Should I share our cap table with employees?

Startup CEO / Founder here.

I have about 5 or 6 FTE employees, and a fairly simple cap table.  Most of them know what’s in it anyway more or less.  Investors are friendly angel and probably wouldn’t care.

Should I just share all the info with FTE employees?  Anyone done this and regretted it or felt really good about it?

  • I did this at my own startup. It was 100% worth it – we had 5 FT people when I did this.

    There were 2 people who were upset about how much was/wasn’t available for them down the road, and they left. In hindsight, the signs that they weren’t a good fit for us were there, so this was just an excuse for them to leave (It was friendly and amicable, I still go drinking with one of them).

    The other 3 stuck around and were there until the bitter end (we were not successful in becoming profitable and ran out of funding).

    While it divided us briefly, it brought everyone else closer, and sharing with our new employees/prospects was good. It takes a special kind of person for it. It’s definitely not for everyone. Buffer has a good set of blogposts on transparency.

    Even if you don’t share your cap table, share revenue/costs/profit numbers with your team. It puts everyone into a different mindset if you aren’t profitable, and it makes everyone push harder.

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