View profile

Bursts of Color - Nobody. Knows. Anything.

Bursts of Color - Nobody. Knows. Anything.
By Geoff Donaker • Issue #2 • View online
Is the sky falling, or is that just an acorn? I’m reading the same headlines as you, and I have no clue.
That said, I think of moments like these as hiking in the mountains. We don’t know if a storm is coming, but it’s a good time to make sure you have that extra jacket and meal packed.

Virus Prepping and WFH Policies
We’re all now experiencing various event cancellations and travel bans. On the one hand, I think much of this is overzealous. On the other hand, for you company leaders, it makes sense to think through your approach.
Rob and I found this Coinbase Coronavirus Planning and Comms write-up to be thoughtful, useful and calm.
Volatile Financial Markets Tend to be Bad for VC
A famous growth investor told one of you this week that “we’re probably going to sit on the sidelines for the next 3 months and see what happens.” Whoa. That was fast.
Will early-stage investors start pulling back? I hope not. And I don’t suggest jumping to conclusions. However, I also think this is a good time to consider what you will do if you can’t raise equity capital for another 1-2 years. For those who weren’t paying attention to this stuff in 2008, now might be a good time to flip through Sequoia’s RIP Good Times deck. Especially pp 43-54.
Again, I’m not predicting a storm. I’m just saying carry a jacket.
On a Lighter Note: Netflix Book Review
Last week I read That Will Never Work, a business memoir from the Netflix co-founder. I like this genre of start-up stories, as they often hit close to home.
My favorite part of the Netflix story is when they started experimenting with subscription pricing and were shocked to find how well it worked. It’s a good reminder to test, test, test. Especially with pricing.
“Nobody. Knows. Anything.
As Netflix shows, sometimes bad ideas have a way of becoming good ones. Not only had all the people who told me that Netflix would never work (including my wife) gotten it wrong, but so had I. We all had.
It wasn’t something anyone could have predicted ahead of time. It took a lot of hard work, a lot of hard thought. It also took a lot of cards falling just right. Other people call that luck. I call it nobody knowing anything.”
PS, There are also a few chapters in there about how things got rocky in 2000, and what Netflix did to survive. :-)
Did you enjoy this issue?
Geoff Donaker

Bursts of Color is a newsletter for start-up leaders who work with Burst Capital. It's meant to include products, people and ideas that I think are interesting and maybe relevant for you.

If you don't want these updates anymore, please unsubscribe here.
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Powered by Revue