My colleague Tom thought:
"Why are jobs not marketed as interim gigs?"
That's a great observation. And the reason why you'll miss out on the best possible COO candidate.
What makes that happen? Three thoughts come to my mind:
"What will I do when the interim COO is gone—you might ask—do I have to start hiring again"? These are sensible but unnecessary fears. Interim will get lots done, and your company will be in a different state after the engagement. And when it comes to it, it's in the interim's best interest to plan a handover and complete the hiring process.
Considering entrepreneurial interim candidates is a more unusual and unfamiliar option. Even thinking about it causes cognitive strain. More questions and fewer answers. So it is easier to aim for the usual hire. "There are more important things to use cognitive capacity for."
These are the unknowns. You haven't even got the chance to think or build fears around it. Interim COOs are the minority. But they are out there and might be the best hire you'll ever make.
COO is inherently an interim job.
You'll likely miss out on the best possible COO candidate without giving that option a chance.