At Booming Toptal, No Stock for Employees or Investors

I mean none – 100% owned by Taso Du Val and I assume none by all the rest on this page.

As Toptal’s Chief Executive Officer, Taso manages Toptal’s core team of hundreds of team members distributed throughout the world, with a focus on innovation. Since Toptal was founded in 2010, Taso has led it to become the largest high-skilled, on-demand talent network in the world. Taso serves on the board of multiple organizations, advising on talent strategy and innovation for Fortune 100s and nonprofits. Taso has guest lectured at Harvard Business School, Wharton, and Oxford on talent management and entrepreneurship.

Toptal’s Web Site

Anyway, what he does and how he runs his business is – well – his business. But it got me to wondering … what he is advising those other companies to do when it comes to employee engagement? Employee motivation?

From where I sit, these words resonate;

What a shitty situation for employees and seed investors:

– Founder (CEO) raised $1.5M seed round in convertible notes
– Notes convert IF the company raises additional funding
– Employees were promised stock IF the company raises more money
– The company is profitable 👍
– The founder has no intention to raise more funding 👎
– Employees and seed investors own 0% 👎
– Founder owns 100% 👎

Employee contracts and notes should include a clause to convert in the event of liquidation or change in ownership.

Kai Gradert writing on Angel.co

Yes – shitty indeed – but VCs and Angel investors should be covering themselves .. no? Likewise staff? I mean why would anybody agree to join a start up with zero options?

No. It might seem unfair – but this is a case of needing to look before you leap. Promises mean bugger all. BUT …

But, what I do worry about is that advice. he’s giving. Are we going to see more of this?


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