Silicon Insider: A Defense of Stock Options

But even if Black-Scholes did work, should we use it? The real problem with stock options is not that they are unfair, but that not enough companies use them. The real problem with stock option awardees is not that they have been cheated, but that they deluded themselves.

You don't often hear me lauding the work of high tech executives in this column. But this time, folks like John Doerr are being heroic. Guys like him will always get their stock options, so they have no personal stake in this fight. Nevertheless, they are still fighting for the rank and file of electronics — even though those same workers are against them — and for the future of the electronics revolution.

A couple years from now, when tech is booming, stock prices are high, and we are all scrambling for every option we can get our hands on, or starting our own dream company, we'll thank those people who fought both Washington and our own short-sightedness.

Michael S. Malone, once called “the Boswell of Silicon Valley,” most recently was editor-at-large of Forbes ASAP magazine. His work as the nation’s first daily high-tech reporter at the San Jose Mercury-News sparked the writing of his critically acclaimed The Big Score: The Billion Dollar Story of Silicon Valley, which went on to become a public TV series. He has written several other highly praised business books and a novel about Silicon Valley, where he was raised. For more, go to Forbes.com.

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