Equity · Stock Options

How do you create an equity-based competition between small group of contributors?

Marlina Kinnersley

March 1st, 2015

In our case, we're looking to structure a small equity pool vested over a short period of time for 2-3 people and wanted to structure it as a friendly competition with milestones. These contributors may or may not become employees. Examples/samples would be very much appreciated! Cheers!

Ian Maddox

March 1st, 2015

I second the Slicing Pie concept (AKA Grunt Funding).  Modify it so only a certain chunk of equity is in the pool and tie your milestones to extra points awarded. If you just want to see if the idea is for you, read Mike Moyer's summarization of his own Slicking Pie book called "Get Them Gators." It's just a few pages and contains all you need to decide if grunt funding is for you.

Note that most technical creatives tend to respond to these incentives positively only a few times (if at all) before your ROI for the prizes goes flat or even negative. There is a lot of literature out there about bonuses for developers, but author Dan Pink (author of Drive) puts it best in his books and TED talk:
http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation

Robert H Lee

March 1st, 2015

You can try a product/book called Slicing Pie. I haven't used it, but it has the right idea.

Later on, you an manage the capable with my product, https://captable.io/about

Kerry Davis

March 1st, 2015

I have had thoughts along the same line. Fill short term immediate needs using equity based contributors, many of which would not be long term either by definition of the need or geo-location of the contributor. Is there precedence for this? I could not wrap my head around an equitable way of pulling this off so I am also eager to see what you find. I have found a few small dev houses seeking a somewhat ridiculously high amount of equity while at the same time asking me to cover their "costs" as well.

Kris Young Optop-Mechanical Engineer at Advanced Energy

March 3rd, 2015

I'll toss a third vote in for slicing pie.  There are still logistical hurdles, but in just a couple days with PieSlicer I feel like I have a good handle on the value of large and medium and small contributions where before I felt like the only real option that were worth my time were full partnerships.