I got this feedback from two of my colleagues at company. One joined and left in a year because he said the three initial engineers at the startup gets all the best projects and he joined late. I call this BS, there is one principal engineer who joined after him and delivered a game changing product at the company and earned respect from the peers.
This week I got feedback from one other colleague that I am doing the complex and better projects hmm... I was like wth.
I do crappy projects also but may be people see is the better ones but not the crappy ones that gets delivered side by side.
Also in a startup it all depends on who took the ball and get it rolling. We recently uncovered security issues and as I was curious so I took the initiative and got the ball rolling and got it done across all products that I can.
Similarly the project of converting from BDB or Ldap 2 mysql was known to be a done for a long time but no one was owning it and I took initiative and got the ball rolling. Now once its rolling for even top management its sometimes difficult to change gears or turn directions. Also once top management knows that you can handle bigger projects you will get approval to do more and more of those.
So I think the idea is to have some junior resources in the team that you can design and hand over the projects. The key is to do a sound architecture review and code review. So delegate what you think you can do yourself and take on projects that are hard on you is the key to doing better projects at a startup.