CEO Coach, Investor, Board Member
I've been a CEO, founder and executive for the past 20 years. After building industry-defining companies myself, I now help CEOs build their companies as a coach.
I write a weekly newsletter on being a better CEO, building better businesses and making better decisions.
Life is short, so I choose to be a good person.
© Sean Byrnes. All rights reserved.
Even the best athletes have coaches to help them perform at the highest levels. As a CEO, you deserve that same kind of support.
I've been a CEO, so I understand your challenges and how to tackle them. Over the past 20 years, and multiple companies, I've seen how decisions you make today affect you years down the road. Unlike executive coaches that follow a playbook, I can bring all of my experience to work for you and your business.
I view coaching as a partnership. My job is not to tell you what to do, but to provide frameworks, experience and a partner to work through your toughest problems.
I can help with a wide variety of challenges including:
Hiring and scaling your teamManaging and motivating peopleBuilding your go-to-market strategyFinding product/market fitFundraising
But one of the most important things I can do is help you manage the emotional rollercoaster of being a CEO. There are dark days, and having been there myself I can help you navigate them as best we can.
I've worked with CEOs of companies with over 1,000 employees and $50M in revenue all the way down to 3 people building their first product. You can read what they say about working with me in their own words.
If you think I can help, I'd love to talk.
What is it like working with me? Here are leaders describing our work in their own words.
"Sean has been the best coach I have ever had. As a founder-CEO it’s incredible to be coached by someone who has experienced that specific journey multiple times. His clarity of thought and depth of questions was transformative in my journey to scale my company over the last year. We covered a range of topics across board management, time management, OKRs, and fundraising. Sean’s guidance helped uncover organizational debt across the business and helped me be a better, more confident leader."
Amit Bhatia, CEO Data People
"Sean has been a mentor for me through two startups now, and he's always the person I go to when I truly need intuitive clarity around a subject. He does a masterful job at simplifying any kind of challenge that founders face, including rapid scaling, founder conflict, and team culture. He gives the kind of advice that you just can't find in a book and only comes from extensive experience. He also always gets right to the point, uncovering the core of your issue before you ever realize it."
Robert Romano, COO Glidian
"I've worked with Sean for over 3 years, during which time our company grew more than 4x. I consider meeting Sean an inflection point in our company's growth trajectory and my personal development as a leader. We've joked at our company about making a shirt that says "Sean was right, again." At the end of the day, Sean has seen it and done it, so he understands what's going on at your stage of the company. He consistently offered me advice that was simply accurate and helped me solve my problems. Beyond all the strategic and tactical advice, Sean serves as a moral compass on your journey. He always reminds me to be family first, and reminds me to be kind and considerate to people. Start ups can be really intense, both good and bad, talking to Sean regularly was always a grounding experience I needed. Lastly, he's willing to help you before you've proven everything. I'm incredibly grateful Sean was willing to help us when we needed it most, when the company was most vulnerable and before it was obvious we were succeeding. I'm deeply appreciative of that."
Roman Giverts, CEO VuMedi
"Sean unlocked my growth and enjoyment along the Founder/CEO journey. There’s no training for the role so having Sean, who’s done it several times and is still doing it just a couple of rounds ahead of me, is an awesome hack. At our company, we can point to countless of his frameworks including how we hire execs, create our operating plans, and carry out our all hands. Above all though, running a company is all-consuming and the personal and professional lines can blur. Investors, board members, and advisors can be helpful to an extent, but Sean is a truly objective person who’s not afraid to be vulnerable about his wins/losses and keep you accountable when you need it. We weave between team or personal relationships to health matters because they all influence your work. The thing is you’re never really done building, and Sean helped give me the confidence and perspective to keep pushing when there didn’t seem to be alternatives. Startups have a lot of uncertainty, but I can be sure that we’ll continue encountering new situations, and Sean will always be my first call."
Carlos Vega, CEO Tesorio
"The founder journey is lonely. While the Board is there to serve the company, you need someone who is looking out for your best interests. Sean has played that role for me for almost a decade. He is my first call when faced with a big decision. He has a rare skill of being able to understand the nuance behind the situation, and break it down nicely like a math problem. By the end of the discussion, he ensures you find the answer yourself. He understands the balance between being practical and emotional as a CEO, pushing you to always do the right thing. There have been many instances where he has offered to go above & beyond to help, such as analyzing company data or interviewing candidates or reviewing material (once even building out a machine learning algorithm for us!). I could not have taken this journey without him and I am so glad to see him give back to more such Founders & CEOs."
Aakrit Vaish, CEO Haptik
Sean has been the CEO & co-founder of many category-defining companies, raised over $100M in financing from leading venture firms, built teams of hundreds of people, and both bought and sold companies in his career.
Here are some of the companies Sean has founded and run:
Outlier.ai, which was the world's first automated data analysis platform. Outlier helped dozens of Fortune 500 consumer businesses like Capital One and Macy's find the hidden insights in their data using Artificial Intelligence. Outlier was backed by leading venture firms Emergence Capital, Ridge Ventures, Homebrew and First Round Capital and was acquired in 2022.
Flurry which was the largest analytics platform for mobile applications. Flurry was used by over 2 million apps across 500,000 companies when it was acquired by Yahoo! in 2014. Flurry was backed by leading investors DFJ, InterWest Partners, Menlo Ventures and First Round Capital.
Over the past decade, Sean has mentored and coached over 100 CEOs in building and scaling their software businesses. He has been a force for diversity and inclusion in the technology industry, focusing on supporting both founders and investors from under-represented groups.
Sean is also a partner at LucidFog, a venture investment firm that provides capital to early stage founders.
Coaching is a partnership, and our first session is always free so you can decide if our partnership is right for you.
If you think I can help you, I'd love to talk. Just let me know a little about yourself and why you think I can help?
Thanks! I look forward to speaking with you.
In the meantime, please subscribe to my newsletter where I cover team building, decision making and building businesses. It's a great way to get started and learn about how I approach leadership.