.
I say all that to ask: Do you know any way to find accounts with high signal-to-noise ratios that might align with other, known accounts? If Twitter wants more "engagement," THEY ought to be the ones offering tools like this.
Just follow a small set of people. When those people retweet interesting stuff from other people, follow them too.
I don’t use Instagram that often. Sometimes I pop on to see pictures of friends’ kids, holidays, parties, or events. That’s basically 90% of what I see. I post holiday pictures and interesting things I cook, because some other people like to see them. Sometimes there are ads in my feed, and for the most part they’re inoffensive products that I even sometimes look at!
It’s just kind of the least offensive form of social media I can think of. I’m surprised to hear that so many people hate it.
No one is sharing content from BlatantlyBiasedNews.sketchydomain all day, memes, or other crap. Its the stuff I see less and less of on FB, and why while I still check FB at least daily, its starting to feel more like going through the motions than something I enjoy doing.
If you find IG wholesome you’ve been living under a rock. I find almost everything about IG offensive these days and it’s only going to get worse.
When I've scrolled through all the new posts there's a nice big green checkmark and it says "You're all caught up."
If something isn't what I want it to show me, I don't follow that. Works great, no weird view optimization algorithm as far as I can tell.
I'm very active on Instagram and 90% of my feed is various electronics, art, and software projects, and family and friends' travel photos and photos of interesting stuff they come across in their day-to-day lives. If you don't like the idiotic meme accounts don't follow them!
What's missing vs. the Facebook experience is the politics, the rants from elderly relatives, the absolutely excessive poorly-targeted advertising (even in Messenger now!), and completely irrelevant posts that I'm only seeing because someone I know has liked or commented on it.
I expect all of this to change and for IG to be brought more in line with Facebook now there's nobody left to defend it from Zuckerberg. A sad day indeed.
Personally, I actually even find some of Snapchat's "For You" section useful as well — I usually only see stories from NYT, WaPo, or other news/informative content providers. The ads are surprisingly avoidable, and much less prevalent than Instagram.
Instagram has been susceptible to the same effects, but as others have mentioned, with a small and curated list of people to follow, it's probably a nicer place to be (compared to other platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc.) when it comes to online social interactions.
The Wall Street Journal has a corresponding article about this story. In that article, the Instagram founders' names are written, "Messrs. Systrom and Krieger..."
Despite frequently reading both papers, I can't recall ever seeing "Messrs" before. I thought it was a typo at first; turns out it's a formal way to refer to two or more men instead of saying Mr. several times. This isn't germane to the story at hand at all, but I found it to be an interesting and educational part of reading both articles about the same story.
E.g., English https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=messrs&case_in...
Though it may be part of the WSJ's house style, so you might see it in its pages quote a bit (the paywall means I don't read it enough to know). For a similar example, see the New Yorker's continued archaic use of the diaeresis:
In any other context, I mostly think of Spinal Tap.
Definitely becoming less common and fading out, like Esq and Esquire slowly died out of standard usage on bank statements and other official letters, over the last 20 years.
If Facebook truly was unprepared, it’s reasonable to assume they weren’t expecting the announcement.
edit: fixed punctuation. By "prepared explanation" I don't mean a formal press release, but a reason (even if vague) that can be publicly disclosed, even before the official announcement, so it doesn't look like the founders are jumping ship for bad/antagonistic reasons.
Because people worked under and followed the for the better years of their life to make them rich?
Because the people you work with are more important than the work you do?
Because when you form a relationship with someone, contractually, business, or otherwise, you do, in fact owe them something, be it money, respect, or even some simple common decency.
My point was that it was quite a stretch for the Times to equate this situation with Jan Koum's departure and this narrative around Facebook's moral dilemma. These guys stuck around for nearly a decade, which is frankly the story that should be written about given how infrequently that happens.
I agree with your point though.
What future revenue streams does Facebook have? Are they even capable of creating something new that users love? As far as I can tell, they haven't created any popular products outside of Facebook version 1.0.
Out of all the major tech companies, Facebook's position seems the least stable IMO.
To put it in perspective, they would need to lose 3/4 of their users to reach Twitter levels. Sure, Hacker News has loads of people that hate Facebook, but don't be fooled by the HN bias here. Also, all the armchair CEOs here would do anything to get even 1% of Zuckerberg's success. I don't think Facebook is going anywhere soon.
Considering the average annual revenue per U.S. Facebook user is ~$20, startlingly less in other countries, arguably Microsoft, not Facebook, is the more interesting company. Nearly as many active users as Facebook, but substantially more revenue per user (~$50-$150 for an OEM key? Add in office subscriptions, enterprise users, oh my) and substantially more "eye-time" (monthly active? once per month? ha. you used Windows the entire time you were on the PC). Arguably. I don't want to argue it. It's just a thought and it's not the point.
No one looks at Microsoft and thinks "they're going to absolutely dominate the home computing OS market in 2030." They owned the planet and they threw it away. At best they'll remain a second-rate player in the cloud market, riding the ripples of their 90s enterprise clients until those die out as well.
