When I was a child I would always want to do such awesome activities that would involve many moving parts. Eventually I would ask my dad to come and help me do all the things I wanted to accomplish. Now that I am a father myself I realize just how much work my dad was actually doing that I had not idea about. He would do extra activities even within my games that made the games better that I would have never thought of. I am sure we have all experienced this as either a child or a parent.
This is similar to that of a founding CEO. In the book “Founders Dilemma” they hit hard on this in chapter 10. Essentially the Founder came up with the game, or the business, and as the game goes on they realize they need help. The parents, also known as the board, realizes that the founder doesn’t know fully how to make the company what it could be and is not able to do all that is required so they step in. It is not a perfect analogy but hopefully you see my point!
Founders are limited because they are more than likely experts on a topic or a product and don’t know what all it takes to do the rest of the “running the company” part of the business. Founders simply don’t understand what all character types are needed in various positions and what reaches success for those roles. They can fake it for a while but once the company reaches a certain point it gets to be overwhelming and dangerous for investors who are looking for max returns. This is why you have 3 categories; too big, too small, or just right.
If your company isn’t living up to expectations then you are out. If your company is growing too great masses then you are out because you aren’t prepared for that. If you company stays just the right size for you then you may be happy but your company may never reach it fullest potential. All of this boils down to what exactly are you looking for in your company. This harkens back to the control or cash. Do you want your company to be incredibly successful or do you want to control it and be the CEO.
No harm in either one but it must be states out loud and ready because one of those things is going to happen when you take outside investments. For a company to be scalable you need someone who actually knows how and is willing to scale it. Most founding CEOs do not have either of those two. These factors should shape decision making a founding CEO makes.
Most of this chapter applies to primarily large companies, but if you are desiring to build a large company, I would encourage you to go ahead and be thinking ahead. There is time now and let that guide you in whatever direction you want to go. If you wait, it could become too late and you could get nothing you want and none of us want that. You won’t get everything you want, but you can always get something!