Sorry I ranted about employees being screwed.
One thing I hate to do is rail against the injustice of something and then not follow-up with a proposed solution or course of action. I prefer to act as if I have agency in the situation, mainly because I think people feel better when they “think” they have control over their lives and slightly because I’m a control-freak.
Here’s some follow-up thoughts:
1.) How employees at startups are screwed
Job security’s an illusion in any company. FedEx, Home Depot, all the big brands are doing layoffs, and you can lose your job quickly there as you could in any startup. In this day and age, the only guarantee for jobs is that your skills are relevant and you’re not a creep. And sometimes, the latter doesn’t matter. The great thing about startups is that you MEET A LOT OF PEOPLE and you’ll find your network expands tremendously. One day your client becomes your next business partner, or your new source for freelancer talent, or an angel investor, or referrer of new biz. It’s pretty great.
2.) The company’s health.
I firmly believe that your health, the health of your co-workers, and management will dictate 90% of the results of your company. Companies are not people, as Romney will tell you; but without people there are no companies. There have been plenty of times when I didn’t know the future of my company clearly, but I KNEW that if I kept the morale of the people in the company high we could weather most downturns. It’s a tribal mentality.
3.) How I’m taking advantage of employees
It’s still my opinion that the game is rigged. It’s true that managers/Founders take most of the risk, the burden of management (there’s a LOT), and reap the bulk of rewards for the risk and pressure. But it’s also true that employees are doing tremendous work, and they are RISKING as well. They’re taking a risk to be working with you. Founders can’t get fired, employees can. Founders can give themselves a bonus, or shut down operations, or re-structure benefits….but employees can’t. Here’s my advice for employees – have frank and frequent conversations on how to get stock options/equity/or compensated fairly for your efforts. And do those conversations when you, the employee, is ready. Don’t let the employer make the first consideration – the framework of negotiation is pre-set at that stage then. Better to be pushed down from a high number than claw up from a low.
So hopefully that puts a better perspective regarding The Whole Story.