CEO Shoptalk: The Transition Point

A few years ago, I was speaking to a totally inexperienced potential founder (brilliant young man, recent prestigious university grad, and a very likeable person) and I asked him as I always do, “Tell me how the process of standing up a startup works out in your mind?”

It is always a good idea to know what the entrepreneur, even an inexperienced one, thinks they’re getting in to.

He said, “It all starts with PRODUCT and I am all about product. Product is my secret sauce.” I am paraphrasing, but I am sure I have it close.

I nodded my head, and asked, “How big does this get?”

He responded with some nonsense like, “As big as Microsoft.” I did not laugh as one should never, ever laugh at anybody’s dreams.

“How do you do that?” I asked.

“Not sure yet, but I will figure it out.”

OK, Big Red Car, real interesting, but what’s the moral of the story?

Here is it, dear reader,

 1. When you start a company, you rightfully should be focused solely on product as the company is simply the wrapper around the product and the means of delivery.

 2. If you want to scale an idea, you have to build a team and guess what? The team then focuses on the product. You will have to relinquish complete, absolute, total, day-to-day control.

 3. If you want to build a big, successful company, then you have to build a team and give them/entrust them with the product.

The company has to focus more talent and manhours on building, marketing, and delivering the product as well as continuous product development.

 4. No individual founder/CEO possesses that broad swath of experience and talent; and no man has that much time.

The key to scale is building the team and giving them the product. This is the TRANSITION POINT.

Isn’t that just delegation, Big Red Car?

Yes and no.

Creating a product focus within your team and entrusting productg to them is structural whilst delegation has more to do with a founder/CEO’s personal To Do List.

Read this blog post to get a more precise idea of the difference.

CEO Shoptalk – Scaling Yourself, Delegation

Bottom line it, Big Red Car

Sure, here it is: every founder/CEO starts out as the Wizard in Charge of the Sacred Product, but you build a team to scale the effort, and the team embraces the product.

This transition point is a critical element of the pathway to success and if you can’t do that, don’t start a company.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car.

Have a great week.