My friend and I started a startup. I don't have any equity in the company since he is the one who set it all up. Currently we are only two people; we are looking to hire more. I'm working on the mobile app based on the idea (UI and back end).

How can I determine what my official title should be? Should I be calling myself just Android Developer? Or Software Engineer (Android)? Or CTO? Management or a developer or both.

  • 8
    " I do not have any equity" - To clarify, your friend has employed you in their company (with a salary); but has given you freedom to choose your own job title?
    – user81330
    Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 10:02
  • 1
    The title is much less important than the fact that you are not an owner. Don't go through this without an ownership stake.
    – Wilbert
    Commented Aug 2, 2018 at 6:55
  • Just curious - what does "he is the one who set it all up" mean? Btw, @Wilbert is 100% correct. Especially if you are working for anything less than industry standard rates or benefits. In that case, you get equity or you walk. Promises and dreams won't pay the rent. Btw, make sure you have a contingency plan, as most start-ups fold, so even 1/4 salary plus 50% equity might leave you in trouble if it folds after a year
    – Mawg
    Commented Aug 2, 2018 at 8:14

2 Answers 2



Not Android Developer, not First Employee, nothing of that crap. Co-founder. Then if you wanna attach special meaning to your title, make it Co-Founder, CTO.

Don't settle for anything less and talk to your business partner asap to get some equity, unless taking all the risk and none of the potential reward is absolutely fine by you.

You're going to do a lot of work and take on a lot of risk for a very small potential to payout. There's no reason to sell yourself short.


CTO or "Technology Lead" seems relevant, at least in the short term.

These give you the status you need in order to recruit and mentor interns.

Just calling yourself a "Developer" won't really engender a sense of respect or authority.

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