"About Last Night..." The note I just sent to my portfolio.

In 2008, I tried to fundraise for my startup the week that Lehman Brothers went under. 

You can imagine how well that worked out.

Basically, VCs told us that they were going to wait and see how the election turned out--and things didn't really thaw out until the following September.  

Extreme uncertainty slows the VC market to a crawl--that's what I learned.  We didn't get a bubble, but we got a really tough year fundingwise and that's what I'm expecting.  Over the long term, innovation prevailed and 2008 turned out to be a great year to have a 1-3 year old company if you could make it through the next year.

Here's what I would suggest:

1) Reassure your teams about your mission.  If you felt good about what you were doing at your company yesterday, you should feel good about it today.  Listen to them.  Let them ask questions and listen to them.  Talk out their concerns.  That's most important above all.

2) Find a way to extend your runway--whether it's pausing hiring for a little bit, and yes, thinking about salaries.  I don't think there's any worse morale killer than a salary cut, but if you're worried about your company going out of business, some hard decisions may need to happen.  Feel free to reach out to me and your other investors and talk about this.  This also means taking on extra capital.  If you're concerned at all about the fundraising cycle, reach out to anyone who has been floating around the company.  Preemptively tell them that you're concerned about the near term uncertainty but you believe in your business and believe you'll have opportunities to make hires, double down on sales, etc., so if they want to talk about coming in at a reasonable valuation, you want to fill them in on all the positives.

3) Find something positive to do as a company--like volunteering.  Clear your heads, feel good about helping--because if there's anything we learned last night is that a lot of people feel disadvantaged and we need to start caring about a much wider tent of people than we have been.

I'm available if you need to chat.

Charlie
Text me and I'll ring you back...