Silicon Alley may not have its own Bravo reality show, but if Mayor Bloomberg’s constant pomp and circumstance about New York City’s innovative spirit is any indication, New York’s startup scene is on the verge of exploding. For the first time since 1999, the tech sector beat out financial services this year in sheer number of office space leases; even formerly vacant areas like Dumbo are filled to the brim with hip tech havens.
Welcome to our Spring 2012 edition of the Most Poachable Players in Tech, a list of the most fearless devs, designers and tech whizzes you should be clamoring to snap up for your company.
The talent on this list is exceptional. Need a full-scale mobile app ushered from concept to app store in 48 hours? We’ve got someone who can do that for you. How about a brazen product leader who’s dressed to kill? They’re on our list, too. Don’t say we never did anything for ya.
In burgeoning Silicon Alley, competition on both sides of hiring is fierce. New York is overrun with spirited young devs eager to flaunt their coding chops for a shot at the perks and the glory–oh, and the opportunity to create imaginative products that will make the world a better place, too. Startups are likewise jostling to grab the best talent without stepping on each others’ toes. Sixty-four percent of the companies listed on Made in NYC are hiring, and while that percentage may be slightly down from last year’s 70 percent, that only makes the competition more interesting. “There’s basically four jobs for every developer,” said Guy Zerega, sales director for Stack Exchange’s Careers 2.0, at a recent event at Fog Creek Software’s headquarters called “How to Hire Developers in a Competitive Market.” Better stock up on four times the Perky Jerky.
Last year’s list of 20 poachables saw two people–Paul Berry, former Huffington Post CTO, and Rachel Fershleiser, former social media director at Bookish–move on from their positions following publication, but we think we can top that number with this list. Why spend your time at college career fairs or boozy Alley hotspots searching for your perfect tech match when you can just poach them from a competitor? After all, it’s much more fun that way.
So what are these companies looking for? “An engineer who is fantastic, who is well-connected, that’s your star candidate,” said a recruiting manager at one prominent New York social media company. But it’s also likely that the candidate you want most isn’t just sitting at home browsing Github, but is already putting his skills to the test at another company. “Chances are your next hire already is working,” said the recruiting manager. “What we found over time is, it’s the passive candidate that ends up being your next hire.”
We’ve culled a list of some of the top tech talent out there through reader tips, word of mouth, and a close look at New York’s tech talent. As we put it last year: Who’s really good, but working at a really bad company? Who are the allstars who could kick ass anywhere, any time, at any gig, and even be fun to be around? Who would we want to hire, if we had an infinite pot of gold? How likely is it they’ll leave? Are they bored, underpaid, or underutilized? And who is in line, or should be, to score a raise?
Whether they’re overachievers or under-recognized, we think this mix of fantastic folks, which spans from community managers to CTOs, are all hardworking hustlers ripe for the poaching.
Like last year, each Poachable also includes a “BPN,” or Ballpark Poachable Number, an attempt at gauging the candidate’s market price. As the New York Observer’s Foster Kamer explains:
It’s basically a glorified, informed guesstimate, or as we prefer to see it, what is commonly refer to as “suggested retail value.”
So who are these mysterious masterminds, you’re probably wondering? Click through the slideshow to check out the Poachables, and don’t forget to read up on the perks your company should incorporate before making them an offer. -Jessica Roy
Position: Founder -- Siftee
A prominent Twitter API developer, Mr. Marx has made waves and caught the attention of Jack Dorsey with his vocal and detailed critiques of the Twitter API. A developer specializing in Flex and Flash but currently transitioning to Ruby on Rails and a graduate of the infamous Stuyvesant High School computer science program, Mr. Marx’s current love is Siftee, a filter for managing your Twitter stream. But Siftee never quite got the adoption he’d hoped for and Mr. Marx is now deliberating a pivot and has said he’s “trying to figure out what’s next.” He’s worked at agenices, did a brief stint and Morgan Stanley, and an even briefer stint at Y Combinator. He’s also a swing dancer and a native New Yorker.
Position: Social Media Editor -- amNewYork
Tim Herrera is amNewYork’s jack of all trades. He writes and edits articles while also managing the daily newspaper’s Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Pinterest accounts, as well as their website. amNewYork’s pool of tech savvy talent is fairly small, so Mr. Herrera’s youth (he’s 25) and grasp of the innerworkings of social media affords him a unique skillset at the paper. A talented reporter and community manager, we think Mr. Herrera could find a gig at a skyrocketing startup or media company where he could flex his writing chops and also showcase his hashtag handiness.
