Dec 202012

Startup CEO (OnlyOnce- the book!), Part II – Crowdsourcing the Outline

Startup CEO (OnlyOnce- the book!), Part II – Crowdsourcing the Outline

As I mentioned a few weeks ago here, I’m excited to be writing a book called Startup CEO:  A Field Guide to Building and Running Your Company, to be published by Wiley & Sons next summer.  Since many readers of OnlyOnce are my target audience for the book, I thought I’d post my current outline and ask for input and feedback on it.  So here it is, still a bit of a work in progress.  Please comment away and let me know what you think, what’s missing, what’s not interesting!

1           Part One: Vision and Strategy (Defining the Company)
1.1          Setting the Company’s Agenda
1.2          NIHITO! (or, “Nothing Interesting Happens in the Office”)
1.3          Setting the Business Direction
1.4          Strategic Planning, Part I: Turning Concepts Into Strategy
1.5          Strategic Planning, Part II: Creating the Plan
1.6          Defining Mission, Vision and Values
1.7          Communicating Vision and Strategy
1.8          The Role of M&A
1.9          The Art of the Pivot
1.10       How Vision and Strategy Change over Time

2           Part Two: Talent (Building the Company’s Human Capital)
2.1          Building a Team
2.2          Scaling the Team
2.3          Culture
2.4          Interviewing
2.5          Recruiting
2.6          Onboarding
2.7          Setting Goals
2.8          Feedback
2.9          Development
2.10       Compensation
2.11       Promoting
2.12       Rewarding
2.13       Managing Remote Offices and Employees
2.14       Firing: When It’s Not Working
2.15       How Talent Changes over Time

3           Part Three: Execution (Aligning Resources with Strategy)
3.1          Making Sure There’s Enough Money in the Bank
3.2          Types of Financing
3.3          Fundraising Basics
3.4          Negotiating Deals
3.5          Pros and Cons of Outside Financing
3.6          Forecasting and Budgeting
3.7          Creating a Company Operating System
3.8          Meeting Routines
3.9          Driving Alignment
3.10       A Metrics-Driven Approach to Running a Business
3.11       Learning
3.12       Post-Mortems
3.13       Thinking About Exits
3.14       How Execution Changes over Time
3.14.1      Finance
3.14.2      Execution

4           Part Four: Management And Leadership (The How of Being a CEO)
4.1          Leading an Executive Team
4.2          Critical Personal Traits
4.3          Being Collaborative
4.4          Being Decisive: Balancing Authority and Consensus
4.5          The Value of Symbolism
4.6          Getting the Most out of People
4.7          Diving Deep without Being Disruptive
4.8          Articulating Purpose
4.9          Collecting Data from the Organization
4.10       Managing in an Economic Downturn
4.11       Managing in Good Times vs. Bad Times
4.12       Communication
4.12.1      Macro (to Your Company and Customers)
4.12.2      Micro (One-on-One)
4.13       How Management and Leadership Change over Time

5           Part Five: Boards (A Unique Aspect of the CEO’s Job)
5.1          Building Your Board
5.2          Meeting Materials
5.3          Meetings
5.4          Between Meetings
5.5          Making Decisions and Maximizing Effectiveness
5.6          The Social Aspects of Running a Board
5.7          Working with the Board on Compensation
5.8          Evaluating the Board
5.9          Serving on Other Boards
5.10       How Boards Change over Time

6           Part Six: Managing Yourself So You Can Manage Others
6.1          Creating a Personal Operating System
6.2          Working with an Executive Assistant
6.3          Working with a Coach
6.4          Finding Your Voice
6.5          The Importance of Peer Groups
6.6          Your Family
6.7          Taking Stock
6.8          Staying Fresh
6.9          Staying Healthy
6.10       Traveling

  • Mike Cormack

    Hi Matt,

    Outline looks great. I really like the framing of the book as a field guide.

    The second half (parts 4, 5 and 6) contains the guts of what would most strongly attract my attention – those look likely to have plenty of practical insights / wisdom on topics that pertain particularly to the CEO role. And some of the topics headings are pretty enticing – they promise a perspective that feels different and thoughtful.

    Having followed your blog I'd look forward to Part 2 as well. I find your voice and perspective on HR matters very fresh and clear and coherent. The topic headings are fairly generic in themselves though – probably wouldn't catch my imagination at all if I was just browsing casually in a book store and didn't already have some sense of your thinking.

    I like the how-stuff-changes-over-time thread. I'm hoping you give that a good amount of air time (ie more than just a quick footnote at the end of each chapter). Would be great to see some depth around how stuff evolves and how the requirements shift as an org scales and matures.

    I guess parts 1 and 3 are relevant topics to include, but they feel a bit generic and less juicy than the rest of the book looks. I reckon I might find myself skipping forward impatiently to dip into the second half of the book.

    Good luck pulling the book together; looking forward to reading it in due course.


    • Matt Blumberg

      Mike, thanks for the input (and for being a reader!).  I assume different parts will appeal more, or less, to different people.  How things change over time is important.  Some of those sections will be contributed by guest writers, but I’ll definitely shape them and maybe put some graphics behind them as well.  Startups are different from Revenue Stage and Growth Stage.Matt

  • Francisco

    I like it. Would just like to have a 0 section named: "From product idea to company's agenda", acting as a preface, entrepreneur's idea, to the first part.
    I'll also like to follow in depth ideas for each part, in case you'd like to share.

    • Matt Blumberg

      Thank you! I think that topic will get covered in that first chapter.Matt

  • Jos Burger

    Matt, great outline! Will you also touch the opportunities and challenges of going international? John O'Farrell shared some excellent thoughts on this subject. See:

    • Matt Blumberg

      Good idea, Jos. I will make sure that's in there somewhere!Matt

  • Matt Hoffman

    I think an interesting postscript chapter (maybe for the paperback version or 2nd edition!) would be something on "What happens when your company is no longer a startup"…

    This could cover thoughts on when the company's grows and changes from one with a startup mentality to something else, how do you maintain the culture and operating model that made the small startup so successful, within the goals, realities and complexities of a larger company?

    • Matt Blumberg

      We’re trying to cover some of that in the way this book is structured, Matt. Each section is going to have a concluding chapter on “how to think about this topic as the company grows from startup to revenue stage to growth stage.”Thanks for the comment!Matt

  • Zane Salim

    Looks fantastic! Going to be looking forward to the book!

    In the "how things change over time" sections I assume you will touch on how the CEOs job/priorities evolve as the company goes from startup to revenue to growth stages. Think that is a great idea – and will be very interesting to read.

    • Matt Blumberg

      Exactly. Thanks!Matt