I have been approached by someone, who I'll call "Big Executive", who is recruiting a small number of people for a Startup. My particular role would be 1 of a few to develop a software system. I've done some research (re: Googling) on the said individual and their experience and positions held are impressive.
We have meet twice and exchanged several emails. During our second meeting, the concept for the Startup's cashcow was laid out along with what contacts they already have, what the business model would be, etc.
I know Big Executive is a great talker and could probably convince most people that the sky is green and that gwbasic powered google, but I like the concept and I believe it has a lot of merit. Big Executive supposedly has already had promising joint venture talks with 2 major media companies and has a strong network with influential business people due to the nature of his work.
The startup wouldn't be at a point to make money for 1-2 years, which is understandable and I have no problem with.
The problem I have is that I want to know how to not get used. I know from our discussions that he had previously started work on it with a few other people, but after the other people demonstrated a mock-up, they asked for 60K to completed it, upon with Big Executive and Cohorts cut ties with them.
My question to OnStartups, is what can I do to ensure, should I take Big Executive up on his offer, that I don't get used. I don't want to put myself in the position of having done a lot of work in a years time, only to be dropped from the project before having to be paid for my work.
Also, what should I be looking out for in a deal/contract in terms of my right to the software I develop should the venture turn south?
This would be done alongside my usual day job.
The proposal I have been approached with is to join the startup as an Equity Partner.