i3 - November/December 2018 - 57

Business
By Jake Sigal
A DV I C E FO R E N T R E P R E N E U RS

Options Always Lead to Success
core mission. For non-entrepreneurial
employees and clients, even discussing
options can induce fear and uncertainty.
Imagine finishing an all-day product
planning session and declaring, "OK,
now everything that we just planned
may not work, and if it doesn't, let's
pivot." Think about telling your vice
president of sales, "Great job. But if this
pending purchase order doesn't come
through, we need you to go out and book
the team on another
project." These things
happen when you're
Be careful: Reducing looking at options.
options can lead to a
While my staff
would
probably never
downward spiral.
admit it, I'd bet that
openly discussing the
options caused more
than
one
person
to
lose a lot of accrued
ositive thinking and hard work are a clear path to succonfi
dence
in
our
company's
ability to
cess. However, an unusually high number of economic
execute. Though increasing options is
and political events have recently challenged the viability
always better for business, the cost
of some businesses in the CTA community. This is not the first
options create is real. Pivoting is the
time the tech community has faced adversity, but this is the first
king of all options and carries an intertime in 10 years it's happened with so many potentially dark pos- nal luxury tax to deploy.
Still, the way in which options are
sibilities looming on the horizon.
pitched and created is as important as the
options themselves. I always have a Plan
When I started my first company in
not what the money could buy, it's the
C, but typically only share up to Plan B.
2008, there were probably more dark
options the savings create and how it
About once a month, we are left with only
futures, but I either didn't see them or
makes me feel.
one viable option for one reason or
they weren't as easy to see. Economic
another after a scenario shakes out.
outlooks these days are like a 10-day
Exploring Possibilities
Be careful: Reducing options can
weather forecast: They're always
For me, this cycle of creating options
lead to a downward spiral. It's a riptide
interesting, but they're only right half
through deal flow, different structures
that's very difficult to get out of
the time.
and product roadmap forks not only prounscathed. With the constant barrage
I've always been a saver. I learned at
vides sound business solutions, it creates
of negative economic forecasts, policy
an early, pre-bar-mitzvah age from my
the right attitude that enables success.
changes and client rollbacks, it's easy to
father to put away a percentage of
I've written in past i3 articles about
scale back options to fit the needs. Stay
everything I've earned for a rainy day. It the importance of communicating with
in front of the shifting political and
wasn't a matter of if I'd need it, it was
all stakeholders. However, no amount of
economic conditions by keeping your
when I'd need it. What I didn't learn
communication can replace the need for
options calculated and open. Options
until I hit my 30s is that it isn't about
options. Options take time to work out
always lead to success.
saving, it's about creating options. It's
and doing that can distract from the

Jorg Greuel/Getty Images

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C TA . t e c h / i 3

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

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i3 - November/December 2018

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i3 - November/December 2018 - Cover1
i3 - November/December 2018 - Cover2
i3 - November/December 2018 - Contents
i3 - November/December 2018 - 2
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