Is Hiring Obsolete?

Paul Graham has posted the talk he gave a PARC last week, entitled Hiring is Obsolete, where he encourages undergrads and grad students to start up companies with the aim of being bought out/hired by a big company:

When companies buy startups, they’re effectively fusing recruiting and product development. And I think that’s more efficient than doing the two separately, because you always get people who are really committed to what they’re working on.

Plus this method yields teams of developers who already work well together. Any conflicts between them have been ironed out under the very hot iron of running a startup. By the time the acquirer gets them, they’re finishing one another’s sentences. That’s valuable in software, because so many bugs occur at the boundaries between different people’s code.

Paul has hinted at this strategy in some of his other essays. I think it is an intriguing idea, though I question how committed the startup’s team will be to the big company after the buy out. In my experience (I’ve been involved in two buy-outs in my life), the founders are just as likely to bail once their golden handcuffs evaporate as stick around.

Anyways, it’s an excellent read, as usual.

Dan Moniz attended the talk and blogged about it. Larry had some interesting comments on talk’s abstract.

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