Managing investor expectations after the investment

I recently had the Series A closing dinner for Judy's Book at Wild Ginger. The partners from Ignition Partners and from Ackerley Partners were both there. This was their first meeting. Overall, I think the dinner went well. People had food and drinks and conversation. A standard introductory business dinner.

As the dinner went on I realized that the Ignition folks may be more comfortable with the investment than the Ackerleys. This would make total sense -- Ignition invests in early stage technology companies and Ackerleys typically invest in later stage media companies. I may be wrong -- nobody said anything explicity. And that's what is prompting this blog.

Investors rarely tell you explicity exactly their expectations. As a CEO it's our job to elicit these expectations, or better yet, to set these expectations and manage to them. In an early stage technology company, that's often very difficult to do -- especially during the period of time when you are trying to get a product to market, figure out user behaviour, and try to find a levearage point from which to grow an enterprise. Getting back to the Ackerley's, I think I'm going to need to spend some more time making sure their expactations become explicit and that they're reasonable. I'll do this with a series of email and coffees....and getting to revenue as fast as I can. I've found that the faster one gets to revenue the less one needs to manage investor expectations -- explicit or not.