These are the type of problems that customers don't care about. This internal squabbling is a distraction that can rob a startup of one of its most valuable assets: morale. Startups thrive on everyone working their asses off, believing in a dream that often appears nearly impossible. The glue that binds everyone through the tough times is that it's fun. When a startup loses its fun feeling, you can be sure problems are on the horizon. Infighting over petty shit like titles is one of the most efficient ways of zapping morale.
And when it comes to companywide issues, there's only one person to be held accountable: the CEO. This one is clearly on him. Yeah, the current CTO is being childish and petty, but he's not the root cause. Here's how the CEO got himself into this mess. When he was starting this company with his best friends, they had to pick one person to be CEO. Investors always want to know and it's a bad sign if a company hasn't picked a leader. Very quickly, our newly minted CEO started introducing himself as 'Cofounder and CEO of AwesomeSauce Inc.' There's was an inflection his voice as he spelled out C-E-O. It was pride. I should know, I used to love to say it.
The problem is it's barely true. Really, you're just a cofounder. With a little 'c.' 99.99% of all decisions (probably 100%) are still being made with full consensus of the founders. You don't have direct reports. You don't report to a board that has the power to fire you. You take out the trash just like everyone else. In fact, you do so more than other people because they're too busy building the product and you don't want to disturb them. But when you prance around with your C-E-O, you make your cofounders want the same thing. And so you hand out other C titles...it's only fair.
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I would also greatly appreciate introductions to potential advisors. We're not fundraising until the spring, but I'm happy to 'get coffee' with people who are interested in getting to know us.