Position: Director of Social Media -- BaubleBar
Ms. Atwood is at the helm of the popular style blog Stripes and Sequins, a “fashion + DIY blog for the sparkle obsessed.” She also manages social media for jewelry startup BaubleBar. But the small-scale boutique site only raised one round of funding back in 2010, and LinkedIn ranks its number of employees at only eight. We hear she’s quite happy at BaubleBar, but we think that Ms. Atwood—with her extensive marketing experience and successful blogging track record—could make the leap to a brand name style site. “A bigger brand could easily snap her up to be a brand ambassador or social media person,” a source told Betaabeat.
Position: Senior graphics editor -- The Onion
For the past six years, Mr. Faisca has managed the graphics department for popular satirical news source The Onion, and creatively led the graphics process from concept to completion. He’s also created the graphics for four best-selling Onion books, so clearly he’s great at what he does. But with the news that The Onion is relocating to Chicago, and that Mr. Faisca won’t be heading with them, we think he could make a transition to a creative field that allows him to employ his love of illustrating funny stories. There aren’t many good Onion alternatives, but Mr. Faisca would undoubtedly excel at any company that allows him to utilize his creative skills in an interesting way.
Position: Product strategy lead -- Stylesight
Lily Quateman may be young, but her reputation already precedes her. While studying Digital Media at NYU, Ms. Quateman cofounded the campus blog NYU Local, which is still running four years later and nets thousands of hits a day. Brilliant and blunt, she was so well-known (and feared) by the J-school kids at NYU that she came to be known just as “Lily Q,” no last name required. After blogging for the New York Times, Ms. Quateman took over the role of Product Strategy Lead at fashion trend forecasting company Stylesight, where she works with usage data and customer feedback to make the product better. But she’s been at the now-profitable fashion startup for almost two years and, never one to shy away from new challenges, we can definitely see her looking for a fresh professional start. Perhaps Everlane or Moda Operandi would be more her style.
Position: Network and server wrangler, Gawker Media
For her first four years at Gawker, Ms. McGill was a "lone wolf" systems administrator. Now she works as part of the Ops team, ensuring that the servers and databases are up-and-running and that the right programs are installed and networked. Ms. McGill has experience at larger corporations as well—working as a systems analyst at Thomson Financial and software engineer at Unisys, prior to joining Gawker. But an early-stage tech company that offers a chance to experiment outside media might hold some sway. Last October, for her "We Are Gawker Media" profile, Ms. McGill said of her employer, “It's changed from a rag-tag group of trouble makers working in a storefront on Crosby street to an almost corporate company. I used to know everyone and now it seems that every day there is a new face.” Sounds like someone misses the startup life.
Position: Product manager -- Intent Media
BPN: Not a man to be swayed by money, you'll have better luck compensating him in hard problems and an innovative business model.
Less than two years out of Yale, Mr. Feinstein is a precocious, energetic and versatile full-stack engineer—and a pilot and skier to boot. It took him only three months of working at Bloomberg to decide it was a startup's life for him, and he jumped ship to join the fast-growing Intent Media. He started as an engineer, working on the core technology, and then moved to the product side. The outgoing Mr. Feinstein also did a bit of recruiting for Intent; the rare techie who's also keen on schmoozing, networking and the business side of things. Intent has more 55 employees now; pitch Mr. Feinstein over a beer and maybe he'll be your big fish. He recently started blogging, so you know he must be bored.
Position: Senior manager of business development -- American Express
BPN: $100,000 to $120,000
Mr. Pollack may be less abrasive than most business developers we know, but that doesn’t make him any less aggressive. He’s risen through the ranks at Amex for the last six years. He teaches a Skillshare class on biz dev, contributes to Forbes, and serves on the board of the New York Venture Community. Three years ago, he started a company that organizes cooking events. He’s also a fellow with the Startup Leadership Program, where he was voted “Fellow of the Year.” Angling for the big move, Mr. Pollack? “Scott is a meticulous and relationship-driven business developer. This guy lives the deal,” says one of his colleagues at Amex.
