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  • 40% on Product / 20% on Team. How do you prioritize your time as a (co) founder?
  • By monOlga
  • August 13, 2020

I always knew that being a generalist is somewhat of a prerequisite for founding a company. Though I had to find it out the hard way that generalists do ‘generally anything’ that needs getting done.

In a course of a week I get to ‘impersonate’ experts on 7 different subjects, which, when combined, would probably require over 100 years of education, training and experience to perform their job perfectly. Thank God for the human who said ‘done is better than perfect’, as it makes me ‘brave and savvy’ rather than ‘naïve and inadequate’.

If we ever build ‘TimeShare’ my time last week would look something like on the image above with the product, team and business administration leading the chart. 

iPhone 11

So 40% of my time on a regular week goes into Product, which covers all sorts of things like testing, release management, roadmap, user interviews, funnels, metrics etc. The big part of our product management lifecycle is our weekly planning session, where we review the latest user feedback, brainstorm solutions and agree on priorities.

‘Admin’ being the second largest bucket of my time is way less defined and in a traditional org would have been done by a bookkeeper, lawyer, compliance manager, operations officer and probably an HR. Opening a company is way less time consuming than keeping it open and as a technical founder, this is not something I particularly excel at. Someone asked me once if I had a Risk Manager and a Data Officer on staff, since those are prerequisites for a self-respecting fintech organization. We most certainly do! They just happen to share a name with our bookkeeper, compliance manager, operations officer, HR, product manager, and … Chief Executive Officer. Olga is a very common name after all 😉

20% of my time goes to the Team: daily chats, calls, 1-to-1s, onboardings, status updates etc. It’s probably the lowest possible amount a leader can afford to dedicate to their team. And I already know it’s nowhere near enough… According to flowtrace, majority of communication goes through me, which means my 20% at the moment barely scratch the surface and do not allow for any mid/long term talent planning, supporting growth and sustainable performance. The Monshare team have been very forgiving, though I certainly have no intention of testing my luck any further.

All the outstanding time today goes to marketing. It’s such a fragmented subject, that by concentrating on one area I inevitably drop a ball elsewhere. Though 17% of my time is not bad,we have only started seeing it bear some fruit. 

Though among us girls, we might have an exciting announcement to make shortly! Tune in!

How do you spend your time? Do you think 20% for a team is enough? What other buckets of work do you have?

Yours,

MonOlga.

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