June 3, 2021

From bankruptcies to Ramp: Eric Glyman’s advice for startups

Jump to sections
Spending made smarter
Easy-to-use cards, spend limits, approval flows, vendor payments —plus an average savings of 3.5%.
Get fresh finance insights, monthly
Time and money-saving tips,
straight to your inbox
Thanks for signing up
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

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.

Head of Content, Ramp

Fiona Lee is the Head of Content at Ramp, overseeing content marketing, customer education, and customer marketing. She brings over a decade of editorial experience developing high-quality B2B content. Prior to Ramp, she led content teams at companies large and small, including Google and Intercom, where she developed a strong interest in small businesses growth topics. Fiona graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in English.


How Crossbeam saved $10K+ with Ramp Price Intelligence

“Right now, I text a group of colleagues and search online—but being able to know within a 5% variance that we are solid on pricing? That gives me peace of mind."
Matt Dougherty, Senior Director of Finance, Crossbeam

How Clearbit closed the books >60% faster with Ramp + NetSuite

“Before Ramp, our month-end close took approximately 10 days. Now it takes three to four days—it's unbelievable.”
Kay Coolican, Accounting Manager, Clearbit

How Ramp helped Webflow lay a foundation for sustained growth

“This product allows us to enable our employees to be full-time right away, Ramp allows us to onboard people quicker, it allows us to get them the tools they need, which in many cases they need to be able to spend in order to grow.”
Ivan Makarov

How Candid expanded internationally with Ramp

“Ramp found over $250,000 in savings right out of the gate. That is far more valuable than any points program.”
Nick Greenfield, CEO, Candid

How FirstBlood’s switch to Ramp sped up their monthly close

“If I code one transaction with a certain vendor, Ramp knows. It makes suggestions based on past transactions. It just works.”
Kyle Potter, CFO, FirstBlood

How Elementus overhauled its spend management with Ramp

“The fact that I can have an expense, match it with a receipt immediately, upload it, and then integrate it into QuickBooks is a godsend.”
Matt Austin, Vice President of Operations, Elementus

How Eight Sleep consolidated their finance stack and launched a new product with Ramp

“Identifying the invoice, finding it in Ramp Bill Pay, and flexing it from there, takes all of one minute…it’s only a few clicks and you’re done.”
Irish Rose, Controller, Eight Sleep