External stakeholders, such as investors, often put pressure on startups to perform, such as increase sales, while you want to refine your product, extend your portfolio or similar. You generally feel that your creativity and innovation drive and passion is threatened by these external stakeholders? Can you give me some tips and real-life examples or past experience on how to solve this dilemma of conflictual demands?

If you have invited investors inside, they do what investors do: They protect their investment. They use the tools they know, which are most likely more short term than your time horizon.

If you want to retain your creativity, innovation drive and passion, build your own war chest, so you decide on your own burn rate; in that case, your burn your own money, which can be done at whatever speed you prefer.

You could also invite different investors, who will be more patient, or more in tune with the innovation drive you prefer.

But you are where you are, and must make the best of it. A few tips on that:
1. Allocate time for investors and innovation drive separately. They are two different mindsets. And you most likely need the investors to be happy, and they only ask questions if they are not. Tuesday and thursday for external stakeholders - monday, wednesday and friday for creativity.
2. Change your mindset with regards to the external stakeholders; maybe they have something valuable to offer you? Do they have some smart money-characteristics? Where are they coming from? Maybe they are not a "necessary evil".

Let's set up a call to discuss this mindset further. It will be easier for me to give you input, if I know your circumstances better.

Best regards
Kenneth Wolstrup

Answered a year ago

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