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Stockspot CEO: The “big difference” between a CEO and a founder

Business meeting in a modern office.

Chris Brycki believes founders need to be able to deal with chaos.

Founder and CEO of robo advice platform Stockspot Chris Brycki believes founders are better at dealing with chaos while CEOs bring structure and order to a company. Brycki spoke with Finder co-founder Fred Schebesta as part of Finder's new business show The Disruptors' Club, saying that for the first few years of Stockspot he "really only saw himself as a founder".

"I mean, obviously, when you don't have any employees, there's no one to be CEO," he said.

Brycki launched the robo advice platform in 2013 after helping his friends get into investing.

"They'd come to me and say, look, I've got $10,000. I want to grow that money. I know you work in the industry, how should I do it?"

Brycki would ask them questions, such as how much they wanted to invest and how much they'd be comfortable losing, to determine what he thought they should be investing in.

"So, originally, the MVP of the product that ended up being Stockspot was actually me, helping my friends open online brokerage accounts, and then picking the right investments, which were this new product that had only just started to emerge in Australia called ETFs."

After investing on behalf of his friends, he found the experience to be "clunky" and not suited to beginner investors.

"It was very confusing," he said. "I realised there was an opportunity to actually create some sort of service to help people [invest] more broadly and actually, to create a service that just saved my time to actually do it in a more efficient way for my friends."

Brycki then left his job and spent six months developing the business and getting its first customer. Now, nine years later he is currently the CEO of Stockspot as well as the founder, but he believes the two roles bring different qualities to a company.

"I think there's a big difference between founder and CEO," he said. "I kind of see it as the founder [is] someone who's good at actually dealing with chaos, and not knowing everything and trying to be learning everything and trying to just get to the next step."

A CEO, on the other hand, is someone who creates structure and order and a methodological way to get to the company's endpoint, according to Brycki.

"I think there are people out there that are good at being both," he said. "Probably the founder side came a lot more naturally to me because, in my previous life, I was a trader. And as a trader, you're basically dealing with chaos every day, you come into work, you don't know what markets are going to have thrown at you. And you have to deal with that."

You can watch the full 3-part episode with Chris Brycki on YouTube.

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