There are only two jobs in a startup. Do you know what they are?

Building a product and selling it. That’s it. There’s no room in early stage companies for COOs, CFOs, and other overhead. You need to be lean.

I’ve seen so many founders decide , “Ok, I’ll be CEO and you can be COO.” When I ask them who is doing what the answers are often muddled. A followup question like “who is responsible for customer acquisition” can elicit a blank stare. Tech-focused founders are almost always focused on the supply side, building their product and don’t think about customer development … until its too late.

So when you start a company you need to know, are you a builder or a seller? Whichever you are your co-founder needs to be the other. You may have to leave some friends behind. But startups aren’t about making friendship, they are about … making stuff … and selling it.

Author: Mentorphile

Mentor, coach, and advisor to entrepreneurs, small businesses, and non-profit organizations. General manager with significant experience in both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Focus on media and information. On founding team of four venture-backed companies. Currently Chairman of Popsleuth, Inc., maker of the Endorfyn app for keeping fans updated on new stuff from their favorite artists.

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