One swallow does not…

…a summer make.

But summer will come.


Generosity counts

Big insight of the day:

Be generous with everybody around you.

Somebody doesn’t do their homework on time, doesn’t show up to a scheduled meeting, has trouble prioritizing, maybe freaks out a little — let them off the hook gently.

This is not the time for six-sigma precision and micro-management.

And, this is important, that applies to you too. Feeling the blahs, need some sunshine, wondering if it’s too early to open that bottle of wine? Step away from your desk and take a moment.

Or two or three.

What goes up must come down

Way too early to say, but can we celebrate small victories.


Germany vs. Italy

So far we’ve assumed that Germany is just 3-4 weeks behind Italy and that we’ll see exactly the same dynamics. This article from L’Espresso suggests that things could (!) play out a bit (!) differently in Germany. Less kids living with their parents, many more grandparents living alone, more testing, and more ICU capacity.

As usual, do not read the comments.

What Now

Everybody is trying to figure out what to do now.

Disclaimer: I am no expert. But I’ve seen 9/11 and I’ve seen 2008. This is in many ways worse.

My personal conclusions:

We won’t be back at the office before July. Settle in. And give your people breathing space for two or three weeks. This is not business as usual. Don’t pretend like it is.

Your existing customers will pull you through. Stay very close to them and double up on key account management and customer success. This will work better if you serve large enterprise “too big to fail” customers, will be harder in SME segments.

Define a single sustained initiative that demonstrates to your people and, equally importantly, to your customers that you have seen the signs of the times and that you are taking action. This can be internally focused (fix those processes and tools that you never had time for), for product-led companies this would be doubling down on a strategic roadmap component, for customer/partner-focused companies this would be a rich online classroom for training.

If you need to recalibrate your cash burn (and you probably do), then don’t hold back and act early. A death by a thousand cuts is the worst program to follow.



What if this takes 18 months

This is a concern.


What if this takes 18 months.


Curfews for more than four weeks are pretty hard to imagine. 

Communication Roadmap for Companies in Lockdown

“May you live in interesting times” – well we do now.

Some recommendations for company leaders as they manage the transition of their teams to full home-office set up as we all go into lockdown mode. Assume this will take at the very least four weeks, so plan ahead for at least that long.

This is definitely not business as usual so here’s how one might stage the communication into the overall organization:

Week 0: Settle in. This will take a while. First and foremost: Stay safe and take care of your family. 

Week 1: Where do we stand as a company. How’s our financing and our runway. What do we hear from our customers, if anything.

Week 2: Have the teams settled in? Is everybody working OK? Share best practice and relevant anecdotes. Make no mistake: We are at work. 

Week 3: This is not business as usual. We’ve been there before, maybe even twice – 2000 and 2008. What worked for us then? What does that mean now?

Week 4: Now that we’ve all settled in and all the systems are functioning, let’s think about the bigger picture and the next three months. Business will be slowing down, for us and for our customers and partners. How do we deal with that. By taking the time to “sharpen the saw”.

What does that mean for:

  • the company: things we wanted to do but never had the time (processes, tools, reorgs)
  • the teams: stuff we wanted to learn and master
  • individuals: things you wanted to learn and/or teach.
  • product: pull some more difficult roadmap items and start cracking some hard nuts 
  • partners and customers: training, training, training – let’s reach out and learn together.

“The First 100” Framework

This month I stumbled across a really valuable resource: The First 100 framework “for capturing your first 100 customers”. 

It’s a really comprehensive collection of methods, tools, and important background information. Most everything will be familiar, but here it is in one place and in the right sequence.

Highly recommended.

“Asset-Light” to “Asset Agnostic”

Great insights in Benedit Evans presentation here on global trends and untapped markets. Required reading.

I was especially interested in his description of an “asset light” Amazon, who initially assumed they would have no stock and no warehouse and no logistics, moving towards an “asset agnostic” mindset, where they have no problem with stocks and warehouses and own products and own logistics services and own stores and even paper catalogs.  

So what we might have previously thought of as information-only, zero gravity business models become full-stack businesses, what he calls “information businesses”. 

Management Training – Day 2

Second session. We covered the basics, nothing new, but mandatory tools that you shouldn’t go without. Sound quality pretty miserable, sorry about that.

The Chasm

Business Model Canvas

Lean Startup

Customer Discovery