If your cofounder(s) have more equity than you, you are stupid.
Wait, but “they bring more to the table than I do”. Bullshit. It doesn’t matter who brings what to the table. Everyone is starting at ground zero. Building a business is hard and takes lots of time, passion, energy. If they said this they’re not right for you.
Wait, but “I joined later”. Bullshit. If there was enough value created before you joined you probably shouldn’t be a cofounder. If not there’s no point in “joined later”. Everyone is starting at ground zero.
Wait, but “I’m taking salary and they’re not”. Bullshit. Then structure it as a loan that will be reimbursed upon financing. If they’re taking more equity for this reason they’re definitely not for you.
Wait, but “One of them is investing his own money”. Bullshit++. If he or she has the money and wants to use it to get the ball rolling then structure it as a loan, not equity, that gets paid off upon external financing. If he or she wants to own more just because he or she has the money he or she is definitely not for you.
If there is no equality, there can never be the same passion, commitment, drive to succeed. You’re all in this together and going to spend a good portion of your life building a dream. If not, you shouldn’t do it.