Digital Survival to Thrival is a mind-meld between a three-time entrepreneur/CEO (Bob Tinker) and a longtime venture capitalist/board member (Tae Hea Nahm). We worked together for over 15 years on two successful startups: Airespace (which grew from $0 to $80m in annual revenues and was sold to Cisco for $450m) and MobileIron (which grew from $0 to $150m in annual revenues and went public).
As we reflected together on those journeys, we realized that the current literature around building startups failed to identify the critical moment that unlocks growth in a company. Startup literature talks about Product Market Fit, but PMF is not enough to unlock growth. That critical moment did not even have a name until now. We call it Go-To-Market Fit.
With GTM Fit, growth happens, and everything changes. The startup suddenly shifts from Survival mode to Thrival mode. Maddeningly, what used to work no longer works for the company and for the people. The company’s success requires everyone, including the CEO, to unlearn the very things that made them successful. That leads to the second book: the people journey. How company growth causes people's roles to change dramatically, even though the role title deceptively remains the same. So, the people must change, or the company must change the people.
Tae Hea Nahm is co-founder of Storm Ventures (a Silicon Valley based VC firm) and co-author of Survival to Thrival. He was the founding CEO of AireSpace, later sold to Cisco for $450m. He was also an early investor in Berkana (Qualcomm), Com2uS (Korean IPO), EchoSign (Adobe), Marketo (IPO/Vista), MobileIron (IPO), Sierra Monolithics (Semtech), Silego (Dialog), Sourceclear (CA Technologies) and Talkdesk. Like many Silicon Valley investors, Tae Hea tends to pattern-match for success and failure across his portfolio of investments. He compares a company situation to his prior experience to understand the drivers that predict future outcomes and help the entrepreneur. As an applied-math major, he deliberately (sometimes overly) analyzes the startup journey to create and fit a model. He is a model guy.