Friday, May 31, 2013

$100 Million? That's a Lot of Science

This recent Wired article is fascinating: Mailbox, a tiny, barely-two-and-a-half-year-old company in San Francisco, makes a killer app. A month later, Dropbox drops in $100 million dollars.

Stop for just a moment, and I'll say it again: One Hundred Million Dollars.

Holy Toledo! Let's imagine for a moment that Mailbox was a chemical compound, and that the company hired chemists. You've likely heard the old saw of ~$200K / FTE (overhead & chemicals included).

Well, ignoring inflation, that up-front money could support a staff of 10 chemists for 50 years
Job security? You betcha.

Even more amazing, look down to the fourth bold interview question, about hiring vs. supply/ demand for mobile engineers in the Bay Area. According to CEO Underwood, they cannot find enough bodies to fill the seats; interesting parallels, I'm sure, with Cambridge or Palo Alto for chemists, ca. 1980 or so (Biotech? What the heck is that?). The Dropbox parent site? Currently trying to fill 47 jobs, at a company where all meals are included, 4 weeks' vacation, and dedicated game rooms on-site. 

Try selling that to a biotech start-up. Dang.

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