Top 5 Best Practices from Stephen Messer and Jeff Stewart

This past March, we were able to get Stephen Messer and Jeff Stewart to sit down with us and explain their thoughts on “Being a Great Leader/CEO.”

Stephen Messer

  • Founded and sold his first startup Linkshare for $425 million
  • Prior to the acquisition, grew Linkshare for 9 years (through the dot-com bust) to over 200 employees
  • Currently Board member of Reloadnyc, Cross Commerce Media and angel investor (Stephen’s bio)

Jeff Stewart

  • Founder and Chairman of Mimeo, one of Inc’s 2010 Fastest-Growing Companies with revenues of $60 million+
  • Founder of Square Earth, which merged with Proxicom and IPO’d on NASDAQ
  • Currently Founder and Chairman of Urgent Group, and angel investor (Jeff’s bio)

Top 5 Best Practices

  1. Have the right mentors. Find someone right out of retirement who sees something they like in you and wants to be involved in your future success.
  2. Possess that intellectual curiosity. If you’re not passionate and curious about every detail, you should probably be doing something else.
  3. Be prepared to learn and grow. You role and approach is going to change as the company grows
  4. Focus on revenue. Revenue solves all sorts of problems (validates you are doing your job well).
  5. Foster a data-driven startup culture. Know the key metrics that govern your company’s success.


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