John Stockton's Venture Capital Blog
Opinions on high tech Venture Capital Investing
 
 
Found: 11 Entries
June 19, 2013 Format for Print
1. Cash Bonuses Revisited
  Continues to be the work of the devil
 
Cash Bonuses Come Back Around

I recently was involved with a start-up company where the CEO decided that he and his team should get cash bonuses in addition to the regular compensation that they would get otherwise. The issue that I had at the time was that the proposed plan gave them bonuses on a sliding scale starting with about 60% of the revenue forecast that was a part of the Annual Operating Plan. When I suggested to the CEO that it created a reward for missing the operating plan and that these parts should be removed, he reacted very negatively to the thought. This led me to rethink the whole idea about start-up companies and cash bonuses.

Motivation:

The idea of paying for performance isn't all bad, but the problem with bonuses at start-ups is that generally cash is the thing that the start-up has the least amount of. Giving it away in bonuses just shortens the time till the company either runs out of cash or has to raise some more. This should be avoided as much as possible and then only done for very limited purposes.

Upsides:

Salary Matching - The one place that I've seen cash bonuses used effectively is when a prospective employee is being sought and there is a big mismatch in their base salary. Sometimes using a cash bonus as a way to create a short-term bridge provides a way to get the employee on board and let them justify their ultimate higher (permanent) salary. If the employee proves they are worth the money, no problem - management will raise the salary. If not - the employee will either have to adjust their lifestyle or find someplace else to work.

Greed is good - Many people are motivated by money, but some are motivated by doing something important for the world, even if there isn't the same cash reward. I suspect that if you lined up people from left to right according to how motivated they were by cash, you would find the sales personality types on the left and the engineer personality type on the right. If a person is a natural gambler, a bonus is an effective motivator, but only if tied to a relatively low base salary.

Downsides:

Alignment - One of the problems in constructing a bonus and MBO plan is the construction and management of the plan. Things usually start-out well, but it doesn't take long before things are change and the bonus and MBO plans actually lock people into old behaviors and keep them from working together. For instance, take a company that has a bonus plan built around R&D and a Sales budget assumptions. The CEO will have a more difficult time moving money between the buckets if it will ultimately result in one VP getting less of a yearly bonus than another one. The net result is that the CEO will spend a lot of time on people issues, where he could have been working on customer issues instead.

Entitlement - The idea of an Annual Operating Plan is to give the company a can't miss revenue plan and a set of expense targets that gets the company to the next level of risk reduction. By constructing a bonus plan where the team gets paid even if they miss the plan tells the team that plans aren't all that important since they are going to get even more money even if they miss the plan.

Big company mentality - The personality type that likes bonuses is often that of a bigger company where the overhead is higher and the productivity is lower than typical start-ups. Big company people have their place in start-ups, but having them there too early creates tension that management shouldn't have to deal with.

Gaming the system - I worked with a company one time that was late delivering their product to the market. The CEO argued that he should give a bonus to the sales guy, even though he hadn't sold anything since it wasn't his fault that the product wasn't ready to ship. That mentality leads to a pretty mediocre company where nobody is accountable for anything, particularly since they are going to be paid a reward for exceptional performance anyway. The company ultimately went out of business because it ran out of cash and new investors didn't like the way money had previously been spent.

Kills Teamwork - I also worked at a bigger company that had a bonus program, and observed that several managers had a zero-sum attitude that anything they did to help you would hurt them, so unless there was an obvious quid-pro-quo, they weren't interested in helping out. The creation of a zero-sum mentality can permeate an organization as well.

Cash is the most precious resource - As if the pressure of starting something new, dealing with new people, pioneering a new market, dealing with aggressive competitors and managing a new team weren't enough, adding the pressure of running out of cash sooner really hurts. There are a lot of stakeholders that wind up losing out because of this management greed.

Makes the investors wonder - As a potential investor in deals, it is important to look at cash flow statements and expense charts to figure out how money has been spent in a company. If the company has a history of doing dumb things with investor money, they probably will continue to do dumb things with your money as well. Spending money on practices that many consider as controversial can lower the chance of getting future funding into the company and that could threaten the existence of the company.

