Background: ~4 years experience. Was member of core technical team of 2 startups that had successful exits. Had few startup failures as well from which I have learnt a lot.
Until 2 months ago, I was stuck in a pretty bad situation (CTO position with no salary, low equity, only verbal contract, very abusive founders) at a startup without realising it. Now that I am out of it and doing well, it was so apparent that they were using me baseless promises.
If you are stuck in any such situation, I highly suggest you look up Stockholm Syndrome, seek help and GET OUT of it immediately. After reflecting on input on my previous post, it became clear to me that I was swimming deep in their bullshit for months. The mental torture is just not worth it and I think it only adds to the self-doubt. Thanks to this subreddit I got out and have entirely cut them off.
Besides, I was highly undervaluing my skills and expertise due to their constant demotivation and threats. Little did I know that there was tremendous demand for experienced CTOs and the value we bring to the table when it comes to building quick MVPs and MERN based scalable applications post idea validation/market fit. I got over my fear, skipped the freelancer phase entirely and took the leap to start my own 2 person software development company-cum-venture studio last month on 8th September– after targeting only HNWI and their side ventures, today we crossed 74 Lakhs ($ 95k+) in sales with a solid MRR despite of the pandemic. Thankfully, we are getting more projects from existing handful of clients and their word-of-mouth referral, so we are not even pitching any more for now.
Do what you do best. And please stop wasting your valuable time with people who do not value you or constantly bring you down– be it friends, family or co-workers. Also, do not work with anyone based on verbal confirmation – get it on paper with legal help and protect your interests. Dishonest and abusive people always show their real colours when you ask them for a written contract.
Today at TechCrunch Disrupt 2020, leaders from three quantum computing startups joined TechCrunch editor Frederic Lardinois to discuss the future of the technology. IonQ CEO and president Peter Chapman suggested we could be as little as five years away from a desktop quantum computer, but not everyone agreed on that optimistic timeline.
“I think within the next several years, five years or so, you’ll start to see [desktop quantum machines]. Our goal is to get to a rack-mounted quantum computer,” Chapman said.
But that seemed a tad optimistic to Alan Baratz, CEO at D-Wave Systems. He says that when it comes to developing the super-conducting technology that his company is building, it requires a special kind of rather large quantum refrigeration unit called a dilution fridge, and that unit would make a five-year goal of having a desktop quantum PC highly unlikely.
Itamar Sivan, CEO at Quantum Machines, too, believes we have a lot of steps to go before we see that kind of technology, and a lot of hurdles to overcome to make that happen.
“This challenge is not within a specific, singular problem about finding the right material or solving some very specific equation, or anything. It’s really a challenge, which is multidisciplinary to be solved here,” Sivan said.
Chapman also sees a day when we could have edge quantum machines, for instance on a military plane, that couldn’t access quantum machines from the cloud efficiently.
“You know, you can’t rely on a system which is sitting in a cloud. So it needs to be on the plane itself. If you’re going to apply quantum to military applications, then you’re going to need edge-deployed quantum computers,” he said.
IonQ relies on technology pioneered in atomic clocks for its form of quantum computing. Quantum Machines doesn’t build quantum processors. Instead, it builds the hardware and software layer to control these machines, which are reaching a point where that can’t be done with classical computers anymore.
D-Wave, on the other hand, uses a concept called quantum annealing, which allows it to create thousands of qubits, but at the cost of higher error rates.
As the technology develops further in the coming decades, these companies believe they are offering value by giving customers a starting point into this powerful form of computing, which when harnessed will change the way we think of computing in a classical sense. But Sivan says there are many steps to get there.
“This is a huge challenge that would also require focused and highly specialized teams that specialize in each layer of the quantum computing stack,” he said. One way to help solve that is by partnering broadly to help solve some of these fundamental problems, and working with the cloud companies to bring quantum computing, however they choose to build it today, to a wider audience.
“In this regard, I think that this year we’ve seen some very interesting partnerships form which are essential for this to happen. We’ve seen companies like IonQ and D-Wave, and others partnering with cloud providers who deliver their own quantum computers through other companies’ cloud service,” Sivan said. And he said his company would be announcing some partnerships of its own in the coming weeks.
The ultimate goal of all three companies is to eventually build a universal quantum computer, one that can achieve the goal of providing true quantum power. “We can and should continue marching toward universal quantum to get to the point where we can do things that just can’t be done classically,” Baratz said. But he and the others recognize we are still in the very early stages of reaching that end game.
I say this because I did NOT do this and now I need to shell out over $ 7k that I didn’t really plan on spending.
Even if you stay for a while and you’re at a company when they have a successful exit, in order to take advantage of long-term capital gains tax, you NEED to exercise (ie purchase) them at least one year ahead of time. If you don’t, you’ll likely end up exercising and selling in one transaction which gets taxed at the higher short-term capital gains rate. If your stock has real value, this will make a significant difference in how much money you take home when all is said and done.
And if you don’t end up exercising at all then you have a nice surprise savings account 🙂