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Founders: It’s not 1990. Stop treating your employees like it is, by Tikhon Bernstam, founder of Scribd and Parse, on Medium


Stashed in: Founders, 106 Miles, startup, @joshelman, Startup, Medium

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Truly thought-provoking piece on whether founders need to re-assess early-stage startup equity. Lacks nuance -- for instance, a lot of the more successful startups these days end up overfinancing in ways that cause the FOUNDERS to end up with nothing while the employees get re-upped -- but makes an important case.

Fascinating in part because written by the founder of Parse:

What do investors think about all this? There’s a strong slant toward the status quo, and most still try to force this outdated 90’s math on today’s startups and employees. Series A investors usually ask for veto rights on option grants to employees. I had to fight on that one firsthand. One told me, “I’ve never given an engineer over a point, and I’m not going to start now.” I lost that hire.

What do founders actually do? Complain, complain, complain. Moan about how hard hiring is. There are no good engineers. “Why won’t engineers leave comfortable jobs at Google to join my startup where they can be over-worked and under-compensated? I know, let’s H1B people since they have no good alternatives.”

Josh Elman emphatically agrees with him in the comments. 

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