How should I describe my job title?


I'm the co-founder of a two-person startup, but I'm having a hard time coming up with an accurate description of my job for things like LinkedIn and business cards.

I handle all technical aspects of the company, so something like "Co-Founder and CTO" or "Co-Founder and Technical Lead" would certainly cover it, but I feel like those titles are somewhat pretentious, as I don't manage anyone. I don't want to seem like I'm trying to inflate my title, but I do want to convey that I'm making the technical decisions for the company.

So, what's a good job title for someone who co-founded a startup with no non-founder employees, who handles all technical decisions but doesn't manage anyone?


asked Dec 6 '11 at 09:52
198 points

5 Answers


How about "co-founder ". That is the most neutral. Why do you need a title? There is not value in a title except if you want to change job, which I guess you are not. I was co-founder and CTO of a business and had that on my card, and honestly I always felt it was ridiculous. The last one I just put co-founder. Honestly it doesn't matter, it is not going to open you more doors, it is not going to help you get funding, it is not going to hinder your efforts. You, as a person, will make this happen, not your title.

Good luck

answered Dec 7 '11 at 03:42
Antony P.
714 points
  • I mean, I'm not losing sleep over it or anything, but I want people to know who to contact for specific requests and I don't want to look pompous by overinflating. – Bill 12 years ago
  • That makes sense. If you are only a few people it will probably not matter much who is contacted because everybody will know about what others are doing. On your web site, put a description of what you are in charge of and people should contact you accordingly. – Antony P. 12 years ago


I was thinking of similar issue for sometime also. Apart from "co-founder", how about including "chief architect" since you are deciding on technical directions.

answered Dec 13 '11 at 21:11
1 point


In the short term, I would pick one title, but possibly vary the title for the purpose of where you're putting it. "Co-Founder" on LinkedIn, "CTO" on StackExchange... probably get a small run of business cards with each. By all means put a list of your roles and responsibilities on the 'who' page of your website; it can help your planning to have them written out somewhere.

Really though, if you're formalising a business you need to decide on the company structure pretty soon. For my smallest startup, I was "Partner" and the other main guy was "Director". We assign other titles per-project (software architect, design lead, etc.).

Titles like CEO, CTO, etc. are really only meaningful when you have other 'EOs and 'TOs to invite to the board meetings.

answered Dec 14 '11 at 11:27
101 points


I describe my title in a one-man company as "chief salesman", precisely because I got tired of seeing "account executives" on business cards.
I would suggest to lose "officer" and end up with something like "chief developer" or "tech lead" as you suggested or perhaps even "head geek".

answered Dec 6 '11 at 10:05
Sergei Veinberg
429 points


You cab describe your profile as administrator who deals with technical issues.

answered Dec 14 '11 at 19:18
Abhijeet Kulkarni
11 points

Your Answer

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • • Bullets
  • 1. Numbers
  • Quote
Not the answer you're looking for? Ask your own question or browse other questions in these topics: