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Extending the lifespan of businesses has been a recurring theme in our CEO Eric Glyman’s career to date. His very first job was at a firm that helped struggling companies restructure their bankruptcies. After selling his first startup Paribus, Eric teamed up with Karim Atiyeh and Gene Lee to co-found Ramp, a corporate card designed to help businesses save more and spend less.

These experiences have taught Eric a thing or two about building self-sustaining businesses. He recently went on the 20VC podcast to share his top advice for founders: 

Define the core of the company early on.

You get pulled in a million directions when building a product. Having a clear view of your company mission will help you put the right constraints in place for your team and move much faster. At Ramp, our singular focus on helping companies spend less guides our decisions and priorities every day.

Be ready for moments of intense pressure.

Extreme stress is inevitable and it's during these times that the worst decisions are often made. At Paribus, Eric and the team once saw 80% of their revenue disappear overnight. He shares how he and the team put their terrified emotions aside to work through the crisis one step at a time.

Funding rounds should be thought of as science experiments.

What do you need to prove with the limited amount of capital you have on hand to unlock the next stage of funding and growth? Asking this question will help you hone in on your most important goals in light of constraints.

Never take the highest single round price.

Take the long view. Your goal is to maximize your ultimate enterprise value, not the value of a single round. Sometimes this means leaving capital on the table so you’re able to pull together the right team and create more upside for your investors and employees. 

Know when to optimize for a fast decision versus a higher quality one.

When it comes to core foundational building blocks, take the time to get them right. For all other issues, what matters most is iterating fast instead of proving things right. Push your team to continuously test tactics that lead to incremental, compounding growth. 

In his wide-ranging conversation with Harry Stebbings, Eric also tackles the questions of whether the world really needs another corporate card, when to build versus buy, and how to get the most out of your board meetings. To get a full download of Eric’s insights, listen to the 20VC podcast episode here.

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Content Lead, Ramp
Fiona writes about B2B growth strategies and digital marketing. Prior to Ramp, she led content teams at Google and Intercom. Fiona graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in English. Outside of work, she spends time dreaming about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail one day.
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