Startups often fail in the transition from product/market fit to successful scaling, because the talent requirements are different. The problems faced by leaders in those two situations are very different. Many leaders are not able to transition.
Getting to product/market fit requires a small team making constant changes to build a product which delightfully solves urgent customer problems:
- CEO focus on building a delightful product.
- Everyone does everything. There are no full-time managers.
- Doing things that don’t scale and are inefficient.
- Limited management processes.
- Key metric is customer satisfaction.
- Heavy investment in engineering.
- With an engineering team of less than 6 people, the CTO (Chief Technology Officer) spends most of their time coding.
- There are lots of coding, technical, architectural issues and decisions.
Being ready to scale requires an architected business and suite of with supporting processes and technology, able to efficient roll out an evolving solutions which will change the world:
- CEO focus on building talent and a company.
- Management structure in place. Roles and responsibilities defined. Fewer generalists, and more specialists. Full-time managers.
- Focus on efficiency in order to profitably scale.
- Management processes and supporting technology in place, especially for talent acquisition, development, and retention.
- Decision-making drive by several key metrics.
- Heavy investment in marketing and sales.
- CTO no longer coding most of the time – may be a full-time manager.
- Broad set of issues and decisions.
The CEO must do what only the CEO can do, and must not delegate:
- Creating and maintaining purpose and alignment.
- Hiring a leadership team and making sure they work well together.
- Nurturing the company culture.
Your next steps
To enable discussion with your board of directors, C-Suite, and advisory board, download the following one-page slide.