Venture Capitalist at Theory

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1 minute read / Jul 20, 2023 /

Operating in the Dark

For many startups today feel like they are operating under dark skies. It’s supposed to be hard - you’re changing the world.

Reflecting on the last three quarters :

Startups have parted with colleagues to extend runway in a difficult fundraising market.

Some have significant balance sheets & discovered the ostensible product-market fit isn’t as strong as the business may have believed.

Muted valuation multiples have replaced the neon pink sticker price valuations of the early 2020s.

Customers’ buying processes have slowed, creating pipeline shocks that challenge sales forecasting.

Cost reduction matters more than other value propositions which has required both product & marketing shifts to meet the market.

The M&A & IPO markets are quiet.

This is the part of the startup cycle that’s the grit-your-teeth grind.

Some startups focus on product development. Others focus on winning competitive share by investing in sales & marketing.

Having that focus enables companies to continue to execute through the dark skies & maintain a level of urgency in the organization throughout the storm to be well positioned once the rain abates.

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