Hot Seat: The Startup CEO Guidebook by Dan Shapiro

By Dan Shapiro

What avoidable challenge destroys extra younger startups than the other? Why is it a mistake to invite for introductions to traders? while do you play the CEO card? if you happen to promote out? writer and four-time founder/CEO Dan Shapiro tells the tales of dozens of startups whose businesses lived and died through the recommendation in those pages. From inception to destruction and triumph to depression, this rollercoaster learn takes aspiring marketers from the highs of billion-dollar payouts and market-smashing good fortune to the depths of impostor syndrome and financial ruin.

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Extra resources for Hot Seat: The Startup CEO Guidebook

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This is a factor of both the person and the product. Instapaper founder Marco Arment created the app himself and watched it grow to astronomical success without a single additional employee, let alone cofounder. Gabriel Weinberg, the founder of search engine DuckDuckGo, kept it as a single-person show for three years until he took outside investment and made his first hire. Both of those projects could have supported multiple cofounders, but had one person strong enough to carry the weight solo.

Info SHARING SHARES | 35 learn to problem-solve together, now, by facing the hard issues. Don’t do it later, on others’ dimes, when the stakes are so much higher. If you’ve completed the whole exercise and still want to do 50/50, that’s OK. Just do one more thing: give or sell one share to someone else. Pick a trusted advisor or mentor. You now have a tiebreaker. You can’t paralyze the company through indecision—that one person will keep you honest and make sure you reach agreement, because if you don’t, you’re going to be giving away control of the decision to your tiebreaker.

In fact, the equity question, more than any other, may strangle a young company before it can even get started. Of course, as discussed earlier, a quick death may be better than the long and drawn-out alternative. But before we get to that... Who’s a Founder? It seems like an obvious question, and it’s one whose answer we have to agree on before we can talk about how much equity “founders” should get. But as straightforward as the question sounds, in practice, it’s a tricky matter. The founder moniker is black and white, but reality is all shades of gray.

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