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Sofa winning over gym, every time (why isn't everyone doing this?)

When a friend read my article from September about raising capital from customers, she immediately “got it”. It was so obvious to her that the only follow up question she had was: “If it makes so much sense, why isn’t everyone doing it?”

This really made me think....

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Growth and why it matters

The popular wisdom goes as follows: startups that want to become unicorns need to think about growth all the time; everyone else is off the hook.

This is very, very wrong. Why?

Simply because when you start at zero – as every new business does, without exception – you need to...

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Who sets the ambition for your company?

Entrepreneurs are obsessed with being their own boss. Almost everyone I know who started a company did it – at least in part – to free themselves from corporate processes and finally be fully in charge, with all the good, bad and ugly that comes with it.

Subsequently, we don’t...

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Why good companies run out of cash

A few months ago, my friend Mahira asked me for some advice on fundraising. She was in the process of launching a sustainable cleaning brand, and everything that went into developing it – from making sure the product actually lived up to her eco-friendly ambitions to developing chic...

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Which advice is worth listening to?

Confession: I love a heated debate. There is something exhilarating about structuring an argument, finding weak spots in an opponent's reasoning (as well as one’s own), and discovering new layers to a seemingly clear-cut topic.

However, robust debates can also get very confusing, especially...

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How to launch profitable products

“There is nothing scarier than a blank canvas,” is a quote repeated so often in the context of art that I couldn’t even find the author. (If it’s you, I’m sorry, and I’ll give you a shoutout in the next issue. But more likely it’s someone that...

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Where avo toast meets business (cost cutting pros and cons)

“Should I get a cheaper office space? Should I cancel those subscriptions? Do I need a cheaper accountant? Should I stop getting my daily lattes?”

Obsessing over costs is completely normalised in both our business and personal lives. A millennial can’t throw an avocado pit these...

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Hand washing vs. exercise, and accounting vs. finance

“Finding a CFO with a strategic mindset who actually understands value creation is so crucial, and so difficult,” a friend of mine, who is a partner at one of the world’s top private equity firms, recently complained to me.

He may be more concerned with buying and selling...

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Red peppers aren't in the chocolate isle (and other KPI learnings)

I believe that calendar invites for conversations about business KPIs (1) should come with their own trigger warnings. That’s because, more often than not, they lead to a) everyone involved getting completely overwhelmed, b) the creation of multiple sophisticated dashboards that no one at...

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Reinventing the egg, and other hiring mistakes

“Do you think I should hire someone?”

Entrepreneurs constantly agonise over what they should be doing by themselves versus what they should hire someone else to do. Not having a boss giving instructions – including on whether to hire, or not – sometimes sucks, but then...

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Thoughtful growth (profitability, part III)

This is the third and final part of this mini-series on profitability. (You can find parts one and two here.)

We’ve now covered two ways of building a company – one is the slow, steady and profitable way (formerly known as “running a business” –...

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Always niche, rarely optimal (profitability, part II)

Welcome to the second part of this mini-series on profitability! (You can read the previous article here.)

Last time, I talked about profitability as the only strategy that truly works in the long run. However, we all know of companies that are not profitable, but seem to be doing pretty...

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