Published December 17, 2008
State Representative Will Brownsberger of Massachusetts’ 24th Middlesex district, which includes Belmont, north Cambridge, and east Arlington, says he plans to introduce a bill in the upcoming legislative session that would abolish non-compete agreements in the Bay State.
This is a major milestone.
But we need your help. Spread the word, get involved and contact your local state representative. Let them know that you support Rep Brownsberger efforts!
Published May 19, 2008
Employee Non-Compete Agreements: Protecting Innovation or Stifling It?
A Discussion Hosted by the Berkman Center and Spark Capital; Sponsored by Gunderson Dettmer and Silicon Valley Bank
Thursday, June 19th from 3:00-7:00PM
The use of employee non-compete agreements by Massachusetts companies is routine, with employers mandating that employees steer clear of any business of a competitive nature once they leave their present jobs, typically for a year or more. Many believe these agreements are critical to guarding a company’s hard-earned intellectual property — protecting legitimate business interests, and thus our region’s economy. Others, however, believe that non-competes are nothing more than handcuffs that prevent talented entrepreneurs from bringing new innovations to market and, in some cases, even driving entrepreneurs to leave the region to pursue their innovations elsewhere. In this session, we’ll bring together some of the area’s best known venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and executives to explore the issue of non-competes and weigh the pros and cons of their use here in the Commonwealth. Are non-competes protecting innovation and economic growth in Massachusetts? Or stifling it?
Panelists will include:
- Jeremy Allaire, founder & CEO, Brightcove
- Melanie Haratunian, general counsel, Akamai
- Paul Maeder, general partner, Highland Capital Partners
- Lee Fleming, associate professor of business administration, Harvard University
- Bijan Sabet, general partner, Spark Capital
- Moderator: John Palfrey, Clinical Professor of Law and Executive Director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard Law School
Join us on Thursday, June 19th from 3-7PM in the Ames Courtroom at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Mass. The panel will be followed by a cocktail reception.
RSVP required by 6/12: Please email your name, title and company to Amar Ashar at the Berkman Center: firstname.lastname@example.org
Published March 6, 2008
Dr. Garmaise is an Associate Professor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. He has a working paper titled “Ties that Truly Bind: Non-competition Agreements, Executive Compensation & Firm Investment”.
Paul Maeder from Highland Capital summarized one of the tables from the white paper recently. It shows that the State of MA enforces non-competes significantly higher than other states.
I highly recommend reading the full paper.
Published February 27, 2008
Read the post on GigaOm today by Bijan Sabet, Spark Capital.
Published February 12, 2008
Mass High Tech recent article about non-competes and their impact on innovation. I like Nancy Edwards Cronin’s quote from the piece :
Nancy Edwards Cronin, principal of ipCapital Group Inc., a Williston, Vt.-based consulting firm.
“If these companies are focused too heavily on attrition and heavy-handed control of the intellectual capital leaving, they very well may not be properly encouraging innovation” themselves, Cronin said.
Read the full article here.
Published February 7, 2008
The exodus at Yahoo has been happening for some time now.
Before Microsoft formally announced their takeover bid, they were actively recruiting Yahoo employees.
There is still a lot of great talent at Yahoo. Josh at First Round blogs today about his ad campaign targeted at Yahoo folks looking to join a startup.
Big companies often don’t work out for everyone. Sometimes the big company may end up losing itself as well. And you should be able to take your domain experience and move elsewhere without the restriction of a non-compete clause.
Another recent example: check out this post from VentureBeat about Meebo hiring a senior person from Yahoo’s Messenger.
I’m sure those folks at Yahoo are happy they don’t have to deal with non-compete agreements like employees here in MA/NY/WA and elsewhere have to deal with.
And VCs should be happy about that too. It’s important to the startup ecosystem and the market as a whole.
Let’s get rid of non-compete clauses everywhere.