 
July 2007 2007年7月
An investor wants to give you money for a certain percentage of
your startup. Should you take it? You're about to hire your first
employee. How much stock should you give him? 投资者想为你的初创公司提供一定比例的资金。你应该接受它吗？您即将雇用您的第一位员工。你应该给他多少股票？
These are some of the hardest questions founders face. And yet
both have the same answer: 这些是创始人面临的一些最棘手的问题。但两人的答案都是一样的：
1/(1  n)
Whenever you're trading stock in your company for anything, whether
it's money or an employee or a deal with another company, the test
for whether to do it is the same. You should give up n% of your
company if what you trade it for improves your average outcome
enough that the (100  n)% you have left is worth more than the
whole company was before. 每当你用公司股票换取任何东西时，无论是金钱、员工还是与另一家公司的交易，是否这样做的考验都是一样的。如果你所交易的公司足以改善你的平均结果，以至于你剩下的 (100  n)% 的价值比整个公司之前的价值更高，那么你应该放弃公司的 n%。
For example, if an investor wants to buy half your company, how
much does that investment have to improve your average outcome for
you to break even? Obviously it has to double: if you trade half
your company for something that more than doubles the company's
average outcome, you're net ahead. You have half as big a share
of something worth more than twice as much. 例如，如果投资者想要购买您一半的公司，那么该投资必须在多大程度上改善您的平均业绩才能实现收支平衡？显然，它必须翻倍：如果你用一半的公司来换取公司平均业绩两倍以上的东西，那么你就处于净领先地位。对于价值两倍以上的东西，你拥有一半的份额。
In the general case, if n is the fraction of the company you're
giving up, the deal is a good one if it makes the company worth
more than 1/(1  n). 一般情况下，如果 n 是您要放弃的公司的比例，那么如果该交易使该公司的价值超过 1/(1  n)，那么这笔交易就是一笔不错的交易。
For example, suppose Y Combinator offers to fund you in return for
7% of your company. In this case, n is .07 and 1/(1  n) is 1.075.
So you should take the deal if you believe we can improve your
average outcome by more than 7.5%. If we improve your outcome by
10%, you're net ahead, because the remaining .93 you hold is worth
.93 x 1.1 = 1.023.
[1] 例如，假设 Y Combinator 愿意为您提供资金，以换取您公司 7% 的股份。在这种情况下，n 为 0.07，1/(1  n) 为 1.075。因此，如果您相信我们可以将您的平均结果提高 7.5% 以上，您就应该接受这笔交易。如果我们将您的结果提高 10%，您就处于净领先地位，因为您持有的剩余 0.93 的价值为 0.93 x 1.1 = 1.023。 [1]
One of the things the equity equation shows us is that, financially
at least, taking money from a top VC firm can be a really good deal.
Greg Mcadoo from Sequoia recently said at a YC dinner that when
Sequoia invests alone they like to take about 30% of a company.
1/.7 = 1.43, meaning that deal is worth taking if they can improve
your outcome by more than 43%. For the average startup, that would
be an extraordinary bargain. It would improve the average startup's
prospects by more than 43% just to be able to say they were funded
by Sequoia, even if they never actually got the money. 股权方程向我们展示的一件事是，至少在财务上，从顶级风险投资公司获得资金可能是一笔非常划算的交易。红杉资本的格雷格·麦卡杜 (Greg Mcadoo) 最近在 YC 晚宴上表示，当红杉单独投资时，他们喜欢持有一家公司 30% 左右的股份。 1/.7 = 1.43，这意味着如果可以将您的结果提高 43% 以上，那么该交易就值得接受。对于普通的初创公司来说，这将是一笔非常划算的交易。只要能够说自己得到了红杉资本的资助，即使初创公司从未真正拿到资金，他们的平均前景也会提高 43% 以上。
The reason Sequoia is such a good deal is that the percentage of
the company they take is artificially low. They don't even try to
get market price for their investment; they limit their holdings
to leave the founders enough stock to feel the company is still
theirs. 红杉之所以如此划算，是因为他们人为地压低了该公司的持股比例。他们甚至不尝试获取投资的市场价格；他们限制自己的持股，为创始人留下足够的股票，让创始人感觉公司仍然是他们的。
The catch is that Sequoia gets about 6000 business plans a year and
funds about 20 of them, so the odds of getting this great deal are
1 in 300. The companies that make it through are not average startups. 问题是，红杉资本每年会收到大约 6000 个商业计划，并为其中的大约 20 个提供资金，因此获得这笔巨额交易的几率是三百分之一。成功通过的公司都不是普通的初创公司。
Of course, there are other factors to consider in a VC deal. It's
never just a straight trade of money for stock. But if it were,
taking money from a top firm would generally be a bargain. 当然，风险投资交易中还需要考虑其他因素。这绝不只是金钱换股票的直接交易。但如果是这样，从顶级公司拿钱通常会很划算。
You can use the same formula when giving stock to employees, but
it works in the other direction. If i is the average outcome for
the company with the addition of some new person, then they're worth
n such that i = 1/(1  n). Which means n = (i  1)/i. 在向员工发放股票时，您可以使用相同的公式，但它的作用却相反。如果 i 是公司增加一些新员工后的平均结果，那么他们的价值为 n，使得 i = 1/(1  n)。这意味着 n = (i  1)/i。
For example, suppose you're just two founders and you want to hire
an additional hacker who's so good you feel he'll increase the
average outcome of the whole company by 20%. n = (1.2  1)/1.2 =
.167. So you'll break even if you trade 16.7% of the company
for him. 例如，假设您只有两名创始人，并且您想再雇用一名出色的黑客，您认为他会将整个公司的平均业绩提高 20%。 n = (1.2  1)/1.2 = .167。因此，即使你用公司 16.7% 的股份换他，你也会收支平衡。
That doesn't mean 16.7% is the right amount of stock to give him.