Position: Marketing director, Chloe + Isabel
Ms. Kaplan started her marketing career in the publishing world promoting non-fiction book, like the OED, for Oxford University Press, before moving on to head of PR and social media at Time Out New York. There, she was responsible for brokering an early partnership with Foursquare, publishing one of the first old media Tumblrs, and launching a Time Out TV show on NBC4—all with an eye toward monetization. Next up, she developed Elle.com’s social media strategy, partnering, for example, with Twitter during New York Fashion Week. After that, Ms. Kaplan switched to the agency side at Publicis, putting together social media campaigns for brands like Cartier and L’Oreal. As marketing director of Chloe + Isabel, the brash, ballsy redhead—seriously, go follow her on Twitter—focuses on social media, PR, and strategic partnerships. Judging by her publishing background, content-oriented startups searching for an innovative marketer might be able to tempt Ms. Kaplan away. Potential puppy bonus: office visits from Bagel, the dog she shares with boyfriend Richard Blakeley.
Position: Director of business development -- Inporia
Ms. Kunst has extensive experience in marketing and sales, having held down jobs at Chanel, Red Bull and Apple. Recently she took up the role of business development for Inporia, the venture-backed fashion tech startup cofounded by Y Combinator alum (and friend of PG) Ryan Junee. Kaleidoscope-, the company's new iPhone app mashes street style and ecommerce-. The biz dev role proved a natural one: Ms. Kunst is a proven hustler with an extensive network. She’s inked several partnerships during her short tenure (February 2012) and recently secured a deal with a top men's magazine that will put Kaleidoscope on its homepage during the 10 days of Coachella. Ms. Kunst has also worked with Guest of a Guest and the Mediaite empire. With so many fashion startups struggling with partnerships in the industry, she's a natural poach.
Position: Sales account executive -- Flavorpill
Mr. Orell has over seven years of experience in the media sales industry, and currently holds it down as a sales account executive at Flavorpill, a popular network of city-specific culture blogs. As a sales dude, he generates revenue, and develops creative and strategic opportunities and programs for clients. Mr. Orell also worked as the Sales Manager at B5Media, providing strategic advertising solutions to sites like TheGloss and Crushable. We think Mr. Orell could take his sales expertise to an independent publisher with more brand cachet. Is Gawker hiring?
Position: Chief Product Officer -- Onswipe
Heading up all front end development and experience at OnSwipe, a company that turns regular content into beautiful app-like experiences for tablets, Mr. Kalafarski certainly has his hands full. But Onswipe’s niche is rife with heavy-hitting competitors, and Mr. Kalafarski might benefit from shifting gears so that he can take on a more multi-faceted position, one that allows him to get involved with all aspects of the company, from engineering to biz dev. A graduate of Brown, he created an interactive map tool called Map the Candidates that allowed users to follow the presidential candidates during the 2008 campaign. Since he’s also worked at the intersection of government and technology, maybe a nonprofit or government-focused tech organization would be a good fit.
Position: Senior Software Engineer -- Cambridge Semantics
BPN: $130,000 plus equity
Although Cambridge Semantics, a data management software company, is based in Boston, Mr. Jho has been secretly coding in our midst as “a sleeper agent of an engineer,” as one source put it. That is to say, Mr. Jho has been quietly coworking here in New York, first out of General Assembly and now WeWorkLabs. Mr. Jho was employed as a software engineer for IBM before becoming the founding engineer for Temboo, a cloud-based workflow management service. We hear he has about another year before his stock vests at Cambridge Semantics, but the right offer from a local startup (equity included) might get him out early. And, hey, you’d already save on relocation costs!
Jose R. Mejia
Position: Free agent (previously: strategy and marketing manager -- Largetail)
BPN: $125,000 plus equity
A businessman with a creative’s heart, Mr. Mejia ran the marketing and strategy efforts at Largetail, a firm that helps companies and their agencies connect to people through network sites and content based programs, up until last week. While there, he helped orchestrate a MasterCard-sponsored content series and livestream of the Sub Pop Records showcase, sending it out to parties happening simultaneously in five different cities (you know, no sweat). A graduate from NYU, Mr. Mejia spent over two years at Largetail, and we think he could make the move to a partner-level position at a small creative agency or director-level at a mid-size one.
Position: Producer -- Internet Week
At Internet Week, Ms. Flood curates headquarters' content, putting together speakers and panels while also handling PR, media and communications and non-financial partnerships, so we really have no idea when she sleeps. She also spent time creating original content for Gawker.TV and PopEater. An expert multi-tasker, Ms. Flood would probably only leave her position for one with a similarly savvy community and bootstrappy vibe, so big brands that don’t ‘get’ the Internet should probably leave their offer letters at home.
