Wise Words, Crystal Balls, And Wild Rides

Wise Words: Developing my "CEO filter"

I've started to evaluate candidates for my advisory board and my team, and I've gotten totally contradicting opinions about how to do it.

"The first thing you need is a CTO. You're not a tech person, and you're going to need one on your team."

"Don't hire a CTO too early. The technical skills you need in a CTO now aren't the same as the skills you'll need a year from now."

"The first thing you need is a salesperson so you can start bringing in revenue to fund your development."

"You might think you need a salesperson, but what you really need is a marketing person, or there won't be any leads for the salesperson to follow."

All of this contradictory advice has had my head spinning.

Luckily, I talked to a successful founder today who reminded me that it's ok to trust your gut. And he gave me the only piece of advice I'm 100% positive I'm taking:

"Part of being a CEO is learning to develop your 'CEO filter.' You're going to get contradicting advice from equally qualified people. The best leaders are the ones with a good filter."

For more wisdom on conflicting advice, check out 'The Entrepreneur's Guide to Conflicting Advice' from 500 Startups.

Crystal Balls: Trying to predict the future

On to another head-spinning topic: "growth hacking."

The focus of our accelerator assignments this week was "go-to-market strategy" and "growth-hacking" (two terms that definitely qualify for last week's "confusing words we wish startups would stop using" section).

For the sake of staying on theme, instead of finding the clearest definition of growth hacking for you, here's the MOST CONFUSING one I could find (from a "Growth Hacking Coach" no less):

"The question 'What is growth hacking?' is such a difficult question, because it is above all a way of thinking / working, known as the ‘Growth Hacking Mindset‘. A growth hacker sets the goal above the means; growing his ‘North Star Metric‘ is his main goal and which channel, technique or tool is used for this is secondary."

I'm pretty sure that translates to something like, "manifest your future growth and the means to get there will reveal themselves to you" ... ?

(Ok, ok, there are actually some good explanations out there. Check out this article from the Digital Marketing Institute.

Wild Rides: Election Week

If all of this gave you the same headache as me:Some fun distractionsNeedless to say, a lot of confusion plus a wild ride of an election week had me desperate for some calming distractions.

If you're in the same boat, here's my favorite one: the New York Times official 'Election Distractor'—a random rotation of the best distractions on the internet.

See you next month... or next week... or on the other side of my next epic sprint. Accelerators are unpredictable.

-Gillian