Re: Oh, this is making *me* sneezy and teary...

Robert S. Thau (
Sat, 18 Dec 1999 09:32:43 -0500 (EST)

Adam Rifkin writes:
> One weird thing about late 1999 is that the employees of such companies
> no longer take risks. Program managers and developers can make cash
> salaries in the $50-100k range, maybe even more, working at a startup,
> plus a small equity stake in the form of options. Where is the risk
> when all they're doing is burning other peoples' money on a cool idea
> and getting an actual salary while doing it?

To quote someone from my hometown who is CTO of a silli-valley
ecommerce startup these days (not a Ponzi scheme, but
hardly what you'd call a sure thing in ordinary times), "the biggest
risk in a startup these days is not getting funded".

After that, the founders are set --- if the company doesn't work out
(pace the Whistle Communications story), the VCs will still sell it
for nine figures. So the founders are set.

Of course, at that point, says Franklin, there is still risk for the
second-tier employees --- the risk of not making enough money off the
stock run-up from *this particular job* to retire on, so they might
have to look for another one. Which they'll be able to find, of
course --- at least till the bubble bursts.