Going from Founder to CEO mode

These pages are my efforts to open source everything that I have learnt about being a CEO by talking with other CEOs.

I have now done the Founder-CEO role for over 16 years across 3 startups, including the venture-backed route. I was just 23 when I became a CEO, and therefore learnt the hard way: mistakes, wrong-turns, failures, frustrations and all of that.

Along the way, I have had a chance to meet 300+ CEOs (of all types, including the very large publicly-listed companies) — and I realized that to learn about the craft being a CEO, it is peer knowledge of other CEOs is absolutely vital in addition to working with coaches, reading books & blogs, and learning through experience.

But it’s not easy to have all these peer conversations with other CEOs – so these pages are the open-sourced collection of everything they have collectively said to me. Hopefully this helps you skip past making some of the mistakes I made while honing this craft of being a CEO.

If you don’t know where to start, then scroll down to the summary below – tl;dr


What is the CEO role about compared to the Founder?

Looking after the long-term health of the company by ensuring the right strategy is in place, making timely decisions and building a strong Executive Team.

How do you get better at decision-making? CEO vs Founder

In short, it requires logical thinking more than emotions and being ready to accept that a good decision might be the one that still creates some short-term pain (Detailed writeup coming soon, especially around topics like Type1/2 decisions and making the tough calls)

How do you build a good Executive Team?

Formalize the structure of this Executive Team, establish trust as the base amongst all members (this is their first team), limit = 6-8 members, and be ready think about rotating it as the company evolves. More detailed notes here

You are in CEO Mode now!

Reading List for CEOs

Each theme has my top 3 book picks & few other recommendations to read.
See here

Evolution of the Board & Chairperson

(coming soon)

CEO and Product Team (coming soon)

Communicating better as a CEO (coming soon)

CEO’s role in taking the company international (coming soon)

Other older posts on different topics:

Travel tips to Japan – Link

The Poetry of Game Design – Link

Every Saturday, I set aside 2 hours to talk to first-time Founders to help them on their journey.

You can book a slot (it’s free!).

Go build a great company.

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