Advice on turnarounds, from an internet guy

Maybe calling Marc Andreessen an “internet guy” is putting it lightly – with all the big-name fanfare regarding his blogging exploits I say what the hell. You have to give credit where credit is due, and his latest is a doosie…turnaround tactics.

For the most part, it is politically incorrect. That generally means it’s all true and wholly justified and should be followed with fervor bordering on religious fanatism. Nonetheless, it’s an open source world and there are some classes and functions worth adding to:

“Identify the 3-5 things that are working surprisingly well in your business, and double down on those.”

I love the double-down concept. And, if you can find one thing working surprisingly well in a turnaround situation, call yourself lucky.

“Identify the 3-5 things that are consuming a lot of money and time and yet going nowhere, and kill those.”

That includes customers, with emphasis on the real pain-in-the-butt ones you know are only dealing with you to further some internal agenda of theirs.

“Look at the market, figure out 3-5 new areas in which your company is not currently playing or winning, but are clearly going to grow a lot — and acquire the best company in each of those areas.”

This is often not an option in distressed situations. Cash is king, and your equity is often valueless as acquisition currency.

“But first, throw your predecessor completely under the bus.”

Additionally, if you take this step and subsequently fall flat on your face, you can always run for public office.

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