Startup Stock: Particles and Waves. Casinos and Creativity.

Stock Option Counsel - Legal Services for Individuals.  Attorney Mary Russell counsels individuals on equity offer evaluation and negotiation, stock option exercise and tax choices, and sales of startup stock.  Please see this FAQ about her services or contact her at (650) 326-3412 or by email.

Photo: Bobby Mikul

Photo: Bobby Mikul

 

What is a corporation? Finance pros and justice types present two very different answers to that question.

On the finance side, a corporation is a casino-style financial arrangement between those who own stock. It divides up the rights to a financial return on capital. It emphasizes balance sheets and stock prices and risk and return to support the view that each corporation is a table in a casino that investors approach to place their investment bets and seek a financial return.

On the human advocacy side, a corporation is a living body made up of creative individuals. The liveliness of the group – defined to include investors, managers, employees, and, perhaps, the community or the earth – is the purpose of the corporation. They make comparisons to slavery, define externalities and articulate their values to support their view that a corporation is a living body that could not be owned.

Like a ray of light, which is at once a wave and a group of particles, the corporation is both a casino game for investors and a living, creative body. Evidence will always appear on both sides of this truth.

In choosing a career path and negotiating compensation, we use both perspectives. We find a place that has some life to it, to which our creative contribution can add life. But we tune into the casino view as well and seek compensation for the risk we take in joining the enterprise. This requires the eye of an investor who would look at the risks of the bet and the size of the possible return from every angle with the help of professionals in law, finance, technology, etc.

It would be distasteful to take this view of our work every day, but it must be done at some time. And it is best done with Stock Option Counsel. This blog will introduce the Stock Option Counsel perspective on the risk / investment that employees take / make in accepting stock options or other equity as compensation. It should be helpful to those evaluating their compensation and also reveal the points in time in which Stock Option Counsel can add value in this process.

Stock Option Counsel - Legal Services for Individuals.  Attorney Mary Russell counsels individuals on equity offer evaluation and negotiation, stock option exercise and tax choices, and sales of startup stock.  Please see this FAQ about her services or contact her at (650) 326-3412 or by email.