June 15, 2005

Counter Cliche: Who’s The Dog in this Scenario?

Counter Cliche:  Who’s The Dog in this Scenario? Fred’s VC cliche of the week is a good one — “If you lie down with dogs, you’ll come up with fleas.” His point is a good and simple one, that VCs shouldn’t take people risks in deals and shouldn’t try to back management teams they have serious concerns about (ethical or otherwise) in the hopes of trying to change the team or change management. The obvious counter cliche is that entrepreneurs run that same risk in accepting capital from less-than-savory venture investors.  An ethically-challenged investor can wreak havoc on a young company, potentially tying the company up with peripheral legal problems or even damaging the company’s attempts at raising future rounds of capital.  So, VCs can be the dog in the scenario as well. But I think there’s a broader counter cliche here, which is that one’s reputation in business is always tied, to some extent, to the company one keeps.  This applies to investors, and also to clients, vendors, and partners.  The appearance of a connection to an unsavory character, even if it’s just an appearance, and even if “unsavory” is in the grey area instead of black-and-white, is almost […]

February 24, 2005

Everyone’s a Direct Marketer, Part III

Everyone’s a Direct Marketer, Part III With every company as a direct marketer, and with (hopefully!) every company embracing some of the best DM principles, what does this shift mean for the way companies will be structured in the future? First, let’s talk about the internal structure of a company.  The biggest shift going on here is that customers are becoming a more important part of all employees’ daily lives, not just those in the advertising department.  I wrote an earlier posting called Everyone’s a Marketer which applies here.  Most likely, more and more members of your organization are touching […]