I'm a programmer and developer - and that is what i'm good at, although i do have some self-claimed ( :) ) Entrepreneur skills and Managerial traits since i'm already running a Web Development Company (still being a student). Recently, a group of 3 people (and it seems they three are good friends with each other) reached to me with an Idea for an upcoming website. The idea was pitched well to me and i do see future for this Idea.
We've did a few meetings and discussed about this project on various aspects: Technical, Revenue Model, Investment, Future Goals etc.
Now, this is what i'm being offered:
UPDATE : They are now offering a clause in the contract where it says that 17% of my stake can be bought back by the company after 5 years (these 5 years start from the date company goes through it's first round of venturing...)
I still retain a 9% stake in the company which will be forever and i can just sit in and rake in cash for the rest of my life.. What would you do if you were me?
You do all the programming work and then get Zuckerburged (ie. the company's not reformed and you get locked in the dark).
You talk them into restructuring the company now and do the work and it kicks ass and you become rich.
Now as to whether to do 25% non voting and 24% voting? No brainer. Take the 24% with voting rights. 1% isn't anything in the end, but having SOME say when it comes to voting is huge.
The first thing I think is 25% of nothing is well nothing. So they say Cash is king for a reason and you are taking a tremendous amount of risk. The company idea is so early that they have no prototype, no business plan, and they don't believe enough in it to put there money into it to support you. If they were friends that you knew then you would have something to assess but really this looks like a bad deal to me. This also sounds like the first venture that they have started which also increases the odds of it failing.
Your technical skill is likely to be key that they need and I would suggest that you go after cash and ownership.
Of course I could be completely wrong and this could be the best opportunity ever.