The mounting toll of chief executive casualties indicates that the job really is getting tougher. But there is a solution guaranteed to make it easier - appoint a second CEO. Don't worry about sharing power: the surrogate doesn't have any. He's as non-executive as they come, a 'virtual' CEO who mentors the actual boss and his team.
Thus, Randy Komisar of Onset Ventures will advise on everything from strategy to finance, team-building to trouble-shooting. He won't manage anything whatsoever: otherwise 'not only do I hamstring the company, but I do the work, and people stop learning'. A full-time mentor who has run both a larger business and a start-up seems to work for the latter. A survey of 300 venture capital deals found that the success ratio jumped from 25% to over 80% - so Komisar says.