Quit a VC-Backed Startup You Cofounded
Is it ever morally justifiable to quit a VC-backed startup you cofounded?
So here is the story.
Two founders get introduced to each other by a common contact.
One is a technical guy and the other one is a business person.
They have a good conversation.
They decide to found a startup.
One becomes a CTO and the other one becomes a CEO.
The CEO is way more wealthy than the CTO because he had few exits under his belt.
Both inject significant money into the business.
Obviously, the CEO injects way more funding.
The CEO has lots of rich friends from the previous exits.
They inject money because they have faith in the CEO.
They care less about whoever the CTO is.
The startup is growing at a good pace and they are getting customers in.
After a couple of years, the co-founders start to question each other’s decisions.
Mainly, over hiring and also product design and features.
CTO blames the CEO for changing the specs of the product because of his own sense of design and previous exits (experience).
The CEO blames CTO for just focusing on things that customers do not need.
Now the question is, is it ethical for the CTO to quit his startup?
Or CTO needs to sit down, shut up, and get richer?
In my own opinion, the CEO has a proven record of success, he knows what he’s doing.
It seems that the company is more important than you the product.
CTO is a replacable position.
You can hire CTOs without even making them co-founders.
This way, with an experienced CEO and investors that are highly aligned with the company strategy, things will fall into their place if the product features align with the strategy.
My suggestion to founder-CTOs is that startups are not there for you to make your own toys.
Startups are built for massive growth.
And it is CEO’s responsibility to drive this growth.