Charlie Kim knows how to woo young engineers: with war stories of the bubble days!
“During the dot-com boom we went from myself to 150 people,” Kim told students from Harvard, Brown and MIT last week. “By January of 2002 we were down to four people. Should died, but instead bloody noses every day for 90 days, pushed on and grew the company up, we’ll be close to 300 people by the end of this year.”
Rebuilding the company in New York wasn’t the advice of the experts. Ram Shriram, one of Google’s earliest investors, told Kim point blank his company wouldn’t succeed unless they moved out to Silicon Valley. Instead, Next Jump aggressively pursued engineers directly on their college campuses instead of poaching from their competition.
They invested in research and professors, huge intern classes, big competitions at schools and found it paid big dividends. “Arguably no other company is our space invested in college recruiting,” said Kim. While it’s obviously a bit of biased sample group, the majority of the engineers who attended the event said the Big Apple was now their top destination after college.