Of Scrubbing Toilets

I just read an interesting blog entry, which I felt that I had to comment on simply because some parts of it caught my eye:

…in the early stages a CEO needs to keep the fridge stocked and the bathroom clean. They create a cool office environment. They are the Janitor, Caterer, Secretary, Executive Assistant, and more. A startup CEO handles PR, HR, product management, recruiting, marketing, investor relations, accounting, and anything else that needs to be done to keep the gears of a startup moving smoothly.

I can testify to the fact that the above statement is 100% entirely true, in my case. Let me list down some of the things that I do for to make the office conducive for my staff to work in.

  • Scrub the toilet and bathroom.
  • Stock the pantry with 3-in-1, snacks etc.
  • Buy air freshener for the lobby and toilet.
  • Vacuum the carpets, wash the glass door.
  • Take out the trash bags.
  • Write the official letters.
  • Run the random errands.
  • Find and hire the best people.
  • Take care of the ledgers and books.
  • Go around giving talks to raise awareness.
  • Signing agreements with partners.
  • Find revenue sources.
  • Sign the cheques.

And on top of that, I do the CTO stuff too:

Technical Co-Founders are building the product. We’re pulling late nights so that demos run smoothly the next day. We’re building what will be bought and sold. Investors are attracted to our efforts. Customers find value in what we build. We are the VP Engineering, Project Manager, Product Manager, QA Engineer, DevOps, UX Designer, UI Designer, DB Engineer, Recruiter, etc. We’re responsible for performance, security, stability, front-end, back-end, training, technology roadmaps, patent filings, and more.

  • Draw up the technology roadmap.
  • Design hardware and software.
  • Manage all the engineering projects.
  • Stress test the products built.
  • Optimise the designs.
  • Interview potential hires.
  • Setup the various software systems.
  • Administer the technology infrastructure.
  • Set up physical and data security.
  • Train partners and staff.
  • File for IP protection.
  • Work late nights.

And much more.

I do the CFO stuff too – planning budgets, keeping tabs on the finances, assets, etc. Heck, I do the COO stuff too – ensure that people come to work, the tools needed are available, do the payroll, etc.

Shite. How do I cope?

I try not to.

Published by

Shawn Tan

Chip Doctor, Chartered/Professional Engineer, Entrepreneur, Law Graduate.

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