This is the final article in a three-part series on the benefits of giving all startup employees equity. See the first piece here and the second one here.
A year after I moved to Chicago, I attended a women’s networking event, where an employee of a recently-acquired startup entered the room. Folks were excited to see her, congratulating her on the exciting news and asking questions about what life was like post-acquisition.
Among other changes, she talked about how they were preparing to double their team to 50 people, leading me to believe that she was a rather early employee. I had never met her but was impressed by and happy to celebrate this 20-something woman who had helped drive a startup to a successful exit.
When she and I introduced ourselves, I congratulated her and said I hoped she did well in the acquisition. To my surprise, her response was to brush off my comment and say, “Oh, we’re not a publicly-traded company.”