Is it true to say that every day, someone comes up with a new bunch of letters to cram into Chief SOMETHING Officer… there are so many of them now, we’re no longer using three letter initialisms, we’re in the land of four.
One I heard today was CPTO – which is Chief Product Technology Officer. I guess you could also have a CTPO – Chief Technology Product Officer – but either way you can likely guess what this is.
By smushing product and technology together in the name, you’re talking to the idea that product is much more important now in building technology businesses than it once was. And it’s true – 20 years ago, the tech person in the startup would have thought purely about tech day in day out, leaving product design and the customer experience to other roles.
These days, we do these things with more deliberate intention. And language is important – put putting P into the CTO’s name, we’re signalling how product is “core mission”.
Question is then in your business, do you want a CTO, or a CPTO? Or a CTPO?