Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2009:May:08 Friday <Thursday, Saturday>
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2009/5/8-14 [Finance/Banking] UID:52969 Activity:nil
5/7     Does Goldman Sach's really rule the world?
2009/5/8-14 [Industry/Startup] UID:52970 Activity:kinda low
5/7    (I am revising my numbers, in my fit of rage at 4am in the morn,
        I made some math errors I didn't feel like correcting.  anyway...)
        I work at a year old startup, 50 employees, pre-IPO (duh!), exit
        strategy is to either become profitable company or get bought,
        almost profitable but not quite, fast paced, lots of work,
        everyone pulls weight, I just found out my non founder CEO makes
        475k a year because junior office admin girl had to tell immigration
        the stock holding values held by one of our employees.  I have
        calculated the CEO's options are 1010X mine.  I've been here almost
        2.5 years, he started in Sept 2008.
        Also another question, is salary of your CEO usually common
        public knowledge at a startup?  or any company?
        \_ Please start another thread, rather than edit the original post.
           Now a bunch of the comments don't make sense.
        \_ 1000x? Sounds like he's getting too much (10%?) and you're getting
           too little (.01%?). The Phoenix thing and the high salary are the
           real red flags. I'd write this company off and continue to work
           there because the economy sucks, but be ready to look for a job in
           the next 12 months. How many years out of school are you?
        \_ ob boss-napping!
        \_ Not in my opinion and I have worked at lots of startups.
           Unfortunately, it is all too common. How senior are you?
           You should be getting between .1-.4% of the total outstanding
           company stock every four years in vested options, imo.
           Here is a guy I found who says pretty much the same thing:
           \_ thanks for posting this.  i still feel screwed.  and not in a
              good way.
              \_ You know piaw@blogspot = piaw@soda.
                 \_ I heard Piaw got an $80k/yr job offer as a fresh grad, and
                    that was year 1993.  I got an $40k/yr offer as a fresh grad
                    that year.
                    \_ Is Piaw a stud? I graduated that year and got offered
                       $34k/yr by the UC, but quickly moved to Taos, making
                       \_ Piaw would take classes like Math 104 for fun.
                         (At least it was Math 104 when I was there.)
                         At the time, Math 104 was the math department
                         weeder class.  I owe Piaw my A in
                         Math 55 (at the time).  I sucked in that class
                         until the final.  Piaw had told me to take that
                         class under Lenstra, he said Lenstra was good,
                         these were Piaw's words:  "Lenstra is very good.
                         His exams are very straightforward.  If something
                         doesn't work, then try something else."  Into the
                         final I went, with a C+ going in.  Math 55 was not
                         a class which my brain worked well on.  I have never
                         worked so hard on a class with so little result,
                         before or since, exept for the final.  In the final,
                         for each problem, it was as if Piaw was there, in my
                         head, repeating, "His exams are very straightforward..."
                         And I took this ghostly advice, again and again
                         during the exam, and got all but one problem.
                         Fortunately, Lenstra had said, "if you don't like one
                         problem, throw that one out.  Oh, and BTW, if you
                         do well on the final, we'll replace your mid-term
                         grade, too."  And that is how Piaw's awesomeness
                         got me an A in Math 55, when I started with a C+.
                         I doubt Piaw remembers me, but I sure won't ever
                         forget him.  And if some friend of Piaw's wants
                         to send this on to him, feel free.  I have never
                         experienced a more powerful moment of happiness than
                         when I exited that final exam--1 hour early, looking
                         back at everyone else struggling with it, knowing
                         I'd aced it.  I was literally dancing with joy.
                         \_ Holy shit. This piaw guy sounds like a God. We
                            should get him involved in CSUA again.
                       \_ I also heard that he once TA'ed a class he was
        \_ Salary sounds way high.  Stockwise it sounds like you just accepted
           the offer you were given.  You can go to your CEO and tell him you
           want more stock.
