My one life lesson here:

  • As CEO, you may not care that much about salaries. Because you are focused on making your equity worth 100x your salary.
  • So you can forget — people are extremely sensitive to even small variances in salaries.

At a start-up, your cash will be very limited. Salaries may be poor. But you have to at least be as fair as you possibly can. If you are running the company as CEO+COO … pay the COO the same as you. Or possibly even more, since you have more equity.

Otherwise, it will gnaw at her/him forever. Almost always.

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