John Doerr: Top 10 Ways Not To Lose Your Shirt

The best VC in history provides the definitive guide on how not to fly your company into a mountain (video below from Kara Swisher). Here’s the summary:

1.  Act now
2.  Protect vital core of business (surgical cuts, not axe)
3.  Get 18 months or more of cash
4.  Defer unnecessary expenses (swanky new office, Microsoft Windows) and be tightwad on capex. Re-prioritise all R&D. You now can’t afford to do it all.
5.  Negotiate. In this climate, everything is negotiable. Including existing contracts, terms.
6.  Everyone in company should be selling, even receptionist. (This is not just about expenses, need to grow revenue).
7.  Swap cash bonuses and salaries for equity.
8.  Pay attention to where your cash is. (Treasuries, not money markets).
9.  Look 90 days ahead and assess revenue.  If not there, reset plan.
10.  Overcommunicate: With employees, investors, key customers.  Let them know your resolve. Don’t sugarcoat the situation we’re in.


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