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Immediately after their first board meeting, Matthew Prince and his co-founders made a radical decision: No employee at CloudFlare, a company that now processes 250 billion page views a month through its security apps, would go by a hierarchical job title. There would be no VPs, managers, or executives–only engineers, designers, etc. Prince told Inc.’s Jeff Haden why checking egos at the door ensures that the quality of an idea–not a person’s rank–always wins.

What made you throw out hierarchical titles in favor of more functional titles? We presented a candidate for VP of technical operations, and a board member asked, “How many people has he hired?” We didn’t know. “Fired?” No clue. He said, “I’m sure he’s brilliant, but you’re implying by the title that he will build a team he will manage.” In fact, we wanted him to help build a product.

Peter Westerman

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