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February 05, 2007

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I honestly don't get people who are that hung up on titles. Perhaps they're too inexperienced to realize that they've already gone from a person who can't be fired to one who can, the moment they signed the term sheet, regardless of what they call themselves. Or maybe they weren't as lucky as I was, to have their first job at a company that would happily give them the title of their choosing (and verify it on future reference calls) and thereby debunk for them the notion that titles per se have meaning to people who aren't credulous fools.

I've been happily "Chairman, C?O, President, and Delivery Boy" in highly conscious mocking-irony for years now. I find it the best attitude, when running a small business.

I have found that the best piece of advice you pass along to startups is to rip up all the business cards and change the Title on new ones to "Founder". Anyone in the know will understand you're trying to execute on a vision without letting your ego take control.

While nothing really to do with your post - a tangent re: the value of titles. Some words of wisdom old school style from my Dad's best friend Floyd (of the WM Prager Ltd. here in Toronto)...

"Always make all your salesmen Vice Presidents. People love to know when they are giving you money, that they are dealing with a Vice President."

:)

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