As part of this, they prefer that the founding CEO have a very low salary.
Peter Thiel (previously CEO at PayPal, investor at Facebook, etc.) famously said the best predictor of startup success is low CEO pay:
“The lower the CEO salary, the more likely it is to succeed.
The CEO’s salary sets a cap for everyone else. If it is set at a high level, you end up burning a whole lot more money. It aligns his interest with the equity holders. But [beyond that], it goes to whether the mission of the company is to build something new or just collect paychecks.
In practice we have found that if you only ask one question, ask that."
(He clarified that he’s ok with $100-120k/yr, which, in the bay area, isn’t particularly balling, or if it is, it’s balling on a budget.)
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