Mad Men Fight

Painting the right picture

I had a call today with a potential new (very exciting) client. Typically, we deal with the CEO’s, Management Team, Investors, etc. In this case, I was talking with the Chairman. This was one of the most enlightening discussions I’ve had making me recall my tech start-up CEO experience and the many mistakes I made.

First off, I could tell tension existed amongst the management and board and I wanted to understand this more. I could see that the CEO’s optimism was having the opposite effect with the board. The Chairman was very complimentary of the CEO but I could see how the board could misconstrue the CEO’s passion and sporadic vision for lack of focus. The reality was the CEO was pushing a very drastic pivot and wasn’t being clear or gaining consensus. This is a serious issue that either side was addressing.

For a start-up company with investors and governance, the board needs to be engaged and put to task. That could be financings, connections and strategies for growth. The cost of strong board support for management is a clear vision and transparency. Sometimes management feels like they have burden themselves with a boss. Technically, they have. However, the best boards operate through shared ideals and influence so if management is doing the right thing, so will the board. When that happens, the vision, execution and support will align resulting in goals being met and the path to future success clearer than ever secret that the digital industry is booming. From exciting startups to global brands, companies are reaching out to digital agencies, responding to the new possibilities available. However, the industry is fast becoming overcrowded, heaving with agencies offering similar services — on the surface, at least.

Producing creative, fresh projects is the key to standing out. Unique side projects are the best place to innovate, but balancing commercially and creatively lucrative work is tricky. So, this article looks at how to make side projects work and why they’re worthwhile, drawing on lessons learned from our development of the ux ompanion app.

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Daren Trousdell is an early stage investor, advisor and founder focused in the Fintech and Digital Media space.

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