Conclusion:

Of all of the experiences I've had with start-up companies, the biggest arguments that I've ever had with CEOs have been over the use of cash for bonuses. Fortunately they are relatively unheard-of in the start-up world, but they do occur often enough to merit some thought. This leads me to the conclusion that cash bonuses in start-up companies are a really bad idea - there are some potential upsides, but the numerous downsides outweigh them. I often have said that cash bonuses in start-up companies are 'the work of the devil', and now I am even more convinced. If I were an investor in a pre-earnings company that was giving out cash bonuses, I'd question the wisdom of the management and be mad that my money was being wasted.

 
Category: Management Submitted by: John
 
November 11, 2008 Format for Print
2. Fund Raising Presentations (revisited)
  It is never easy to raise money - much more so now
 

Fund Raising Presentation Revisisted:There should be a course taught to all engineers and would-be entrepreneurs that would show them what should be in a presentation for raising venture funding. Actually it could be just one lecture, as the topic isn't really all that complicated. To illustrate my point, I'll make a quick pass as what the lecture would look like here:

Objective: The objective of the entrepreneur should be to get the Venture Capitalist to want to fund the company, which is often a committee decision rather than just that of an individual partner. The committee is there to make sure that all aspects of the investment have been considered and that the idea just isn't some individual partner's wild idea of the moment. At least in the firms that I've worked with, the process is a structured one where a "deal memo" is usually created, presented and defended in a full partnership meeting. The advantage of this process is that multiple people look at the merits of the deal, independently of what they think of the founders or the investment space in general. This unbiased, objective review generally sets a bar high enough that half-baked or too risky ideas don't get through. Thus, the goal of the entrepreneur should be to supply everything that the VC needs for a deal memo in his first presentation. The only problem is that there is no fixed format for these deal memos, or agreement as to what their contents are. To help deal with this situation, I've included an outline with some comments about the kinds of deal memos that I'm used to preparing and reviewing. Hopefully this will help entrepreneurs prepare more adequately.

Fund Raise Presentation Outline:

  1. Summary - try to make this into a one page "fact sheet" - do it last
    1. Stage of company
    2. Founders
    3. Market
    4. Technology
    5. Competitive landscape
    6. Customer base
    7. Finances
    8. Fund raising status
    9. Likely Deal Terms - put down your wishes here, but don't be too unrealistic

  2. Team - don't get too verbose here, just keep it to relevant experience
    1. Execs: Few line history of relevant work history; Bullet for employment history.
    2. BOD: Who they are, affiliations, value-add
    3. TAB: Who they are, affiliations, value-add
    4. Service Providers


  3. Products
    1. First product
    2. Second product
    3. Product Roadmap
    4. Alternatives & hedges

  4. Market
    1. Forecasted major market trends - what are the "mega-trends" and why is this changing the industry
    2. Initial market and size - what are customers spending today and why
    3. Future markets
    4. Industry analysts that are referencable
    5. Note 1: Many VCs, myself included, don't like market risk. The usual case for emerging markets is that the entrepreneur is correct in that the market will change, but almost always they are way off in terms of how long it will take to change. Usually its the case that they are 5-10 years too early. This makes it a non-starter for a VC investment where the life of the fund might only have 5-6 years remaining.

      Note 2: Most VCs don't want to bother with small markets, so they set a minimum size and growth rate combination. Typical numbers might be a $1B market size currently with a 2x industry average growth.


  5. Technology
    1. Description
    2. Uniqueness
    3. Risk
    4. Critical suppliers & Partners
    5. Patents
    6. Technology experts that are referencable

  6. Customers
    1. Who they are and how many (watch our for concentrated buying power)
    2. Industry Food-chain
    3. How profitable are they (watch out for price pressure)
    4. Observation: Some businesses enjoy high margins - not just because they have unique products with lots of Intellectual Property value. The other factor that is often under appreciated is how concentrated the customer base is. Take the case of analog RFICs for the cell phone industry. Normal intuition would say that with such a large market (1 billion units per year and continuing to grow) along with the "black-art" of RF chip design would make this market very profitable for start-ups. The missing factor is that there are only about 5 or 6 big customers and they have further constrained the market by requiring radio chip vendors to work with only two or three different baseband chip providers. The result has been 10's of venture backed companies that have never made any money. Contrast this with the low-end of the mixed signal market, dominated by companies such as Linear Technology or Maxim. Their products are not nearly as complex as a cellular radio chip, but they have much higher margins - mainly because they have 1000's of customers instead of just a few. This is an important lesson in buying-power.


