Ben Horowitz

Generally the reason they fail in the job is, you made some mistake in the hiring process in that you didn’t match… them to the needs of your company accurately enough. That’s the #1 reason this fails. And that’s generally a good place to start: Here’s where we are and here’s what I didn’t recognize about us and about you when I made the decision, and now it is what it is.

The thing that’s confusing for investors is that founders don’t know how to be CEO. I didn’t know how to do the job when I was a CEO. Founder CEOs don’t know how to be CEOs, but it doesn’t mean they can’t learn. The question is… can the founder learn that job and can they tolerate all mistakes they will make doing it?

I was an executive running a pretty substantial group before becoming CEO, and I had no idea what it was like. When something goes wrong, people say, ‘It’s all your fault.’ Your reaction is, ‘It’s not my fault.’ But what do you mean? I was the founder, I hired everybody in the company, I was managing it.