The Silicon Valley has had its ups and downs with employment. Software companies surged in the 1990’s employing some of the earliest and brightest minds. Software companies became SAAS companies became social networking companies. Along the way, talent grew then became obsolete then became talent again if only through training, contacts, and hard work. Those along the way that did not redefine their skills found themselves without work.
The unfortunate aspect of living in Silicon Valley is the constant retraining. I have worked with enterprise applications for the majority of my career and moved into the SaaS space in the early 2000’s to keep ahead of the curve. Mindjet gave me the good fortune to add social networking, e-commerce, and business to consumer to my skillset. My heart goes out to those that do not continuously re-invent themselves.
The San Jose Mercury News came out with an article today that stated that , “The Googles and Apples of the valley are competing with nimble, fast-growing social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Startups are scrambling for good hires, offering the thrill of creating something new instead of big salaries.
While a hiring boom may seem a contradiction when so many people are unemployed, the reality is that many of those out of work don’t have the skills some of these companies are looking for.” They continued, “There’s definitely a war for talent between the large companies and the startups,” said Tom Silver, vice president of tech job listing service Dice.com.”
In a recent discussion with a prominent VC firm, they stated that the focus of investment is in social networking firms. The supply for funds has dried but there is an overabundance of firms requesting funds. The Facebooks and Googles of the world – and their associated APPS – take priority for the funds. SaaS organizations believe that they are still Priority #1 (See NetSuite Hiring) for hiring but talent knows where they should go to reinvent themselves.
To give this employment issue perspective, the Financial Meltdown of 2008 pit VP’s against Directors against Account Managers for top positions. It also pit those that could reinvent themselves against those that believed there prevailed. How could someone from the SaaS space suddenly have the talent to go sell Advertising Space at Google?
Those that can reinvent themselves have jobs. Those that have talent remain employed. Silicon Valley employs the best and those that are the best remain employed. Strange bedfellows indeed….