Brad Feld

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Let’s Get Practical

Oct 13, 2008

Ok, by now you’ve read 3,127 blog posts either talking about the coming current downturn credit crisis recession coming reconfiguration of all things as we’ve known them.  You’ve studied Sequoia’s Get Real or Go Home presentation.  You’ve read Alan Patricof’s Chill Out memo, Ron Conway’s Get Ready For It To Suck email, Benchmark’s Adapt and Live Lean memo and John Borthwick’s Don’t Panic – Profit memo.  For some balance, you’ve read Dave McClure’s brilliant rant Fear is the Mind Killer of the Silicon Valley Entrepreneur (we must be Muad’Dib, not Clark Kent) and Ted Rheingold’s VC Gloom Means Entrepreneur and Angel Boon.  And you are carefully monitoring Fred Wilson’s blog to get a good synthesis of what he and others are thinking.

It’s Monday morning of another week.  Central banks all over the world are coordinating their activities to try to make things "get better."  Morgan Stanley got their deal done with Mitsubishi so it doesn’t look like they are going to go bankrupt, at least not this month.  The Dow is up almost 500 points so far today.  Paul Krugman won the Nobel Prize for Economics.  And you realized that slide 53 is by far the most valuable one in the Sequoia deck.

But what the fuck should you do now?

Having lived through an aggressive downturn when the Internet bubble burst, I’m going to spend the next "chunk of blog posts" trying to give you – the entrepreneur, CEO, or executive of a startup – some practical suggestions about how to implement some of the advice (much of it conflicting) that you are getting from all of the experts out there. 

If you’ve been a long time reader of this blog, you know that I don’t care much about the macro stuff, nor do I believe anyone can accurately predict anything.  All I think you can do is (a) deal with your current reality while (b) envisioning what you think you want your future reality to be while (c) recognizing that your view of future reality will change on a regular basis. 

Hopefully I’ll be able to give you some useful tools and suggestions that have worked for me in the past that you can actually implement.  My first suggestion – take a deep breath and don’t panic.  More later.