Rachel Lerman from the Puget Sound Business Journal interviewed me and other leaders on the subject. This is what we talked about.
by Rachel Lerman, who covers technology and retail for the Puget Sound Business Journal.
Luis Salazar still remembers when he was in the process of leaving in 2008 to join a startup. Going from a guaranteed, very high salary at Microsoft, where he was general manager of what is now Office 365, to a world with no guarantees was stressful, but it was worth it because he wanted to build something from scratch.
In 2012, Salazar started Jobaline.com, a Kirkland-based software company that connects hourly wage workers with companies that are hiring.
Life after Microsoft is all about passion, he said — if you don’t care about what you’re doing, the money is not going to come.
“Make sure you are running into something,” he said, “and not that you are running away from something.” That’s how he hires people: passion first, then experience, then skills.
Things change rapidly in the start-up world, and that’s not for everyone. But Microsoft did help him prepare for that — plans may be useless, but planning is not, and Microsoft teaches that skill over and over.
It’s a difficult shift from thinking in billions to thinking in single units, he said. That meant the first $5 his start-up made were a big deal.
At Microsoft, he never worried about cash flow; it was all about profit and loss. But decision-making changes dramatically when all of a sudden you have to worry about cash.
“The start-up world is way more agile, there is no place to hide,” he said. “Starting a start-up, your results are seen by everybody.”
It’s not common to be much in touch with the start-up world while at Microsoft, he said.
“You don’t know what you’re missing.”
He wishes he knew: “That it was going to be this much fun.”
His best quality post-Microsoft: “I have an insatiable curiosity that drives some people nuts.”
- Left Microsoft: 2008
- Now: CEO & Cofounder, Jobaline.com the largest and faster growing mobile & bilingual marketplace for hourly-wage jobs
- Jobaline employees: 20
- Jobaline total funding raised:$11.3 million Survival skill: Tapping passion
- Make sure you understand the culture of the company you are about to join— it matters.
- Take your time to decide what kind of opportunity you want next.
- Don’t waste your time joining a startup if you like predictability and a big paycheck.