The Co-Founder Mythology

Posted on May 9, 2011 | 209 comments


I spoke at Stanford last year about starting a tech company. They really cleverly chopped the video up into small bite-sized segments.

So for anybody who reads my “This Week in VC” transcripts but doesn’t watch the video – this one’s for you! It’s only 3 minutes, 44 seconds.

I covered what I call “the co-founder mythology.” So embedded is this conventional wisdom in Silicon Valley that it feels like heresy to even question it. It’s a sacred cow, for sure.

So emotional is the topic that people often want to debate me based on the title before they’ve even heard my point of view. If you’re interested in the topic please watch the video by clicking on the image above.

Here is a quick summary of my POV:

  • When you start a company a 50/50 partnership seems obvious. Either you’re not technical and you think you need a technical co-founder or vice-versa
  • Conventional wisdom says that you gain far more in working as a team than you lose by diluting by half before you start.
  • Conventional wisdom doesn’t account for all of the things that go wrong in partnerships over time; especially ones that are formed quickly and without a long gestation period.
  • It is increasingly popular to have “founder dating” or “startup weekend hackathons” of some variety or the other. We get cast together with a team of people we barely know and if we win we gleefully announce we’re going to do a company together. We don’t even know whether they snore.
  • You often have very limited perspective on whether this person will continue to be a great partner 2 years down the line, 4 years down the line, 8 years down the line
  • Even if you *think* you know them, people change. One person gets more risk averse, the other has more risk appetite. One person gets married or has kids and starts to de-prioritize the business. One person loses the passion for what you do. Or you have disagreements about strategy, recruiting, funding, etc.
  • 50/50 partnerships can be hugely unstable – even if you’ve been friends since high school.
  • And all of the hard work is ahead of you. You’re only going to find out whether they’re TRULY a great partner after you’ve put in years of money, blood, sweat & tears.
  • I think most people do 50/50 partnerships because they’re afraid to start alone. It’s scarier because if you fail it was only you and all your fault. Somehow it feels easier to leap together. I know. It’s what I did the first time.
  • I say, “go ahead & take the leap” if you want to start a company (many people don’t want to – that’s OK, too.). Hire your co-founder. Give them a large sum of equity. 20%. 30%. Even 40%. Vested over 4 years. If you ever fall out of love you have a pre-nuptial agreement. I talk about that in more detail here.
  • Truly treat them like a co-founder. Give them access to all confidential information. Involve them in fund raising, hiring, strategy, etc. Publicly call them a co-founder. Don’t rule like a dictator. But … if you have very big disagreements about funding, risk levels (e.g. like how much burn rate), whether to sell the company, etc. you won’t be backed into a corner or unable to make tough decisions.

Here’s the reality: most people don’t want to start a business. They don’t have an idea. They don’t want to come up with one from scratch. They don’t want the risk of the first 3-6 months with no salary and having to walk around with a tin-cup for funding. So most people join companies. That’s OK. It’s the more sane thing to do. Startups have high failure rates.

Most senior employees who join are given 2% if they join early. Maybe they get up to 10% if they joined REALLY early and were senior. Who gets 30%? Nobody. That’s who. So trust me when I tell you that you can hire incredibly talented people for 30% of your company. Or 20%. Let’s be honest – even 10%.

And here’s the thing – given that all of the hard work is IN FRONT of you (as in the next 8 years of your life) – why would you start out with an unstable position if you don’t have to?

I know many people reading this will violently disagree. And some of them will be from startups that are already very successful. If it’s working – no problem. I’m not saying it will never work. But many of the cases where it goes well are when the company hasn’t struggled. We’re all friends when things are moving up and to the right.

If you do decide to go down the 50/50 route, please at least consider:

  • Make sure you have founder vesting for both of you. It is not uncommon to see startup founders walk before raising capital and take large pieces of equity with no vesting. That means that the people who stay get to work their arses off to try and make money for the person that walked. Why risk it?
  • Make sure you have a very clearly established governance structure. None of this, “we’re co-founders, we just work well together. So we’re co-CEO’s” BS. Pick a leader. Have a clear path to resolving conflicts if they arise.
  • Discuss up front how you’re going to resolve any conflicts. Discuss topics such as funding, risk orientation, how long each of you wants to be doing this business, what happens when one partner wants to leave or one isn’t performing?
  • I wrote about many of the early-stage startup mistakes here.

