It turns out that Mailchimp’s founders, who recently became billionaires after the sale of the business to Intuit for $12 billion, had spent the lifetime of the company promising not to sell and using that as a reason not to give employees any equity whatsoever:

“When employees were recruited to work at Mailchimp there was a common refrain from hiring managers: No, you are not going to get equity, but you will get to be part of a scrappy company that fights for the little guy and we will never be acquired or go public.

“The founders told anyone who would listen they would own Mailchimp until they died and bragged about turning down multiple offers.”