Operating During a Downturn

A friend in VC sent me a video this morning and suggested I watch it. It’s a Craft Ventures presentation on how founders should operate during a downturn. David Sacks and Jeff Fluhr do a great job of articulating their perspective on what’s happening in the public markets, how it will affect the venture ecosystem, how it compares to previous downturns, and what founders can do about it.

Lots of takeaways from this presentation are helpful to founders, but Jeff’s glass-half-full perspective stood out. Times may get tougher, but great companies are built during downturns (Salesforce, Airbnb, Amazon, etc.). Capital may become harder (not impossible) to come by, but other things become easier: hiring, customer-acquisition costs, the ability to course-correct with less scrutiny, etc.

Jeff ends on this point: “The world will keep spinning.” I totally agree. If you’re an early-stage founder, focus on things you can control (Jeff shares metrics that founders should watch closely), not the macro environment. Even in a downturn, there’s still demand for solutions that solve problems and create value for customers.