A late stage private high-tech company wants to know what questions are most critical for managing the next stages of growth. This includes factors that can help differentiate good opportunities from poor ones. What questions would you ask about managing a late stage private high-tech company?
Advice from the CEOs:
- Never compromise on your team. Is this a team of individuals who will be effective together, and can you make changes where necessary to build and manage the team that you need?
- There is no room for someone who is not a cultural fit – do the team members work well together and does everyone see and support a win?
- Who are the key stakeholders, and what drives them? Are these drivers compatible or in conflict? Can you bridge potential conflicts, or will they defocus your efforts?
- Market & Strategy
- Are your market projections realistic or fluffed?
- Will your value proposition appeal to a large enough market to justify the investment of time and resources?
- Is there a strong, realistic plan?
- If you do a full SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis, is the net positive?
- Finances & Capital markets
- Are the revenue and financial projections done correctly and achievable?
- Raise money when you can, not when you need it – will the timing of your deal or opportunity, given existing financial markets, allow you to raise the funds necessary to bring the opportunity to fruition?
- Is there openness to all potential capital or financing options? Financing is a personal relationship – how strong is the relationship?
- Boards & Governance
- Investors are investors; don’t overestimate their industry savvy. Are they aligned or in conflict? Are they fresh or tired? Will they support your efforts, and do they have the ability to generate extra funds as required?
- It is impossible for a CEO or deal to be successful without the full support of the board – will you have full board support for your opportunity?
- Is there clear differentiation between governance and management?
- Looking over these questions, is the balance positive or negative? That balance will help you to accurately assess whether a given strategy or opportunity makes sense for the company.