Originally Posted by brokencycle
There are pros and cons to both sides, obviously. I know people there on the programming side, and my wife knows people in non-technology roles. It is certainly odd for mid-level individual contributors to have such a high percentage of their income in stock options that vest over like three years. I think it plays off people's loss aversion and creates golden handcuffs.
I wouldn't work at Amazon because I don't want to take a cut in guaranteed income to move to a higher cost of living area, but to each their own. I will say that a lot of my college classmates went to places like Google or other established Silicon Valley based tech companies and did get stock options or stock as bonuses, but it wasn't 50% of their income. I also know people who went to startups and equity was the largest part of their income. It worked out for some, others not so much.
There's definitely different mechanisms and different incentives that can be employed but I was reacting to the concept that "you more or less get hosed" if you have a form of deferred comp as part of your compensation package. That's just a stupid thing to say.
Also, the thought of a person being worth X, and then accept .5X now and .5X in three years is a non-starter as that's not how things get structured. It would of course be structured that one would end up with multiples of X is things work out properly, as of course, one needs a return on the risk.