There are three types of cofounder:
- Legitimate cofounders, who have invested blood, sweat, and tears, and time, treasure, and talent, toward building their companies from day one;
- Honorary cofounders, who are granted the title by the legitimate founder or cofounders as part of a strategy to leverage the reputation of a prominent individual to raise capital, secure coverage, or otherwise add strategic value; and
- Shameless liars, who are usually early employees but sometimes employees who are quite far from being among the first. They independently lay claim to being cofounders to elevate their status and advance their own interests.
Over the years, I have asked and interviewed some entrepreneurs about the latter.