Tag

ceo

The Loneliness of an Entrepreneur

This showed up in my inbox the other day from a friend of 20 years. He’s been involved in a number of companies that we’ve invested in over the years in different senior and/or co-founder roles, including CEO. It was short and sweet but captured the essence of something I often talk about with founders….

Don’t Play Hurt

I heard a great line from a CEO recently: “I don’t want to play hurt.” I loved that line. In my world, some companies beat their Q416 numbers. Others made their Q416 numbers. Some missed their Q416 numbers. That’s life. Any VC who says otherwise (e.g. “All my companies are killing it”) is either full…

The Three Machines

Lately, I’ve been stewing over increased complexity being generated by companies around their organization approaches. While this activity varies by stage, in many cases the leadership team expands to a large (greater than six) number of people, there become two executive teams (the C-Team and the E-Team), the CEO gets sucked into endless distractions and working…

CEOs Who Are Pleasers Should Spend More Time With Customers

I woke up this morning thinking about people who have a desire to please. This is not my personality type, but I encounter it regularly. Amy often describes herself as an “approval-seeking people pleaser” and I’ve learned a lot from my 30 years of interacting with her. With CEOs I often notice the pleaser personality…

Don’t Waste A Crisis

This cliche, which has uncertain attribution (Winston Churchill, Rahm Emmanuel, M. F. Weiner) is a priceless line that gets tossed out periodically, especially in the middle of a crisis. Over the years I’ve been involved in many business crises. I qualify this, since my crises have never involved life and death or the survival of the human race. But…

Your Wall Is Dingy

As I procrastinate from going for a run this morning, I started writing a post titled The Pro-Rata Gap Myth. After two paragraphs, I got tired of writing it and hit the “this is bullshit” wall – it’s too complicated to explain a myth that I’m not sure even matters. So I deleted the post…

Building Long Term Companies

I was catching up on a bunch of reading on the web from last week and came across a post by Lars Dalgaard titled Thoughts on Building Weatherproof Companies. I don’t know Lars, but know of him as the founder/CEO of SuccessFactors and now a partner at A16Z, and was curious after recently reading a Forbes article about Zenefits…

Sometimes I Ask Myself If The Juice Is Really Worth The Squeeze

One of my all time favorite blog posts is Ben Horowitz’s The Struggle. If you are a founder and you haven’t read it, open it up in another tab for after your finish this post. On Friday, a CEO I know sent me the following message. “Brad – I crafted the entry pasted below this morning for my…

Hot Seat by Dan Shapiro: A Book Every Startup CEO Should Read

On Saturday, I polished off Hot Seat: The Startup CEO Guidebook. I started it last weekend at the tail end of my Weekend Reading on Startup Communities but four books weren’t in me so I didn’t finish it. It was excellent and is now on my “all startup CEOs must read” list. My recommended book list for startup CEOs…

CEO Shadowing

Following is a guest post from Zack Rosen at Pantheon about his experience shadowing Jud Valeski, founder and then-CEO of Gnip for a day in 2012. Behind the stories of most first-time venture-backed CEOs building startups and attacking markets at breakneck speed, there is usually a tight network of mentors and peers showing them the ropes…