If you generally watch the market in the venture capital space as I do, there's one thing you'll inevitably run across again and again. It's the need for speed! I was reminded of this again when reading about how Mike Cassidy does things. Everything is focused on speed. Get shit done fast. If it can't get done fast, skip it. Move on to the next thing.
Take a look at multiple situations where speed is necessary:
1. Fundraising (be it as an entrepreneur or a fund)
If you don't raise funds fast, it probably means something isn't right. Things that are good don't have to wait around long before people start throwing money at them. If it takes forever to raise finances or your fund, there's something not right. Yes, there are exceptions to the rule but my experience is that start-ups and funds which raised capital very quickly tended to also very quickly make use of it. If you're a start-up and that VC is taking forever to make up their mind, cancel them. Go get someone else to invest. You don't have any other options and no one else is interested? Well, you probably suck. Go back to being an employee. You're a VC and LP's can't make up their minds and keep telling you to come back once you can show more? Skip them! You're in a death spiral if they make you come back more than one or two times and it's clear they are never going to invest unless 10 others lead ahead of them. You believe it's normal to take two years to raise a fund? Andreessen Horowitz sure as hell doesn't. They've friggin' raised three funds already in less than two years and we're talking over $1.5 billion in aggregate. That's your competition!
In both directions, hiring needs to go fast. You want to tell someone to wait around for you and you seriously think they are good? Are you out of your mind? If you find someone you want on your team, get them on your team. Do everything possible to make them hungry for the job. Pay them well! Don't be greedy about this either. Good people have options and if you don't get them on board and motivate them as fast as possible, your chances of getting them diminish by the day. Same goes for the job seeker. If you want to work for someone and they just can't make up their mind on whether to take you or not, move on. If an employer is taking long to make up their mind about you, they probably don't give enough of a shit about you. You want your employer to have a hard-on for you. This will make you spring out of bed and run to work to do your best. If you aren't good enough for the job, go find a job where you can crush it! There's always one that you'll excel at where you'll have a boss who loves you and snaps you up as fast as he can.
The same goes for partners. You want things to kick off quickly. Working together needs to be something both are looking to be doing a.s.a.p. If you need to negotiate forever and get every "i" dotted and "t" crossed, there's trouble ahead. You can iron out the details in hindsight. When it comes to partnering, get to partnering. Let the lawyers take care of things alongside the process or in hindsight. If you take forever to just get started, think about how crap everything will be when things go wrong. That partner can become your worst nightmare.
M&A is always a place where time is not on your side. Sure, you can squeeze out some extra value at times but usually more gets squeezed out of you. If you can sell, and the price is right, do it! Note, I said price is right. Don't jump at any and every offer. Yet, if it makes sense, the valuation is in everyone's favor and you can quickly get people to sign off on it, go. If you have to spend half a year getting everyone on board and then another couple months finalizing things, you're screwed. The buyer will always find reasons to drop the valuation and some schmuck will always turn up in your investor ranks who is going to try to screw you. You see M&A? Get on it and drive it. I rather worry in hindsight about potentially having been able to get more instead of being pissed off about getting nothing.
Same as for hiring, you have to be fast when firing. It's never pleasant and sucks for everyone, even if you're getting rid of a bad apple. It tends to diminish morale as people hate to actually see firing taking place. Therefore, do it quickly. Don't let anyone who isn't up to par stick around too long. Help them by getting them out the door and on to whatever they can shine at. Vice verse, get them away from your best employees whom they are most likely to demotivate. This goes both for employees as well as C-level employees. I like to often repeat a phrase I heard somewhere along the way: "You never in hindsight fired a CEO too early!" Think about it. Makes sense, doesn't it.
6. Launching Products
I'm just repeating Mike here but it can't be repeated enough. Keep launching products, features and updates. Get shit out the door. It's always better to have it out the door and improve it as you go. Sure, there are times when you want to really polish things before launching but 9 out of 10 times, it isn't the case. You're better off to err in favor of launching too fast instead of too slow. The market is hyper-competitive and you have to outshine the rest. Get it out the door, now!
I could keep going on and on about this but you get my gist. Be fast and you'll be happy with the results. Even if you aren't happy with what happens, you can adjust and try again. That's what it's all about in venture.