[Problem] Why every startup is looking for a RockStar when there are NO Rockstars who want to work for them?

Yesterday I had a 1.5 hour long discussion with Sumit Datta, he has tremendous knowledge about startups, he himself ran a startup and currently works in a VC funded company in Bangalore. Half of our conversation was about “How to find Best (read as Rockstar, I don’t know what it really means but it looks to be the “hip” word looking at hasgeek job board) Developers” and we both agreed that in India, As a startup company, it is almost impossible to find 5-6 really good developer. The logic is very simple, no one with 3+ years of experience want to work in a startup unless he really knows the founders. People who are married have different priorities and Indians in general are risk averse people and working in a startup leaving your 12+ lakh job sounds (and indeed it is) very high risk decision.

So this means, you can only hire people with < 3 years of experience, preferably freshers. This is where, it gets even more tougher. India's best engineering talent (from IITs/NITs/BITS/IIITs/DCE/NSIT) eventually land up in US for their masters/PhD, the rest lands up in IIMs just after graduation, and those amazing developers who don't chose to do MBA or Masters gets hired by Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Adobe (and dozen more) companies for 12 to 15 lakh salaries with perks and as a startup, you just can't convince those people to leave their Mon to Fri job in Fortune 500 companies.

This brings us to the point why I am writing this post, How many Rockstar developers are there in India who really want to work in a statup ? I know, every startup wants few rockstar developer who can work for peanuts, get some esop and help the founders make millions but how many Rockstars in India are really there who wants to work in a startup ? My answer is, not more than 200.

There are over 1000+ startups looking to hire these 200 people which reminds me of “Rakhi ka Swayamvar”. As per Sumit, this is also a reason why India is not able to build a billion dollar product company. There is absolutely no talent available for startup and desi companies. What scares me is, as a startup founder, there is nothing you can do to change this situation, just keep on trying and struggling against time and hope to find few good people, as the other 1000 startup founders are doing.

Btw, WorkMonk is also looking for an excellent developer (no, NO rockstars, but it will be nice if you can sing and dance) who wants to work with an excellent team, mentors and investors. Please drop me an email to “jobs at workmonk dot in” and we can talk. Make sure you do read this Blog Post too.

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  • http://twitter.com/maheshsharma Mahesh Sharma

    [Quote] “every startup wants few rockstar developer who can work for peanuts, get some esop and help the founders make millions” [/Quote]

    Since founder’s motivation is to make millions ( and he is not ready to share that much equity with Rockstar), why do you think rockstars will join startups?

  • http://gaikwad.in Pushkar Gaikwad

    @Mahesh – afaik, all startups are giving esop, the question is, how much the developer want ? also I have noticed that esop don’t make much difference for Indian developers specially if they are getting 15+ lakh package. Please don’t take that quoted statement by face value, I should not had used that peanuts and millions analogy!

  • Athena Aad

    Nice and practical insights.