Trying to keep a startup afloat can be a limit-testing experience in every sense of the word. Startups are these fragile little things and they require everything that you have to offer them. Sooner or later (usually sooner), it gets chaotic and it is the few employees that are hit the hardest.
While everyone expects this as a part of the startup ecosystem and while people who work at startups are driven by different motivators than employees in more traditional companies, startup owners still need to understand that these are still people who have certain needs and limits that the most spectacular stock option plans cannot replace. In other words, startups need to do some HR or at least incorporate some HR-like practices.