Startup Equity – Data Analysis

In October 2014 I built my first app, Startup Equity Calculator, which went viral on Product Hunt within 24 hours.

Startup Equity Calculator on Product Hunt

It’s a simple utility that lets startup and small business founders input the qualifications of a new hire and receive equity grant estimates instantaneously.

There are several popular formulas already on the web, each requiring a bit of math and spreadsheet modeling (something a lot of folks avoid). The advantage of Startup Equity Calculator is the friendly ad-lib inputs versus intimidating rows and columns on a spreadsheet.

The tool got over 10,000 hits and 600 users on the first day, with 5-15 new users per day ever since.


Below are a couple insights from the data, which I hope you’ll find interesting.

As of 8.11.15

  • Total Users – 2,275
  • Calculations – 6,507
  • Avg. calculations / user = 3.8

There are currently 3 calculators on the platform but I’ll focus on the Buffer version since it was the sole tool during the viral growth spurt.

In this calculation, users are asked for 4 pieces of data which then outputs an approximate stock option grant:

Buffer Equity Calculator

Over 3,200 calculations were performed with these criteria.

As you can see, Engineer hires captured nearly half of all searches:


The next chart recounts queries by company size, hinting at the average user profile of Product Hunt visitors (early stage, aspiring entrepreneurs):


Finally, depicted below is the spread of seniority levels for each new hire.


I reckon there are Entry Level people performing Senior/Lead roles at many of these startups given the high density of ‘seeking co-founder’ / ‘1-3 people’ sized teams.

There’s a lot more data to explore, so as I continue to learn and build I’ll be sure to update my analysis.


This has been a tremendous learning experience and I appreciate any feedback you might have on the product, my programming (2 weeks old at the time of this writing), or this data analysis.

Now go out there and build something people want.