Is there life outside FB/GOOG?

New OXmv74
Sep 15, 2017 51 Comments

It seems as if you either work for the big guys and rake it in or you're worthless.

I make 300k all in, excluding options, at a <$100mm revenue startup. Report to the CEO. Many people at FB and GOOG who know me insist I should join one of them instead and double or triple my guaranteed cash.

Always been happy even though I've never made the big bucks in Silicon Valley terms. But have I been stupid and just missed out on being rich? Too late at 41? Should I just do it for the cash?

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TOP 51 Comments
  • Facebook / Eng instandidl
    Why do you still focus on money when you're making $300k. "Worthless"? By what measure?

    Go live. You have access to so much in California. Just live life.
    Sep 15, 2017 5
    • New OXmv74
      OP
      Sound advice. That's actually what we do. But the truth is I occasionally wonder if so much more money would be worth it. Judging by blind (I know..) that's the sole criteria others have for choosing a job.
      Sep 15, 2017
    • Facebook / Eng instandidl
      It's not the sole criteria for choosing a job.

      It's one important aspect, sure. And you don't want to go too low. And after you've picked a job you should obviously maximize comp. but it's only 1 among many criteria.
      Sep 15, 2017
    • New OXmv74
      OP
      For sure. Worked at a BigCo when I was early in my career.
      Sep 16, 2017
    • Nintendo JollyRodgr
      You are at an income level where money has lost a lot of meaning. At this point choose happiness, are you happy with your job, life? If so stay man. If you want the challenge google brings with it (if it does) or you are the newer is always better type, might I first interest you in an unaged scotch then recommend you pursue this job.

      That said, I have had this exact fight with myself a couple of times, but I am happy here and life has been better then it has ever been before. I took a hit on the nose pay wise (Amazon or msft I could make about 20% more.)
      Sep 16, 2017
    • New OXmv74
      OP
      Wise words. Which scotch do you recommend? I'm exploring!
      Sep 16, 2017
  • Boeing 20
    I don't even make one third of your salary and I'm satisfied. Do what you want, don't listen to every noise out there.
    Sep 15, 2017 0
  • Intuit ofk532
    How rich do you want get? Is CA the place you want to be?
    Sep 15, 2017 8
    • USAA / Eng TreeFiddy3
      Weird that I recent posted a survey asking how many hours people work... Maybe the FB/GOOG people didn't have time to take it? Most people were in the 40-50 hour range
      Sep 15, 2017
    • Microsoft Bad Hombre
      @ofk532 you obviously don't know anyone who works for google. Those guys don't even bother showing up to the office most of the time, they are cruising as if there is no tomorrow! I've seen people slack off at Microsoft but googlers have taken it to a whole new level. #RestnVest
      Sep 16, 2017
    • Intuit ofk532
      @BadHombre, I can speak for myself. I have worked for FB in the past and I literally lived there.
      Sep 16, 2017
    • Microsoft Bad Hombre
      @ofk532 that's why I said google. I see folks who leave FB for google for precisely that reason.
      Sep 16, 2017
    • SurveyMonkey envelope
      Who says Google is not restNvest hahaha
      Sep 16, 2017
  • Microsoft / Eng Ayrr11
    Do what makes you happy. Don't look for life related advice on blind. Talk to your wife instead.
    Sep 15, 2017 1
    • New OXmv74
      OP
      My spouse says the same thing. I agree. Just can't help wondering at times.
      Sep 15, 2017
  • Proofpoint MarkWatney
    I think you're not counting your blessings. Just owning a home here is a major accomplishment. Being able to do that on a single income and still able to save 4k/mo is downright amazing. Quite frankly, you suck for not appreciating that. My wife and I both have to work, we make great money but still can't buy a house here, and have trouble saving.

    If you were looking for validation and a reality-slap in the face, you're welcome.
    Sep 16, 2017 1
    • New OXmv74
      OP
      Thank you. Wasn't easy to get to this point - there are always sacrifices whatever path you choose.
      Sep 16, 2017
  • Etsy / Design
    eycJ86

    Etsy Design

    PRE
    SoundCloud, NASDAQ
    BIO
    💯💯💯
    eycJ86more
    From what I can tell, Google and Facebook are competitive and stressful places to work. I avoided working for them even though I'm sure the pay would've been great. My peace of mind is worth it – I work at a place with little politics where I'm supported and feel like I matter. Do what's best for your emotional health and family relationships.
    Sep 16, 2017 0
  • eBay / Eng
    stool

    eBay Eng

    BIO
    Why did you click on me 😡
    stoolmore
    Depends on what you want. If you want to be truly wealthy, you’ll have to build that yourself and really grind for it. You won’t get that working for somebody else like Google or Facebook. If you just want a good amount of money and steady work, go join a big company.
    Sep 15, 2017 3
    • Google wvlbvl
      That reduces to saying the only way to get wealthy is to be a founder or you build a small business or do side investments, etc. This isn't black or white. Just put a number to it, some numbers are easily achievable working for someone else and some are less likely.
      Sep 16, 2017
    • eBay / Eng
      stool

      eBay Eng

      BIO
      Why did you click on me 😡
      stoolmore
      I’d say my definition for wealth is when you can buy just about anything you want without having to worry about money. I don’t see anyone making that kind of money at a company unless they were a C-level exec. Then I guess you could argue, what if the most I ever wanna buy is a bag of hot Cheetos...
      Sep 16, 2017
    • Google wvlbvl
      Maybe your bar is a lot higher than mine but director-level people at these companies seem pretty comfortable, able to save and plan for their futures, and to buy toys, give to charity, etc.
      Sep 16, 2017
    • New OXmv74
      OP
      I live quite close to that house. Good thing I already own!
      Sep 15, 2017
  • Intel / Mktg nononsense
    I think we tend to get caught up this in this microcosm that is the tech world. You are a 1%er already. You sound like you will live comfortably for the rest of your life. You are talking about chasing that 0.5% or 0.1% level. Reading what you have written here, it doesn't sound like that is important to you. Don't get caught up in it.

