A person I have been working for as a contractor has at one point entitled me his "CIO". He has been wanting to be his full-time developer for sometime, and I believe would be willing to make me a co-founder if I asked for it. Some explanation, hopefully this will be general enough to be helpful to others.
A little background, I seem to be in the opposing situation to what many are seeking on Hacker News and here OnStartups. I'm the technical get-things-done contractor guy. I wear a lot of hats, so am a good go to guy for a startup. However, I work a full-time job that I don't intend to give up any time soon. This precludes me from working more than perhaps 15 hours/week for this client (working 45-50 hours/week at main job, 10 hours/week for other clients, and 15 for this guy, plus my own side projects of course).
At first, I rebuffed the client's overtures, asking to be merely a technical contact as he transitioned to finding a full-time developer. However, after going through 3 other developers with both good and bad results (but mostly bad, especially from the Indian team he tried outsourcing to), he has convinced me to take up the reigns again. The startup consists solely of him at this point, though he is full-time on it, and has been consulting with influential people and has a vast marketing background.
So, my question is, taking into account that I will not be giving up my full-time job, but will continue to work for him, should I be trying to negotiate equity or other positions in the company? Or is a startup an inappropriate place to take on these kind of responsibilities when knowing full well that I can never devote >20 hours/week to it, and he could really use a full-time person. If the answer is yes, to go into this, what amount of equity should I be asking for?
And as a side note, though it perhaps deserves a separate question, if you were the technical contractor in a startup that wanted you full-time, what state would the startup have to be in before you would be willing to give up a lucrative job for it?