I’m an early employee at a startup currently working to raise our Series A. I thought we were doing fairly well as our metrics looked really good and the CEO kept telling the team every week that we were “killing it” with months of runway. Then I found out that we were actually behind on our bills for a little while until we closed on a bridge round recently.
I’ve worked here long enough that the founders have to know I’m not the kind of person to jump ship at the first sign of trouble. I do believe in our product and mission very much. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be working 50-70 hours a week on it. If I had known the situation was that dire, I would’ve offered to forgo my salary for a while (even as the main developer being paid way below market rate, this isn’t a trivial amount) and looked for freelance work. I’ve never seen any financials – the last time I asked for some numbers just to figure out what % equity I have in the company, the founders balked so I pretty much assume my equity is worthless.
I’ve received plenty of interest and job offers from other companies but have flat out turned them all down out of loyalty to the founders but what I’m getting from this is that they don’t really respect me as an employee and my loyalty is misplaced. I guess I’m just trying to understand this from the founders’ perspective. Why not be honest with your employees about the startup’s financial situation?