Being CEO and Founder is a lot more stressful than being technical co-founder.

    • +1 to this. The technical co-founder has to just worry about the product. The non-tech founder deals with fundraising, business development, customer acquisition, HR, and everything else.

      As the non-tech co-founder of my startup, even my CTO/tech co-founder worries about me taking too much.

  • Probably not. Being technical co-founder puts you under the pressure of CEO’s decisions. The tech co-founder can fail miserably because of CEO’s decisions. The tech co-founder has a sword of Damocles. Not the CEO.

    Due to my past career, I could or should be a technical co-founder, but actually I’m glad to be a CEO. This is a great relief to be fully in charge for my success or failure.

  • I have played both. Depends if CEO is a jerk/takes his stress out on CTO/technical team. If CEO = jerk, then being CTO is like being abusee in an abusive marriage. If CEO is nice guy, then I have more compassion for the CEO.

    I think negative stress is largely whether your personhood is considered in business relationship and whether you have other options if things go south, period. I would say a CEO’s personhood is more considered than a CTOs (when was the last time someone worried if the CTO was in a bad mood or if things were done the way the CTO liked them?), but it’s a lot easier to recover from failure when you were the CTO.

  • I’m a sole founder and also the technical guy, I deal with both aspects so you have it easy!

    Stop trying to figure out who has the harder job (typical husband/wife argument!) and just get on with each doing their part!

  • Startup is stressful if you are not passionate about the vision and team. If you feel stressful, time to rethink, why did you startup?

  • How about marketing all the time doing nothing? Well both roles have their own responsibilities. In my case, I am 21 and there is no ‘role’ because I am the only one! (Finding people has been so difficult). Founder CTOs certainly have loads of burdens- iteratively the product has to be improved regardless of the timings. Also, CTOs do play a very heavy role in kick-starting the business. Despite that, they take up 0.8% equity generally unlike 5-8% of CEOs. They do it because of passion and nothing else perhaps. Purpose is really important. All you need to do is to outsource works to countries like India if CTO’s works need ‘finishing’.

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