There is a serious need of talents to run operations for start-ups and early stage companies. If I review the 5 companies in my incubation program, 4 of them do not have a chief operating officer. This scenario is not uncommon as I look at the deal pipeline for our investment portfolio or in the upcoming incubation program.
The founders are the ones who originated the business idea and therefore best in designing the product/services. When it comes to execution and on-going operations, they are generally not that good at it. If there are more than one founder, such start-ups are in a slightly better situation. At least, they can divide and conquer. In many startups, there is only one founder or in some cases, the second founder either leaves before the business takes off or the partnerships simply do not work well.
Where are these people who are good in leading, operating and managing people and processes?
I believe they exist. The issue, like many other things in the world, is the mismatch of demand and supply. I have heard a number of people saying that they are building an on-line platform to address this mismatch. If you are aware of any that are already in operation, let me know.
Another issue is that, I do not see founders jumping up and down to search for an operation expertise. Despite many talks about the success of business being “10% idea and 90% execution”, founders are not putting sufficient emphasis on the execution or finding the talents in this area. It is understandable. The creator of a product definitely believes that his/her product is unique and good and that there is a market for it. They focus on the product development and less on the marketing, sales or management of the production.
If you are organized, strategic, disciplined and can multi-manage tasks (even small boring ones), there is always a job for you.