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How do you define a startup CEO?

Is it someone with a vision? Someone with sales and recruiting skills? What does a rockstar CEO at a startup look like?

4 Replies

Alistair Davidson
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Eclicktick Consulting
Given that the failure rate of most startups is very high - in the 90% range - choosing a CEO likely to make the startup successful is pretty important.

In my experience, a good CEO is multi-dimensional. He is a good strategist, but willing to pivot if the market feedback early on sends him in a particular direction. He should be charismatic - able to pain a picture of the future of the company - but not narcissistic. He should have a sold background in putting together a team, but be able to pinch hit in multiple roles. Different companies in different industries may have different CEO needs, but in technology companies, an understanding of technology, the ability to talk about the technology in terms of implications and benefits to end users, along with the ability to segment the early market and target those most likely to buy.
Chris Hoffmann
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Chris Hoffmann Advisor
Chief Executive Officer/ Entrepreneur/ Vehicle Design
-Being unattached to a vision -Being able to create a process to get smarter -Clear communication skills asking for what you want and then shut up -Great relationship building skills -High tolerance for ambiguity -There are no obstacles only opportunities. Sent while riding on one wheel.
Stephen G. Barr
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Stephen G. Barr Advisor
Independent Snowsports Journalist, USSA Masters Ski Racer, Advisor @ World Pro Ski Tour
Jack of all trades to start effectively doing everything except the technical end of things so to begin with the CEO effectively needs to be the CEO/COO/CFO all in one.
Rod Abbamonte
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Rod Abbamonte Advisor
Co Founder at STARTREK / @startupHunter / @startupWay / @CoFounderFound / @GOcapital / @startupClub / @lastminute
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