What do you think about joining a startup that pays no salary or significantly under market (like 1/3) as a non-cofounder? What would make the promise of generous equity and a bump to market rates after funding worth the trade-off of even an early stage startup that pays slightly under market but still gives meaningful equity?
Just interested in the reaction these offers engender as I'm seeing them more often.
I still see some VCs saying "if you are a co-founder your equity is your pay". Don't know how that works if you live in America and want to eat, have shelter, or support a family. Of course, as pointed out in other responses, if you came off a good exit or have other means there is more flexibility. Even so, given the great majority of startups do fail, pure equity, to me, puts all the risk on one side. Don't see that.
In my last startup engagement I joined as a part-time consultant.to keep the costs down and to allow me to work on other projects. When they started to look at staffing, I pushed for them to offset the low wages by offering a better benefits package and, if necessary, for certain functions, the ability to work from home. We did end up getting several candidates whom were absolutely great, actually more than great. So maybe this approach did work...