Dear SaaStr: Can A SaaS Startup Really Scale With 2 Co-CEOs?

Many will tell you it’s a bad idea, and it probably is — in most cases.  I sort of tried this myself, and it didn’t quite work.  We had all the classic problems of unclear authority, especially as times got tough.

But here’s the thing: the best startups are all outliers. So you find that while they follow most rules, they also follow whatever path makes for the biggest success.

Two of the biggest successes in SaaS that have co-CEOs!

  • Atlassian


  • Monday

So when it works — it works.

A few other VC-type “rules” that were broken by outliers:

  • Canva, Cisco: spouse / partner teams
  • Zoom, Zscaler, New Relic: solo founders
  • Atlassian, ZoomInfo, Qualtrics:  bootstrapped to billions and IPO

Rules are important, they are directionally correct and help us synthesize complex issues.  But outliers, are well … outliers.

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