Request you all to think of the big picture here and keep aside your caps of bias/affiliation for once.
I genuinely think that this game about RSUs given out as a part of compensation is about to end. Think of it-it is not even real money-just stocks diluted of the actual shareholders who put real money on a company because they bought into what the company’s CEO told them (via annual shareholder letter, etc). Most FAANG companies have extremely unhealthy finances(maybe except Apple) due to international expansion-eg, Amazon’s business in India are bleeding(retail/Prime businesses are in deep red, Kindle business has flattened out and about to be closed) and projected to bleed for the next 5 years, Google/Youtube despite its ads business is extremely expensive to run and not sustainable, and ads themselves will lose value once everyone starts noticing how ineffective they have become.
All the talks of ‘expanding’ and ‘innovating’ are mere jargons as these companies struggle hard to sustain and further inflate their valuations. Make no mistake, I work in one of the FAANGs and my observations here are without any bias.
I just did a poll here and found out that ~40% of our TCs here on an average are RSUs. Just think of it-will working at FAANG continue be an attractive proposition minus the RSUs? What if you had to live with just your base pay? Internet businesses are not as efficient as they are perceived, and very expensive to run(especially with that amount of data, creating distributed systems, etc)-that is why they don’t have as much free cash flow as they would like/dream, and that shows in your not so impressive base pay. Base pay is indeed what the company could actually afford to pay you from their current state of finances-and the RSUs, well-they are just created out of think air by making a buzz in the shareholders minds (its actually more of an art, like poetry). Effectively, 40% of your salary is in a way ‘crowdsourced’ and funded by people who have bought into the ‘vision’ of ‘investing in the future’ and ‘not creating short term value’-RSU is you getting some money from some random shareholder, not your employer. I think ’investing in the future’ is also a proxy phrase for not having to say ‘we aren’t able to figure out how to do business’. I am not saying they know nothing but they certainly market themselves as far more capable than they are.
I think somebody out there will publish a powerful blog and these companies will be asked by shareholders to start generating and reporting actual profit. That is when the share prices will come crashing down and that will be the end of RSU game.
Blog posts don't crash share prices, kiddo!