Podcast: Naval Ravikant, co-founder of AngelList, explains why you don't need to be CEO - Deepstash
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No Need To Be a CEO To Be an Effective Founder

No Need To Be a CEO To Be an Effective Founder

To be a founder, you have to be world-class in something. Make sure you’re spending the majority of your time doing that thing; this is your ‘zone of genius’.

  • Not compromising will allow you to be a valuable contributor for a much more extended period of time and avoid burnout.
  • Believe it or not, there are passionate people that are world-class in the work you don’t enjoy doing. Outsource this work to the right people.


635 reads

Time Is More Valuable Than Money

Free time is an incredibly valuable asset – a full calendar can be good for productivity but not creativity

Creativity starts with an empty calendar, but eventually, your calendar gets filled up with execution and a busy calendar is the death of creativity

Having control of your time in a creative job, assuming you’re self-motivated, is the ultimate hack.


328 reads

A Creative Person Needs Space

The companies that succeed are always reinventing themselves and their products

Regardless of positional title, creative people within a company need to have the opportunity to control their time in a way that optimizes and maximizes their creative potential

If you let operations bog down the subconscious mind of a creator, their creations will never come to fruition.


291 reads


Be free of mind and free of time. Boredom leads to creativity.



326 reads

Being A CEO

  • Traditional CEO: raise money, communicate the strategy, recruit and retain the team
  • Product CEOs: provide product vision
  • Sales CEOs: provide sales leadership

Discussing burdens as a CEO is hard as our board could lose faith in you and your employees could stop following you

There is incredible pressure, because many times the investors are investing in the founder just as much as the product.


255 reads

A Profile Born Out Of Necessity

CEO is the job you take because there is no other choice, you don’t trust anyone but yourself to make the venture successful

  • CEO is a high-stress, people management role.  
  • The CEO is the company psychiatrist, always dealing with people issues.


248 reads

The Founders Mentality

If you’re the founder of a company, you’re probably world-class in something

There is someone out there that is world-class in the things you don’t want to do

Don’t just hire off of skill though, you will only truly hand over the reins if you believe they have a like-minded ‘founder mentality’

Recruit founders who have failed through no fault of their own

An example could be a founder who had the best product in a category that just didn’t have a market fit. These people have a ‘founder mentality’ and haven’t been burnt out yet.


218 reads


You want to spend all your time on that thing you are good at. Everything else is a necessary evil that should be outsourced.



282 reads


If I had to articulate how happy I am today, you’d have to lock me up, you can’t have people this happy running around in society.



278 reads

Naval's Calendar

Naval no longer keeps a calendar but is busy all day long. But, he prioritizes whatever feels most important to him at that moment.

  • Even when you have to do unpleasant things, at least you do them without them being forced upon you.
  • You can only live this lifestyle if you’re willing to disappoint people’s initial expectations of you.


288 reads



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