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What I Wish I'd Known About Equity Before Joining A Unicorn

Disclaimer: This piece is written anonymously. The names of a few particular companies are mentioned, but as common examples only.

This is a short write-up on things that I wish I'd known and considered before joining a private company (aka startup, aka unicorn in some cases). I'm not trying to make the case that you should never join a private company, but the power imbalance between founder and employee is extreme, and that potential candidates would


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thomasdavis /
Created Jul 6, 2016 — forked from jdmaturen/
Who pays when startup employees keep their equity?

Who pays when startup employees keep their equity?

JD Maturen, 2016/07/05, San Francisco, CA

As has been much discussed, stock options as used today are not a practical or reliable way of compensating employees of fast growing startups. With an often high strike price, a large tax burden on execution due to AMT, and a 90 day execution window after leaving the company many share options are left unexecuted.

There have been a variety of proposed modifications to how equity is distributed to address these issues for individual employees. However, there hasn't been much discussion of how these modifications will change overall ownership dynamics of startups. In this post we'll dive into the situation as it stands today where there is very near 100% equity loss when employees leave companies pre-exit and then we'll look at what would happen if there were instead a 0% loss rate.

What we'll see is that employees gain nearly 3-fold, while both founders and investors – particularly early investors – get dilute

View mmmm.js
// boot.js
module.exports = require('./app');
// app.js
import from 'foo';
import from 'bar';
// foo.js
thomasdavis / edges.csv
Created Jan 22, 2016 — forked from futureperfect/edges.csv
Sample data for Gephi demonstration
View edges.csv
Source Target Type Id Weight Average Degree
1 3 Undirected 1 1.0 1.0
2 10 Undirected 8 1.0 1.0
3 4 Undirected 2 1.0 1.0
4 5 Undirected 3 1.0 1.0
5 10 Undirected 4 1.0 1.0
8 2 Undirected 7 1.0 1.0
8 9 Undirected 11 1.0 1.0
10 1 Undirected 5 1.0 1.0
10 6 Undirected 10 1.0 1.0
View gist:f7f314e3f09824c767a0
include AlgoliaSearch
algoliasearch do
# all attributes will be sent
attributesForFaceting [:part_name]
add_attribute :part_name do
customRanking ['asc(part_name)', 'asc(name)']
View gist:0ada3ba15b339c147357
include AlgoliaSearch
algoliasearch do
# all attributes will be sent
attributesForFaceting [:part_name]
add_attribute :part_name do
customRanking ['asc(part_name)', 'asc(name)']
View gist:074743397d2382895b53
Started POST "/api/v1/users" for at 2014-11-27 12:28:56 +1000
ActiveRecord::SchemaMigration Load (0.3ms) SELECT "schema_migrations".* FROM "schema_migrations"
Processing by Api::V1::UsersController#create as JSON
Parameters: {"email"=>"", "user"=>{"email"=>""}}
(0.2ms) begin transaction
User Exists (0.4ms) SELECT 1 AS one FROM "users" WHERE LOWER("users"."email") = LOWER('') LIMIT 1
Binary data inserted for `string` type on column `ip_address`
SQL (0.6ms) INSERT INTO "users" ("created_at", "email", "ip_address", "lat", "lon", "updated_at") VALUES (?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?) [["created_at", "2014-11-27 02:28:57.008474"], ["email", ""], ["ip_address", ""], ["lat", 0.0], ["lon", 0.0], ["updated_at", "2014-11-27 02:28:57.008474"]]
(4.3ms) commit transaction
View gist:20d0f432ebcfd4c23147
"checks": {
"cron_check": {
"handlers": ["default"],
"command": "/etc/sensu/plugins/check-procs.rb -p crond -C 1 ",
"interval": 60,
"subscribers": [ "all" ]
"nginx_check": {
"handlers": ["default"],

The introduction to Reactive Programming you've been missing

(by @andrestaltz)

So you're curious in learning this new thing called (Functional) Reactive Programming (FRP).

Learning it is hard, even harder by the lack of good material. When I started, I tried looking for tutorials. I found only a handful of practical guides, but they just scratched the surface and never tackled the challenge of building the whole architecture around it. Library documentations often don't help when you're trying to understand some function. I mean, honestly, look at this:

Rx.Observable.prototype.flatMapLatest(selector, [thisArg])

Projects each element of an observable sequence into a new sequence of observable sequences by incorporating the element's index and then transforms an observable sequence of observable sequences into an observable sequence producing values only from the most recent observable sequence.

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