Takeaways from “Startup CEO”

I spent part of the Thanksgiving holiday plowing through Matt Blumberg’sStartup CEO” book.

Matt is the CEO and founder of Return Path, an “email-intelligence” company now at nearly 500 employees. Return Path is a very well-respected company in the email industry, so I was eager to dive into the book.

Matt’s created a true field guide for startup CEOs. In the book, he covers everything from testing products, raising capital, managing a board of directors and building a company culture.

For me, the best aspects and advice from the book include:

  • How create a high-functioning board of directors. Matt provides tangible advice, including the amount of preparation required to create a really good board deck and meeting. We didn’t have a formal board of directors at my last startup, so this section was very helpful.
  • How to iterate and pivot within your startup. Matt’s stories about growing Return Path through new products, acquisitions and even divestitures are unique.
  • Personal growth and management. Matt is a big-time follower of Lencioni and Drucker. Matt’s advice on managing your schedule, meetings, personal growth and even work-life balance are personally very inspirational. I’m always striving to be more productive. Matt’s “operating system” is really hardened and most entrepreneurs can learn a lot from his process.

“Startup CEO” was a fun, useful read full of strategies for growing both your startup and personal career.