Profile picture of Leena MBA

Leena MBA

Content & Publication Manager at NetApp

Hi Founders,

I am in talks for a possible offer to run a company that is pre-revenue, and therefore cannot offer base pay. The company used to be hot in 2012/2013 in terms of being buzzy in TechCrunch type of circles, but has lately stagnated in their growth (company valuation -- I know this is useless, but I'll put it here anyway -- is estimated to be $3.5 mm, 2 years in. I know, not much).My feeling is that maybe it hasn't been managed as well because the current leader is busy working a full time, high-level day job elsewhere, for a rapidly growing, well-known startup. So, he wants me to take over his company, while he will act as my advisor.

My challenge is to lead several developers and interns who are distributed (no common place of work yet), and help jumpstart their growth. The offer so far is 10-15% equity vested over four years. I think this is a poor offer, considering it's pre-revenue, there's no pay, and the company is currently worth nothing except for a very low estimate on paper. I'd like to go full time for him for 25-30% over a 2 year cliff. Can someone who has actual experience dealing with this, or negotiating in this space, please advise me? You can write here or message me privately, either way. With private messaging I can give you fuller details, but, as this is still a discreet negotiation that is taking place, I cannot reveal the company or any specific names.

Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.