What do investors look for in a startup CEO?

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JASON LEMKIN

It really varies by VC.

But I’ll tell you what I look for — just one thing. Someone better than me, as a founder-CEO … adjusted for time.

I don’t expect a first-time 25 year old CEO to know everything I know today.  But I do look keenly to see if they are better than I was when I started each of my start-ups.

If they are better than me (ideally, much better) … and the unit economics are strong (even it’s really early) … and the space could be hot (even if it’s not today) … I’m in.

And VCs with “financial” backgrounds don’t get this.  But founders get it.  We all know who is better than us.  In somewhere between 5 and 20 minutes.  Max.

 

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Published on December 10, 2015
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