When Should You Start Paying Yourself?

By Brett Fox | November 8, 2022

There is a friend of mine, Mark, who started a company about four years ago. Mark raised angel funding to start his company. The company has grown at a nice clip, and the company has a real chance at long term success. At the same time, Mark and his partner have taken a salary of…

What Makes A Great CTO Great?

By Brett Fox | November 7, 2022

One of my biggest mistakes ever was adding “John” as my co-founder and VP Engineering/CTO. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that John wasn’t that great of an engineer, and he failed as our CTO because his engineering skills weren’t that good. John’s engineering skills were as good as I thought they’d be,…

What’s The Behavior You Can’t Have As A Founder?

By Brett Fox | November 1, 2022

“I don’t know if I can do this anymore,” “Serge”, the CEO of a struggling startup, said to me. “I think I’m going to give up.” “What?” I responded. Serge’s capitulation said didn’t register on me. It was foreign to my way of thinking. Worse yet, Serge’s company wasn’t doomed to fail. There was a…

How Do You Recruit The Very Best?

By Brett Fox | October 31, 2022

I was pumped beyond belief when I got the opportunity to become an Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) at a San Francisco based venture capital firm. I thought their backing me eliminated the concerns I had about raising money. However, I was still really worried because I knew I still had the bigger hurdle of building…

How Do You Determine Which Investor To Contact?

By Brett Fox | October 18, 2022

Years ago,I decided I the way to achieve my career goals was working at a Venture Capital backed startup. The problem was I didn’t know any venture capitalists. I went on the internet and built a spreadsheet of all the VC firms I wanted to meet with and every partner at the VC firm. The…

You’ll Fail If You’re In It Only For The Money

By Brett Fox | October 17, 2022

“I’m focusing on learning, not the grades,” Avery said to me the other day. She’s just starting her journey in college, so I couldn’t be happier to hear my daughter say that. “You got it!” I exclaimed. “The knowledge will stay with you forever. Plus, it’s the only thing you can directly control.” “I love…

What Do You Do When Your Engineers Are Failing?

By Brett Fox | October 11, 2022

“What are we going to do about the DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) design?” I asked my co-founder and VP Engineering, Jeroen. “It’s floundering.” “I know,” Jeroen said. “I think we need to make a change.” If you can announce five different products or SKUs (Stock Keeping Unit) from one analog chip design, then you’re…

Why Your Investors Don’t Need Control Of Your Board

By Brett Fox | October 10, 2022

“Brett, I need to have control of the board.” Who do you think said that to me? Was it a startup CEO, or was it an investor? Or was it both parties? It seems logical, doesn’t it as a first time CEO. You want control of the board, right? Because, if you control the board,…

How Should You Divide The Work?

By Brett Fox | October 4, 2022

I don’t know how I came to this thought process, but, from the beginning of my career, I thought it was a great idea to obsolete myself. Yeah, I know this sounds like it’s self destructive, and I guess in some organizations it is. However, my thought process was different. My thought process was that…

How Should You Manage Your Engineering Team?

By Brett Fox | October 3, 2022

“How do you plan on managing the design team?” I asked my prospective co-founder and soon to be VP Engineering, Jeroen. “The same as I have at Maxim (Integrated Products),” Jeroen said. I smiled, and then I said, “I’m sorry, but I have to ask, the design review process will be the same as Maxim’s?”…