Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Andre Durand: make sure startup fundraising and ambitions are aligned

Andre Durand, CEO of Ping Identity, in his interview with Adam Bryant of the New York Times, discussed a mistake in his early entrepreneurial ventures:

My aspirations were always bigger early on than our resources. The way that manifested itself was that I never raised enough money early on to make money less of a factor in the way we made decisions. That meant I was either always pressured to ship software that wasn’t quite ready, which is a little bit of a death spiral, or I was always raising money within a few days of payroll — and asking the employees to trust me and to not quit.

So I was trying to be bigger than I could afford to be, and your decision-making is always convoluted by these factors. That was a big early lesson. It ingrained in me the importance of matching the entrepreneurial aspirations with the resources. Those all have to be aligned. And ever since, I’ve always raised money when I don’t need it ahead of time, for a rainy day. I just never put myself in that position again.

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