Why Paul Graham Is Still So Wrong
My name is Denis Shershnev, I'm CEO of 6nomads — remote-focused hiring platform for startups. While I was in the US in May I heard that Y Combinator arranges YC Startup Hiring Mixer and decided that I could be useful at this event: could talk about our study of the remote specialists market, about how my distributed team functions, what mistakes I have made myself, what I learned, and why this format is the obvious future.

Then I wrote to Ryan Choi (Ryan organizes these events for Y Combinator startups) and got this answer:
I'm used to this opinion and have heard and read it many times, but this is the most progressive accelerator of the galaxy, isn't it?
"Let the other 95% of great programmers in"
Here we need to go back to 2014, when Paul Graham, the founder of Y Combinator, wrote a great text. You can read it yourself.

There Paul protests against the difficulties that migration policy creates for companies in need of IT talent, and proves that the domestic market can not meet this need. Here are the main points:
  • There is a huge variation in ability between competent programmers and exceptional ones, and while you can train people to be competent, you can't train them to be exceptional.
  • The US has less than 5% of the world's population. Which means if the qualities that make someone a great programmer are evenly distributed, 95% of great programmers are born outside the US.
  • It will always be true that most people who are great at anything are born outside the US.
  • Exceptional performance implies immigration. A country with only a small percent of the world's population will be exceptional in some field only if there are a lot of immigrants working in it.
  • It could easily be the defining mistake this generation of American politicians later become famous for. Unlike other potential mistakes on that scale, it costs nothing to fix.
It's hard to disagree, isn't it? Paul explains, among other things, that hiring a specialist from India, Russia, or Germany is absolutely not about saving money on these employees. However, this misconception still exists. To help an employee with a visa, to relocate them to the USA, to pay a competitive salary — do you think it is similar to the desire to save money?

Even at that time, in 2014, in the thread "How Paul Graham Is Wrong" disputes erupted. The rhetoric of these disputes, in general, has not changed to this day. As always, the debate is stuck on the irreconcilable points: the variety of tools for great remote work VS the importance of magical personal communication.

Use WordPress and P2, use Slack, use G+ Hangouts, use Skype, use any of the amazing technology that allows us to collaborate as effectively online as previous generations of companies did offline.
There's friction to spontaneous collaboration and spontaneous collaboration is what people really care about when they talk about the benefits of in-person work.
Twitter also did not stand aside:
With the understanding of this importance, we are launching our Early Stage Program for companies that currently have up to $1M in funding and are less than 2 years old. For startups that meet these criteria, our service will be 10 times cheaper than for large businesses — $475 per hire.

Thanks to our all-in-one remote hiring platform, you can afford to expand your team, implement the idea faster, keep up the momentum, and get recoupment. We offer you an "Uber for Hiring". Instead of a personal driver, we offer personalized fast hiring solutions. Uber is cheaper, but solves the problem of reaching point B in a way that is equally efficient, yet, faster, in a true startup spirit. Though, if you take into account convenience and speed of service, quality of expert reviews, and our matching system, consider our service Uber Copter with a ride from Manhattan to JFK for the price of an Uber X.

It is difficult for us to imagine that young startups will turn to recruiters and agencies for hiring needs. It's like buying goods from a telemarketer in 2019 or checking the weather by turning on The Weather Channel. Traditional recruiting is morally and technically outdated and poisons the rest of the startup processes with its medieval age and speed.

Time = money, quality professionals = money, but recruiters take money, spend a lot of time and rarely give you the people you need.

We want those who have not yet to suffer the harmful influence of recruiters to have no need to turn to them at all. Young companies have been using modern convenient services for a long time instead of hiring a regular accountants or lawyers. Today your accountant Pilot, and lawyer is Upcounsel. In the same way, instead of hiring an HR team or keeping overly extended communication with recruiters, startups use 6nomads.

Five steps not to postpone, but to act as long as the offer is relevant:
1. Create account
2. Apply for Early Stage
3. Start trial
4. Join hiring-sprints:

Frontend — 1st and 15th
Backend — 5th and 20th
Design — 10th and 25th of each month
(We streamline a list of great candidates and launch a sprint every 2 weeks with 6 new specialists)
5. Choose your preferred candidate for just $475 from options located around the world.

It's so natural to launch a global company with an international remote team from scratch.
Did you like this article?
31 July / 2019

© All Right Reserved. 6nomads.