Why the Founder’s Friendly Era Needs a “VP of Nothing” – TechCrunch
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While we’ve certainly talked about what Jack Dorsey’s resignation means for Twitter (and now its impact on Block), I’m still thinking of a few lines from his resignation tweet.
âThere’s a lot of talk about how important it is for a business to be ‘run by the founder,’ Dorsey wrote. âAt the end of the day, I think it’s very limiting and it’s a single point of failure. I worked hard so that this company could break with its founder and its founders. Dorsey added that he believed “it is essential that a company can fend for itself, free from the influence or direction of its founder.”
It’s a bold statement: Success as a founder can be like hiring people smart enough that you are no longer relevant to running the business day in and day out. If you’re going on vacation and your team can’t function without slacking off every few minutes, that’s more representative of the strength of the business than the strength of the team.
Last month I wrote about the importance of making the difference – both in terms of ownership and incentive – between a founder, founding team member, advisor, investor, investor. providential and a first employee. This week I want to change gears and talk about when it’s time to unlearn these titles, or at the very least evolve from them. As Floodgates partner Iris Choi mentioned in our recent Founder Friendliness podcast, the founders end up becoming the âVP of Nothingâ.
No one would disagree with the idea that a startup must succeed beyond its founder, but the process of moving that individual from essential to non-essential can be uncomfortable (especially in our current environment which is hyper. -friendly to the founders). My point, as I argued earlier, is that we’re going to start to see a shift in due diligence to address more than how a founder sees their industry in a decade. Entrepreneurs might be pressured to hire, change their mind, and figure out when it’s time to go. Removing the idea of ââidentity so that the business doesn’t feel intrinsically linked to a founder is healthy for the longevity of the business, but will require real conversations about attribution.
I interviewed founders and investors to verify their ease with the idea of âârecommending and fulfilling the promise of a decentralized authority in this market. For my full take on this topic, check out my TechCrunch + column, Founders need to decouple their own idea from its creator. Alex and Amanda also jumped in on the topic, arguing a precedent, and that founders are not rockstars, so we should stop treating them as such.
In the rest of this newsletter, we’ll talk about rebranding season, accidental churn rate, and freshly funded corporate layoffs. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @nmasc_ or on Instagram @natashathereporter.
It’s the season to change brands
Jack Dorsey takes up a lot of space. Days after the Twitter co-founder resigned from the social media platform, his other business, Square, was renamed Block. The name change has reportedly been in the works for over a year, but it seems timely given that Facebook changed its corporate brand to Meta just over a month ago.
Here’s what you need to know: Block is said to encompass Square’s growing suite of products, which includes music streaming service Tidal, Cash App, TBD, and, of course, Square. It’s also a nod to the company’s interest in blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. I don’t hate the name, but if you’re in the mood for a laugh, Just take a look at its executive leadership page.
All crypto, all the time:
And the startup of the week is …
Butter! The startup wants to help every subscription company deal with customers who accidentally opt out – pun intended – due to payment failures. The product is not a sales technology, but rather a fintech service that detects renewal or registration issues when charges are declined due to an attempt in another country.
Here is what you need to know, by CEO and co-founder Vijay Menon: The market for international payment failures is underserved by some of the larger payment providers, such as Stripe, which focus on domestic services. Butter wants to serve growing markets like Brazil, India and Mexico. Even before launching his startup, the entrepreneur helped Microsoft recover more than 10 million Xbox live subscriptions, representing up to more than $ 100 million in collected revenue. Now Butter has $ 7 million to tackle even more.
A raise and a dismissal
It’s more common than you might think. This week, digital mortgage lender Better.com announced it will get a $ 750 million cash injection ahead of a looming public market debut. Then, a day later, he announced layoffs, confirming that he has cut 9% of its overall workforce.
Here’s what you need to know: As Mary Ann Azevedo reports, it’s possible that layoffs were a condition of this deal being approved – but it’s always difficult to add millions to your balance sheet and cut staff in the same breath. The layoffs take place mainly in the United States and India. While we’re a long way from the series of unicorn layoffs in 2020, growing concerns about the omicron variant and the tightening of the market for some industries could mean more instability ahead.
On the next one:
TechCrunch 2021 Gift Guide
All week long
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With $ 3 billion expected in 2021, Singapore becomes a fintech capital
IoT data collector Samsara IPO will be fun to watch
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Super Grab App Starts Trading On Oversized SPAC Suit
Product-induced growth and signal substitution syndrome: bringing it all together
Hope you all have a weekend as good as Bret Taylor’s week,