Most often, your Chief Architect / CTO will remain your most talented engineer, but sometimes that’s not the case; i.e. your VP of Engineering has built up enough senior dev talent that the value of your CTO has eroded to the point you may need to consider their vitality to the company.
How to Use OKRs to Hire a CTO
Jay Melone
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I don’t know that I agree with this. A CTO is likely to be your best engineer at the start, but if you avoid hiring or are not able to hire skilled developers to the point where your CTO is no longer the most technical individual, ultimately that’s harmful to the company. More than most C-suite jobs at a startup, the CTO role will and should evolve. I very much enjoyed this article on that process. As your company and product matures and you find market fit, the CTO’s role should shift towards supporting growth efforts once the Engineering team is deep, well-managed, and stable. Their job is not to ship code. It’s to help the company win. Whether the CTO you have in the beginning is the right person to lead your company out of startup, to growth, and beyond, is a different discussion, but if startups limit their view of that role to traditional stereotypes they risk missing out on better/more diverse long-term fits.