April 9, 2021

Newsletter #97 : CTO Start-Up 101 our Robin Hood CEO

CTO Academy deliver tailored leadership skills training and career development services for global tech leaders.


The risk of losing control

When you give a team member carte blanche to be creative, you have to accept the results and so I take an unusual role in this weeks welcome video from Bianca.

Have to say, I love her style of delivery so I hope you enjoy these weekly video teasers in which she rightly points out what a global organisation we’ve become – noticeable this week as we welcome Owen from New Zealand with our lead article and our latest customer from Kuwait made it 61 countries and counting for CTO Academy.

Which is why we’ve hit the ground running with our Group Coaching Tribes across the world and at $100 per 90 minute group coaching session, it’s an incredible opportunity for you to learn and grow alongside an experienced coach and cohort of like minded technology leaders.

Visit our Tribes page and get in touch.

Otherwise, have a great weekend and if you’re celebrating Easter … happy holidays.


What does a Start-up CTO do anyway?

Owen Evans is based down in Wellington, New Zealand and works with coaching clients across Australasia and Asia.

He is also a dab hand at blog writing and this week contributed his thoughts on the key challenges and requirements for success as CTO in an early stage company.

“What a CTO does is often ill defined and misunderstood, we can be lots of different things to lots of different people.

Add early stage into that and you have a nebulous, ever changing role at a nebulous, ever changing organisation. It would be enough to get to the most seasoned of us.What am I supposed to achieve?

What am I supposed to do?

What should my goals be?”

Find out more here.


Articles Catching Our Eye This Week

Funding: What Is Entrepreneur Capital vs. Venture Capital? …”If you are thinking about resources as part of the capital in your business, you can start to draw dependencies and relationships between them. For example, raising money from an investor takes time and spending of resources in its own right before you receive the cash. Is it worth the time? Can you afford to delay other aspects of the business that require your attention?” Ross O’Brien breaks down EC and VC, so click to find out.

Strategy vs. Planning: Complements not Substitutes …”In this article, Roger Martin seeks to make a comparative review of two core terms in the management world; strategy and planning. Yes, they are truly different. However, how do Strategy & Planning relate to one another? Will a plan will save you from the fate of not having a strategy?

The Four Symptoms of Zombie Scrum … “Zombie Scrum manifests in four key symptoms, each related to one of the areas. Although not all of them necessarily show up together, they usually do. Below, we’ll focus on one of the symptoms: Symptom #1 ‘No desire for contact with the outside world’ is explained in detail.”  Barry Overeem and his team have spent  years of research in and outside the lab, and he is sharing with us their knowledge.

What I learned interviewing tech execs at scaling start-ups …Being a senior leader at a scaling startup is not as glamorous or as easy as it might look from the outside. While the role might come with more autonomy, it also comes with far more pressure, little support and scores of situations where there isn’t a perfect choice, just a bunch of imperfect ones. Being the COO of a tech company, Suzan Bond, definitely knows what she is talking about.



Just Go With It: How to Navigate the Ups and Downs of Entrepreneurship

When starting your own business, it’s a liberating feeling. You probably weren’t happy with the direction your career was going, maybe you didn’t like the work culture around you, or perhaps you saw a better way of doing things, so you just went with it!

Mandy Gilbert shares hard-earned lessons through her journey to guide and inspire both new and established entrepreneurs alike. Her full-disclosure commitment to readers is a balance between managing your personal life, developing your people, and maintaining a healthy bottom line.

“A real and honest take on the peaks and valleys of the entrepreneurial journey. A clear example of why vulnerability is a major strength, not a weakness. Every leader should take a page out of Mandy’s book.”

– Stephen M. R. Covey, New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Speed of Trust


Elon Musk on Millennials and How To Start A Business

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