Yes. Market rate is what someone should expect to get for their experience. Competitive means what you say, part of the allure of the offer is that they pay above market. Google and Facebook can do this, small startups can not. So let me use a basic example. If you’re hiring a developer, and the market rate is 100K. Google and Facebook might be paying 125K. A startup can’t do that, so they’ll give more equity, but they should at least be approaching that 100K market rate, like maybe 75–80K. Once you get below that, larger chunks of equity aren’t as attractive and wind up diluting the overall equity very early.

I’m a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. Sold ExitEvent. Building & GetSpiffy. Former Automated Insights. More info at

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