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Entrepreneurship, Second Edition by Andrew Zacharakis, William Bygrave

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6.2. Where Do You Fit?

Just because the business is your idea doesn't mean you must be the CEO. Every entrepreneur needs to take a hard look at himself or herself and decide how to best contribute to the venture's success. Matt Lauzon, founder of Gemvara.com, is a case in point. He took his concept to Highland Capital, where he raised seed funding, and began executing a business plan he had developed with other students while studying at Babson College. After raising a Series A investment, Lauzon began searching for an experienced CEO with the help of his board members. The board recruited former Lotus executive and BrassRing CEO Deb Besemer. Why did Lauzon relinquish the CEO role? It's likely that Lauzon and his investors felt this rapid-growth opportunity required someone with senior executive experience in scaling a technology company. Although Lauzon's innovative nature nurtured and led the company's first year of growth, both he and his investors felt the company's potential could best be reached by teaming Lauzon up with an experienced executive like Besemer.

Granted, creating a new venture requires most people to develop new skills on the job, but you'll be encountering a plethora of new challenges in the launch process, and you need to understand your personal limits. Stubbornly keeping the CEO job could limit the potential of your venture and may even lead to its premature demise. So the question is, "How do you gauge what you already know and what you can comfortably ...

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