Yeah, I know. I meant more like personal, face to face connection. One conversation on a coffee shop is ok, but 5 emails back and forth, not really what I meant (not to dismiss the founders who sent 5 emails back and forth to me, you were really helpful, but this is not what I'd like to measure here).
Thanks for giving more of a entrepreneur perspective. I agree with you on that it is not a co-founder equity. However, I get the impression that VC would have a heart attack before even considering a better deal.
Considering the deal includes a trigger with very beneficial acceleration mechanism, I don't see them giving in more, on what already seams like an outstanding deal from the VC's perspective (the founders are relying on the VC's expertise on such deals, as they are not that familiar on what is standard and what is not).
Without considering the deal side, an above market salary is attractive from an employee standpoint and if you will be satisfied as an employee the job deserves strong consideration. 1% equity is a nice fringe benefit of the job even if it ultimately pays out very little.
But from a deal standpoint, there really doesn't appear to be one. Acceleration won't trump liquidation preference and it is likely the equity is simply being pulled from the options pool. The slice assigned to filling the position reflects the value placed on the role you are considering. It's not Steve Balmer's 8% as employee #30 and it probably won't cure the entrepreneurial virus if you are infected.
I mentioned I'd be getting a bit higher than market salary. I've worked on my own startup for a few months until my co-founders split, and I was unselected for a seed incubator program as a solo founder (no big surprises here). The rest of team is pretty much being built, but they are seriously taking into consideration Sequoia's tips (which is referred from pg's lib http://ycombinator.com/lib.html): http://www.sequoiacap.com/ideas
Is not a solely engineering role. I am leading a team and a product as well (which will most likely be just me for a couple of months). Which is actually what I'd expect from first engineer hires on a startup. But thanks a lot for the perspective.