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With your approach, they get penalized if your company takes too long to sell/go public.

Sure, it aligns everyone's incentives with getting the company to an exit (not necessarily as quickly as possible, but if it's going to take a long time, everyone should have the incentive to make it a big exit). Is that a bad thing?

Put a value on the options, then ask yourself the same question: I'll give you $200,000 to work for me for four years. But if we don't go public for eight years, I'll give you $200,000 to work for me for eight years. Doesn't make much sense to me.

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