Silicon Valley’s “arms race for talent” has been going on for some time now.
Stewart Butterfield, founder of enterprise communication app Slack, seems to believe this competition for talent will only continue to heat up.
In a fascinating profile by Wired’s Mat Honan, Butterfield said he’s been offering “equity, salary, extravagant benefits packages, and quirky perks (Slack socks!)” as “simply table stakes.”
Now he even has to pay attention to office furniture and interior designs:
Anyway, your space had better be nice, otherwise why not just work at Google? Stewart is aware of this, and so he and Henderson are spending the day looking at office furniture porn and talking about interior designers. “Look at this,” Stewart says, pointing to his screen at a long wooden table with recessed bins for power and ethernet, surrounded by a selection of thousand-dollar chairs. “That’s $US100,000. Do you think that’s worth $US100,000? It looks like shit.”
It’s insane to think that demand for talent at startups these days has gotten so crazy that founders like Butterfield trying to build billion-dollar businesses have to spend so much time coming up with over-the-top perks.
But perhaps because of these efforts, Slack has been growing at an exponential pace, amassing $US60 million in venture capital since February.
Honan also says that Slack is “on a similar trajectory” as Facebook and that Butterfield is “even more of a visionary” than Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
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