If/Then Planning

By Khosla Ventures on


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


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