There’s an exercise I’ve quietly done for about 6 months. Every time I talk to a top CEO, founder, or VC over a Zoom catch-up, I first ask them, “How are you doing, 1-10? Overall?”
They aren’t used to the question, but after pausing, most have done pretty well during Covid. It’s not that anyone wanted a pandemic, or the disruption.
But it’s a combination of two factors. First, most Cloud businesses have benefitted dramatically from Covid. So VCs and founders at least are somewhat happy about that.
And second … they’ve gotten to get rid of things that made life for a CEO worse. They’ve gotten time back to be more creative. To skip that scheduled meeting in another building that didn’t really accomplish enough. To quietly stop working with folks that don’t move the needle. Many Cloud and SaaS CEOs have gotten more effective and efficient — and richer — during Covid.
So it was no surprise to me to see Microsoft do a survey and come to the same conclusion. Bosses are doing better during mandatory Work from Home. But their teams aren’t necessarily.
Microsoft found that 61% of bosses describe themselves as “thriving” even during Covid … but only 38% of non-leaders do.
There’s a lot to think about here, and startups are different than Big Cos for sure.
But I think the learning from all my interviews here and the Microsoft data is to be careful to map your experience, and feelings, to your team’s.
Even on little Team SaaStr, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed moving distributed. And gotten much more efficient myself. But a lot of the rest of the team really does want to get back to the office. Just not 5 days a week!
Founders have benefitted more from Covid than their teams. Just something to really think about as we enter the new phase of all this.