Is it alright to not give shares to employees of a startup?

Orig. Question on Quora Dan Walter's Answer

I really think this depends on the type of startup, how/where it is incorporated, its goals and potential future. Equity compensation is not always the best or only answer.

Equity may not be the best thing for every position, for every location etc...

All of that being said...If you are a typical tech startup and you hope to have an IPO, Aquihire or significant sale event equity is likely to be relatively inexpensive and very powerful.

Can incentive stock options be performance based?

If my option grant consists of both ISO & NSO stocks at the same exercise price, should I exercise the ISO grant in priority or the NSO grant?