I’m founding a company with other 2 more people, I am the “CTO”. I don’t want to deal with investors, or board meetings. Am I a good candidate for creating a company?

I figure I’d ask someone with more experience. I’m forming a company with 2 other guys, one is a bit technical but not a developer, but I can talk to him about technical stuff and he gets it. He will be manage relationships with clients and seek further partnerships. The other guy will be the CEO, he’s previously sold a company related to what we’re doing and we think he’s the best at what we can’t do, be the CEO of a sales-driven company.

My fear is, I don’t want to deal with most of the business stuff of starting a company. I simply want to make the product and scale it, build amazing technology and create an amazing work environment for future developers joining the company. I don’t want to work with investors, or have to be in tons of meetings related the business. Is it alright to think about this? Should I trust the other guys to run with the business, which is what they are good at, while my passion remains on the technology?

Sorry about the long question and thank you very much.


  • Watch The Social Network and read the stories about Spiegel and Dorsey, and I am sure you will re-consider and take the advice above suddenly very seriously.

  • I am the CTO and built our product from the ground up (every single line). In my case, the 2 business founders spent almost 100K in consulting work before I joined to build a prototype and see if the idea will work. Then they realized they needed someone to focus on the technology who is equally passionate about the company’s success (we had very very minor sales at the time). I rewrote the whole product because I felt it was the best thing for both the company and myself given some technology challenges we were facing mostly due to shoddy work in numerous places in the original codebase. We raised seed from family / friends and have hard commitments (and checks) for Series A from investors.

    OP: I do not attend any investor meetings. You can definitely build the product by yourself. You are a great candidate for creating a company as long as you are genuinely vested in the business and your partners are onboard to handle the rest to free you to focus on technology. What concerns me about you and those who make statements like “build amazing technology” and “scale” it is that your startup doesn’t need it. You need “just enough” technology to validate your business model and make corrections. Anymore is a waste and delay in time to market. You deal with “scale” when you have a viable model that will actually see volume some day. You deal with “amazing” in smaller steps- just enough to stay true to writing solid bug free reusable code. Yes, I concede, you may be able to build “amazing technology” but who gives a fuck if the company fails and is not used by anyone? My fear is premature optimization and I face this urge on a regular basis to build amazing stuff. However, at end of the day the only thing that matters is the impact you have directly on helping this business fix and augment the sinking ship before you run out of resources. If you do this, my personal belief is that you will have one day built “amazing technology” while also building an “amazing business”.

    Now if you’ll indulge me, I’d like to hijack your thread for some feedback for me. Given the timing and prior investment by the founders before they met me, I am not considered a ‘founder’ but I suppose am treated like one and have a small stake on the cap table. I guess the best label I can give myself is ‘co-creator’ cause I did write the damn thing. Do you think I should be given the title of ‘co-founder’, is ‘co-creator’ even asking too much? Is it selfish (I think it might be) to be want to be considered a founder? Cause that’s what I’ve really ever wanted. To be a co-founder and not just the “CTO”. Every decision I make, I put the business first, me second and I have done so for every company I’ve worked starting my first job as an employee. I don’t even want more equity since the original founders spent so much money first. I just feel the title is more appropriate for the commitment and sacrifice I make on nights and weekends and in between to make our company a success.

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