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Faith costs more than the eyes can buy
Don't envy me
In order for me to describe what is currently going on in my life, let’s start with a story.
Imagine you are building a flying machine. I’m talking about a real flying machine. The one with no moving parts. Things are going great and you hit a snag in the development. You either need more funding or more talent to help you finish it. So you hear about this company who helps people like you. You pitch your flying machine to this company. They absolutely love your flying machine. They tell you that they have to meet and discuss if your flying machine could be mass-produced as well as if they want to become business partners.
During the same time this situation is going on, Boeing offers you a job. They want you to be an account manager for them. It’s high pay. Great benefits and stability. It’s a career, not a job. Boeing sends you an offer letter. Inside the offer letter, you read the legal disclaimers. Inside the legal disclaimers you discover that the flying machine you are building will become the property of Boeing should you not disclose it in the legal documentation. If you disclose it, they may not hire you because of a conflict of interest. If you don’t disclose it, you could lose the rights to the very machine you have been building right up to the point where you were offered a job with Boeing.
Welcome to my life.
Today I received an offer letter for employment with I***ia. I***ia is one of the world’s top identity providers. They are a $5 billion company. They produce driver’s licenses in 42 states and practically own the TSA precheck authentication services at the airport. Inside of my offer letter, it states in section 3. (e)
Exceptions. To the extent applicable, I have disclosed to the Company all unpatented, but potentially patentable, ideas and inventions conceived before this employment (and which have not been assigned to a former employer) and which are, therefore, excluded from the scope of this agreement. If applicable, this has been reduced to a writing and has been incorporated into this agreement as Exhibit C.
I have to disclose Mass Address to I***ia. The problem is there is no Exhibit C in the Docusign paperwork. The offer letter would have to be voided or it would have to be attached as an addendum. Either way, it’s risky.
So here I am. My wife is pregnant with our 4th child. I’m putting in 16 hour days between part-time IT management and Mass Address. For all of this work, I only make $250 a week. My signed offer letter is due Sunday night at midnight. There is no Exhibit C in the paperwork. I don’t know what to do because nobody in human resources responded to my emails before the close of business on Friday. I even reached out to the woman who sent me the offer letter on Linkedin HOPING she would provide guidance. Silence.
Do I risk signing the paperwork and having the exhibit entered as an addendum? Do I not sign the letter and explain why I can’t sign the letter? I can’t hide Mass Address because once we receive funding and we’re operational, I***ia will find out. If I start work for I***ia, I will manage their 2nd largest account. I won’t be someone that can fly under the radar.
WHAT IS AT STAKE?
If I take this job, I run the chance of having legal problems with I***ia later because of the Mass Address software. Even though they had nothing to do with it, it would still look suspicious to anyone who didn’t know me or the history of my company. I also cannot compete in the same industry as I***ia when I am no longer an employee for up to a year after leaving. This means Mass Address cannot do anything for a year.
If I don’t take this job, here is what I will lose.
$85K salary with full benefits, 401K, 5% bonus every year, and 18 days of paid time off. Also, the job is only 6 miles down the road from my house.
Keep in mind, CILA labs is still reviewing my company during this time. They could contact me next week and say they want to strike a deal and my dream will become a reality. Hell, an investor or team of investors could invest into the company and I would be able to work on Mass Address full time as a paid employee. That would be the absolute best outcome for obvious reasons.
I have absolutely no idea what to do and I am taking this whole weekend to pray about it because my family’s future depends on it. I want to provide a good income for my family while I am building Mass Address but I also don’t want to jeopardize Mass Address while earning an income. I am literally in a Catch 22.
Would you surrender your dream if you were in the same boat? I told my wife years ago, I don’t care if I fail. I just don’t want to get to the end of my life and say I didn’t try. That would be worse than failure could ever hope to be.