Talent Crunch

Talent Crunch

Even More Pressure to Find That Rockstar Engineer: VCs Might Not Fund You Without a Full Team

Those crazy hackers.

As if you weren’t already scrounging meetups for every killer coder or future CTO, Dow Jones has some bad news to report. According to VentureWire, several VCs and angel investors say that failure to show up at a pitch meeting without tech talent on your roster could hurt your odds of raising funds. “These investors argue that hiring the best people requires connections, and that founders who don’t have those connections will find that money is of limited use,” says the article. Read More

Talent Crunch

Spruce Up Your Resumes, Betaworks Is Searching For A New Seed Stage Savant

Bring your own leather.

The hunt is on. Last week, we broke the news that Andy Weissman was making the leap from betaworks to Union Square Ventures, formalizing the marriage of a Silicon Alley Power Couple that would have made a big splash in the Vows column, if only the New York tech scene had its own Wedding section.

Since Mr. Weissman will be out by the end of the month, betaworks isn’t wasting any time looking for “a new member to our team to help us with our seed-stage investments,” according to the listing on its careers page. In an email to Betabeat, John Borthwick wrote: Read More

Talent Crunch

Zagat’s Chief Revenue Officer Will Now Try to Make It Rain for MyCityWay


The exodus of corporate types to the start-up world typically focuses on Wall St. or the tech giants like Google, but the fever seems to be going around the Zagat’s offices.

In March, Zagat’s head of mobile headed to WeWork lab’s Consmr and just yesterday, Steve Rowe, its chief revenue officer jumped ship, for local start-up MyCityWay, reports Business Insider. For MyCityWay, the message is clear: time to make the paper. Read More

Talent Crunch

Developer Applies For Jobs He Doesn’t Need ‘Just For the Fun of It’

A real head-scratcher.

If you asked Betabeat about our idea of a good time, applying for jobs would be nowhere near it. In fact, we’d rank the act of writing cover letters, selling yourself to prospective employers and getting scrutinized across the interview table somewhere closer to “The Worst.”

Not so Austrian developer Nikolaus Gebhardt. Although happily self-employed running a game-related software development start-up, Mr. Gebhardt revealed an oddball habit on his blog (named after the open source 3D graphics engine.) His dirty little secret? He applies for programming jobs without any intention of taking them. And he likes it!: Read More

Talent Crunch

B-Schools Are Offering Data Analytics Classes For Non-Numbers People

Analyze that.

Can’t code? There may be hope for you yet! The Wall Street Journal reports that companies from IBM on down to “Northeastern pizza chain Papa Gino’s” all need help sifting through the massive amounts of data we now find ourselves swimming in. Whereas “data analytics was once considered the purview of math, science and information-technology specialists,” says the Journal, now even your technological dilettantes of the B-school variety can get into the game, theoretically becoming experts on both the analytics side and how to build a business strategy based on what they find after a few classes.

Fordham University’s Graduate School of Business, for example, is making a Marketing Analytics class a mandatory requirement for MBA students on the marketing track.  Read More

Talent Crunch

The Latest Front in the Developer Talent Wars: Newspapers

Hopefully not how developers think of newsrooms.

News media have joined the great engineering talent grabThe Washington Post is looking for an iPhone developer; the Boston Globe needs a front-end developer for and The Chicago Tribune is looking for a news apps developer. The New York Times Media Group is looking for three web developers, a WordPress developer and an interactive graphics editor in New York, as well as a web developer in Tampa. The AP, WSJ and Newsweek are looking for programmers; so is the New York Observer.

At a time when Wall Street is wooing technical talent with plush salaries and start-ups are fighting to provide the mostest happy fun time edgy dot-com redux workspace imaginable (stand-up desks! wacky office antics! field trips to the beach!), the news industry is a tough sell. Read More

Talent Crunch

Dearest Recruiters: Your System Is Broken


This is a guest post from J.D. Conley, an entrepreneur and technical director at Playdom. A version of this post originally appeared on his blog.

In recent months I have received an email or phone call from at least one recruiter per day and I haven’t even worked for Google or Facebook or one of those other Golden Names. Last month, out of sheer frustration with the lack of quality, I wrote an open letter to recruiters titled Dearest Recruiter. I’d like to expand on that now that Raiders of the Last Nerd made the front page of Hacker News yesterday and went a bit viral around the geek ecosystem. Read More

Talent Crunch

Emerging Talent Pool for New York Start-Ups: Freshly-Failed Entrepreneurs


On his blog Sneakerhead VC, First Round Capital’s Phineas Barnes bemoans the plight of a friend who, after being forced to shutter his start-up, reverted back to his corporate ways. With a heavy heart, Mr. Barnes reports that the former founder will be, “joining a big company as some kind of VP of something.” He beseeches his readers not to let this kind of tragedy happen again:

“Having to give up on your company sucks for a month or two and it hurts forever, but it is not failure – if these teams are absorbed back into the world of cubicles and are allowed to return to the jobs they walked away from in the first place, that will be failure, and failure at the community level. When you meet the founder of  a failed business, reach out your hand, pick them up and do everything you can to keep them involved in our community… because our community depends on it.”

Mr. Barnes’s plea reminded us of a reoccurring theme we’d heard while reporting on New York’s geek gap. In “Raiders of the Last Nerd,” this week’s feature on tech recruiting, Kinda Sorta Media’s Rex Sorgatz offered Betabeat an ominous-sounding take on the struggle to hire local talent, “If you want a CTO, you have to go to, like, Tel Aviv.” But we didn’t have the space in the paper to really delve into why.

In his experience, Mr. Sorgatz said it wasn’t so much that New York was short on rockstar coders. Rather, it’s a side effect of the entrepreneurial bug gone viral. “People now run four-person companies where they may have otherwise led a five-person tech team in a twenty-person company.” (Is this a good time to say we told ya so? No? Okay, just checking.) Read More

Talent Crunch

Raiders of the Last Nerd


“If I’m not the most well-connected guy in New York, I’m one of them for sure,” Dave Carvajal told The Observer, leaning back into his chair at the Park Avenue South headquarters of Dave Partners, the executive search firm he founded in 2009. It was the Friday before the Fourth of July and Mr. Carvajal, olive-skinned and trim, was already dressed for the long weekend in salmon-color khakis and a snug white shirt.

Mr. Carvajal was discussing the finer points of recruiting developers—a skill suddenly in great demand, as Google, Wall Street and top media companies battle an army of starry-eyed young co-founders for technical talent, raiding a local labor pool better known for its dreamers than its doers.

After all, those mobile apps, data-mining algorithms and high-frequency trading applications aren’t going to build themselves.

“I love it! It’s the age of the recruiter,” Mr. Carvajal said. “In New York City the only thing hotter than tech people are tech recruiters.” Read More