It remains a pretty crappy economic environment out there. More than 400 companies of the S&P 500 Index have reported results for the third quarter. All told, earnings per share are on track to fall close to 14% from last year, making this the five straight quarter of declines.
To this end, startups remain prudent.
Stephen Stokols, CEO of WooMe, is one of those entrepreneurs who's been through a downturn before. He's not going to make the mistake of burning too much cash before the market improves to possibly raise another round or exit.
"We raised $12.5 million at a Series B, and that money was going to take us 18 months," he said. "We're cutting costs and slowing down a bit of the trajectory to take it out to 24 months."
The reality is, he said, that the exit market may not be here in 24 months.
Of course, Stokols isn't all gloom and doom. He's an optimist and opportunist.
"Don't overreact," he said. "You've got to make it happen... put the petal to the metal." Basically, you can't just go flat for 24 months and in the end have nothing to show for it.
And, finally, the biggest lesson Stokols has learned from the downturn is that it ends.
"As bad as it is," he said. "Things get rosy again."