Initial employee & ethics of renegotiation

As an initial employee, who is still doing lot of heavy lifting, and is almost irreplaceable (or replaceable by multiple talented people), I’m wondering whether it’s a good idea to bring up renegotiation? To be fair to the founder, I want to provide options to either significantly increase my equity/salary, or find a replacement and let me move on.

Looking from the founder’s point of view, he is losing on both the options, but status quo will not be acceptable to me. If it remains the same, I‘ll leave anyway … which will be a bigger loss.

Does this look fair & ethical from the point of view of founders?

  • If you really want to stay, talk to him about what you want and explain to him why you feel entitled to more equity, etc.

    If you can not live with his answer, then tell him you will reduce your equity stake so that it will help him find a replacement and hand over the work you’ve done.

    If you are irreplaceable, they will fight to keep you.

    If you are replaceable, they will let you move on to do something else and suffer the consequences.

    In my experience with start-ups, I’ve seen it where one person does the heavy lifting and the other coasts by doing nothing. I’ve also seen it where someone thought they were doing the heavy lifting, but never delivered a full product. Only you know what replaceable/irreplaceable truly means. I really hope you are irreplaceable and they recognize that. Good luck!

  • Don’t get greedy. Your best strategy is to find industry comparables for compensation and equity stake for companies your size. If you are actually being underpaid, this is a reasonable thing to bring up with the founder and you are in a strong position because you can back up your desires with hard numbers.

    If you are being fairly compensated as things stand currently, asking for more is going to feel like a stab in the back, and you probably won’t do any better by walking so your threat of leaving isn’t really credible either.

  • OP Here,

    Thanks for the comments and time spent on this. I really appreciate that..

    I certainly do not want to back stab or black mail. On the other hand,

    I also want to keep myself motivated by thinking of the golden pot at the horizon.

    I think i’ll wait for company to be more stable, before flooring the proposal.

    Thanks again,

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    You may also like