Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2009:May:11 Monday <Sunday, Tuesday>
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2009/5/11-18 [Industry/Startup] UID:52981 Activity:moderate
5/10  stock is great and all but, have any of you ever been told how
      many outstanding shares there are out there when you were discussing
      stock options?  I've worked at 5 startups now, and haven't been
      able to get a straight answer out of anyone, ever.  bunch of weasels.
      \_ If you haven't gone public yet then the staight answer isn't really
         useful anyway because there will be more shared issued along the way.
         Unless you have a controlling interest they could just dilute you
         out of most of your equity anyway.
      \_ I only knew to ask at the last two I worked at and yes, at both of
         them they were willing to tell me how many shares were outstanding.
         As the previous poster indicates though, both were diluted before
         their eventual IPO.
      \_ I've usually been able to find out, it is always a pain.  (You are
         best off getting this info when you first accept an offer with
         shares).  And yes you will get diluted, but to say that it isn't
         really useful to know the number is just plain wrong.  It is very
         easy to give some dumb engineer 10 million shares and issue 900
         trillion shares.  Diluting affects everyone, so there are interested
         parties besides no-power employees involved. -phuqm
         \_ The powerful parties are able to "un-dilute" themselves though.
            \_ Only by ponying up more cash. Their original investments get
               \_ I have seen execs who are cozy with the board get offered
                  more shares in this case.
                  \_ That's true. You don't want to over-dilute your key
                     \_ I'm beginning to think my company has no idea who
                        is really 'key' (everyone here is pretty key, but
                        there are probably a few people who are more key
                        than others).  I just did some math and I have
                        calculated that my shares are worth about $10
                        a day to me at current prices.  big whooooooooo
      \_ I've never had any difficulty getting this information from any of
         the startups I've worked for.  This question should be asked when
         you receive their job offer, and any company that won't answer this
         question should be avoided.  Yes you will get dilluted at each
         round of funding (as more shares are issued), but it's also normal
         for employees to receive additional option grants at that time to
         compensate (though that still means the percentage of equity you're
         vested into has been reduced by the round), and if management
         doesn't bring it up the employees should.
      \_ When I first got the offer of my current job, the CEO actually told me
         my options as a percentage of all outstanding shares, not as number of
         shares.  I didn't know the number of shares until I signed the offer
         \_ Was your CEO 24 years old?
            \_ No.  I think he's in his 40s.
        \_ I graduated in 2000, just before the bubble burst, and every company
           (except Trilogy, which is just wacky) offered up the percentage
           right off the bat. Only one was a little elusive, but they gave it.
           Since then, I've only worked for the public sector or public co's.
           \_ why only public co + sector? soured experience? need to pay
              mortgage and/or kid + wife?
              \_ the public sector was because I considered going into
                 education and was burned out from the startup. The public
                 company is doing quite well and has interesting work. I'm
                 still a bit startup adverse after the first one. No wife,
                 mortgage or kids.
                 \_ could you tell us about the bad experience you have?
                    I'm thinking of doing the reverse. I'm bored with a
                    20K+ company. I really dislike it.
                    \_ I have worked at three startups and they all had these
                       things in common: chaotic, unstructured work environment,
                       lots of things just "don't work" and you end up fixing
                       yourself or doing without (like copy machines, phones,
                       your work station, etc), long hours, inexperienced (and
                       therefore widely varying in quality) management. If you
                       can handle these, you might be okay. A bad startup will
                       have all these, but more pathologies, usually related
                       to whatever issues the founder has.
                       \_ he wasn't the previous poster, but that sums it up
                          pretty nicely. Another way to think about it is that
                                NPV(startup) < NPV(public company)
                          but the startup has >std dev so chance of options
                          being worth >$1M is higher at the startup.
        \_ I hear we're going for a 'liquidity event'.  Shoud I hold my
           breathe until i turn blue, to get more stock?
           \_ You won't get more stock at a liquidity event. You'll probably
              just get diluted more. You should
                1) Stay employed and content (and bitch on motd) or
                2) Ask for more stock while looking for a new job
              if you go for #2, you need to lay out your case well. Come up
              with a list of all the important projects you worked on last year
              as well as your domain knowledge and expertise that makes you an
              invaluable member of the engineering team. So focus on how good
              you are, not how shitty your compensation is. AFTER you get to an
              agreement about how awesome you are, you can bring up an argument
              agreement about how awesome you are, you can make an argument RE:
              how you feel like you should be rewarded and given greater
              incentives to stay and help the company grow/liquidate.
      \_ Every company I've asked this of has been up front about it. -dans
2009/5/11-18 [Computer/SW/Security, Computer/HW/Drives] UID:52982 Activity:nil
5/10  I have large spare disks on several machines, all on same net.
      How can I combine them into one big visible network file system?
      \_ you want either a clustered file system (eww expensive) or look into
         smoething like a distributed file system (afs, global fs).
      \_ The startup I work for makes a distributed NAS product that's free
         for the first four terabytes if you'd like to try it.                      --alawrenc
2009/5/11-18 [Politics/Foreign/Asia/Korea, Politics/Foreign/Europe] UID:52983 Activity:nil 80%like:52980
5/10    A Quite good article about the financial crisis:
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2009:May:11 Monday <Sunday, Tuesday>