I always love peering into the world of executive recruiting. As a grad student and as a writer, the thought that there are people out there chasing other people to get them to work at massive wages always seemed to me like a bounty hunter scene out of a strange science fiction movie. Sometimes the wages offered are as much as $1 million; sometimes, that’s not enough.
Competition in the Valley has started reaching a new peak, with candidates demanding all kinds of accoutrements just to change jobs. But it’s not just recruiting that has become more challenging. Sales, marketing, public relations — essentially every task that a startup has to do is just more difficult today given this cutthroat environment.
The only way to respond to the higher threshold has been to raise ever more capital, and earlier as well. We now have the rise of the “instant unicorn” that can raise hundreds of millions of capital in just the first months of a company’s existence. That means companies are already worth billions, before they may have made their first million dollars in revenue or gotten their first million users. That’s the new normal, and founders have to be ready to