Tom Peruzzi's thoughts on digital, innovation, IT and operations

Stakeholder Management of any sort of investor

Posted in startup failures by opstakes on September 19, 2015

my dear Startups, Enterpreneurs, founders, managers

There may be 10.000 of (operational) reasons why not to communictate wins and fails or any other obligation to the investors, backers, angels, … BUT confidence and trust is a value worth being protected. You may find a situation where you may need more money. You may need a business connection of one of your angels, you may like to let your backers spread a good word about your company and product …

It’s all about trust: as long as you are known as a trustworthy partner you will have a lot more freedom to act and react. Communication does not automatically mean collaboration, one way on a regular basis about all the major steps, achievments is already a good step forward. But imagine the following:

  • you get investors on board
  • you get backers on board
  • your product is massively delayed
  • you don’t communicate the delays

At some point people start connecting, bad customers with other bad customers, frustrated investors with frustrated customers and a spiral of anti-trust is happening especially in the phase where you need support from your stakeholders. That is the main critical point: You just get support if there is some level of trust. At some point money isn’t any longer the glue and you should never reach that point, at no time.

So to give you some short idea about what’s enough for the different groups:

investors, angels

  • Milestones, state of milestones of main business activities
  • Achievments, fails
  • Financial situation, burn rate, months left to operate (conservative calculation)
  • next steps
  • Need for support

Investors want you to do a good job, to increase their money invested. They cannot help if you use vanity metrics or too opportunistic reports. A fail sometime does not automatically mean to be out of game. A non communicated fail leading to severe problems may end your career much quicker. And you always see twice 😉

Backers:

  • Delivery dates
  • Functional changes
  • any fail in time and function
  • supporting material

Backers want to be part of the product, the better they are integrated the more they spread the word. Sounds simple, isn’t it. As for investors the same for backers: you always see twice 😉

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