I am not sure if this is the correct place to ask these questions, but I have been working at a large corporation for most of my career. I was recently introduced to a person who is running a startup, and we set up a time next week to discuss an opportunity there. What questions would you want answers to if you were considering such a dramatic career change?
- Total employee equity pool is 1,000 options
- 10 employees split equally – 100 options each
When a new employee comes in, does the company
- add more shares into the employee pool?
- Or do employees distribute their's (to keep the number of options at 1,000)?
- Can companies do both?
- And what are other ways to go about this scenario?
This is a throw-away account as not to be traced to my start-up or people mentioned, but all advice is appreciated.
I am a technical co-founder in a health-tech startup in the western Europe – we're finishing a product after 2 years of development, with about 10 people on board and 3 co-founders.
About 6 months ago my business co-founder (in his mid thirties) broke up with his partner and started dating our female employee after half a year on board. He informed us, the other two founders, of that and offered to terminate the relationship if we required so, which neither of us did.
As she was on a limited time contract she subsequently decided not to prolong after the contract termination (it was a project-based contract).
As they had somewhat turbulent relationship they would 2-3 times each take a short-notice 1-2 day vacation to basically avoid being present in meetings at the same time.
While there was no real damage done at any point, I'm questioning the motivations and commitment of my co-founder and asking myself whether I should stay around. In particular I feel that being in the same situation I would just not do what he did and have hard time empathizing with his situation.
Any opinions / advice?
I've worked at this tech startup in small-town Canada over the past year and a half, the company having started operations just a month before. We have secured another round of funding that should keep us safe for two years. I have just been offered a contract with eye-popping numbers for someone who is an early lead employee rather than an executive – I'd wager a base salary around 20% below market value, with 4% non-voting shares / 3.5 years vesting / 6 months cliff. The base salary is absolutely satisfactory given my lifestyle.
As this is my first job and most definitely my first contract of the sort, I am worrying about a million things – namely, if having such a piece of the pie as an employee makes me vulnerable to being terminated on the bounds of not granting me said equity if I cannot maintain a fantastic standard. The contract offer (yet unsigned) has a termination clause that allows them to fire me at will, without a severance package.
Are those worries founded in any way, and what should I watch out for or negotiate in order to protect myself?