Silicon Valley workforce fleeing for Crypto, Web3, recruiters say
- Recruiters say workers are leaving Silicon Valley giants for crypto and Web3 efforts.
- They are making the jump in part to take early advantage of what they see as the future of the industry.
- Executives and developers are leaving Google, Meta, Amazon and others.
Just a few years ago, landing a job at Uber or Twitter was like striking gold.
And while that may still be the case for many aspiring tech workers, another space is encroaching on Silicon Valley’s position as the hottest place: Web3.
Eight tech recruiters told Insider they’re seeing a significant trend of high-level executives and developers leaving established companies for cryptocurrency and other decentralized tech ventures as once fringe startups make their way to the mainstream. forefront of the industry.
“We’re definitely seeing some of the best and brightest in Silicon Valley, or in tech, moving into crypto,” said Scott Fletcher, whose firm Intersection Growth Partners has removed several “very experienced people” from. Amazon, Meta and Google. Initiated.
“I’ve been in this business for a long time,” he said. “I have never seen change happen so quickly.”
Silicon Valley executives will move to crypto, and “the rest will follow”
We don’t know much about Web3, the supposed next iteration of the internet, except that in theory it will live on the blockchain instead of centralized websites run by Google or Amazon.
It’s “such a weird category,” Alex Zakupowsky, managing partner at Artisanal Talent, told Insider. “It means everything and nothing in some ways.”
But as indefinite as it is, it’s still very attractive to many top Big Tech brass.
Meta’s former digital wallet project marketing director Novi took the same role at blockchain-focused payments company Circle in January; Amazon’s former AWS Edge Services general manager is now Gemini’s CTO, and Lyft’s former CFO and Uber’s former corporate development director have joined OpenSea.
Then there’s Chris Lehane, Airbnb’s former SVP of policy and communications, leaving for a crypto-VC fund, while YouTube’s former head of games has left for Polygon Studios, which is aimed at Web3 developers. The list is lengthened increasingly.
Experts agreed that when executives jump into those spaces, “the rest will follow,” Zapukowsky said.
“Coinbase, in my opinion, was really first to get really big hires from places like Google, LinkedIn, and Lyft,” Zakupowsky said. “And now you see very old senior executives at Ubers, Amazons, Pinterests, Atlassians, and SpaceX who got into this, and they’re going to recruit from their networks.”
Fletcher likened the current jump in talent to what happened when on-demand companies like Uber and Lyft rose to popularity in the early 2010s, producing their own wave of job change.
That’s largely because people want to work on what’s most exciting about tech, recruiters said. Right now it’s crypto and Web3. With a shortage of space-focused engineers, it will likely also pay off to take the risk and get in early.
“Early on in the Web2 cycle, you saw a lot of the same types of people who were attracted to crypto now gravitate towards these big tech companies because it was something new and innovative and really exciting,” Kelsey Begin, partner principal at Intersection Growth Partners, said.
“And then you get momentum, and I think the industry can get bloated and kinda dated,” Begin said. “And then now we have another wave and it’s this super exciting and innovative new thing.”
That’s especially true with the developer community, recruiters said.
“Developers love new things, they love shiny new things,” said Vivek Ravisankar, CEO of HackerRank, a developer recruiting company.
The ideological differences between working for an old-guard tech company and a futuristic startup that empowers individuals are also at play. long established, both good and bad.
“To start in a new place, which is to say, by its philosophy, to try to empower the individual as opposed to the centralized society is appealing,” said Fletcher of Intersection Growth Partner.