Does an average startup make financial sense for a very senior engineer?
I am new to the interview game after many years at one place. My TC is a bit over 350k a year, Bay Area. I applied at a few startups. All liked me. However, the best they can offer is 200k cash + ~0.3% at series B or A. If I run the numbers, these startups need to be worth about 1bln on exit for me just to break even. I am not even adjusting for risks and the misery of becoming poorer (albeit temporarily).
I am puzzled. Does it mean that an average startup makes economic sense only for second-tier developers or junior developers? Or that people don't run not-so-difficult calculations (standard rate of return on extra cash invested) and get sold on a bad deal?
It looks like at my level my choices are limited. It has to be a tier1 company or a Unicorn close to an IPO.
I appreciate any advice. Thank you.