An Engineer's Guide to Silicon Valley Startups

I've worked at 5 different startups in my career in Silicon Valley. While every company is unique, there are many similarities between Silicon Valley startups. As workplaces go, Silicon Valley startups embody the American dream: they're exciting, fun, and provide employees with great flexibility and freedom. Join the right startup, and you can change the world! This book covers topics of interest to anyone who wants to work at startups:

New in Third Edition

New In Second Edition

In addition, thanks to Tom Galloway, every chapter has been re-written and updated with the latest information.

Drawing from my 17 years of experience at various pre-IPO companies in Silicon Valley, I provide answers to the above questions. Extensive examples, case studies, and detailed background are in the book.

After learning about the personal finance side of handling stock options, I joined Google less than a year before the IPO and discovered that what I had learned was hardly common knowledge. Despite explaining the details to several colleagues, many chose not to do the financially advantageous thing, leading to an increased tax liability of several hundred thousand dollars. This book was the result of observing these failures, and trying to prevent others from making the same mistakes.

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What's different about this book?

Table of Contents

  1. Are Startups For You?
  2. Landing That Job
  3. Negotiating Compensation
  4. At Your Startup
  5. Tax Planning
  6. Leaving Your Startup
  7. Basic Financial Planning For Engineers
  8. My Startup Story
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Book Specifications

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Please use Paypal to purchase. Please note that all sales are final. The third edition digital version is only available directly from the author. It will not be available on the Kindle or the Nook!

Buy Paperback: $43.95:

Buy Digital Edition $24.95: Buy Now

If you bought the second edition of the book, I'm offering a discount for people who wish to upgrade.

Author's Biography

Piaw Na has worked as a pre-IPO employee at 3 companies (Pure Software, Mpath Interactive/HearMe, and Google), and 2 unsuccessful startups (Escalate, and Mirapoint). He maintains a blog at

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Of Further Interest

An ex-Googler, Samantha Crow, has started a business helping people work on their resumes. It's called Sam Reads Resumes, and if you're struggling to get your resume noticed, may be of help. If you do use her, tell her I sent you.