It would not be controversial to classify 2016 as a tough year, both in Turkey as well as the rest of the world. We have seen increased terror attacks globally, and surprises like the coup attempt in Turkey, the Brexit vote and Trump’s election.
Startups require relentless focus on execution. Yet, founders are human and they, like everyone else, are vulnerable to the distractions caused by the barrage of shocking events. Add to this the ups and downs of a startup – landmark client wins, finding your company in the headlines, your competitors releasing new features, your co-founder leaving… The list can go on for pages. With this much hitting a founder’s psyche, they have to work hard at keeping their focus and not get swayed too much by external factors.
I’ve always felt that helping our founders absorb these shocks is one of the ways we as investors and board members can be valuable to our portfolio companies. We are there to remind them that it’s usually not as bad (or as good) as it feels at the moment, and that they are in a marathon, not a sprint. They need to keep their dual focus : one eye on the horizon, at their destination, and the other one on their desk, at their immediate next step.