What Should You Do While Your Team Builds Your First Product?

The first CEO job I ever interviewed for, the recruiter said to me, “As CEO you recruit, recruit, recruit, and you sell, sell, sell.”

I didn’t get the job.

Then, I started my own company and became CEO. And what did I do?

Recruit, recruit, recruit, and sell, sell, sell.

Recruiting and selling were always a constant. You are always recruiting and selling as a CEO:

  • You’re recruiting new employees to the team, and…
  • You’re selling new employees on the company to get them to join, and…
  • You’re selling potential customers, business partners, and investors on your company.

But there are plenty of other responsibilities besides sales you the CEO have while you are in development of your first product:

A. You need to stay on top of the development of your products.

It doesn’t matter if you are an engineer or not, you need to keep involved with the progress your team is making. You want to make sure the specs don’t change, and you want to make sure that you are on schedule.

Plus, you are going to have to challenge your team if they tell you something can’t be done or that the schedule needs to be pushed out. How are you going to do that if you’re not involved.

B. You need to prepare for the launch of your products.

How are you going to make your customers aware of your product? The marketing plan, the channel choices you and your team are going to make are going to require your involvement.

C. You need to build your product if you have a physical product.

Manufacturing a product isn’t easy. You have supplier agreements to bang out. You have components you’re going to need to buy.

There may be equipment you need to rent or buy as well. You and your operations VP (if you have one) are going to have procure the equipment.

D. You’re going to need to evaluate your product too.

You need to make sure you have whatever equipment and personnel needed to make sure your product meets your quality standards before you ship it.

E. You’ll need a customer support team too.

Your customers are going to need customer support (technical and purchasing). You’ll need to build out and train a customer support and applications team too.

Now, you likely will not be doing all these tasks by yourself. However, you will be involved in all of these tasks.

So, there’s a ton to do before your first product is launched when you’re the CEO.

For more read: 7 Survival Tips For Startup CEOs

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View original answer on Quora.