Earn up to $100 when you refer your friends to Taro Premium. Learn more
Taro Logo

Dealing with Confusing Feedback from my CTO in a pre-seed stage startup

Profile picture
Senior Software Engineer at Pre-Seed Startup2 months ago

Hey all, I’ve been working at a pre-seed startup for the last two months and I think I haven’t “clicked” with the CTO yet (I’m the only engineer right now). To give you some context

  1. We’re aiming to launch two experiments per week so they are more MVPs rather than complete features (I’m ok with cutting corners and making things “not the right way”)
  2. Each experiment I’m launching sends data to Mixpanel so we can know if it “moves the needle” or not. These experiments are aligned with our KPIs (see #5)
  3. My CTO who happens to be the co-founder has little experience working in tech, I assume 1.5 years tops. He's 25.
  4. We're trying to find Product Market Fit
  5. The KPI we're after are: Retention and Revenue
  6. I've received praise from CTO and CEO about the work that I've done, and I'm extremely transparent with everything I do: Share status in Slack, and Linear, I record Looms, share screenshots, etc.
  7. We have 18 months of runway.

He has said twice that even though I'm superb technically speaking; he's having a hard time seeing me thinking about the product and how to improve revenue/retention and he wants to see more ownership on my end; and that frustrates me because as I said on #1 and #6, I've successfully launched experiments week by week and have received praised from them multiple times. So IDK what's going on, I find this to be frustrating because from my POV I've done great work, I've spoken to users, shipped and tracked experiments, and improved our development workflow (we don't work with prod data anymore), proposed new things that we can do, etc...

The last time I talked to my CTO about this (this has happened twice now) he suggested that I should think more about "growing the business and taking ownership" without giving me a clear path forward, and I assume that when I meet with him again this week he's going to play that card again (being vague about how to improve/what am I doing wrong)

It frustrates me because it doesn't make sense to me to work in a place where my contributions are not appreciated.

  • Have you been in a situation like this before?
  • If he doesn't give me a clear path forward, what can I do then? it seems that I missed the point the first time.
  • I know how bad the market is right now, but quitting is not out of the table (I have 12-18 months of runway/savings)

Thanks a lot!

0 Likes
51 Views
8 Comments
👑

Discussion

(8 comments)
  • Alex Chiou
    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    2 months ago
    1 Like
  • Alex Chiou
    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    2 months ago
    1 Like
  • Alex Chiou
    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    2 months ago
    1 Like
  • Senior Software Engineer
    Senior Software Engineer [OP]
    Pre-Seed Startup
    2 months ago
    1 Like
  • Rahul Pandey
    Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    2 months ago
    0 Likes
  • Senior Software Engineer
    Senior Software Engineer [OP]
    Pre-Seed Startup
    2 months ago
    0 Likes
  • Alex Chiou
    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    2 months ago
    1 Like
  • Senior Software Engineer
    Senior Software Engineer [OP]
    Pre-Seed Startup
    2 months ago
    2 Likes
Taro Footer Icon
Taro Footer Logo

Explore by company

AmazonGoogleMetaMicrosoft

Explore by level

Entry-levelMid-levelSeniorStaff
Taro iOS appTaro Android app
Copyright © Taro