{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Potentially have an offer from a local tech startup. I’m 24, currently make ~$95K base and ~$50K, with an additional ~$20K in profit sharing (so total comp around $160-170K). Offer would likely (cont)", "post_id": "5e42d906198639001aedd33e", "reply_count": 8, "vote_count": 4, "bowl_id": "58f0df008ad7250010f8c590", "bowl_name": "Compensation" }

Potentially have an offer from a local tech startup. I’m 24, currently make ~$95K base and ~$50K, with an additional ~$20K in profit sharing (so total comp around $160-170K). Offer would likely (cont)

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Not enough information here to give super accurate advice. I’m leaning no though. If your consideration in moving to an A round startup is about cash, you shouldn’t move. I’ve spent time in VC and if I found out that an early and integral equity holding team member was in it for the cash I would have a hard time investing. ~90% of startups fail, and this company hasn’t even raised a proper round. Another note: I’ve never seen a tech startup that wasn’t *projected* to grow exponentially over the next couple years. That means nothing on its own. You need to evaluate traction here and how much you believe in the company. You say “the chance of a strong payout.” That’s barely a chance right now. Depending on the cap distribution and how many rounds you raise before you sell, you’re really not looking at much. Maybe 500k if you’re lucky due to dilution of shares. Just be aware of that. In conclusion: IF your consideration is solely (or even chiefly) compensation based, don’t make the move. If you believe in the company and you’re looking for a way to justify the pay cut, that’s a different story. I don’t mean to come off as a cynic but entrepreneurs who are looking to get rich seldom do.

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Good question. It isn’t that entrepreneurs can’t want to get rich. It’s that if the purpose driving the innovation is money, it seldom works. There are tons of reasons why: startup work is probably some of the hardest there is and people underestimate it, someone’s probably had your idea, people resist change that would benefit the company but cut the paycheck, tons more. Entrepreneurs that succeed first and foremost are committed to the product of their work.

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Be $75-85K base, with a target bonus of $45-50K, ~50% denominated in equity. Startup is in angel/A stage with revenue/valuation projections expected to grow exponentially over the next couple years. Not sure whether the decrease in base is worth the chance of a strong CIC event equity payout. My current role is extremely stable but progresses VERY slowly.

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The firm I was at was really new and had a high rate of turnover and I’m still super early in my career. It was good experience because with how “startup-esque” the firm was, I got a ton of experience on deals, DD, auditing PC’s, and working directly with the CEO’s. It wasn’t a good career move to stay because you never really knew who you were working for and our GP and MD’s weren’t aligned on their visions for the company. They were trying to open more offices while raising another fund and continuing the accelerator programs I was working in. I would love to go back into VC or PE post-consulting but this is where I need to be to get a stable financial base right now (for reference, I’m 22 and planning on an MBA so a good starting salary is important). Since you elaborated on your thought process - you need to address everything you’re skeptical about with the CEO for two reasons: 1) if you’re satisfied with the answers, you’re more bought into the vision and the firm will benefit. 2) you need to see how the CEO reacts to your challenge. If (s)he gets defensive and doesn’t welcome the dialogue, don’t make the move. The biggest issue with startup management is that the person with the idea for the product often isn’t the right person to steer the ship. You need to be working with people who aggressively seek out feedback, especially constructive criticism. Second, just as a side note, you have a very stable job now (you mentioned above) which likely means you’re relatively used to doing whatever it is you’re good at most days, relatively consistently. In a startup, you wear a lot of hats. They might be hiring you because of your current role, but more likely than not the scope of that position will widen considerably when they start raising funding and don’t want to hire more people. Finally, if you want to break into the VC space without an MBA, the best way to do it is to make the switch you’re considering (I know I’m giving somewhat conflicting advice). VC is a giant learning curve and if you’ve worked in startups and know the culture, plus you’ve gotten some business dev experience, you’re in as good of a position as you can hope to be in.

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At your age, it’s a great experience to join a startup. You get more responsibility than you would at a normal company. The experience alone is worth the weight in gold. As somebody in a private startup, I recommend you pick the startup based on whether you believe in the product and business. If you think you’re just selling snake oil or something that’s not too valuable to customers, then don’t do it because you won’t last. But if you have passion for the mission, then you are the right type of person they want and will survive.

What kind of work are you going from and into?

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