I'm a partner at Redpoint and write daily, data-driven blog posts about key questions facing startups including how to fund raise, startup benchmarks, management best practices and team building. Join thousands of others receiving these blog posts daily by email.


The State of the Startup Fundraising Market in 2016

For all the talk about late stage rounds, megarounds and unicorns, early stage startups are benefitting disproportionately from near-record years of venture capital investment. Of the $42B invested in startups in 2015, 34% or about $14B was raised in series A and seed rounds. That figure is up from 18% in 2005. The 35% attained in 2013 share for early investment ties the 1996 record.

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How Many Funnels Does Your Startup's Product Have?

Dresden Rube Goldberg Rain Machine

At its essence, a product is a combination of different funnels bringing the user from one state to another. How many funnels does your startup's product have? How many are you measuring? How many are you optimizing?

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When Startup Compensation Isn't About the Money

In his book describing Google's People Operations called Work Rules!, Laszlo Bock presents this chart to describe the difference between the way many companies think about talent today, as a normal or Gaussian distribution, and how Google thinks about it, as a power law. It's the most provocative idea about employee compensation I've found.

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The Hottest Startup Sectors in 2016

Which of the 16 major start of categories in information technology will reap disproportionate share of investment dollars in 2016? And which sectors are closely guarded secrets shielded by seed investors, that may have their breakout year this year?

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A Rich Library of User Onboarding Analysis

When I was at Google, we worked with a user experience team frequently to help us design changes to the AdWords front end. After having reviewed our designs within our product team for weeks, we often thought the design was complete and foolproof. But we were consistently proven wrong by the UX team whose work surfaced face-slapping oversights.

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Is Now a Good Time to Start a Company?

Bismuth Crystal grows like this. It can levitate frogs.

The fundraising markets have infused more cash into startups in 2015 than in any year since 2001. But, the venture backed IPO markets touched five year lows and whispers of a bubble have become a meme in the past six months. What's really going on? And should that impact when founders start companies?

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Are You Present?

Last week, I was chatting with an old friend who after I told her how busy and ragged I sometimes felt, she asked me, "Are you present?" To which I immediately replied, "At work?" And she laughed, and said, "I meant at home, but I have my answer!"

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Building the Machine - Organizational Design in Startups

As a startup scales and surpasses its first organizational breaking point of 8 employees, it's time to start thinking about organizational design. The strategy a startup chooses in their market should determine their organizational design. In the First Round Review profile of Paul Arnold , the Head of Operations at AppDirect, Paul shares the challenges the initial organizational structure created as the company grew 5x in less than a year.

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Steady and Persistent Growth to $5.5B in Market Cap - The Ultimate Software Company

The Ultimate Software Company is a $5.5B market cap provider of SaaS Human Capital Management software. Founded in 1996, the company initially sold licensed software and migrated to multi-tenant SaaS in 2002 with a product called UltiPro. Today, more than 82% of revenues are subscription dollars.

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Pricing for SaaS Enabled Marketplaces - When to Go Free

SaaS Enabled Marketplaces employ elegant business models. They are verticalized SaaS companies that manage a marketplace to create winner-take-all market dynamics. SEMs can generate revenue in four ways - charge the buyer and/or supplier a software fee & charge the buyer and/or supplier a marketplace fee. In addition, a startup must determine what rake to charge.

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