Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business, + Website (Anglais) Relié – 18 octobre 2013
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Descriptions du produit
Présentation de l'éditeur
While big company CEOs are usually groomed for the job for years, startup CEOs aren′t and they′re often young and relatively inexperienced in business in general. Author Matt Blumberg, a technology and marketing entrepreneur, knows this all too well. Back in 1999, he started a company called Return Path, which later became the driving force behind the creation of his blog, OnlyOnce because "you′re only a first time CEO once."
Now, more than a decade later, he′s written Startup CEO. As the fifth book in the StartUp Revolution series, this reliable resource is based on Blumberg′s experience as a startup CEO and covers a number of issues he′s faced over the dozen years he′s been a CEO.
- Offers valuable insights into how the CEO sets the overall vision and strategy of the company and communicates it to all stakeholders
- Discusses how to build a company′s human capital by recruiting, hiring, and retaining the very best talent
- Examines how a CEO must align available resources with the company′s strategy in order to ensure success
- Addresses what it takes to master the "How" of being a CEO from leading an executive team to managing in any type of market
Engaging and informative, this book is essential reading for any, and every, CEO.
Quatrième de couverture
Praise for Startup CEO
"One of the key principles of the Lean Startup movement is that entrepreneurship is management. In Startup CEO, Matt Blumberg provides a comprehensive guide to every facet of entrepreneurial management. An essential and practical guide for entrepreneurs everywhere."
Eric Ries, author, The Lean Startup
"There′s no silver bullet for building a great company. Startup CEO deciphers the challenging, complex, uncertain, and oftentimes lonely role of a first–time CEO without oversimplifying it."
Ben Horowitz, cofounder and General Partner, Andreessen Horowitz
"I′ve been on Matt′s board for more than a decade, and I′ve watched him develop into one of the finest CEOs I′ve had the pleasure to work with. With Startup CEO, Matt allows other entrepreneurs to profit from his years of experience and emulate his remarkable example."
Fred Wilson, cofounder, Union Square Ventures
"There is the one–in–a–million company that catches lightning in a bottle and grows like a weed without care and feeding. For the rest of us, there′s Startup CEO, the how–to manual for getting there the old–fashioned way. This book will be your coach, mentor, and advisor in any situation you or your company are likely to encounter."
David Rosenblatt, CEO, 1stdibs
"Startup CEO is the definitive book for any CEO first time or otherwise of a high–growth company. While dozens of books have been written about starting businesses, it′s time for entrepreneurs to focus on scaling them. Matt shows them how."
Brad Feld, Managing Director, Foundry Group
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
This is just to give you some context when I—like another, earlier reviewer—say I found this overly basic without much that was useful for me. I understand that many startup founders have no substantial management or leadership experience when they get started and perhaps the book is more useful for them.
Why do I say it was too basic?
Take the chapter on hiring, "Fielding a Great Team". If you've done any hiring before the advice it gives won't blow your mind: pay attention to cultural fit, find outstanding specialists, complement your weaknesses, don't get suckered in by resumes, let your team have input, on-boarding new hires is important.
There are sections on running a productive offsite, on having skip-level meetings, on weekly 1-1s, on how to run a great meeting (have an agenda, start & stop on time, have clear next steps at the end), on OKRs, on terminating employees, on managing remote employees, on how to handle promotions, and more.
The advice given isn't bad at all but it is all things that I think most people with previous non-startup leadership experience will already know. If you've lead a team of 50 then chances are you've had remote employees, you've been to many offsites, you've had to fire underperformers, etc.
What I would like to see improved or changed to bring more value? Startups change rapidly so the structures and processes you put in place this month may not be the rights ones in three months. What do those changes look like? What does the timeline look like for various things? What is it like when you go from having 1-1s with everyone in the company (because there are only 6 of you) to have having your first level of management? What is it like as your "executive committee" evolves and goes from you and and your co-founder to (eventually) 20 people from a variety of functions.
