How should startups adapt to changing times?

Steve Jurvetson, Draper Fisher Jurvetson

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Companies today need to be nimble and adaptable to the changing environment and market around them. Being nimble is important. The second skill is to think through when you're going to ship your product. If you think about the innovation; is it a 2x improvement, is it a 10x improvement? Think about what the market will be when you ship your product. If you have a four-year development cycle, youwill have a physical product that's going to be a very different world you're entering in than if you enter in today. Being open to learning about interdisciplinary things involves a willingness to ask dumb questions. And, finally, it's important to realize that the longevity of companies is shorter today than ever before. Eventually all companies die. Just give it a billion years; you think long enough it's going to happen, even the Microsoft. And the question is just where on that spectrum you are - how do you think about organizational form, federation of people, and the business structure? Most of all, companies must embrace change, plan for change, and view it as an opportunity.

Oct 22, 2003

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