Founders, the time is now to ‘think through your people, customers, revenue, runway’

By Nancy Dahlberg
“Get off the nano-second news cycle. Thoughtfully stay informed but don’t panic. You need calm and clear thinking,” tweeted startup investor Mark Kingdon in a thread packed with advice for startup founders. “If your teams are not WFH, socially isolating, avoiding travel, doing crazy frequent hand washing, that needs to happen right now. Protecting yourselves and society is essential.”
We don’t know how long or how deep the coronavirus fallout will wallop our South Florida economy and businesses – but it’s already begun. Kingdon has been through five downturns as a tech employee, a CEO or investor, shared some sage advice for startup founders and CEOs in a must-read Twitter thread, including taking time to care for yourself: “You’re needed.”
Here’s some of our favorite nuggets:
“Think through your people, customers, revenue, runway. Our job as CEO is the company’s survival and prosperity. Focus on what you can control and make those decisions FAST. Runway is everything. Make the hard/awful/heinous/gut-wrenching decisions now.”
“Talk with your people all the time. They know what’s happening in the world and they might lose their jobs. Be direct. Share your numbers. Reiterate your and their priorities. Communicate with honestly, compassion, empathy. Be human.”
“Talk to your customers. Tell them regularly what you’re doing. Reassure them as best you can about continuity and any contingency plans you have. Talk about their needs and how you can help. Be Empathetic. Listen.”  Also he said, don’t forget to update your investors regularly. You are going to need their help.
What a week. By the day, more and more prominent economists are raising the odds of recession this year; JP Morgan puts the probability at 90%. The time to reassess all aspects of your business and prepare for a recession is upon us.
With coronavirus top of mind – and it should be – we’d like to also call out this superb post by Rebekah Monson, co-founder of
She shared on Medium some of the startup’s strategies and challenges going completely remote last fall. It’s packed with practical advice for you, whether you are instituting a WFH policy temporarily or you are considering it as a permanent way of doing business. “Remote work, for all of its challenges, can force you and your company to become more intentional, more thoughtful, and more resilient to the challenges of change,” she says.
Read her five practical tips for managing newly remote teams here.
How are you doing? Is your business already feeling impact from the coronavirus crisis? Do you have a coping strategy to share? Are you working on something that will help in this crisis? Get in touch. Email me at [email protected] or DM me on Twitter. I’d like to hear from you.
Yes, stay calm and carry on, but most importantly stay safe and keep your family close.
Follow @ndahlberg on Twitter or email [email protected]

Nancy Dahlberg