    I, too, have made many choices along the way that has kept me out of the 7 figure pay range and, yes, every now and then I have a tinge of jealousy as well, but in the whole I can't say I regret it at all.
    Sep 16, 2017 3
    • New OXmv74
      OP
      You're right. I will live fine and both my spouse and I are far better off than either of our parents ever were. I think mostly I sometimes wonder how it would feel to really not have to actually manage finances carefully. I have no regrets but yeah, it's those tinges of jealousy as you put it.
      Sep 16, 2017
    • Intel / Mktg nononsense
      Think of all the people making $50k who say "If I only made $100k and didn't have to worry about money" or all the people who make $100k or $200k. The problems don't change - just the size of the dollars involved.
      Sep 17, 2017
    • New OXmv74
      OP
      I guess that's the crux of the problem. At what point is it rational to not choose more money when it's an available option?

      I'd choose a 100k job over a 50k one almost no matter what. But three years ago I chose a 300k one over a 700k one because it was a happier choice on many levels.

      Being careful not to conflate decisions and outcomes (lottery ticket always a bad decision but sometimes a good outcome), the question is - did I make a stupid move now that I have 600k less in savings? That's more than my current total.

      I don't regret or feel bad and yet I'm surrounded by examples that drive me to ask the question.
      Sep 17, 2017
  • Amazon darwinm
    300k is already good isn'it? excluding stocks, politics
    Sep 15, 2017 2
    • New OXmv74
      OP
      It's very good. No politics. Good people. Broad responsibility and influence. Happy life. People keep telling me I should move and make 750k. After years of hearing that I'm getting worn down?
      Sep 15, 2017
    • Google wvlbvl
      Could collect some of those options, leave and exercise them if you have cash, and diversify by trying out one of these companies. Work life balance can be very good if you find the right team or after you settle in. Worry more about the politics and organizational inability to get big things done. I would like to go your way for a few years and come back if it doesn't work out.
      Sep 16, 2017
  • LinkedIn Dr Nefario
    Op...how do I say this...if you go back a mere 3 decades you'll find that for all of recorded history people over 40 were exalted and ran huge enterprises and organizations. In fact the world is still run by such people.
    Sep 15, 2017 1
    • T-Mobile / Eng TripleCano
      What do you mean? What about all the tradesmen, plumbers, salesmen who earned respectable incomes in their 40s and could retire comfortably?
      Sep 15, 2017
  • Intel / Mktg nononsense
    Not sure I understand the "Not 1%" argument. That's objective. If you are making $300k, you are a 1%er in this country.

    The rest is subjective and arguable - what is comfortable and what does that take? Owning a home in the bay area and having any reasonable retirement savings means most of us could be "comfortable" for the rest of our lives. Maybe no new Porsche in the driveway, but basic needs met.

    Sure, there will be another housing bubble burst, another tech crash, and the gravy train will end. But if you are smart and fiscally conservative, you don't need to chase a $750k salary to make yourself comfortable - even in the bay.
    Sep 16, 2017 0
  • LinkedIn
    gaijin1

    LinkedIn

    PRE
    Amazon, Microsoft
    gaijin1more
    Its just a mid-life crisis thought. Having worked at both small startups and large companies, there are pros and cons but the eng in me loved going to work in a smaller company looking fwd to building something new. Amzn came closest to recreating the exp until the pointy haired types regurgitating LP mantra hijacked the place. Write down the cost-benefit and decide.
    Sep 16, 2017 0
  • Microsoft Bad Hombre
    Why don't you interview externally to get a sense of what your market value might be? If you get substantially higher offers, you can use them to negotiate a better deal with your current company or decide if the new offer is worth leaving for. Else, more likely, you'll learn the grass is not greener on the other side and will live happily on your neck of the woods.
    Sep 16, 2017 0
  • Sysdig / Eng dead_beef
    Well but how much are your options worth on paper if the company were to liquidate today at their current valuation? It's obviously not liquid, but it deserves to be considered in order to fully assess your situation.
    Sep 15, 2017 7
    • New OXmv74
      OP
      I think we'd sell at or around my strike price today (if we could or would sell today).
      Sep 15, 2017
    • Sysdig / Eng dead_beef
      How is that possible? You very likely have common options, whose price is usually a fraction of the preferred shares. If the company were sold (not at a discount), common and preferred would be paid the same amount (excluding potential liquidation preferences, which you should know about), so you'd need the preferred - strike difference.

      Or am I missing something?
      Sep 15, 2017
    • New OXmv74
      OP
      Long story - but it's a single security. No preferred.
      Sep 15, 2017
    • Sysdig / Eng dead_beef
      I see. Interesting. What's your title btw?
      Sep 16, 2017
    • Salesforce Srini
      Also he hasn't vested if he just joined this year sysdig
      Sep 16, 2017
  • Nextdoor officespa
    You’re 41. You’ve got another high quality 10-15 years left in the tank.

    If you want to spend that chasing money, go ahead. But you must confront your mortality before you decide if it’s worth it.
    Sep 16, 2017 1
    • Intuit kzinti
      I watched my dad burn out and go broke before 45. I hustle to avoid the same fate.
      Sep 16, 2017
  • SurveyMonkey envelope
    Coming from small startup to a larger 700 person company that politics are really there. It’s been the one area I’ve thankfully been able to grow and learn at. If you don’t do politics, it’ll ware you down.
    Sep 16, 2017 0
  • Oracle / Eng jhd4hDu
    The startup is called New?
    Sep 15, 2017 0

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