3 things I learned in my first 40 days as start-up CEO

 AAEAAQAAAAAAAAXvAAAAJGE5NmM4NmM5LTFiZDktNDNhMC1hYzAxLTc4NmJiZmY5M2U3NALittle more than 40 days ago, I switched sides of the table, moving from VC to startup , meaning that I will try to share as regularly as possible my experiences from this crazy adventure. This time it is about my three most important learnings since the beginning.

  1. Being is unglamorous – previously, in my former careers I already was an investment banking analyst and venture capital investor, both jobs requiring a lot of responsibility, speed, and energy; but nothing compared to leading a tech . In a tech start-up you are constantly thrown into or onto new topics, problems, or projects, there is always someone who wants something from you, because you are the person in charge and each decision matters and includes consequences. Plus on top of all that, a CEO needs to consider next steps, competition, and opportunities. For a start-up, failing on an opportunity might lead to a companies’ end and this means a whole other level of pressure. At the end of the day, a CEO is the one who starts actual work in the late afternoon due to never ending meetings and calls, when others are already going home, forgets about eating or drinking, and lies awake at night trying to remember each to-do popping up before sleeping.
  2. Sharing is caring – the more you share ideas, responsibility, and insights with team members, investors, and other relevant people, the better you understand the way your company needs to scale and what is the best/cheapest/smartest decision for certain problems. Additionally, by sharing honest insights with your team, they think and act more responsible and honest.
  3. Don’t sell your soul to the devil – ever since starting at asuro, there are numerous people who are eager to sell their services, products, or opinions to me, respectively the company. From strategy consultancies to head-hunters to IT service providers, they are all advertising their “unique” expertise for “affordable” prices. The other day, a consultant pitched his services asking for 30% of the overall fund-raising amount, declaring success of this mandate based on the overall raised amount, nothing less. Don’t tell me no more about smart money, intrinsic motivation, or trust in quality delivery.

 Overall, I admit that every start-up handles its business differently, but at asuro we aim at a high degree of responsibility, transparency, and consideration.

[linkedinbadge URL=”https://www.linkedin.com/in/marinavukovic” connections=”off” mode=”icon” liname=”Marina Vukovic”] is CEO at asuro GmbH and this post was originally published on linkedin.