Would You Rather Be Undervalued Or Underestimated?

Being a first time CEO can be confusing, intimidating and downright scary.  You have a hundred things to do and no idea which way to look.  You feel the need to talk to a lot of people but it’s difficult to determine the ones you really need to spend time with.   You need to deal with legal, financial, organizational, strategic and other parts of the company on a daily basis yet might not be fully comfortable with each area just yet.

Everything rides on your shoulders.

Although this is not my first startup founder experience, it is my first as a CEO in, shall we say, the “big leagues”.  It has been brought to my attention this will be a significant challenge to me since my background lacks “normal tech startup experiences” and don’t fit the typical CEO path.  They say I will be underestimated.

Well, I say perfect.  Bring it!  I love challenges and believe the great ones are created through immense crucibles, where pressure either polishes them into greatness or crushes them into pieces.

As I ponder the reality I face, a question arose in my head:  Would you rather be undervalued or underestimated?

Undervalued means they have already sized you up and determine you don’t add much value to the ecosystem.

Underestimated means they are ignorantly judging you, still don’t know your potential and will be shocked when you reach it.

I have a hunch where I fall in respect to those two.  Do you know where you stand?