How Can a Tech Pro Become a CEO?

CEO is a role you can simply pin on your business card once you found a business. Some would argue that a Founder, Director, General Manager would be best for a solopreneur, but nothing stops you from using the CEO title as a founder of a company.

The question is — does that satisfy your requirements?

Assuming that you are aiming towards building a successful company with dozens or hundreds of employees over the course of a few years, you may think twice. The technical background may help for a tech startup but it’s not the core skill you need. A CTO role may be a better goal for you — and you can grow into a CTO role in a smaller startup ran by someone else.

CEOs are in charge of a wide set of activities, from business development planning and sales through product management and ideation, accounting and marketing, recruitment, financial planning, and hundreds of day-to-day activities, especially over the first couple of years.

It requires a business mindset, understanding the needs of your clientele, building the right business plan, assembling a great team, pricing your solutions (or products) correctly, designing a solid MVP, and building upon a great foundation.

If you invest enough time and effort studying business growth, marketing, sales, recruitment, financing, you may pull it off yourself, build everything, and scale your operations by adding team members to your team. It would still require you to convince your first hires that your business is better than everyone else’s on the market, that the company solves the right problems, the sales pipeline is promising, and the firm is worth it in the long run.

As a tech individual, you may either focus entirely on the IT side of things or slowly shift your focus to solving business problems. Working in a smaller firm or a startup can teach you a lot, and you can decide on whether starting from scratch is a good investment of your time and resources.

For those ready to dive into the deep end and get their hands dirty, the experience can be like a crash course in business that sets you up for success later on. But it’s not a one-size-fits-all; it’s about what you want to get out of it and what you’re willing to put in.