Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Evaluating startup offers and comp packages

The guys from Venture Hacks just posted regarding how individuals can evaluate job offers from startups. There are two parts (Part 1 and Part 2).

I thought this post was interesting because this past year I fielded similar questions from classmates who were evaluating opportunities with startups versus bigger, established companies. One thing I have seen fairly frequently in the past (and something I myself have done) is people who over-value their options. Most startup companies do not sell for Google or VMware-like prices, so you have to assume a moderate outcome (and therefore a moderate payout). Heck, some of them never sell and just go under. Just the nature of the game.

BTW, if you are really fired up about going to work at a startup after school, you might think about taking a VC class. It helps you understand the financing side of the startup world, and also comes in handy when you are thinking about how to value a startup's offer of employment.


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Johnny B. Goode,

I'm a j-termet from 2003. Tough year to graduate. 50% of us had no offer by graduation, and I was one who had an offer rescinded (not many signing bonuses back then either). Unfortunately, I could see next year's class facing a similar situation. (or maybe the next 2-3 years?) Wondered if you could post on the mood that you sense among your classmates on the job/career picture going forward.

I did some contract work for a few months and then found myself competing against 2004 grads. Another, contracting assignment, and, for fuck's sake, I was competing against 2005 grads. Only in 2006 did I get the job that I thought I should have had at graduation. Tough when you're an idiot like me and put the $100,000 on student loans (on the plus side, half is at fixed 2.675% and other half at variable but currently 4.75%)

Best of luck, and hope that you'll find 5 years out that your degree was worth it.

Anonymous said...

Johnny B. Goode,

I'm a j-termet from 2003. Tough year to graduate. 50% of us had no offer by graduation, and I was one who had an offer rescinded (not many signing bonuses back then either). Unfortunately, I could see next year's class facing a similar situation. (or maybe the next 2-3 years?) Wondered if you could post on the mood that you sense among your classmates on the job/career picture going forward.

I did some contract work for a few months and then found myself competing against 2004 grads. Another, contracting assignment, and, for fuck's sake, I was competing against 2005 grads. Only in 2006 did I get the job that I thought I should have had at graduation. Tough when you're an idiot like me and put the $100,000 on student loans (on the plus side, half is at fixed 2.675% and other half at variable but currently 4.75%)

Best of luck, and hope that you'll find 5 years out that your degree was worth it.

mba said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
John said...

Thanks for the note.

The mood I think is OK but all the people going into banking or related fields are certainly concerned (especially those who had offers from Lehman, Bear, etc). And as far as I know the consulting firms aren't cutting back although I think hiring for 2009 may be lighter.

Josh Hohman said...

Hi, my name is Josh, and I'm a recent Stanford GSB graduate. I’d like to offer your readers some helpful information. I recently surveyed my classmates, friends and colleagues, and asked them to discuss their application strategies, as well as advice for entering MBA students, for Stanford, Harvard, Columbia, and Kellogg. I compiled the responses into a FREE 21-page report available at http://www.ExpertCollective.com. Stanford MBA applicants tell me that the information is really helpful in filling-out their essays with detailed and specific information, while the entering first-years appreciate the advice on how to make best use of the 2 years at business school. I’d love to have you review the full version of the report (80+ pages) if you think you’re readers might be interested. Please send me an email at josh@expertcollective if you’d like me to email you a copy to review for your blog.

Best wishes for your success!

Josh Hohman
Stanford MBA 2005
www.ExpertCollective.com

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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