  7. Competitors - this is commonly the most neglected portion of any plan
    1. Who they are and how many (competitive pressure)
    2. Industry Food-chain (threat from upward or downward integration)
    3. How profitable are they (price pressure)
    4. Note: This section is critical, as if you don't do a good job here, you can really lose credibility. If the VC knows more about the competitive landscape than you do - prepared to be roasted, or at least plan on finding funding from someone else. The last thing a VC wants to do is to invest in someone who doesn't know what they are up against.


  8. Milestones
    1. Technology risk reduction steps
    2. Market risk reduction
    3. CFBE
    4. Table of Measurables vs. time (progress, revenue, heads, burn rate)

  9. Risks
    1. Technology
    2. Operational
    3. Marketing
    4. Team
    5. Competitive
    6. Geographic (multiple sites, needing to relocate, ...)
    7. Financial

  10. Finances
    1. Funding required (current & future)
    2. Operations
    3. Revenue Model with GPM%s
    4. Cap Table with option pool
    5. Comparable companies and liquidity events
    6. Exit strategy

  11. Investment Thesis
    1. One paragraph summary of why this investment is going to be a home run

Conclusion: Hopefully this will help out in raising your next round of funding. Try to keep the presentation to about 25 charts with real content (title pages and back-up materials don't count). Make sure it is complete and good luck hunting!

 
Category: Management Submitted by: John
 
Feb 9, 2011 Format for Print
3. Fouderitis
  How to keep someone from Nuking a company
 
Important Disclaimer - these events took place at an unnamed company during the 2005-2007 period.  It's been long enough now that  it is safe to talk about it now.]

Summary: I (among others) recently had to deal with a company founder that had a severe case of "Founderitis", where he was convinced that the BOD, investors, and everyone else in the company was an idiot and he was the only one who had the insights and skills to manage the company. Never-mind that he had been the CEO of the company for a number of years and managed to show little, if any, technical progress and certainly no commercial progress. These situations take careful maneuvering to fix, and here are some notes about how we got through it.  The conclusion was that it did turn out OK, but the in retrospect, it took way too long to get there.

Background:  The person I'm talking about here is a college professor who had a novel insight into how to solve a particular technical problem.  The insight mostly worked, but never could be scaled into production.  Many of the professor's insights were correct, but for some reason, they never could be reduced to commercial practice.  He managed a R&D group that tried in vein to make the process work for a couple of years before the BOD stepped in and started making changes in the company.  The BOD was aware of the need to deal with things, but also had a philosophy of keeping the technical founder in the company for as long as possible.  This professor was a winner of numerous technical achievement awards and considered himself to be a real "rock-star" in this field, which only made things harder.  The company was also located in a remote city where few outsiders had been before, so recruiting people to this geography proved to be exceedingly difficult.  Pretty much the only people who would consider it were ones that were born in the area (or their spouse was) and they wanted to come back for family reasons.

First Change: The BOD recruited a CEO to the company who had a great reputation in the industry (also his wife was from the area), but because of the professor's strong position in the industry and the company, the decision to split the President/CEO position into "two in a box" and make the professor President (dumb idea in retrospect).  The CEO tried for a number of months to make things work, but soon it became obvious that the technology problems were not being solved and that the situation was largely out of his control.  After several months on the job, the CEO pretty much gave up on fighting and just decided to go with the flow.  The BOD noticed the complacency and soon fired the CEO.  The professor wanted the company to all report to him, but by now the BOD was tired of his antics and decided to have the Chairman of the Board become the acting President/CEO.

Second Change: The next change was to recruit into the company a number of experienced operations people to see if they could help bring some commercial best practices to the situation.  They fixed many small things around the edges of the real problem, but the main issue remained and the company still could not produce the product in volume yet.  The professor decided that the operations people were idiots, so they wound up leaving the company.

Third Change:  The Chairman recruited one world class technology expert into the company to start a more systematic approach to solving the problem and to bring more current industry practices to the table.  The new technologist made great progress, but the main technology problem, while it was much better, was still not good enough to go into production.  This new person took over all R&D, and the professor became Chief Scientist of the company.  There was a natural tension that developed between the professor and the new CTO.  The professor didn't think the CTO understood the nuance of the technology and didn't appreciate all that had been done previously.  The CTO thought that the professor was not very systematic about his efforts and that conclusions had been reached based on gut feeling rather than hard data.  The tension sometimes escalated to the point of shouting matches.

