- Act now, act with speed.
- Protect the vital core of the business.Use a scalpel to make strategic cuts.
- Get 18 months or more of cash (runway) in the business against a conservative forecast.
- Defer all facilities expansions, capital expenditures. Use Google Apps. Reprioritize & rerationalize all R&D. Defer.
- Negotiate. Everything is negotiable in this climate.
- Everybody should be selling. Selling is an honorable profession. Everyone from the receptionist to engineers is selling. Not just about expenses, about increasing revenue.
- Offer equity instead of cash. Voluntary salary reduction program.
- Pay attention to where your cash is. All cash in most secure possible instruments.
- Make sure for planned revenues you have "leading indicators" to know if you will hit it.
- Over-communicate with employees, investors, customers. Don't sugar coat.
I hope the startups who are struggling with the current downturn will use it as a motivator to make cuts that actually increase their tempo and speed. A crisis can clarify what's important, and getting clear about what's important is the criticial first step to seeing waste clearly (see Lean Thinking). And once you can see waste, you can start to get it out of the way of your execution, and become a truly lean company.
The Entire Video of John Doerr Giving 10 Tips for Start-ups to Avoid the Econalypse