Monday, December 28, 2015

New York Times discusses life at startups, recalling my own adventures in 1988-89


Sunday, the New York Times offered two stories about “That’s life at a Startup”.

Katie Benner discussed mobile company Good Technology and its sale to Blackberry, and the way that could hurt employees who held mostly common instead of preferred shares.

But a parallel article by David Streitfeld  talked about the typical startup policies for employees at Jet, a sort-of competitor for Amazon (itself known for “brutality”). There was talk of the free lunches, and paid parental leave, but no-negotiation on pay, in a company headquartered on the Path Line in Hoboken NJ.

That’s a long way from the little company that I started at in 1988 in Washington, the Consolidated Consulting Group, an offshoot of Virginia Blue Cross/Blue Shield, that would sell reports and consulting services to health care providers.  It was the smallest employer I ever had (16 people when I started, although CABCO in Dallas in 1979, also founded by the Blues, was small then) and was sold in a somewhat friendly acquisition to Lewin-ICF in 1989. Since I left (in early 1990), the Lewin Group has become quite prominent in health care consulting. Maybe I contributed something crucial in mainframe values in the early days.  CCG had been affiliated with The Computer Company in Richmond (near Staples Mill Road and Broad St.), and I don’t know what TCC finally merged with or became.  If someone knows, please comment.

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