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Re: interesting put down pitches (response to post by d000hg) | Reply
Not really, but at a time (I think this was right around 2000) when there were lots of startup online businesses that had little hope of becoming successful, Amazon put together a viably successful and profitable online business based on more sound, traditional retail ideas. Basically like a massive brick-and-mortar department store that just happens to have its checkstand online :-)
Re: interesting put down pitches (response to post by Kawigi) | Reply
So why is it big in terms of programming career, like MS & Google?
Re: interesting put down pitches (response to post by d000hg) | Reply
Perhaps because they employ a good number of people and it will still exist in 5 years?

I don't think they have the resume weight that MS or Google would (my impression is that people in the industry consider people who have worked for MS or Google as relatively smart), but it's also better than anything that no one has heard of or no one will remember in a few years.
Re: interesting put down pitches (response to post by Kawigi) | Reply
So you're saying it's on a par with, for instance, Wal-mart?
Re: interesting put down pitches (response to post by d000hg) | Reply
It's on par with walmart.com :-)
Re: interesting put down pitches (response to post by kyky) | Reply
They might be referring to me, actually. A few months ago Brian from TopCoder contacted me to tell me about a small but stable firm specifically looking for someone with a pure mathematics background. I can get in at a very exciting time, but they need me right away, so I will finish off my last semester while working.

This is a company that is small not because it needs to be, but rather it has been very successful for decades, and sees no need to grow. With the clout that the major tech companies have, I have no idea how I could have found them without TopCoder.

The interviews were unique too. I still do not know what specifically they were looking for, as the discussion centered mostly on my ideas of what I could do for them, which they seem happy to let me do (this is certainly to my liking). Another part of the interview was the founder discussing how there is more to life than money, and how at some point more of the satisfaction comes from doing good things with it.

Oh and the compensation is as good as they say, even with just the guaranteed salary and bonus ;-)

So in short, it is good to keep an open mind about finance, recognize that this area in particular really values strong ability over all else ("the rewards go disproportionately to the best" as one manager said), and that Topcoder does know a thing or two about us and them :-)
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