Have we reached peak founder-friendliness?

Hello and welcome back to Equity, a podcast about the business of startups where we unpack the numbers and nuance behind the headlines.

This is our Wednesday episode when we niche down to a single topic, looking to expand our understanding of one particular technology trend or another. Today? We discussed if the era of founder-led companies is coming to a close, and if we have reached the peak of founder friendliness.

The decision to abdicate the CEO role by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey got us onto the topic. You can read our first take on the matter here, or listen to us geek out about it on an earlier Twitter Spaces.

But Natasha and Alex decided that they didn’t want to walk alone, so we got Floodgate’s Iris Choi back on the show, along with recently venture-backed Fractional founder Stella Han to help us dig through the issue.

  • Choi doesn’t see a rapid change in the current market dynamic that has led to increased founder influence, and therefore control. Even more, she noted that as the public markets are willing to accept founder-friendly mechanics like dual-class shares, there’s even less incentive to shake up the current dynamic.
  • Han, meanwhile, spoke to the evolution of a founder’s role over the lifetime of her company – as well as how she tries to build in decentralized authority (as the central source of authority)
  • We end with the importance of being explicit about different roles, and how they are subject to change as a company hits different scale milestones.

Equity is back on Friday with our news roundup. Chat soon!

Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 a.m. PST, Wednesday, and Friday at 6:00 a.m. PST, so subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts.