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COVID-19 Tech Updates: A Collection of Resources for Founders and CEOs on Designing Response Strategy In The Wake of Coronavirus Pandemic

Below is a list of articles, memos, documents, essays and interviews for founders on how to respond best in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and ensure the best possible outcome for your company. This is an extraordinary time and we all need to work hard to ensure the well-being of our families, our teams, and our businesses.

1. Best Practices for Founders in the wake of COVID-19

This document, written by Accel, Bessemer Venture Partners, Chiratae Ventures, Kalaari Capital, Lightspeed, Matrix Partners India, Nexus Venture Partners, Omidyar Network India, SAIF Partners, Sequoia Capital India, “covers how to manage high risk and uncertainty and how to approach worst-case scenario planning.” This is an extraordinary time. As consumer demands continue to suffer, all kinds of businesses are facing hard times. This is a particularly precarious time for startups. Almost every startup, apart from a few categories that deal with basic necessities, are facing significant revenue loss. In this situation, the importance of making the right decisions are of paramount importance. This document offers a comprehensive guideline for founders to deal with various aspects of their business amid coronavirus pandemic. 

2. Coronavirus: The Black Swan of 2020

This memo that Sequoia Capital sent to its portfolio founders and CEOs in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic offers excellent insight into how to ensure the health of your business in this crisis. 

3. Advice from a venture capitalist for startups during coronavirus

This excellent piece from Nikkei Asia suggests Founders and CEOs must over-communicate with staff and make capital last. 

4. COVID-19 Response Strategy for Startups: 9 Ideas To Ensure Health of Your Business Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

We published a list of ideas for founders to overcome challenges created by coronavirus pandemic. 

5. This Founder Built Startups in 2008, 2016 and 2018. Here’s What He’s Learned About Resiliency

In this excellent story from the First Round Review, Bob Moore offers his experience of building companies during difficult times. 

Broad tips: here are some broad tips we have gathered based on the above documents and insights: 

  • Remain flexible and adaptive - things are changing fast and are likely to continue in that manner for some time from now. Your ability to remain flexible and constantly evolve with the changing demands of the world will be invaluable. 
  • Make quick decisions - being able to make decisions quickly will be much more useful in this desperate time. You don’t have the time to deliberate and waste time on things. You can divide your decisions into two groups: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 decisions are easily reversible decisions and type 2 are higher-order ones. Make as many type 1 decisions as quickly as possible. 
  • Be prepared for the worst - your receivables can get delayed, customers may become price-sensitive, and your potential contracts can get canceled, for now. The best approach will be controlling your cost, preserving cash, maximizing your runway, and finding ways to generate cash. 
  • Fundraising is going to be difficult in the next few months. If you can raise, aim for maximizing your runaway instead of valuation. 
  • Spend time looking into your expenses and cut every conceivable cost that can be cut. In fact, no cost is more important than your survival. Take a long-term view, examine the health of your business, analyze your short and long-term prospects, and go on to make tough decisions. 
  • People and remote work - take communication and engagement seriously. Prioritize the well-being of your people.
Mohammad Ruhul Kader is a Dhaka-based entrepreneur and writer. He founded Future Startup, a digital publication covering the startup and technology scene in Dhaka with an ambition to transform Bangladesh through entrepreneurship and innovation. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, and society. He is the author of Rethinking Failure. His writings have been published in almost all major national dailies in Bangladesh including DT, FE, etc. Prior to FS, he worked for a local conglomerate where he helped start a social enterprise. Ruhul is a 2022 winner of Emergent Ventures, a fellowship and grant program from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He can be reached at ruhul@futurestartup.com

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