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Success Stories

The creation of wealth is a Silicon Valley Tradition. You believe in tradition, don't you?

    "The rewards for short-term sacrifice can be astonishing, especially in a bull market for stocks. Take Siebel Systems of San Mateo. The sales automation software company held its initial public offering (IPO) last year and was the nation's fifth best-performing new stock, zooming from $8.50 a share to as much as $27.

    Founder and chief executive Tom Siebel, 43, owns about 40 percent of the company, a stake now worth a couple hundred million dollars. What's really unusual, however, is that nearly a third of the company's 220 employees suddenly find themselves millionaires as well, at least on paper."

    From: More Firms Offer Stocks in Lieu of Pay: Silicon Valley leads the way

1999 is a record year for IPOs: $45.61 billion so far.

It may not take as long as you think it will to reach your goal.

    "Some hot startups launch their stocks in just six months or a year rather than having to wait the two or three years it takes to get products to market and build a record of sales and profits. The speed with which stock options can turn into riches is a powerful force to lure workers."

    From: More Firms Offer Stocks in Lieu of Pay: Silicon Valley leads the way
    Peter Sinton, San Francisco Chronicle

A Harvard MBA may not suprise you … but the office manager!

    "… Look at Mark Saul. A decade ago his Wall Street-bound and McKinsey-bound classmates at the Harvard Business School "thought I had a hole in my head" when he took a $47,000-a-year job in Silicon Valley; now, after stints at four startups, he's a multimillionaire at 35. Or Heather Beach, 29, who took a pay cut four years ago to join software maker Siebel Systems as its office manager; today she's sitting on an options stash worth more than $1 million."

    From: The Next Best Thing To Free Money : Silicon Valley's stock-option culture is doing a whole lot more than making techies rich. It's taking over the country. Is that good or bad?
    Justin Fox, Fortune

One of the originals. Imagine … options on 500 shares at pre-IPO share prices cashed in today would be …?

    "When Microsoft went public in 1986, it wasn't because the business needed money--the 11-year-old software company was already a cash machine. No, Microsoft had to go public so employees could cash in all the stock and stock options they'd been accumulating.

    Cash in they have. Options have been at the heart of Microsoft's compensation system, and its finances, ever since. In the first three months of this year, employees realized an estimated $730 million in profits from their stock options. That's $32,000 per employee. What about unexercised options gains? Another $23 billion was outstanding as of March 31, or $1 million per employee."

    From: Stock Option Magic at Microsoft

And the ride doesn't have to be wild …

    "In the volatile technology industry, experts say companies dominated by employee owners tend to be more stable. The employees are focused on the company's long-term success -- because it's also their own."

    From: Some Employees Hit it Big in Stock Options
    Greg Lefevre, CNN

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