Typically you are granted X number of options. You are never told what the outstanding # of shares are and typically the shares themselves are valued in pennies. The idea is you think to yourself "well, it's 10k shares worth about $5k at the current valuation, but if they IPO and it does what google does...I'll be a millionaire!" You never take in to account that the likelihood of you joining a unicorn like google is near 0% and not taking in to account the time frame of such an adventure, the opportunity cost, dilution and other tricks companies play on their employees before IPOs and acquisitions like reverse stock splits.
And the likelihood of a startup valuation increasing 10x in 4 years (typical vesting schedule) after dilution is extremely extremely unlikely to the point that it is time wasted even entertaining the outcome of such a scenario.
That's a false assumption. If they raised $1M seed at a $6M cap, that's 1.4-1.7%. I just pulled up AngelList and there are a number of seed companies offering that along with a decent salary. Taking the $6M to $60M is the risky piece and that's going to be hard, but opportunities to try are definitely available.
> You are never told what the outstanding # of shares are and typically the stock are valued in pennies.
If the CEO is unwilling to tell you when you ask, walk away.
You don't care about relative growth with options, just the difference between strike price and sell price. A '10x' growth of 0.01 to 0.10 only gains you 0.9 per option; a 2x growth of 5 to 10 gives you 5 per option.
Which is also why looking at your grant as '$100k worth' is silly. Look at how many units you have, and how the price might change, not what the strike price is right now.