Monday, February 23, 2009

Green Bananas

I was reading about the travails over at Move Networks, and the environment management, and their investors are facing. It's troubling, but it seems like our 'new normal'.

The sudden slowing of the economy is now placing many young venture or angel backed companies in an 'awkward' position. Many budgeted to bring their product to market with sufficient leeway to show initial customer traction before completing a funding round that brings them to a stable expansion stage (and, with success, vying for market leadership). Move was incredibly successful in garnering a prestigious stable of financial and strategic investors.

Now, many CEO's are faced with the real prospect of slow market traction, evidenced by meaningful revenue metrics or subscriber hypergrowth. Unfortunately, many can't reduce expenses fast enough, while completing their development, to stave off difficult bridge rounds or worse. Painfully, many of these companies set rational initial objectives (properly approved by their investors), experienced a normalized development expense cycle, but are now facing a suddenly shifted revenue environment.

These companies are like a suddenly hungry person facing the green bananas he harvested too early. He knows they may one day be delicious, bursting with unproven promise, and is trying all the home remedies to accelerate their ripening.

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