How much did you make in your IPO or acquisition as a non executive

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miguelopex

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Mar 8 36 Comments

In startups we are all sold to take a lower paycheck and we could make it big but all my data points point to non executives usually making out with the same if not less than working at FAANG

Here are my data points. All acquisitions by major corporations or unicorn companies.

Acquisition 1 - nothing
Acquisition 2 - 150k
Acquisition 3 - 350k
Acquisition 4 - 300k

Usually equity for an experienced hire will start at around 300k for your first 4 years from my experience at faang and only go up from a decent base.

Why the f does anyone do startups?

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TOP 36 Comments
  • Amazon / MgmtKYuG83
    Some people like the creative process.

    All those murals you see all over San Francisco’s older neighborhoods were done by artists for free. Imagine that — creating without money even being a goal. Your post suggests money is the ONLY goal. My guess is people in startups have money as a goal but place value on creative expression as well. Good for them.
    Mar 82
    • New
      miguelopex

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      miguelopexmore
      OP
      I just don’t want to work at Walmart when I’m retired. I’m soft like that.
      Mar 8
    • Amazon / MgmtKYuG83
      Some people are creators, some people are takers. Nothing wrong about being honest with what you are and which brings you joy. If money brings you joy, chase money. I hear prostitution can be very lucrative, too.
      Mar 8
  • I’m at a unicorn with .3% and my options are worth >10m
    Mar 87
    • New
      miguelopex

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      miguelopexmore
      OP
      How many employees when you joined?
      Mar 8
    • Intel heyhihey
      Which company?
      Mar 8
    • TuneIn Pshush
      Purple unicorn I hope?
      Mar 8
    • 0.3% of 1B is $3M right?
      Mar 8
    • Yup ^
      Mar 8
    • Amazon Cynimist
      He is suggesting valuation is now in 4B range. This is definitely in the top 1% of startup outcomes (.3% after dilution in a 4+B company). I was a founder of a company and got out at a 300M valuation but by then my 10% stake was diluted to 1%. Walked away with just over 2M post taxes. And that was also an exceptionally good outcome.
      Mar 8
    • Amazon is spot on
      Mar 9
  • New / Engrmitzpasto
    1.5M in IPO, 3 years after joining
    Mar 80
  • New tFeB56
    I was part of an acquisition. I had a 1% stake but the vesting of that 1% was such that I only ended up with .75%. Company was sold for 50M so I got 375k. Wish I got the other 125k. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    Mar 83
    • This is because a 25% dilution.
      Mar 8
    • Amazon Cynimist
      Basically you had a huge stake in a company with a decent exit. Top 5% of outcomes. And you got.. what any SDE would get in RSUs in a a couple years in big tech.
      Mar 8
    • New tFeB56
      The shares of the company weren’t diluted. It’s just in my contract, I got 50% vesting after we released our product. 25% more 3 months post launch. And 25% more 1 year post launch. Also I didn’t even get that contract in writing until right before the sale of the company. Even tho the 1% was agreed upon a couple years prior. The wording was “with details on the shares to follow”. So just make sure to get those details right away.
      Mar 9
  • LinkedIn / EngEewt72
    I thought it was obvious. The expected value of working at a startup is always less than FAANG
    Mar 82
    • New
      miguelopex

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      OP
      I figure I just want more data points to reinforce
      Mar 8
    • LinkedIn / EngEewt72
      Unless you're pre series A at a for sure decacorn (extremely unlikely), I don't think you'll make more. ALSO remember TVM, and the huge risk of it all going to zero.
      Mar 8
  • New
    miguelopex

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    OP
    Also their bosses and investors usually just have money as their goals. Just not money for employees.
    Mar 80
  • New / Ops
    tooQ10

    NewOps

    PRE
    Rakuten USA
    tooQ10more
    Worked for a startup around 2000 as an entry level employee. Four years of crushing, soul destroying overtime. But company was sold and we plebeians got 65k - basically making us whole for all that OT, but not much more.
    Mar 81
    • New tFeB56
      My last company was similar. The people that didn’t have shares of the company got a measly 10% bonus. Meanwhile the owner goes out and buys million dollar properties. Feels bad to have worked so hard and get so little while the top gets paid.
      Mar 9
  • Facebook / Eng
    fb2017

    FacebookEng

    PRE
    Google, Oracle
    BIO
    worked at Oracle, then Google, now Facebook.
    fb2017more
    People want to join next Google or Facebook
    Mar 80
  • New / Eng
    errfileno

    NewEng

    BIO
    Software Engineer. 15yoe. Seattle. $205k TC
    errfilenomore
    - Employee #8 at a startup that ramped to 250 employees, key player in getting it off the ground on artificially-low salary in exchange for substantial stock. After 6 years, they were acquired in a private transaction, but common stock was cancelled so I came out of that one with zero, and missed out on about $500k in fair-market salary in the process.
    - another, joined about a year before IPO, came out about $800k ahead in the end.

    Options/Stock are lottery tickets, especially if there are multiple classes of shares.
    Mar 94
    • Curious why the common stock was cancelled? Especially at 250 employees. Did something go bad in the transaction and it sold for less than the valuation? Or they just genuinely wanted to screw the common holders and found a way?

      And how come at employee #8 you were not considered a key employee and thus offered a very good retention plan? Is it because you already left by that point?

      Hearing this sort of stuff sucks man. I’m glad you made the 800k in the other one.
      Mar 10
    • New / Eng
      errfileno

      NewEng

      BIO
      Software Engineer. 15yoe. Seattle. $205k TC
      errfilenomore
      I wasn't retained as a key employee because I had already moved on, but even those who were given retention bonuses did not get compensated in the form of stock grants in the new company.

      The common stock was cancelled because the company was under water and the investors had enough power to do so to ensure their own return. Revenue was doing well, but the cost to retain customers ended up outpacing growth and even with austerity measures the company was burning too much cash and running out of runway.
      Mar 10
    • Salesforce HowdieD
      Errfileno, thanks for sharing your experience. What was your title when you joined the second startup you mentioned?
      Mar 10
    • New / Eng
      errfileno

      NewEng

      BIO
      Software Engineer. 15yoe. Seattle. $205k TC
      errfilenomore
      Senior Software Engineer
      Mar 10
  • How much stock did you have and how many diluted shares ?
    Mar 83
    • New
      miguelopex

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      OP
      Would be way to complicated to go through all the details but if you are early non executive it’s usually under a half percent
      Mar 8
    • What did the company evaluate for ?
      Mar 8
    • I agree it’s like .3% but that can be $$$ if it’s a unicorn
      Mar 8
  • IBM muAG37
    None of the startups I have options at have IPOed or been acquired even though they’re both over 10 years old by now haha

    I shouldn’t have gone to work for profitable startups lol
    Mar 82
    • Qualcomm / Enghellohallo
      If the company just stays private and never IPOs, do they do profit sharing or something?
      Mar 8
    • IBM muAG37
      In my case, no. I hold shared but no longer work there, so any profit sharing they do for employees I don’t get, and they aren’t paying dividends on the share class I have. The big investors are probably getting payouts though.
      Mar 9
  • New
    miguelopex

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    OP
    These are a mix of my experiences and friends
    Mar 80

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