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Start Up to Get Hired Up

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Unemployed and can't get arrested? You're not alone in this economy. In fact, millions are in the same boat. We all know someone who has been laid off, tossed aside and is scratching and clawing to get a job, any job; at lesser pay with a lesser title if necessary. Is there anything more demoralizing than knowing that your resume sits among a stack (or more likely an electronic cue) of hundreds with HR recruiters who will never call?

With unemployement at 9 percent, it's a recruiter's market, right? Job hunter's should assume to be in the begging position, right?

Dan Shapiro, Isaac Myers, and Scott Haug are three of Google's newest employees and Google is so happy to have them it put out a press release. All three are getting what you may call a sizeable hiring bonus and plenty of leverage to negotiate their own terms of employement.  

How? The key is that they weren't hired. They were bought. 

Shapiro, Myers, and Haug launched their three-man business called Sparkbuy less than a year ago and they just agreed to sell it to Google. Sparkbuy is an online comparison shopping site. Don't worry about remembering the name. You'll likely never hear it again. Google has already shut down the business it just bought. It's the three guys, Shapiro, Haug, and Myers, that are clearly what Google coveted. Such acquisitions are often referred to as "manquisitions"; buying a company just to raid the talent.

I have no knowledge that Shapiro, Haug, or Myers started a company to ultimately get a plum job at one of the hottest companies in the world famous for its lavish employee perks. That's a lot of work and risk to get a job. (Footnote: what we do know is that this is the second time Shapiro has started up a company and quickly flipped it to a larger company, as he did back in 2009 selling his company Ontella to Photobucket).

All of this makes me wonder about those statistics. You know? Three in 10 startups fold within two years. 50 percent don't make it more than five years. We hear those stats over and again and assume that it's because succeeding in business is that hard and that risky. True enough. But how many people actually start-up a business with no intention of lasting more than a couple of years? Why do we assume everyone starts a business with the goal of lasting long enough to hand it down to our grandchildren?

Starting a business and building it into something viable enough to sell a few years later at a windfall is not failure.

Starting and running a business that showcases your talents and pays your mortgage long enough to get you by while you wait for somebody's HR department to finally notice you and recruit you is not failure.

Starting and running a business that elevates you to an "A" list recruit in your field is not failure; Especially when it means your future boss has to buy your company and woo you with incentives, a big title and perks to get you stay on after the purchase.

Does your business plan have an alternate job hunting plan?

Last updated: May 24, 2011




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