OK. Now feel free to shoot the messenger.

Just please read one more message first: I promise you for as great as you feel about your current partnership agreement – I meet far more people who had problems with theirs than founders who didn’t have problems. People just don’t talk about it publicly or in blogs.

I meet far more second or third time entrepreneurs who wouldn’t do a 50/50 (or 33/33/33) partnership ever again than you would image.

I am one of them.

Update: Russell Fradin makes a great point. If you’re already “been to war with them” in a company and know their character I would consider it more. There are some people you trust like family. I have about 2 of those.

  • http://twitter.com/tneogi tneogi

    I violently agree to what you said. As a startup CEO and founder, everything you mention has a high resonance of reality in it in various ways. Great post!

  • http://twitter.com/BenFletch Ben Fletcher

    I fully agree with this, and I think many people reading it will agree with the logic, but when it comes to setting up on their own they will feel the fear and go with the emotional (false) security of choosing a co-founder with 50%.

  • http://twitter.com/BenFletch Ben Fletcher

    I fully agree with this, and I think many people reading it will agree with the logic, but when it comes to setting up on their own they will feel the fear and go with the emotional (false) security of choosing a co-founder with 50%.

  • http://about.me/humphrey HumphreyPL

    Here is the extract from the post:

    Something that I don’t believe you have spoken about much and which I have been advised to review is the possibility of licensing a tech/model from one of the big funded startups in US instead of trying to start the model myself in Australia. What are your thoughts on licensing to other countries? If you had someone approach one of your investments for a partnership or a licensing deal or to create an office in Australia what would your advice be to one of the startups you invested in and what would you ask of the entrepreneur asking for a license. I mean if it means having someone who would commit and go out get customers and build your brand you would think this would be a good thing but I am concerned they rather not get distracted.So taking this into consideration how would you go about constructing and argument for licensing or whitelabling? ”
    Thanks for taking a look Mark.

  • http://twitter.com/jimidelson jimidelson

    I started my new #SaaS #videoconferencing venture almost three years ago. I’ve paid for everything (development, sales and delivery) on a contract basis out of early customer subscriptions and some consulting gigs on the side and by forgoing any salary. We now have enough technology built to make customers happy (more than MVP), we’ve greatly reduced the technology and market risks, and we have traction and real revenue . . . and I still own 100% of the equity. I have never had an argument with a cofounder.

    But, now its time to take it to the next level. That means making the technology easier to manage at larger deployment levels (many more subscribers). It means we need to build and execute a real go-to-market plan, and we need to support a growing base of customers, channels and strategic partners.

    To do all this, we need to build a leadership team. We need some entrepreneurial VPs; people who have strategic vision and management skills and hiring skills and team player skills and a desire and ability to get their hands very dirty.

    How do we build this team?

    Do these new key players get the founder label?

    How well-formed does the team have to be in order to close a round?

    How much equity do these players get if they a) come on-board full-time (no salary) and really help close the round, b) start working with us and contributing part-time and plan to go full-time after funding closes, or c) agree to come on-board after funding, but no time invested until then?

    Are we having fun yet?

  • http://www.asoftwarestartupguy.com David Miller

    I started my last venture in a 50/50 partnership. When we decided to go into business together, we had known each other for less than a month. We were 32 years old. We both thought we’d have an exit in less than 24 months. It’s now 11 years later and the business is still going strong – without me. I left and moved on to start another venture.

    I love my partner. Together, we build a great company that’s worth a great deal of money. Having said all that, I’m not taking any founding partners in my new venture and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m not afraid of flying solo, I want the responsibility to be on the line for every decision, and I have the experience and skill to make it all happen.

    Right on, Mark. This needed to be said.

  • BobSpitz

    Friends, relatives, friends of relatives, relatives of friends . . . the list goes on. My policy is not to hire anyone who it would be too difficult to fire.

  • Anonymous

    Reading TechCrunch makes me want to charge out and start a new company everyday. Reading Suster always makes me feel like starting a company is the worst thing in the world. Every Entrepreneur should have to read both.