Fourth Change:  After about a year of struggling with the technology and watching the very slow convergence on a solution, I suggested that it was time to consider a technology "Plan-B" where we would implement something that was well known in the industry, but that could be produced in a unique-enough manner to allow the company to have differentiated products in the marketplace.  This proved to be one of the right things to do, but it is always a matter of timing on when to pull the trigger on it.  This further added to the tension between the CTO and the professor, since the professor's technology was no longer the only focus of the company and the CTO was no longer working on the professor's dream.

Fifth Change: After the new technology started to work, some amazing developments started occurring on the old technology and soon enough, there were product ranges where the older technology made sense to commercialize.  The old technology is not robust enough to be used across all product ranges, but there were places where it definitely made sense.  The company started shipping commercial volumes of both types of products and now the issue was how to get margins improved enough to make a good company.

Sixth Change: The company was really starting to hum along now.  Both versions of the technology were showing where they are good and where there are still problems to be addressed.  The employees are pumped up because they are busy and are starting to see results.  The management has done a good job of communicating to them, so they are in the phase of development where "success breeds success" so they were definitely in a good spot.

Conclusion:  The company has since gone public and made a good return for the investors, team and even the professor.  The Professor is now back at the University with an enhanced position given his industry recognition.  There were a few lessons along the way that are worth repeating:
  • Be careful with geographic location - people who move want a viable "plan-B"
  • Splitting the job of President & CEO is a dumb idea
  • Don't try to produce a technology before it is ready for production
  • Competition is good - even inside a single company
  • Employee's motivation is never static - there is either a "virtuous" cycle, or a "vicious" cycle - nothing else
This was a tough problem to deal with since it involved strong personalities on every side.  Even when you set aside all of the human issues, the lessons on what we did right and wrong are worth remembering for the future.
 
Category: Management Submitted by: John
 
October 25, 2010 Format for Print
4. VC Due Diligence Template
  Checklist of things to include in your pitch
 

During the past week I've had two instances where I've had to dig up my standard Due Diligence template to email it to someone who was just starting the process of raising money for a new business. Since this seems to come up fairly often, I thought that I would just post the template here on my blog, and then refer people to it online and save the effort on my part. To get to the template, just follow this (link). This template isn't necessarily the most sophisticated or best in the world, but it is what I use routinely when evaluating a new investment opportunity. The idea is to summarize in a relatively standard (and short) form all of the critical aspects of a new business. Before a deal gets funded, there is typically a four to six page document created that contains all of this information and a 10-20 minute summary presentation made to a VC partnership where tons of questions are asked, assumptions challenged and general knowledge about the business environment are tested. Assuming all of this passes muster, the deal funding process moves onto the next step of negotiating terms of investment (Term Sheet).

After the investment is made, this document is still useful because there are times that as an investor, you will wonder why you did this investment (usually when things are going wrong), and what they originally forecasted they would have done by a certain point in time. It is useful to have a short, but detailed, summary of all of the critical aspects of a deal handy to review periodically.

For those that are new to this process, I hope this helps. For those that know more about it than I do - please feel free to pass on your wisdom!


Due Diligence Template: Link

 
Category: Management Submitted by: John
 
October 27, 2006 Format for Print
5. Officer Titles at Start-Ups
  Make tough choices up front
 

Too often I meet with an early stage start-up company and get four or five business cards from the executives which include titles like Chairman/CTO, President, CEO, COO and so on. While these are standard titles, the odd thing is how they get combined. This blog entry gives some very simple advice on titles - which is to make some tough choices up front and figure out who is really in charge.

The first card I usually look at is the President/CEO's card. Often a red flag immediately jumps out at me when the President and CEO title are split among two different people - meaning the people in the company really don't know who is in charge. A slight variation on this theme is when there is a COO as well as a President/CEO, which leads to the same conclusion. All of these combinations basically mean that the management team hasn't come to grips with who does what yet.

From a venture capitalist point of view, there needs to be one person in charge that will take responsibility for getting things done. This splitting of titles can be avoided if the management team spends a little time up-front making some tough choices and answering questions like:

1. Who is going to be in charge and why?
2. Do you really expect to have more than one person on the BOD?
3. If so, how long do you expect them to stay on the Board?

My advice to start-up company executives is to make the choices up front - get rid of any ideas of having someone with a COO title and get on with running the company.

