In early-stage startups, titles tend to be toxic. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to see a five-person company with three C-level execs and two directors. Granting titles too early tends to cap the quality of candidates you can hire, and lead to retention issues when those with titles are layered. Candidates will almost certainly ask for titles, and having a no-title policy makes these conversations easier.
Instead of granting titles, we focused on role descriptions. For example, all engineers are “Software Engineer”, salespeople are “Sales”, product is “Product”. Over time, we needed to break our flat org structure and add managers, which we achieved that by adding “Manager” to the role description (ex: “Engineering Manager”). Finally, when we needed to denote a function lead, we added “Head of” (ex: “Head of Engineering”). By using function descriptions with management qualifiers, we've been able to scale to without formal titles and avoid ensuing politics. Perhaps this philosophy will fail in the future, but we've been happy with its current implementation.