Trinsic's compensation philosophy is intended to enable Trinsic to hire the right people at the right time to ensure we achieve our vision: to make the world more accessible to people everywhere. The scope of this document is really only compensation. For more about working at Trinsic, check out the other content at work.trinsic.id.
Our approach to compensation may be a bit different than what you're used to. Let us know if you have any questions.
Transparency is one of our core values. When companies aren't transparent with comp, they give lowball initial offers, expecting the candidate to counter; salaries are negotiated on a case-by-case basis behind closed doors, favoring strong orators above technical ability; offer details are revealed only after a candidate has sunk hours into a hiring process. We don't think that is a good approach for anyone involved, especially not the candidate.
When we find someone we want to work with, we give them our best offer right up front. Offer details are set based on a consistent, pre-determined formula to ensure fairness across the board. We don't negotiate on the offer we give because, by definition, that would not be transparent or fair. This policy filters for people who believe in our mission and are motivated by ownership.
We design compensation packages with meaningful equity components. If we're successful, stock options will be much more valuable than any cash salary that could be given. This aligns the whole team around the motivation to make the company successful instead of optimizing for one's own short-term career advancement.
Being good stewards of our cash and vigilant about our runway makes Trinsic more likely to succeed and therefore increases the value of our equity. In practice, that means the optimal level of cash compensation is a function of the stage of the company$^1$ and will increase over time.
Your salary is meant to ensure you can live comfortably wherever you’re based. Cash salary is set according to role, ability, and location, based on data from North America’s most comprehensive compensation data set. Once we know the normal distribution of salary numbers for a given role, we set compensation at the 25th percentile of the range.
For example, suppose for a junior software engineer in New York City the median starting salary was $100k. The 25th percentile is usually around $85k. That means if that engineer wanted to work at Trinsic, they would take a cash pay cut relative to the average. We make up for the disparity with equity.
All full-time Trinsineers have equity options. The purpose of the options is to align the team around a singular goal. The appreciation of equity is the reward for the risk associated with taking a slightly lower initial cash salary$^2$. The number of equity options issued is based on 1. Ensuring total compensation (cash + equity) is above the 50th percentile in a market, and 2. The potential strategic impact of someone. We are as generous as we can be without being too hasty depleting the option pool.
We’re always looking for ways to reduce subjectivity and bias while generously compensating for strong performance. On the one hand, we expect everyone on the team to be a rockstar who punches above their weight. On the other hand, we recognize the exceptional sacrifices some people make for their team and we want to recognize those.
Our formal review process is every 6 months. At that point, you’ll be eligible for promotion and additional equity option grants. We don’t have convoluted hierarchies, we don’t assign meaningless titles, and we don’t care much about supposed seniority or credentials. If you’re kicking ass, we’re going to make sure you stay motivated.