Even in this digital age words can do a lot of harm, especially when they’re “reduced” to 1s and 0s and it’s the 0s you have to look out for… and “reduced” is the operative word, especially if you work for some hot new tech company and were lured into taking the job with a comp package that included hoped for lucrative stock options.
How Much is That Option Package Really Worth
I’ll bet you know exactly how many shares you were promised. I’d also bet, as smart as you think you are… you haven’t a clue as to what those shares are worth now or will be in five years from now or when the company goes IPO or gets acquired.
Brilliant in your Field, Probably yes… Brilliant in Financial Matters, Probably not so Much
You may be a brilliant programmer, you may have mastered the art and science of online marketing or you may have some specific skill, expertise or talent that puts you head and shoulders above everyone else on Silicon Valley’s hiring list but unless you’ve taken at least college level course in Economics 101 and another course in Silicon Valley Finance, which is probably not taught anyplace other than Sand Hill Road, you may find yourself awakening from your dream of riches only to realize you’re now in a nightmare of disappointment, delusion and deception.
Promises and Assurances are not the same as Guarantees and Collateral
All of your over grown grey cells may shortly begin to cast a grey pallor over your skin, your mood, and your bank account and when that happens, and it will to a large number of employees, you’ll quickly realize you were probably not as thorough as you should have been when you were presented that employment agreement and you definitely won’t become as rich as you’d hope to be.
Why? How Could that Happen?
You have an employment agreement signed by the CEO and the President. You know these guys. You trust these guys. You work side-by-side with these guys. Surely they wouldn’t lie to you. And if they did, isn’t that fraud or some other criminal violation and wouldn’t they go to jail?
The answer is probably a little more sophisticated than that code you’re writing and a lot more difficult for an honest and trusting person, not schooled in economics to understand and interpret.
The answer lies in the words of the Agreement but sometimes those words leave a lot to misunderstanding, misinterpretation and once in a while… just plain misery.
Have you Forgotten that a Unicorn is a Mythical Animal?
Are you one of those employees who dreams about riding some unicorn to the intersection of “wealth & success” only to find that when you get there you find all those sunny visions you were promised have morphed into some dark cloud and that dream of success has turned into a nightmare called reality?