        \_ $500K/year seems reasonable. He's the CEO. You don't think he
           should make 4X what a developer makes? His options might be out
           of line, but that's not coming out of your bottom line anyway.
           Is he doing a good job? I'm not really sure what your point is.
           Would you feel better if he made $280K/year? What would it matter?
           \_ Difficult to say.  He lives in Phoenix.  We're in bay area.
              He also has a house in London.   He makes an appearance here
              once every few weeks.  I hear him on company conf call if I want
              to but I've missed the last 4, I've been way too busy to care.
              we prob pay his plane fair and SF hotel too.  I'd feel better
              about slaving away all week if he were around to watch.
              We recently layed off a bunch of developers and a couple of
              sales account execs, I think to impress the board of directors
              with our cost cutting skills.  we shouldn't be paying our
              fatass CEO (he's HUGE) 1/2 mil a year and more equity than every
              other non founder employee COMBINED.
                \- you are saying for every $20k your stock options are worth,
                   he will get $1bn? these numbers dont seem to add up ...
                   either you have some seriously optimistic estimates of
                   the valuation growth of your company, or your options arent
                   worth jack [i.e. if he is taking away $1m for every $20
                   you get]. Let's take Adobe with mkt cap of ~$15bn ... if
                   this guy owns 10% of the company, then you are looking at
                   your options being worth $30k, not a sum which would greatly
                   affect your life. If he owns 5% of the company, then you
                   seem to need some pretty optimistic growth expectations
                   to have your options to be worth more than a car ...
                   unless the expectation down the road is you'll be getting
                   lots more options and the current grant is more like a
                   bonus up front rather than the sum of your vesting
                   expectations. Run the numbers on a billion dollar valuation,
                   and your options are going to be worth a nice vacation.
                   \_ good points, my math was wrong in my original rant.
                   \_ you are making me sad again.
        \_ I don't believe the numbers you gave. Where did you find them? $500K
           for a startup CEO is really high, VC's generally hate that. I'd
           expect a startup CEO to get paid in the $150-250K (maybe 300K) range.\
           VC's want to give the founders/CEO enough money to feel like they
           expect a startup CEO to get paid in the $150-250K (maybe 300K) range.
           VC's want to give the founders/CEO enough money to feel like they
           have to work their asses off to make a living. The salary is just
           enough to get by (ya, $250K sounds like a lot, but it's not that
           ridiculous). As for the stock, piaw's blog seems very reasonable.
           Don't think that "10,000 options" is a lot, you really have to look
           at it as a percentage of total outstanding stock. A friend of mine
           was negotiating and asked that question and they told him that the
           board wouldn't allow them to share that number. I call bullshit, but
           does anyone know if there's any truth to this?

           As for the stock options, lets assume there are 1M outstanding.
           Non-founder CEOs generally get 2-5% of outstanding stock. So that
           would leave him with about 50K options on the high end and you with
           1K (or 0.1%). That seems about right. How long have you been out of
           school and how many employees were there when you started? I hope
           you didn't get screwed on a super-low salary because they told you
           the stock would make you millions.

           Lastly, this CEO in Pheonix thing sounds like the biggest red flag
           of all. Why is the CEO not where the company is based? Sounds like
           he is a sales-CEO type and travels a lot with a big budget. What
           kind of VC backing does your company have? Can you name one of the
           VC's? --abe
           \_ He said his CEO was getting 50000X his stock, not 50X. Your
              numbers seem right. His are hard to believe. In your example,
              the CEO would be getting 50K options and the worker bee 1 option.
              Yes, one share of stock. Hard to believe.
              \_ 50000X number was wrong, sorry. --q
                 \_ So was it 50X? If so, quit your bellyachin'.
