CTO

alberto betella

Badi | Koa Health

Serial tech entrepreneur and executive with a track-record in building successful companies and teams from the ground up, including:

Q&A

Your favorite content and why

A book: Angel by Jason Calacanis

A podcast: Startup, by Gimlet media (acquired by Spotify in 2019). https://gimletmedia.com/shows/startup

Your favorite working app

Slack – Cannot leave without it, especially integrations)

Gsuite (Gmail and Gdocs)

Trello 

Your reference leader, why and what you learnt

Who doesn’t admire Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos starting Apple Computer and Amazon from their garages? These stories inspire greatness, but they also seem so “far” from most of us.

My reference leader is my father. He left his employee job when I was very little, took a loan and opened his own business. Since then, he had no boss and made decisions for himself. He worked very hard to make his business thrive. And he is still very active.

In the past years, I’ve been seeing more and more of his personality and work ethic in myself. He is definitely my reference leader. 

The #1 skill a tech leader needs to succeed

For leaders in general, empathy. See also my article https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/from-zero-million-users-how-quickly-grow-successful-tech-betella/

Being a leader in tech is focusing:

– on people as much as you focus on creating great technology.

– on the future, with a long-term vision, rather than the day to day operations

What you like most of being a CTO?

The impact you can have in the business

I’ve seen companies, especially startups, without a strong tech leader breaking up right at the edge  of success because of poor (or lack of) technical choices

Which is the biggest challenge you have faced as a leader?

When key players in your team suddenly leave.

When a key member of your team leaves suddenly, you need to cope with a very delicate situation which involves human emotions and can cause chain effects in the team.

What is the takeaway from that experience?

– Being as open as possible with your team on the fact that finding other opportunities is a good thing. Your Engineers should feel free to speak with you about that and that it is your job, as a CTO, to foster their career growth, even when their growth implies embracing a new professional challenge. This way you’ll minimize “Negative Surprises” and make sure that people will be open to talk about other opportunities that may arise. You’ll then be able to keep control and make proactive plans for the change to happen, rather than just reacting.

– Avoid SPOFs (Single Point Of Failure). This is a technical concept that beautifully applies to team organization as well. Nobody in your team should be indispensable. Including yourself.

The one single tip for aspiring CTOs

Don’t do that for the money. It’s a “vocational” job, if you don’t feel passionate about the challenge, you’ll be wasting your time

Resources

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