Challenges for early-stage technology companies
Being the founder of an early-stage company that has successfully transitioned from start-up to a sustainably growing business is an exciting place to be. Getting there takes grim determination, long hours, deep passion for the goods or services that you have created and for your early customers. You have probably committed more of your own finances to developing the business than you find comfortable and taken less salary than some of your employees. Perhaps your company has been through one round of financing and you are approaching a second.
Importantly, the research can also be read the other way. Half of founder CEOs were still in that role after three years and a quarter of them whose companies went public, did lead the IPO. Whether or not the founder continues as CEO as the company grows is not predetermined. It is a choice, albeit a very important one both for the founder CEO and the company’s investors. CEOs who succeed usually do so by surrounding themselves with competent, trusted advisors. This is especially true for founder CEOs. These advisors provide the range of support required to transition from early-stage to the next level of the corporate growth cycle. Cambridge Strategy Group’s services are particularly valuable to companies where the founder CEO does decide to remain in control. In that case, we can support that person and the company’s board in striking the right balance as the firm grows, between the founder CEO’s aspirations for the company and generating growth and shareholder value at a pace that satisfies other investors, too.
* Wasserman, Noam. 2008. The Founder’s Dilemma.
Harvard Business Review, February 2008