Position: VP of Marketing -- Boxee
For the last five years, Mr. Kippen has been responsible for all of the marketing and PR efforts behind Boxee, a cross-platform software application that allows users to stream media from the Internet onto your TV. The startup has grown tremendously during Mr. Kippen’s reign, scoring another $11.5m in funding last year. But five years is a long time to be at one company, and we think that Mr. Kippen could stand to strike out and work his marketing magic at another New York startup. Mr. Kippen is also the founder of the San Francisco-based nonprofit Geeks Doing Good, which matches volunteers in the technology community with local charities. Perhaps he could take his marketing chops to the nonprofit sector.
Position: Director of digital -- The Onion
If you hang around the Internet a lot, Mr. Thurston is probably a man that needs no introduction. He’s director of digital at beloved satirical news outlet The Onion, and also just released a New York Times bestselling book entitled How to Be Black, that Publishers Weekly raved is “a hilarious blend of razor-sharp satire and memoir.” Now that The Onion is packing up to head to Chicago, we hear that Mr. Thurston won’t be making the move with them, so snap him up quick--if you think you can match his wit, that is. Perhaps he'd fit in at BuzzFeed?
UPDATE: A source writes in, "'His actual skills are manifold, not murky - he's a ridiculously talented person with a ridiculous network. Whatever your most expensive person, he should be there (except Naveen I guess). IMHO. He's also a "you wish" person - you'd really have to extend a marquee offer to get him. He has ridic options and being his own boss is def one of them."
Position: Community manager -- Huffington Post
BPN: Double his salary of $100,000, or pitch him something really interesting that will impact the world.
There are few community managers with as much experience as Mr. Isaf, who has been working in the space for a decade. Before HuffPo, he community managed for Change.org—which we imagined proved quite the transition. He's doubled comment volume at HuffPo and is rumored to be one of Arianna's darlings. But his work as community manager for the Startup Bus project and involvement with entrepreneurs around town suggest he'd be an ideal man to have on your team in any venture. We could see Mr. Isaf as a venture capitalist for a forward-thinking fund—he runs circles around many of the VCs we know. He's also suited for a general cofounder position, community work, or any management or HR position, and can even write a bit of code. A look at his lengthy resume shows an affinity for nonprofits and a short attention span—his longest gigs have been with ConquerClub.com, where he managed a staff of volunteers, and the Startup Bus.
Position: Product director of social news -- The Huffington Post
BPN: $130,000-$150,000 or less with equity
Ms. Haliczer was cofounder of Adaptive Semantics, which produced JuLiA, the clever machine learning tool that makes community management easier by analyzing comments and establishing track records for individual users. HuffPo acquired Adaptive Semantics and Ms. Haliczer in 2010. She has experience in community management, Internet marketing and web development, and in her spare time, she codes games. She has a Masters degree in English and American Literature. Her personal blog is startupgirl.tumblr.com. Startup girl? We’re surprised she lasted at HuffPo this long.
Position: Lead UX Designer -- Yodle
BPN: $150,000-$180,000 plus some minor equity
Mr. Kim currently holds it down as a lead UX designer at Yodle, a startup that provides online advertising solutions for local businesses. While Yodle is on the up and up--and ranks among 2012’s hottest companies in New York City—Mr. Kim has been there for over four years, which is an eternity in tech time. A big fan of bootstrapping, we can see Mr. Kim foregoing the growing Yodle for a smaller startup still searching for its wings. But interested early-age startups should come with a promising business plan--we can’t see Mr. Kim deserting Yodle for a basement idea any time soon.
Position: Developer evangelist -- Twilio
BPN: $150,000-$170,000 plus equity and fairy dust
Mr. Gottfried is one of the most desirable devs in the city. Only 21, he’s already worked for Flat World Knowledge, is co-organizer at Hacker Union, ran his own hosting company for a while, worked as a consulting Evangelist for the Echo Nest, and launched a startup, Lemonade Stand, after the inaugural New York Startup Bus hackathon in 2011. Actually, he’s at every hackathon in the city—)he’s been called a “hackathon savant.” In addition to his duties at Twilio, he also hacks on projects for 48hourapps.com. Recruiters have been at his throat for the last year or so, including reps from Google and Facebook. But Mr. Gottfried is a tough one to pin down—he just received his undergraduate degree in history and has also worked as a chef. Happy-go-lucky Twilio is a tough company to poach from. But with Mr. Gottfried’s ambitions to start a company of his own one day, you may be able to persuade him that your startup is the right place to get relevant experience.