  • Anonymous

    WORD! What a great post. I felt pressured 6 months back from everyone I met with to get a co-founder. Like it was something you pick up at the corner bodega. I considered it because people I trust and respect were saying it to me over and over. So I tried, I honestly could not find someone that matched my drive and passion for my company. I certainly didn’t feel comfortable speed dating a co-founder and then getting “married” to make everyone else feel better. (I think they were concerned because not only was I alone but….dun dun dun… I was a female!)
    Starting a business is hard, especially in the early months. Sure it would be nice to have someone to freak out with when $%&* hits the fan or have someone to do the happy dance with when things go right, but it isn’t a fit for everyone. It certainly wasn’t for me!! Thanks for sharing @msuster:disqus and pointing out that co-founder is not the only way to go!

  • http://inuvi.com Mark Westling

    Amen!

    The similarities between a 50/50 partnership and a marriage are striking. Conventional wisdom preaches how great it is to have a 50/50 partnership but doesn’t tell you how bad things can be if it doesn’t work out. Unfortunately, separation usually isn’t a viable option in a start-up.

    It’s strange that the advice given on picking a partner usually ends with “find someone with complementary skills” and rarely touches the REALLY important things, like (a) fearless communication, (b) shared goals, and (c) shared values. I loved that point about having “been to war”; it’s easy for someone to look good when times are good but adversity reveals true character.

    Another thing: if it’s important to put a key employee through a serious interview process, why not do the same with your potential co-founder? This ought to be mandatory. If you haven’t been to war with someone, you can at least ask them to describe to you the times they were at war with others and what happened. Sure, it could potentially be an uncomfortable conversation but it beats the hell out of screaming at each other before, after, or during a meeting in a year or two.

  • http://www.nimitkumar.in Nimit Kumar

    I absolutely agree with this point of founder vesting. It is only fair to do this. My approach is to allocate equity for functions/verticals (technology, biz dev, sales, etc.) in the organization and not to people. This means that at an equilibrium, different verticals get certain equity. This equity will be distributed across both people and time – what if one leader leaves and the other comes. The new vertical leader must get a share for his/her hard work.
    It is surprising why people would not agree to this approach, which sounds absolutely fair to everyone.

  • http://www.compareaphone.com Mobile Phone

    Great article. I have witnessed many similar struggles often ending in failed marriages. I recommend to stat well clear from even similar situations.

  • http://inuvi.com Mark Westling

    A “vote of no-confidence in you by your friends” sounds suspiciously like “if you’re single, something must be wrong with you”.

  • http://twitter.com/Home_Health Dr. Jerry Flanagan

    The conventional wisdom in SV is you must have the tech and domain expert co-founders and there is a bias against a single founder especially if not a techie. We’ve had success hiring for the tech expertise and fortunately we’ve avoided what could have become a harmful relationship had we agreed to co-founder status with more than one of them. Nice to see @msuster:disqus counter the prevailing SV bias.

  • Fabrizio

    Mark, thank’s a lot for your article, I needed a bit of encouragement .

    I am first time entrepreneur working on setting up a service business. So not only I am out of favor given mine wont’ be a product company, but I am also a lone founder..

    I feel the current conventional wisdom tend to closely reflect what the VC industry consider the hottest bet at the moment…

    Young, talented coders with an intuition for a winning product that could be easily scaled and have the chance to return the kind of ROI they are after. After all, we are in a transformational time, internet is drastically changing our lives and web 2.0 has still a lot of room for evolution and new ideas.

    Who can blame them to try to seize the moment ?

    They are the one with the money, and with the obligation to make the most out of it. So they chose the potential entrepreneur that have the skills to deliver those kind of products and promote the structure that give their investment higher chances of success.

    There is nothing wrong with it, as far as the entrepreneur’s community do not adopt the structure that VC are promoting as the one that must always been adopted because it is the best. Different situation, different personality, different project might have better chances with very different set up.

    In my case as I said, I am woking to set up a service company, driven by the vision of do good and do well. No revolutionary code, just something that would help people and that could also generate good business.

    As other as said, when a strong clear vision is a the hearth of your enterprise you cannot have two captain, at least that’s how I see it, but sometimes I have some doubts, given I am just a beginner with a dream and the expert keep saying different things….

    So it feel good to read articles like yours. Kind Regards!

  • http://tinyhabit.com Subraya Mallya

    Mark, this is your best post in my view. Thanks. This is a problem that entrepreneurs face right out of the gate and gives some parameters for them to consider. I would love to see your thoughts (via a post) on building an advisory board as a natural progression of this post.

  • Adm

    great advice! I’m a founder, a young woman and an expat. In the valley people keep asking me who my co-founders are. My answer is simple.I made this baby alone but I need talented people to help me to make it grow.

