> “The type of person who is attracted to these jobs and thus to the Seattle area seems to be... strangely entitled...." Arlene said that she was once contacted by a Microsoft programmer on OKCupid who required that she read Neuromancer before “he would consider taking me out on a date. He was not joking.”
The idea that a guy should feel grateful for the opportunity to take a girl who looks down on him out to dinner is pretty far up there if we're chalking up examples of self-entitlement. Makes me suspect the real reason for her reaction was surprise at not being in the traditional position of judging and rejecting the guy first.
Complex initial agreements are a bad sign and suggest a lack of proper focus on how to achieve growth and share success. But if you are getting pushed in this direction, make sure the same agreement (ownership reflects performance) applies to non-technical founders as well. Document the obligations of your cofounders while you build the product, and establish ways to determine if they have met their goals. The point is not to be the only member of the founding team held to performance standards.
If the company cannot move forward until a technical product exists, you are investing in the company at a much earlier and riskier stage, since in addition to bearing product risk (will it work) and market risk (will it sell), you are also holding team risk (are your cofounders productive) and legal risk (if they bail, will you be sued for salvaging your investment as necessary).
Higher risk should translate into higher pay/equity. Don't let anyone negotiate your ownership down on any basis other than that their own disproportionately large contribution to the company (i.e. cash investment).
One reasonable train of thought is, that in a country containing a mix of several cultures with sharp divides, democracy will make 2nd-class citizens out of somebody - the tyranny of the majority will seriously rule.
There are many forms of citizen-participatory government possible. A republic for instance (what you meant when you said democracy?) can have houses formed in a variety of ways to insure minorities are heard.
Milosevic was prosecuted by the ICC and died in jail four months before an almost certain conviction. The Pinochet case predates the ICC, but although the British government intervened to temporarily "halt" his extradition to Spain, the speed of his subsequent exit (he flew back to Santiago within hours) suggests the move was a political one to push things back to Chile, where Pinochet faced subsequent prosecution and died under house arrest.
So some cynicism is certainly deserved, but it is probably more accurate to say that the more political influence someone has, and the more dirt they hold on other countries, the more protracted the entire judicial process becomes.
Alnayyir isn't criticizing your desire to hire a friend. He is saying that the entire topic is judgmental and crass since it starts from an assumption of superiority over others. And I respectfully agree.
If the defining quality of friendship is wishing the best for others, it is hardly an act of friendship to think about one's friends in this fashion ("how can I dump them", "how can I exploit them"). The very possibility is paradoxical: how could a genuinely good person do anything but help his friends to the utmost of his ability? It is your conflating friendship with other dynamics that is being criticized, not your giving someone a job.
> how could a genuinely good person possibly wish to stop helping others, or not help them to the utmost of his ability?
The point I was attempting to make was that quite often, helping those who are not as good as you are at making money can be profitable for all involved. Hell, even from a "help the most people" point of view, finding a job with a path for advancement for a person is doing a lot more good than giving them resources. Even avoiding the issue of the recipient's self-worth, if I give away resources, I will eventually run out, but if I make money off helping people? that scales.
Perhaps what I should have said was:
"If you feel that your friends are holding you back, you are doing it wrong."
the thing of it is, I believe statements like "person x is better than person y" are largely without content without context. I mean, if we are talking about money, you can say "Person X is better at making money than Person Y" and that makes sense, or "person X is better at lifting weights than person Y" or even "person X is better at writing essays without coming off like an arrogant asshole than person Y" -
I don't know if it was the authors intent or not, but I read this essay as "I am better at making money than my friends, and this is causing some of my relationships to end."
At risk of sounding like a complete asshat to apparently everyone else on this thread, a 9:00 - 4:00 workday is what I had in kindergarten. If I were running a company with this issue I'd consider it a big problem too.