 
Category: Management Submitted by: John
 
January 24, 2011 Format for Print
6. Board of Directors Package [Updated]
  Simple set of charts to hack
 

I recently sat through a BOD meeting where I thought that there was too much emphasis on day-to-day activities (who had a meeting with who - and, of course, they were always "good meetings") and not enough on the Big Picture of what was really going on with the company and their prospective customers. I recall one of my other companies having a BOD presentation that felt to me like it had the right combination of high level (dashboard charts) and detailed information in it, so I made an outline from it which I've attached here. Feel free to download it, use as you see fit and hopefully improve upon it. If you have any really good suggestions, please pass them onto me so I can update this for myself and others.

There are multiple things that a CEO should try to accomplish in a BOD meeting, but the biggest one is to provide the Directors with a snapshot of what is happening at the company and get their non-cluttered view of key decisions that the company faces.  Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the detail and "Not be able to see the forest for all of the trees".  An outsider's uncluttered perspective helps sort this out.  There isn't anything magic or particularly insightful about this perspective, but it just it's just that it has some distance associated with it.  There are other things that the CEO always must keep in mind as well, such as when he/she is going to be raising the next funding round, and how to create an "exit scenario" that benefits everyone around the table well.

Expect to spend a fair amount of time going over key customer activities and have a summary of what is working and what isn't.  While the business is young the basic value proposition of the business is fairly flexible (undeveloped) and the insights of the Directors can help shape it.  Also, pay keen attention to competitive developments and have strategies to defend your company against these developments.

Since Directors only see the company every one to three months, having charts that show previous forecasts, action items and status is a good idea.  The use of "Waterfall" chats in financials is particularly good.  It shows the BOD what was forecast and when, and of course how it changed as the actual month/quarter became reality.  One of the benefits of these kind of charts is that those that prepare them become increasingly realistic (as they can be) about their forecast and try to minimize the wishful thinking that often goes into them.

Example BOD Presentation Template: Link
 
Category: Management Submitted by: John
 
June 9, 2006 Format for Print
7. Silly Things to Avoid
  Serialized Business Plans
 
As attractive as it might seem for the entrepreneur to send out Serialized Business Plans to VCs, this will almost always back-fire on the entrepreneur. Many VCs pride themselves (and justify their existence to LPs) on their Proprietary Deal Flow which infers that they get to see a deal even before industry leading VC firms might see it. One way for an entrepreneur to disabuse a VC of that notion is to send them a hard copy of a business plan (or Power Point presentation) with a number on it such as Serial Number 30. Instantly the VC knows that they are at the back of the bus, and even if they like the deal, it is likely to have something wrong with it that has slipped by them since so many others have already looked at it. The simple advice here is: Don't do it! With email and PPT slide presentations these days, it is much less of an issue than previously, but surprisingly it still comes up (it was mentioned to me last night at a dinner with some of my German VC friends).
 
Category: Management Submitted by: John
 
August 18, 2005 Format for Print
8. The good news is we're ahead on the budget
  The bad news is that we are behind schedule
 

I recently sat through a Board Meeting with an excellent group of entrepreneurs who have not quite come together as a functioning team yet. The reason I say this is that they put together a very professional Board Package with all of the usual financial, marketing and engineering charts that you would expect, but after looking over the financial and marketing charts, you would have little hint of the seriousness of the problems in the engineering group and their development schedule. The one person who owns the total picture and sets relative priorities in a company is the CEO. In this case, maybe the CEO was trying to not dominate the meeting, or maybe to get the team used to pitching to the BOD, or maybe it's just the CEO's personal style, but the CEO rather than the VPs needs to drive the organization and content of the meeting.

Maybe it's a personal style issue on my part, or one of management focus, but I'm personally a

 
Category: Management Submitted by: John
 
August 13, 2005 Format for Print
9. Cash bonuses in Start-Up Companies
  They are the Work of the Devil
 

It hasn't come up many times recently, since we haven't yet forgotten the lessons of the last crash, but every now and then the issue of cash bonuses in start-up companies comes up. My sentiment about these is that they clearly are

 
Category: Management Submitted by: John
 
June 1, 2006 Format for Print
10. Gross Profit Margin and Market Cap
  It's worth more than you think
 

Abstract
Venture Capital common knowledge is that companies with higher Gross Profit Margins are worth more than their relatively poorer performing counterparts. While this is intuitive, the reasonable question is: How much more? This blog entry documents a very simplistic analysis where high GPM% Analog-Mixed Signal (AMS) companies are compared with their more broadly defined Integrated Device Manufacturer (IDM) counterparts. The conclusion is that simply that for each 10% of extra Gross Profit Margin, the company's market cap approximately doubles.

