Speaking only for myself, I'm extremely skeptical that the cryptocurrency community has produced anything of value. 10 years. Billions of dollars. What has changed about the world? Some people got rich; virtually all of it through the losses of other speculators. Where is the value creation? Who benefits from cryptocurrency daily? What is the narrative, not the sales pitch for number go up but the actual honest-to-goodness prediction about the future, that the next 10 years and next billion dollars spent on this area of activity will create something that the last iteration manifestly has not?
Ask Erin and Thomas; they have expressed a desire to host it for marketing purposes sometime. That is, unfortunately, not a trivial endeavor.
(Blame the guy who wrote large portions of it.)
I'm sad it isn't available on the Internet today; it is by far the coolest thing I've ever built.
I understand little about the entertainment industry, but to a gross approximation, I think it is largely an iterated game where ~2,000 people come together in clumps of ~10 to build a defined project on a tight timeline, and then they disperse again, and many of the clumps for a given project have worked together before, and if you stay in the game long enough you become known for being good at whatever hyperspecialized thing you do.
This does not describe the traditional practice of building startups, but I think as the field gets more understood and as velocity increases that there is a chance that this model gets adopted more frequently.
I could certainly envision a future where a lot of SaaS is produced by semi-persistent flocks of teams in a studio-esque system, with the goal of "Derisk the business, build the product, install the marketing/sales engine, turn crank three times, sell to PE, cycle rinse repeat." In this model, the people stay the same (out of some broader cast of characters) while the products rotate relatively quickly. We see the opposite in startups historically; a startup is, if successful, a 10+ year commitment, with different strata of employees staffing it at different times for 3, 4, 5 year stints.
If you predict we move to the entertainment model, you should also predict that there will be some people with "star power" who have played the game multiple times, won it multiple times, and are able to make marginal projects successful largely because other people say "Oh, X is signed onto this? Eff yes I want in on that adventure then." Serial founders are a bit of a thing in startups. Engineering managers (and sales managers, etc) quite commonly bring along people who worked with them previously. You would expect to see the impacts of these behaviors get much more acute.
Do you think you're going to get better at selling this after you have a product available? What is the narrative by which that happens? If you do not get better at selling this, running a SaaS company on one customer is rather tough.
I'd probably put most of my cycles into getting better at pitching or getting something better to pitch rather than building something given this thumbnail sketch of your present situation.
I do not have a very developed point of view on the strategy here qua immigration.
I think over a 5+ year timespan you're going to increasingly see the world move to approximately two salary schedules for engineering jobs, one pegged to SF/NYC and similar "most expensive places in the world" and one for everywhere else. To the extent you believe this, you should probably believe that German engineering wages will narrow the gap with non-SF/etc US-based engineering wages.
B2B SaaS is a very large field of human endeavor. If you're looking for an entry point, I wrote one, but the field is multifaceted and I have no recommendation or set of recommendation that covers every facet.
I will say that producing beats consuming in business and that many people have a tendency to hoard great information about B2B SaaS businesses without talking to potential customers, selling SaaS, or coding SaaS, but that collecting guides/interviews/etc has built precisely zero SaaS companies and talking/selling/coding has created many.
I am broadly skeptical about the discourse of "top talent", which suggests that it is static, and think there is some combination of person, opportunity, and supporting infrastructure which results in outsized productivity (or other outcomes).
That said, productivity differences between people, opportunities, and supporting infrastructure (keeping other factors constant) is one of those brute facts of the world that will continue negatively surprising someone until they come to terms with it.
What makes people productive? High energy levels, good discernment of what to work on, ability to leverage the work of others (particularly as they move forward in their career), good alignment with the organization they find themselves in, being good at the thing they do (a surprisingly underrated source of competitive advantage!), caring an unreasonable amount about the thing they do (a surprisingly underrated source of competitive advantage!), an unwillingness to settle for their current level of productivity, etc.
I think the relatively easy part of valuing a stock option is understanding how the math works out given the company achieves $X valuation at exit (covered in many places on the Internet; the Holloway guide is pretty good) and the relatively difficult part is understanding whether a given company is likely to win or not. It hugely, hugely, hugely matters that you pick right on a company which wins big; contingent on this, most other infelicities in math or negotiation magically go away.
Plausibly if you can see that a company is going to succeed in 6+ years you should be an investor rather than an engineer, but leaving that aside: isn't it sometimes kind of obvious to geeks with taste which companies are going to win among the geeks with taste crowd? Stripe is a healthy business in 2020. Would you have picked Stripe for Stripe-shaped things in 2014? Yes? Then that is a data point. It isn't a sufficient data point, probably, but it is a material data point.
As to the tradeoff between companies justifying a pay cut: you're making a bet on some sort of growth as a result of choosing small-and-nimble over big-and-stable, right? Growth in equity, growth in your skillset, growth in opportunity selection, etc. You should be very explicit with yourself about that bet, and then go about derisking it. Don't just passively consume the company's hiring process; try to understand a) what are their levers for growing and b) to the limit you can perceive externally, are they already growing quickly? Ask for their model and ask questions; develop your own model. Ask probing questions of existing engineers with regards to growth in opportunities, etc. Do some soulsearching on whether your work style and temperament comports with high-growth opportunities in (without loss of generality) AppAmaGooBookSoft, which do still have many high-growth opportunities available, or whether you're best positioned working near a frontier.
Depends on your risk tolerance and how sure you are that you want to run a SaaS company, IMHO. I will report that I started learning a lot faster and executing a lot better after having more cycles to spend on my companies, and basically every change in life which increased focus has been a net win for me. (Going full-time, winnowing down from ~4 simultaneous businesses to one, etc.)
I enjoyed the Phoenix Project a lot but don't have super-developed thoughts on the Theory of Constraints. (More business advice should be placed in a well-executed fictional narrative.)