Most tech multi-millionaires were once coders working full-time
On September 16th, Amazon will host a half-day online webinar called Career Day.
In addition to being able to hear directly from Amazon’s recruiters and executives, you’ll also have a chance at a one-on-one session with one of their recruiters. Amazon will hold 20,000 free coaching sessions, led by 1,000 actual recruiters.
Why is Amazon doing this? At the moment, they have 33,000 corporate and tech positions open — these don’t include hourly warehouse jobs, which Amazon is promising to add in the thousands. The pandemic turned Amazon into an essential service, and they need all the manpower they can get to deal with the demand.
Nationwide event on September 16 open to all job seekers — with a team of 1,000 Amazon recruiters offering 20,000 free career coaching sessions in a single day. Company currently has 33,000 job openings for corporate and tech positions supporting areas that include Alexa, AWS, Operations Technology, and Prime Video. (source: Amazon press release)
Amazon spokesperson has said that “corporate and tech roles will receive an average pay of $150,000, including salary, stock-based compensation and benefits.”
I know many of my readers didn’t grow up dreaming to take up an entry-level position at a large corporation. However, data shows us that the most common path to becoming a tech multi-millionaire is to simply… get a tech job.
Here’s what I mean.
48% of tech founders discover million-dollar ideas at work
In February, I did a major review of 100 multi-million SaaS founder interviews. I found something I long suspected but never knew for sure: only 5% of successful tech founders have zero work experience.
We have this flawed idea in our society that successful tech ideas just come to the bright minds of the world. That you can somehow conjure a scheme in your mind and it will work.
Well, most tech multi-millionaires can clearly recall a moment they discovered their idea — usually, in real-world settings. They will be quick to point at something that annoyed them at work or interfered with their job performance or was routinely ignored by the manager. Most tech entrepreneurs were once coders who simply solved a chronic problem they saw at work.
“If we tried to think of a good idea, we wouldn’t have been able to think of a good idea. You just have to find the solution for a problem in your own life.” -Brian Chesky, Co-founder of Airbnb
For example, Mikael Thuneberg started his career working as a web analyst at an IT company. He had to constantly import Analytics data into Excel spreadsheets manually.
One day, he got fed up with the routine, and built himself an automated solution. Turns out, there were plenty of other people struggling with the problem. The solution eventually became a $20 million annual revenue SaaS known today as Supermetrics.
“One of the things I tend to do is open myself up to a variety of voices. I try to expose myself to the kind of culture shock that occurs when you talk to people who speak a different language.” -Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay
Michael McCarthy, another million-dollar founder, sat next to a direct mail team on his first job out of school. He realized that their process was dependent on manual, labor intensive tasks.
It took them 12–16 weeks to turnaround big mailing campaigns. Michael built a direct mail automation SaaS with an engineer friend of his. His product, Inkit, now generates $2.4 million annually with just 100 customers.
You can read more examples in this long post, but the pattern is clear: great software ideas aren’t created — they’re discovered. And what better place is there to discover slow, inefficient, solvable problems if not a big beaurocracy?
Ego is the enemy of invention
Simon Sinek has called us the entitled generation, and he has every right to do so. Most Millennials don’t last 90 days on a job — “Not enough purpose,” they say. “I want something with meaning.”
Well, how about this for a purpose: solve a million-dollar problem, and we’ll give you a million dollars. Does that look like a purpose worth fulfilling to you?
If that’s the case, be advised: million-dollar problems aren’t laying around on the pavement. You won’t find them in a blog post. You certainly won’t find them in between your ears.
Real-world business settings are where you’ll find your million-dollar idea. Jobs. Consulting. Freelancing. That’s where you’ll collect the real-world data to identify real-world problems that will prompt a real-world solution in your brain.
As a coder, you have the skillset to build the next big thing. However, you have to know what it is first. Amazon is desperate for tech talent right now, and perhaps that’s the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.