Day-to-day operational decisions regarding technologies are old hat for CIOs. After all, that's what they're paid to do. But when big decisions need to be made that can cause major disruptions in the direction of a company, many CIOs would gladly hear a second opinion. Most CIOs have their own network of trusted acquaintances and consulting firms, but sometimes it's best to talk to someone who has made the tough IT decisions that paid off. Of course, one great resource to try to tap is the founder of a hot IT company.
If you're like me, you don't exactly have the opportunity to chat with a big-name tech founder on a regular basis. But now might be your chance to receive some sound advice from some of the top technology founders in the world. A startup called EXEC recently announced a "rent a tech founder" initiative -- an opportunity to bend the ear of a highly respected startup owner.
Justin Kan, the founder of EXEC (and the creator of Justin.tv) wrote in a blog post about how the process works:
The founders will be available to give you a call or Skype to give you advice for your business, serve as a sounding board for your startup idea, or just to chat. We hope to provide you with a simple, valuable opportunity to get access to successful entrepreneurs that you might not have an easy way to get in touch with.
I believe many CIOs will take advantage of this ingenious idea. In addition to Kan himself, the participants include:
Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman, who founded the social news Website Reddit.com after graduating from the University of Virginia in 2005. If you need advice on the social network aspect of your business, either of these two guys would be a great choice.
Matt Brezina, cofounder of Xobni (inbox spelled backward), which designs software applications for Microsoft Outlook and, more recently, mobile apps. If you are looking to create applications that optimize worker efficiency, you can't go wrong with Matt.
Tikhon Bernstam, cofounder of Parse, a cloud-based mobile application development platform. Sign up to talk to Tikhon if you have cloud computing or mobile application ambitions.
I know what you're thinking: "This all sounds well and good. What's the cost?" Surprisingly, a full hour of time with the tech founder of your choice is available now at a promotional price of only $100. That's an absolute steal in my book. Even better, all the proceeds generated will go to DonorsChoose.org.
Let's face it. Technology founders have a special knack for making successful business decisions with the aid of current or emerging technologies. We all can't possess this ability, but now we can at least pick the brain of someone who does to help us make the best decisions for our next project or startup.
Is it really worth a CIO's time to discuss technology plans with these people? If so, what critical information do you think these people possess?
This is a truly intriguing idea, but for a single hour, what can you accomplish? That hardly seems enough time to get a tech founder properly introduced to your company. Which means it's several hours of interaction, and the $100/hour price is promotional. This could add up quickly for someone that has never seen your business and can only get the view of the person in front of them. While their advice may be good, it must be based off the limited knowledge they have of your company's needs.
Andrew, I know all most all CIOs always seek for a second opinion before making any investment. Among them most seek for a third and fourth opinion also because everybody wants to have a better return from their investment. Now a day's there are many specialized technological consultancy firms are in market and they used to offer an a-z solutions for the investors. This includes identifying the market, potential customers, all necessary approvals, venture capitalists etc.
For a CIO it is actually a good idea. As long as you get to select the specific founder you get to chat with. You can select one whose company seems to have the likelihood to face similar challenges as what you are facing at your company as CIO. They may not give you any tangible solutions, but listening to them could pique your own mind and a solution could come out of where you did not expect.
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