Hardware position: Apple vs Start up - difficult choice

New qu4M
Jan 19 22 Comments

Hi I am a PhD from a top tier University with 6yoe in a startup in a very niche hardware area. I recently interviewed at Apple and they got back to me with this final offer which is just 10k above their initial offer. Also the role at Apple was originally meant as ICT3 but given my experience they claimed that they scoped it up to ICT4.

Apple base: 165k
Sign-on bonus: 30k
Total RSUs:160k
Average bonus 12%

I was not expecting this but my startup came back to me with a very competitive offer saying that I am a key employee:

2 yr retention bonus: 50k paid upfront.
Base: 250k
Max bonus: 20%. I got this last year.

As far as Apple role is concerned, it’s more about stability and brand value.

I am right now weighing pros and cons of both offers. Does anyone have any opinions?


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TOP 22 Comments
  • Salesforce tensorchic
    Which school did you graduate from? Is it UT Austin?
    Jan 19 1
    • Salesforce tensorchic
      I think I know you. Stay at the startup. You'll be happier.
      Jan 19
  • New / Eng pTfU32
    $160 total RSU, is that over 4 years? So $40K per year?
    Jan 19 3
    • New qu4M
      Yes exactly. 40k per year and they refused to budge when I presented my counteroffer.
      Jan 19
    • In that case turn down Apple and interview later. They don’t value you enough because they think they’ve got the brand name and everyone is dying to work there. You’re a PhD grad so you will get a lot of opportunities

      Ultimately if you’re still happy at your startup and are getting more money, why move.

      Apple will be a multi trillion dollar company soon. They also have the cash to match our outbid you but they refuse to do so. Let them be.
      Apr 9
    • They will come back later to you, only if you prove to them you’re high value and don’t give a d***. It’s not a lost cause. Be confident to turn down this offer. I’m sure they will come back to you if the issue is money.

      If the hiring manager needs you, he will work for it and petition for your offer up to an exec. But this takes time and he doesn’t have the authority, cannot move fast as it’s a large Corp
      Apr 9
  • Facebook / R&D

    Facebook R&D

    Ask for some equity from the startup, if you are truly key they should give it to you. This will keep you more engaged in its success and show to the startup you are committed. If things go well you’ll be glad you asked for this now.
    Jul 13 0
  • New / Eng abuhr3i
    Why don't you interview with google? They may offer you better
    Jan 19 0
  • Apple euroas
    Apple will give 100-150k new rsus every year
    Jan 19 2
    • New qu4M
      This team is not doing Apple’s main operations in Cupertino campus but an R&D team in Sunnyvale. So their budget appears tight to me. Will they still give out refreshers?
      Jan 19
    • Apple Sharingan
      Jan 19
  • Do you see the future at your current startup? Do you like the product and the people you work with? $250k base at startup is really good.
    Jan 19 1
    • New qu4M
      The product is good and some people are talented. The startup has a clear path to success but it’s hard for me to estimate the likelihood. My other concern is that the job market for hardware might tighten soon. Apple seems to be slowing down their hiring because of recent performance.
      Jan 19
  • Ford mHXT73
    PhD from top universities with 6yoe is worth pretty much more than how much apple is giving for you imo
    Apple is humiliating you with such a low pay
    Jul 12 0
  • Maxim Integrated / Design Maximbady
    Sorry, don't have much to contribute, but Interested in learning more about this startup. @qu4M Please DM
    Apr 9 0
  • Nvidia DxoU46
    Honestly I would consider 6yoe after PHD to be mid tier ICT4 at Apple, and the offer is very weak; the reason I can think of is that you are over qualified for that position(as they initially only offering ICT3).

    Really you would like to have Apple paid you at premium if you are happy at the current company.
    Jan 19 0
  • Facebook / Product

    Facebook Product

    Stay and kick butt. Clearly you passed Apple’s bar, but don’t burn bridges so you can come to Apple at any point.
    Jan 19 0
  • Facebook Its_eez
    That's a crap offer from A, with your skill level you should probably be 5. Go do the startup. Maybe try in a year if you want to switch. I'd say ~185 with 50 sign on, 400rsu.

    Don't worry about the market tightening, hw is much in demand.
    Jan 19 0
  • New DvVM00
    stay with startup!
    Jan 19 0
  • Apple Sharingan
    Stay. Apple is not valuing you right, so don’t join
    Jan 19 0
  • MediaTek Hsinchu
    I think you are better off staying put. Myopic strategies are not optimal but the Apple offer is way below your market value to make any sense.
    Jan 19 0
  • Tesla / Mgmt

    Tesla Mgmt

    Tesla Motors
    Stay at the startup, apple is not paying you what you deserve for your level of experience
    Jan 19 0


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