        \_ No, the salary of employees at private companies is usually not
           public knowledge. At a public company, the top five compensated
           employees salaries are in the 10-K filed every year, so the CEOs
           salary is almost always one of those, and therefore public
           knowledge. $475k seems a bit high for a startup with 50 employees
           unless he is an MD or something like that, but it is not completely
2009/5/8-14 [Computer/SW/SpamAssassin] UID:52971 Activity:nil
5/7     Dear csua, looks like /usr/bin/spamc and /usr/bin/formail don't exist
        on the emailer. I'm getting a bunch of binaries not found error
        on my .procmail-log.
    \_ Complaining via motd is not a reliable way to be heard and get your
       stuff fixed. Try emailing us. --t
2009/5/8-14 [Computer/SW/Languages/C_Cplusplus, Computer/SW/Languages/Java] UID:52972 Activity:nil
        \_ 1964 - John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz create BASIC, an
                  unstructured programming language for
                  non-computer scientists.
           1965 - Kemeny and Kurtz go to 1964.
           This should not have made me giggle so much.
           \_ GODDAMNIT, now you've got me giggling.
        \_ 1996 - James Gosling invents Java. Java is a relatively verbose,
                  garbage collected, class based, statically typed, single
                  dispatch, object oriented language with single
                  implementation inheritance and multiple interface
                  inheritance. Sun loudly heralds Java's novelty.
           2001 - Anders Hejlsberg invents C#. C# is a relatively verbose,
                  garbage collected, class based, statically typed, single
                  dispatch, object oriented language with single
                  implementation inheritance and multiple interface
                  inheritance. Microsoft loudly heralds C#'s novelty.
2009/5/8-15 [Reference/Law/Court] UID:52973 Activity:kinda low
        I had my day in court today. Was awarded the $350 he owed me, $150
        in damages, and $200 for having to drive down from SF to LA. If I had
        a pay stub, he probably would have given me money for PTO. The case
        went extremely quickly. He asked when I moved out, how long I lived
        there (2.5 years) and if I got a statement of deductions within 21
        days. I hadn't (postmark was 24 days) and he asked the landlord if he
        mailed it within 21 days. The landlord (who is old and nearly blind)
        said that he was sick and was a few days late. But the judge said that
        the law was "very, very strict" when it comes to the deposit and that
        was the end of that. He didn't care whether or not the deductions were
        "reasonable". Yay justice! In a month or two, I'll send an update with
        how my collection process is going.
        \_ good job taking $700 from a blind man!
           \_ your brain has been classified as: slave of emotion
           \_ justice! just because he's old means he can arbitrarily deduct
              money? his wife always seemed very lady-macbeth-like.
        \_ good job. blind or not, he was probably relying on your being out
           of the area. as i advised you earlier, the law is pretty strict,
           so as long as the judge find you credible [tried to work it out,
           so as long as the judge finds you credible [tried to work it out,
           not asking for $10,000], he'd probably rule for you.
        \_ good job, seconded the above comment. Being old or
           insane or stupid are not excuses. I congratulate you. You've learned
           to fight for your justice, and that you'll need to do this over
           and over again throughout your lifetime so better learn to fight
           for your right now than later. Life is unfair, and the law is
           for your rights now than later. Life is unfair, and the law is
           there to help you. In this case, the law prevailed because
           you did your job as a citizen of justice. Good job, and CONGRATS!

           you did your job as a citizen of justice. Also, by doing so,
           you're indirectly helping your fellow citizens as your action
           is a deterrent for future offenders. Good job, I whole heartedly
           thank you for being such a good citizen, and CONGRATS!
           \_ I second this sentiment.
        \_ with small claims, getting the judgement is the easy part.
           Collecting on it is what is hard.
           \_ i dont get the sense that this guy is a "hardened criminal" but
              just going for the easy shakedown. i suspect if the fmr tenant
              indicates he'll file for a lien against the property, and/or
              contempt of court, this guy will pay, if not immediately upon
              losing, since the fmr tenant has already demonstrated "resolve".
