“In the private company world these companies are typically on 2-2.5 year funding cycles. If you don't get the next check in, the entity may go belly up. The person who feels the most pressure in that situation is the CFO - you're looking at payroll, vendor payments, at office lighting. You've got better visibility into when things reach cash exhaustion. And you expect CEOs to be very optimistic and Heads of Sales to be very optimistic in believing it will come, but when you're not seeing it, you're not holding the sales order and you've got a backlog of payments that can be pretty nerve wracking. But you can also thrive in the fact that in some situations the weight of the company is on your shoulders and for me that's highly motivational. "
– John Quarles
John Quarles has served as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for two different startups, where he has raised over $150M of equity and debt for his companies. John is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, and served as a Navy SEAL as part of SEAL Team 8. After transitioning from the military, he worked as a consultant at Accenture for one year prior to attending Harvard Business School. After HBS, he entered the Finance Industry and began his progression towards CFO.
In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including: