Make it simple
Most things are simpler and faster than it seems
Nimble teams are magic. When I joined Kima Ventures back in 2015, I was wondering how a team of 3 people could manage 100 new deals a year and a portfolio of 350 companies. More than 8 years later, we are still 3 people doing over 100 new deals per year, but we also manage a portfolio of more than 1000 companies.
The trick is there is no trick.
We are simply obsessed with efficiency, but maybe not in the way that you might think about. It’s not just about making every single minute count, it’s about making every single minute more valuable, more intentional, and more concrete than our counterparts, about not taking things for granted and always looking for a faster, elegant, impactful, better solution.
If you’re looking at things through opposite spectrums, you will notice :
Positive by default, Negative by default
Giving first, Taking first
Saving time, Passing time
Looking forward, Looking backward
We could go on and on with dozens of attributes. My point is that we all start from one end of the spectrum and from there on we move towards one or the other direction.
You may have noticed that it’s easy to get dragged down by the lowest denominator. we don’t fight them, most of the time we endure them. That’s why meetings are so poorly conducted in many organizations for instance. It’s why people are not really intentional about what they are optimizing for. They go with the flow. And the flow is often terrible :)
It’s easy to set things straight, to change the way absurdity sometimes rules your world. People will thank you for this. For instance, last week after a presentation about fundraising, dozens of entrepreneurs wanted to chat with us to introduce themselves, pitch their company, or simply talk. I asked them to provide me with a clear context and to ask one question in under 1 minute. It serves two main objectives, the first one is that everyone gets a chance to introduce themselves and second, it’s easier to go to the point when you’ve got only one minute. And I am happy to continue the discussion over email afterward. Most of the people would have let the situation evolve with the flow… One person would have taken five minutes, another maybe ten… without paying attention that it’s damaging for them, for me, for the people who are waiting in line.
I often say that you don’t need one hour to pitch your startup at Seed stage. It takes 1 minute to make a good first impression, 5 minutes to sound credible, and 15 minutes to convince. That’s why most of my meetings last 20 minutes, and very often I’ve got a 5 minutes buffer :) It’s not always true of course and I enjoy spending more time with entrepreneurs, but just not by default.
You don’t have to automate everything, to become a machine of efficiency and shrink everything to its simplest version. However, becoming more intentional about how you spend time both in terms of quantity and quality, allows you to be more present, and more intentional about what you’re actually doing and why.
Keep it simple.
Make it simple.