1 Quote, 1 Thought
On predictions and revenue forecasts
Hi, troublemakers! 👋
Here's a powerful quote I've highlighted this week, along with a thought for you to reflect this weekend.
Take care and unwind, and enjoy your weekend!
Nassim Nicholas Taleb on predictions:
“You can’t predict in general, but you can predict that those who rely on predictions are taking more risks, will have some trouble, perhaps even go bust. Why? Someone who predicts will be fragile to prediction errors.”
"I believe the biggest challenge for founders in early-stage startups is business forecasting. It's even harder when operating in low-volume, high-value markets, like offering enterprise SaaS, for example. I've tried top-down, bottom-up, etc. It almost never works. Why? Because early-stage startups operate in a trial-and-error mode and just can't know the outcome."
Avoiding straight revenue goals works well for me. Instead, I think in terms of 'performance milestones' — what growth rate will be satisfying? What burn multiple is acceptable? What net dollar retention will strengthen the company?
Remember, it’s always a two-pronged game — revenue and costs work together. It's possible to be 10, 20, 30% below the revenue targets and still have a strong runway. Just cut the losses quickly.
Benchmarking helps — we all operate in some environment with established benchmarks. Knowing them makes it easier to assess where we are.
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