Brad Feld

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Gloom and Doom – or Capital Efficiency

Oct 09, 2008

Fred has a fantastic blog up titled Capital Efficiency Finds It’s Moment.  It – combined with his posts My Thoughts On "Startup Depression" – are full of suggestions that entrepreneurs should be thinking about and taking action on right now.  They are both completely consistent with my post Ok Entrepreneurs, Time to Step Up.

I’m not into Gloom and Doom.  I love the Warren Buffett quote that goes something like "We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful."  Part of the brilliance of this is to be harshly rational and evaluate the current situation through a realistic lens at all times.

Fred’s post help us focus on this.  He’s not shouting out gloom and doom.  Rather, he’s suggesting that the thing VCs and entrepreneurs have been talking about since the dawn of our good friend Web 2.0 – namely capital efficiency – should now be front and center in every startup company.  That doesn’t mean you should freak out, stop doing anything, and go hide under your desk.  Rather, it means that you should sit down with your management team, look carefully at your business, and decide if you are running at your optimal level and spending / investing every nickel wisely.

This is good advice in any market context.  Sometimes it takes the rough and tumble "market downtown" and a rapid approach of a "highly uncertain future" to bring this into focus and make it a priority – for all of us.