VC’s have just changed the ~50-year old social contract with startup employees. In doing so they may have removed one of the key incentives that made startups different from working in a large company.
For most startup employee’s startup stock options are now a bad deal.
Why Startups Offer Stock Options
In tech startups stock options were here almost from the beginning, first offered to the founders in 1957 at Fairchild Semiconductor, the first chip startup in Silicon Valley. As Venture Capital emerged as an industry in the mid 1970’s, investors in venture-funded startups began to give stock options to all their employees. On its surface this was a pretty radical idea. The investors were giving away part of their ownership of the company — not just to the founders, but to all employees. Why would they do that?