- worked at a startup out of college for 85k max plus significant equity (never amounted to anything). Stayed too long.
- worked at a later-stage startup starting at 120k, peaking at 130k. Got some stock options there (haven't amounted to anything yet)
- took a job at FAANG starting at 400k, plus some stock options. Currently at this job for > 600k base. Plus stock options.
While at FAANG, I created a tool that we open-sourced. I've had several VCs contact me to see if I want to try turning that into a company, but by my math it would be a lot of work for no gain over what my salary already is. I already get paid to work on this OSS thing, but I also get to work on other things - and on the OSS thing it's pretty clear cut what I need to prioritize, since my priority user base works with me at FAANG.
For me, startups have a 0/2 track record of delivering value. Being able to net more than I make as an IC seems pretty unlikely, and trying would be a whole lot of pain and sacrifice. The "faster growth as a founder" idea seems to be conditioned on the assumption that you'll succeed enough to pay yourself more than you make now, and/or be able to exit at an amount that will make up for the opportunity cost of getting paid well in the meantime while having a sane work/life balance. YMMV.
I posit its even more than that. It's a meme / propaganda by the survivors with their bias and those who hope to follow in their footsteps.
Also what's also interesting is you posted your comment to a throwaway while the others parroting that talking point were happy to reveal themselves at least pseudonomusly.
I'm pretty sure why. You don't want to burn your shot if you want to have another go at the startup thing and have people be able to read you saying you wouldn't be fully committed.
I fully respect that.
The only reason I point it out is to show how Silicon Valley the larger VC ecosystem is an echo chamber around this ethos.
My guess as to why is how would they recruit the next generation without that?