The new CFO: Beyond Salary and Benefits in a Start-Up
It's certainly not salary - many salaries are below what typical CFOs and finance professionals have been paid. It's certainly not the stock options either. There are great promises of proposed IPOs, but if the IPO never materializes, then what good are promised stock options anyway?
Seasoned professionals say the proof is in the pudding, and join start-ups and dotcoms for the excitement associated with the future. In some cases, there may be a CEO that is enormously talented and one in which the CFO truly believes in. In other cases, it may be the business itself, having moved from a somewhat stodgy public practice firm or employer to something much more innovative.
Take a look at some of the examples in this CFO.com  article.