The difference between a CEO and a COO

The difference between a CEO and a COO is surprisingly easy to understand, but it is also surprisingly misunderstood by too many entrepreneurs who start as CEOs and devolve to COO roles. At Leap Ventures we have had to explain these roles enough times that I feel compelled to write about it, in the hope that we can simply point to this post in the future. So what is a CEO, how does she differ from a COO, and where’s the problem? A CEO does what he wants to do. A COO does what he has to do. — HervĂ© Read More …

Startups: Valuing equity, cash, and the team

Valuing equity can be very hard in startups, but so is valuing cash and the team. I gave a talk a few days ago at the TechWadi Roadshow powered by Google For Entrepreneurs, that took place in the UK Lebanon Tech Hub in Beirut. I was asked to discuss the importance of teams when launching a startup, so I decided to explain the relative importance in time of the triumvirate: teams, equity and cash. A major error by many first time entrepreneurs is to misprice the value of equity and cash, and generally assume they’re constant over the life of Read More …

Startup payroll: stay lean

Back from a trip to Silicon Valley, I thought a few lessons from there on CEO and founder salary in a startup would be most beneficial to our middle eastern startups. I had the chance to interview a few CEOs and venture capitalist, and discussed with Quanergy founder Louay Eldada his 3-year without salary and then 50% salary cut in paycheck in year 3 when he started his company, despite a recent closing on a $30 million dollar-round. Louay left a position as CTO at SunEdison to found Quanergy. His effective salary the first 3 years was negative as he Read More …