Mike Isaac

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Morgan Missen Departs Foursquare to Start Silicon Valley Talent Agency

Foursquare head of talent Morgan Missen is leaving the location-based social start-up to form a Silicon Valley-based talent agency.

Missen’s new initiative — dubbed “Main” in a subtle nod to engineers — will focus on finding and growing engineering teams for Valley start-ups, as well as acting as an advocate for engineers who need guidance on negotiating equity and compensation plans.

“There’s no agency that focuses on this in particular,” Missen told me in an interview on Saturday. “The engineers we’ll work with are the people that don’t need help finding jobs, just help understanding the way to get the most out of their offers.”

The departure comes after Missen spent a year at the company as the point person responsible for engineering growth, expanding the three-year-old Foursquare from a handful of engineers to more than 100 current employees. Before her time at Foursquare, Missen was Twitter’s first talent-recruiting hire; she also spent three years at Google as a recruiting specialist for the company’s global business group.

The timing of Missen’s departure is interesting, if not suspect. Just a few weeks ago, Foursquare business development head Tristan Walker announced that he was leaving the company to join Andreessen Horowitz as an entrepreneur in residence; only months ago, company co-founder Naveen Selvadurai also left, on what Kara Swisher reported were “tense” terms.

Missen says her new move is something she has thought about for some time and has nothing to do with recent departures. “Anyone that knows me understands that this has been my long-term goal,” Missen said. “The three of us just happened to leave in 2012.”

Foursquare didn’t have much to add, save for well-wishes: “We’re grateful to Morgan for her help building out the San Francisco team over the last year, and we wish her luck in her next role,” a spokesperson told me.

Missen expects to fully launch her new venture, Main, within the next three to six months.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work