What VCs Want in a Marketing Exec
I recently read the Software Advice post “What VCs Want in a Marketing Exec” by Derek Singleton and although it’s geared mostly towards more established early stage companies with revenues from the $5mm to $10mm mark, it does have some useful information for the startup and gives a good insight on the sophistication of VCs.
I especially agreed with the levels of marketing knowledge and experience Derek talks about. For example, my experience with startups is that when they raise investment capital they are overly anxious to fill in the CxO spots, e.g., the COO, CMO, CSO CBDO, CTO, etc., without any regard of the significance of these titles. Given, titles mean little, while responsibility is everything, but a CxO title usual implies 6 figure salaries and certain responsibilities which are usually strategic in nature. I liked what Derek says in this regards, such as the need for the hands-on director level at the startup stage.
Also, don’t be so ready to give up these titles as they’re hard to remove, e.g., dealing in the hi-tech world we often see 22 year old programmers given the title of CTO. Typically a 22 year old programmer is focused in the tactical / programming world and is many miles from a strategic thinking CTO. So there’s a good chance the founder will need to strip them of this title pretty quickly when seeking VC money and looking to fill the spot with an experienced strategic thinking CTO. How will this “demotion” affect the 22 year old programmer, who has business cards that say CTO?
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