In my experience everyone who got rich did it by owning a significant stake in a business (not necessarily a startup or even anything high tech.) I'm aware there are people who got rich from writing bestsellers or becoming movie stars but I don't know anyone like it and I think such people are extremely rare. And I may be wrong but I would be inclined to classify hackers who got promoted to VPs and CTOs together with the movie stars.
I don't really know much about the ownership structure of law firms, but I always assumed becoming a partner is a big deal because it means co-owning the firm in some sense, and getting a share of profits directly, not through salary and bonus. So that's why I figure this is different.
I don't know anybody that you know who became rich, and so that whole second paragraph sails right past me. Especially when it concludes with a suggestion that hacker VPs are as rare as movie stars.
As for the partner track at law firms, uh, fine. Substitute MBA -> investment banker, or CPA -> CFO, or Med School -> Anesthesiologist, or any number of other careers that don't have partner tracks.
Even if your salary never breaks $110k as a dev, you're still fantastically lucky to get that in any career, and perfectly capable of becoming a millionaire. So, I guess, cry me a river about how hard it is for techs to succeed without starting entirely new businesses?
Finally, let me just leave you with an uncomfortable truth: it is a safe bet that you will never get rich starting a company, or any number of companies.
I freely concede I could be wrong with respect to directors and partners. I work at a software company and my girlfriend works at a law firm.
I absolutely agree with you that the odds of getting rich by starting a company are low, all I'm saying they're better than the odds of getting rich by other means.
It was pretty obvious to me.
>> "I eventually want to be rich, so I'm going to be a lawyer, not an artist."
Of course, it should be possible to "get rich" making >$100k year. All it takes is money management.
> In my experience everyone who got rich did it by owning a significant stake in a business (not necessarily a startup or even anything high tech.)
Partnership is "a stake". It can be significant in dollars even if it is insignificant in percentage (and the reverse).
But it's just a conversational rat trap. Unless your definition of "rich" means "owning a private jet", you never have to come close to being a VP/Engineering to become rich over a carefully managed career. You just have to be good with money.