Former Amazon and Facebook executive Dan Rose shares fundraising tips

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Dan Rose held senior management positions at Amazon and Facebookas well as positions on the board of directors of companies such as Borders and Hello. He’s seen what it takes to survive in a bear market, and he has simple advice for anyone raising money, “raise capital when you can, not when you need it.”

Rose gave the example of the bubble dot com in the early 2000s, and how Amazon decided to exploit the converted debt in February 2000. According to Rose, the company “wouldn’t have survived” if it had waited a month. Similarly, Facebook grew 33% in 2009 even though it had a lead, because it could.

Rose also went on to explain that “cash is king” and forget about valuations, while saying “growth can wait, not survival.” Rose has repeatedly stressed that companies need to remember what they have in the bank and plan for sustainability rather than getting carried away with the big numbers.

Rose also pointed out that corporate culture comes from the top. When Amazon founder Jeff Bezos received a team jersey as a congratulatory gift, “he threw the team out of his office and banned all swag from the company.” Likewise, when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wanted to “get serious” in 2009, he was the first to walk in wearing a tie to dispel the company’s notorious college culture.

Rose went on to talk about more recent examples, including those of a failed startup, and as a board member of a travel startup whose revenue fell to zero overnight when the pandemic hit. His advice was to stay calm, keep communicating, and “accept the unacceptable” when faced with it.

Rose’s Twitter feed comes amid growing fears the market could soon collapse. Traditional equity investors and incumbent startups have expressed concerns. Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett recently warned of an impending market correction, while Elon Musk advised his followers to only buy stocks they believe in so as not to panic if and when markets fall.

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