We just launched our startup with a designer helping us pro bono to spruce up the design of it. He's asking for compensation now (which is fair) and is willing to trade in his service for equity. Just wondering if it's better to pay than to trade equity for the service.
Felix Dennis, one of the world's wealthiest people (until he died recently), emphatically said in How To Get Rich to NEVER give away equity. Fight to keep every percentage you can.
Why? A small percent of equity now can be worth millions of dollars later. Give gifts, bonuses, salaries...but never equity, he advised. And I agree with him.
Give a payment and it's over and done with. Give equity and it goes on forever.