Apple to a Startup

Nov 6, 2017 18 Comments

I’ve been at Apple for four years now and am being recruited by an autonomous vehicle startup, Zoox.

I’m generally pretty happy where I️ am, but the startup is intriguing. I’ve never worked at a startup before so am not sure how to value my unvested RSUs and overall compensation. Is there a certain multiplier or formula I should use to evaluate the offer I get?

What questions would you ask during the offer process? Anything I should push for? My biggest concern is having no liquidity unless they eventually IPO.

The only way I would take the risk is if the offer was very high. I just need to figure out what a realistic target should be.


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TOP 18 Comments
  • Apple / Eng Apl2Ggl
    Go to NIO.
    Nov 6, 2017 2
    • Amazon / Eng

      Amazon Eng

      Why NIO?
      Nov 7, 2017
    • Apple / Eng Apl2Ggl
      Fun company, lots of money and strong engineering
      Nov 7, 2017
  • New Jamal
    Ask them why they have eight weirdly placed pucks
    Nov 6, 2017 2
    • Apple zfeL10
      Sorry, what do you mean?
      Nov 6, 2017
    • New Jamal
      You're not taking an eng position right? Their LiDARs bruh, was a joke.
      Prefer money > stock for safety net. This market is tricky rn, nobody shipping neither will soon. First to be able will be waymo.
      Nov 6, 2017
  • Facebook kr3Grh
    Don't go to Zoox. Their founder is non-technical. They've got some reasonable people but they're super behind in an already crowded market.

    I'd ask them what their planned exit strategy over the next few years is. They're not going to beat out Waymo/Tesla, so unless they've got some plan for being bought or leasing their tech, I'd be cautious about their runway. (Their valuation is likely based on that of other companies that have already sold. But how many other buyers are left?)

    Unless they're willing to give you boatloads of (non-paper) cash. Then anything is on the table.
    Nov 16, 2017 2
    • What a their differential from others doing similar e.g. voyage, etc? Cruise by what engineers told me is just laying the foundation and tesla promised NYC-LA until the end of the year and nothing so far. Overpromised
      Nov 16, 2017
    • Facebook kr3Grh
      Think about what the field is going to look like in 5 years. Unless they've got a backing company or some plan for funding (that's not just "more VC funding" -- do you think VCs will keep funding 'yeah, maybe we will get something companies' when Waymo will already have things on the road?) the chances of most of these startups being healthy by that point are pretty slim.
      Nov 17, 2017
  • Airbnb automatic
    Join - it’s much better
    Feb 14, 2018 1
  • Qualcomm CeoSomeDay
    Your new base should factor in all the risk. Since the other components are variable, try to go as high as you can go with base.
    Nov 6, 2017 3
    • Microsoft Zamoo
      Then you will have 0 risk and that certainly won't happen... it is more realistic if you ask for something around 180-200k base salary and as much equity as possible. Then if it goes big you are aight. If it doesn't, you still got valuable startup experience for a little price.
      Nov 6, 2017
    • Qualcomm CeoSomeDay
      Yep, this is in line with what I meant to say.
      Nov 6, 2017
  • Apple GoLive
    OP did u join?
    Mar 27, 2019 1
    • Apple ygxryklnx
      +1 considering them as well
      Apr 25, 2019
  • lol, you guys are all dolts when it comes to comp. you really think a startup has 200k to spend on someone outside of a founder or leadership hire? If you’re earning that low of cash at an established company like Apple you’re not crucial to the startup. If your biggest concern is the obvious (no liquidity) you shouldn’t leave Apple. 97% of startups fail. Assume your equity is worthless. Given your ignorance of what you should command in comp at a startup you are going to get what they offer you and nothing more.
    Nov 15, 2017 0


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