Somewhat Verbatim Conversation with a Startup Recruiter

“Hey Mike! You passed our phone screen. We’d like to invite you to visit our office and write some code on a whiteboard.”

“That sounds fine. Does the job involve writing code on a whiteboard?”

“Of course not.”

“I see. Can you tell me how much it pays?”

“We don’t discuss those things up front. What I can say is it almost surely pays less than what you’re making now. But that discounts the potential value of the very small slice of stock options we will also give you after a year.”

“What are those worth?”

“Nothing now. Maybe millions if we’re the next Facebook. Let me highlight our mission statement, ‘To become the next Facebook.’”

“I could also go to Vegas and play slots.”

“But then you would lose the opportunity to devote years of your life to helping our founders get rich.”

“What does your company do again?”

“We are in stealth mode, so you’ll get to sign an NDA after two rounds of interviews. We do already have a website that is responsive and uses web fonts.”

“OK, let’s give it a shot.”

“Great. Is it convenient for you to come in tomorrow for four and a half hours starting at 10? Lunch isn’t included.”

“Not totally.”

“Our co-founders travel a lot between TED talks and angel pitches. You understand.”

“Sure. You guys are edgy and most importantly, making it up as you go along. Should be fun.”