Therefore, other mechanisms had to be found for dealing with the dilemma of maintaining managerial control, while keeping cost and time at a reasonable level, thus making the span of control a critical figure for the organization. I mention those examples, because the military has been studying organization for a few thousand years and because manpower is everything is very motivated to have the maximal number of troops doing the work they need to do, and not have a lot of bloat.
In other words, being a good employee is a critical component to having a good manager.
This does not follow logically from the role of management and is much more testosterone speaking. First and foremost the lead knows the code for the project. There is no correlation between being a startup and requiring a flat organization.
As a company that develops intellectual property, most of our knowledge is actually held in the brains of our employees so this type of knowledge transfer is super important. The first thing to note about management is that it is not a science. For example a Call Center, the span of control can be numbers overwhile executive functions — with high degrees of collaboration and interaction — could productively tolerate no more than three or four.
To illustrate this just consider this simple picture: The balanced manager above is a lead with 8 employees.