Don’t Panic!

I was recently talking to someone about an issue in one of their portfolio companies (this was not a Foundry or Mobius company). The issue was pretty serious (it related to safety standards at the company that were being ignored and a resulting accident at the business) and the person relating this story was (understandably) pretty worked up and asking me what I thought they should do.  My advice?

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I can’t say that I come by this naturally (I can be pretty excitable) or that I was a particularly good practitioner of my own advice earlier in my venture career, but I’ve managed to reign myself in and strongly believe that the priority in any interaction is simply to not panic or over-react. Every situation is better viewed from a calmer perspective and without question your judgment is more solid and reliable when you’re thinking with a clear head. It’s not just that things are often not as bad as they seem (in the example above I think they were actually worse than they originally appeared) or that everything will eventually work itself out (sometimes it doesn’t) but rather that with a little perspective and by giving yourself enough time to assess the situation and consider your options you’re almost always going to make a better decision.