To all startup CEOs who are planning an ICO or an ETO:
It feels great to be traded! 🙂 It is fantastic to have hundreds of investors interested in your value and progress, giving you feedback daily, pushing you to transparency, careful roadmap decisions and mature communication.
But it is also *very* different from running a classical and, well, intransparent startup, where your progress and valuation are known only to the insider circle of your few VCs and a handful of board members. We feel a lot more exposed on one hand, but a lot more protected on the other. The spotlight makes us more afraid to make mistakes, but also less afraid to become victim to strategic behaviours of investors (yup, that is unfortunately not infrequent in the startup world). In fact, compared to the classical relationships between founders and VCs, it feels like the interests of us and our community investors are a lot more aligned.
Running a public, transparent, Blockchain startup is a brand new skill for a tech CEO, a skill for which there are no role models yet nor any management books.
It is a new skill to develop a relationship with your community investors and be able to cater to their needs – very different from quarterly reports that the VCs expect.
It is a new skill to publish your roadmap, communicate your progress and publicly debate it.
It is a new skill to make sure your token price reflects the reality of the promise you make to your investors, and to your ability to deliver upon that promise.
I see a lot of CEOs of ICO-backed companies becoming overwhelmed by it. It is not easy. I am lucky to have had some experience in managing a classical post-IPO public company, which helps me a lot. But it is also not the same to have WallStreet investors and community investors.
For now, from my experiences in being an exec in one of all the three – privately held startup, public company, and public blockchain startup – I like the last best. It keeps the best balance between entrepreneurial freedom and healthy investor control. I’ll be keeping you posted about my experiences with this brand new way of business management 🙂https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/neumark/