  • http://www.enterthegroup.com Sal Pellettieri

    So happy to read this. I agree totally. If I’m already taking a risk by starting a business why do I want to compound that risk with a co-founder? and if it takes off I would rather hire someone that give half of my valuable business to a co-founder.

  • http://twitter.com/EricOlson Eric Olson

    I see your point in that you don’t want to be constrained by a consensus. I am simply suggesting that you might want alignment in the core founding team (say 2 – 4 folks).

    This issue came up in the HBS case I co-authored on FeedBurner (a company where I was an early employee). http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/product/809089-PDF-ENG

    The FeedBurner guys took the route of equal splits and I think they were happy with the alignment it created amongst the four founders. However, they built three companies together prior to FeedBurner so perhaps this was a different situation. I side more with your assertions when a founding team hasn’t worked together at all or for a long period of time. Perhaps in those situations it is better to “hire” a pseudo-founder who is great and willing to join 6 months in for a smaller equity cut. As you say, there are a lot of those folks out there who don’t want the initial risk of starting up.

  • http://sisyph.us/ ErikSchwartz

    I’ve done startups with cofounders. I’m currently working on one by myself.

    In my case going it alone means my spouse ends up filling the role of cofounder sounding board (which is one of the cofounder’s most important jobs). It helps that she has built and sold a company. It really helps that she has no trouble pulling me back to earth when I am full of it.

    You need to have someone you can trust to to talk to. The trust in their judgement is more important than technical or business acumen. That person does not need to be a “co-founder”.

  • http://twitter.com/webwright Tony Wright

    Okay, I’ll take the other side (because many comments are pretty much saying “great advice!” and I think it’s more fun to argue! :-) ).

    Looking over your points, I’m not sure you’re really tackling the myth head on, but rather giving some (outstanding) best practices on how to have a partner. Avoid strangers, avoid good friends (not convinced on that one), vest, have a pre-nup, make sure you pick a leader, have a 1-share stock imbalance to make sure you have a tie-breaker, etc. Assuming you follow these, I’d contend that your partnership risks are pretty moderate. In fact, you seem to be saying that the risks, properly managed, are worth it because your last two bullet points pretty much say, “A co-founder is fine, just make sure you keep 60-90% of the equity for yourself”.

    This presumably means that you’re looking for a co-founder who either:

    1) brings less value to the table than you do OR
    2) can be bilked into believing that they bring less value to the table than you do

    Assuming that you agree that #2 is a shitty way to start a partnership, I’ll assume your 10-40% cofounder falls under #1. Given that any startup has pretty stacked odds against it, wouldn’t you be better served finding a co-founder who brought as much to the table as you did? Or more? Or to turn around the question a bit: If you had the opportunity to found a company with a person who brought the same value to the table that you did, would you forego that opportunity?

    The market for co-founders is pretty murky. Often, you don’t have a clear choices. But I’ll always choose to maximize my company’s chances of success than my personal windfall should that success happen (if I have the choice).

  • http://www.charliecrystle.com Charlie Crystle


    I meet far more second or third time entrepreneurs who wouldn’t do a 50/50 (or 33/33/33) partnership ever again than you would image.”

    I’m another one of them.

  • Geekette

    Well Mark, you got my “amen” when you first posted on this issue and you still get it now. I’m applying to incubators now and rolling my eyes at the cofounder push. BTW, when are you going to get LaunchpadLA back on?

  • http://www.repeatablesale.com/ Scott Barnett

    Not sure why you think you’ll be flamed on this one Mark – anybody that has lived through a 50/50 or 33/33/33 partnership (as I have) will agree with you. When everybody is aligned and things are going well it looks brilliant, but doesn’t everything look brilliant when things are going well? The rub here is things will succeed/fail based on how people deal with the stressful situations, and you won’t know that at the beginning because you get married while you should still be dating. The lesson I learned was to be very selective and “date” much longer before I ask somebody to get married.

    Sad to say, there MUST be a pre-nup, because unlike marriage, it is almost a certainty that you will not spend the rest of your life with your business partner, so the “divorce” needs to be clearly spelled out.

  • Guest

    You’re essentially saying that a co-founding team should consist of one leader and a follower (or followers), rather than two leaders. IMO, this would work in some startups, but definitely not all.

