The New York Post has a very interesting exposé of how millennials are exploited by hi-tech startup companies. Here's an excerpt.
Tech startups love millennials. Tasty, tasty millennials who get underpaid, overworked, churned up and turned into nourishment for venture capitalists. Millennials are the Soylent Green of the tech world.
As each batch gets mashed up, there’s a long line of new hires eager to be made into the next meal for the execs and their billionaire backers, as tech survivor Dan Lyons shows in a scathingly funny new book, “Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble” (Hachette Books).
How worried was HubSpot about what secrets would emerge in the book? Very. At the company, three top execs were implicated in a scheme to suppress the book, which led to an FBI investigation of alleged extortion and email hacking. The FBI closed its investigation with no charges filed. But two lost their jobs and a third, the CEO, was reprimanded. In a press release, HubSpot said the personnel actions were taken “in connection with attempts to procure a draft manuscript of a book involving the company.”
HubSpot comes across as a kind of kindergarten cult that plies its young charges with parties, toys, naps, playtime — and not much pay. A huge chunk of potential compensation at tech startups comes in the form of stock options, which could turn out to be worth nothing but are certainly worth nothing if employees get so burned out that they leave before the options vest.
This is part of the plan. Tech firms basically operate like South African gold-mining operations, with confident young Tame Impala fans being the bodies thrown into the pit to break their backs digging up nuggets. All of the IPO gold, though, goes straight into the pockets of their masters topside.
There's much more at the link. Recommended reading.
My father taught me at an early age that when it comes to compensation, cash is king. Something 'as good as cash' often isn't, but there are some corporate 'perks' that come close. However, to be offered something that basically has no cash value to you isn't compensation at all - it's flattery. For that reason, as I rose in the ranks in the IT profession in South Africa, I moved to smaller and smaller companies, because they paid in hard cash with fewer so-called 'benefits'. At the end of my IT career I was making a six-figure salary (in the late 1980's), with no perks whatsoever. It was all cash. I never regretted that, because the cash allowed me to live in a four-bedroom apartment and help others with whom I was working to alleviate the national crisis that accompanied the end of apartheid.
The article appears to describe the sort of environment inhabited by some notable politicians these days; unicorn farts and rainbows (corporate edition). I'm glad I don't work there.