The Role of a Startup CEO

Most would describe the role of a startup CEO as being a nightmare of everything imaginable. Marketing, fund raising, business development, development, fireman, and more. To be an effective CEO you cannot be doing everything for everyone. Like your business, you need to focus on what really matters and what really drives results. There are three core things the startup CEO absolutely must do. These are non-negotiable. Everything else you can have a cofounder help with or potentially hire for.


Someone much wiser than me described the CEO as the keeper of the vision.  A CEO doesn’t have to create the entire vision him or herself but has to be the one which maintains, explains, ensures that everyone fully understands, and follows it.  The vision drives the startup in a direction and without direction there can be no progress or team.


The CEO is responsible for building and maintaining the team.  The team is absolutely critical to moving the vision forward and achieving progress.  He must ensure that each team member has his or her needs met (salary, that the individual can make progress, benefits, inter-team issues, personal issues, and more).  Without team there is no company.


The CEO must ensure the company is moving forward and always making positive progress from week to week.  The CEO enables to team to push the vision down the path of progress, never loosing sight of the vision, never sacrificing the team, but always pushing for more.

That’s it. Everything else are just the details. Focus on what really matters and stop spending time with things that produce meager results.

Author: Adam Perkins

Startup Entrepreneur from Madison Wisconsin.