IAmA Day With Fog Creek’s Joel Spolsky

It’s awesome that the folks at Reddit keep doing our job for us. Today they put one of our favorite New York entrepreneurs, Joel Spolsky, in the internet hot seat. He quickly got the commenters fired up by noting in his bio that Fog Creek distributes all it’s profits among employees.

Reddit user Samdumb got the trolling started. “I think that’s misleading. You and your co-owner are both employees and are presumably receiving the vast majority of that money.”

Spolsky fires back. “There are a couple of dozen owners of Fog Creek. My co-founder (Michael) and I started 3 years before almost everyone else, so we have more seniority (e.g. I have 10 years, the most senior employee has 7). But we’re not even close to receiving “the vast majority of that money.” That’s not the way we roll.”

Bring it on Samdumb. “I find it hard to believe that of the millions that Fog Creek makes in revenue per year you and your partner are not taking the majority of that. Whether it be through large salaries, bonuses, dividends, or some other mechanism.
You’re making it sound like you make just a bit more money per year than the oldest employees, which is very doubtful.”

A Fog Creek employee steps in to defend Spolsky. “Because our revenues are publicly available–in real time, no less!–to employees at the company, it’s really easy to do a back-of-the-napkin calculation to see whether this is actually how Joel and Michael are running the company. And it turns out that, yep, sure is. I’m sorry that someone actually doing what they say they’re doing is hard to swallow, but that just is what’s going on here. Sorry there’s no scandal to point at.”

Real time revenue metrics for calculating your personal bonus? Betabeat wants to know more. IAmA Day With Fog Creek’s Joel Spolsky