COVID-19 has turned the world upside down, not only straining our healthcare system, but also inflicting significant damage to businesses and economies all over the world. As the international response continues to evolve, business leaders face challenges not only in steering their businesses, but also in motivating their teams and needing to rapidly adapt their strategies.
Early stage companies face unique challenges during market corrections and the Unusual Team continues to work closely with our portfolio companies to support them during times of turbulence. In thinking through how to best help our entrepreneurs and other early stage founders, we turned to the CTO of GitHub and Unusual Venture Partner, Jason Warner. Jason has weathered the downturns of 1999, 2000, and the recession of 2007-2009, and we knew he could offer valuable perspective and tactical advice on leading teams to our founders during trying times.
We hosted a virtual AMA session with Jason, which covered a range of topics related to leading through times of uncertainty and managing remote teams. In Part 1, we highlight Jason’s key takeaways related to leading under stress, including navigating the macro environment, adapting GTM strategy, and communication and information sharing, which can be found in the Leadership chapter of our newly launched Field Guide. We will continue to add resources to the “Leading Through Times of Uncertainty” submodule to help early stage founders navigate this challenge.
It’s difficult not to be overwhelmed as a founder by environments of uncertainty, but it’s also important to note that some of the most successful startups were founded in economic recessions, such as Stripe, Uber, and Airbnb. In the words of Winston Churchill, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Our mission at Unusual Ventures is to support early stage founders through the hardest leg of a startup journey—from Idea to Product Market Fit—and this includes through all the unexpected curveballs life may throw along the way.