I really need your help.
It 's the first time I've been asked to work for a startup.
The company has already been made??, founded by 2 partners, and has already received an initial investment, but has not yet come to round A.
I was asked to be the Chief Design Officer, i have to project the whole UX, obviously studying usability and evaluating the validity of ideas, give advice and possible new features.
In practice I have to give an identity to the entire project, and I would be the employee #1
They have offered me 2k/month and 0.5% equity, scale of 0.5% each year until it reaches a maximum that have not yet defined.
Is it a fair contract? I think not.
In my opinion, 0.5% equity is low, but it is all relative. It depends on a number of factors: 1) potential size of the company; 2) what the company is trying to achieve; 3) if the co-founders have successfully started other businesses; 4) how much cash runway does the company currently have; etc. However, the biggest part of that is what you feel is right. If you believe in the founders, the company, and you believe that this is a real opportunity you should try and negotiate whatever will be right for you.
If you truly and honestly believe in this company and the people behind it, you will get there. Otherwise, you are just trying to minimize your downside and trying to reduce your risk. If you buy-in to the idea, then that should be less important.
As employee #1 and being in charge of the design, your equity should be closer to 5.0%, but it will also depend on what the two co-founders will be responsible for.
The question is that in which country are you living?