The Things We Expected to Happen This Year That Didn’t Quite Happen

Is there anything big you expected to get done in your business this year that didn’t quite happen? All of us had something that didn’t go as well as we planned.

I have heard these responses from capable SaaS founders and CEOs I know about the challenges they faced in 2023:

  • A major technology vendor had problems and screwed up new customer acquisition for an important quarter.
  •  A key leader wasn’t able to keep up with their expanding role and fell behind the pace.
  •  Something shifted in a key marketing or sales tactic that negatively affected their funnel.
  •  A capable competitor made more progress than expected.
  •  Their dev team took most of the year to deliver a major product feature that they planned to ship in one quarter.
  •  Sales cycles slowed down at big companies as they scrutinized their tech spending.

You know, the usual stuff that comes up every year in some form.

Most startup founders and leaders don’t anticipate their challenges and downsides as much as they build in high hopes.

  1.  What did you learn from your plan vs. actual results this year that can help you stay on plan next year?
  2.  Do you have enough upside opportunities in your plan this year to make up for expected but unknown downsides?

I have been planning years and quarters in software businesses for over 30 years, inside crazy startups, fast-growing ventures, and global public companies.

Each had a different risk management equation with upsides and downsides.

Best wishes to you and your teams to accomplish your most important goals next year, no matter what challenges and realities you face.

Keep going.

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