How to Future-proof Job Titles in Your Startup

March 29, 2016 - 3 minutes read

startup job titles for scalability

In established mobile app development enterprises, the question of who gets what title is relatively simple. The most experienced iPhone app developer is obviously the senior iOS developer. Who’s most qualified to manage big-picture company growth? That’d be the CEO.

…But for early-stage startups, the question of roles and titles is a little more convoluted, often leading to growing pains and broken relationships down the road. Sooner or later, passionate app developers and startup founders run into the reality that they may not be most qualified to remain CEO, CTO, Chief Developer, Head of Marketing, or whatever other title they picked back when the company was a five-person team cobbled together from friends and associates.

To protect against issues when it comes time to split up roles and build out the team, it’s vitally important that startup founders establish the long-term plan for roles within the company right at the beginning. Some startups take the high road and avoid the question of titles altogether by sticking to generic roles like “co-founder” and “Android developer.” For other startups — particularly those with two active co-founders — it makes perfect sense to designate a technical CTO and non-technical CEO.

What’s most important in either case is that co-founders are prepared to step aside or change roles when it makes the most sense for the company as a whole. While practical business-minded mobile app developers know very well that the need for a more experienced CEO is actually a good thing since it indicates growth, stubborn attachment to a particular title can self-sabotage even the most cutting-edge mobile app idea. (This is why early investors tend to ask whether or not the founder intends to remain CEO indefinitely.)

When working with long-term mobile app developers, it’s equally important that co-founders make clear the eventual role of those early engineers in the startup’s future — and stick to that plan. As a rule of thumb, Dallas mobile app developers who avoid using titles like “chief” and “senior” early on will find fewer roadblocks as the startup scales.

As with everything in startups and mobile app development, the key to success includes a healthy dose of humility.

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