3 Lessons from a First-Time CEO

Originally published on the Openview Blog. https://openviewpartners.com/blog/lessons-first-time-ceo/

Photo by William Warby on Unsplash

Earlier this year I joined Biteable, the do-it-yourself video-making platform, as CEO. It’s the first time I’ve been in the CEO role, and I was excited about the opportunity and challenge.

I knew that there was a lot to learn and that I’d need to be thoughtful about establishing credibility across the organization. Before I started, I reached out to several mentors, many of whom were founding CEOs, to pick their brains.

One of them has considerable experience as a “professional CEO,” or non-founder executive brought in to help founders scale. When we…


Picking what matters most and cutting what doesn’t

Have you ever considered archiving your entire inbox? What about wiping the slate clean on all tasks on your to-do list, or pausing any tracking of things like steps, heart rate, sleep, or anything else?

Would it give you a sense of relief? Would it be terrifying?

I track all sorts of things. I use task management tools that help with recurring and long term tasks. I try to manage to inbox zero most days. There are two main reasons why I, and I would expect many others, create productivity systems. First, because, as the saying goes, “What gets measured…


Three ways to help you stay close to customers

Whenever I’ve started new job roles, I’ve applied a lesson a mentor of mine once shared. Their advice to me and approach when starting something new was always the same.

“Start with the customer and work backward.”

That approach has a great ring to it, and it resonated with me (and anyone I’ve shared it with) immediately. But how do you do it?

I spent some time thinking about when I felt most confident in my understanding of the customer. And how that confidence impacted the effectiveness of my decision making as well as my internal credibility. During my time…


9 Tips for Startup Hiring Managers to Drive a Winning Hiring Process

Who you hire is one of the most important decisions you’ll make this year. And your commitment to owning the hiring process will have an enormous impact on making a successful hire. This post provides tips in different stages of the hiring process to help you succeed with your next hire.

As an executive at several startups (SurveyMonkey, PicMonkey, Thrive Global, Calendly) I’ve played an important role in hiring hundreds of people over the past 15 years. Many of those hires were as a hiring manager (hiring direct reports) and even more as part of the hiring team (indirect reports…


Suggestions on shaping and stepping up your data game

I’ve been an early team member at several startups and one of my favorite roles to play is helping set up or step up the reporting and analytics function. I’m only useful with a great analyst with some strong technical and SQL chops, but there are many lessons I’ve shared enough times to want to try and turn them into a cohesive post.

So what makes for good data analysis? A simple answer:

Good data analysis leaves the person who reviewed or consumed the analysis with more answers than questions.

Sharing Data

After many years, I’ve come to prefer the blog format…


Six-Bullet Sunday

Every weekend (well, except the last 3 weeks) I compile a short list of six things I find worth sharing. I hope you find at least one that you like. After a short hiatus while moving houses, I’m back in action.

It doesn’t get any easier, you just get faster. ~Greg LeMond

  • Great Quote: It’s a cycling quote, but pertains to anything where you are striving for excellence. You work hard to improve, the stakes just get higher (and the work actually gets harder). Thanks Mark for the tip on this one.
  • ✒️ Recently Published: I was really inspired after…

Six-Bullet Sunday

Every weekend I compile a short list of six things I find worth sharing. I hope you find at least one that you like. This week a theme is “moving”. After an office move last week and a house move (local) for me this week, moving is top of mind. Moves are a lot of work, with lots of inefficiencies (aka opportunities…).

The riskiest thing we can do is just maintain the status quo. ~Bob Iger

  • 🙊 Great Quote: A good mantra for any business. If you aren’t growing you are dying. …


Six-Bullet Sunday

The things you own end up owning you. ~Tyler Durden

  • 🙊 Great Quote: While Tyler Durden may not have been real, that quote can be very real. Keep your “things” simple, your options and opportunities will be plentiful. Bonus: Did you know that this month marked the 20th anniversary of Fight Club? Thanks for the heads up Morning Brew.
  • 📻 Great Pod: Speaking of Fight Club, I listened to a great podcast on The Ringer to get Bill’s take on the Clippers vs. Lakers showdown to kick off the first night of the NBA season. The Lakers look a little…

Six-Bullet Sunday

Every weekend I compile a short list of six things I find worth sharing. I hope you find at least one that you like. This week I’m sticking with some hometown favorites, things shared or published by me or folks I work with.

Success is never owned, it’s rented, and the rent is due every day. ~Rory Vaden

  • 🙊 Great Quote: Keep up the every day hustle to pay that rent.
  • ✏️ Recently Published #1: Values. We all have them, but have you written yours down? Companies have a mission, a vision, and values. And the better they are at…


Six-Bullet Sunday

Every weekend I compile a short list of six things I find worth sharing. I hope you find at least one that you like. This week, the mini-theme is focus ⦾. Creating space for it and directing that space toward the right priorities.

You can focus on things that are barriers or you can focus on scaling the wall or redefining the problem. ~Tim Cook

  • 🙊 Great Quote: Focus on the signal and on moving forward, not the noise behind you.
  • 👀 Observation: Growth Habits are those that make you grow, make you better. They are the things you need…

Brent Chudoba

An investor turned operator.

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