34
drdre
12d

A few years ago I had a startup. I invited 2 friends to join and we split the ownership equally. I did most the work but didn't mind. I had fun. Anyway, the story is not about me. I was in a startup incubator.
There was this stereotypical rich kid in the incubator too.
For the first few months he refused to even share what his idea was.
Finally he was forced to do it. It was an app for storing gift cards. Literally, there were startups for some high tech phd genious types. But the guy with the idea of a gift card app didn't want to share in fear that we would steal his mediocre idea.
His idea was to digitalize physical gift cards without the consent of the companies and make a market for selling, buying and trading (and taking a fee). When asked what if the companies refuse to accept the unofficial digital gift card, he said he had talked to a lawyer that they should accept it or he would sue them. Wow.
There was a guy who had attempted at doing an app like that 2 years before too apparently.
So here comes the part about the work culture.
He convinced 3 or 4 computer science students to develop the app for him. He offered them 1%, no pay. Talking about how rich they would get and how big it would be.
Luckily, one of the developers came to his senses after a few weeks and convinced the others that they were worth much more.
The guy was furious and even threatened to sue them.
He even got like 2-3k USD from some of his parents rich friends to develop the app. He could afford to pay them.
Anyway, the app was never completed.

I have many stories like that from other startups. A lot of students getting ripped off to work for free. I know people who have startups going for years thanks to free labor.

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