The One Frequently Ignored Skill of a Great CTO

Photo by Mikhail Nilov:

It’s not a secret that it’s difficult to locate talented software developers. Even more challenging is searching for a competent Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Soft skills and leadership abilities are much more critical for an executive-level employee who concentrates on the company’s scientific and technical concerns than for the other engineers.

The CTO must understand the complete application to make the correct architectural choices for short and long terms. As important as these skills are, this post will concentrate on one frequently overlooked ability: understanding what not to build and how to prioritize your efforts.

The keyword here is “focus.”

Let’s take a step back and consider why this specific ability is so vital for a CTO in the context of a firm as a whole:

One of the most serious dangers a business faces in its early stages is being dragged in too many ways. The company’s success will be primarily based on the accumulation of time and money, which are limited resources.

“If only we had more ideas or more things to create,” I’m prepared to wager, is not a single difficulty every business faces. Spending time on a project that does not directly address a customer’s issue might be fatal to a business.

The CEO is tasked with leading the company on the proper path, yet they are placed in an awkward situation in many respects. They must continually sell and motivate investors, clients, and potential employees. This necessitates continual input and debate.

As a CTO, you have more time to work independently or with your core team, which is a distinct advantage. They have a variety of safeguards in place. A successful CTO understands this, values the CEO’s efforts, and adds value to the organization by maintaining a laser-like concentration on a single goal.

The ability to say “no” and even how to say “no” is critical to a startup’s success.

As a team’s “chief officer of focus,” the CTO should be the team’s CTO.

A lack of team direction and concentration often results in various unconnected features attempting to tackle numerous issues. If a product feature or concept is too general, the CTO should quickly realize this since it will be difficult to get started constructing in the first place. There aren’t many things more precise than writing code.

A good CTO raises this issue with the team early on and is always looking for ways to remove “vagueness” from the list of things to be worked on. Writing code that never sees the light of day is a waste of time for any developer.

Like a CEO, a successful CTO may attract engineers who aren’t simply technically adept and obsessive about enhancing the product’s ability to address the client’s issue or the end-user. When the CTO is obsessive about concentration and knows when to say “no,” it impacts the whole development team.

With the right CTO, you may function as your startup’s Jedi Master, keeping everyone on track and on task, which is critical to its long-term success.