Anyone who has been invested in Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) since its IPO last year either has nerves of steel or an incredibly bullish view of the stock (and an aversion to tactical trades). But Twitter employees with stakes in the company have been forced to sit and wait as their personal fortunes jumped around until the lockout ended this month, pushing the stock price to its lowest post-IPO level. Back at $33, compared to an IPO price of $26 and a high of $74, Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) employees have to decide if they want to cash in and move on to the next project or stay and try to build the next tech giant.

Twitter

Whatever they decide, Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) CEO Dick Costolo has been warning employees all along that it was going to be a struggle.

“Dick has done and continues to do a great job of setting expectations around that sort of stuff,” said an employee interviewed by Kurt Wagner at Mashable. “[He’s] constantly reminding folks Twitter needs to fulfill its promise and think long term.”

Twitter could lose talent to younger, more exciting tech companies

Investors always watch for insider selling (the legal kind) because even without trading on material knowledge that we don’t have, executives are in the best position to assess whether corporate culture is healthy, progress is being made on key projects, and a host of other intangibles that won’t show up in the quarterly earnings report. Seeing Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) COO Ali Rowghani sell $9.9 million in stock understandably has some people worried.

But in the tech business there is also the danger of losing top talent who would rather get involved in another exciting startup with the chance to blow up.

Twitter employees report being burnt out

“Those planning to leave the company are reportedly doing so because they’re burnt out; two to three years at Twitter feels like 10,” writes Wagner. “Employees seem to enjoy a collegial atmosphere, and no one we talked to said negative things about the product itself, but people work extremely hard — that comes at a price.”

For Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) that price could be employee retention. For someone who is more concerned about equity than salary, the big payday has come and gone. As a media favorite, Twitter stocks will probably continue to be volatile, but the temptation to cash in and start working for another startup will start to draw people away.