One of my more controversial viewpoints is that the CEO of a startup must be the primary product manager.
My extreme position on this is that I am personally responsible for every last pixel that makes it onto the screen. There is no better use of my time than to ensure the user experience maps exactly to the vision my co-founder and I have for the site.
In fact, I’d sooner let someone else manage “the business” then to turn my attention away from the user experience.
In my first company a lot of people cautioned me not to focus on the product, rather to focus on managing the managers. This was entirely wrong. There’s a reason why Apple is so successful - Steve Jobs owns the product. I once had someone lecture me not to be Steve Jobs. They said that everyone hates working for Steve, don’t be Steve Jobs. F-that. Steve Jobs wins. You win by insisting it’s done the way you want it done and ensuring that the company’s most tangible asset — the user experience — is exactly the way you want it to be.
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