Limited talent pool is standing in the way of driverless cars


2017 was an exciting year for driverless cars: from Waymo testing driverless cars on city streets for the first time, to the UK Government’s plans to launch driverless cars onto the roads in 2021, in the past twelve months we’ve seen faster development of driverless car technology than ever before. This year could be even more exciting. However, in order to maintain momentum, we need to tackle one issue head on: training technical talent. Limitless potential, limited talent pool Self-driving cars have the potential to change the world in ways we haven’t yet fully realized. This untapped potential is what…

This story continues at The Next Web
The Next Web

Talent trickles out of Snapchat as Timehop founder leaves

 Less than a year after joining Snapchat, social media nostalgia app Timehop’s founder Jonathan Wegener is departing the company. He tells TechCrunch he wants to build his own thing again, but the fact that the No. 1 teen social network isn’t exciting enough to stay at is telling. Read More
Mobile – TechCrunch

Forget Facebook, Amazon or Google. Up-and-coming top tech talent is opting for startups.

A flight to the top at the world’s most established technology companies is no longer the most sought-after route to success.

Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google — the aptly named FANG companies — are coming under increased scrutiny for their total market dominance. In their respective but more frequently overlapping areas of focus, these giants have collected enough information to hold an alarming amount of global influence. Chief among that, and perhaps most concerning, is the amount of data collected on us, the everyday users. Well past their inflection points, and with every single usage, these companies are woven deeper into the fabric of our lives. Some might even say more emphatically that they have become our everyday lives.

Longtime technology follower David Kirkpatrick went as far as to say that the big breakthrough industries of the future will be characterized by meaningful barriers to entry — best-placed for those who own the most data. Groundbreaking innovations that fall within AI — like autonomous cars and specific advances like augmented reality — require significant capital and data, priming those markets for domination by an established core with deep pockets.

Implicit in that is the limited space for startups to gain a footing in the market. Just as these juggernauts draw customers with less and less effort, the tipping-point status of their services makes not joining the Big Four feel like being left out, and they will win the war for talent.

However, that is not what the view looks like from my position as CEO of a company whose charge is to find and place engineers, designers, product managers and data analysts at technology growth companies — startup tech companies in particular.

I am happy to report that “talent” remains liquid. A flight to the top at the world’s most established technology companies is no longer the most sought-after route.

This is indeed a different world from even a decade ago, when brilliant MBAs and engineers were often choosing between and opting for Google over Goldman. At that time, this was the ultimate indication of a changing of the guard.

So what is giving the rest of the employer world a fighting chance?

FANG matured and became established

A smart man once said it’s hard to scale “special.” Keeping your mojo decades post-launch is no small feat, and while these companies have had tremendous impact on a global scale, they are now well past their teenage years and contain more layers. When engineers talk about what they look for in an employer, they often choose the opportunity to be a big fish (hero) in a small shop with grand ambition, over a small fish in a big shop that has already made its mark (a contributor). At the same time, transparency also becomes a challenge in a company of great size. Public-company transparency is one thing, but the transparency that many talented technology executives seek pertains to operations and leadership. They desire the enterprise-wide view that the startup environment provides, and many of them want to have a hand in driving a company’s broader development.

Mission orientation

The millennial and iGen crowd will soon be a majority in the workforce, and these generations crave a part in the next big thing. The disconnect is that FANG companies are the current big thing. Millennials and iGen believe in the art of the possible and embrace socially-minded missions. This is not to suggest that Google became evil or less socially conscious when, in 2015, it dropped “Don’t be evil“ from its core values, but it did create a space for others to carry the torch. Young companies, with founders almost always still in tow, are as passionate a group as you can find. They tell the story of the mission — always prospective at this point in their life cycle — in such an effective way that VCs swoon and new talent wants to walk through fire.

Every company is a technology company

Most important is the evolution of the rest of the employer community outside of the obvious technology companies like Netflix or Cisco. Simply stated — by so many we can’t accurately attribute — every company is tech-centric. Technology is now a non-negotiable for enduring success. With these “tech-peripherals”from giants of the oil industry to health insurers using data analytics to forecast patients most at risk — there are more ways to make a difference with technology than ever before.

Engineering, data, design and product talent will always be coveted by companies across tech — the giants and the comers, and increasingly, the tech-peripherals.

Make no mistake about it — it is a competitive battle.

The FANG companies may very well receive continued criticism from regulators over their growing influence, but from where we sit, the future of innovation remains open to new breeds. How do we know this? Today, very little talent walks in our door and says, “Can you get me a job at Google?” Rather, they say “Can you get me into the next Google?”


David Saad is co-founder and CEO of SingleSprout, a specialized search firm focused on hiring engineering and product talent at tech companies. Reach him @singlesproutnyc.


Recode – All

Talent development is the key to keeping the blockchain bubble from bursting


With an ICO frenzy and Bitcoin’s plunging valuation (and Bitcoin Cash’s soaring rates), attention on blockchain technology is growing increasingly fervent. Blockchain ledgers are (seemingly) on the precipice of moving into mainstream territory and facilitating the daily distribution of every type of data file, from financial contracts to individual records. But before blockchain has the opportunity to propel us into a decentralized data revolution, it has to first prove that it is not just hype. Yes, despite blockchain technology’s superior efficiencies, there are skeptics who see all of this blockchain buzz as little more than a tech bubble. One of…

This story continues at The Next Web
The Next Web