Startup CEOs need to make rigorous predictions about their cash flow and their budgets, despite the overwhelming uncertainty that makes it impossible for either of those predictions to be accurate. While you and your team simply have to accept market uncertainty as a part of startup life, you can mitigate it by maintaining a high degree of regularity in how your company operates. You do this by creating a Company Operating System: a regular set of behaviors and rhythms upon which your team can depend as they make that daily leap into the unknown.


Whatever uncertainty the day holds, the sun rises when it rises, sets when it sets—and the moon accordingly appears on a regular schedule of waxing and waning. The same holds for weeks, months, and years. None of us know what surprises 2020 has waiting for us—but we know December 21 will be the shortest day of that year, like every other.

There's a way to bring the same regularity to the chaos of startup life. Is your latest product release going to ship on time? Is your new sales lead going to triple customer acquisition? Is your new marketing approach going to gain traction in the marketplace? Nobody knows—not you, not the head of product, not the head of sales, not the head of marketing. That said, there are some things every member of your team can depend on:

  • An advanced schedule of major meetings. What you will discuss at your next quarterly board meetings ...

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