Amount of time needed to allot to CEO responsibilities


Interesting story.

I'm 15 years old. Im planning on launching a start up. Now obviously, there are concerns that I have, not necessarily about the performance of future employees, but my performance.

You see, I take school quite seriously, and I plan on attending university to pursue a degree in Computer Engineering. Now there are several requirements that I need to meet such as grades, etc.

Now my largest problem, as i'm sure you have already guessed, is the amount of time that I will have to allot to my start up vs. school. I understand that having to run a startup requires plenty of energy, dedication, and passion, and i'm worried that my team will assume that i'm not one of them and that I lack the passion for our product.

Effectively, my question is:

Would it be possible to be an effective CEO if one is present say, only every other day?

Getting Started Time Management Team Fulltime CEO

asked Aug 16 '12 at 10:27
43 points

3 Answers


You are just planning on launching a startup, yet you are worried about how your future staff will feel if you aren't attending every day.

If you are going to succeed in business, you will need to learn to focus your effort on things that matter.

Right now, the last of your worries is what your staff will think of you. If you really want a startup, spend your time thinking about building a product and more importantly a business.

It's nice to dream, but you are a long way from having to deal with that problem, and if that problem does every arise, by then you will know what to do.

answered Aug 16 '12 at 17:15
Joel Friedlaender
5,007 points


Yes, do it!!!! You're only 15, you're going learn a ton! And if it fails, so what? Failing is a great way to learn; if anything, strive to make small mistakes, ones that are easily recoverable. But overall, you'll have a great experience starting a company and BECAUSE of the time constraints, you'll actually LEARN to become an effective CEO. And then, later on, when you're 25-30, you'll have a higher level of understanding and way more experience than others who played it safe.

Good luck!!!

answered Aug 16 '12 at 13:54
4,166 points
  • "Failing is a great way to learn; if anything, strive to make small mistakes". I really dislike this concept, I am not saying all is lost if you fail and certainly you shouldn't put off trying for fear of failing. Of course you can learn from your mistakes, but you learn a lot more from success, and I think taking it too far to strive to make small mistakes is really crazy. Failure is still a bad outcome, let's not lose sight of that. – Joel Friedlaender 11 years ago


A position at a real startup is usually all or nothing. Think about this: the outcome of the business is more impacted by an individual employee (or CEO) in a startup than anywhere else.

Would you be okay with your employees working every other day? They'll see it unfair if you expect them to give 100%, and it's clear that you're not (and you'll have more to gain than they do). What will your investors think?

In a more practical sense, in startup time, college is very far away from now. There's a decent chance that anything you start now would either have failed or exited in 3 years.

Finally, a bit of unsolicited advice: You're going to face a serious uphill battle, because almost no one is going to take a 15 year old seriously, even if you deserve to be. Also, the legal system (I'm assuming Canada is similar to the US in this regard) is not really set up to deal with people under the age of 18. No one can really loan you money, and it's very hard for you to start a company. None of that's fair, but that's how the world is. The easiest way to change all of that is to prove that you should be taken seriously, by going out and doing big things.

answered Aug 16 '12 at 12:49
Jeff S
374 points

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