A bunch of founders have reached out about my thoughts on the fundraising landscape for the next few months. The news cycle in these past couple of weeks is extremely hard to digest for everyone, in any industry.
It’s OK to be worried, everyone is. I've spent the last couple of weeks binge-watching news, looking at the crashing stock market and even pandemic movies. While my girlfriend and my daughter are with me, I've felt alone and isolated. I bet most of the world hasn't had time to catch their breaths and that's fine.
Social distancing, staying at home is going to be the standard for the next few months. Once we accept these precautions as the new normal, our brains can go back to being productive.
The New Normal
After people catch their breath I am confident that things will start moving along again.
While the travel and tourism industries will probably be in a gridlock for months, I want to believe that other industries will be restarted, and customers will adapt to this reality: nobody is going shopping this weekend, but two weeks from now you might go shopping online, maybe not for a nightgown, but an upgrade for your desk.
This is the new normal, and we need to be prepared to leverage it.
Startups and Fundraising
As a founder/CEO, I think it’s key to keep an open channel of communication with your staff. NOW is the time when they look up to you for guidance. If people are scared, a reassuring voice from a superior makes all the difference in the world. I've seen large companies radio-silent to their employees, and that is the worst they can do.
I've said it before, some really exciting companies were founded during the 2009 economic crisis: Stripe and Airbnb included. Entrepreneurs are smart and creative and these extreme times will put their minds to work.
Let me re-state that: Entrepreneurs are going to be the key to economic reactivation. We are the spearhead of innovation. We are accustomed to the rollercoaster of starting a company, which has taught us how to move faster, work faster even in complicated circumstances.
Let's fear, yes, but as soon as we are ready, let's get back to fucking work. It's up to us. It's not about making money, it's about creating jobs that didn't exist last week.
I took me about 10 days to figure it out, including being devastated for having to cancel my Everest Base Camp Trip ☹️, but I woke up yesterday (Tuesday 3/17) with a bunch of fresh ideas.
Here's what I'm doing
I want to be a resource for entrepreneurs. The best way, I think, in which I can help the world is helping founders kickstart their ideas. I am available to help, and I've been sharing and will continue to share actionable content for individuals and small businesses to overcome this.
My Twitter: https://twitter.com/cayahere
My Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/jpczcaya
Here's what Slidebean is doing
Listening to founders and observing the behavior of people, we’ve noticed new needs that we can hopefully help solve. Our company is in a uniquely privileged position, where, at least at this point, we don't foresee a tremendous impact from the slower economy; so here are some of the initiatives we are taking...
I feel isolated. I spend the days with my family (and random visits from my sister who lives next door), but aside from that I don’t see any other humans. I think human contact is critical. Especially in the startup world. Hearing from founders, their solutions, workarounds and thinking is extremely inspiring, and we want to try and replicate this even while isolated at home.
Our proposal is Startup Café (you know, beans) a forever-FREE voice channel on our Startups 101 Discord Server. The idea is for it to create a virtual space for founders to connect to other humans, learn from their strategies, vent and find solutions together.
I’ll be hanging out everytime I’m having a cup of coffee (about twice a day).
Really excited about that one!
...about remote work
We have the unique advantage of our platform being quite useful/compatible/necessary when working remotely. As of today, we are waiving the cost of all extra user accounts for any of our plans. That means that if you have a Slidebean plan, any plan, you can share your features with your team for no extra cost.
Also, if your company needs Slidebean and you can’t afford the subscription at the moment, shoot me a tweet and we’ll help out. We are prepared to discount our services for companies that are struggling, as well as offering monthly plans.
We've made our "Starting a Business: a step-by-step guide" Udemy course free of charge as another way to help founders and aspiring founders find answers to common and pressing questions.
We have a few other ideas we are working on as I type. We'll announce them in the coming days.
Let's stick together, help each other out, and beat this thing.