SVUG #15: How do I cash in on the 2007 bubble?

PAUL BOUTIN — Once your hangover wears off, January 2 is the day to start your search for the Web 2.0 bubble job that'll finally, finally make you rich. First, you'll need to reconfigure your approach. A checklist for selling out after the jump.

2007 is the year the bubble will probably pop. Not like last time, of course, but still there's money to be made if you're not sucker enough to stick around for the end. Whether you're looking at 2.0 consumer sites, enterprise Ajaxware, or tagging along for the ride in a support role, the coming year is the one to max out your short-term returns. Don't end up like the last bubble's losers, so surprised by wealth they forgot to click Save.

  • Take the cash! If the company has already closed Round A , you're too late to get rich off options in an acquisition — the new IPO. Push for a higher salary instead. If you're leaving a big company with great benefits, whip up a spreadsheet that shows the dollar value of each health plan perk you'll be leaving behind. It could score you another ten to twenty grand in salary.
  • Aim for the next level up. In a bubble, founders and investors are pressed for time to fill the holes in their org charts. Hiring you from your director job into a VP slot (or from a non-manager to a director) may get them out of a jam. One SVUG reader confessed that only one of his last three employers called his references before hiring him into VP positions. Next year will be even easier.
  • Don't buy your options. The big mistake Bubble 1.0 newbies made was purchasing shares long before they planned to flip them. In theory, they should've saved a few thousand on taxes. In practice, Alternative Minimum Tax made them negative millionaires. Spend your upfront cash instead on a personal accountant who'll get you 52 percent of something, instead of 100 percent of nothing.