I've co-founded 4 successful web/mobile app businesses

Opsbase Founding CTO / 2019 - 2022
Acquired by Ideagen PLC Checklist SaaS for Health & Safety sector React [Native] - GraphQL - NodeJS - AWS 5 Devs . 2 Design . 8 Other
Genie Mobile Founding CTO / 2010 - 2015
Acquired by Lanyon PLC Mobile App Builder for the Events sector Dojo - Objective C - Java - GCP 15 Devs . 3 Design . 22 Other
Acorn Ecommerce Founding CTO / 2000 - 2009
Acquired by Pindar PLC Website Builder for the Etail sector Javascript - VB.NET - IIS - MS SQL 4 Devs . 1 Design . 2 Other
Property Center Founding Dev / 1996 - 1999
Acquired by NAEA Property Search SaaS for the Realtor sector Javascript - Perl - IIS - MS SQL 1 Devs . 1 Design . 2 Other

Parenting a product from birth to acquisition is an immensely rewarding and fulfilling challenge from a creative, technical and life-affirming perspective.

But being a startup CTO is not for everyone. The fast pace ... the midnight oil ... the twists ... the turns ... the hustle ... you either love it or you hate it.

To date, I have been the startup CTO (a.k.a. the founding techie or techie #1) on four products. I have always been hands on, and always will. For me, it's only from inside the codebase that one can truly nuture and truly innovate.

IMHO, being a startup CTO is not like being an enterprise CTO. Our skills are not at a board level, they are at the product and code level (though, of course, being confident and eloquent enough to speak to teammates, founders, customers and investors is also pretty important too).

For me, a startup CTO fulfills the multifaceted rolls of CPO, CTO, CIO, lead dev, junior dev and all-round dogs body.

And personally, I love it