To survive, here’s 7 steps early-stage founders should take:
1. Raise now or sooner than you expected, before the Great Flood of 2023. If you fail, you can always try again later. But if you wait, try later & fail, well…
2. You did a layoff & cut burn? Great. Now cut burn even more. Cut what’s ‘good to have’ but continue to fund core R&D.
3. Focus on survival, not valuation. Don’t let your ego or anchoring bias kill you. Public company stock prices go up and down every microsecond. Your stock price fluctuating isn’t fatal. Running out of money is.
4. For mid and later stage startups, bring on seasoned operators in C-level roles and for some companies of scale, it might even mean bringing in professional CEOs. Done right, this allows founders to play to their strengths.
5. Trade better unit economics for growth. Growth rates are coming way down for everyone this year. It’s all relative when you’re raising money. If you can nail your unit economics, you can always ramp burn and growth later.
6. Play your cards right, survive & go on OFFENSE. The best time to build & take market share is when your competition is dead/in retreat. 2021 felt like the best year to build a startup but it also felt like the best year to buy high-growth stocks 😉 Now is the time!
7. Be decisive. Half-measures rarely succeed.