A recurring theme in venture circles these last few weeks has been "Back To Basics" with VC pundits boldly prognosticating about the current state of the markets, talking about the infamous Sequoia deck and trying not to make people wince as they lay their claim to how they saw all this coming (I’m not immune to this myself and offered what I hoped was some practical advice in a recent post).
All of this gets me thinking, however – why is it that companies got away from "the Basics" in the first place. Every time people think the rules have been rewritten and that somehow "this time will be different" they are wrong. So if we take anything away from this current crisis, for me it should be a reminder that most successful businesses are built carefully, over several (if not many) years and require a steady and disciplined approach. At the core if this process is being realistic about what you can accomplish in any given period of time and not letting costs get ahead of where you are in both your business cycle and access to capital (see my take on that from last year – all of which still holds true).
Building businesses is in large part about the basics – let’s not get too far away from them next time.