Blog Archives

Is Dead Equity Crippling Your Company?

By: Noam Wasserman for Dead equity — equity held by employees and founders no longer working at the company — is a large and growing problem. Facebook’s IPO minted many millionaires and even billionaires.  One who attracted much attention

Posted in equity issues, equity split, vesting

Fear vs. Greed at Facebook

By: Noam Wasserman for Mark Zuckerberg and his executive team have been extremely successful at retaining equity in their company. But how well do most other founders do? Even as Facebook prepares to go public, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder

Posted in equity issues, equity split, rich vs. king, vesting Tagged with:

The Gender Gap in Startups, Part 2: Compensation

Is there a Gender Salary Gap in private ventures? My previous post showed the percentages of men versus women in IT versus Life Sciences executive teams, across various VP-level and C-level positions. In this post, I focus on salary differences

Posted in compensation, equity issues, gender gap

Unlocking Your Golden Handcuffs: How Common is Accelerated Vesting on Change of Control?

“I’m negotiating my equity-compensation package. How frequently do people get accelerated vesting on change of control?” In private ventures, vesting of equity stakes is the major form of golden handcuffs (see posts here, here, and here) used to keep executives

Posted in accelerated vesting, equity issues, vesting

Equity-Split Results, Part 2: Implications for Team Stability

Does the founding team’s equity split affect the team’s stability as the venture grows? As I described in my original “Splitting the Pie” post almost a year ago, my initial interest in equity splits was sparked by the contrast between

Posted in equity issues, equity split

Equity-Split Results, Part 1: When Do Teams Split Equally?

What makes a founding team more likely to split equity equally? In this year’s Entrepreneurship and Compensation Survey, I added questions about equity splits within the founding team. These questions were sparked by my cases and field research about equity

Posted in equity issues, equity split

Golden Handcuffs and Vesting: Initial Interpretations

The “Summary of Vesting Data” post presented the overall patterns in my vesting data and delved into the founder vs. non-founder differences. My “Early Analyses” post listed both the most significant drivers from my regression analyses of vesting periods and

Posted in compensation, equity issues, vesting

Golden Handcuffs: Summary of Vesting Data

To complement the detailed early results, here are some high-level summary data on the years of vesting. Across the full dataset (1163 executives from 225 companies), the range of years is 1 year to 5 years. The widespread rule of

Posted in compensation, equity issues, vesting

Golden Handcuffs and Vesting: Early Analyses

For people holding equity that has not yet fully vested: Does the vesting status affect your thinking about when you might leave your company? For investors or CEOs: Are you worried that a key employee will leave your company when

Posted in compensation, equity issues, vesting


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