If I made a word cloud of the terms in 2016 that dominated Startupland, burn would be among them and perhaps the largest. On the contrary, burn would be absent from the 2015 list, replaced by unicorn. Starting in the end of 2015, Public companies have markedly shifted the way they manage their businesses pushing toward cash flow positive and net income positive. In parallel, startup founders and CEOs have markedly shifted the way they communicate and manage their businesses.
In Startups are Risk Bundles, Leo Polovets outlines the risks startups face as they grow. In particular, Leo identifies common mistakes when addressing that parcel of peril. Addressing minor risk by spending time and effort on low priority or low impact risk a common failure mode for companies. The business isn't focused on the most critical issues.
Creating and optimizing a sales plan for an early stage SaaS company is a challenging task. There are lots of different variables to manage and the truth is it's always a work in progress even for massively successful businesses. But at the very earliest days, where do you start?
If your SaaS startup were to trade in the public markets today, what would it be worth? The true answer is we don't know, but we can approximate it by comparing it to the other publicly traded SaaS companies and benchmarking the business by its growth rate.
Jeff Wiss has managed demand generation and corporate marketing for some iconic software companies. MySQL, the most valuable open-source acquisition; Zendesk, the $3B leader in customer support software; DataStax, The business commercializing Cassandra; and most recently Duo Security, an Ann Arbor-based trusted access company that has some of the most sensational SaaS metrics I’ve ever seen.
It's no secret I believe speech is the next input mechanism. We are in the Voice-to-Text Era. I wrote in late 2014 that speech is the fastest user interface, and the newest speech recognition experiments confirm it.
I heard this aphorism in my first year as a venture capitalist having forgotten it. There’s a lot of wisdom to it and I think it’s most applicable when interviewing. I remind myself of the same each time I speak with a candidate for a role.
I met an entrepreneur last week with an amazing command of technology history. He spoke about the way the Xerox Alto has influenced graphical design over the past forty years. I learned a lot. For this first computer's monitor has a portrait orientation, not a landscape orientation? His knowledge of history provides him a huge competitive advantage because he understands why things have evolved a certain way and the assumptions that underpinned previous decisions.
In February, public SaaS companies had fallen 57% from their highs. The enterprise value to forward revenue more than halved from 7.7x to 3.3x. This ostensibly random valuation correction has triggered a wave of consolidation in software, with nearly $70B+ worth of exits year to date in 2016. Over the last six months, however, forward multiples have reverted to the mean.
The next generation of multi-billion dollar SaaS platforms, the startups who will displace incumbents, will do it with event-driven SaaS.