I am in the process of developing a website focused on the travel industry. It's a unique idea that I feel "has legs", and I've gotten very positive feedback from some close associates who have industry experience.
I have secured my domain, written up a business plan, hired a graphic designer to design the logo and come up with a catchy site design. I am working on detailed business requirements, wireframes, use cases, etc. I will need a developer shortly to turn those ideas into a fully functioning website.
I have approached someone who I've worked with in the past whose work I feel is TOP NOTCH. This guy is far and away my #1 choice. I have approached him about the idea and he really likes it. He said he's very interested but is tied up on other projects for a few months, so things are on hold for the time being. I'm hoping that once I have all of my specs done, he'll be ready to roll.
What I'm seeking is advice on how to compensate this person. I feel that he can be more than just a lead dev--more like a CTO type down the road. I can leverage his advice as well as his skills. He seems open to an equity stake, but we did not talk specifics yet.
How much equity would be considered fair assuming I did not pay him at all for his time? What about if I paid him something ($25/hr for example) plus some level of equity? He normally charges $100-$150/hr for his services to other customers based on what I've observed.
I want to be fair, but obviously I'm looking to retain as much ownership as possible given that it was my idea and I will have done a lot of the legwork, and taken on all of the expense to get it off the ground.
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!