> Stepping back a bit, problems feel a bit less important to me as time goes on. The world is awash in problems. Problems you care about are just so much more rewarding to work on, and they pull better work out of you. Problems experienced by people you care about quintuply so, because if you start a SaaS business you'll spend much more time talking to customers and getting in their head than you will be on e.g. modeling their workflow in Ruby or optimizing your AWS spend.
> So I'd suggest most people asking this question instead ask "How do I find a user population that buys software that I would enjoy having in my life five days a week for 5~10 years?" My answer for that, after a lot of soulsearching, is "I enjoy helping software people a lot more than I enjoy helping undifferentiated professionals. Maybe I should just do that. Maybe no maybe." Your answer may vary.
1. I’d rather visit this site after a few days or weeks and read the answers since the UX of this site isn’t conducive to reading right now. I hate those pop ups on newer answers and questions that hide a big portion of the screen on mobile. Why would I switch to viewing another answer or question while I’m busy reading one already (considering many answers are a bit long)?
2. The other part of this page I didn’t like is that answers are all expanded by default, which makes getting to the next question and answer cumbersome when the one that’s in view isn’t of interest.
I’ll bookmark this and come back much later after (almost) everyone has asked enough questions and Patrick has had a chance to answer the ones he can or wants to.
Great point on the notifications; they're fairly small on desktop but likely too large on mobile. We thought of them as a way to show there's new content if you're waiting for something new, but that does make sense.
We'll keep tweaking it. Let me know if anything else sticks out when you come back to read through the AMA later!
Clicking "reply" (again) on the dedicated page expands a text box. It's hidden by default. I assumed clicking "reply" the first time would have been useful.
If software could help you hire candidates that are 10% more productive and stay 25% longer (numbers pulled out of my ass) than the candidates you hire now, how much do you think your company would pay for that?
.. that companies love spending money instead of changing anything, so I think they'd spend loads of investor money on it.
How hard could it possibly be to get 25% longer than all the people who say you have to change jobs every 12-18 months? To be nice enough that people stay /four months/ longer??
If that's not happening, switch out the managers.
1 month, 2, 3 went by. I found guaranteed positions for them based solely on my recommendation for more pay then if we had money, the people still stayed.
They came in for work the same. Everything kept going. We eventually had a successful product, made money, and were able to backpay.
If I was a disorganized manager giving meaningless drudgery and absurd requirements divorced from product and purpose they would have all left.
There has to be a deeper mission, purpose, and vision that keeps people around and focused. That's the managements job.
People aren't generally in tech for the money, there's better money in real estate, sales and finance with less work. Drive the passion and you'll drive the work.
Programming is like movies, art, and music: great things rarely happen when people are just chasing dollars.
You make the real money here as an IB analyst (100+ hours a week in the office — definitely NOT less work than the average SWE job), or as a financial advisor, i.e. sales.
So, yeah, if you go into sales, sales, or sales, you can make more money that way than in tech as a SWE. But, honestly, do you think the average engineer would do well in sales?
Family of four, one breadwinner, property owner, annual vacation, eating out once a week, two cars, college education for children...
You know, baseline idyllic suburban living. For the bay it was I believe north of $200K.
That's what I'm talking about. Someone making 250K in Mountainview isn't in it "for the money", they are just trying to live a life that frankly, most other countries can tender for about $75,000 but because of decisions we've made in how we structure society, it takes a quarter million a year.
This is the real equivalent to the 1950s idea of "middle class", it's just gotten so out of reach for most people, we construe people looking for it as greedy.
They aren't. Once you understand that, you can align incentives ... A $5,000 reward doesn't mean much for these people since 250k doesn't mean they're chasing dollars, instead a challenging rewarding job where they can work from home whenever they want, that's what keeps them around.
Or maybe I read too much into it.
And, yes. Boy would I like an agent to negotiate my next raise and find me a better job if my current employer says no....
This is a very cultural thing. For example, in Germany it is frowned upon to switch companies too often. If your CV shows that you switch jobs every few years, this is considered a red flag since this candidate will not be very loyal to your company.
I also ask myself whether the "company incentive structure" is the cause of switching jobs; if it is easier to get more pay by switching companies than by staying, then of course candidates will be prone to switch. So perhaps not what is broken (in terms of loyality) is "eng hiring", but the incentive structure of the companies that want to retain the engineers.
Do those credentials warrant the adulation he is granted?
But he told us to charge (or be paid) more and probably make us tenths of millions collectively.
In the real world, nobody tells you to charge more or raise your salary.
