For me in Netcore, this is a great opportunity to look at expansion – to complement organic growth with acquisitions. The money saved for rainy days now comes in handy. It is like the tale of the ant and grasshopper. All the past hard work can now bear fruit as new worlds open up and assets that were previously unavailable could perhaps be bought at attractive prices.
Opportunities come not just in the form of acquisitions, but also in the form of hiring talent and acquiring new customers. By viewing business as an infinite game, proficorns can use troubled times to lay a very strong foundation for the future.
Crises are an opportunity to put one’s head down and reimagine the world that will emerge on the other side. One cannot do that if one doesn’t have control over one’s own destiny. For the proficorn founders, there are no investors with blanket diktats breathing down their necks. They can sit back with a cool mind and not worry about the next quarter or two, but think of the future beyond. That is how breakthrough businesses are built. I have always believed that when I am building a business, even as I have to worry about Monday morning, we are actually “competing for the future” – one that we have to create.
In good times, everyone can thrive. Those who splurge more can perhaps move faster. But this growth has its costs. There are economic cycles. And when a slowdown or downturn comes, the fall can be fast. It is the bad times that separate the truly resilient ones from the others. The skin in the game that founders of proficorns have enables them to see around corners much better, and this creates a better built-to-last business.
So far, we have seen two big differences between unicorns and proficorns during tough times: the fire vs hire mindset, and a crisis vs opportunity worldview. There is a third big difference which gets magnified.
Tomorrow: Proficorns vs Unicorns (Part 5)