When you work at a private company, you might dream about your company going IPO one day, and all your company stock turning into riches. If you’re reading this post, I imagine you are now contending with one of the other ways to turn private-company stock into grocery money: a tender offer.
You’ve got gobs of stock or options in Airbnb. Or Palantir. Or some other valuable but private company. The money is So Close. You can almost feel it. And yet, you can’t. ‘Cause your company is private. Oh, the torture.
Should I exercise my options? When should I exercise my options?
If you work in a private company, I’m betting these questions go through your head with annoying frequency. And they’re hard questions to answer! Will the company succeed? Will the stock be worth anything? A lot? It’s all crystal-ball territory and therefore there are very few obvious or knowable answers.
A curious thing is happening when big tech companies, like Lyft and Uber, go IPO nowadays. I mean, aside from the fact that their stock immediately starts losing value…although that figures into my point, which is: