Google L4 vs Startup Offer (help needed)

Jan 17 30 Comments

My dear blind community,

Some help needed here, recently got 3 offers: one is from Google, one is from former googler startup, one from a medium sized public company (not well known). Google and startup seem to do the similar HW product development. So it's likely the startup may be acquired by google along the road.

Google offer:
145k +15% bonus + 100k RSU/ 4 years + 20k sign-on (initial offer)

Startup offer:
160 k + 250k / 4 years stock option (series A), no bonus mentioned (final offer)

medium sized company offer (HW company)
175k + 10% bonus + 100 k RSU/ 4 years (final offer)

Background: HW engineer, EE PhD, 3.5 yoe, location Bay area, current TC 140k @ NY

Thoughts:
1. Google offer
really impressed by people in Google and startup and Google is a great stepping stone for future career path. Current package is initial offer, not sure how far it can be negotiated. Lots of benefits (good WLB, 401k, food, RSU refresher etc). How will RSU refresher be negotiated? What is the range for Google L4 HW (i understand it's half or less compared to SWE)

2. Startup offer
they are doing exciting project, but base is not going any higher, just have concerns about having 160k base for a few more years. Not sure if it's enough to support family.

3. medium-sized company offer:
Highest TC so far, but company is not well known, i know for sure i won't stay in this company for more than 3 years. So i will definitely start look for new opportunities, by having this company's name in my resume doesn't help much.

Current preference: either google with more TC or start up with more options. What do you suggest?

Thanks in advance!
#googlesalary #startups

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TOP 30 Comments
  • Airbnb / Eng /air
    But on the other hand every place cares about FAANG so if you haven’t worked at one previously it may be a good idea to go to Google too
    Jan 17 2
    • GlobalFoundries juggnaut
      OP
      Indeed, never worked in silicon valley, never worked for FAANG, it almost like a dream come true if i had the chance.
      but i guess right now, i am focusing on financial part a bit more, FAANG's big name is icing on cake for me.
      Jan 17
    • Airbnb / Eng /air
      Either would be a great choice, and congrats on the offers!
      Jan 17
  • Apple blurf
    I’ve done 12 years at Google and 12 years at 4 different startups, and I can’t give you a one size fits all answer. Obviously a startup has a lot of uncertainty. Don’t count on the options ever being worth anything. Expect to be paid the salary and if the options pan out consider that a bonus. On the other hand, Google has a fair share of uncertainty too. You experience there can vary a lot based on your team, your manager, and many other factors out of your control. If you do want the opportunity to have more impact in the direction of the company and are ok with the salary and risk, do the startup. But if you just want the TC, do Google or the other company.
    Jan 17 7
    • Google nooglr1337
      Just curious what the scope of Nuvia precisely? Are they working on SoC for AI acceleration? If so, how crowded is this space? If a high probability of acquisition, like recent Habana and past Nervana (the latter I think won’t pay off significantly), then surely it could be worthy to take risk.

      I heard Manu Gulati, John Bruno and few ex-Apple and ex-Googlers founded Nuvia. No idea how good they are as entrepreneurs (unlike Cerebras CEO who sold SeaMicro to AMD).
      Jan 19
    • GlobalFoundries juggnaut
      OP
      @nooglr for the details they didn’t mention too much. It’s standard interview with lots of technical questions. I’ve talked to a few folks at apple, they haven’t heard too much about this company. From google side, what do you think of this company? Is it worthy to pursue this opportunity if someone is already in google? Thanks
      Jan 23
  • LinkedIn U💰S💰D
    Make it a poll?
    Jan 17 1
    • GlobalFoundries juggnaut
      OP
      good idea!
      Jan 17
  • Google flying owl
    I’ll pick google, low risk and medium return.
    Jan 17 5
    • Google flying owl
      Btw, if having kid in 2 years is your plan. That’s even more reason to take Google for the great perks and stability.
      Jan 17
    • GlobalFoundries juggnaut
      OP
      @flying owl, yes, you are right. I was thinking buying an apt or condo in Bay area, so I put some focus on financial part so that i can get loan and save for some down payment.
      right now, even in bad district, house price is insanely high. That's my main concern. If i already had d roof over my family, i would go to startups.
      but thanks for your suggestions. I will keep that in mind.
      Jan 17
  • Facebook liam
    Pick Google, you will learn the best practices and your resume would have FAANG validation.
    You could always move to start up in one year. But your hand would be much better when you would negotiate package, also helps if your start up eventually gets acquired.
    Jan 18 0
  • Airbnb / Eng /air
    I’d personally take the startup especially if there’s room to grow your stock will be very valuable if you believe this company will be successful. Google’s offer also looks a lot more like a L3 offer from my understanding
    Jan 17 0
  • Salesforce leet4evr
    Is that an L3 offer from Google ?
    Jan 17 3
    • GlobalFoundries juggnaut
      OP
      for PhD +3.5 yoe, it should be L4 right?
      Jan 17
    • Salesforce leet4evr
      L4 in software starts around 230k and goes till 280k$
      Jan 17
  • Facebook E-11
    G. The equity seems so low. Any room to bump it? Google is at ATH so you could see it fall. Use start up equity offer.
    Jan 17 2
    • GlobalFoundries juggnaut
      OP
      yeah, i agree. but this is initial offer, so i guess there's room for negotiation. Given base salary is bounded by levels, maybe RSUs is more flexible.
      But given I am HW, not sure how much more can be pushed. Any ideas?
      Jan 17
    • Facebook E-11
      I think you’ve got the idea. Push equity, offer keeping the base as a concession. My FB recruiter told me RSUs are much easier to move when I was negotiating.
      Jan 17
  • Indeed / Eng rainwater
    only had to read your post title, choose google duh
    Jan 18 0
  • Microsoft 👋 was 🥰
    Take startup
    Jan 17 0

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