In the section on CEO communication it says, "hire a head of communications you can trust". Okay, but should I do that when I have 10 employees, 50, 100, or 500? What should their team look like? Return Path (the author's company) has around 500 staff and a "Senior Director of Global Corporate Communications". The title of director means they have managers reporting to them. Assume a span of control of 5—the director has 5 reports, each manager has 5 reports—so does that means a team of 25 in corporate communication for Return Path's 500 employees? How does that team grow over time? How do their roles and responsibilities change over the years as the company grows?
I would have also liked to have seen more guidance or rules of thumb—based on the author's experience—for the hard decisions leaders need to make. In the section on growth vs. profit he says, "you should be investing money in growth only if you are reasonably confident the investments you make will pay off". Is there anyone who doesn't believe that when they make those investments? The problems are that people delude themselves or look at partial evidence or misread the evidence. How does someone become "reasonably confident"?
Random note: probably the weirdest passage in the book is the section on "how to impress your boss" that closes by saying, "you will get a raise and a promotion sooner than your friends". Isn't this book for the CEO? Who is going to give them a promotion? Who is going to give them a raise?
All in all, if you're an experienced leader you probably won't find enough meat here to satisfy you.
The book is well laid out, from starting the company to dealing with the surprise issues that come up and the unexpected priority changes as a company grows (believe me, there are many). Matt's been a startup CEO for a long time (since 1999) and survived 2 recessions and many changes to his company. His approach is solid yet at times unconventional, but all stem from his real life experiences and looking at problem-solving in his company through a fresh perspective, leaving no conventional wisdom unchecked.
Even if you are not a CEO in a startup, I would recommend reading this book. You might want to be one someday.
Matt rekindled the idea of blogging for me. I used to think of blogging as something to do when you aren't busing creating "real stuff". Matt promotes the idea of maintaining a public persona for recruiting purposes. He is also into transparency, and talks candidly on his blog about his work at Return Path. That's likely to be my goal in renewing my blogging efforts.
Transparency is a core value for Matt. He takes it a step further than most CEOs. Here's a recent example on his blog. I've always believed in transparency. What I appreciate about Matt's approach is that he describes the mechanisms to achieve it: 360-degree reviews, postmortems, admit mistakes, the "board book", and, of course, blogging.
Matt's book is a collaborative effort. He includes "cameos" from many other people at Return Path and a few outsiders, too. The contributions are excellent, and demonstrate Matt's commitment to teamwork.
This is a book about Return Path and some content is taken from Matt's blog. Some reviewers have complained about this. To me, it makes sense, because the context is necessary to show how the ideas work. Matt's blog allows him to user-test his descriptions of those ideas. Taken together, it's a cohesive and coherent story of Matt's career and life at Return Path over the last 15 years, warts and all.
Matt is a "systems guy". I relate to that. As you may have guessed already, his systems encompass everything in his life, including his "home operating system". Really? Yup. He talks about "anchors" like Friday night dinner at home and coaching a kid's sports team. These days it's necessary, especially if you are running a startup, like Return Path. While my life isn't nearly as complicated, I appreciate Matt's approach to squeezing "every minute out of each day". It's important when you have to balance everything.
One of the techniques I hope to implement is "just a second". Matt insists "on finishing whatever quick task or thought I'm working on before engaging" in an interruption. It's tough to do this, especially given that I'm such a pleaser. However, Matt has reminded me how important this is. You have to be interruptible, and you can control your task switching time so you are most efficient.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. As a Return Path investor, Startup CEO increased my confidence in Matt as captain who knows keeps a tight ship with grace and style.
* It's written in a pragmatic and engaging style, without jargon or filler.
* It includes actionable tips and frameworks for all aspects of managing a company.
* It has soul. It's not just about increasing wealth. It's about doing that while being mindful of your emotional and mental health. It doesn't leave out the team either. It's written with the full understanding that we're people, not just entrepreneurs.
* It's got a lot of great contributions from other experienced entrepreneurs, so you don't feel caught up in tunnel vision.
* It's humble. This is very hard to do when you're writing a book about ways to be a great CEO. Matt has pulled it off. It's written from an earnest and earned perspective. There is no arrogance.
It's proven a great resource so far, and I've recommended it to non-CEOs too.
Thanks for writing this Matt. It's helped a lot already.
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