Looking for advice on managing up my CEO

(this post is a feed post from my comments on reddit)


I working VC, helping the companies post-investment, i’ve see several of these archetype founders. they’ll call it ‘product led growth’ (LOL!)

basically the premise is, if i build a shiny object that the company (inevitably a big whale with thousands of employees) i’m talking to wants – they’ll for sure sign me up (despite having no clients for case studies or previous business history.

when you suggest, why not got for smaller clients, that will close faster and can use our out-of -the-box solution, the founder with laugh a hearty laugh and say something like ‘we’re not here for play time boyz, we’re here to make millions and we can only do that if we get in with the big fish, huzzah!’

For me, the issue is these founder want to run before they can walk, its not that going after big fish isn’t the goal, its more they want to skip the foundational steps, too inspired by the weworks and sequoia backed rocketships, to see that pre-sequoia all companies start at the bottom and grind their way to scale.

what can you do, run the numbers and show him how if you get smaller ‘deer’ clients with a product designed to scale it’ll be more efficient… it probably won’t work, since the founder will think it takes too long, but maybe if you have enough pressure…. worst case, the CTO and product lead like it, and lobby the board to make you CEO.

Looking for advice on managing up my CEO
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