suralin wrote: ↑
Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:09 pm
v quick update:
google onsite retro: five 45-min coding rounds, got a LC backtracking* hard that i had never seen before, did decent in another, and p well on the remaining 3 (one of which was also a hard, graph traversal this time, but i knew the pattern). really have no idea how i did overall or how high the bar is, but not super confident tbh.
in better news, i got an offer from snap and they went way over the top w ~$320k (!) not incl refreshers. sinking ship etc, but the equity vests monthly w no cliff, so minimal downside imo. also it’s the exact ML-type role i want w an impressive team. re upside/downside, actually curious about your take on it wiz
*ugh i knew this was a weakness going in, would have preferred a dp problem
Congrats man, that’s an amazing offer and career opportunity. I would be really tempted to make the jump if I were in your shoes. Totally get the snarky sinking ship comments on Blind and elsewhere, but that kind of job seems like exactly the risk/reward play you’d want to make at this stage in your life when you’re young, have a long investment horizon, and don’t have children/family relying on you to maintain the big, stable company lifestyle (even if you did, your TC is through the roof anyway).
If you don’t mind me asking, what’s the base/bonus/on-hire breakdown (feel free to give a range or whatever)? I hesitate to say “rock bottom” because nobody really knows how far SNAP will fall, but if you’re looking at $600k-$800k in 2018 SNAP stock over 4 years, that could easily have a value of $1.2M-$1.6M averaged across vesting dates. You could definitely be looking at a situation where you walk into an almost-JD-level $500k income year in 2019 or 2020.
I really do think that SNAP will climb back to $20+ at some point but obvi have no idea when, and you seem to have a pretty safe floor with the monthly equity vesting, your in-demand skillset, and your ability to boomerang to FB or hit up GOOG/[top-tier tech company or unicorn] whenever means that you won’t have to go down with the ship if you sense things going bad.
From a valuation perspective, it’s hard to make a bull case for SNAP with their growth slowing, net income getting even more negative, poor DAU numbers, low gross margins, and FB/insta competition. They’ve fallen out of favor with Wall Street, but I don’t think I’d ever bet against a company like that in the era of ~data mining~. You obviously understand the technical side of big data better than I do, but I look at this as potentially getting in on the ground floor of SNAP—or at least joining at 2016 valuation levels. I think it’s really cool to be part of something like that even beyond the financials: hot area of tech, impressive team, could open up even more doors down the road, serious impact in helping grow a company that was a Wall Street darling not too long ago.
FB IPO (May 2012): $38
LNKD IPO (May 2011): $45
TWTR IPO (Nov 2013): $26
YELP IPO (Mar 2012): $15
SNAP IPO (June 2017): $17
FB 15 months post-IPO: $37 (-3%) [-50% at low in Aug 2012]
LNKD 15 months post-IPO: $107 (138%) [Fell 40% in Feb 2016 from $186 to $110]
TWTR 15 months post-IPO: $38 (-16%) [-50% at low in June 2016]
YELP 15 months post-IPO: $30 (100%) [$15 at low in Feb 2016]
SNAP 15 months post-IPO (i.e., right now): $9 (-47%) [all-time low]
All of those companies were hit hard at one point with respected analysts predicting the demise of their company, yet they recovered nicely. There's admittedly survivorship bias there, given that I chose social media companies that are still alive today, but I think the point still stands.
Snapchat probably has more growing pains, and there’s a legitimate bear case against it that tons of people are betting on, given short interest and the outstanding put-call ratio. Nobody is saying that SNAP will ever reach FB-level success, and I’m sure you have access to all the data showing how Whatsapp and Insta stories are murdering Snapchat in DAUs, while Snapchat’s DAU/MAU YOY numbers have also slowed. They’re still burning through their FCF at a rate of more than $200 million per quarter, they’re missing basically every revenue/gross margin/net income/user adoption target, and their costs are climbing, further eating into their bottom line (top-line growth slowing along with other metrics). Their EV/EBITDA is -10; their EV/FCF is -16.
It’s a really grim financial story, but I don’t think those metrics, outside of DAU/MAU, are how you should be valuing a tech company still in its early stages. SNAP might not be the next FB and Spiegel might not be Zuckerberg, but like Facebook pre-Sheryl Sandberg, Snapchat can still focus on their scalable business model and riding out the lack of profitability and just building out their ecosystem. There are definitely ways to better monetize their userbase—FB makes like 10x in ARPU metrics?—and they’ll eventually figure it out. I just can’t see the market remaining bearish on SNAP forever when the way tech has been headed for several years now, and seemingly will continue to be headed with the social media/code repository M&A activity, in big data + customer acquisition.
This is your chance to get JD rich—even if you end up just getting Snapchat and X company from your list in a bidding war. Speaking of which, there’s a decent chance that GOOG or at least one of the others on your list match SNAP, right?