013: Growth and Innovation in Tech Companies by CTO guru David Moss



I chat with David Moss – a career technologist, musician, producer, leadership coach, investor and strategic innovator with an outstanding track record across multiple successful startups and established companies. We discuss a whole range of topics and explore the critical components for the success of any tech company in search of growth or continual innovation. David is currently the CEO of Exceed.Team, and provides strategic and tactical technology consulting services for startups and fast-growth companies.

1:04 – Background on David.

1:52 – The gravity and scope of the MCATs compared to other exams.

2:24 – Arguing the basis of medicine as physics, biology, psychology, etc.

3:22 – The variety of factors involved in health and how that segues into what David does with teams at Exceed.

4:12 – What Exceed looks at in teams and the tensions David faces from a CTO background when consulting.

5:53 – Example from David’s experience working at Edmunds.com in the early days of the internet.

7:00 – David’s approach to paring down tasks within an organization.

8:32 – Relating David’s process to the Pareto principle and the book How Google Works.

9:02 – Struggles that companies face when they are founder driven and how David can help through his work with Exceed.

9:41 – Google’s work on examining psychological safety in the workplace.

10:13 – The impacts of psychological safety on innovation within an organization and how that plays out as organizations grow.

11:24 – The role of a CTO, according to David, and how it evolves.

14:28 – David’s background as a founder and how that has informed his work as a CTO as well as his “reality distortion field.”

16:17 – How this work relates to different sized companies and innovation.

17:31 – Both size and management as factors in innovation.

18:48 – The different ways Exceed can work with both startups and larger companies.

19:57 – Charles Duhigg’s book, Smarter Faster Better, as a big paradigm shift in helping teams be more effective and feel more safe.

20:37 – The fear of pivoting in some early stage companies and how that can affect dynamics in a company.

23:27 – David’s view on what defines a minimum viable product and “good enough software.”

24:35 – The story of “Stone Soup” as it relates to an MVP.

26:40 – Perfection as the antithesis of an MVP and David’s Amazon web services example.

27:58 – The value of getting a product out that solves a problem and then improving the product over time and including user feedback with the example of Facebook.

29:47 – Changes in technology over the last 15 years and how humans are learning to keep up.

32:43 – Cycles of trends in technology and how to “meta-up” in response.

34:59 – David’s vision for a trajectory to help others with his business experience.

36:43 – These principles apply to all businesses, not just Silicon Valley tech companies.

37:40 – The role of a CTO as the hub of the wheel in a business, not just a technical person.

38:30 – Still getting the excitement of starting a new business that could really take off.

40:17 – Background on David’s music business experience and how starting a band relates to starting a company.

Resources and Links Mentioned:


Pareto principle

How Google Works by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg

Charles Duhigg

Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg

Email David at david.moss@exceed.team