A few years ago, we covered some of the research on the impact of noncompete agreements
on innovative industries. Basically, noncompetes are effectively a form of DRM on human capital. They diminish the pace of innovation in that they get in the way of idea sharing and the free flow of talent to where it can be most effective. Not surprisingly, California refuses to recognize noncompete agreements as enforceable. So, it's a bit strange to see, as pointed out on Slashdot
, that a former Microsoft General Manager, Matthew Miszewski, cannot work for Salesforce.com
"in a marketing role in salesforce.com's public or commercial sector anywhere in the world
." It's that "anywhere in the world" part that has me scratching my head. If Miszewski moved to California, where Salesforce is based, could the Washington court actually do anything? The Slashdot post also points out Microsoft's hypocrisy on this issue, in that it's happy to restrict the "flow of talent" from its own staff, but on immigration always argues about the importance of the free flow of talent
to American innovation...