Consider this a job offer to work at 42Floors


Dear Dan Shipper: 

Please join us.  Consider this a job offer to work at 42Floors.  Because you have never applied for this position, this may come as a little bit of a surprise.  But you have known for awhile that I have been really impressed with your work.  

You're only a sophomore in college, but you've already started several companies.  You've taught yourself to code, and you are a maker at heart.  And you have that rare gift of having a sense of style in your design work as well.  AND, your blog posts that reach Hacker News are eloquent and well thought out.  It would be an honor to have you join us here at 42Floors.

Here is your job description:  You will make gorgeous products that help entrepreneurs find their dream office.  There are dozens of things we need built -- you will pick what you most want to work on or come up with your own project. 

If you ever decide you want to go back to working on your own startup, you have my full support, and I will personally do everything I can to help you be successful as an entrepreneur.

You will never be asked to sign a non-compete.  You will be free to contribute to open source, free to blog about anything and everything, and never be required to submit a patent that could be used offensively. 

This offer has no expiration and, regardless of whether you decide to work with us, I hope to personally be there on your side in everything you do. 

Most sincerely,


Jason Freedman

Co-Founder, 42Floors



Why did I just post this publically?

I have been following Dan Shipper for a while on Hacker News. We've chatted a few times by phone and on Twitter.  I'm incredibly impressed with his work.  He's got a startup he's working on right now, so he might not be ready to join 42Floors.  But at least he now knows he's wanted.

I share this letter with you all today because: 1) it's really good publicity for Dan and I hope for his sake you all compete with me to hire him; and 2) I wanted to showcase how we think about hiring here at 42Floors. 

Here at 42Floors, we believe hiring is dead.  You simply can't go hire guys like Dan anymore.  And if you allow me to generalize for a moment, you can't hire anyone capable of running their own startup.  They don't submit resumes.  They don't fill out job applications.  They don't call up recruiters. 


The very best can't be hired.  They must be courted. 


It may take us three months or three years before we get Dan to join us full-time.  These things take time and perseverance. 

We are about to announce our funding and I'm going into full-time courting mode because we need to get the very best talent.  We can't compete with Google or Facebook on salary. We can't compete with being a founder on equity.  So the most important thing I have left is my ability to commit to an individual employee's personal development.  And I do so with all of my heart.  I will do anything in this world to help out Dan Shipper. I do so because I actually enjoy it, but also because it's part of how we court and retain awesome people.

I have already talked a bunch about why everyone sucks at interviewing.  It's now become clear that hiring itself is dead.  This is now a war for talent.  And we want to win.

We're courting on all fronts.  Contact us at  




For those of you based here in Silicon Valley, Justin Bedecarre is putting on a phenomenal conference called The War of Talent.  I'll be speaking there.  Ron Conway, Dave McClure, Hiten Shah and a whole bunch of other people as well.  If you still think normal hiring practices work, you're wrong.  Join us at this conference; we'll talk about how you go to battle. 

Sign up today and use my discount code "42Floors" by April 30th and receive a 20% discount.

The War of Talent




Find discussion of this post on Hacker News



I'm Jason Freedman.
I've got a sweet-ass new company: 42Floors.
Previously, I did FlightCaster.
I welcome connections on Linkedin, Facebook, AngelList and Twitter.


4 responses

This blog is an inspiration to me! You sound a little like Seth Godin...I want to run a start-up when I grow up (I'm 51 yrs old).

I heard someone say once that, "You don't have to be right only have to be right ONCE..." You embody that concept.

I wish you all the best...and thanks for connecting with me on LinkedIn.

Louis Evans

i have just read some of the post on the Dan shipper site/blog. it was really inspiring. thx for sharing this.!

Keep up the good work and i will follow u.!

I appreciate the job offer, but I detect a slight hint of discrimination on the basis of age. Yes, a college sophomore could be of any age, but you might want to run this one by your HR department before going too far with it.

Ribbing aside - if you really are competing head-to-head with higher-paying and yet still exciting large technical companies for college sophomores because by Junior and Senior year they are already spoken for... you might want to try hunting where others don't!

If you hire a 55 year old, yes, they'll be thinking about retirement in about 10 years. But will you even be around then? Yes, if you are successful. And if you are successful you can handle losing that employee to retirement. And if you fail it doesn't matter.

That 55 year old won't work 14 hour days because they have no life, and they don't yet know what life they are missing. They've got kids or grandkids or hobbies they want to spend time on. But that makes them well rounded and gives them experience your competitors can't possibly imagine if they are all fighting you for sophomores.

Did you know that the greatest number of start-ups by age are started by people in their 50's?

It is obvious you aren't going to get to hire non-Americans as our political climate isn't going to let us increase the number of visas period. So that pool of "think outside the box" hiring is very much closed for the summer. And next summer.

Food for thought and all that.

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