Speculation kills startups

Speculation kills startups.

High growth companies need to move quickly. They also need to make quick adjustments if there is no progress. The only way to make these quick adjustments is by starting with the numbers.

Not knowing the numbers means you are speculating. If you hear (or say) “I think” or “I’m assuming” or even the word “around,” it is speculation, numbers are not known and the next decision you make could be fatal.

It only takes a moment for something to become common language. If the owner of the data voices a speculation instead of a fact, left uncontested it almost immediately turns that false data into truth.

My rule of thumb is that if you don’t know the data, don’t say anything. Don’t try to inject yourself into the conversation, don’t offer an insight and certainly don’t speculate. In any stage company one common is truth: Not knowing your business will put you out of it.

Always start with the numbers.