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Reality Checks In

Joining an Internet start-up clearly has lost some of its luster as the preferred path.

1Jul

Of course, everyone wants to be a millionaire. But joining an Internet start-up clearly has lost some of its luster as the preferred path.


In fact, caution rules when it comes to joining a new venture, according to a recent survey. When asked last February, 43 percent of workers said they would not be interested in working for a pre-IPO company, according to BridgeGate LLC, an Irvine, Calif., technology recruiting firm.


Of those that would make the leap, workers with household incomes over $75,000 were three times more likely to also take less salary for a chance to join a start-up than those with incomes in the $50,000 to $75,000 range. And men were three times more likely to take a salary cut than women.


Still, CFOs (usually highly paid males) are growing increasingly skeptical, say executive recruiters. "The first words out of their mouths are the right ones, the ones that should have been said two years ago: 'Let me see the business plan,'" says Chuck Sweet, chairman of AT Kearney Executive Search in Chicago. "Some of the mania has clearly gone away, and people are asking more rational questions."

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