Excellence in Action

Slow Down to Speed Up?!

Deciphering VC Babble with Nick Mehta & Dave Yuan

Investors often give wise counsel: “slow down to speed up.”  But what the heck does that mean? Growth is how you’re valued—it’s how you get to scale, and that scale is how you become a profitable viable company. Obstacles? Power through, because aren’t entrepreneurs built to run through roadblocks? Slow down to speed up… come again?

Slowing down is anathema to most growth-stage founders. However, sometimes you do need to slow down, and even cut back, to create time not only to survive but also to find a new, and often better, path. I had a great talk with Nick Mehta—long-time friend, Tidemark Fellow, and CEO of category-leading company Gainsight—about his experience with having to slow down to reaccelerate. 

I love Nick because he is so open and honest; this conversation is classic Nick. We talk about:

  • Knowing when you’ve hit a wall (in this case, TAM)
    - Knowing when you’re reaching saturation vs. execution
    - Real functional TAM vs. the slideware construct
  • The importance of finding a new leg of group before core slows down
    - Managing your product portfolio to get your core to profitability in order to fund new s-curves of growth 
  • How to get profitable and where to look for operating leverage
  • Moving from venture capital investors to private equity

As an entrepreneur, you hit roadblocks, and one of your superpowers is finding crafty ways around and/or brute-force ways through. But sometimes that is not the right approach. After running into a roadblock many times, it might be time to pause, cut back, and get your economics in order to create time to build a strong fundamental business, and then reaccelerate growth. 

I hope you enjoy this conversation with Nick Mehta about “slowing down to speed up” to create a strong fundamental business. 


October 2022

The information presented in this post is for illustrative purposes only and is not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any private fund managed or sponsored by Tidemark or any of the securities of any company discussed. Tidemark portfolio companies identified above are not necessarily representative of all Tidemark investments, and no assumption should be made that the investments identified were or will be profitable. For additional important disclaimers regarding this post, please see “ Purpose of the Site; Not Investment Advice; No Recommendations” and “Regulatory Disclosures” in the Terms of Use for Tidemark’s website, available at Terms of Use (tidemarkcap.com).

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