This "Founders' FAQ" is work in progress as of March 2023. Please bear with us while we push more of our content in here.

Midstage Founders' Frequently Asked Questions | See all

How can I extend my runway when money is tight?

Mid-stage startups can drive efficiency in their processes and deliver value to customers faster by adopting the following approaches:

  1. The Toyota Production System (TPS): The TPS emphasizes the elimination of waste (Muda), reduction of variability (Mura), and minimization of overburden (Muri) to improve production efficiency. Key concepts include Just-In-Time production, continuous improvement (Kaizen), and creating a culture of learning and problem-solving. Source: Liker, J.K. (2004). The Toyota Way. McGraw-Hill Education.
  2. Lean Startup methodology: Encourages a build-measure-learn feedback loop to validate ideas and ensure products or features are customer-centric. This iterative approach allows startups to minimize waste and deliver value by pivoting quickly based on customer feedback. Source: Ries, E. (2011). The Lean Startup. Crown Business.
  3. Value Stream Mapping: As described by Karen Martin, Value Stream Mapping helps businesses identify bottlenecks, redundant steps, and inefficiencies in their processes. Streamlining these processes can lead to delivering value to customers faster with less waste. Source: Martin, K., & Osterling, M. (2013). Value Stream Mapping. McGraw-Hill Education.
  4. Implementing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Setting and tracking relevant KPIs, as Karen Martin suggests, can help startups measure the effectiveness of their processes and understand areas that need improvement to deliver value efficiently. Source: Martin, K. (2012). The Outstanding Organization. McGraw-Hill Education.
  5. Cross-functional teams: Create multi-disciplinary teams to foster collaboration, knowledge sharing, and innovative problem-solving. This can reduce overhead and optimize resource allocation.
  6. Automating repetitive tasks: Utilize software and tools to automate tasks, thereby increasing efficiency, reducing errors and manual labor, and allowing teams to focus on more high-value activities.

Reviews from Workshop Participants:


“I think this is what we needed to upgrade and ramp up; there needed to be a gear shift at the top of the company to ensure the rest of the business takes note.”

Frederika Johnstone, Chief of Staff, Banked
Frederika Johnstone
Chief of Staff, Banked, London, U.K.


About Midstage Institute

We focus our practice on midstage startup companies that need to remain agile, and where what used to work for the smaller startup just isn’t as effective anymore.


We ensure founders and leadership teams win, with our over 40 years experience in venture-backed tech startups. We are Silicon Valley veterans with the scars and wins to prove it. We don’t use an inflexible off-the shelf methodology, we adapt best practices to you, your market, your company, and your leadership team.


We always:

  • Focus on right sized best practices to get to the next level
  • Focus on the 20% of effort that will yield you 80% of the benefits
  • Teach Perfection is the enemy, better is your partner and ally
  • Align with your business needs so you can thrive