Looking for feedback from my knowledgeable friends.
Friends or friends-of-friends are the best, but once that's tapped out, github is not a bad choice.
Friends of friends are good, but Dropbox got along pretty well with plain-old friends. The upside is that it's often easier to know before hiring what type of person you're gonna get. The downside is that when things go wrong (with either the company's performance or the employee's) the personal relationship often degrades along with the business relationship.
People looking to be founders may well be a lost cause, at least until they get a solid failure under their belt. But you're probably looking the wrong place for an early employee anyway.
Experienced people who are really good can generally command high salaries *and* large equity grants at companies even coming in around employee #10-#20. So those folks will only join a more speculative startup if they're founder level, to get the risk/reward ratio right.
The best first employees are actually less experienced (or at least less confident of their skill). You wanna find people who haven't yet done a startup, or maybe even haven't worked in industry at all. Ex: people who are fed up with big company software, grad school, finance, ...
So I'm in this intermediate position where I don't really know anyone right out of school and I do know people who are very experienced (and are hard to recruit). It has been hard.
I have no idea if it's public. I also can't really tell how branch is different from a thread on any commenting system (other than having a nicer UI).
Thanks for your feedback! Team Branch