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" you were probably hoping the company would be successful and there was a pot of gold in the end."

You're projecting, again.

I'd say he's stating an obvious truth - most people who work "for free" for a startup are actually putting in sweat-equity that they hope will result in real money.
At least that's my observation from a limited set of datapoints.

I don't think it's suprising that usually people expect that if the company does succeed and they contributed "for free", they'll get some significant compensation (ex: if an engineer spends 1000s of hours of work on a project, then it succeeds wildly generating $Ms of income for the company and all he gets is an invitation to a party and a piece of cake, rather than some part of those $Ms, most *probably* he/she is going to be unhappy about it.)
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