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The Scalable CEO

by | Employee Stories, Podcast

Ad Hoc Endowment Reporting

Data Talks, Episode 6

Data Talks is Exago’s podcast on all-things business intelligence, analytics, and application software. This month, we bring on three-time entrepreneur and Exago CEO Mike Brody to discuss management strategy with Les Trachtman, six-time CEO successor and author of Don’t F**k It Up: How Founders and Their Successors Can Avoid the Clichés That Inhibit Growth. Being good at founding software startups doesn’t necessarily make you good at scaling them, but some smart tactical decisions can help you make the transition.


Segment 1: The Scalable CEO

(2:20) Why do you think the IT sector has one of the highest startup failure rates of all industries?

(4:00) Key characteristics of a successful founder and CEO?

(4:35) What does it mean to be a startup? What startup qualities do you want to preserve as the company scales?

(9:30) In what ways is process antithetical to the startup mentality?

(11:35) What does it mean to be your own CEO?

(12:55) “Cycle times” and helping employees learn from their mistakes.

(20:20) Transitioning the CEO seat from Mike to Les at Trancentive.

(25:00) How founders can stay involved at their companies after appointing a CEO.

(27:00) Are successors equipped to make major decisions (e.g., pivoting to a new business model or market strategy), or should they consult the founder?

(29:30) Why Mike hired Les as CEO of Trancentive and whether he would give up his CEO seat at Exago.

(32:40) Choosing between “rich” and “king” objectives. (Or “rich” and “regal.”)

Segment 2: What We Are Nerding Out About This Week

(37:10) Les: artificial intelligence

(39:15) Self-driving cars

(40:30) Mike: Exago’s next quantum leap!



Featured Guests

Les Trachtman

Les Trachtman is an entrepreneur, educator, author, and six-time CEO. His book Don’t F**k It Up: How Founders and Their Successors Can Avoid the Cliches that Inhibit Growth is an Amazon best seller. Read more at foundertransitions.com.

Mike Brody

Mike Brody founded his first software startup, Stockholder Systems, Inc. (SSI), in the early seventies and started his second company, CMS Trancentive, later that decade. In 2006, he established his third and current enterprise, Exago, a leading provider of business intelligence to software-as-a-service companies.

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