Stock options are most valuable when the underlying stock can be readily exchanged in a well-functioning, liquid marketplace. Appreciation of any magnitude in an employee’s net worth can only reasonably be achieved through equity compensation. It is no wonder that stock option programs are such an important component of compensation packages to employees of high-growth companies. This paper quantitatively dissects the economic benefits to employees, managers and investors alike of having a well-functioning, liquid secondary market for private company shares. It goes a step further to show that a healthy secondary market will enable faster capital return cycle, to the benefit of the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem.