Kim Armor: Shaping Growth Strategies for New Business
What is the role of Ventures in the Comcast universe?
KA: Ventures helps bring awareness of new technology startups to Comcast and NBCUniversal. We see thousands of companies every year and share what’s trending, even if it doesn’t have an immediate connection. We also partner with every division of the company; just this past quarter we co-hosted events with the storage and security teams and dinners discussing digital video and customer data management.
What advice would you give to startups/entrepreneurs?
KA: I’d retweet Sam Altman’s recent comment: 'hire the best, praise often, set clear vision, set clear expectations, don’t micromanage and don’t let conflict fester.' Adding my investor input, would be to see achievable expectations that we can celebrate and leverage to grow value. Much of my career has been spent in operational finance and shaping long-term growth strategies while managing to a budget. With investing, nearly all of the budgets we see never hit. This is not because the company isn’t growing, but because the metrics are lofty and entrepreneurs are planning for hockey stick growth from big new markets. When it comes to building a business, continuous forward progress is more important than the unicorn spike (market data is only 0.07 percent of all consumer & enterprise software startups become unicorns).
What pitch were you excited about the minute you heard it? What pitch were you wrong about?
KA: Passion sells and if you know your space well, the entrepreneur really could have you at "hello," (i.e., after that first meeting). Then you need to do your homework, fact check to have the confidence that that company, space, entrepreneur and team is the one. Investing is a long term commitment, historical data trends show average of 5-7 years to exit for VC backed startups. The reality is in venture, you will be wrong 67 percent of the time.