Chitra Ragavan

Common Mistakes that Startup CEOs Should Avoid Making

Here are the 🔟 most common mistakes that startup CEOs should avoid making:

1️⃣ Pick a co-founder out of friendship or loyalty, not skills

2️⃣ Have too many co-founders (3 or more = potential analysis paralysis)

3️⃣ Bring in a co-founder with the exact same skills instead of offsetting their weaknesses

4️⃣ Don’t hire a CFO to instill accountability

5️⃣ Give away too much equity to co-founders and early hires, losing bargaining power

6️⃣ Don’t protect their voting power with boards, putting them in a vulnerable position when things go wrong

7️⃣ Give away grand titles too early in the game, leaving no room for employee incentives or upward growth

8️⃣ Don’t know when and how to part ways with early hires when the company outgrows them

9️⃣ Don’t hire an HR person or treat culture as something that will develop naturally instead of cultivating it

🔟 Create exceptions for their behavior that is different from their expectations of their employees

Do any of these resonate?

What’s the biggest mistake you made as a first time CEO?