Keep Asking Questions

I have encountered a few situations lately where I found myself asking a lot of questions.  This is mostly because I sit on many portfolio company boards for which I simply do not understand at a fundamental level the technologies. But sometimes it results from lousy answers.   You give me confusing, vague or partial answers and, guess what, you will get more questions.

Unfortunately I have been burned a few times when asking more questions could have avoided the burn.  Now, with the benefit of hindsight, this only makes me ask more questions.  I think you are probably getting the theme:  don’t be shy about asking questions.

Ask:  why is your burn rate so high and is it sustainable?  Did you hire too quickly?

Ask:  what are the feed materials that go into that product and is the supply chain risky?

Ask:  are your customers satisfied and are some available to speak with me?

Ask:  what is your target MRR (for a SaaS company) 12 months from now and how are we going to get there?

Ask:  why do to the nozzles on your chips get clogged?

Ask:  how is the cherry crop looking this year?

Ask:  how does the buying coop work and how will it impact your sales cycle.

Ask:  what the heck is wrong with these numbers and why are you not tracking against the approved budget?

Ok, you get it.  No question is silly.  Be mindful of how you ask……but always ask.