Position: Lead UX Strategist -- M. Shanken Communications
BPN: $160,000-$180,000, plus a little equity
Before founding Grade Spotter, a New York restaurant grade reference app for iPhone, Mr. Kennedy was training to become a professional surfer. But he traded waves for code, caught the nickname “The Machine,” and is now a root member of Hacker Union while leading the digital design front at M. Shanken Communications. On the side, he also works with 48HOURapps as a UX designer and front-end developer, ushering apps from concept to app store in just 48 hours. Mr. Kennedy is used to having his hands full, and we think he’d be perfect for a creative director role at a small company. “Throw him 1-2% of a hot, A-round funded startup that's doing good in this world, come close to his salary and he'll be all ears,” said a source.
Position: Head of business development -- TextBroker International
BPN: Base salary $150,000-$170,000; on-target earnings $250,000-$350,000
Mr. Tsirklin leads business development at TextBroker International, an online marketplace where companies can hire registered freelancers to write content for them. He also spent two years as VP of biz dev at SocialWish, a social marketing company for non-profits. “The dude is a sick sales guy,” a source told Betabeat. “He regularly closes 6- and 7-figure deals.” An expert in the digital marketing space, perhaps Mr. Tsirklin would benefit from working at a company with more brand cachet, where he’d be better positioned to go after those big clients he woos so well.
Position: Software developer -- Gilt Groupe
According to one source, Mr. Metcalfe, who started at Gilt Groupe in 2007, was one of the first engineers the company ever hired. “Plus, he’s a male model,” the source added. We’ll get to that in a minute. A post on Mr. Metcalfe’s blog, Global Conquest, confirms his early entrée into Gilt’s haute halls: “I learnt about the company from the two initial developers when the site was merely a concept and I joined a few months after, shortly before the official launch. The company is now very successful and growing fast.” That post from September, 2009 with a screen shot of Mr. Metcalfe modeling Band of Outsiders. Prior to Gilt, Mr. Metcalfe worked as a software developer at TrueSpectra, Zi Corporation, and A.I. Soft. Mr. Metcalfe’s LinkedIn profile also lists him as employed with Mode Models since 2004. There he is (above) posing for German GQ. As for Mr. Metcalfe's personal style, even beloved Timesman Bill Cunningham has taken note. Finally, someone who's truly equal parts fashion and tech. With vested stock even! We think we hear Rent the Runway calling.
Position: Database kernel engineer -- 10gen
BPN: Equity in the 33 percent-50 percent range for a lead role at something exciting, but unfunded; up to $150,000 plus equity if you're well-funded
Mr. Diamond’s name came up repeatedly during Betabeat’s attempt to solicit promising poachables. Perhaps that’s because locals are familiar with Mr. Diamond’s engineering expertise from his role as associate director—and board member!—of New York Tech Meetup, or his founding role at Hackers Union, or his upcoming web series about startups called Hack’d, set to debut on root.tv. As a database kernel engineer at 10gen, Mr. Diamond is a core contributor, coder, and evangelizer for its open source database system MongoDB. To get some idea of 10gen’s importance, Kevin Ryan has been known to call it the AlleyCorp company with the most long-term potential. Mr. Diamond, who humbly refers to himself “just a guy who builds too many startups,” lists his experiments on Megathink.com, including building and deploying a watch for blind people. With that much startup juju, we could easily see Mr. Diamond take a hefty chunk of equity as CTO or cofounder of a more consumer-facing startup, especially one that leverages his facility with community organizing around technology. If you’re going to lure to lure him away from 10gen on salary alone, it’s probably going to cost you. A lot. Pro-tip: a plate of fluffy pancakes isn’t a bad place to start.
Position: Associate -- TechStars New York
BPN: $150,000 -$170,000, plus options
According to managing director David Tisch, this cycle of TechStars New York might be the most ambitious class yet. As a TechStars associate, Mr. Chang, who was president of the student body at NYU-Stern, has been working with two to three startups to round out their team. That can mean anything from helping with customer acquisition to financial projections. Prior to TechStars, Mr. Chang’s experience ran the gamut from innovative research strategies to analytics to digital media. At Stern, he helped grow a number of startups; he also managed platform, operations, and engineering for Kantar Video, a subdivision of WPP. When his time with TechStars ends in June, Mr. Chang might be up for a general manager role with a later stage digital media startup, but post-incubator is probably more interested in the business side of early stage companies. By the associative property of mentoring, Mr. Chang also brings lessons from TechStars’s 130 mentors with him.
