Does your employment contract include a non-compete clause?
I've started hearing of some companies with the chutzpah to require a two-year non-compete clause in the employment contract. That's nuts. What am I supposed to do? Go two years without a job? Go back to graduate school? Some of these companies have such grandiose/paranoid ideas of who their competitors are that they consider everyone a competitor.
I loathe these things (see my earlier story on the topic), so Fog Creek will never have a non-compete clause. When I mentioned this to a lawyer who works with a lot of high tech startups, this is what he said: "We're trying to get all the employers to put them in. Provide a united front. So that employees don't have any choice." Who, exactly, does this benefit if everybody has the same clause?
I'll tell you who it benefits. Me. Because I'll hire you even if you don't want to sign a restrictive non-compete clause that makes you scared to ever look for another job in your field.
The "Hello, World" company
Over the last four or five weeks I've been shocked, shocked at how much work it takes just to create a company that doesn't do anything.
Payroll, incorporation, certificate of good standing, Federal EIN, Authorization to do Business, Workman's Compensation, liability insurance, health insurance, business checking account, I-9 forms, W-4 forms, SS-4 forms, Payroll Direct Deposit, domain name registration, trademark search, ...
Oh, wait, I forgot. Articles of incorporation, shareholders resolutions, election of the board of directors, by-laws, founders' agreements, flounder agreement, baked flounder and spam, halibut and spam, plain spam, spam spam eggs and spam, and spam spam spam spam spam spam bacon spam and spam.
You’re reading Joel on Software, stuffed with years and years of completely raving mad articles about software development, managing software teams, designing user interfaces, running successful software companies, and rubber duckies.
I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Fog Creek Software, a New York company that proves that you can treat programmers well and still be highly profitable. Programmers get private offices, free lunch, and work 40 hours a week. Customers only pay for software if they’re delighted. We make Trello, which lets you organize anything, together, FogBugz, enlightened issue tracking software for bug tracking, and Kiln, which provides distributed version control and code reviews. I’m also the co-founder and CEO of Stack Exchange. More about me.