        \_ Here is what happened to me if you're wondering:
           I lent my motorcycle to a "friend" in the parking lot who was
           begging to learn from me. He's a full time bus driver in San Diego.
           We did this many times, so why not. He went fast, and wrecked it,
           but promised payment and gave me his contact, and left. Two
           I lent my motorcycle to a "friend" in the parking lot. He's a
           full time bus driver in San Diego. Why lent the motorcycle?
           I've done it many times with my other friends, so why not. He
           wrecked it, promised payment, gave me his contact, and left. Two
           weeks later he said "Sorry you should have known better, you've
           learned your lesson." I filed for SC and served the paper to his
           address but it's fake. I totally forgot that he also specialized in
           fake IDs. Anyways, I hired a PI who helped me get through
           the process, step by step. Fees included getting his actual address,
           his employer information, serving paper (actually very hard since
           he could refuse signing and invalidate my SC, which he did), and
           collection. Around the same time I also "consulted" with a lawyer
           for 10 minutes and charged only $45 but he was COMPLETELY
           USELESS. Anyways, I filed, then he delayed the court date, then
           I won the case, then he appealed, then he delayed the appeal court
           date, then finally I won the case again. I wrote him 2 letter asking
           for payment, and after a month of inaction as anticipated, I got in
           touch with his employer's Wage Garnishment Department to collect
           payment (yes, a lot of bus drivers are child molesters, debters,
           and shady characters in general so they have a special department
           just for that). Yes I got paid but then I started getting "weird"
           calls. I moved and changed my number, several times. What an
           adventure, but it was all worth it. The best part was the court
           made him pay for my private investigator because he was so
           elusive! The judge hated that! LOL he sure learned his lesson.
           Here is the full chono:
        4/3    wreck "car" (really a motorcycle)
        5/8    he gave me a fake ID
        6/14   can I use digital pictures?
        7/1    his friend refused to go to court
        10/8  won first time
        10/31  thinking back
        11/5   he delays court date
        1/20  lawyer in small claims?
        1/27  serving the paper?
        4/6  Garnishment how to's
        4/7  Writ of Execution (garnishment)
        5/22  Got notice about garnishment
        6/2  Got my MONEY!!!
        9/23  Beware of retaliation, esp. from
                shady characters
        Unrelated to the above, but goody (not me, but was interesting):  Landlord asshole  Move out deductions?  $150 worth suing?  Holiday Inn assholes
        \_ my life is so boring
        \_ Curious: how did you win in the first place? it sounded like you
           couldn't get the witness (friend of the opponent) to cooperate,
           so I wonder what proof you had.
2009/5/8-14 [Health/Disease/General] UID:52974 Activity:nil
5/7     "More cell phone users dropping landlines"
        "People who live in homes that have only wireless service tend to be
        disproportionately low-income, ..."
        1. Don't cancel your land line.  That low-tech thing is a status
        \_ too late. I just don't see any reason, considering that I don't
           have a stable job that I can keep for more than 3 years at a time.
        2. Why on earth does the Ccenter of DISEASE Control care enough about
        2. Why on earth does the Center of DISEASE Control care enough about
           this to spend money to conduct a survey?
        \_ The CDC does a lot of phone surveys, like the National Immunization
           Survey (which is where we get our estimates of immunization rates).
           Phone surveys try to avoid calling cell phones, because it's
           expensive -- you're not allowed to use automated dialers, and you
           often have to pay the respondents to get them to spend their minutes
           on your survey.  To get meaningful results from a landline-only or
           landline-mostly survey, you need to know the size (and ideally the
           demographics) of the cell-only population.
           \_ I thought the FCC would have such data.
        \_ 2: Don't you remember than everyone on humanity's home planet was
           wiped out by a disease spread by dirty phones?  (Hitchiker's Guide)
           \_ That was Golgafrincham
              \_ ...which was humanity's home planet.
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2009:May:08 Friday <Thursday, Saturday>