Founders tend to go through three stages as their companies grow. To get through the second, you'll need a founder whisperer.My marketing associate’s mouth hung agape as her eyes darted from side to side, desperately seeking an escape route. She had asked the founder and CEO--me--what she thought was a simple question about a draft of a marketing document. Unfortunately for her, I found a way to wax on about everything from code base branches to revenue recognition. This cringe-worthy moment was when I realized I was not a good manager.
Since Mike Osborn founded Wine.com in 1998, he has tackled a complex web of state-by-state regulations, and effectively shut out competitors. Wine.com sales were $60 million in 2011.