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a company I was previously contracting for is interested in hiring me on a larger scale as the head of a new tech company they're considering to start. They have a viable business concept of which I will be an integral part of and i'll play a leading role in architecting the various applications/tools which they plan to eventually turn around and sell. We've met once to talk through expectations, potential issues, ideas, etc., and its progressing.

Note that initially, I was under the impression I will simply be getting larger projects that'll require more responsibility on my part, which they are willing to pay more for - so I thought of a figure that made sense ahead of time, to present during the meeting - which I did.

Although, as the meeting actually came along and they expressed the need for me to manage this new technology company and develop what they will eventually own and sell, I had clearer picture of what they want and my expectations changed. During the follow up, would it be unreasonable to discuss a scenario where the compensation package would comprise of equity + some salary?

The ideal contract-scenario is to manage the company and develop cutting edge stuff for them that they will be able to profit from selling, under the condition that I will earn a piece of the pie in addition to my salary, for as long as the company is in tact (aka royalties) and they are profiting from any manifestation of the technology that I played a major roll in developing, even if I decided to discontinue my roll there in 2-3 years down the line, after many profitable contributions have been made.

Was hoping someone can help suggest how I can propose this in a way that is the most reasonable and likely to work out, as this will be a big change in my career and I have limited experience in negotiating such deals.

Thanks in advance

  • Your expectations changed but you already gave them a number so the cat is out of the bag... – user1220 Feb 27 '15 at 20:32
  • Yes, but nothing is set in stone and the negotiating process is still, very much so, in tact as they come up with a proposal/offer that will require my review to which I can respond with adjustments – AnchovyLegend Feb 27 '15 at 20:38
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You got more clarity in the meeting, and even though you had already shared a number with them, you can write back or bring this up in the next conversation (preferably if you ask for a meeting to discuss terms), and say that you've been thinking about what is expected from your role, and the responsibility you'd be taking on .. so after giving it a lot of thought, you'd like to revisit the compensation discussion and work out a model that will work for both sides.

If possible, go prepared with the kind of commitment you will make (in terms of revenue, users, or whatever other metric will be of key value to the group), and you can even suggest tying your compensation to the performance towards that metric. This will at least open up the compensation topic again, and then you can agree on something more suitable to you.

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    I would also say the sooner the better in this case. Don't let them go forward thinking that the number mentioned is your end-all-be-all. This way expectations are out in the open. – Brian Mar 2 '15 at 14:37

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