Zynga

Wanna Get Hired? Be an Entrepreneur!

Time was that if you had a great work record, were talented, highly regarded and accomplished, you'd get a job for big bucks.

Sorry, not any longer.

Now, at least in the tech space, if you want to get hired for big money, you need to have started up your own firm - and have it bought by one of the Big Boys.

Only what they're buying isn't what they used to buy.  Now they're buying you.

Because in the "time was" category - like a very few years ago - whether it was the companies or the VCs, they were looking for products.  New technologies.  New capabilities.

They're still looking for that - but they've gone to the core and are now looking at where those technologies come from.  And that's talented engineers.

To get that talent, they go direct.  They buy the company - then they dump the product.

There's even a hiring strategy named for it. It's called "acqhiring."

This raises some interesting questions for you - whether you're an entrepreneur or inside an organization and looking for talent.

For the entrepreneurs, the biggest difficulty will be seeing your product jettisoned.  Sure, you have lots of money - and stock options and the potential for more - but the question of how much you believe in your product really comes into play.

If you believe that strongly in your product and its potential, I suggest that you get yourself some seriously great legal support and have, as part of your employment agreement that if the company drops your technology within a specified timeframe, that that intellectual property reverts back to you.

That way, the Big Boy gets you for as long as you want or need to stay - but you still have the option of doing something with the baby you created.

For executives, you've got problems unless you've got seriously big bucks on hand that your company is willing to spend on acquisitions for products they don't want.  Just the people involved.

If you're a Facebook or a Google, it won't be a problem.  It's the way it's being played in the Valley.

If you're anything else, this won't sit comfortably, won't fit with your culture and has far more risks involved than in the technology space.

But it's definitely something to consider.

Because, no matter the industry or size of your organization, innovation is key - and innovation comes from people.  But it also comes from the systems inside your organization that lend themselves to people making those contributions - and someone being willing to listen.

Many of the engineers who were part of the acqhirings are not staying with the Big Boy buyer.  They're not happy there.  So they leave.

Probably to create new start-ups.

Who's leaving your organization?  Moreover, as the global economy improves, who are you worried might leave?

It's time to start looking at how you're using the skills you have - as well as buying what you need - to keep yourself ahead of the competitive curve.

Creating the Customer Experience


Leslie L. Kossoff on the Customer Experience from Leslie Kossoff on Vimeo.


This was a presentation I made to the UK Horticulture Trades Association garden retail set on creating a customer experience that reflects what customers have learned to expect and appreciate from other industries.

My frustration:  Because of technical difficulties (the portable mic didn't work) I was as good as tied to the podium.  It happens.

Grab that popcorn.  This baby is 20 minutes.  And, if you'd like a free set of the visuals, email me at:

leslieDOTkossoffATthekossoffgroupDOTcom

Social Networks - Tracking and Profits

There are two important articles for you to look at...right away.

The first is about the new sFund set up by Kleiner Perkins (the iconic Silicon Valley venture firm) with an investment of $250m. Its investors include Amazon, Facebook and Zynga - so you know it's serious.

John Doerr (whom you know from my previous writings that I just about adore for his vision, business sense, courage and good manners) explains that social networking represents a third wave of disruption that the internet is causing. In his words, the internet is Web is shifting “from an old Internet of documents and sites to a new one that’s all about people and places and relationships.”

But if, for some reason, you're wondering whether social networking is taken seriously by the Big Boys, then take yourself to the second article about the new tool developed at Harvard for real-time tracking of public opinion.

It's already got clients the likes of Microsoft, HP and CNN - and you know that they don't play around with their reputations if they can possibly help it.

Like with any other strategy or tactic, the more you understand how others view social networking and the value it will help them create, the more you can build your own strategies and tactics to ensure you get a piece of what's out there.