In many startups there are some #1 or #2 employees who helped the whole business all the way.
I've got couple guys like that, I'd love to give them more than the salary (even though our salaries are pretty decent unlike many startups) they are still working extra hours, put a lot of blood and sweat which they wouldn't need to in a big corp.
I thought of giving equity but what happens if they decide to leave 3 months later?
If we sell the startup in some point, isn't it a bit shame for these hard workers as they are not entitled to get anything? What other startups are doing in this stage?