Leadership, resilience, opportunity?
The Morgo community consists of the leaders of tech and other high growth companies going global from Australia and New Zealand. Feedback from the community is that most companies flat revenue and are not laying off staff. There are issues with production, losing momentum after product launches, no trade shows, and funding — especially for very young companies.
The responses were inspiring in the resilience being shown. I shouldn’t have been surprised: people don’t get to create great companies without being extraordinarily resilient. Could we say the Morgo community was ready for this? That’s a stretch — nobody (except a few such as Bill Gates) saw this coming. But it seems that being a leader of a tech company going global always requires resilience, an ability to rethink the way forward, pivots, backup plans. Almost everyone whose revenue is flat or decreasing said that while they’re not laying off staff now they’re making plans for if they need to downsize.
What really shone through was leadership. Being the CEO, CTO or other leader of a company, especially one trying to grow fast out into the world can be pretty lonely. Your staff depend on you, your customers depend on you, your investors depend on you, your family depends on you. And all your staff have families that depend on them coping too. So, in a crisis like this leadership really shows.
It’s lucky that we’ve just had a few really good years for raising money. Love it when someone tells me they have $4 million in the bank. Institutional investors are still doing deals. Vista’s $65 million raise last week was heavily oversubscribed. “The surprise so far is the amount of capital ready for investment”, says Andrew Bascand of Harbour Asset Management in a recent NBR article.
The venture funds have good arsenals too. Be interesting to see if they are open to new deals or are only supporting those they’re already in.
Watch Steve Torso’s short video on fundraising. He notes that in the GFC the funding environment got progressively worse for the first 12 months. And that funding rounds will take longer now — so if you think you’re going to need money, get started!
Product launches and trade shows
I really felt for those companies who had just done product launches and lost momentum because of Covid-19. A lot of spending is simply frozen while companies work out their way forward.
We need to learn new ways of doing/sustaining product launches and how to market without in-person trade shows. Let us know what you learn on this.
A lot is being written about how Covid-19 and the lock downs will bring about changes — more tele-meetings, more e-health, less business travel… Inside each of the Morgo companies now thinking about their own futures and how to adapt, there are new ideas forming and new ways of working developing. Looking forward to seeing what emerges!