Meanwhile Apple and Google ate their cake. No one saw that coming in 2001. Wait, the company that nearly went bankrupt and now makes that really bad MP3 player, and... Google who? Hold on let me AltaVista that. The companies that are, today, worth almost nothing are worth a combined $2T in just 17 years? What the hell happens to the US Dollar in the next decade?!
Shit changes, and it changes overnight. Sometimes literally, most of the time just "faster than you expect". The only thing you can bet on is that "active users" means about as much as the moon landing conspiracy theories.
Your points are all valid. However, you're comparing Apples to Oranges. MSFT makes a large chunk of their revenue from Enterprise customers. I don't think it's fair to put the two companies in the same category.
Your larger point however, I def agree. Microsoft diversified itself, and Facebook will eventually too.
As the saying goes "This too shall pass".
Now they do. Got out of the consumer business like a scalded cat, because consumers are fickle and quick to anger.
Now, perhaps we could have a word from HiSpace's Tom, or whatever his Ozymandias was ...
React is one of the most used front-end frameworks in the world, so it’s not like they aren’t capable of doing what Microsoft does, if that becomes their focus.
I’m not sure either company is really that interesting though. Azure is limited AWS but with better support, Windows is more horrible than it’s ever been and the .Net environment is a shit show for anyone working in it because it’s running around like a confused cat. Which is awesome for some people, but terrible when you have to keep your employees up to speed.
I mean, going from asp to mvc to core 1 to core 2 has been ridiculously expensive. So has replacing half our services with modern power shell and orchestra. It’s not bad tech wise, but it’s so ridiculous expensive from an organizational perspective.
The worst bit is that in a few years, you can add to things Microsoft has changed for the apparent fun of it.
We didn’t have to adopt core from a tech perspective, of course, but my developers wanted to, to stay relevant in the .net job scene, so we kind of had to from a management perspective.
It’s too much though, and they are doing the same across platforms. Like we have skype for business and we’ve trained 7000 employees to use it, and now it’s becoming obsolete... That’ll litteraly cost us millions because 5000 of our employee can’t tell you if they are on an android or iPhone device when they contact support, so many of them won’t havd learned Skype before it dies. :p
I think the thing that describes the problems with modern Microsoft the best is how they enabled new 365 features by default. So suddenly we had non-tech savvy people creating teams (and new emails that were added to our address books).
Anyway, this was a long rant, but it’s just to show that Microsoft isn’t really doing well in non-tech focused enterprise. And we’re their main market share.
Point being: they squandered any trust they'd have been able to gain in that arena, and they're competing with the most powerful companies on the planet. I don't see it happening.
Yahoo used to be the most popular email provider, too. It was relevant to a vast number of American internet users, when American internet users were most of the internet.
I don't think you can infer future relevance from present usage statistics. There are definite network effects with social networks, but fashion and novelty also play a major role. If Facebook/Instagram lose the latter, I don't think the former can sustain the kind of user engagement they require to thrive.
I'm not a fan but I see reality.
the content already feels like a mindless one-way feed from a centralized provider. barely at all like the original incarnation that connected me with my friends.
I'm sure they'll be okay.
>What future revenue streams does Facebook have?
The amount of Data facebook has on the behavioral nature of current parents and current and future American children of said parents is _insane_. Facebook may not be a social media company for ever, but big blue will be an advertising powerhouse for a while with the amount of data they have.
I'm much more bearish on antitrust than most people throwing that term around, but even I am against Facebook being able to buy another upstart social network. They cannot be allowed to do that.
Maybe they can do something completely different like Oculus and leverage their infrastructure to make the best product possible. But even then that's a huge gamble, and I don't think Oculus has lived up to anywhere near the hype.
Once clubs realize that they could fill virtual stadiums or sell virtual tickets, this may change. They may even switch to free tickets in the real world to better the stadium atmosphere and fill their virtual stadiums that won't have a capacity cap..
Don't speak too soon, Gaming PC VR was never ever going to be big but they're announcing their first full featured stand alone headset today.
In terms of what Oculus is hoping to achieve today is pretty much Day 1 and everything up until today has been a beta test.
They acquire the next cool thing
You say least stable but let's look at Yahoo as an example: they've been dead for over a decade and lots of people still use them. Massive data breaches, people still use them etc. etc. Imagine how many people will keep using Facebook if all they manage to do is be a less bad version of Yahoo. People are creatures of habit and once they develop a habit, especially one that doesn't cost $$$ upfront, it takes a herculean effort to get most of them to change their behavior. Once people are hooked, many of them seem to be willing to be abused nearly forever.
Facebook’s Chris Cox has been put in charge of all the company’s apps now.
When Ms. Sandberg went unmentioned in a major reshuffling of Mr. Zuckerberg’s top product executives in May, the moves caused former employees and executives to speculate that she had been displaced as the second-most-powerful figure by Chris Cox, a close friend of Mr. Zuckerberg, who had been elevated to a new role in charge of all the company’s apps, including Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.