Your mileage obviously varies, but in my opinion we (privileged "tech" people) need to look beyond just our own personal selfish gains. Yes, earning more money feels good. Yes, the idea that your successful salary negotiation made Jeff Bezos/Mark Zuckerberg/Bill Gates less disgustingly rich feels good. But at the same time we should look at the bigger picture.
If you somehow find success and try to share what you learned, now you are a villain, because a small, fucked area of the US will exploit it to their gain, trampling the poor in their wake. Everybody everywhere better stop writing about anything other than how to help the poor exclusively instead, because I can't wait to read those articles and how it'll help me also achieve success or get paid fairly for my skills or output. Oh wait, what if I was poor and I want to find a better way out? Man I wish someone would teach me that instead of saying I need help...
What a thread hijack, and on such a nice guy too. If it was someone else, maybe I'd have a shred of sympathy, but if you think this dude is in some way the problem? The dude who is trying to help you NOT get raped "by the man" in your career and in business? Jeez.
Can we agree the situation in SF sucks? Yeah, but it's not this dude's fault. Maybe I'm a privileged tech person too, but I don't live in SF or in the US, so I don't really care about their problems, yet I can't seem to not read about them constantly on here. This guy is on the other side of the fucking world in a completely alien environment by comparison.
Yes, hooray indeed! (my sarcasm detector just blew up for some reason)
Making IT people richer doesn't make any poor people poorer.
Also, a lot of non-white people are working in IT nowadays (arguably the majority) and this population has the most need of patio11 advice. Divas in the bay area are only the top(-ish) 1% of IT crowd, and not a very representative sample at that. And they are not the prime target of his counsel.
Basically: Even if you love your job and could do it for minimal wage, ask to be compensated according to your merits instead. It won't make you love your job less.
Increasing inequality absolutely makes worse off people even worse off. Not just comparatively, but yes, even in "real dollar" terms: Raising IT people's (or whatever other privileged group's) incomes means they can and will spend more on housing, raising prices for everyone, meaning that poorer people will have to spend more on housing, meaning that they will have fewer dollars in pocket, even though their income hasn't changed.
> do it for minimal wage
... which nobody has suggested, of course.
> ask to be compensated according to your merits instead
Sure. How do you measure merits? Did CEOs' merits increase by 90 times since 1978? https://www.epi.org/publication/ceo-pay-has-grown-90-times-f...
"I'm in a position where I can negotiate a substantial pay rise" does not mean "I was previously not paid according to my merits". If the market changes and you are suddenly "worth more", that doesn't mean that your "merits" have suddenly improved.
The above, combined with years of building a positive online presence, and you could see how he ends up in demand.
The main reason people don't use credit cards to buy houses now is due to the credit limit. Someone rich enough to have a $300,000 credit limit probably doesn't want to buy just a $300K house. However... it's easy to imagine the building or construction industry creating a credit card type product for home builders or renovators backed by a credit line sufficient to buy distressed properties.
> Will we see people buy houses online? I mean, clearly yes, we will see that. Will it become dominant to do it without meeting one's counterparty and/or broker? That feels unlikely.
Has Patrick ever even bought a house? Some people might think it's nice to meet the buyer/seller, but the only reason you really get together in the same room is to sign a bunch of paperwork at the same time. As patio might say, "there already exists a non-zero amount of lawyers executing real estate deals without the physical presence of the actual buyer and or seller". I see no reason for the trend to dissipate.
> The main reason people don't use credit cards to buy houses now is due to the credit limit.
suppose you want to buy a $500k home. You go to a bank and they offer you 30 years at, say 3.5%.
You go to your credit card provider and somehow get a $500k limit. Your payments looks something like 1 (one) month at 0% or as long as it takes (based on minimum payment) at 16.99%.
Which do you choose?
If you think you can change the economics of the credit card to be closer to the bank, you will end up with many of the same overheads that the bank has, and you will no longer be a credit card. I.e., you will not provide near instantaneous access to a line of credit.
I don't see a lot of reasons why we can't eventually have pre-approved 30-yr mortgage credit cards accepted by companies like OpenDoor focused on selling houses.
No, that is definitely not why.
> Some people might think it's nice to meet the buyer/seller, but the only reason you really get together in the same room is to sign a bunch of paperwork at the same time.
I’ve never heard of this. I’ve never even heard of anyone meeting the buyer/seller for any length of time in a real estate transaction.
Yes, that's my point. When I bought and sold my house I was in the same room as the other private party. We made chit-chat and it was neat, but there was no reason we had to be there other than paperwork convenience. As paperwork continues to move online I don't see why that is necessary.