Job Search...

Yesterday, I received a job lead for a small start-up, which has a new CEO who is trying to turn it around. He is looking for a CTO. A friend of mine who had been considering investing in this start-up passed this on to me. I sent an email to the CEO introducing myself. Within moments, I received a response asking for my resume. Half an hour later, I received a phone call from the CEO and we had an extended discussion.

We decided to get together this morning to talk face to face. I called back my friend who had forwarded the request to me and I got together with him this morning for coffee and to get more information about the company.

As is typical with many startups, they are tight on cash and cannot afford to pay a very good salary. They promise to make up the difference with considerable equity. I’ve seen too many bathrooms wallpapered with worthless stock certificates to take the promise of considerable equity at face value.

The interview seemed to go well this morning, and the CEO spent a lot of time pitching the company. Towards the end, he asked what else I needed to know. I spoke about concerns about the technology and we agreed that it might be useful for me to speak with his technologists. I also spoke about my concern about viability of the company.

Instead of suggesting I speak with investors or his COO, he appeared offended and said that if I had doubts then probably I’m not the person for the position. I tried to explain that since he was trying ‘sell’ me on the company, I needed to be able to get more information from other sources. He was further offended that I would suggest that he would try to ‘sell’ the company to potential employees.

Either the CEO is naïve about the recruitment process or is disingenuous about the company and how he recruits people. Either way, I left wondering if the CEO was a person I could trust or could work with. I was disappointed, because it did seem like it could have been an interesting job.

When I got home, I related the story and my wife’s immediate reaction was that the CEO was hiding something. Later in the day, an old friend called and I spoke with him about this as well. He simply said that it just sounded like the job wasn’t meant for me.

Meanwhile, there are several other irons in the fire which I will write about later.

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