2. How often do you get to experience the thrill of leading one of the fastest growing and most popular apps of all time? That's a lot of power and prestige, you're basically a real world rockstar. Why leave while the missile is still going upwards to space at full speed, even just for the experience? It's an exhilarating ride, I'm sure, and when it gets too stuffy because FB is trying to milk it for every cent, you can bail and find something else fun to do.
When you create an app that is as consequential as Instagram is on society/culture/media I think any smart person would have to step back and have that "what have I created" moment.
I have no clue why they are both leaving at the same time but I would imagine a health dose of reflection is in both of their futures.
There's little correlation IMO between being a smart person and being a caring person. The average FB shareholder or employee could give less than a fig if the product is making people depressed, as long as their eyeballs stay attached to it.
Used to be something I'd do up to 10 times a day, now sometimes once a week and when I do I often intentionally avoid the feeds and just search for specific people I want to see because I don't want to see what a lot of people I follow that I know IRL are doing.
Instagram is innovating with new features like Video Calling and Live Video that Snapchat lacks.
So stepping down from FB is kind of a no brainer, especially if it becomes less "fun" due to issues raised by other people. Building stuff is fun, cleaning up a mess, is not fun. Trying to do stuff while the mess is getting worse and worse around you, that is pure torture in my opinion.
 There is a sad track of people who have made millions and then lost it all due to poor choices.
 Billionaires actually -- https://www.forbes.com/profile/kevin-systrom/#3b19b6447396
-- or not -- https://www.therichest.com/celebnetworth/celebrity-business/...
After Google's recent Dragonfly resignations, this might be the new standard for tech companies.
Unfortunately, I believe this is just hopeful ambition that won’t become a reality. The majority of folks I meet in tech tend to be a paycheck or two away from financial catastrophe and generally shy away from rocking the boat. A small percentage have their house in order, and those are the folks that have the luxury to resign so quickly when they have moral/ethical objections.
I’m not too sure what the overarching reasons for that are, but my guess is that lifestyle inflation is very real, financial education isn’t very common, and many people focus on the wrong abstractions (ie decision making starting with “I make $200k a year, I can afford this!” rather than “what’s my burn rate?”)
1 bedrooms in Mountain View are going for 3-4K/month. No programmers at Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Google, or Facebook are making less than $100k. Starting salaries (not counting bonuses and RSUs) are between $120k and $150k.
NIMBY-ism shovels money towards landlords, no doubt, but Bay Area programmers are still very rich.
Your top number, 150k, at 30% taxes (roughly expected in this area) gives you 105k. That's 8.75k/month, which is pretty darn close to half of your listed Mountain View price... and Mountain View isn't even the most expensive.
If you had said “nearly 50% of post-tax salary”, I wouldn’t have quibbled. My point is that no Bay Area programmer living in a conveniently located 1 bedroom is likely to be what the FHA would consider cost burdened, unless they’re working for well below market rate at a startup (and thus are, in my opinion, being exploited by their employer).
Every company I mentioned is public, and RSUs are extremely relevant for total compensation analysis at these companies.
Maybe it's common in financial circles? But most people I know balance their books based on their take-home, not gross.
Americans generally talk about income in terms of gross. This is very disorienting for people from cultures where “income” as a solitary noun generally refers to post-tax income, but arguing with culture isn’t likely to be very fruitful.
It is absolutely true that this is rarely useful for making budgeting decisions, because you have to come up with some inaccurate assessment of after tax net, which is especially tricky with simultaneously progressive and regressive income tax regimes like the US system for high earners.
The cultural variation around internalizing taxes is even more obvious for transactional taxes, where most of Europe lists prices inclusive of VAT but the US lists prices before sales tax; the US affection for communicating costs while ignoring tax and then expressing distress when they finally appear is widespread.
It doesn’t sound like we really disagree on much at the object level, here, we’re disagreeing on semantics (and, I suspect, on tone).
I will be more than happy with a nice and simple 1 or 2 bed apartment. Plus, big houses = lot's of caring/ maintenance = boring!
this evil face of facebook will hurt more and more companies day after day and in a result a chain reaction that will affect the life of general people.
A good example of what I'm talking about is the whole recent you've seen all the posts you care about, keep scrolling for things you're not interested in from people you don't care about "feature" that popped up a few weeks ago. They just seem to be incredibly determined to push the content of users I don't care about on me, when what I think made Instagram so great was that I could carefully curate what I follow to only see stuff by profiles I'm interested in... And what's the deal with not having a native iPad app? That's just insane!
I wonder how much of this is pushed on them by Facebook, and whether that had something to do with them leaving?
"It's ok to post stories from sites with paywalls that have workarounds. In comments, it's ok to ask how to read an article and to help other users do so. But please don't post complaints about paywalls. Those are off topic."
Are HN commenters going to continue complaining about a payall that's pretty cheap to pay for?