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The Five Flavors of Being a CTO

By John Lafleur 1 minute read

TL;DR: What exactly is the CTO role? I find it useful to break it into five flavors, split between an external and internal focus:

  • Evangelist: you’re the key spokesperson in promoting a technology vision to the world. You speak at conferences, talk to press, and have myriad social media followers.
  • Super Sales Engineer: you’re the ultimate weapon in winning over new customers: able to talk about your company’s products, technology and roadmap with a depth and vision that nobody else can match.
  • Super Engineer: you’re a prolific and accomplished coder. You define the architecture and lead innovation by example.
  • People Leader: you manage the engineering team, and in special cases the product and design teams as well. You’re constantly recruiting new talent and mentoring existing employees.
  • Innovator/Disruptor: you’re constantly on the hunt for the “next big thing”, whether it’s a new technology or a new product.

 

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