Hope is not a Strategy
It was only amount of time but the shift to getting profitable seems to be taking place in all start-ups. Of course it takes capital to grow quickly but if the capital dried up tomorrow, can you become profitable and still grow? Make sure that is always in your back pocket is what investors are beginning to say. It is about time.
Fred’s first entry into the VC world was working at Euclid Partners. One of the partners, Bliss McCrum, who had a host of simple quotes to describe situations. One of them is “Hope is not a Strategy”.
When I worked in retail, the importance of thinking on your feet daily to turn the products was the key to success. Out with the old and in with the new is the simple rules of retail. Hopefully you make money on each transaction and turn it quickly. There were some managers that were either lazy or just paralyzed into believing that the new item that came in would be the key to saving the business without working at daily change. Hope is just not a strategy.
There are a lot of really good businesses out there that are not venture backable but founders continue to want to believe that they are. There are a lot of founders who are hoping to get acquired. Many who have been promised money that has yet to show up. Many out there that believe ad revenue will come back next week. Many of these things might come to fruition but you have to believe that none of them will.
It is the founders who are willing to make change quickly, listen to the market, be realistic about their cash, hustle to profitability so they can own their destiny, figure out an exit if need be and most important be proactive because I will say it again, hope is not a strategy.
Just as Desire is not a Goal 🙂
The Monty Python Black Knight strategy is not a strategy for growth either. I see a lot of startups just cut and cut and cut so they look cash flow positive but they really aren’t. I think some of this can be alleviated by both entrepreneurs asking the right questions and listening clearly-along with VCs communicating clearly. Like you say, some businesses can be great businesses and make money for entrepreneurs and angel investors but they shouldn’t be VC backed businesses. There is a difference.If you find yourself pining for hope, nothing will change. Dig in. Figure out how to change your approach, strategy, or way you present your business to make your own hope.
No, it’s not, but hopes and dreams are synonymous, and without dreams there is only grinding reality for most people to wake up to each new Having hope is not a strategy, but having hope is a starting point. Take it from there…
Hope is key but as a strategy it is pointless.