Chris Waggonerentrepreneur & statistician

Started and ran a successful small business. Work history in private equity and venture capital. These days I help clients make better decisions using the appropriate statistical tools.

Interested in art, history of ideas, emotional intelligence, commercial/business history, 20th-century mathematics (AT, AG, DG, CT), literature, and history of science.

I chose the Give Directly charity because it has a very low cost ratio. The founders also measure the outcome of their donations on the recipients as well as on a control group, providing solid evidence of the efficaciousness of their intervention. After what Bill Easterly called "a trillion wasted aid dollars" proving effectiveness couldn't be more important. If you think you know of a better charity or want to voice downsides of GiveDirectly, I'd like to hear from you.

Recent Answers

It's not good that you're tired of your industry because that's where you have a lot of specialist knowledge.

A new business will likely take a lot more time and will not be easier than a W-2 unless you have a great plan.

You haven't said much about yourself or what your goals for the business and your time are, the circumstances of you losing your job, etc. So not much to go on. Do you want to set up an ice cream cart, revolutionize your former industry, poach clients from your former employer, etc. Do you want to have a 10-person company or a 100-person company, what products and price points do you have in mind, etc.

It sounds like you are in a difficult place emotionally. It sounds like you are writing from a position of desperation rather than strength. Losing one's job is very hard for anyone it happens to. You have my sympathy. Good luck!

Not going to happen. You get what you pay for. Good programmers and even mediocre programmers want cash.

Besides what others said, try to be extra clear in communicating and measuring exactly what you mean by talent.

People don't like to waste their time and this is especially true of people with a high opportunity cost to their time. Using vague words like "ninja" doesn't clarify to top talent whether you are a culture-fit for them or whether they are a skill-fit for you. Stating explicit, objective requirements or "nice-to-haves" gives potential applicants a clear idea of their chances. It also signals that your management style will be equally clear-cut and rational.

If possible, try to devise your own interview questions and test criteria. Tests should mirror as closely as possible the work you will want the applicant to do. Try to avoid degree-based selection or other general signals. Large companies with a history of stability and truckloads of dinero are competing for those with a typically nice-looking resume. Be innovative and be accurate. Precision will earn you better matches at a lower price.

As well, try to communicate how your company culture compares to others the applicant may be employed at or applying to. Again vagueness is bad. So you should do a shallow search through other talent-bids your applicant might be reading.

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