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Bid for Geeks? 70

Ant wrote in to sent us a Wired story about engineers forsale on ebay. The summary is that 16 guys are willing to quit their jobs at a major valley ISP and work for you. And the bidding starts at over $3 million. It looks interesting, and with techies in demand these days, it might work, although I don't think thats how I would try to get a job (well, maybe if you guys started bidding like crazy *grin*)
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Bid for Geeks?

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    As of 12:30pst the auction is back up on ebay:

    Entire ISP Management and Engineering team []

    Reproduced here:

    Entire ISP Management and Engineering team

    Team of 16 employees from major ISP willing to leave as a group. 1 Director ($200k) 2 Managers ($180k) 3 Senior Engineers ($190k) 5 Administrators ($150k) Possibly more. Implemented major NT and UNIX web presence. Approx. 2000-3000 servers. Programming and Systems Engineering experience. Massive scalability experience, Fault tolerance, Fortune 500 clients, Large scale Data Center capacity planning and construction. Group formed major ISP presence in Silicon Valley/US and is now looking for other challenges and requires an opportunity with a major player. Requires 20k signing bonus, 401k, stock, and company should be based in Silicon Valley. Total minimum bid would be: $320,000 (signing bonus) $200,000 (director) $540,000 (managers) $1,330,000 (engineers) $750,000 (administrators) --- $3,140,000 Total minimum bid cash bid plus benefits. See the story at: .html,282 2,23744,00.html This is a very serious offer. More concerned with working for a real and exciting company than money. Experience level includes: C/C++/Visual C++, Java, Win32, XML, JavaScript, Dynamic HTML/HTML 4.0, SQL, BASIC/Visual Basic/VBScript, Microsoft Windows NT (3.51 and 4.0), Solaris (Almost every flavor of UNIX), Linux (kernel 1.2.3 - 2.2), Windows 2000 Beta 3, Microsoft Transaction Server, Microsoft SQL Server 6.5/7.0, ASP, IIS 3.0/4.0, Oracle, Internet protocols, routing, RIP, OSPF, BGP as well as network infrastructure technologies, Ethernet, ATM. Enterprise hardware knowledge, Compaq/SUN server equipment, and advanced RAID configurations. Apache, NES 2.0, NES 3.5.1, NES 3.6, CGI, OSI, sendmail, qmail, DNS, PERL, firewalls, MCSE, CCNA, SCNA, NetBSD, FreeBSD, SunOS, NIS+, RDIST, DBA.

  • I'll bid about tree-fity.

    (No, I'm not the Loch Ness Monster)
  • I remember that Cool Site of the Year award was going pretty crazily. I checked it when it first appeared on Slashdot, and it was up to like $500. By about 4:00pm it was over $10,000. I wonder what it finally went for and whether they actually paid money for it.
  • by drwiii ( 434 )
    Caught that on inet-access yesterday.. I wonder if someone actually won a bid for them or if ebay closed the auction.
  • Yeah, we all want more money. But Microsoft could offer me 3.14 million a year and I wouldn't take it. (Maybe if I had a family and had stupidly placed myself in dept this would chance) I have no need to work for any company. If you want my 40 hours a week, you need to pay me, AND treat me right.

    PS, anyone who is considering taking me up on a better offer has to beat my salery, plus donuts tommorow morning, and lunch friday. Add in lots of other great people to work with. (Although above my boss's boss management sucks, my boss is a good guy, and the engineers are fun)

  • Next think you know, pro athletes will be auctioning themselves off to new teams on E-bay.

    Why bother with messy contract negotiations and arbitration?! Just put your self up for sale.

  • I think they are trying to shut down phony auctions quicker. It's perfectly within their rights to do so, in my opinion. Can you imagine what kind of trouble they'd get in if somebody actually WAS able to buy a classroom full of japanese schoolchildren?

    However, I think this auction was legit, and creative. It should have stayed. I know I'd like to see how much they actually went for.
  • If CmdrTaco wouldn't be willing to go that far to find a job, surely a few other people wouldn't be willing either, unless there was a real surplus of engineers.
  • doesn't work like that. these days, sysadmin and programming skills are largely commoditized, especially since CASE and code generation tools are becoming mature. The real skills are in analysis and project management.
  • Hey man.. What's your new e-mail address? After you left Brandeis I kinda lost track.. BTW.. What are you doing with my Wheel of Pain? ;)
  • I'm not sure it would be a good idea...
    Think of it, a member of the inappropriate sex (depending of your preference) may win the bid...
    I'll consider a lots of things before biding myself on eBay or other services...
  • by Lev Grossman ( 2199 ) on Wednesday April 28, 1999 @01:30PM (#1912025)
    There's a couple of quotes from the guys who are auctioning themselves at

    http://cgi.pathfi,2822,23744,00.html []
  • Price of a cheese pizza and a large soda?

  • Is there anything you can't sell at eBay? Any day now we'll probably be bidding on illegally imported cases of Cuban cigars. Crazy.

