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I found this in an article on Quora:

What are some disadvantages for companies located in Silicon Valley?

1-Distraction by all the other startups/silicon valley media
2-Risk of top employees leaving to join or start another startup; this makes it harder to invest in developing people because on average they won't be around for as long.

I was confused by this part: “this make it harder to invest in developing people because on average they won't be around for as long“?

Specifically, “Won’t be around for as long” confuses me. Is “for so long” a variation of “for as long”?

  • We need some details here. First, where did you find this text? A business journal? An English test? Secondly, what confuses you? Is it, "investing in developing people"? Or, "won't be around for as long?" Or maybe both? (Or are you only asking about "for so long" vs. "for as long"?) And for bonus points, what words did you look up, and why didn't that search help you? Please clarify by editing your question and then we can reopen this. – J.R. Nov 4 '17 at 12:27
  • I fixed this for you this time. But next time, you should have a better idea of how to ask. We put details in the question; we don't ask a confusing question and then play "20 Questions" in the comments. – J.R. Nov 4 '17 at 12:33
  • What was wrong in my asking the question? – Ahmad moustafa Nov 4 '17 at 12:36
  • It wasn't clear what you were asking about. Someone could have spent 30 minutes explaining what "harder to invest in people" means only to find out you were confused about "for as long". The question itself is fine, but we need context to help you. Click here for more information about adding details to your questions. – J.R. Nov 4 '17 at 12:38
  • “for as long” asks for the successive "as": for as long as five years. I guess that the intended meaning was for long. – Mv Log Nov 4 '17 at 16:10
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In the phrase

this makes it harder to invest in developing people because on average they won't be around for as long.

the term as indicates a comparison. So what's the comparison that the author is intending? It's the hypothetical amount of time that people would stay at a the same company if it were not in Silicon Valley. The author may also be referring specifically to the people who have been developed to be top employees.

Alternatively, the author might have written

The risk of top employees leaving to join or start another startup makes it harder to invest in developing people because on average they won't be around for long.

Here, the comparison remains (i.e., we have to know that the context is hiring people in Silicon Valley vs. hiring people somewhere else) but is implicit.

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