Robert Runte had occasion once to point out after the celebrated financial losses of PineKone II:

  1. Never start or work on a convention without the protection of incorporation as a non-profit society.

  2. Never try to pay off convention debts by holding an even bigger convention to "make it back" the following year. If you lose money, fold the con, or fund-raise until seed-money is at hand.

  3. Never borrow money from outsiders, or in amounts the lenders can't afford to write off; if you don't have the cash to do the con, don't do the con.

  4. Exercise stringent cost control. Cons grow and prosper by buidling on their successive profits, not by mounting lavish conventions on borrowed money and expected revenues. PineKone wasn't the first con to learn these lessons the hard way, and unfortunately, it probably won't be the last.

(Robert Runte, XenoFile 1:6, early 1990)