“You can often gain significant market share in an economic downturn just by staying alive,” top startup accelerator Y Combinator wrote in an internal email to the founders this week. The advice was one of 10 bullet points in a memo intended to help its companies navigate the shattering technology of the economic downturn. Other notable quotes include “plan for the worst” and “no one can predict how bad the economy is going to get, but things aren’t looking good.”
The email is a mood shift from just a few weeks ago, when hundreds of Y Combinator startups — many of which had already raised venture capital — presented themselves to the public on Demo Day. The startups were the first to receive Y Combinator’s new $500,000 standard deal and aggressively targeted international opportunities. Now, following that bonanza, YC says that “this slowdown will have a disproportionate impact on global businesses, among other things.”
Y Combinator isn’t alone in publishing a “black swan” memo in preparation for what’s to come. Marketingwithanoy received a series of memos that venture capitalists sent to portfolio companies about the market’s downturn. Some were hopeful, others were simple, and others were as simple as: Can you tell us your ARR and cash in writing?
High efficiency > high growth
Reach Capital, a venture capital firm focused on education and access, sent a market overview to its founders to help allocate resources and prioritize.