High-profile VC blogger Mark Suster recently wrote a blog post titled How Open Should a Startup CEO be with Staff? in which he argues that startup CEO’s should not share with their employees information like cash and burn or details of a financing.
I strongly disagree.
I consider all of the employees at Spanning to be my business partners. And hiding important information about your business from your partners is nuts. That’s not to say we’re completely transparent—we share neither information we’re legally obligated not to disclose nor information that relates to a single employee. But we’re completely up front about the financial performance of our business: sales, expenses, cash position and burn, stock and options, valuation, and strategy.
We regularly hear from new hires that they really appreciate the level of transparency and the trust that goes along with it. I can’t imagine conducting business in any other way.