Paranoia

Matt Blumberg (who is CEO of one of Flatiron’s portfolio companies Return Path) has been doing a counter cliche post to most of my cliche posts.  They are very good.

Yesterday’s counter cliche post was about paranoia (in response to mine on opening the kimono).

Matt subscribes to the most famous quote on paranoia, Andy Grove’s "only the paranoid survive" but he also talks about the limits of this approach.  Here are his four recommendations regarding paranoia:

1. Being "open book" with employees is essential.  Your people need
to know where the business stands and how their efforts are
contributing to the whole.  More important, they need to know that you
trust them. 

2. Using some key metrics to promote your company can be very
helpful.  I challenge you to show me a marketing person who doesn’t
want to brag about how big you are, how many customers you have, what
market share you have.

3. There’s no reason to worry about Venture Capitalists.  Sure, they
can fund a competitor, but they’ll do that without knowing exactly how
much revenue you have, how quickly.  The good ones are good at sniffing
out market opporunities ahead of time.  The bad ones, you care about
less anyway.

4. All that said, you can never be paranoid enough about the
competition.  Assume they’re all out to get you at every turn, that
they’re smarter, richer, quicker, and better looking than you are.
Live in fear of them eating your lunch.

Nice post Matt.