When I founded Frank out of college, even my mom thought I was just “unemployed.” The only stories my mom had heard of about startup founders were of male founders who dropped out of college to start a company out of their garage. That wasn’t me.
Little do those stories tell you that the garage is often attached to a five- or six-bedroom home in a beautiful suburb and that the initial employees or cofounders also had the luxury of not getting paid for a considerable amount of time. This meant that the early teams were and still are almost always white males with little financial responsibility, prior high-paying jobs, and/or tons of family support.
While I understand the cash constraints all too well and hiring people who only “need” equity is a big temptation, I also knew that this would have long-term irreversible consequences for my company.