Matt Blumberg Joins Startup Savants to Discuss His Book ‘Startup CEO



Matt Blumberg, the CEO of Bolster, joined Startup Savants to discuss his book “Startup CEO.” In it, he provides important coaching for new CEOs around critical topics like coming up with a business strategy, executing that strategy, and managing talent. This is the story of how “Startup CEO” came to be written.

  • Startup Savants is a business podcast that tells the stories behind up-and-coming startups.
  • Matt Blumberg joins Startup Savants to talk about his book “Startup CEO.”
  • “Startup CEO” provides important coaching for new CEOs around critical topics like coming up with a business strategy, executing that strategy, and managing talent.

From Blog to Book

Matt said during his interview that he started out with the idea of writing a blog, not a book. His blog,, began in 2003 in part as a way for Matt to share his experiences as an entrepreneur and the wisdom he gained from them. 

“I did it mostly because that was the point at which I started mentoring other founders,” he said. “And in particular, a lot of my VCs kept asking me, ‘Hey, can you go talk to this founder in the portfolio or that founder in the portfolio? He’s going through something he’s never done before, but you have.’ So I started just writing that stuff down as I was doing it, and then blogging came into existence, and I was like, ‘Oh, this is a good way to share the entrepreneur’s journey with other founders.’”

In 2012, one of Matt’s venture capitalists, who was also a friend and mentor, sent Matt a draft of his own book called Venture Deals. Matt enjoyed that book and, with his friend’s encouragement, decided to turn his blog into a book of his own. That worked after a fashion, although he soon realized that the blog would only supply about 20% of the content. The rest Matt had to write from scratch. With the help of a few ghostwriters, the first edition of “Startup CEO” was published in 2013.

First-Time CEO Instruction Manual

The purpose of “Startup CEO,” which is now in its second edition, is to be an “instruction manual for the first-time CEO,” Matt said during his interview. As such, it provides crucial advice for entrepreneurs that can be hard to come by. 

“No one ever trains you how to be an entrepreneur,” he said. “You can take a class in entrepreneurship, but it’s not like you grow up in Corporate America and you’re in the running to be the CEO of a big company, and you’re being groomed for it for your whole career. You found a business when you’re 20 or 25 or 30 and just have no idea what you’re doing most of the time.”

Each of the book’s six sections has about 10 chapters covering strategy and vision, execution, people and talent, boards of directors, managing yourself, and exits. It can be read from start to finish, or someone can use it as a reference when a specific problem or issue comes up. 

Startup Savants Podcast 

The Startup Savants podcast is a business podcast created by The Really Useful Information Company (TRUiC). Listeners can hear the stories behind startups, as told by their founders, that are in the midst of growing their companies.

Ethan, an entrepreneur, and Annaka, a branding expert, host the Startup Savants podcast. They bring disparate skills and life experiences to their interviews, providing listeners with important business insights and a holistic perspective on the startup ecosystem. 

Hear from a variety of real startup founders from around the globe and with varying backgrounds, making their startup idea a reality. Learn from experts sharing their industry knowledge on venture capital, securing funding, and more on the Startup Savants podcast. 

Final Thoughts

In his interview on Startup Savants, Matt Blumberg discusses his new book “Startup CEO.” In the book, he provides much-needed instruction and mentoring for first-time CEOs, based in part on his own experiences running Bolster.

You can find the Startup Savants podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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