What I wish first-time CEOs would know.

At some point, every CEO is a first-time CEO. I’ve met and worked with phenomenal first- time CEOs. They had all internalized leadership lessons from their mentors and bosses, and had a clear vision about cultural norms and responsibilities to their companies.

As a venture capital investor, I wish some of them also were more aware of VC dynamics and interests:

  • The different decision-making processes at different VC partnerships
  • What we hear when you say “I am confident that we will end up with a $2.2M quarter”
  • What we mean when we say “It’s good to have all options on the table”
  • What it means when “you need to get the burn rate down”
  • What you need to do when “you have to become more strategic”

I understand that this is a two-way street: we should perhaps be more explicit and specific when we realize you have some blind spot. I also believe there must be many things we as VCs don’t hear or hear differently. I’d love to hear those, too, preferably at thorsten.claus@gmail.com.

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