I met an interesting entrepreneur who had it all right 6 months ago, only to face the daunting prospect of “slow growth” for years. He had done most things right – acquired early adopters quickly, at low cost, found ways to monetize the problem he was solving, gained enough traction to get venture funding, but was now stuck at the $2 Million revenue with 20% annual growth.
He mentioned that he had done everything to reduce risk the systematic way by doing the right things, but failed to anticipate the change in the market, which occurred rapidly.
I dont think many (including the VC’s on this deal) would have anticipated this turn of events.
The thing that struck me is that as entrepreneurs we should be looking to reduce risks and keep taking new risks at the same time.
There are many risks – market risk, hiring risk, financial risk, idea risk, etc. There are ways to making risk reduction a process.
Make risk taking a discipline.
Ask everyone in the company to ensure they do one risky project each quarter. A new marketing mechanism, a new sales territory, a new architecture upgrade, a new segment of customer to target. Help them understand then how to quickly reduce the risk from that project.
Celebrate both failures and successes, but remember to keep taking risks.