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#Salary and Equity Compensation

The following policy will apply to compensation offers for the first 10 employees at Clef. After we have hired 10 people, we will likely revise the salary rubric and equity amount.


Fair compensation is critical to making Clef a desirable place to work and helping our employees lead happy, healthy lives inside and outside of the office. When used as a motivational tool, though, it can incentivize the wrong kind of optimizations. Our goal with salary is that it checks the box of "enough" for folks who are excited about working at Clef (because of the people, product, and opportunity for growth) and then fades into the background.

Traditional salary negotiations are also heavily biased because they rely on individual gut feelings and negotiation. This favors candidates who come from more privileged backgrounds and are afforded more confidence during the hiring process.

To avoid that bias, and to better align motivations, we have a standard rubric that determines all employee salaries. Everyone in the company falls into one of four options based on their job description and years of past experience as follows:

Years Experience Technical Non-Technical
More than 5 Years Experience $120k $100k
Less than 5 Years Experience $100k $70k

We count experience as any time doing the same category of job at a company similar to Clef (such that the experience is relevant to the job being offered at Clef).

The offer also comes with the option to take $5k less salary in exchange for ~.1% more equity.

At the beginning of each year (in January), we will adjust this rubric to make sure it stays at market rate.

Note: The three Clef founders' salaries do not follow this rubric and are all $50k per year.


Every employee will be offered 41,963 Clef stock options (~.9% of outstanding shares, including the option pool these are drawn from). As mentioned above, they can also choose to reduce their salary by $5k/year in exchange for 4,663 more options (an additional ~.1%, totaling ~1% of outstanding shares).

These equity grants are larger than industry standard, but also vest over a longer period of time. Employee equity vests over 6 years with a 1 year cliff (while 4 years with a 1 year cliff is standard).

At Clef, we’re hoping to build a team that stays with the company and grows with us, so offering larger ownership of the company over a greater period of time aligns with our goals. If employees leave Clef before the 6 years, they will still own more of Clef than if we offered less equity that vested more quickly, but the longer vesting schedule makes our goal more explicit in the initial offer.

All new employees should also check out our Guide to Your Equity, which walks through the nuances of owning Clef stock options.

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