From Founder to CEO: Going from Zero to One to Ten

Because everything changes as the team and the business gets bigger.

What makes a successful founder turned CEO?

“With every level, there’s another devil.”

  1. Validating the market and building the product.
  2. Acquiring customers and securing your first funding.
  3. Finding product market fit and landing a Series A.
  4. Hiring HR and managers as your team grows.
  5. Becoming the figurehead focused on funding and board/investor expectations.
  6. Crafting your “story” and preparing for IPO.
  7. Managing market expectations and hitting your targets.
  8. Becoming the market leader and crushing young upstarts.
Source: Papergeek

Are you a serial founder or a CEO?

Source: Chicago Tribune
  • What are your goals for the business?
  • What do you love doing most?
  • Are you a builder or a manager/leader?
  • What would you do with your time if you were no longer CEO?

But don’t decide, at least not yet.

Because if you’re irreplaceable, it’s not a business, it’s a job.

Operationalizing yourself out of the business

Back to the question of being CEO

Source: Penn State

Closing Thoughts

About the author

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Matt Ward

Matt Ward

Climate Syndicate Lead @ 4WARD.VC | Startup Strategy & Growth Advisor @ mattward.io | Serial Founder: 3 Exits | Looking to join top Climate/Impact VC Fund