I always look forward to letters from my TechStars portfolio companies. They are short, informative, and to this eye, look like a combination of two strong Catholic traditions: 1) Confession (“Help me Father, for I have sinned”) and 2)the promise of greater glory to come. Here’s a sample. Copy at will, and all you portfolio companies, don’t forget to write! For more detail, check out the longer article Dharmesh Shah and I put up on OnStartups.
To: Newco Investors and Advisors
From: Jill Jones, (617) 555-1212
Mostly on track here since our xx/xx/xx update. Here’s the latest:
*We met our goals for x and y, and exceeded our goal in z by 15%.
*Build on v0.4 is complete, feedback so far is good. Plan on releasing next week. Contact Joe (joe@company, (617) 555-1212) if you’d like to get a demo or a copy of the software
*Got press coverage here, here, and here. Please tweet!
The Bad and the Ugly:
*having trouble getting xyz new client to process the paperwork through legal. Suggestions on how to get around this slowdown?
*missed our target on xyz for last month, and still slow this month to date. On the agenda to discuss next board meeting on 6/3 at 10am. Let us know if you can’t be there but want to call in.
*still having trouble with hiring a good designer. For now, we are outsourcing to XYZ, but it’s expensive, so we are cutting back on travel so as to keep on our burn rate schedule.
Key Performance Indicators
KPI 1 Last month’s actual This month’s actual Last forecast Next forecast
KPI 2 Last month’s actual This month’s actual Last forecast Next forecast
This can be shown graphically or numerically
General Corporate stuff:
*Meetings scheduled with abc, def, and ghi in the next two weeks.
*Of last 10 meetings, 4 seem worthy of followup, with jkl and mno most promising.
Big Strategic Questions:
*Have had some interest from the xyz customer segment. Building a prototype for them would probably slow everything else down 6 weeks.Worth pursuing?
*Have received inbound from abc potential acquirer/competitor. How much do we open up to them?
*Looking for an introduction to def, ghi, and xyz
That’s it for now, any questions, give me a call at 617 (555-1213).
What do you think? For me, it works, keeping me informed hopefully engaged. And readable in less than 2 minutes. It’s that simple.