What do you look for in SaaS companies? It's hard to answer this question concisely because there are so many different ways of building a great software business. The best way I've found to describe it is a technology innovation leading to a go-to-market advantage. That's how I answered the question in the 20Minute VC podcast with Harry Stebbings.
We all recognize great leadership when we see it. But what characterizes great leadership? Is it an inspirational speaker articulating a goosebump-inducing vision? Or an executive with the five universally praised characteristics Stanford professor Jeffrey Pfeiffer identified - modesty, authenticity, truthfulness, trustworthiness and selflessness? Or is it a great manager of people, someone who understands the aspirations of each report, charts a career path, assigns meaningful work along that path, and champions their promotion? Or perhaps leadership means having the courage to make the hard, but right decision?
As a SaaS startup grows, recurring revenue begins to fuel the company. Not too far into the future, the existing customer base begins to contribute more of the startup's revenue than new customers and bookings. Each startup will observe this revenue composition transition at a different point in its evolution because it's a function of growth rate and churn rate.
The startup fundraising market in 2016 has been difficult to characterize. Punctuated by a concentrated decline in public tech stocks, the sentiment in Startupland has changed from resolute ebullience to a calmness approaching caution. Two months in, we can analyze January and February data. This posts analyses US headquartered information technology companies which VC-led investment rounds.
In "How People Learn to Become Resilient" Maria Konnikova retells the story of Norman Garmezy and George Bonnano, the first developmental psychologists to study grit and resilience.
This weekend the New York Times Magazine published the annual Work Issue, a compendium of 9 articles reimagining the modern workplace. They span topics from building the perfect team, to managing a company fewer meetings, to eliminating bias in recruiting processes - even the social ramifications of so many people eating lunch at their desks, "desktop dining."
The single most important business decision in evaluating a business is pricing power. And if you need a prayer session before raising price, then you've got a terrible business --Warren Buffett
A dollar is a dollar is a dollar, right? Not quite. Not all revenue dollars are created equal, but all gross profit dollars are. Gross profit, not revenue, is the metric companies should be using to compare themselves. Ultimately, gross profits account for more than 55% of the forward multiple of publicly traded SaaS companies after normalizing for revenue growth.
At SaaStr 2016 and SaaS Office Hours in New York, I shared an analysis of the fastest growing SaaS companies over the last 3 years. In particular, I benchmarked the revenue, growth rates and round size characteristics of these businesses at their Series A.
Each new year, I try to implement a new productivity hack. Getting Things Done. Bullet Notebook. This year, I'm trying to manage my to do list with my calendar.