5 years after the bust, a sober, new reality

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Sci/Tech

AT FIRST GLANCE, 18-month-old Jobster seems to have re-created the 1999 dot-com office cliché. The online recruiting startup occupies a loft in Pioneer Square with exposed brick, a wide-open floor plan, a ping-pong table and a dog running loose.

But the similarities between this young company and the dot-coms that fell before it end there.
The difference, as founder Jason Goldberg puts it, is:

"Web 1.0: arrogance. Web 2.0: humility."

Five years after the technology bubble burst and two years into its recovery, the hubris that shaped the 1990s tech startup is noticeably absent.

So are the five-figure signing bonuses, piles of stock options, lavish launch parties, $800 Herman Miller office chairs and the flawed assumption that a New Economy driven by technology was somehow immune from the old rules of business.

As the tech economy revs up again, a post-recession character emerges:

Drunken optimism is out; sober reality is in.
Job hopping is out; loyalty is in.
Living to work is out; working to live is in.
Greed is out; gratitude is in.

In short, the old-economy workplace is new again.

It's reflected in everything from more cautious hiring to smaller pay raises and fewer stock grants. It shows up in slower business growth, saner work schedules, and an almost violent rejection of the jackpot mentality that dominated tech companies when the economy was in full boil.

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