Make More Money – For Free
The biggest mistakes we’ve seen while negotiating compensation
We’re in the midst of the steepest market downturn since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. There’s a lot of economic tumult right now, particularly for tech stocks, with many “hot” companies down 80% or more from their all time highs (Robinhood, Coinbase, Roblox). The ups and downs are enough to make anyone’s stomach churn, but it’s also a huge opportunity.
If you’re technical, there are always interesting jobs to be had, even in a recession. Based on our anecdotal data from the community, sales & marketing roles are usually first to go during layoffs. Our last live session was about maximizing your compensation as a software engineer. Whether you’re switching jobs, or leveraging your expertise in your current company, this may be a great comp opportunity (even during, or perhaps especially during, a market downturn).
The session cutouts are available now in the Taro mobile apps (click the “Get Paid More” banner on the home page). Three of the main points we covered:
Your pay has nothing to do with your costs. Whether you have a mortgage and 3 kids, or you’re living with your parents is irrelevant. Your pay is determined by the impact you can deliver to the business.
There are multiple components to tech compensation: base salary, signing bonus, annual bonus, equity (RSUs vs options), and more. Instead of viewing negotiation as a zero sum game, you can pull various levers to find something that both you and the company are happy with.
Introduce artificial delays to your conversations: there’s a huge information asymmetry between a job seeker and employer, so it’s ill-advised to talk numbers over the phone or in person. Use email instead, and use the word “interesting” in discussions: it’s positive and non-committal.
See also this PG essay about tech workers in bad economies: http://www.paulgraham.com/badeconomy.html.
Insights from David Pan are now in Taro
Our collaboration with David Pan was a big success – we got tons of messages about his valuable perspective. We have one video on YouTube, and the others are exclusively in the Taro app on topics such as “good vs great tech leads”, and “how to leverage skip level 1:1s” (collectively 1200+ views!).
Let us know if there are other people you’d like us to chat with. We’re planning on uploading videos around system design and side projects in the coming weeks.
Follow along our business journey?
Finally, one idea we’re flirting with is to be more transparent about how we’re thinking about the business of Taro. Topics would be things like my YouTube revenue, Taro product strategy, and how we plan to make money.
If you want to eventually build a company, this might be interesting :) Since it’s not relevant for everyone, we’d probably put it behind a paid Substack. Anyone interested in this? A “behind the scenes” look at what Alex and I are doing?
Looking forward to seeing many of you for our next session on May 28!