As the world evolves to one of “instant gratification,” it seems that doing business has as well.
Even though I believe in moving fast and creating value for customers as quickly as possible, I do believe that we should take a long term view on building a business.
Long term means that you invest the time to find the right employees who share your values. It also means finding partners that make you look good and are going to be around in 10-20 years.
Short term is all about optimizing for near term gains. It can also mean either pushing your team to exhaustion or always sucking the value from any deal to be all one-sided.
Many feel that public companies continue to take the short term approach. Instead of investing in Research and Development and product roadmaps with a 20 year plan, they opt for near term profits at the expense of their employees and their brand.
A few years ago when I was raising my first round of funding for Clarity, I met with a world class investor who gave me some great advice.
At that time, we had about $2M committed on $1M dollar raise. So we were in a good spot. What I was debating was a) do we raise on a convertible note with a high cap / no cap? or b) should we do a priced round (series seed)?
That’s when he said, “You have 2 ways to look at this… you can either be short term greedy, or long term greedy.”
In essence, he was saying, do you want to optimize for yourself 100%, or do you want to take a long term view on this? I ended up choosing the latter and it’s worked out great. I ended up with amazing investors who are super aligned with our goals and the long term plans for the company.
It’s one of many decisions I’ve taken a “long term greedy” perspective on since starting the company.
The other aspect is that I plan to be in this “game” for the rest of my life, so I try to be long term in my decisions… however, this advice gave me a simple sentence that I can use to remind myself how to approach any situation: Be long term greedy.
It’s just a better way to build a company.
– Posted from my iPhone while flying across the country.
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