daily articles for founders

Firing yourself, again and again  

I often quip that my job as founder of the business is to get myself out of a job. Here's Joel Gascoigne's rather lengthier, better supported argument for that idea:

Having thought about the concept of firing yourself further in the last few weeks, I’ve come to a key realization: if you’re doing something yourself as a founder of a post-product/market fit startup, you’re probably not doing it well.

The way I see it is that if you are doing a task yourself alongside juggling all the other duties you naturally have as a founder, you have to make compromises. To put things into perspective, the areas we’ve identified as key tasks at Buffer currently are: Product (web and mobile), Engineering, Marketing, PR, Customer Support, Partnerships/BD, Admin, Growth, HR, Recruiting and Investor Relations. There are probably more, too. As CEO I have to have all these things in my head, and oversee half of them directly. As COO Leo oversees the other half.

With this much to think about, anything Leo and I are doing directly ourselves right now has to be done only ‘partially’. We both look for the 20% of the work which will get us 80% of the benefits, and can’t do much more than that for everything we’re working on.

That's exactly how I function, and that's exactly why I try to pass anything I do with to someone else in the company as soon as I'm aware that I'm doing it more than once: because as long as I'm the one doing it, it'll always be a 20% rush job.

More from the library:
The startup skill set
Productised services: #3: The best of both worlds
How to set up an advisory board for your startup
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