Position: Co-organizer -- CTO School
BPN: $150,00-$180,000 plus 1 percent to 5 percent equity
Position: Free agent
We first ran into Ms. Tenentes at a gathering of the Commuity Managers Meetup in 2010 where she was discussing the finer points of Foursquare’s newsletter. Ms. Tenentes, a bicycle-riding Brooklynite, was the first community hire at Union Square Ventures portfolio company Outside.in in 2006. A connector on and offline, she’s a co-organizer of the North Brooklyn Breakfast Club, a partner and editor of the newsletter Brooklyn Based, and helped start Digital Dumbo. She has spoken on panels at South By Southwest the last two years in a row and is generally out and about in the New York tech scene. But she’s best known for her work at Foursquare, where she crafted the brand’s voice for its 15 million users. She recently left the company after more than two years. She is now working for herself as a consultant. We’d be shocked if any funded startup or later stage startup interested in building community isn’t throwing offers at her.
Michael de Senna
Position: Founder and Organizer -- NJ Mobile Meetup Group
Mr. de Senna started the NJ Mobile Meetup group two years ago, a group that's designed as a gathering place for mobile developers, enthusiasts and creative types to converge over their love of mobile technologies. He was also the Director of Business Development at Bug Labs, a company that helps other companies make their own mobile devices. “This guy is a jack of all trades, a good utility player for your startup,” a source told Betabeat. “He wrote an iPhone app, has technical consulting experience at Booz Allen, was an early employee at Vonage (helped them IPO), and has an excellent educational pedigree: he holds an MBA from Rutgers, an MS from Columbia, and a BS from MIT.” Considering his breadth of experience, Mr. de Senna is well-poised to make the leap into a senior level position within a mobile or web software company.
Position: VP of communications -- Thrillist Media Group
Thrillist’s publicity hustler started out at CBS News, working behind the scenes on the evening broadcast with Dan Rather, and eventually became a national news producer on the Early Show. She joined Thrillist in 2008 and has worked hard and scrappy to get the company, and now the re-christened Thrillist Media Group, millions of dollars worth of publicity. (Maybe you’d like an article like this in the New York Times, mm?) “I think Flavie's happy but she does a ton - works 12 hour + days and has for years... used to be a producer at cbs so could def take on a c-level role somewhere else,” a source told Betabeat by email.
Position: Director of Mobile Engineering -- Gilt Groupe
Mr. Boyes got his start at Vindigo, a Y2K-era startup that also produced the likes of Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley and a few pre-IPO Googlers. As the director of mobile engineering at Gilt Groupe, a members-only shopping website, Mr. Boyes manages mobile app development for platforms like iPhone and iPad. We hear Mr. Boyes is happy at Gilt, but we also think he’d be the perfect fit for a director of engineering role at an early-stage startup. Why settle for mobile when you can run the whole platform?
Position: CTO at PeerIndex
BPN: $200,000 plus sizable equity
Mr. Dickert is a fierce advocate of the New York tech scene between his participation in the coworking space New Work City and his project Collabracode. He's an industry vet who's worked in consumer Internet, social media, robotics and telecom, in various technical leadership roles (including John Kerry's presidential campaign) as well as head of product. He jets between New York and London as the CTO of PeerIndex, a social capital metrics startup that just raised $3 million in funding. He's spent his time there upgrading the company's tech from a ragtag web-based influence marketing service system to Hadoop framework with scalable infrastructure. But Betabeat, you say, his startup just raised a bucket of cash. Why would he leave now? Everyone has their price, and Mr. Dickert's is a challenging tech problem, a mass audience and a killer team—big bonus points if you can keep him in New York.
Position: CTO and General Manager -- Shermans Travel Media
BPN: $200,000-$250,000, plus equity
A graduate of MIT, Mr. Herschberg has over a decade of engineering leadership experience. He also served as CEO at ZepFrog, a company that offers a new model for monetizing online content based on usage. He currently works as the CTO of Shermans Travel Media, a hand-picked deals and advice site. With so much experience, we think Mr. Herschberg would do well at a more established company, perhaps one where he could manage a tight-knit team and put the professorial skills he cultivated at The Levin Institute to good use.
