When I worked for Wired.com, I sat about 50 feet from the Reddit guys and I'm friendly with co-founder Alexis Ohanian because we are both men named Alexis. Their offices were a drywalled-in corner of Wired.com's half of the Wired floor of an old brick warehouse in San Francisco. It was clear that our corporate overlords were not sure what to do with this strange site run by a tiny team of nerds. It was not the most freewheeling startup situation, but Reddit grew anyway, especially after Digg lost its dominance in the social news space.
We're friendly for more reasons than that, Alexis -- you're also rather awesome.
"It'd be awesome to get developers at 50 percent of the price. The reality is that's not the market," says Dharmesh Shah, founder of an online marketing firm called Hubspot.
Shah says he's doing everything he can to attract software engineers — paying top salaries, making the workplace as fun as possible, including, he says, "the requisite startup beer fridge, Ping-Pong table and foosball table."
But it hasn't been enough. Hubspot still has almost a dozen software jobs posted right now. So it's offering a bounty for new hires.
"If you're out there and you know someone who would make a really good Hubspot employee, we're willing to pay you really good money — $10,000 — in order to refer that person to Hubspot," Shah says.
Those referrals, high salaries and amenities are all costs that consumers end up paying. Shah says the other downside to this tight labor market is not being able to staff projects.
"We've got 50 times more ideas, really good ideas that our customers would love that people are asking for, that just never make the cut simply because we're resource-constrained," he says.
Teach your children to program.
One study found that "Internet misuse" costs U.S. companies more than $178 billion annually in lost productivity. Another put Web-related losses at $5,000 per employee per year. Yet another found a small company could be losing 15 percent of its profits due to email and social media abuse.
But some researchers are saying hogwash to all that. The National University of Singapore found that "those who spent less than 20 percent of their time perusing the Internet's silly offerings were 9 percent more productive than those who resist going online," Rebecca Greenfield reported in the Atlantic Wire.
reddit.com: lowering the GDP of the United States of America for six years
Thanks for having me back on Bloomberg TV!