You can find lots of blog posts about how to be a CEO:
- You need to focus on product
- You need to be sales-oriented
- You need to be customer-centric
- You need to be all about culture
In fact, in my first company, I came in with the classic enterprise software mindset and early-on tried to focus only on sales. Boy was I wrong.
After massive network outages, almost running out of money, customer support challenges, product scalability issues and marketing struggles (not at the same time!), I realized that SaaS is very unique. The business model depends on all functions working in harmony.
You may have natural skills in one area more than others (e.g., for me, culture and customers). You might be epic at product. You might be rubbish at marketing.
But as a SaaS CEO, you need to be everything-oriented.
(1) This applies to being CEO of any type of startup, not just SaaS companies.
(2) My experience: because you can’t do everything well at once, you have to rotate your focus to whichever aspect of your business needs the most attention.