Working for a startup can cause some friction with a spouse. You may get paid less for needing to work longer hours. Going back to my days at Red Hat (1998-2000), I remember the overnights and weekends many of us worked for a fraction of the salary we may have made elsewhere.
To help with this, I really like the strategy one local tech company has done successfully and I thought I'd share it. As background, this company has 12 employees, no revenue yet and is funded by the CEO and the other co-founder. All the employees are working around the clock for reduced salaries. I think the company has a lot of potential and has a lot of smart people behind it.
About once every other month, the company gets pizza delivered and they invite all employees, spouses and partners (lawyer, accountant, etc.). The co-founders give an update on the business talking about things like status of product development, recent prospect meetings, market trends and new hires. I like this for two reasons:
1) Most importantly, it provides an opportunity for the spouses to be closer to the company. They have an opportunity to meet the company's leaders. They feel more included and maybe better understand what's happening at the company and it isn't just 1 person sharing it over dinner at home. For at least for an hour or so they are part of the action.
2) As a side benefit the partners stay informed - which I think is important too! Many times the partners will be more excited than the company may present. And that excitement from the partners rubs off on the spouses!
Its clear that spouses and families are making an "investment" in the company too! They part with the person that is working at the startup (may mean less hours at home) and sarcrifice income as well (maybe scaled back vacations).
The important thing here is that the increased transparency works really well for this company and may work well for other companies at this stage as well. I know everyone has enjoyed getting to know each other better too. It has created a tighter, more family atmosphere.