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Wanted: “Swiss-Army Knife”-Like Founding Engineer Who Wants To Help Cut Out The Middleman ($80,000 to $200,000)

This job was filled on July 1, 2011 — thank you!

Location: San Francisco, California; Pay Range: $80,000 to $200,000; Deadline For Applying: June 30, 2011

Your hiring manager is Rob Kelly (writer of this blog) pictured in 2010 on an ABC TV show

I asked all-star recruiter Jason Webster to do a Question & Answer session with me on the details of the Web Applications Engineer position I’m filling; so you can get a better feel for what I’m looking for.

The Q&A

Why is this position open?

This position opened up because we are forming a new business and now have the seed capital in place to hire the first developer.

Why the wide range ($80K to $200K) for salary?

Our first technical hire can be someone with just a few years experience on up to someone with 20 years experience.

Does compensation include equity…and, if yes, how much?

Yes it does. The amount of equity the candidate can earn will be based on their experience level and amount of salary. For instance, we recently had a candidate apply who was willing to sacrifice their salary completely.

We would offer that candidate substantially more equity if they took no salary than if they drew an $80,000 per year salary.

What are the top skills needed and how much experience with each?

  1. Development Tools — You need to be comfortable and confident using Ruby, Python or PHP (note: we’re less interested in developing with Java as our technical advisory board believes it is a dying language).
  2. APIs — You should be familiar with LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook APIs.
  3. Database — You can build sane 1.0 database schema.
  4. Usability — You can lay out a usable design.
  5. Startup-Like Experience — This isn’t exactly a skill but experience in a startup or like-environment is key…you need to be able to make technical things happen “soup to nuts.”

What is the breakdown between new product development and maintenance duties?

This position is for a new product/prototype so most the initial work will be on building that — then there will be maintenance issues needed later (though a new hire will eventually take on those duties).

What challenges will the candidate be expected to solve?

The first challenge is to test the viability of the product through the “Minimum Viable Product” approach. That’ll take rapid development and iteration.

Where will the engineer work?

In a cool location in San Francisco proper.

Why does someone want to work for you and your company?

They can get in on the ground floor of an exciting new startup —  run by an experienced entrepreneur  — and help build a game-changing product that also helps the world!

What is the end product the candidate will be working on?

It’s stealth for now so I can’t share any more.

What stage is the company in right now and what are the growth plans?

The company is early-stage: we have our seed capital in place and will build a prototype, test it and then raise additional financing after that as needed.

Who uses your product?

The product will be used by both individual end-users as well as businesses.

How are you positioned within your industry?

We’re the new guy on the block going after an existing market

Describe your management style, current team, and work environment?

  • We are a meritocracy (the team is measured based on data)
  • We emphasize the importance of having a strong family life (I believe business is meant to serve the team and its family).
  • We’re focused on generating long-term value.

What’s the best way for someone to get in touch with you about the opportunity?

They can click Contact on this blog to send me an email about why they think this might be a good fit.

We’re focused on interviewing friends or friends of friends, so candidates should try to get a referral from someone in my network on LinkedIn or my friends on Facebook.

Ask Your Own Questions Below

If you have your own question on this position, please use the Comments section below to ask (you can be anonymous if you’d like) — that’s what it’s there for!