Every VC talks about backing missionary founders and playing the long game. But they are happy to throw those same founders under the bus when there is a risk to their bottom line [i.e. returning 3x the fund to their LPs and making their carry].

When the market is bullish, every VC and his or her founder counterpart are best friends on Twitter. When the market goes south, not so much. Non-standard term sheet clauses become common. Founders are asked to find a way to get an exit.

Every founder wants their employee to be a missionary. Sacrifice work-life balance. Give it all. Not worry about titles. Or the money. While the founders take the secondaries by the series C and secure the bag.

As companies grow, committees are formed to formalise the organisational structure and the compensation plan. Who are the committee members? The VPs and the CXOs. Then they decide what an employee is going to get: salary, equity grant, refreshers, based on the title he or she holds. But they then write on Twitter that titles don’t matter. And when the eventual bear market comes, 20-30% of employees are culled to widen the runway. And the whole “hum saath saath hain family drama” stops.

Remember: Everything one reads on social media is content marketing. You need to know what people are selling you. And why they are selling.

There are literally about 10 people I know in life who are true missionaries, who don’t care about titles or money and are happy to just work on their craft. All the rest of us are just doing content marketing on Twitter.

No one grows up dreaming about how to optimise the checkout flow of an e-commerce site / increase the conversion rate by 100 basis points.

Don’t drink the Twitter Kool-Aid. Just work hard, show proof of work, become hard to replace and secure the bag.

Caveat: I’m not saying don’t care about your company or what it’s trying to achieve and just optimise for salary and title. But have an understanding of what you’re optimising for and why. Don’t read about content marketing on Twitter and then decide that you want to emulate people who have already done it. You operate in a marketplace. You bring your skills. You get something in return. That’s all there is.

Secure the bag for yourself. Don’t let people gaslight you into thinking otherwise.