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Okta IPO highlights ‘intense’ nature of Bay Area hiring

Okta’s successful IPO on Friday marked another win for San Francisco’s technology industry, which has exploded in the past decade with new software and internet companies.

But Okta’s location is a blessing and a curse.

Buried in the risks section of the software developer’s prospectus is language that now shows up in every IPO filing for Bay Area companies.

The non-legal version would say something like: “engineers around here are expensive and flaky.”

Here’s the actual wording:

“Competition for these personnel in the San Francisco Bay Area, where our headquarters is located, and in other locations where we maintain offices, is intense, especially for engineers experienced in designing and developing software” as well as for salespeople.

Intense is the word of choice.

Cloudera, which sells software for big data projects, is the next notable name on the IPO docket. The company, based in Palo Alto and with an office in San Francisco, said “competition for highly skilled personnel is often intense, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area where we have a substantial presence.”

How about MuleSoft? The provider of a platform for connecting applications went public last month. MuleSoft told investors that, “competition for highly skilled personnel is intense, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area, where our headquarters are located.”


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