Consider a startup that offers a specific technical solution to a generic problem in a certain creative industry. One core part of that solution is a website, and it caters to customers mostly coming from said industry.
The company's founders are two non-technical guys with MBAs and one developer, each owning the same split of equity.
None of us were part of the creative industry before, but one of the MBAs (who handles marketing and also does most of the networking) has gained a reasonable level of domain expertise.
Should decisions regarding the features and/or look & feel of the website simply be in complete control of the person that has the most domain expertise, because "all companies are business-driven" and/or "it's the job of business people to figure out what the customers want"?
However, that would leave the developer working for his own company like he would for any other in day-to-day practice (except for board meetings, of course). is this something that developers will have to accept, co-founder or not, making it a problem for way too big egos?
Or should a technical co-founder be involved in deciding "WHAT the actual product does and behaves (features, look&feel)", because it is also his product and EVERY founder should be able to identify himself with his company's products, not just with the company's general vision.
Been reading dozens of threads on this awesome site and learned a lot, yet none really address my concern. One mostly reads about that everyone should stick with their roles and just do the job - but does this apply here?
Maybe someone even has concrete examples of where the line should be drawn between which role has what influence on what is actually needed in the product?
To clarify a bit more...
On the marketer/MBA's side, a discussion regarding which feature will be in the product isn't wanted. The technical founder's (i.e., developer's) role should be to implement without question whatever feature marketing demands. Any disagreements from the developer's side could then be discussed at the end of the work day so as not to hinder the day's work (translation: it can be discussed after the fact).
In other words, the MBA tries to dictate the features, even the site design, instead of recommending them. Is this a normal part of fullfilling marketing duties?
The developer's ego is hurt and he wishes to be involved in deciding product features and design, despite not having studied marketing and because as a founder, he would like to identify with the product made by the company that he partly owns.
So in his mind, it should be a team effort. But rightly so?
Is the marketing guy overstepping his role? Or is the development guy overstepping his role?
Can the marketing guy more easily make his case since the company/product in not purely a technical one?