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Monday, August 07, 2006

"An Old Dog and New tricks"

There has been a trend in new start up companies to have an "Experienced CEO " hoisted onboard by the incumbent investors to help bring so experience to the company...this is usually after the "A" round and before the "B" round. The more established venture capital companies see this as a must have..to have an experienced hand on the tiller of there investment, I see it as a bad mistake....I do agree that the founder is not the right person to take the company to maturity ....even though they may think they are...I have seen the problems that happen...you get a senior VP from one of the big corporations starting with you ...the last time he had to talk to a group off people they were all probably senior managers or engineers...now he has to be able to communicate to a cross section of humanity and reach them and deal with the direct questions quickly ,openly and genuinely,...he would have a couple off senior operations guys to go fix things out for him ....he would never really get his hands dirty or know how too...It is hard for them to adjust to the start up resource issues...they will work hard ....but working as a leader of a start up requires a unique skill set...part warrior... part evangelist... part coach... part teacher….and these are not the skills that the large corporations like to see in there SVP’S so what’s the answer: Complex…

It is hard to find the right candidate..but the search needs to be for a commercially smart person with experience in building multi skilled companies..not within a large organization but from an independent stand point..they need to be a confident communicator…in groups and one on one… and they need to be dedicated to the vision of the founders…not the bottom line off there own bank balance..they need to be prepared to learn new tricks..every start up is a unique company and will require a unique approach to the management off it…the fundamentals don’t change…get to breakeven as quickly as you can and then to profit…the Trick is in finding the correct approach…



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