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My first startup I was the sole Founder and I had a number of early employees. I was the prime mover and I was the one who had the most stock. Until we were funded, their salaries were paid with my savings. My second startup I was the Founder but I had a bunch of early employees who were called co-Founders. I was still the prime mover but no one was getting paid until we started to ship products. We basically had equal amount of stock even though I started the company first and I took risk when no one else would. My experience is that it was a lot harder to get VC fundings when there were large number of co-Founders. VC's are not company builders and in order to ensure timely execution towards a financially successful exit, they would have no problem firing the Founder(s). So in some way, having a large number of co-Founders is sub-optimal (for the VC's).

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