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Jan 10

The Value Of Face To Face Meetings

Posted by: Mark Solon        

We’ve recently issued a term sheet to an exciting company to lead their Series A financing. Over the last few weeks, an issue arose during due diligence that needed to get cleared up prior to funding. We’ve been making some progress but given the complexity of the issue, lawyers and accountants were brought in. Further complicating the situation was the fact that another venture firm is investing along with us, so the communication was hampered by trying to get so many parties together on the phone so often. Given the holidays and some travel, this issue dragged on for a couple of weeks. The issue wasn’t a deal breaker, just important enough that it needed to be dealt with prior to financing.

This morning, Glenn, George, Derek, Phil and I were sitting in our conference room having our weekly partners meeting when we had a surprise visitor. The CEO of the company showed up unannounced, knowing that we’d all be here and sat down to hammer out the issue with us. Being from out of town, he flew in last night so he knew he’d be here first thing this morning.

We immediately called our attorney, who walked over to our office and we made our way through the issue for the next few hours. There’s still a small bit of work to do but it looks like we made terrific progress and we should be able to complete the financing shortly. I was completely impressed by the CEO’s initiative. He knew it was important to work through this complex issue and refused to let anything get in the way of getting it done.

I hope this is a good lesson. In this world we live in where we rely so heavily on email to get things done, there is no substitute for getting together face to face and hammering out an issue until it’s resolved.


One Response to “The Value Of Face To Face Meetings”

  1. avatar Karl Jones says:

    I couldn't agree more. The tendency to resort to fast communication (email, vm) can be done without regard to how effective this method is for communicating. Ultimately the goal becomes to get it off your plate rather than solve the problem. This results in decisions being delayed while issues continue to spin around everyone's desk. A way to minimize this is to set up protocols which identify the best method to use various communication methods. These can include emails, phone calls, VM, huddles (spur of the moment need to meet with minimal prep) and meetings. Establishing, disseminating and enforcing these protocols allows the organization to communicate to more effectively.

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