Tags: Inside Jana News

What is a non-compete?

Non-competes are highly restrictive pieces of legal documentation that are part of the new hire paperwork at many organizations across many industries. They state that employees agree to not join or start a company that is competitive to their current employer.  Non-competes not only restrict employees from being able to freely move around the market, but also limit employers’ ability to hire the best person for a role.

The law

Massachusetts law currently upholds non-competes across all industries, with the exception of many medical professionals, broadcasters, and lawyers. But other states have varying level of enforcement in their laws. California, for example, has made all non-competes void. New York is not far behind with legislation up for review.

Non-competes stifle innovation

Many believe that the reason Silicon Valley grew as quickly as it did was because non-competes didn’t exist. Talent was allowed to move and grow, creating new technologies and innovations that would have never left the ground otherwise.


At Jana, we feel that true innovation comes when people are not artificially restricted from collaborating. As of April 2016, Jana has removed non-competes from all new hire paperwork and provided current employees with waivers for previously signed non-competes.


“Getting rid of non-competes is important because it’s the right thing to do for our employees and for the Boston startup ecosystem,” explains Jana CTO Craig Lancaster.


We want to hire engaged employees who are excited to help us accomplish our mission of making the Internet free for the next billion people. We don’t want them to feel like they have to be here because a clause is forcing them to.


“Companies who rely on non-competes to retain their top talent are likely also awaiting confirmation of those job offer acceptances via fax. Unless you are using a rolodex to recruit, it's time to move into the 21st century,” said Jana CFO Amy Spurling.


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