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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Should I Stay or Should I Go? What's a Good Founder to Do?

Recently I'm come across some valuable articles speaking to the issue of Founder CEO's. We've got a lot of these in cell therapy. It's not an easy decision to stay or leave and the timing is critical. I pass these articles along without any commentary but for the benefit of the industry.

"Company founders: voices of experience". Interviews with nine leading scientists who founded startup companies reveal some common themes and lessons (Published online: 22 March 2004, doi:10.1038/bioent796)

"Moving on". As a company grows, the founding scientist sometimes discovers (and investors often hint) that it’s time to leave the CEO spot and hand it to someone with more business experience. To ease the possible shock of the process, consider this transition from day one. (nature biotechnology volume 26 number 12 december 2008)

"Rich Versus King: The Entrepreneur's Dilemna". (Academy 2006 Best Paper Proceedings). See here for a blog-post about the core concept and for a fuller article in Harvard Business Review (February 2008) see "The Founder’s Dilemma". Most entrepreneurs want to make a lot of money and to run the show. New research shows that it’s tough to do both. If you don’t figure out which matters more to you, you could end up being neither rich nor king. An interesting post-publication discussion can also be found on Wasserman's blog.

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