Have just been given an offer at a young startup (~3 yrs, 1 other employee [the CEO] and 2 contractors) for a CTO position. Offer is all-equity with a roadmap in place for salary after revenue goals are met. I am a reasonably experienced engineer who has previously served as CTO for a small startup.
My role would include the management of the technical team, re-architecting the core technology stack, PMing product requirements in a technical context, building out the product roadmap, and plenty of coding.
Existing CTO is leaving soon, current equity split is 60/40, and my offer is 12.5%, 4 years vesting with a 1 year cliff. Salary climbs from $0 to $1K / month, $2K, $3K, commensurate with revenue goals.
Bullish on the product and the domain, but originally said no on the basis that I would be inheriting an existing tech stack (with some decisions that made sense at the time) that I would have to substantially rearchitect in order to meet business goals successfully. Thought originally that I would have to work in a codebase that I didn't want to work in, but the CEO has expressed willingness to let me swap out some parts that I find particularly badly-suited to the business needs (hence the rearchitecting).
En route to establishing good will with the company, I've already volunteered to do some light amount of consultation and coding.
I am not exactly sure how to evaluate this offer. If the company were just starting out now, I would probably expect a larger amount of equity, but appreciate that this is discounted based on how old the company is. I assume also that my willingness to take equity and defer cash means that the equity amount should be more than it might otherwise be.
Appreciate further that a robust answer to this question might depend on information that I don't have access to, i.e. current revenue, CAP table after existing CTO exits, etc.
What I'm looking for is a good way to think about evaluating this offer.