Position: Manager, strategic accounts -- Gawker
BPN: On-target earnings: $200,000+, plus hefty amounts of equity
If you’re from a big brand that has ever tried to advertise with Gawker Media, the notorious blog network, you’ve probably dealt with Mr. Del in some capacity. As the manager of strategic accounts, Mr. Del oversees the big ideas for Gawker’s best partners, and also helps to plan swanky advertiser events, like the AMC Walking Dead Halloween Party. He has a stake in all facets of the Gawker organization, and would be perfect for a directorial position where he could make key business decisions across the company. He was “one of the first sales people to work doing custom ad sales,” a source told Betabeat. “A large company like AOL, or Buzzmedia could/should scoop him up in a heartbeat.”
Position: VP of Product -- Tumblr
Having served 12 years at the New York Times as a senior software architect and product technologist, Mr. Gottfrid has a hefty amount of media and technology experience already behind him. He’s been leading the product team at Tumblr since 2010, but with no sign of a successful business model in place, Tumblr’s growth is bound to slow at some point. We think Mr. Gottfrid could get out before the inevitable Tumblr turnaround--perhaps a large media company or well-funded startup could lure him from his position.
Position: Senior director -- Yahoo Contributor Network
Lawyer, business developer, and Chinese scholar, Mr. Abruzzo joined Yahoo after it acquired Associated Content, a technology platform where he was the fifth employee, general counsel and VP of corporate development. He spearheaded the technological integration of the two companies’ technologies and developed global business strategy for launch of the Yahoo Contributer Network in international markets, “including sales, finance, editorial, product, tech, and community.” He’s now working on a launch into another 12 markets. “He's a killer corp dev / general counsel and would be great for a mid to late stage startup with some cash for acquisitions or pushing new legal boundaries,” a source told Betabeat. “How's this for badass - he was in Tiananmen Square on June 3 1989 while he was a student at a local university.” We’re thinking Foursquare, Tumblr, Fab or even Thrillist might want to bite.
Position: Director of engineering -- General Assembly
BPN: $200,000 or cofounder economics
Position: Director of editorial operations -- Gawker Media; director of vice presidents -- The Hype Machine
BPN: $200,000-$225,000 plus equity
Mr. Kidder was one of Gawker Media’s first non-editorial hires, coming on board in 2005 as manager of business development and finance—overseeing implementation of NetSuite across the company and managing partnerships, licensing, and day-to-day operations. In his current role, Mr. Kidder supervises a a host of functions at Gawker, including editorial marketing, business development, social media, and community. He also manages Gawker’s relationship with editorial partners like Twitter and Facebook. On the side, Mr. Kidder has helped founder Anthony Volodkin grow The Hype Machine from a bootstrapped dorm room project into a profitable venture—all without outside funding—by brokering exclusive ad rep deals in three countries, including BuzzMedia in the U.S. After seven years at Gawker, Mr. Kidder, who launched his own web consultancy at the tender age of 13, might be up for a C-suite biz dev or operations gig at a startup that’s more focused on technology than media. According to his LinkedIn profile, he can also double as the office DJ.
Position: CTO -- BlueRibbonTechs
BPN: $200,000 with 5 percent equity.
Ms. Czajka first caught our eye when we heard her described as “in the top 5 percent, if not top 1 percent of developers.” Peruse her LinkedIn profile and you’ll find out why. In addition to a Bachelor’s degree in computer science, Ms. Czajka also has a bachelor’s and master's degree in engineering physics, all from Cornell. Prior to joining BlueRibbonTechs, a startup attempting to build an industry-wide certifiction system for technicians, she worked as a software engineer at Cuantile, building a platform for trading Bitcoins. She also does contract work for other startps, including a stealth ecommerce company. Ms. Czajka’s strength is in Microsoft .NET technology, however, the list of programming languages, operating systems, repositories, and third party APIs she’s worked with is too long to repeat here. Startups that live by the lean mantra and want a passionate CTO who keeps on top of new technology, here comes your girl.
Position: CTO -- Thrillist Media Group
BPN: $250,000 minimum, plus equity
Thrillist has managed to build a stable of killer technical talent—perhaps because the company was already growing fast before the New York startup scene started really booming in the last few years. Mr. O’Neill is coming up on five years as Thrillist’s head tech honcho, and his talent and passion are known throughout the city. Mr. O’Neill got a shoutout last year when we included one of his app developers, Michael Smith, on the Poachables list. A former director of software at the interactive agency BPS Solutions and former cofounder of a Buenos Aires bar, he’s also a leader who makes sure that Thrillist’s tech team is happy, healthy and productive.
