As it grows, I'm sure inertia will continue to slow it down, but that willingness for reinvention seems like quite a powerful property.
(Another current book – Antifragile (http://amzn.to/2nr15ST) – discusses systems that benefit from randomness and volatility. I wonder if the willingness for reinvention allows for a kind of anti-fragile generational selection to work: instead of waiting for selective forces to birth a different and new stronger generation, you transform yourself (or your company) to _become_ that new generation, allowing you to directly benefit from selective pressures. It's tough to do, psychologically and culturally, and the willingness to do so seems an extremely valuable quality to cultivate.)
Did you ever read Chaos Monkey? (https://www.amazon.com/Chaos-Monkeys-Obscene-Fortune-Failure...)
The author was a founder of a very little startup (3-men shop) and after 6 months tried to approach Facebook to be acquired, and Facebook told him: we don't want your technology, but since you have proven to be capable of building something exceptional, we want you to join (and you can throw away your product), and we'll offer you $2-3M (don't recall the exact number) in RSUs with a 4y vesting schedule, which he clearly accepted.
Now, those "acqui-hires" happen all the time among those big companies. Since the acquiring company is clearly not interested in the product but just in the talent, how is that different than getting in the door as a really solid individual contributor with terrific experience in getting stuff done (of course, your resume and interview skills need to reflect that, and also, probably even more importantly, your negotiation skills). You can choose to not believe me, but the answer is that there is no difference at all.
If you live in the valley, I can't believe you don't have an acquaintance who followed exactly the path of being individually "acqui-hired" as a talented individual contributor (but not being part of a real acquisition, mind you), which is exactly what happened to my two friends described above (no direct reports, purely technical gig). They are very very good in their fields and managed to sell themselves very well to the right teams inside those big companies.
I recall very little from the interviews, except a comment from
one of the DabbleDB engineers. After getting through the stress
questions, I asked him, "So what do you like most about Twitter?"
By this point, we'd build a decent rapport, so with a nod and a
wink, he said, "Well, you know, in companies like Facebook and
Google, they serve you breakfast, lunch and dinner. Here at Twitter,
they one serve you breakfast and lunch."
I cringed inwardly. So the big selling point was that nobody worked
late into the night, so we could have that chimerical work-life
balance? I smiled to keep the warm vibe going. But that comment more
than anything else sealed my decision. I was not going to blow the
biggest career wad of my life on a company that hesitated to work
past six p.m. daily.
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