The CEO of Everything

One of the great things about having a cofounder is that we can work much faster. Usually Steve is in charge of all things customer-facing (design, copy, support) while I make things run smoothly in the background engineering-wise.

But I came across a curious aspect of our relationship that was actually holding us back. Any task where we were both working on at the same time would actually take longer to complete. For example, in doing customer development for our latest startup Caterlift, we decided to both tackle the task. But it was going painfully slow.

How is that possible? Well after looking into it more I realized it’s all about accountability. At the end of the day, someone’s feet have to be held to the fire if things go wrong. And sharing the responsibility of a tasks allows you to push off the responsibility to the other person.

The answer is being a CEO of everything. There should be one CEO for each task, no matter how big or small. It doesn’t necessarily mean that only one person works on it, but it means that one person is in charge of ensuring that work progresses at a good pace. You’re definitely allowed to recruit a few “Vice Presidents” to your task, but at the end of the day you’re the one responsible.

And we’ve found that this new “CEO of everything” approach is working.

After me and Steve switched to this strategy, we’ve become much more effective in pushing forward our various tasks, and allowing us to gear up faster for launch.