Why do software engineers make so much?
Because there’s a time from about $5m in ARR to $80m in ARR when It Doesn’t Matter.
When you start off, just trying to get to $1m in ARR … engineers are sooo expensive. Everything is, really.
But this is software. An almost unlimited number of customers can use it for almost no cost.
Once you hit say $5m ARR, growing 100% or more YoY, you just can’t find enough engineers, and the cost, within bounds, doesn’t matter.
If you have to add $5m in revenues in the next 12 months, and you need to hire say 8 more engineers to do that … you don’t care that much about costs. You care about getting those 8 great engineers in place, scaled up, building features, making it happen.
You’ll care almost entirely about quality, about getting it done. You don’t want 12 crappy, cheap engineers. You’ll want 8 amazing ones. Etc. etc.
Then later, you have to start managing for profitability. Then, you may care again.
But it’s software. A great engineer should be able to produce $1m+ in features a year in SaaS. They’re worth it. And you have no choice.