So here's the situation:
I was discovered by a startup company through some of my work. I was interviewed by one of the cofounders, and they were interested in putting me on their team full-time.
My questions are:
Is it normal for someone to "assess" your abilities for two months without pay?
The offer was for around $2k a month to cover basic living expenses, and $30k in shares (vested, of course). It seems decent to me, but is this what most startups offer? It's hard to assess my value, largely because I haven't finished my degree at Univ, but I have decent experience. Also, I realize that they are a startup - they can't afford to pay competitively.
Should I take the risk of relocation and taking time off school for the experience and connections I'll get from working for a startup company?
I realize these aren't great questions (the answers are completely dependent on who I am / what I feel), but any advice and experience is greatly appreciated.
More data to answer your questions:
The reason why I did work for 2 months (more like part-time work, but it ended up impacting my semester grades), was because they were waiting on VC's to transfer funds and finalize paperwork (but that's what they SAY). They are also receiving 500k-750k from investors.
I am receiving preferred shares (a step above common). 50k shares (priced at .50 to .75) out of who knows how many. I will ask soon.
Also, I will be the 1st programmer (besides the CTO) if I decide to take the position.
The company is located near Silicon Valley. 3-6 full-time at time of first round financing.
Oh yeah, I'm just a web developer. No real experience (except 2 years of contract work, and 5-8 years of general web programming experience).
If it helps, I have a 50/50 feeling about this, meaning that I feel like something is not right, but the experience to gain might be completely worth it.
It's a tough decision, but I guess I'll break it to them that I will not be working for them. Constantly delaying a contract week after week is already bad enough, but they've done other "shady" stuff also.
It's tough, cuz I invested a lot of time and effort into this opportunity, but it seems they took advantage of my position. I really did want to prove myself in a startup, and be apart of a great cause, but these guys aren't about real business if they are jerking me around, dangling a contract in front of my face lol.
Dang, I really did want to move out to the valley and do some awesome stuff for a startup, but I guess it's not the right time.
Thank you all of your advice/input!