I remember many the great talks I've watched. Sir Ken Robinson's ,"How Schools Kill Creativity" and the story of a little girl whose genius was unrecognized in school until she was allow do dance, and ultimately became a prima-ballerina, is simply unforgettable. In most of my meetings, I remember Amy Cuddy's "Body Language" talk for a split-second. Commanding her body language changed her career. And who can forget Steve Jobs announcement of the iPhone? Presentations can be incredibly persuasive, and particularly in business, whether for closing candidates, pitching investors to fund raise, interviewing with the press and so on, they can materially impact the course of a startup. But it's really hard to tell a good story.
All of the businesses we've looked at in the past have been purely SaaS businesses. