Not getting paid is not within any acceptable threshold of chaos for a startup, not even one of…
Kate Bertash

And yet it happens all of the time. When I was running my first startup we ran out of cash and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to make the next payroll. On payday I brought everyone into the conference room and told everyone we made payroll, but that I wasn’t sure we’d be able to make the next one. I told everyone that we thought we’d be able to close on additional investment, but that I couldn’t guarantee anything. I gave them the option of working (with the risk of not getting paid) or staying home (if we raised money I told them they’d be paid — a free vacation). It was an interesting experiment — out of 60 employees only 15 chose to come to work the next day. We ended up getting the cash we needed, but several months later we downsized and I can tell you that the 15 who stuck with kept their jobs.

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