  • http://www.spotsift.com Peter Chang

    I think being female has nothing to do with it. I’m male and have gone through your problems (probably the same, if not to a harsher degree than you have). I’ve had several good friends/co-workers who were excited to join only to go on and flake. Truth is, man or woman, only a very small percentage of people can handle entrepreneurship. And then finding that person who can who also has the same passion for your idea as you do makes it nearly impossible. I think this is a big vote in favor of Suster’s Co-founder Myth.

    By far, it’s magnitudes easier to simply hire people (money + equity).

  • Matt

    Or be ruthless enough to fire anyone. I fired my best friend from my last company, 3 months after he moved to the Bay Area to join.

  • http://www.spotsift.com Peter Chang

    Btw, completely anecdotal, but one very promising person I pursued early on as a co-founder was a female. She was great but our interests differed and, at the time, she had just decided to pursue entrepreneurship while I had been doing it for some time. I had an idea I was working on while she was in an exploratory stage. Also, as I find in many cases, people who pursue entrepreneurship want to be top dog and so when two top dogs get together it often doesn’t work out.

  • http://www.spotsift.com Peter Chang

    Suster’s is more grounded in reality. TC is simply a collection of the best success stories of the day.

  • Partners

    What about spouses? We live together, we can live the business together, … but then we don’t want the business to end that.

  • http://twitter.com/fscottmoody F Scott Moody

    Agree wholeheartedly. Two startups, first was great with my co-founder and we IPO’d company. Second, not so good. Good news is time was free and little funding from me for other things. Had opportunity to raise money ($3M), but disbanded company. The DD was basically done with my money and glad did before raised from others. I’d do it different next time, but first was so good went into second a little fast.

  • http://twitter.com/criddar Cody Riddar

    Yeah, not so sure about the annual swap either. It sounds fair, but to drive a company you don’t need fair equity or authority, you need leadership.

    But if you do this, bring in a lawyer. The last company I worked for had 3 co-founders. When they organized, they split equity equally and decided to have a revolving President that changed annually. They started off by giving it to the guy who was like “oh, well… if I have too”. In year one he realized how difficult it was to make decisions with three heads and immediately picked off the other two with some sneaky tactics.

    Basically he hired people from his own network for top positions and got the other two to agree to dilute all their equity equally. Then he and his network voted the other two co-founders out with their shares.

    Somehow the crafty dude managed to buy alot of the ousted co-founders’ equity and ended up with a majority of the company, then sold it.

  • FounderTypes

    What about the fact that some of the best people seem to what equal control (50/50) since they have similar desires (i.e. to run a business). There seems to be a big drop from these people to those that would take 5-30%, a drop in terms of motivation, dedication etc.

  • Partners

    what >= want

  • http://byJess.net Jess Bachman

    It seems to be this is a very personal issue and there is no “right” answer. However it would be fascinating to take a look to see what the data says. On a whole are equal cofounders more successful or strategically split cofounders? Unfortunately, this data doesn’t exist.

  • http://blog.sixstringcpa.com Geoffrey

    I received a lot of training and education in an ‘old school’ environment. The result being words like ‘excellent’ do not get used except in very rare cases. This is an “EXCELLENT’ post. It is also very timely on a couple of fronts for me professionally & personally.

    I occasionally like to play Devil’s Advocate and, as a result, often shoot at messengers. In this case, the pistol is staying in the holster.

  • http://twitter.com/criddar Cody Riddar

    I lost my cofounder to his day job a couple months ago too. I started the project and released the beta solo, then brought him in to help evangelize the product and utilize his connections to gain traction.

    When his performance suffered I was glad to hold a majority of the company, and that I put him on a 2-year vesting schedule with a 6 month cliff. I was able to undo the decision. (Like
    @twitter-210360751:disqus
    suggests – put it all in writing. It makes for clean splits)

    Still, although it’s nice to not have to deliberate every decision, the company was better off having his input aboard. He’s a bright guy with a lot of ideas and perspective, so I let him walk with 5% for the time he put in and kept him aboard as an advisor.

    For those interested, the equity split had he fully vested would have been 51% – 32%, with the remainder set aside for a first round of investment.

  • Anonymous

    Great post , Mark, and one that really needed to be said.
    There is another paradigm that needs to be changed and that is handing out stock as people join instead of creating a planned stock allocation at the very start, including risk reduction and vesting periods.
    It means rewarding people for their actual contributions to the company’s success, as opposed to what they did in the past or for their interview charm and negotiating skills.
    Stock allocation is an opportunity to give intangibles such as fairness a solid basis and culture a tangible form.

