Personal Qualification |
Staying on top of the game
How to be a (Startup)-CTO
That’s me/ my journey so far
● Computer science studies
● Business administration &
● data experts - Software Engineer
● ImmobilienScout24 - Software
Engineer, Team Lead, Head
● Deutsche Post, E-POST -
Director Engineering, VP
● Mister Spex - CTO
● Smava - CTO
● Startup I, II
● German Startups Association -
Spokesman "CTO Network"
● Technology Advisor and
Education Career Side topics
My responsibilities as being a CTO
● Technology strategy & decisions
● Engineering process
● Roadmap planning
● Organisation setup, values & principles
● People development
● Tech projects (e.g. Cloud migration)
● Post merger integration
● Due diligence
Short: Tech, People, Culture, Process
CTO !== CTO
It’s all about the context and the situation
But there are patterns …
● It’s usually not about the easy things.
● It’s always a bit different.
● It’s not repetitive work.
● There is more work (to be done) than time (to work on it).
How to stay on top of the game
in such an environment?
First things first
● Staying on top of the game requires time and dedication.
● It's all about discipline and motivation. (Procastination is your enemy.)
Improve your working style
○ SCR (Situation, Complication, Resolution)
○ Amazon meeting style
○ Eisenhower matrix
○ Focus time
○ Delegation Poker
Situation, Complication, Resolution
Used for analytical storytelling but can be also used to break down complex facts
Situation: The important, fact-based state of current affairs that everyone in the
room agrees with
Complication: The reason(s) the situation requires action
Resolution: The specific action you're recommending to solve the problem
Focus time, Eisenhower matrix
Know trends but don’t follow (all of) them
Hint: Also give room so your team knows them (hackathon, research days, …)
Build your network
● … for exchange and advise
○ Communities, role models, mentors, coaches
● … for relevant content sources
● Ask yourself …
○ Do I focus on the right things?
○ What's next?
○ What's will be important in the future?
○ What are my weak spots?
● Most important:
○ Be honest to yourself
● Coaches can help
● Track your satisfaction
Advanced: How to navigate through situations and
take the right decisions
Understand the physics ... Mental models help
“A mental model is an explanation of someone's thought process about how
something works in the real world. It is a representation of the surrounding world,
the relationships between its various parts and a person's intuitive perception
about their own acts and their consequences. Mental models can help shape
behaviour and set an approach to solving problems (similar to a personal
algorithm) and doing tasks.” - Wikipedia
In short: Mental models help to assess how things work and therefore help to
make better decisions.
Process of learning
Feedback based learning Single-/ double-based
Mental models - State of business
Mental models - Culture building
Mental models - …
● Strategic, tactical, operational
● First Principles Thinking
● Second-Order Thinking
● Map vs Territory
● Feynman’s Technique
Additional sources: https://fs.blog/mental-models/
Finally … How to?
How to …
● Find your own way to grow .. get inspired by others but don't copy them
● Let go of perfection
● Keep in mind: It’s a marathon (continuous learning) not a sprint.
● Apply PDCA
● Hint: Combine learning which something you enjoy
Thanks for listening!
Some book recommendations