Advice from the founder of Business Objects on how to cope with the downturn

By September 18, 2008 4 Comments

Posted by mobile phone:
Every day now people ask me what impact the current economic malaise will have on startups. My standard answer is that so long as you are attacking a growth market (and if you’re not that raises a bunch of other questions…) then it shouldn’t be the end of the world. It is likely the market will grow more slowly, but you can plan for that and still build a successful company.

Right now I’m sitting at Seedcamp in London listening to Bernard Liataud, founder of Business Objects, who stayed with the company from inception to $1.5bn in revenue.

He had two things to add on the subject of how to cope in a recession:
1. Focus on the core of your business – now is not a good time to start experimenting outside that.
2. Focus on your team. Communicate with them. It is an old cliche, but peiple are your assets and in times like this they worry. In the absence of communication they worry more.

I like both of these. In fact I am generally an advocate of startups staying focused on the core, even in good times (always assuming the core is strong enough, of course)