Cut out stuff that's not strategic

Bambi Francisco Roizen · November 14, 2008 · Short URL:

Smule's Smith offers harsh advice to entrepreneurs living through tough times

Jeff Smith, founder of popular iPhone app Smule, has been through the bursting of the Internet bubble and 9/11. He's an experienced entrepreneur - having founded and taken public Tumbleweed - who knows when to make the tough decisions. I hear often that first-time entrepreneurs are far more apprehensive to make the real hard calls. According to Jeff, it's not the way to run a company, particularly in downturns.

"Cut away from stuff that's not strategic," said Smith, who learned that having too much money creates lack of discipline. Often times, those who don't know how to run a business will want to burn right through the money, rather than think hard about how to make money, he suggested.

“Having survived the nuclear winter, and grown and prospered," he said, "As we approach the next nuclear winter, that looks every bit, if not more so, worse than we experience before, No. 1, I wouldn’t focus on your balance sheet, I would focus on your P&L, and specifically, revenue growth."

Now is not the time to make "long-term bets," he said.

"Don't get profitable a year from now," he said, emphatically. "Figure out how to make money, like now. As soon as you make money you can control your own destiny."

Great advice. 




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Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder and CEO of Vator, a media and research firm for entrepreneurs and investors; Managing Director of Vator Health Fund; Co-Founder of Invent Health; Author and award-winning journalist.

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Smule develops interactive sonic applications for the iPhone and other technology platforms.   Smule is developing the new sonic network, connecting users across the globe through expressive audio.  Smule's Ocarina, I Am T-Pain, and Leaf Trombone have set the standard for iPhone applications, combining innovative uses of the hardware with compelling social experiences. 


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