Just about every week for the past few months I’ve received invitations from startup founders to relocate to CA in order to participate at CTO / Co-Founder level in their venture. This because the Silicon valley VC / Angel investors have some requirement about will not fund unless tech team is a) local to CA, and b) “long-term”. Any of my Angel/VC/Entrepreneur friends know how it might be possible to participate without relocating from UT w/ family? I doubt it would last more than 2 years. So far my offer is to only relocate for $130k salary plus $10-25k sign-on bonus and/or 100% moving expenses paid. But still having trouble convincing the wife on this since I make a better-than-average living working remotely.
Successful Investor/Entrepreneur in Florida who contracted with me remotely in the past for existing Startup:
my advice, with your age and talents, I feel you should def take these offers — no can lose scenario. Make great connections, have a nice income, and the potential to hit a HR and be financially secure
I’d go for it — it’s not too far from your hometown.
Successful Programmer/CTO/Entrepreneur in NC who worked remotely with me in the past on a startup:
ya. when I was younger the big event was Comdex and I was there every year. I went to represent companies like Motorola, Microsoft, a bunch of small companies and even Borland (who was my favorite vendor for many years way back when). I haven’t done tech crunch before. At one point I did the dog and pony show in 6 different countries in one year, but it got to be too much. Now I focus more on the family and try not to leave unless I have to.
Don’t do it.
Relocation is a huge gamble and if it works there is big money. Best case, it works and you spend so much time at an office stressed out that your wife and kids have check Outlook to find out when they can see you. Worse case, you get all the joy and stress of a startup and it fails in a year. You’re left in Cali hunting for a job to pay for the under sized house right off the crapy freeway you quickly moved in to.
You are far to smart to do that. You’ll have 30 contractors working for you in 5 years making 1/2 a million a year from anyplace you want. You’ve got the tech skills already in spades and you’ll have the business savvy soon enough.
Most VC funds require an on-site staff. When you invest big money, you want to see the faces.
The money should not be tempting to you. You are swimming in cash right now and you come from a life style and religion (I would guess) that highly values saving. You can afford to build your own gig.
Programmer/CTO contracting me in CA for his YCombinator startup:
There isn’t much that i know of in ways to get around it.
A startup requires a team, and the best teams are close together. Especially early stage… remote just doesn’t work well. It works, but not well.
Big risk. Big reward.
You need to be in the meetings, you need to be able to participate on a very personal level and that just can’t happen effectively remotely. Its been proven often enough which is why there is hesitancy on the VC/Investor side. If you want the startup life, move, or hook up w/ the cofounders in your area.
Successful Recruiter in Utah:
There’s obviously many opinions here, but I wonder if, when it’s right, you won’t need to “convince” your wife.
I’d surely recommend a house-hunting trip if they’re (the co) serious about having you. Find other families who have relocated and talk candidly about the pros and cons.
At the end, if you knew one of these paths would cost you the other one, would that help you choose?
I’m always open to questions. I’ve made the wrong choices myself enough to know I should have asked Take care.
I know a few guys that went for the big payout, figuring whatever “debt” they racked up in their marriage, they could easily pay off with the cush life of a millionaire. Most of them aren’t so rich in the end… and even the ones that struck gold lost more in the process than they ever could gain through money, experience or even the thrill of the startup gone perfect. You’re the kind of guy that will seem show up to the right opportunity when its right. Good luck. Can’t wait to find out how the story plays out.
Investor/Entrepreneur in California, Married to Programmer/CTO for Big Tech Stock in CA who contracted me remotely in the past for CA Startup:
if you think it will last 2 years, don’t do it. If you have to do it for 2 years and don’t want your family to move, then you may have to commute.
Please note that there is NO WAY you’d get better opportunities elsewhere to participate in a venture that can make you millionaires.
You are young enough to take that risk.
I don’t think much happens in UT and you really don’t want to be in UT startup culture. You, in particular, need to move to CA and get involved in an awesome startup idea where you get to really show your chops. You will have lots and lots of opportunities. I assure you that CA is not evil. It really isn’t. You need to put yourself in positions to make millions.
You are young enough to be on a plane every day or every week at least. People usually get an apartment, stay the week and then fly back on Friday. It is a decent compromise and yes people do it.
An Investor/Entrepreneur in Florida who wants me to move to CA with him:
I discussed the situation of only having independent contractors on our team to develop and that we are self-funding the project [with a more experienced FL Tech Startup Investor/Entrepreneur]. He agreed that not having internal full-time tech people is a problem, and would definitely not get funding without establishing some sort of agreement with some of these folks to be “full-time” or with a company title to be part of the team. That being said, contingent upon getting funding, and some sort of profit sharing agreement, and or passive compensation we spoke about, could you see your self in this type of role? Aside from someone with advanced skills, we also need someone who can articulate well to potential investors or in a group of people. I know you said you don’t necessarily know if you are that person, and have posted this type of job on oDesk, but we need someone like this in oder to get funding obviously . Also didn’t sound like [other contractor] would be that person either based on the conversation you sent to me that the two of you had last week.
Successful Programmer/CEO/Entrepreneur in New York who contracted me remotely in the past:
What is the question – How to convince them to let you work remotely? You won’t be able to convince them of that.
NOTE: Regardless of how you answered, I still love you all. But you can see where my hesitancy comes from. I posted these answers because they reflect my own internal conflict and differing opinions. I know all the big money and disruptive companies are in CA these days. I would love to work for Blizzard, Facebook, Twitter, Disney, Pixar, etc. not for the money but for the passion. But there is also modest startup culture in UT that I just haven’t been active in. I am leaning towards weighting-in in that arena. But perhaps one day I will not be able to escape that giant vacuum in CA that is pulling all the world’s top creative talent toward it. If I was single, I would have done it already. Maybe when the kids are older.
Feel free to leave comments below. They won’t be anonymous though. But I can make them anonymous, if you wish.