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I don’t know what pay ranges are like for any of these, so I can’t compare based on salaries yet.


Pros – really intellectual environment, very smart people. A great learning opportunity and a clear chance for apprenticeship. Very difficult project. I would come out of this with god-like abilities.

Cons – very dry. I would be the youngest there by a good margin for a while (2-3 months). I’d have to find a social environment orthogonal to work (maybe a plus?). Very intense (also maybe a plus?). Might not be fun. Questionable business model.


Pros – Fun people, good chemistry, neat product, definite profit potential for the company (gasp!). I’d get to learn Windows programming.

Cons – Windows coding, ack! I would be one of the sharper people there. Potentially clueless CEO, although I’ll give him a second chance. Where does this take my career? Their demo didn’t work.


Pros – potentially an excellent job doing a bit of business analysis combined with next-generation prototyping and hacking. Good chemistry, nice people, a field I’m comfortable with. Company on track to profitability.

Cons – a little far away, although in reach of Caltrain. Have yet to do extensive interview with CTO, job offer not yet formalized.

VA Linux

Pros – I’d get to be a genuine Linux hacker! Great company. I’d be helping to redefine the open source revolution and the future of how programming

gets done (with SourceForge). Good people with good chemistry.

Cons – not far away, but still a long commute, since it uses 880. Not related to online music space at all. I’d be primarily hacking, but with potential for consulting and architectural contributions.


Pros – a very small company (3 people) in which I could have a lot of sway over the future direction of the company. They’re well funded ($5m) and have an interesting problem. A real startup; they have a working demo! I had good chemistry with the people (all Stanford).

Cons – The two co-founders are dating. This is odd. The problem they’re working on is useful to solve but won’t change the world, but it’ll probably make them some money.