To hear her tell it, Amy’s start-up decided to sell itself to Google as a last resort, after failing to find traction in the market. Google agreed to buy the company for a relatively modest amount, then interviewed all five members of the company before extending job offers to everyone but her. Making offers to four-fifths of a company as part of an acqui-hire, while legal, is nearly unheard of in Silicon Valley, where mergers and acquisitions are still generally governed by a certain type of decorum.
Amy was heartbroken. Since joining the company, she had been paid a salary of $60,000, half what her male colleagues made. Under the terms of Google’s offer, Amy’s start-up received enough money to pay back its original investors, plus about $10,000 in cash for each employee. Amy’s CEO was hired as a mid-level manager, and her engineering colleagues were given offers from Google that came with $250,000 salaries and significant signing bonuses. She was left jobless, with only $10,000 and a bunch of worthless stock.
In “The Secret Shame of an Unacquired Tech Worker,” Kevin Roose talks to “Amy”, a woman who put something on Secret that has grabbed peoples’ attention.
And if you are wondering if you should download Secret, I guess my answer would be that it depends how much you enjoy zoning out with your phone before you go to sleep at night and then sitting up in bed to yell about how terrible people are and how we need to burn down the world. (Amy aside.) (Amy, it sucks and whoever was in charge of making that acquisition deal screwed you, however inadvertently, by not negotiating the terms of the acquisition so that everyone would be hired across the board, but I think you will be just fine.)
Photo: Elliott Brown