Thursday, January 21, 2016

Minimum Viable Investor Update

I have several dozen portfolio companies. Most of them send me monthly or quarterly updates. There are three items in the updates that I personally find more useful than anything else. They are:

  1. Cash flow / P&L top line summary
  2. Major changes / developments
  3. Problems the CEO is struggling with and wants help on

A hypothetical example is below. I wish all my update emails were like it. Call it the minimum viable update email.

============

Hi Investors,

Last month we burned through $45k. We are on track to turn cash flow positive before year end. We will decide in about three months whether we need a little bit of extra cash for working capital purposes or not.

There were no key changes last month. We have got two good candidates for CMO and will decide this month.

Key problems:

  1. We have some problems in our tech team. Our CTO isn't experienced enough to manage through this. Can you recommend a mentor / experienced CTO to come in and help (this can be a paid coaching position)?
  2. I have been approached by a VC who wants to potentially pre-empt a Series A. How do I best deal with this?
  3. We have lost two important pitches against a competitor in December. Can any of you spare some time to talk through our positioning statements and sales process?
  4. I am worried that key competitor X has just closed a $8m Series A round (see here for more info), how shall we best deal with this (if at all)?

Many thanks,
CEO



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