I met with the chairman/founder of a private equity firm while I was working on my own startup, which I had tried to grow for more than 1 year as a single founder, but it wasn't gaining traction; it was a company culture platform, yes I wanted to make company culture better for engineers (story for another day).
I joined the private equity company as an engineer, but because of the multi-tasking, getting things done, organization skills that I picked up as a failed entrepreneur, the company saw those as more valuable than my engineering skills, and asked me to take over a company they acquired. For the record my engineering skills are decent (medium.com/@khor).
As I had to grow the company, and I realized that some tasks like figuring the company roadmap, marketing & sales strategy is something that I have tried to delegate and didn't work well, so I took on those roles with slightly more success, but that meant I had to delegate more engineering & technical work, which was surprisingly easier to delegate. It made me understand how for-profit companies with no crazy funding view leadership skills vs. engineering work. The former is difficult to gauge (as in you can be completely bullshit and just be good at talking), and more prized, while the latter is easy to judge but considered extremely delegate-able. To be fair, this is only applicable to companies that are not research-based where it requires proprietary/patented technology.
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