In setting up your company, it is clearly the exception and not the rule to adopt a class of super-voting stock as a control tool for one or more of the founders.
Consider this case: 10M authorized shares; 9.4M of those shares are Class A common with 1x voting rights; .6M are Class B common with 30x voting rights; 6M shares granted to founding team, 5.4M of which are Class A and .6M of which are Class B. In a later round, authorized shares are bumped to 30M, the majority of which are held by outside investors; yet, with the .6M in supervoting shares, the original founders still control the company with their 18M (30x) votes represented by those .6M shares.
Of course, investors think of this and howl. Indeed, the first thing most of them will do, as a condition to investing, is to force you to remove the super-voting class of stock from the company’s books. And you may have no choice.
That said, this is a founders’ era. Back in the bubble years at the turn of the century, it was rare that a founding team would have sufficient leverage to keep control even past a Series A round with VCs. This is not so today. Founders have more leverage today than back in the day and occasionally significantly more. Today, in negotiating with VCs, it is not laughable to suggest that founders should be able to keep control even after more than one round of financing and VCs are realistic enough to recognize this.
The investors are therefore much more of a mindset where they will consider leaving this form of control in place with the right founding team. To make it stick, you had better be a pretty strong team. And, of course, if you don’t do a VC-style funding, it is even more useful to have super-voting stock to ensure that you keep control as you attempt to grow organically.
Win or lose on the issue, it is usually worth a try for teams that believe they have decent leverage in such negotiations. In Delaware in particular, once overall voting control is lost to investors, the perils of adverse events (down rounds, wipe-out mergers) increase significantly for founders. If it is at all possible to keep control at this level, it can pay significant dividends. Even if they do give on this issue, VCs have many other tools by which to protect themselves (protective provisions giving them substantial veto rights, etc.).
A final note: it is almost a trivial task to remove super-voting shares from the mix if investors insist. Therefore, there is no great cost to having them initially, even if you believe you may have to give on the issue over time.