My partner and I have been able to bootstrap the business so far and develop a fair amount of functionality. Hiring contractors, though, has prevented us from moving the product development along as quickly as we would have liked. Hence the need for a full time developer that has some skin in the game. My thoughts are the following: Salary of around $100K per year Either performance based bonuses or vesting schedules to earn a modest amount of equity. Goal: Incentivize the developer from working hard for us but ideally not looking to give away equity.
It looks like you're not looking for someone who can scale and become a full fledged CTO (or you might not even need one), so try to look at it as a founding engineer hire instead.
With early founding engineers, you can sell them on things like:
- opportunity for learning
- understanding business practices and models
- opportunity for leadership down the road
And the equity structure should be something around 1-5% of the business vested over a few years. You'll have to sit down and explain it to them as some people either aren't educated or they want to be assured of exactly what they're being given.
I did this a few times last year and if done well, you can get some solid work out of them :)
Feel free to call me up and chat about it more.