Stock is not the only cost of hiring someone: there's usually salary
and overhead as well. And if the company merely breaks even on the
deal, there's no reason to do it. 这并不意味着 16.7% 的股票数量适合给他。股票并不是雇用某人的唯一成本：通常还有工资和管理费用。如果公司只是在这笔交易中实现收支平衡，那么就没有理由这样做。
I think to translate salary and overhead into stock you should
multiply the annual rate by about 1.5. Most startups grow fast or
die; if you die you don't have to pay the guy, and if you grow fast
you'll be paying next year's salary out of next year's valuation,
which should be 3x this year's. If your valuation grows 3x a year,
the total cost in stock of a new hire's salary and overhead is 1.5
years' cost at the present valuation. [2] 我认为要将工资和管理费用换算成库存，您应该将年利率乘以 1.5 左右。大多数初创公司要么快速成长，要么消亡；如果你死了，你就不必付钱给这个人，如果你成长得很快，你将支付明年估值的明年工资，这应该是今年的 3 倍。如果您的估值每年增长 3 倍，则新员工的工资和管理费用的库存总成本为当前估值的 1.5 年成本。 [2]
How much of an additional margin should the company need as the
"activation energy" for the deal? Since this is in effect the
company's profit on a hire, the market will determine that: if
you're a hot opportunity, you can charge more. 公司需要多少额外利润作为交易的“活化能”？由于这实际上是公司的雇佣利润，市场将决定：如果你是一个热门机会，你可以收取更高的费用。
Let's run through an example. Suppose the company wants to make a
"profit" of 50% on the new hire mentioned above. So subtract a
third from 16.7% and we have 11.1% as his "retail" price. Suppose
further that he's going to cost $60k a year in salary and overhead,
x 1.5 = $90k total. If the company's valuation is $2 million, $90k
is 4.5%. 11.1%  4.5% = an offer of 6.6%. 让我们看一个例子。假设公司希望在上述新员工身上获得 50% 的“利润”。因此，从 16.7% 中减去三分之一，我们就得到 11.1% 作为他的“零售”价格。进一步假设他每年将花费 6 万美元的工资和管理费用，x 1.5 = 总计 9 万美元。如果公司估值为 200 万美元，那么 9 万美元就是 4.5%。 11.1%  4.5% = 6.6% 的报价。
Incidentally, notice how important it is for early employees to
take little salary. It comes right out of stock that could otherwise
be given to them. 顺便说一句，请注意，对于早期员工来说，拿很少的工资是多么重要。本来可以给他们的，现在已经缺货了。
Obviously there is a great deal of play in these numbers. I'm not
claiming that stock grants can now be reduced to a formula. Ultimately
you always have to guess. But at least know what you're guessing.
If you choose a number based on your gut feel, or a table of typical
grant sizes supplied by a VC firm, understand what those are estimates
of. 显然，这些数字有很大的作用。我并不是说股票授予现在可以简化为一个公式。最终你总是必须猜测。但至少知道你在猜测什么。如果您根据自己的直觉选择一个数字，或者选择风险投资公司提供的典型拨款规模表，请了解这些数字的估计值。
And more generally, when you make any decision involving equity,
run it through 1/(1  n) to see if it makes sense. You should
always feel richer after trading equity. If the trade didn't
increase the value of your remaining shares enough to put you net
ahead, you wouldn't have (or shouldn't have) done it. 更一般地说，当您做出任何涉及公平的决策时，请通过 1/(1  n) 进行计算，看看它是否有意义。交易股权后你应该总是感觉更富有。如果该交易没有使您剩余股票的价值增加到足以使您的净收益领先，那么您就不会（或不应该）这样做。
Notes 笔记
[1] This is why we
can't believe anyone would think Y Combinator was a bad deal. Does
anyone really think we're so useless that in three months we can't
improve a startup's prospects by 7.5%?
[1] 这就是为什么我们不相信有人会认为 Y Combinator 是一笔糟糕的交易。有人真的认为我们如此无用以至于我们无法在三个月内将初创公司的前景提高 7.5% 吗？
[2] The obvious choice
for your present valuation is the postmoney valuation of your last
funding round. This probably undervalues the company, though,
because (a) unless your last round just happened, the company is
presumably worth more, and (b) the valuation of an early funding
round usually reflects some other contribution by the investors. [2] 当前估值的明显选择是上一轮融资的投后估值。不过，这可能会低估公司的价值，因为（a）除非你的上一轮融资刚刚发生，否则公司的价值可能会更高，（b）早期融资轮的估值通常反映了投资者的其他一些贡献。
Thanks to Sam Altman, Trevor Blackwell, Paul Buchheit,
Hutch Fishman, David Hornik, Paul Kedrosky, Jessica Livingston, Gary Sabot, and
Joshua Schachter for reading drafts of this. 感谢 Sam Altman、Trevor Blackwell、Paul Buchheit、Hutch Fishman、David Hornik、Paul Kedrosky、Jessica Livingston、Gary Sabot 和 Joshua Schachter 阅读本文的草稿。

