Tips for working with founders

Why I love working directly with founders, and lessons I’ve learned along the way


  1. Do not play politics - Sometimes older business run on decades-old internal relationships, with personal allegiances and interpersonal drama at the center of many decisions. In most early-stage startups, this just doesn’t fly. If you’re perceived as a schemer instead of a do-er, your time is limited. Founders are at the heart of a convoy, CEO or otherwise. They already have power, at least in their small team. If they wanted to climb a ladder (or participate in ladder climbing generally), they would never have stated their own company.
  2. Do not expect “standard operating procedure” or be disappointed when it doesn’t happen. Founders don’t do things the “normal way” because normal hasn’t historically worked very well for them, and the abnormal has. This trend will not change with you.
  3. Do not try to get control over things - Simply put, it’s not your company. Don’t complain when founders make decisions to protect their customers based on instinct, instead, follow the clue and try to put words to what lies beneath their intuition.

Four levels of founder sophistication Coming soon
Managing startup employees made simple Coming soon

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