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This was going on at the height of the smart phone wars, which was a trillion dollar opportunity that ultimately made Apple the most valuable company on the planet. If Apple defended its early market position by poaching employees instead of by litigating competitors, there would have been a huge jump in engineer salaries that would have rippled across the industry.

You can see this going on today with autonomous cars increasing salaries for engineers working on that problem, which has had knock-on effects for machine learning engineers and top tier software engineers in general.

As a Google employee, you were especially shafted by the settlement. Google's compensation structure at the time had a significant performance bonus component, even for low performers, but the settlement distribution was allocated based on base salary, so employees at companies with smaller bonus compensation got a disproportionate amount of the settlement.






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