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Discussion on: I am a YC alumnus & 3X VC-funded founder-CTO. AMA!

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Arpit Mohan Ask Me Anything

I think the responsibilities of a CTO changes based on the stage of the company. In the early stage, it's imperative for the CTO to have a hacker mentality and be able to quickly iterate the product towards product-market fit.

As the product & startup starts to scale, the CTO needs to transition towards being the visionary on the technology front. This involves juggling thoughts between the business folks and the tech team at the same time. It's usually at this juncture that a VP Engineering steps in to take care of the people problems and help scale the team & maintain the culture.

At an enterprise (read: Amazon, Juniper), the CTO cares about what will make the business successful. Since enterprises move slowly, the CTO needs to be able to see multiple years ahead and focus on the tech & ops to ensure the business continues to succeed.

I hope this answers your question.