Compensation

Startup vs bigco: am I being shortchanged?

New / EngFNCt20
Jun 6

Hi

I'm 31, working for a series C startup valued at ~$200M that totally raised ~$50M. I've been here 3 years, and I've vested ~0.7% of common options that I fully exercised in common stocks (0.7% is after counting current dilutions etc., it was > 1% at the beginning). I still have an additional ~0.7% that is maturing over the next 3 years due to another grant I recently received, as the company tried to lock me in for another period.

Besides the equity part, my total cash comp for 2018 will be $270k (base $200k + $70k bonus).

I interviewed at Facebook and got an offer at E5 with $50k signing + $190k base + 15% bonus + $600k RSU/4y. I also interviewed at Netflix and for a SWE position they offered me $400k.

Do you think I should make the move or stay put for a little longer? At my startup I am in a sort of semi-leadership position so I am very independent (early employee), but I wouldn't mind crunching more as long as there's recognition for the effort. Also, if the startup were to be acquired there's a possibility I would be treated well on top of the matured equity since I know a lot of stuff about the technology built (e.g. good retention package).

Thanks Blind!

comments

Add a comment
  • Expedia Kwifnz
    Your Cash TC at the startup is pretty good, but it ultimately boils down (assuming money is the only/primary factor) to your perceived value of the options. Personally, I would go to Netflix barring the unlikely event that the startup is doing life changing/groundbreaking work in the healthcare space.
    Jun 63
    • New / Eng
      Yütüb

      NewEng

      PRE
      Google, Facebook
      Yütübmore
      What do you mean by the healthcare space comment?
      Jun 6
    • Expedia Kwifnz
      My personal passion is in revolutionizing the dumpster fire that is healthcare, so I would personally consider staying if that objective was the company's focus and it was showing signs of success there.
      Jun 6
    • New / Eng
      Yütüb

      NewEng

      PRE
      Google, Facebook
      Yütübmore
      Gotcha. Curious — who are your favorite players and what do you see being an opportunity?
      Jun 6
  • New / Eng
    Yütüb

    NewEng

    PRE
    Google, Facebook
    Yütübmore
    How much do you value your position and work there? It doesn’t seem like you’d have the same amount of leverage or visibility if you move. Are you primarily concerned with (liquid) comp?
    Jun 62
    • New / EngFNCt20
      OP
      The position is nice, but having been there a long time I feel a bit unchallenged. And it would also be nice to finally have a high liquid comp. I’m essentially trying to balance this desire with the rationality of the payout that might come. The startup is still pretty healthy, no major founder or early employee has left yet and the business is growing.
      Jun 7
    • New / Eng
      Yütüb

      NewEng

      PRE
      Google, Facebook
      Yütübmore
      It honestly sounds like a pretty good position to be in, then. You’re somewhat balanced with salary — could you maybe negotiate for more instead of equity at your next refresh? What kind of challenge are you looking for?
      Jun 7
  • New / EngFNCt20
    OP
    I also forgot to add my total net worth is currently $800k, fully liquid and invested in index funds. I have no mortgage or other debt. So it’d be nice to bump that up significantly with a nice big5 compensation :)
    Jun 73
    • eBay progit
      Id stay at the start up because of the future growth potential.

      Can you elaborate on how you prepared for the interviews? Clearing Netflix and FB is very impressive.
      Jun 7
    • New / EngFNCt20
      OP
      Surprisingly the interviews were rather easy. I read cracking the code interview and a few books on system design and did some practice. I am a full SWE but am very specialized in systems and cloud performance, so many interviews focused on those things, which was super easy for me to handle. And the coding exercise was easy too. Some convoluted recursive string manipulation that I handled well on C++ in about 25 minutes.
      Jun 7
    • New / Eng
      Yütüb

      NewEng

      PRE
      Google, Facebook
      Yütübmore
      What books for system design are your favorite?
      Jun 7
  • Walmart.com Grroot
    This might seem like a noob question, but I'm grappling with the equity grant comparables across firms. Is your grant a one time 600k vesting over 4yrs? Some firms pay a much smaller amount as an annual grant (which also vests over 4years for each grant). For example 50k p.a. RSUs vesting over 4y
    Aug 290

Download the app for more exclusive content.