Is your startup on fire? Don’t react and other great advice

It’s extremely rare that one event will kill your startup. If you persevere through this you can come out stronger on the other side

1/ Is your startup on fire? A big investor says no, a big customers is churning, an important employee quits, a competitor raises a big round! Often it can feel like your startup is in existential crisis. Here are some techniques to deal with the situation:
2/ “Dont react immediately”. These things rarely need immediate responses. Go for a walk, have a coffee, sleep on it. Things won’t seem as bad after some time and your reaction can be more reasoned.
3/ “Talk it out”. Don’t try to do things alone, share with your team, your investors, other entrepreneurs, your partner. It can be tempting to portray a strong front and pretend you don’t care but it will help you contextualize things and come up with a response.
4/ “Remove single points of failure” If one piece of news was so bad then maybe that shows you that you have a single point of failure to resolve. If an investor says no then make sure you are talking to 20. If a big customer churns make sure you have 20 big customers. Etc.
5/ “Learn and iterate” Do a postmortem on what went wrong and how you can learn from it for next time. If this bad news is one of a string of similar news then it’s perhaps time to go back to the drawing board and change your strategy.
6 / “Most startup death is suicide and not homicide” It’s extremely rare that one event will kill your startup. If you persevere through this you can come out stronger on the other side.

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