At the point where my startup raises $10m, would it be not-inappropriate to take a $170k salary (no co founders)?

Yes, not a problem.

You should take a “market correct” salary as soon as it’s economically immaterial to the company.

I don’t write $10m checks.  I write, typically, $1m-$4m checks, the stage before that.  But.  As soon as I do write a check > $1m — I want to at least make sure the founders get paid.  Keeping them “healthy” is usually #1 highest ROI investment at this point.

If paid at that time doesn’t mean a full-market correct salary … then at least … let’s do it in the next round.

I don’t want you stressing about rent or any cr*p like that any longer than you have to.

But if you want to take any non-essential $$$ out when it still matters — then there’s also a problem.  You aren’t valuing your stock enough.

I’ve worked for $0.  Thrice. I get it.  You do it when you have to.  But it’s dumb when you don’t have to.  It also … gives you an excuse.

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Published on January 27, 2016

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