If You Start a Company for Cash, You’re Doing It Wrong

Peter: The one [question that I ask people starting businesses] that I think is always REALLY good is, “What is the salary of the CEO?”
Sarah: What’s the right answer for that?
Peter: Less than 150k, even after a series A. That single question is incredibly important—are people doing it for equity, or for cash? I remember when LinkedIn was getting started, Reid took 15k a year. It was the minimum salary for getting health insurance—it really sets a tone for everything in your company.

—Last night PandoDaily’s Sarah Lacy had a chat with venture capitalist/god Peter Thiel. The rough transcript of the whole chat is worth reading, especially if you’re interested in doing your own thing (which, aren’t we all? It’s the aughts! Make your own job!). Also of note:

Peter: The most important thing is doing something you believe in. You shouldn’t start a startup for the sake of it, you shouldn’t join a startup for the sake of it … There is so much more to it—the happiness, the culture.

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2 Comments / Post A Comment

deepomega (#22)

Everyone knows there’s only one reason to start a company – because the coast guard will try and arrest you if you just go around sinking boats and crashing them into other people’s docks.

this is sort of misleading…I didn’t read the transcript BUT: it’s not rare at all for a CEO/owner to take a really really low official salary but live at a much inflated salary level. He may officially only make 15,000/yr, but how much of his housing, food, and transportation is covered by the company?

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