I recently presented to the current crop of companies at DreamIt Ventures -- a pre-seed fund that helps great people with great ideas build great companies. DreamIt is based in Philadelphia and is very similar to Y Combinator.
During the last few months at DreamIt, many speakers have discussed how early stage companies need to de-risk their business plans, and one of the DreamIt founders, David Bookspan, asked me if I could come in and talk about how to actually do it. So, I put together a presentation for DreamIt with categories of risk to think about with specific checklists and "how to's" for de-risking particular classes of risk common to many types of business. The presentation is embedded at the bottom of my blog post.
Please comment below and feel free to add your ideas on how to de-risk, and let me know if / how these techniques work for you.
Finally, don't forget to de-risk the next time you get in your car. Wear your seat belt! It's one heck of a value proposition! ;-)
New additions to blog post made 30 July 2008, based on a comment below from James Nelsen:
There are similar techniques to de-risking that I did not point out in my original blog post. Thanks to James Nelsen for pointing out the Wharton technique of Discovery Driven Planning (DDP). This is an excellent technique that you can use for de-risking and more information can be found on it here. Another great technique is called Assumption Based Planning, and that de-risking technique can be found here. Thanks James!