Expectations Matter

Thanks to LinkedIn for reminding us that managing expectations, especially those of investors, matters.  

Shares of the professional social networking company are getting hammered this morning, down 40% after delivering weak Q4 earnings and lowering guidance for Q1 2015. It's the latter that's really hurting the stock, which is down almost 60% this year. 

One analyst lamented that the company was doing little to convince investors to own the stock. 

Wall Street is a fickle beast, as many emerging technology companies have learned in the past several months. But The Street, like any group of investors, hates surprises. Especially bad ones.  

Those of us fortunate enough to manage other peoples' money should remember that delivering bad news won't sink your career or your business. Hiding it however, will, as surprises ding investors' trust in you as well. 

It's easy to get up in front of a room and deliver a glowing report. It's delivering bad news -- with a plan to make it right -- that separates us.