Planting a Seed: Setting a New Direction for Tech Noncompetes

  1. A number of people mentioned in the article hadn’t reviewed their contract, and
  2. Non-competes had spread to industries and roles we hadn’t expected.

What’s wrong with noncompetes?

  1. The name doesn’t quite fit. We need a term that better expresses “what to do when you leave here,” because for employees it’s less about “I want to help the competition” and more about “I just want to work elsewhere.”
  2. In our experience, people rarely engage an attorney to review them. A lot of people simply agree to a contract’s terms (whether explicitly, though signature, or implicitly, through accepting employment). This sets them up for a rude shock when they leave the company, because they don’t realize that they’ve signed away their right to work for what their previous employer considers a competitor. Caveat (non)lector.
  3. Some agreements don’t reflect the realities of employment. Even in a company heavy in knowledge workers, there’s relatively little secret sauce. In turn, there are relatively few people who contribute heavily to that sauce, so binding all employees to a constricting agreement doesn’t really solve a problem.

Borrowing contract language from another field

A concrete example

Time will tell

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gentleman scholar of fun and profit | consulting + writing on strategy, data/analytics, innovation | next book: http://MakingAnalyticsWork.com

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Q Ethan McCallum

Q Ethan McCallum

gentleman scholar of fun and profit | consulting + writing on strategy, data/analytics, innovation | next book: http://MakingAnalyticsWork.com

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