Founders seem to believe the no. 1 reason for startup failure was running out of cash. In my experience as a growth capital investor, running out of cash is not a reason for failure, but a consequence of failure. It is the consequence of the founders' failure to develop strong leadership skills, transition from founder to leader, and build a strong leadership team. If you want to lead your business from initial traction to sustainable high growth, better start developing your leadership skills.
Mark Zuckerberg has warned staff Facebook will be 'turning up the heat' to weed out underperformers who don't meet certain KPIs. By raising expectations and having even more aggressive goals, he thinks some employees might decide to leave on their own. That's bad leadership.
In this article, I explain how you can do better.
In my previous blog article, I talked about the importance of trust. Trust in the leadership team is the basis for success. But how to build trust. I have shared a high-level view in my Inc. Magazine article, which is also published in this blog. I will delve deeper into this topic in my leadership handbook 'Leading Effectively'. In this blog article, you find the respective infographic.
We have sold a portfolio company successfully. I talked to some members of the leadership team and asked them why they believed they succeeded and what they believed was so special about the leadership team. The answer was simple and amazing at the same time. The team attributed its success to trust. They said they had a culture in which they "played the ball, not the player."
In this article, I share an actionable framework for building trust in a leadership team.
Public markets are down. The New York Nasdaq, which contains many of the most renowned U.S. tech stocks, has fallen by more than 25 percent this year. European tech companies have been hit hard, too. Year to date, Just Eat and Deliveroo have lost around 60 percent of their market cap.
In response, many of the formerly hyped high-growth companies are trying to decrease cash burn and are cutting staff.
Is Blitzscaling dead or still a compelling growth strategy.
‘Scale-ups’ face many high-growth challenges. One of the biggest is hiring and retaining top talent. Among the top talent needed for successfully managing a high-growth journey is a strong chief financial officer (CFO). This is why, on the board, we regularly discuss what to look for in a (new) CFO. Usually, these discussions end up with something like we need a 'strategic and commercial' CFO. But what does this actually mean? How should one assess whether a CFO can drive growth successfully.
Irrespective of the business model you pursue, you have two very important high growth levers: efficient customer acquisition and strong customer retention.
Conducting a thorough cohort analysis process can help you achieve both and ignite explosive sustainable growth. In this article, I explain why and how.
Founders often underestimate the complexity that comes with (additionally) targeting the long tail of small business customers.
While there are very often many small business customers, their willingness to pay is likewise often significantly reduced. Their needs may differ too. And most of the times, small business customers can only be acquired through different channels.
In this article, we explain how to sell to the long tail of small business customers.
The unit economics concept is a powerful tool that helps you better understand whether you pursue a viable business model. By deconstructing the unit economics and focusing on improving all underlying variables, you can also steer your business towards high growth readiness. Have the patience to develop strong unit economics. It will eventually pay off and pave the path to sustainable high growth.
A relentless focus on customer success usually leads to strong unit economics, a shorter payback period and high and very efficient growth. But customer success needs to be more than lip service. Walk the talk!