CEO Responsibilities and Skills In Tech Startups

Leading and managing a team requires a lot of effort, especially when you launch a tech startup and you need to deal with many issues. The head of a startup has many responsibilities and needs particular skills. This is an overview of a CEO’s responsibilities in the startup.

CEO Responsibilities

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is the head of a company. He or she builds the strategy of an enterprise, makes decisions at the highest level and is the face of the company. A CEO can be the founder of the startup or a manager assigned by the founder. In tech startups, CEOs are usually also the founders.

A CEO’s tasks and responsibilities will vary, depending on the nature of the startup. Furthermore, many companies don’t assign a CEO role at the starting line since founders can perform similar tasks and help each other with various issues.

CEOs can be divided into two types — inspirer and operations manager. An inspirer generates ideas and motivates employees to realize them. An operations manager is involved in managing development processes and quality assurance programs, strategizing process improvements. The responsibilities of these two CEOs may be different. We will identify the common ones.

  • Representative. The head of a startup represents and markets the company’s brand. Activities include communication with investors, interviews for social media, participating in conferences. A good CEO does not lose sight of the style of their company: reputation and brand image are crucial as the startup grows.
  • Leader. A CEO leads the team and is responsible for the work of the team. He or she outlines the company’s aims and sets the strategy and plans for achieving them. The successful CEO inspires and motivates the team toward the required goals of the company.
  • Manager. A CEO’s responsibilities in a startup also include the assignment of roles to other team members. Whilst the CEO will have started the company and a project, there will be a Chief Technical Officer (CTO) who takes over the technical work. There will be other senior staff, such as a Chief Financial Officer (CFO).  In a tech startup, a CEO will understand each employee’s role. A primary role of a CEO is to resolve arising business issues. While leading the company team, a CEO also works closely with external stakeholders (investors, suppliers, banks).
  • Financial Head.  The CEO has financial duties, even though financial aspects are managed by a CFO. The CEO is ultimately legally responsible for the sound direction of the company and needs oversight of aspects such as cash flow, budgeting and revenue forecasting.
  • Trouble-Shooter. The CEO is also a chief trouble-shooter and will lead the management of risks. They need to be able to resolve issues and decide on solutions.
  • Recruiter.  A CEO**,** particularly in a small tech startup, will hire the first few employees, although with rapid growth a recruitment manager will soon be required.
  • Creator.  A CEO in a tech startup is constantly generating ideas and looking for new possibilities.

However, a CEO in a startup can be involved in many more responsibilities. Therefore, he or she needs to be prepared to perform diverse tasks if there is no one else in charge.

Have a detailed consultation about your startup — contact Go Wombat!

CEO Skills

A CEO needs various skills:

  • Flexibility. A CEO needs to adapt to different situations and be prepared for issues he or she hasn’t dealt with before.
  • Stress tolerance. A smooth business process is a rare thing. Startups always face some issues, and if a  CEO is stress-tolerant, it helps him or her keep a cool head so as to make the right decision and not make big mistakes.
  • An ability to take a stand. When CEO has a point of view, he or she should be able to prove why it is necessary. However, when defending the point of view, a CEO shouldn’t ignore other opinions and should give them due consideration.
  • An ability to analyse vast data amounts. A CEO has to process tons of information, and the ability to extract appropriate data quickly is a good skill.
  • Leadership. This is not just a responsibility, it is a skill – indeed many consider it even to be an ‘art’. When launching a startup, a CEO must be at the forefront of everything the team needs for practical and technical activity. Motivation and training are essential to keep the team on the right course. Empathy is a valuable quality which establishes respect and trust.
  • Communication.  A CEO explains the aims and goals to their team and, initially, even how they should be achieved. Strong communication skills are key to effective business. A startup leader is also continually networking and needs the skill of building productive relationships with clients.
  • Financial Competence.  A CEO needs to be able to work with financial aspects and be able to understand the reporting and advice of their CFO.
  • Risk Management. Launching a startup is always a risky process. A CEO should be able to face these risks and manage them. A startup will make mistakes. An effective CEO can manage mistakes, identify lessons and ensure that the company learns from them in a productive manner.

Once the company starts growing, risk management and financial part are completely delegated to separate specialists. Nevertheless, a CEO should understand the basics.

  • Lateral Thinking. The market is always changing, and it is necessary to look for new, unusual solutions. A CEO should be able to think outside the box and encourage others to do the same in the continuous hunt for unique selling points.

Volodymyr Sokolovskyi, CEO at Go Wombat:

“And, of course, being pessimistic is not what a CEO should be about. Regardless of the startup type a CEO plans to launch, it is necessary to stay positive and believe in the success of the future project. It is half the battle.”

Build A Startup With Go Wombat Technical Management

The CEO of a tech startup needs a good tech team. At Go Wombat, we can establish, even manage, the technical aspects of your startup. We can provide you with a comprehensive guide on how you can create your product, using our great experience of startup development. We can also help you allocate the software development budget effectively and save a lot of money.

We are always looking for new projects to build, regardless of how complex they are. Whilst the responsibilities of a CEO in a startup cover all aspects – many startup founders start their business on their own – there is always the need for a technical advisor role.

As a rule, project management is an internal appointment on the client’s side, whilst the product management is usually contracted out.

Go Wombat can act as Chief Technical Officer in your startup. We work in IT consulting and software development. We know how to deal with technical issues and how to scale up the software to meet demand. A separate article about hiring a full-stack development company provides more information.

Launch your startup with us – contact Go Wombat right away!

Rating — 5
Updated on January 19, 2021
Read — 7 minutes