Sign up

What matters to you matters to us! Customize your newsletter–tell us what you're most interested in and we'll handle the rest.

loader image




December 29, 2020

Norwest’s Top Five Blogs of 2020

Vintage Typewriter

This year we interviewed portfolio founders across a wide range of industries, analyzed emerging trends, and offered guidelines and advice to help entrepreneurs and companies face the challenges of 2020. 

From how to build a COVID-19 operating plan to what you need to know about the Gen Z market, our investors and founders shared some incredible insights on our blog over the past year. Here are the top five Norwest blog posts of 2020: 

5 Common Finance Mistakes SMBs Make

By Jon Kossow and Joe Fisch

In this post, Norwest Managing Partner Jon Kossow teamed up with Joe Fisch, CEO of Wine Access to outline the five most common mistakes that small businesses make with their finances and how to avoid them. 

“In business, it’s generally most fun to talk about marketing campaigns, product launches, and expanding into new markets. But if you aren’t having the “money conversation” with your management team on a regular basis, you may be setting your business up for potential challenges that could otherwise be avoided.” – Jon Kossow

When and How to Hire a CFO

By Jon Kossow, Ran Ding, and Chris Sondej

Two of the most common questions we receive are 1) “When do we scale the finance team, and hire a CFO?” and 2) “How do we search for and evaluate the candidate who is right for the job?” In this piece, the Norwest team spoke with Vin Vacanti at YipitData and Joe Kudla at Vuori, two of our portfolio CEOs who both successfully scaled their teams and appointed CFOs over the last year.

“A CFO does a lot more than what most CEOs think they do. The reason to hire a CFO isn’t for the reasons you can think of; it’s for the reasons you can’t think of.” – Vin Vacanti

“Since my CFO started, I’ve been able to think longer-term about the business and our blind spots. I can think about recruiting world-class talent to help us hit our goals. I can get back to doing what I love, which is spending more time with our brilliant product team.” – Joe Kudla

A Digital-Led Recovery for Emerging Brands

By Jon Kossow

For this blog, Norwest managing partner Jon Kossow shared his wisdom on how brands can build and sustain brand loyalty despite the downturns caused by the pandemic. Revisit this blog to read about how brands like IKEA, Kendra Scott, and L’Oreal have embraced an omnichannel approach to improve their shopping experience and keep customers. As Jon writes, the time is ripe for creativity and innovation, as long term market and demographic changes are on the horizon.

“Changing a business model can be risky but valuable if done correctly. A good place to start is to take a look at the habits and preferences of customers and prospects. Have they changed? What do customers and prospects want and need?” – Jon Kossow

The Future of Social for “Millennials on Steroids”

By Michelle Nie

Penned by Norwest venture investor Michelle Nie, who hovers on the “border between being a millennial and a Gen Z”, this blog shed light on Gen Z and their consumer identity. Nie talks about four key social-focused trends and different marketing opportunities for brands to cater to the Gen Z market. This generation is surprisingly entrepreneurial: they are 55% more likely than millennials to want to start businesses and side hustles.

“I believe there will be a true Gen Z-targeted social platform that emerges with the components and trends outlined above. A Gen Z professional network may also emerge alongside innovations in the social space.” – Michelle Nie

Time to Develop Your COVID-19 Operating Plan

By the Norwest Team

This year has pushed leaders across the globe to rethink the way they do business. As a response, when pandemic panic was at its height, the Norwest team carefully laid out a framework for a COVID-19 Operating Plan to help companies build business resilience and adapt. 

“Companies should be closely examining how their businesses will operate in this current COVID-19 environment and how these unexpected changes can change their growth and revenue plans over several quarters and beyond.”

We knew how the virus had affected global supply chains, remote teams, customers, executives, and their family members. Our operating plan was valued by readers as a way to help optimize safety policies, business planning, and capitalization assessments.


Thanks to all our readers for their dedication and input this year. We’re looking forward to bringing you more great content in 2021.