Great article. This is a tough position to be in. It is tougher, in my opinion, to be a ‘spiritual co-founder’ and find yourself in this situation. What I mean is being employee #1 to solo-founder. You work for sub-sub-sub-market rates with top-heavy equity to offset your income sacrifice. You pitch, you scrape, you scrap and you over-extend the credit of acceptance from your family and friends all the while.
When that time comes that you just have to move on now you are in the position to let down the founder who felt you were the best way they could spend their meager salary budget and admit to your dependents that this was a monumentally bad judgement call when the alternative involved things like “paid vacation”, “competitive wages” and “100% employer covered health insurance”…you know, all that stuff that comes with a “real job”, aka a measure of “stability”.