    All you need is a seller in Canada, and they won't be illegally imported.

    Until you buy them of course ;)
  • I've got $3.47, one topping pizza, a six pack and half a pack of cigarettes.

    I've got this Conan surplus Wheel Of Pain(TM) that I got off of ebay, and I've been meaning to get it running. Rob would be the just ticket.
  • I wish i made decent wages... i don't even make six figs... i've been doing this for a few years now and am starting to look around for a new job since i got exp and degree... hopefully i can pull about 75-100k the wage i'm pulling now is a total joke. Although, the best paid employee of the company i work for makes so little its a total joke anyways =)
  • looks for the hidden camera

    Sssh! don't blow it for me!
  • hmmm...ok I've got to bring out the big guns eh?

    ok I'll add in a wyse dumb terminal, 4 old school 640x480 vga monitors, 1 9600 async modem (used by a telco long ago when that was really fast!), a telephone switching board, 1 25 foot fiberoptic light tube with control box (the lights flash) and a handbuilt modle of the 4 enterprises.
  • I was just about to give it to you. Then I noticed you were about 50 foot tall. Damn Loch Ness monster.
  • $7.46, a laptop ethernet dongle, a whole bag of stand offs and screws, and a 486 with a 500 meg hard drive. (don't make me up it to the 3 pentium 120's I have also)

    there beat that.
  • Here's a few possibilities (which may or may not be correct):

    1-No capital.
    2-No "vision" types in the group, just a bunch of good engineers.
    3-None of them have the appropriate contacts to deal with #1 above.

    Or they just don't want the hassle of running a company - hell, they'll get equity for just being a strong team of worker bees in this market. Pretty cool idea, I think - definitely different.
  • A real geek would have bid at least $433.39 more than the figure you quote.
  • How unusual...people in silicon valley pimping themselves out to the highest bidder? What next? Maybe we'll start seeing internet companies with high stock prices that have never made a profit...oh...wait...

  • There were only (I think) 5 actual engineers. The rest were managers and project lead types.
  • I don't know. I think a lot of people go to
    eBay looking for a great deal.

    I don't think paying 16 engineers $187,500
    each, on average, sight unseen, is a bargain.

    And since the bidding only lasts 7 days, I
    don't think they have a chance.

  • That's also my ATM number.
  • Is there anything you can't sell at eBay? Any day now we'll probably be bidding on illegally imported cases of Cuban cigars. Crazy.
  • Lesse...I've got $3 and (counts change) 37 cents. I'll throw in a cheesesteak sub, a bottle of 6-year-old scotch, and a Budweiser wall poster as a signing bonus.
  • Ummm....anybody who works for a living is "pimping themselves out to the highest bidder." Different people place different values on different things, but I can't think of any examples of workers who turned down an offer of higher value for an offer of lower value.

    And yes, I see the humor in your comment. I'm merely pointing out that this it not a silicon valley thing; it's a capitalist worker thing.
  • Actually eBay removed their auction. I did a search for "engineers ISP" and had one hit that went to a generic Ebay web page.
  • Bwahahahaha. That made my day a just a bit brighter. Although, I prefer King Cobra.
  • HMM great idea.. I wonder if I could pimp myself off on ebay. Single eligable male geek 20 FSU student. Only $2000
  • umm, 2.75, one topping pizza, and a six pack ;-)

  • I'm hereby offering to sell my programming/sysadmin services for a carton of fresh (they're stale and you're DEAD) Marlboro Reds and a case of Olde E 40s a week.

    "Software is like sex- the best is for free"
  • Nah, in the computer industry, EVERYONE gets to call themselves an "engineer." Even the PHBs and Marketing Weasels. I swear it's true.
  • Are you kidding? Those are insane wages. They're asking 150K apiece for the administrators -- a top level sysadmin in the valley is going to be just pushing six figures, plus stock options.

    16 top engineers worth at least 16 million? Not in terms of the salaries they're getting! I wouldn't mind getting a million bucks a year, nope.

    Certainly the value of a good sysadmin is more than 150K a year, but these guys are asking for that as salaries. Not likely.
  • Not unless you're working in the financial field. (In which case, yeah, you want to be making around 100K minimum, cause Wall Street pays like that. I've considered it, but I like my stock options too much.)

    Look at The median salary for a senior sysadmin is $74,200. The high median is $88K. They're not just making this up...

    I'd have no problem paying 100K and up for a system administrator who was able to lead a group of sysadmins or do project management stuff. But that's not what we're talking about here; the EBay auction was asking for 150K for people described simply as "admins." They were looking for much more money for managerial staff.
  • This is a rumor, obviously; take it as seriously as you'd take any rumor on the Internet.

    But my fairly reliable source sez: these guys were the IS department of DIGEX West.
  • All right... Time to get nasty... I'll go a whole $5.00, and old Fugazi poster, some Coors Light St. Paddy's Dat sunglasses, and a six-pack of Fuller's ESB.
  • Seems like the auction has been taken down... /aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=96369441 []

    Maybe their employer actually offered them more than the $3mil they were asking to stay at their current jobs?

