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GTL: Gym, Tan, Laundry
the wisdom of Vinny, Pauly D, and the Situation
Before we had Succession or Game of Thrones, the great American tv program was a reality show: Jersey Shore.
I was recently reminded of the daily routine its characters practiced: GTL – Gym, Tan, Laundry.
Hit the Gym (look good), get your Tan on (look good), and do the Laundry (so you have clothes to look good).
Hear me out: this is great guidance for technology companies — some thoughts on how entrepreneurs need to GTL.
In 2021, companies were rewarded for sacrificing fitness for growth.
That has corrected viscerally. It’s time for CEOs to get their companies into shape: cut erroneous growth spend, automate problems previously addressed with headcount, re-establish a culture of grit and austerity across your organization.
We’ve already seen that play out in the public markets, as well summarized by Logan Bartlett at Redpoint:
Additionally, companies would be wise to bulk up opportunistically.
Earlier this month I wrote about Saturation in technology markets and its associated challenges. The implicit upside is a historic slate of M&A opportunities. It’s time to hit the biz dev trail — with varying levels of discretion.
Entrepreneurs often have an allergy to acquisitions, incorrectly believing add-ons indicate a weak product & growth org. This is a false dichotomy — these muscles are not mutually exclusive. Don’t skip the proverbial leg day.
For reference, we’ve seen multiple Bedrock companies execute tuck-ins other the past few years, to quick success.
The tan is the narrative.
Whether the natural byproduct of an afternoon run or a sweet, synthetic spray-on: on the Jersey Shore, you look better with a tan than without it.
Similarly, whether honest or concocted, companies need strong narratives now more than ever to win talent, capital, and leverage on the upcoming M&A trail (as buyers or sellers).
Some quick narrative tanning solves:
Become a multi-product company: prioritize cross-selling where previous resources were on new logo growth. If you have to buy your way to multi-product, consider doing so.
Maximize product ROI for customers: over-rotate on customer usage and outcomes to retain business through a tight budget cycle.
Paint a big, 10+ year company picture: what comes after chapters 2, 3, 4, etc
Put more skin in the game: if you’re an entrepreneur with liquidity, consider co-investing in the company’s next fundraise.
Laundry is a chore, but it has to get done.
For companies, this is straightforward: remove under-performers from the organization and eliminate excessive spending. Narrow the focus, trim the team, conserve runway — survive!
Gym. Tan. Laundry.
Bring this to your next board meeting (;
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