The Quick Guide to Company Updates

Peter Swan
Peter Swan , CEO , Gust INC
18 Apr 2024

This write-up was originally sent to subscribers as a part of our Mission Control weekly insights, a series where we share wisdom and quick breakdowns on topics from our new entrepreneur support network.

Are you sending regular company updates to your network? If not, you should be. Consistently sending updates keeps your startup top-of-mind with the people best positioned to help it grow. Even if you don’t have investors yet, sending company updates to future partners, customers, contributors and capital providers leverages your progress to build excitement and mobilize your network to help accelerate your startup journey.

The primary goal of your company update is to galvanize your network into helping your startup grow. To accomplish this goal, make sure you’re focusing on presenting the information people need to help: tell your story, showcase progress and provide a clear call to action. Eliminate any info that isn’t directly related to that.


To compose a good company update, keep your audience and your goal in mind. Here are some guidelines:

  • Consider the hero’s journey – You’re telling a story to engage an audience. Reminding them of your audacious mission and showing them how you are overcoming challenges to achieve the impossible makes it hard not to want to help.
  • Be open about challenges – All startups struggle. If your audience doesn’t understand your challenges they can’t help you overcome them. Honesty and vulnerability in company updates help build trust and leverage your network to overcome challenges. Challenges successfully navigated become compelling beats in your next update.
  • Provide a summary – Your network is busy. Make sure you lead with a summary that highlights the most important information and provides a clear call to action to make it as easy as possible to understand the status and plug in to help. Hook the right people with the summary and they’ll read on to the details.
  • Build momentum – Think of your company update as a story in serial. Focus on the state of the world as you last left it and the important things that have happened since last time. Present clear goals, show your progress toward them and show how the rate of progress has changed. Don’t retell your entire history or your momentum gets lost.
  • Show progress toward clear strategic goals – If you’re having trouble putting together your company update, make sure you’ve identified clear goals that align with your startup’s strategic plan. Showing progress toward clear goals at an accelerating pace builds excitement. Winning a pitch competition, fixing your corporate formation, or completing an education milestone can be reported as wins if you can tie them to strategic goals but they aren’t strategic goals on their own.
  • Avoid marketing language – Company updates aren’t a product demo or sales email. They are most effective when they bring your audience behind the scenes of your startup and make them feel part of the journey.
  • Get in the details – If you hook the right people with the summary, providing additional context about progress and challenges will help them pro-actively plug in and help in ways you may not have thought of. Your clear asks are how you want people to help, the additional context allows people with relevant experience to let you know how they can help in ways you might not have thought of yet.

Consistent communication with the key players to your startup’s success – whether they’re future customers, partners, or investors – is a simple but powerful technique to increase your chances of success. Incorporate the above themes into your updates to keep them succinct and intriguing to those following and supporting your journey.

Recently, Mission Control founders had the opportunity to join two virtual working sessions focused on building company updates. The first, to help build the foundation for a good company update and answer questions; the second, to review company updates from founders in the Mission Control network. Gust panelists and fellow founders helped companies clearly articulate strategic goals, focus on progress and momentum and remove distractions to create more successful company updates.

Check out Gust's Mission Control- a support network for serious founders.

This article is intended for informational purposes only, and doesn't constitute tax, accounting, or legal advice. Everyone's situation is different! For advice in light of your unique circumstances, consult a tax advisor, accountant, or lawyer.