Titles are always tricky, but particularly dangerous in the startup environment. It’s the much more pedestrian titles that create equal if not bigger problems (e.g. “Engineer”, “Manager”, “Director”, Vice President”, “CxO”, etc.). Their danger comes in two forms:
Any organization should be continuously on the look-out for talented people who are capable of taking on leadership roles. In this context you hear the word ‘ownership’ a lot, in reference to ‘owning’ a function, project, or deliverable. The words are often used interchangeably but, I believe, have very different roles. In essence, leadership means leveraging others, while ownership means getting stuff done. All companies need both, but startups in particular succeed or fail on the basis of leadership and ownership in the organisation.