Author Topic: I just turned down an offer for 2mm dollars.  (Read 8697 times)

jprince7827

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I just turned down an offer for 2mm dollars.
« on: November 24, 2014, 02:54:09 PM »
A former boss wanted me to come work for his new company so badly that he offered me 140k and what would be worth around 2mm(140k in today's value) in stock options when the company was worth 8x it's current value. It's a 1bn dollar company, and last year in January it was worth maybe 250mm, so 8x is not unreasonable. The thing is I don't like betting on an 8x increase, so I considered only the 2x increase(maybe about 440kish) when looking at the offer.

I know people who work at this company, and the hours there are terrible. One of my friends has been there since it began, and he works all day, then goes home, eats dinner, and works till 1am. It's a terrible dichotomy: There are 30 engineers, and if you look at the codebase, only 5 or 6 of them have ever really contributed(my friend is one). He is suffering from depression now, and has a 1000 yard stare in his eyes. He'll be a millionaire once they IPO, though, for sure.

My current gig is 100% remote work, 140k, and 120k in options in a much smaller startup that *might* be worth 10mm at the end of this year, which would bring my options value up to 260k if I vested over 4 years. Really not even financially on the same page.

And yet I still told this man no to his face. I can't believe it. Something just didn't feel right, and now I'm in shock. I told him the offer wasn't a no-brainer, and that it'd needed to be a no-brainer for me to switch. This is because I knew I was guaranteed going to be miserable for four years, so it had to be the last four years I ever worked. It wasn't guaranteed, and I'm happy right now where I'm at, even though I may not have a job in six months.

Am I crazy for doing this? I am not sure yet.

Beric01

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Re: I just turned down an offer for 2mm dollars.
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2014, 03:02:46 PM »
The money sounds very nice, so I might do it if it would let me FIRE in a couple years, and if as a single person I don't have any outside responsibilities. I'd live in prison for 1 year if I could come out with at least $500K or so.

If you have a family, there's no way I would recommend you do that. Family is worth more than money.

jprince7827

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Re: I just turned down an offer for 2mm dollars.
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2014, 03:08:39 PM »
The money sounds very nice, so I might do it if it would let me FIRE in a couple years, and if as a single person I don't have any outside responsibilities. I'd live in prison for 1 year if I could come out with at least $500K or so.

If you have a family, there's no way I would recommend you do that. Family is worth more than money.

I've got a fiance and two dogs. Not sure if that counts, but last time I had to work terrible hours a year or more ago, it put some strain on our relationship I'd care not to repeat.

I dunno. I'm still not sure I did the right thing.

fireferrets

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Re: I just turned down an offer for 2mm dollars.
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2014, 03:13:04 PM »
Same salary, but current position is remote and reasonable hours? I'd have done the same thing.
Although I usually ignore stock options because what if the company dies overnight and is worth nothing? Then you're back at square one.

Beric01

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Re: I just turned down an offer for 2mm dollars.
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2014, 03:15:48 PM »
The money sounds very nice, so I might do it if it would let me FIRE in a couple years, and if as a single person I don't have any outside responsibilities. I'd live in prison for 1 year if I could come out with at least $500K or so.

If you have a family, there's no way I would recommend you do that. Family is worth more than money.

I've got a fiance and two dogs. Not sure if that counts, but last time I had to work terrible hours a year or more ago, it put some strain on our relationship I'd care not to repeat.

I dunno. I'm still not sure I did the right thing.

Nope, with a fiance your future marriage will most likely be shot with that kind of job. I hear stories work killing marriages all the time. I would only do it if either you're single (as in no romantic partner period), or if your partner is also a workaholic or similarly motivated for FIRE to put in that kind of commitment.

Regardless, I wouldn't blame anyone who turns down an offer with that kind of time commitment required, no matter how much money they offer. You work becomes literally your life.

jprince7827

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Re: I just turned down an offer for 2mm dollars.
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2014, 03:16:55 PM »
Same salary, but current position is remote and reasonable hours? I'd have done the same thing.
Although I usually ignore stock options because what if the company dies overnight and is worth nothing? Then you're back at square one.

Yeah, that was kind of my feeling. Whenever they start throwing around 8x numbers on the options they're giving you, I just take it with a grain of salt. If I'm wrong, that sucks, but, if I'm right that I don't think 8x is gonna happen, I'm glad I chose to be happy over descending into Hell.

That's how my friend described it: "I would trade places with you in a second. Know that if you take this job, you're descending into Hell."

Pretty dark words for a software dev job, lol.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: I just turned down an offer for 2mm dollars.
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2014, 03:22:46 PM »


"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt."

DrCadmium

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Re: I just turned down an offer for 2mm dollars.
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2014, 03:27:08 PM »
Congratulations! It seems to me that your "F.U. options" are worth 1.74M. Glad to see you exercise them.

Bob W

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Re: I just turned down an offer for 2mm dollars.
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2014, 03:33:52 PM »
What would your future self tell your present self?   I guess the risk of not getting the stock options played into it but it sound like you would have had some at least?   

jprince7827

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Re: I just turned down an offer for 2mm dollars.
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2014, 03:57:39 PM »
What would your future self tell your present self?   I guess the risk of not getting the stock options played into it but it sound like you would have had some at least?

I honestly don't know. My former boss and good friend put it to me rather bluntly:

"You like to think that money is your primary motivator, but it isn't. It's always been your freedom. Whenever something threatens your freedom, it doesn't matter how much money is involved, you'll always find an excuse to retain it."

