If/then planning


The goal of if/then scenario planning is to better understand how you can manage your company’s spend and ensure capital efficiency in order to achieve success 

Ask yourself what bad things could happen, and what would your countermeasures be? 


Basic principles 

  • Keep the company alive long enough to get lucky 
  • Have a contingency plan for when your back is against the wall 
  • Identify and embrace the bare essentials 
  • Find creative ways to compel others to help fund the company or pay for development including, but not limited to, strategic partnerships 
  • It’s better to have if-then planning in your back pocket while your outlook is positive 


What’s in a plan 

  • Reduce non-essential spending immediately 
  • Develop if-then “triggers” to show actions in different situations 
  • Define base/downside/survival cash plans based on triggers 
  • The plan can evolve, but try to be disciplined 


The details matter 

  • Level of detail for if-then planning is considerable 
  • Use decision trees 
  • For instance: If you don’t particular funding or a partner fails to materialize, then cut off certain product development 
  • React, respond and be committed to the plan 
  • Think through when to pull the trigger on a particular decision and how will that impact the company


Spend wisely: cash management




Manage burn on customer commitments




If/then planning milestone matrix

Milestone Matrix: EcoMotors



Translate to scenarios



If/then planning case studies 

In this panel moderated by KV investment partner, Andrew Chung, hear from KV CEOs as they discuss if/then scenario planning and how a startup can manage its spend to achieve success. 


  • CEO of LanzaTech, Jennifer Holmgren
  • President/CEO of Stion, Chet Ferris
  • Eco Motors, Don Runkle



Survival to success: If/then to a goal

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