    Shya right. That'd be the day.


  • eBay in itself is overpriced. Auctions are only good for the buyers when there are few buyers compared to goods. More buyers drive the price up. I find it amazing that eBay's stock is skyrocketing like it is. Who the hell would want to buy something at an auction where the entire connected community is biding? It is a nice place to sell stuff though. It's to the point where you can buy something new at the store, auction it on eBay, and make a profit.

  • Oh man.
    Using Ebay for a power play at work.

    Watch for copy cats!
  • is on the list of things you explicitly
    can't sell. guns, heroin and otehr less
    interesting things as well
  • It's a poorly-kept secret on certain routing-related IRC channels that the team in question is from Exodus.
  • One jillion dollars!

    Oh, okay, $50 million.

  • $3.00, 6 tacos and free beer
  • by ??? ( 35971 )
    Keep in mind that many of eBay's members are NOT American. Cuban cigars are not illegal for us.

  • Seems alot to me. What is it you think these Administrators will be doing?
  • I think they are either trying to jump a sinking ship or have already been laid off. The fact that
    there are 5 administrators in a team of 16 points
    to me that they are trying to leavage the skills of the technical side to pull jobs for the administrators (who while very good at their jobs, do not have the same job opportunities as the technical guys)

    I know I've been in a similar situation. When a previous company was shaky everyone, started sending their cvs out. Pretty soon the employment agencies catched on and twigged that someone could get a full team (v. important word) for the same price as 16 indivuduals (spooky coincidence that the numbers are the same). This is what actual happened. A small company looking to increase there presence in the internet world stepped in and saved the day buying the office, desks, machines etc etc, plus giving the employees
    employment (with better salary). The office that
    they took over is now the main office for the new company. So this can happen.

    good luck with the auction
  • I've got a couple of Cuban Montecristo's I'll sell to any /.'er who wants em...
  • At some Valley web companies, thats the aggregate value of just a few (three or less) engineers.

    I know $3 million sounds like a big number, but its fairly low for 16 employees. I doubt they're very good or they'd realize that 16 top engineers are worth at least $16 million to any tech company.
  • Hmm... My empty hulk of a VAX, some lobster shells I've been saving, 4 Mac Classics, a box of old IBM Harddrives and 1 small puppy.

    HA! Again!
  • That's not a number... :)

    Gimmie those Sardines! (How the hell do you spell that anyway!?!)

    Anyway... My highest offer:

    My old Intellevision, Vic20, some game carts. for the Vic, a matching set of priceless (really) AMI bios (odd and even) circa. 1985, 1 inflatable computer from a trade show (slightly deflated), what's left of my sub from lunch, (rifling through my pockets) a paperclip and a dead StarTac battery.
  • by ispteam ( 43776 ) on Wednesday April 28, 1999 @12:47PM (#1912067)
    Yeah. Don't know why everybody refers to us, er,
    them, as 16 engineers. So, allow me to answer a
    few questions for the masses:

    • Yes, we(aw, fukit) are serious.
    • We've received serious bids in email, and are talking to several serious people.
    • We do not yet know why ebay took down the auction...we did not close it, just suddenly got email saying it was canceled. Working on seeing what's up with that. At the worst we'll just post the auction somewhere else. Legal departments can't keep us down! ;)
    • Regarding the price: Yes, a few of us could probably get 3 million by ourselves(there are some really top notch people in this group), but the fact is we're not shooting for the nearly impossible. The salaries are more than double what we're currently getting, and yes, they are quite cheap for any, say, VC firm with an idea and no team to implement it yet. Can you say one-stop shopping for a startup? For $3.14mil?
    • Sure, there are more focused ways of looking for a job, but for 16 people at once? Not nearly as easy. We get along quite well together and thought it'd be cool to move as a group. We can't get rid of senior management, so we'll just remove ourselves from the situation.
    • Regarding who we comment! Don't want to get ourselves in premature trouble, and don't really want to trash the company's reputation...doesn't help much anybody left behind.
  • Hmmmm...

    Well, lessee, I got:

    -1 mint Atari 2600
    -includes pong, warfare, paddles, and joysticks
    -a miniature foam VW SuperBeetle
    -a PDP -11(minus computer, just the rack)
    -an old O'Reilly's catalog
    -a copy of Frogger for the 80286
    -7,486 3.5 floppies(of which exactly two work)
    -an inflatable miniature Typhoon from 'Hunt For Red October'
    -half a pound of dryer lint
    -one Star Trek TNG comm badge
    -and one toothbrush(slightly used)

    Also willing to throw in:
    -one handfull of dirt and a can of Spam

    heh heh...:)


  • The item you requested (96369441) is invalid. Please check the number and try again. If this message persists, the item has expired and is no longer available.

    This is kinda suspicious... everytime something "interesting" is posted on eBay... they take it down completely... like that web-site selling for $3 million...

    Do you think eBay is quietly trying to curtail these activities?


Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.