It’s crazy how few people understand basic startup equity but are faced with major career decisions based on these concepts.

It’s even crazier how few companies are forthcoming with necessary details like latest valuation, shares outstanding, or fundraising plans (read ‘dilution’).

One of the most valuable topic areas I got comfortable with while at Uber were these concepts and I regularly have friends and colleagues asking me to simplify and clarify.

The key: ASK MORE QUESTIONS... without clarity you’re forced to discount the valued equity. The less is shared, the less serious the company is taking their own equity, and likely so should you.

Here are a few questions to start with.

Valuation questions:

• What is the latest valuation of the company?

• When was the valuation set?

• How was the valuation set?

Equity types & value questions:

• How many shares outstanding?

• How will i receive equity? options? RSUs?

• What is the vesting schedule?

• Paid over 4 years w 1 year cliff is normal