Making and keeping (and let’s be honest, probably breaking) New Year’s resolutions are all part of a long-standing human tradition. Almost everyone enjoys a fresh start, new beginnings, and taking an optimistic outlook on life. It’s a chance to reflect on the previous year while also looking forward to the next. Entrepreneurs are known for working around-the-clock where hours quickly turn into days, days into months and then to years.
At Revolution, we believe it is a valuable exercise for entrepreneurs and anyone in business to take stock of where they stand and where they want to be a year from now. Here are some resolutions from our investment team to inspire your 2016:
“Do what you say you’re going to do. Thinking big is great, but ultimately the best ideas have to be put on paper and executed on. It’s better to follow through and fall short than to get part of the way there, lose focus, and fail to ever give yourself a chance. Follow through when things are tough, complicated, uncomfortable, tiring. Find a way and do what you said you would do.” – Kristin Gunther, Vice President, Revolution Growth
“Use the new year as a time to clean up your cap table. Many very early stage companies close a round of funding and often neglect to execute on a handful of post-closing to-dos that can hamstring a future financing or M&A event, such as issuing options promised to employees. Also, if it’s a company with a very long list of shareholders, making sure that you have updated contact information for those shareholders (especially email) will be incredibly useful in the event of a corporate action, which requires notices to be sent to shareholders. Finally, it’s just good housekeeping. If employees have left, or options have been exercised, making these updates without the pressure of a financing or merger transaction is time well spent.” – David Hall, Partner, Revolution Ventures
“Perfect is the enemy of a good product. Start by doing what works, then focus on making it better. Don’t get caught up in the belief that your biggest challenge is to build and market a product — only later to realize that the real challenge was deciding whether the product should be built in the first place.” – Ashley Larson, Vice President, Revolution Growth
“Don’t Eat Too Much (Cash) – it will be harder to raise in 2016 than any time since the Great Recession. No time like the present to get lean and fit. Have a plan – things may get bumpy – how will you and your team react to a changing environment? Embrace it. Change is good.” – Evan Morgan, Partner, Revolution Growth
“Get more comfortable with no – both hearing it and saying it. Be prepared to hear no more often and have a plan to work through it. 2016 will be a much tougher climate in the capital markets than 2015, so whether it’s pivoting smartly and efficiently, strengthening your balance sheet sooner rather than later, or cutting burn to be more conservative with cash on hand, prepare for it. Say no to distractions and remain laser-focused on execution. Some of the best ideas never turn into reality due to lack of focus.” – Clara Sieg, Partner, Revolution Ventures