Entrepreneurs starting companies need and deserve a lot of support. Creating something from nothing is clearly not for the faint of heart. There are roadblocks in nearly every direction, but founders find ways to surmount even the most daunting obstacles. While the job of starting and building a start-up is incredibly challenging, the good news is that there is a lot of useful information and tools now available to entrepreneurs to help them on the early-stage journey.
While succeeding as an early stage company is a monumentally difficult task, those who get to the start-up finish line realize that new and similarly vexing challenges await in the growth stage. Early stage leaders need to ace their formative product development, product/market fit, initial team build out and early customer acquisition. The prize for those who succeed are new, growth-stage hurdles such as scaling out sales and marketing, perfecting and hardening a business model, erecting a financial model and team that fits the business, international expansion, and orchestrating a winning IPO and life as a public company. As leaders forge deeper into the growth stage, the bets get bigger and the stakes get higher, amplifying the need for sound guidance and tools to help make good decisions.
This is a series geared for founders and company leaders who are in the growth stage or preparing to enter the growth stage with a desire to go long and build a really big company. In my 16 years as a growth-stage focused VC, I’ve found there can be lots of confusing noise out there. Leaning heavily on my own experiences, I’ll try to lay out some simple frameworks and game plans to help filter out the noise and allow for focus on more meaningful signals.
I’ve been blessed to have worked with a great group of company leaders over the past 16 years from whom I’ve gleaned all of what I’ll share in this series, but I don’t view the work as complete. I hope to foster a participatory dialog and I want to hear your comments and feedback. The richer the interaction, the more useful this content will be for the next set of growth stage entrepreneurs who want to go long.