Ask Yourself: Do we truly have product/market fit? Without it there is no sense in increasing burn aggressively to drive future growth. For my particular business model (SaaS) there are several indicators to monitor: MRR growth, churn rate, cost of customer acquisition and payback period. For consumer startups it could be usage/engagement, each model is unique.
Ask Yourself: Am I scaling up hiring because we have a real need, or am I stockpiling talent because people keep telling me its an arms race?
Ask Yourself: Is more than 5% of my budget going to things outside of payroll, payroll tax, benefits and rent? If so you are probably overspending on things like servers (get AWS!), advertising, meals and travel.
Ask Yourself: Am I willing to do what is required to get to break even? This could mean reducing/eliminating salaries, firing people, moving to a cheaper city or moving out of your office into an apartment, and selling your stuff.
Ask Yourself: Am I spending like we’re chasing a big market, when it’s actually a small one? If you’re getting a lot of feedback that the market seems small and you don’t agree, you might need to re-frame your vision. (old vision: Bloomberg for startup investors, new vision: Google for B2B)
Ask Yourself: Is the kind of growth we’re seeing sustainable beyond the first six months? It’s awesome to build something a small group of people love and are willing to pay a lot for, but don’t forget to go find the next group.