Equity. This word has come up for me a few times in the last several days. Equity has been something I think about it terms of a house meaning that you have paid down your mortgage enough that at the current value of your home you have money to spare. Now I am hearing this word in the world of work which is to say that you work and payment will be received once we get money for the project.
When I started freelancing as Totally Divine Video Editing I worked for this same promise to pay, we just didn’t call it equity. I completed these projects and, in most cases, the filmmakers didn’t do much with the finished project because either the market changed or their life and interest changed because they connected with me so late in the game.
Apparently this is not a new term in that Seth Godin, in his startup school podcast, also notes that as the internet took shape he was hiring. He offered everyone $80,000 or $60,000 + equity to come work with him. Everyone, he reports, took the 80 and then later said it was unfair (ironically another work for inequitable) when he sold the company, cashing out his equity, and walked away with quite a bit of money.
Equity sounds to me a lot like Faith. We take these projects for the experience so if they don’t pay we still get something out of it. What, in your work life, would you or do you do for equity? What do you get out of it?