Google seems to have created a monster. (OK, more than one, but this is the one I'm writing about.) It's going to great lengths to keep its employees from defecting to companies such as Facebook. Now comes news that it just offered a staff engineer $3.5 million in restricted stock to turn down a Facebook offer.
TechCrunch's Michael Arrington wrote in September about the lure of pre-IPO stock:
Facebook is quietly telling people, never in writing, that there's no reason their stock won't hit $100 billion in total valuation over the next couple of years. No guarantees, yadda yadda, but hey if you get 1/10 of 1%, that's $100 million in stock. Now it's a party. ... It seems to me that every Google engineer at least should be taking a personal day to go collect a Facebook offer. Even if it's just to get a counter offer from their current employer.
Now it seems that's exactly what Google engineers are doing. Arrington reports Google has set up a policy to respond within 24 hours to employees with other offers, but sometimes employees don't just want a raise, they want a different job or a move into a managerial role-and can get it. He says Google knows how that employee poaching works since it did the same thing, taking engineers from Yahoo, Microsoft and everyone else.
Silicon Valley is where even regular joe employees can make millions if they join the right company at the right time. And it's a pretty safe bet that Facebook and Twitter are the right companies at the right time right now.