As already noted in the comments, "this is your startup" doesn't mean much if I don't have a meaningful equity stake, but that's only one part of the equation. At least in my social circle, the most competent tech people are wanting to work for companies that are actually changing the world, and if your company isn't doing that, then the only thing it has to offer is money. If it's actually doing something interesting that affects the world at large, you'll have a better chance of attracting my interest even if the pay is likely to be lower.
If all you have is money and Wednesday beer nights and a pool table in the office or whatever, that's great, but that mostly just translates to "trying to keep you at the office as much as possible" usually, so that sort of cultural stuff is less interesting.
Personally, I'd rather work at a $40k/year job where I feel like I'm contributing to making the world a better place than a $100k/year job where I'm just enriching the company owner in exchange for all of my free time, but obviously different people will have different ways of calculating what's worthwhile to them. Also, obviously, family and location play into it - the "best pay" may not be in the most family-friendly markets, and you could easily make yourself unattractive to highly-skilled engineers with families no matter what your pay is like if your company is located somewhere with crazy real estate prices.