As I’ve been researching more public-market companies, I’ve noticed that most of the CEOs aren’t the original founders. That makes sense for companies that have been around for many decades. But it’s true even for companies started within the last twenty years.
This got me thinking. It’s difficult to take a company from zero to, say, ten million in annual revenue. Many founders struggle to level up as the company goes through various transitions. Going from zero to hundreds of millions or billions of dollars in annual revenue must be a gargantuan task—one that only the rarest and most talented founders can accomplish.
I’m now wondering, what traits do these founders have in common that help them go from zero to billions? They level themselves up continuously—what’s their secret?
Over the next few months, I’m going to spend time learning about a few founders who are still CEOs of public companies founded in the last twenty years. I’m curious about what I’ll find—and then whether their traits exist in any early-stage founders I encounter.