Experiment
This analysis involves taking a small set of about 20 publicly traded semiconductor companies, breaking them into two groups, one representing the relatively small-cap Analog/Mixed Signal (AMS) companies and the other that represents a more broadly defined set of larger market cap companies. These groups are compared for Price (Market Cap) to Sales ratio (P/S) versus Gross Profit Margin percentage.

These companies were then subdivided into two groups, the first being the smaller AMS companies that are representative of the types of companies that are interesting for venture investing (yellow symbols) and the second representing a very broad view of the semiconductor industry (blue symbols).

Results
From the scatter plot shown below, the companies that occupy the upper right hand quadrant of the chart are mostly small-cap AMS companies. The companies that dominate the lower left hand quadrant are large-cap Integrated Device Manufacturers. There are a few poor-performing AMS companies below the line which are PowerDSine and Sigmatel and Silicon Labs.

One thing to note is that the R-Squared value (correlation coefficient) of these data for large cap AMS companies was much higher (~0.9) than the value for the total population of companies (~0.7). This correlation makes you think that the analysts simply look at GPM% and growth to forecast their valuation of AMS companies.

Conclusion
This work supports the idea that differentiated, high gross margin products are worth a lot more than commodities. The value of a company roughly doubles (1.9x) with each 10% increase in GPM%. A pre-IPO start-up company with 70% GPM could have a P/S ratio of 8x (assuming CFBE and reasonable revenue growth). While the small-cap AMS of companies have better statistics, they also are more difficult to predict. With all that said, small-cap AMS companies are better investments than their large-cap counterparts.

 
Category: Management Submitted by: John
 
May 12, 2005 Format for Print
11. Multiple geographic sites
  Why make things more difficult than they have to be?
 

Even being in this age of great electronic connectivity, the idea of having an early stage (Seed or Series-A) company with multiple sites just sits wrong with me. There is a lot to say for having all key staff members able to see each other, drop-in, have ad-hoc meetings and generally be around for each other. There is another factor beyond the obvious that is often not discussed, which is the self policing that occurs in an organization. I've worked with people in start-ups that were very quick to identify slackers and people that didn't pull their weight. The peer pressure on the under-performers was intense. They rarely lasted more than a few months. When there are multiple sites, all of these aspects are hidden from the other team members. There often emerges an us vs. them mentality due to the fact that people who don't see each other every day often don't give each other the benefit of the doubt. Particularly people that don't already have established strong relationships. My bias as an investor is to discourage companies that are thinking of it from doing so, and to not seriously consider companies that are already there.

Even if you feel like you have the most dedicated team in the world that happens to be located at a remote site, don't fool yourself into believing that every additional person that is hired into the team will be as committed to the vision. This matter of scale simply doesn't work out.

There is, however, a way to make multiple-sites work, but the scheme doesn't fit early stage venture investments. It really works the best for Series-C and later stage-companies. I worked with a company a very long time ago (VLSI Technology) that wanted to start a remote site, but (wisely) did it by having the early founding team move into the same facility as the existing company. This was a long-term assignment, with the overlap lasting 6-12 months (depending on when people were hired) instead of the 2-3 months that you might have thought. Only after the core team was in place and integrated with the existing site was the move scheduled. This also gave the new team a chance to plan their business and prove that they could actually deliver something. The long-term effects were that relationships had been established between people at the old and new site, and a company culture was learned by the newcomers which was carried to the new site. At least for the first generation of employees at the new site, there was a very strong bond and understanding between them and the headquarters site. This, along with a lot of back-and-forth travel between sites kept everything working smoothly. Relatively short, non-stop flights also helped make this a manageable solution.

What does all of this mean to an early-stage entrepreneural team? The short answer is to bite the bullet early and get the team all in one place. Forget the idea of splitting development between sites. Pick a location that is good enough for everyone and get them there. Save the idea of multiple sites for after there is customer revenue and the company has a view to cash flow break-even. Only then can the team afford the overhead and inefficiency caused from having multiple geographic sites.

 
Category: Management Submitted by: John