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I believe this post does a very good job of bringing the elephant in the room into the discussion. The current structure of equity compensation for early-stage startup companies is simply not enticing enough to get people to choose that over the salary and predictable path of BigTechCos. I love working in startups and even I, when presented with the choice, pad the salary knowing that throughout the funding rounds, if the startup is lucky, any fractional percent that I have will be so diluted that I'm likely to walk away with nothing to show for the work I put in beside the cash I opted for, hopefully, some new connections and some learnings. While some of the more successful startups can compete with those companies on base salary it is just not enough necessarily to convince the top talent that you are the right move for their career. That said there are ways to improve this such as the increased transparency OP wrote about in their post. We should also give more equity to early employees and have favorable terms around vesting for these employees and better timing around the loss of options after leaving a company. Of course this negatively impacts founder equity and potentially investors as well. But to me, worrying about that negative impact to founders and investors comes off as short sighted on part of the investors and founders. Ensuring your early employees will be taken care of means they'll work harder for your company and this will increase the chance you'll survive long enough to see an event that makes anyone a return on their investment. The numbers are so overwhelmingly stacked against startups that worrying about the couple million less you'll have because you gave out 1-1.5% equity to your early employees is really silly, very much chicken before the egg. Instead we currently have the weird known but unspoken fact that your early employees will likely get nothing in a liquidity event while still asking them to put their all into your company which is unethical at best and downright manipulative and harmful at worst. So yeah startups are in a weird place. This doesn't even touch on companies that just stay private forever which is another issue all together.

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