If you’re in line for a CEO post at a startup or expansion-stage company you’ve got a lot to consider. Before agreeing to be captain you have to thoroughly inspect the ship.
“Senior executive changes are happening at lightening speed in the tech space,” writes Ben T. Smith, CEO of ShopCo in a guest post for VentureBeat. “Seasoned managers move from one early-stage company to another, and from established companies and venture firms into the startup world.” In each case, asking the right questions is critical in order to avoid wasting time and energy, and worse yet, making a bad decision.
In order to determine whether a CEO position at any particular startup is truly the right fit and the right call, Smith recommends seven key do’s, including reviewing recent board decks, doing due diligence on departures, talking with users, partners, and customers, and gaining an understanding of the company’s financial position. He also suggests finding a way to sit in on meetings, have lunch with employees, and learn what a typical day looks like at the company. After all, that might be what your typical day looks like soon enough. For more on what you need to consider before signing up as CEO of a startup, read Smith’s full post here.
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Being a startup CEO isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. With great IPO potential comes great responsibility. For advice on the skills you’ll need to develop to truly succeed read this post. And for more tips on the first things you’ll need to do once you do become CEO, read this post from the OpenView Blog.