And it looks like he was right, I chose freedom over money. A metric f*ck-ton.

I guess we'll have to see how my future-self turns out to know what he'll say. :)

Tyler

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Re: I just turned down an offer for 2mm dollars.
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2014, 04:15:12 PM »
I would have done the same thing.

The only thing he was guaranteeing you was 4 years of hell at your same salary per year.  Everything else is a carrot that may never materialize.  You can do better.

DoubleDown

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Re: I just turned down an offer for 2mm dollars.
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2014, 04:16:11 PM »
Clearly it pans out for some people to cash in on these potentially lucrative stock option plans. But I've yet to meet anyone who's had it work out, whereas I've known several people who got nothing when the company's expectations didn't pan out as hoped. One guy I know, a super bright and talented dude, was one day away from receiving $13mm when the company he started was going to be acquired. The day before the deal was being signed, he was at the Porsche dealership test driving the car he was going to buy that day. Then his partner called and said, "Uh, don't buy the car -- there's a problem..." That was right around Jan. 2000 when the tech crash happened. He was still working 10 years later when he told me the story.

Sounds to me like you did the right thing.

jprince7827

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Re: I just turned down an offer for 2mm dollars.
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2014, 04:18:25 PM »
Clearly it pans out for some people to cash in on these potentially lucrative stock option plans. But I've yet to meet anyone who's had it work out, whereas I've known several people who got nothing when the company's expectations didn't pan out as hoped. One guy I know, a super bright and talented dude, was one day away from receiving $13mm when the company he started was going to be acquired. The day before the deal was being signed, he was at the Porsche dealership test driving the car he was going to buy that day. Then his partner called and said, "Uh, don't buy the car -- there's a problem..." That was right around Jan. 2000 when the tech crash happened. He was still working 10 years later when he told me the story.

Sounds to me like you did the right thing.

Damn. Terrible. I also very much like that quote posted above from Ronin - If there is any doubt, there is no doubt. That's comforting.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: I just turned down an offer for 2mm dollars.
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2014, 04:54:14 PM »

The only thing he was guaranteeing you was 4 years of hell at your same salary per year.  Everything else is a carrot that may never materialize. 

+2

KS

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Re: I just turned down an offer for 2mm dollars.
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2014, 11:31:53 AM »

The only thing he was guaranteeing you was 4 years of hell at your same salary per year.  Everything else is a carrot that may never materialize. 

+2

+3

You didn't turn down 2mm dollars, you turned down the distant possibility of 2mm dollars, and a guarantee of 4 miserable years. Yes the company could hit big and you could look back and wonder what if. But if someone you know and trust is suffering so badly there, and would trade with you in a heartbeat, that speaks volumes for how you are going to feel when you're there. Especially since the actual guaranteed salary at your current job is the same, there is no reason to torture yourself like that, it's not worth it!

Cookie78

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Re: I just turned down an offer for 2mm dollars.
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2014, 12:01:15 PM »
I would have made the same choice too. Freedom > Money

Roland of Gilead

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Re: I just turned down an offer for 2mm dollars.
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2014, 12:04:55 PM »
Yes, you didn't turn down 2m, you turned down a lottery ticket that might make you 2m.

When my wife started working for a large software company 14 years ago they gave her a projection of her stock options that claimed they would be worth $5m on expiration.   We got $6000 out of them.

mlejw6

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Re: I just turned down an offer for 2mm dollars.
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2014, 12:09:09 PM »
Past performance does not guarantee future results.

I think you did the right thing. Don't keep looking backward. Look forward to your stress-free life.

dude

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Re: I just turned down an offer for 2mm dollars.
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2014, 01:08:35 PM »
Sounds like you made a reasoned decision to me.  Your current gig sounds nice, pays well, and also has some upside -- without the health-wrecking requirements of the potentially more lucrative job.

FireYourJob

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Re: I just turned down an offer for 2mm dollars.
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2014, 01:25:51 PM »
The money sounds very nice, so I might do it if it would let me FIRE in a couple years, and if as a single person I don't have any outside responsibilities. I'd live in prison for 1 year if I could come out with at least $500K or so.

If you have a family, there's no way I would recommend you do that. Family is worth more than money.

I've got a fiance and two dogs. Not sure if that counts, but last time I had to work terrible hours a year or more ago, it put some strain on our relationship I'd care not to repeat.

I dunno. I'm still not sure I did the right thing.

how old are you?

Sid Hoffman

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Re: I just turned down an offer for 2mm dollars.
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2014, 01:31:24 PM »
I've got a fiance and two dogs. Not sure if that counts, but last time I had to work terrible hours a year or more ago, it put some strain on our relationship I'd care not to repeat.

I dunno. I'm still not sure I did the right thing.

I view a horribly oppressive job to be like going without eating.  If the oppression is only like going 12 hours without food, then tough it out.  If it's like going 12 days without food and living off only water, that is going to super suck.  However if the job is basically like not eating for 3 months, then you are almost 100% for sure going to die before you even make it halfway.

Like you said, it can bring an end to relationships, it can potentially cause long-term health problems, and in a lot of ways it can end up doing psychological damage that can take anywhere from a long time to possibly forever to heal from.  I used to keep a printout of the on-call paging report from one of my jobs that I had in 2001 or so.  I was continuously on-call for my department for over 2 months because they laid off everyone but me.  I got paged off-hours (usually during sleep hours) 58 out of 60 days when I ran the report.  I simply do not ever want to do that again even if it were a ton more money.  It took me years to genuinely recover at every level from that job.

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!