Position: Principal -- First Round Capital
BPN: $250,000-$300,000, 6 points of carry and a partner title
In the immortal words of Biggie, Mr. Barnes is sicker than your average VC, and not just in terms of his footwear. “There is a tension between people who dream up product on paper and people who build product for reals for reals,” Mr. Barnes wrote recently on his blog, Sneakerheaad VC. Some of that swagger comes from his former life as creative director for AND 1, the sports apparel company, where he was integral in creating the AND 1 Mix Tape. After AND 1, Mr. Barnes founded a fitness video game company called ResponDesign. Somewhere in between that and joining First Round Capital in 2009, he found time to get an MBA for Wharton and consult for MTV on the growth of non-traditional games. Among First Round’s NYC portfolio companies, Mr. Barnes is most active with standouts like Birchbox, Simple (formerly BankSimple—and now based in Portland), and Nodejitsu. Mr. Barnes also leads First Round’s +Startup series, which kicked off last month with Design+Startup featuring IDEO. To keep agile, now that’s he on the investment side of the equation, last October, Mr. Barnes launchedToday's Kicks, a sort of Instagram for the sneaker set. It might not be possible to pry Mr. Barnes away from FRC, but a partner title and its attendant fees, could go a long way.
Position: Architect -- Betaworks; technical advisor -- Chartbeat, Hyperpublic, Bit.ly
BPN: $250,000 and 5 percent equity
Mr. Lines was one of Betaworks earliest employees. Although he keeps a low public profile, he’s had a hand in building and growing Betaworks portfolio companies like Bit.ly and Chartbeat from infrastructure to coding to hiring and mentoring. “He’s a kickass engineer, specializing in scalability, architecture, etc. - the hard stuff,” said one source. “Master of the whole stack.” Before Betaworks, Mr. Lines cofounded Path 101 with Brooklyn Bridge Ventures founder Charlie O’Donnell, where he served as the jobs discovery site’s CTO, designing and implementing the web and database architecture and managing a team of devs. “Next Tumblr CTO?” speculated the source, “Can't see him interested in a company that size.” But a cofounder title, meaningful equity, and technical challenges to build a product worthy of Betaworks (i.e. no fuzzy social media ventures need apply) might be able to lure him toward an early stage startup. If not, there’s always going the VC route like Mr. O’Donnell. Reputable incubators, meet your dream technical advisor.
Mike Brown Jr.
Position: Founder and partner -- AOL Ventures
BPN: $350,000 to $500,000 and 10 carry units
Mr. Brown, 28, started AOL’s $30 million venture fund with Jon Brod in January 2010 and has arguably done more to make AOL relevant in the startup world since the purchase of TechCrunch. A hard worker, bicoastal networker, artist and innovator, Mr. Brown managed to attract techies from various New York startups to QLabs, a hip hackerspace/startup incubator done in partnership with AOL Ventures. Mr. Brown has led investments for the fund and done some personal deals as well in some hot companies including Codecademy, Voxy and Qwiki. Your typical corporate VC, he is not. But he might leave for a fund that would take advantage of his far-flung network, which we’re told reaches all the way across the Atlantic. West Coast funds have been trying to snap him up to be their New York guy. Pitch him a vision on a fund that’s ambitious and entrepreneur-friendly, and give him plenty of autonomy. It can’t be too hard to poach from AOL.
Position: Director, East Coast Sales -- Blip Networks
BPN: On-target earnings: $300,000
Mr. Lenhoff originally worked at a biotech company before making a total 180 and diving into advertising. At Blip Networks, he calls on agencies up and down the Eastern seaboard to convince them to advertise with Blip. He also co-founded Brooklyn Barons, a social club for digital marketing types that has gathered monthly in Brooklyn since 2008. Mr. Lenhoff has worked at some of the biggest brand names in New York, including Gawker and The Onion, and with his experience in video we think he could easily transition to another role at a small company that creates top notch content.
Position: Free agent
BPN: You wish
Mr. Selvadurai needs nothing from you. He’s a multimillioniare, he cofounded the hottest social media startup in New York and his name is worth its weight in gold, if his name were spelled out in human-sized letters. He might have been nudged out of Foursquare, but Mr. Selvadurai has what you might call “fuck you” startup cred. As one source put it, Mr. Selvadurai could get a $100 million dollar valuation for a digital cotton gin. Everyone expects Mr. Selvadurai to start his own company, but investors and startups across the city--nay! the land--are salivating to have him as an advisor, and would be over the moon to claim him as a cofounder, CEO, CTO or hand model. And yet only the perfect idea could entice this Silicon Alley legend--and that’s why the East Villager is Betabeat’s Most Poachable Player.