Too funny. I’m listing #1 through 3 as a teaser, click the link to get the rest. This list is made all the more funny by the fact that we all know someone who fits one of the types, or several, or maybe even one for each.
I was reminded of the meeting I had with one VC (when I was on the other side of the table raising money) where he spent the first 25 minutes of our 1 hour telling me how smart he was, how much money he had made, and that he only does 1 deal a year because when he invests in something it is definitely going to be big… I think he would be a #6.
1) Mr. Armchair. He’s a Friday afternoon Chairman. He knows exactly what he’d do as board member of facebook, Google, MySpace.,YouTube. Too bad his portfolio company’s don’t get the same enthusiastic coverage.
2) Mr. One-Hit-Wonder. Yes he sold Postage.com for $200 million (and kept $15 million) so if you wanna hear war stories from the ’90s, take this GSB alum’s money.
3) Mr. Spray-n-Pray. He cites being founding CEO as his Operations experience. (Translation: He was a interim CEO for his last venture firm before company/portfolio implosion and subsequent fund implosion. His fund is a catch-all and he tries to participate in every Sequoia backed deal.
[From 9 VCs You’re Gonna Want to Avoid « FoundRead]
I go back and forth between thinking that a CTO can make or break a company. I think it depends on the overall bench strength of the organization, their personal style, and ultimately the degree to which technology is the critical enabler of the company. In many cases, “good enough” technology really is, while in others good enough just dooms you to obscurity.
More than anything a CTO in medium and large companies has to be both respected and liked because their job is to disrupt the status quo and be a change agent to groups and individuals who have a lot vested in the status quo. It’s often overlooked that CTO’s rarely have a lot of staff that reports to them and while they set product direction they often don’t define the products, so in order to be successful a good CTO has to win on merits of his or her ideas, not just on the title.
In summary, a CTO is the source of big picture technical and product strategy in an organization. This is often expressed during whiteboard deathmatches or through prototypes that they quietly whip up and surprise the company with. In short, they drive innovation often while frustrating the rest of the organization. CTOs are typically the external technical voice of the company and crave inspirational contact with the external world. They thrive on variety and find solace in chaos.
[From Buzz Pressure » Blog Archive » CTO Handbook — How to care for and feed your CTO]