One of the perks of starting a company is giving yourself a title. But sometimes executives go a little overboard.Is calling yourself “CE-Yo” or “Chief Ninja” innovative or just plain absurd? Do job titles really effect businesses?
Steve Blank thinks they do. He wrote a post today about how job titles can sink your startup.
Leigh Buchanan at Inc.com rants about cutesy titles she has encountered, such as a receptionist called Director of First Impressions and Chief Happiness Officers for HR managers.
Buchanan is not opposed to ridiculous titles as long as they’re beneficial to businesses. In fact, she suggests businesses get innovative and adopt roles with titles such as “Thought Leader,” “Reality Check,” and “Competitor Proxy.”
Ladders.com CEO Marc Cenedella told the Seattle Times, “In the ’90s, we did have titles like Chief People Pleaser, the Head of Customer Wow and other silly titles for common positions, but that’s no longer very popular… Companies are more focused on making customers happy and giving shareholders real benefits, not the zany titles.”
But there are some seriously silly, real exceptions, including:
- Seth Priebsatch, Chief Ninja – SCVNGR CEO
- Michael Hagan, Chief Rockstar – SCVNGR COO
- Kate Reynolds, Clue Shredder – SCVNGR Lead Game Designer
- Fabian Perez, King of Bling – SCVNGR ???
- Will Smith, Pixel Czar – SCVNGR Direct Architect
- Jerry Yang & David Filos, former Chief Yahoos! – Yahoo! Co-founders
- Steve Jobs, iCEO – Apple CEO
- Adam Bain, President of Revenue – Twitter CFO
- Eric Nakagawa and Kari Unebasami, Cheezburger and Tofuburger – ICanHasCheezburger.com Co-Founders
- Edwin Rivera, Tech Monkey – Gilt Groupe Tech/Support Analyst
- Gary Hirshberg, CE-Yo – Stonyfield Farm CEO
- Albert Sheu, Random Engineer – Quora Software Developer
- Bill “Figment of your Imagination” and Weezy Muth – Craigslist executive & member of first board of directors
Title Translation: Co-Founders
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