What are the top 3 goals for a CEO of a startup?
I've been having having breakfast with Aaron Bird, CEO of Bizible pretty regularly since TechStars. His company raised 1.7MM in capital in November 2012. The company has historically been focused on he calls, "closed loop marketing" for the SMB marketplace. Closed loop marketing connects leads from different sources of marketing to sales so you have much more effective marketing spend than you would otherwise. At breakfast today, he stated that his goal was to get cash flow break even on the money he raised. I think it's possible that Aaron and team might be able to achieve this goal. However, after listening to him for a while, I suggested to him that his focus as founding CEO should not be on getting to break even -- rather he should focus on the following in this order:
- Nailing product market fit in a big fast moving market
- Nailing the unit economics of his business
- Getting to cash flow break even
It's important to note that these goals are not mutually exclusive. Rather, solving one often leads to the second and third. But, ranking these priorities in this way has the founding CEO focused on the thing that requires the most psychic attention and testing.