What a CEO does

In a nutshell, as related by venture capitalist Fred Wilson:

A CEO does only three things. Sets the overall vision and strategy of the company and communicates it to all stakeholders. Recruits, hires, and retains the very best talent for the company. Makes sure there is always enough cash in the bank.

I’ve learned that great CEOs can and often will do a lot more than these three things. And that is OK.

But I have also learned that if you cannot do these three things well, you will not be a great CEO.


“To those predictors of doom, I relay what an old friend once passed on to me. At a certain point in the process, no credit will be given for predicting rain. The only credit will be for helping to build an ark.”
Ben Horowitz silences naysayers in his essay “No Credit for Predicting Rain”

An Optimistic Investor’s Perspective on Innovation

Ray Kurzweil maps out an optimistic view of the future with a tremendous amount of data supporting his main thesis — that the rate of innovation is increasing on a geometric scale. This means that innovation is happening faster every day. … The data supports the fact that we’ll see more innovation in the next ten years than we’ve seen in the last one hundred years. If you are an investor or entrepreneur, this is the best time in history to make a fortune and create a better world.”
–  Thomas G. McInerney, in his essay “Why Gold May Be a Bad Investment”