A word from Kima - Speed beats Perfection

This is the short note that we shared with our portfolio founders

Publishing the short note that we shared with our portfolio founders


Dear founders,

By the time this letter reaches your inbox, you have already started to communicate with your employees, customers, more broadly any kind of stakeholders. You have started to implement a work-from-home policy and you know that this is not an exercise. You are facing an unprecedented situation.

Many of you have reached out to us in order to gather our comments.

No predictions.
Just precautions.

In January, many of us were joking about it, in February we were kind of moving on already, and in March we simply got caught unexpectedly. Nobody’s laughing anymore. It’s a raw demonstration of how blind and clueless most of us are when it comes to the exponential effects of any given organic situation. Very few have experienced it, those who did will always admit that it came as a surprise. We only rationalize looking backwards. 

It could be 3, 6 or 9 months before we get back to real business. And we don’t know what “back to real business” actually means in terms of intensity.

Be a first mover, have no regrets.
Act fast and now. Here are three precautions:

Gain clarity on your numbers, act upon them, fast, now. Analyze your cohort. People are in survival mode. To save money, people will cut services and miss payments. If your growth rate tends toward zero as people stop spending, that your churn rate increases as people cut or default on recurring payments, your activity might be steady at the very best, but realistically, it could be worst.

Culture eats strategy for breakfast. Employees expect news from you, on a daily basis. Do not fail them. Stress is a factor against performance. Fun stuff / Positive news / Life hacks... All those things contribute to how people will overcome this situation. Shopify just offered $1000 to their employees so they can get the appropriate equipment. You probably can’t provide that much but do what is in your power so they are and feel supported.

You will fight for attention from your current investors, against other portfolio companies. There will be prioritization, whether it’s fair or not doesn’t matter unfortunately. On top of that, your valuation could potentially suffer, whether it’s now or in few months time. Master pro-active strategy, execution, and communication to maximize your chances. If you can get additional runway, go for it.

You can’t beat the situation. If you need to be right before you move, you will never win. You will have to cut things, to reallocate resources. Not in weeks or months, now.

The only thing we truly regret is inaction.
Speed beats perfection.

Yours truly,

Alexis, Jean, Jeanne

— 

Readings

Peacetime CEO / Wartime CEO

Cash, Culture, Creativity