I’ve met with government officials all over the world and one of their first questions often is “how can we build a Silicon Valley here?” My first answer is “figure out how to keep your geeks in your country and let them get rewarded for building companies.”
Today Fred Wilson (VC who invested in Twitter amongst many others) warned us about a new bill.
In lots of places, like Australia, they have been fighting anti-stock-option laws for years. Why do they get passed? Big companies love these kinds of laws because it keeps the cost of labor down.
Remember at Microsoft how even the secretaries became millionaires? That was due to stock option rewards. I’ve seen just how these create billionaires but when a company goes big like it has for Google or Facebook or Microsoft then thousands of others see sizable rewards.
But that’s all on the back end. If you tax workers to participate in such a system most will be forced to turn it down (be honest, how many new engineeers or marketers can afford to pay even $5,000 more in taxes to cover what these might bring? I know several in that situation and they couldn’t afford it so probably would turn it down).
If this passes Silicon Valley’s wealth generation engine will die and we’ll all be harmed.