    Miki Saxon

  • http://blog.sixstringcpa.com Geoffrey

    Truer words might never have been spoken.

    “You need to have someone you can trust to to talk to. The trust in their judgement is more important than technical or business acumen. That person does not need to be a “co-founder”.”

  • http://twitter.com/laran laran

    Great points. I think a co-founder has to share the vision and the risk. If they’re not going to do that, no matter what their skills, their employees.

  • http://arnorhs.com/ Arnor Heidar Sigurdsson

    It’s hard to describe how much this post helps my confidence. Thanks a lot, Mark.

  • SteveD-

    Great answer!

  • Anonymous

    Mark, I fully agree with this reasoning. As an example from my own experience, I would never have started Playhopper if I would have waited to find a co-founder…And you know that you are the reason for me taking that step in the first place ;) . Consider the alternative: wait to start a company until you find a co-founder or get started right away and then recruit one? I think the alternatives speak for themselves. Also regarding the risk, I find it riskier to have a co-founder from scratch if you don’t know that person well rather than getting started alone.

  • Anonymous

    @msuster:disqus I had to learn this lesson 4 times … I learned the 50/50 lesson in my first business – we were at a stand still in four months and it was over. The second biz, I gave away too much to too many people and lost control of the vision – then the biz. Third time ran it all myself – but wouldn’t share with good people – they left – crash and burn. This time I maintain control, but I picked great people – after they proved themselves – and paid out a bit more equity for them. So far – a killer team.

  • Anonymous

    @msuster:disqus I had to learn this lesson 4 times … I learned the 50/50 lesson in my first business – we were at a stand still in four months and it was over. The second biz, I gave away too much to too many people and lost control of the vision – then the biz. Third time ran it all myself – but wouldn’t share with good people – they left – crash and burn. This time I maintain control, but I picked great people – after they proved themselves – and paid out a bit more equity for them. So far – a killer team.

  • http://twitter.com/bensweat Ben Sweat

    You are probably right Mark, but I think that kind of sucks. I’d love to go to work each day and have a blast working with a buddy. Too much to ask to have it both ways? :) It’d seem you’d want to be “almost” friends at least if you are going to be working in the trenches together.

  • Anonymous

    The film industry offers a great example to support your logic. In essence, due to extreme competition for jobs, you are consistently surrounded by incredibly smart and talented people, however, because of the need to execute a vision in a timely and accountable manner, there can really only be one person who is “in charge.” Can you imagine how impossible it would be to spend $100+ million dollars on a blockbuster film in less than a year if you had to make all decisions by committee? Thus, the need for a “Director” is as much about vision and execution as it is about finances and scheduling. The same conclusion has been reached in military structures as well.

  • Anonymous

    The film industry offers a great example to support your logic. In essence, due to extreme competition for jobs, you are consistently surrounded by incredibly smart and talented people, however, because of the need to execute a vision in a timely and accountable manner, there can really only be one person who is “in charge.” Can you imagine how impossible it would be to spend $100+ million dollars on a blockbuster film in less than a year if you had to make all decisions by committee? Thus, the need for a “Director” is as much about vision and execution as it is about finances and scheduling. The same conclusion has been reached in military structures as well.

  • Anonymous

    The film industry offers a great example to support your logic. In essence, due to extreme competition for jobs, you are consistently surrounded by incredibly smart and talented people, however, because of the need to execute a vision in a timely and accountable manner, there can really only be one person who is “in charge.” Can you imagine how impossible it would be to spend $100+ million dollars on a blockbuster film in less than a year if you had to make all decisions by committee? Thus, the need for a “Director” is as much about vision and execution as it is about finances and scheduling. The same conclusion has been reached in military structures as well.

  • Anonymous

    The film industry offers a great example to support your logic. In essence, due to extreme competition for jobs, you are consistently surrounded by incredibly smart and talented people, however, because of the need to execute a vision in a timely and accountable manner, there can really only be one person who is “in charge.” Can you imagine how impossible it would be to spend $100+ million dollars on a blockbuster film in less than a year if you had to make all decisions by committee? Thus, the need for a “Director” is as much about vision and execution as it is about finances and scheduling. The same conclusion has been reached in military structures as well.