What’s the best way to understand the difference between CFO and VP Finance?

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
VP Finance vs CFO – AVC

A VP Finance is what you need when you want a leader who will keep the wheels on the bus, who will make sure there are financial controls in place, who will make sure the books, records, and reports are accurate and timely and well presented, and who will make sure you have the right amount of accountants and clerical staff on hand to manage the work of the finance organization. A VP Finance is largely about “what happened” and a little about “wh… (read more)

What’s the best way to understand the difference between CTO and VP of Engineering?

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
VP Engineering Vs CTO – AVC

A VP Engineering is ideally a great manager and a great team builder. He or she will be an excellent recruiter, a great communicator, and a great issue resolver. The VP Eng’s job is to make everyone in the engineering organization successful and he or she needs to fix the issues that are getting in the way of success. A CTO is ideally the strongest technologist in the organization. He or she will be an architect, a thinker, a researcher, a teste… (read more)

What’s the best way to think about VP of Engineering vs CTO?

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
The Management Team – While Building Usage – AVC

And many technical co-founders and lead engineers aren’t the kind of people who enjoy managing. They would rather be building the product than building the team. You have a few options at this point. You can help your lead engineer become a good manager. I strongly suggest that because everyone can and should become better at managing people. Even if your lead engineer doesn’t become your VP Engineering in the long run, this will have been a good… (read more)

What’s the best way to scale your organization?

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
The Management Team – While Building Usage – AVC

Many of the hires that are made in the “building usage” stage are going to report directly to the founder/CEO. The additional product hires may report to you because it is likely that you are running product as well. The community team may report to you. And who is leading that team? The business development person, the marketing person, the admin/finance/HR/legal person, and probably all the sales people are likely reporting to you. Have you eve… (read more)

What’s the best way to plan headcount?

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
MBA Mondays: Optimal Headcount At Various Stages – AVC

So 5 or less while you are building product, 10 or less when you are finding product/market fit, and 25 or less while you are working on generating revenues and locking down the business model. That’s a rule of thumb for software based businesses that don’t require a large direct sales force or some other significant labor cost.

What’s the best way to hire an office manager?

Mark Suster (Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures)
The Controversial First Role to Hire After Your “A Round” | Bothsides of the Table

Your first hire after that first round of capital is an office manager / company-wide assistant. So what would you look for in an ideal world? Somebody who knows that their job is to be administrative so that they won’t feel like they’re being asked to do a role they feel is “beneath them”

What’s the best way to hire?

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
MBA Mondays: Culture And Fit – AVC

Don’t hire a token woman. Hire as many women as you can. Don’t hire a token person from another country. Hire from all around the world (and become an expert in our bullshit immigration system). Don’t hire a token “gray haired” type. Hire up and down the age and experience spectrum.

What’s the best way to be a good manager?

John Beeson (Principal of Beeson Consulting)
Let Your Team Help You Manage Your Time

A few years ago I was asked to coach an executive I’ll call Tom. I suggested that Tom give thought to four questions: 1. Where could he add the greatest value to the company in his new role? 2. What were the topics and issues he should be intimately involved in — and which could he off-load to staff? 3. How was he spending his time today — and how would he like to be spending his time six months from now in order to devote adequate time to his v… (read more)