Articles

How to Deal with Underperformance
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.

Leading Effectively in Times of Crisis - Trust or Bust
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.

Is Blitzscaling Dead?
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.

Leadership & Growth - Seven Signs Your CFO Can Drive Growth Successfully
‘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.

10 Reasons Why Cohort Analysis Can Ignite Explosive Growth
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.

How to Target Small Business Customers
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.

Game Over - Unless You Find Product/Channel Fit
Product/market fit is necessary. You need to get to product/market fit before you accelerate growth. But it is by no means all that matters! What good is product/market fit if you do not find a predictable and scalable distribution channel through which you can sell your products and services on attractive economic terms. Without product/channel fit, no high growth or unnecessary cash burn. Game over! Before you accelerate growth, make sure you have generated product/channel fit.

The Growth Valley of Death – What Growth Strategy Suits Your Business?
Many founders try to sprint through the growth valley of death by focusing solely on top line growth. But until you reach a strategic inflection point where you need to prioritize speed over efficiency, you may better FastScale. You first create a solid high growth foundation and then scale your business fast, predictably and efficiently. If you FastScale, it may take you a bit longer to create a massively valuable business. But the probability that you succeed is significantly higher.

With a company-wide focus on customer success you can achieve your growth and exit valuation goals. If you make your customers incredibly successful, they will churn less, buy more and spread the word. Referrals will further reduce customer acquisition costs and CAC payback period. You recoup your investments quicker and can reinvest the money in order to further fuel your growth engine. A virtuous cycle!

Coronavirus Crisis Management Checklist for Founders
Checklist for founders on actions they may consider when navigating the coronavirus crisis.

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