How shares compensation works

When you receive shares as compensation, you become an owner of the company. The shares that we issue are common stock, otherwise known as founder's stock. They carry voting rights and are the most fundamental type of share at any company.

When you are granted the shares, you do not fully own them yet. They vest over a certain period of time—in our case, one year—and at predetermined intervals, which in our case is every three months. This means that if you were to leave Sphere before the end of your first three months, you would leave without any shares, and if you stay at least one year, you own all the shares that you were originally granted.

Given that we are a privately held company, you cannot sell our shares as easily as you could the ones from a public company, which can be traded publicly on the stock market. Our shares can be traded privately if the sale is approved by us (given that our shares carry voting rights, a sale to a competitor might not be approved, for example). Sometimes, it is possible to sell a certain number of shares during a funding event, but this depends on the terms given to us by investors. When you join a startup, however, your objective should not be to liquidate your shares as soon as you can but to work on increasing their value over time. Outside of inheriting or investing, starting a business is the best way to build wealth, so it is wise to hold onto them.