I’ve done it.
The downside? The company was a lot less nimble. Decisions took much longer, more egos were involved, especially on compensation. And strategic decisions took forever.
I don’t think you can really have 6 top decision makers with a founder mandate. 2 works out well, with 1 as the clear CEO. 3 is OK if you have clear divisions of ownership. 6 is kind of impossible.
But … that company with 6 co-founders? It likely will be a unicorn. It’s getting close.
The reality is, in most start-ups that have 4+ co-founders … several move on as you scale. That’s painful, but perhaps OK.
You can’t have 6 CEOs (no matter the titles). That doesn’t work. But if 6 is the right number for you — exceptional companies make exceptions to rule. Just bear in mind, probably, all 6 of you won’t be there at $60m in ARR.
A little more here on how to plan for some of the 6 maybe not staying forever: A Simple Commitment Test For You And Your Co-Founders | SaaStr