Startup asked me pay expectation. What base should I ask?

Intel ""(^_^)""
Dec 29, 2018 24 Comments

Hi. I am talking to an early stage startup. Young CEO called me and after phone interview he asked me my pay expectation. I told him I will lookup to my spreadsheet (actually buying time to consult friends). I didn't apply to their jobs yet, he just reached out to me on Linkedin. I have no clue what to ask for base (real income)? He said we can't beat Intel base but we offer equity since you will be early employee you will have potential income.

I got a recent offer from a subsidiary company: base $170k no stocks as he said we are not public. I thanked and kindly declined and regretted the time I spent interviewing with them. Each and every manager was asking for long hours.

Please advice me what base I should ask for so we don't waste each other's time. My group at Intel is not safe to stay right now also my TC sucks big time 😑. So I want to see my options.

TC: $200k , YOE 11 post PhD. HW Eng /EE.
Thank you guys.
Happy holidays!

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TOP 24 Comments
  • Facebook / Eng kevgill
    You should not move to a startup. You must be able to make quick important decisions at a startup without consulting friends.

    Go to Ms. It's a great slow company where they pay better than Intel and you will always get 17 chances to talk to your coworkers before you do anything.
    Dec 29, 2018 3
    • Intel ""(^_^)""
      OP
      That was my gut feeling too. My group's future at Intel is not clear. I'll check MS out. Thank you.
      Dec 29, 2018
    • Google / Eng SundarPich
      I think you missed the part where kevgill is making fun of you for being unable to make a decision without consulting everyone else.
      Dec 29, 2018
    • Uber / Eng
      @w@

      Uber Eng

      PRE
      Capital One
      @w@more
      Further solidifying the fact that they should go to MSFT
      Dec 29, 2018
  • Uber / Eng
    @w@

    Uber Eng

    PRE
    Capital One
    @w@more
    You didn't apply yet? Don't even think about a number until they're going to make an offer. Once they want you they'll be less likely to fight over 20-40k
    Dec 29, 2018 3
    • Tesla / Other SidhUheh
      That’s bullshit.
      You need to money the range before even starting going onsite. Otherwise you will be in a situation when they offer you 140k and paper money which cost nothing.
      Dec 29, 2018
    • Uber / Eng
      @w@

      Uber Eng

      PRE
      Capital One
      @w@more
      Someone doesn't know how to negotiate 🙄

      Okay genius. You give them a range. Now they're coming in at the low end of the range and won't negotiate because you gave that number yourself. Bet you sound so smart now right?

      Or you give them a number and the recruiter decides it's too high so axes your candidacy early. How intelligent of you.

      Or your number is way too low and they either reject you for having low expectations or hire you, letting you leave tens of thousands of dollars on the table like an idiot. 👏 Congrats, you played yourself.

      You have NO IDEA what the company budgets for this role. One company could be strapped for cash and only has 80k to put in that role. Another could've just hit a wave of profitability or a large round of funding and is willing to go as high as 200k for that exact role.

      The only way to get ahead is to push that conversation until they give you the first number, because at that point they're committed to finding a number that works for you and will tell the recruiter to fuck off if they try to torpedo your offer over 20-40k. If you can't understand that, then you deserve to be underemployed for the rest of your life.
      Dec 29, 2018
    • FWIW, I give a number and then make the prospective employer work on it. It has proven to be a challenge to meet it. I walk away if I don't get what I ask. I go first with my number because I don't want us both to waste time. I don't really see a problem with this strategy. I suppose I know what I should ask for, though. That's key here.
      Dec 29, 2018
  • Microsoft / Eng Tier 1
    You should expect more TC for taking a riskier job.

    You should discount the value of RSUs for non liquid stock, when comparing TCs. You should even further discount the value of early stage startup stock.

    What you ask for in terms of base vs stock really depends. What is your COL? To what extent do you believe in that company?
    Dec 29, 2018 3
    • Intel ""(^_^)""
      OP
      What does COL refer to? I do not know if I can believe in that startup as they only did prototypes. I also wonder about what the competition is. I am going to meet them next week for an intro onsite.
      Dec 29, 2018
    • Microsoft / Eng Tier 1
      Cost of living. How much money do you realistically need in cash?
      Dec 29, 2018
    • Intel ""(^_^)""
      OP
      Our COL requires me to make at least $200k/year. Even then I hardly saved $60k in cash over the last 3.5 years. Mortgage, kid, car loan, visiting parents, property tax, hoa dues and list goes on.
      Dec 29, 2018
  • 200k cash is a cap in startups without liquidity. This was what I found out for my 20yoe. You should expect 160-200k range for the base. Lower base comes with more equity. The equity will be in the 1% neighborhood. You will see some refreshers, but also dilution. For me personally no such typical startup makes financial sense.
    Dec 29, 2018 0
  • Cisco Hnay279
    tell them you will wait for their offer. don't do BATNA or anything else. negotiation 101 is "get the other side to throw out a number first"
    Dec 29, 2018 0
  • Tesla / Other SidhUheh
    Ask market plus 15%
    Dec 29, 2018 5
    • Uber / Eng
      @w@

      Uber Eng

      PRE
      Capital One
      @w@more
      👎
      Dec 29, 2018
    • Tesla / Other SidhUheh
      What? This’s reasonable for any startup. I’m talking about the base. Not paper money.
      Dec 29, 2018
    • Uber / Eng
      @w@

      Uber Eng

      PRE
      Capital One
      @w@more
      Market is a dumb term. There is no market rate.
      Dec 29, 2018
    • Tesla / Other SidhUheh
      lol. The market dictates your price. Nobody is going to pay you twice more for the same job.
      Dec 29, 2018
    • Uber / Eng
      @w@

      Uber Eng

      PRE
      Capital One
      @w@more
      Oh you're so naïve it isn't even funny
      Dec 29, 2018
  • Genentech PapaBeary
    Are they even serious about hiring you? I had a recruiter ask me this question right up front. I told her "market pay" and wouldn't give her a number. She persisted and eventually spilled the beans that they are considering making an offer to another candidate and he wants to get market comp numbers 🙄

    Lazy recruiter! They have access to all companies' data as reported to the government, they might have to pay for it. As a recruiter, that needs to be their business expense.
    Dec 29, 2018 0
  • HW doesn’t pay as much as software usually with a few exceptions
    Dec 29, 2018 0
  • Cisco 🔥RTP
    350
    Dec 29, 2018 0
  • Facebook patrick_ur
    500k
    Dec 29, 2018 0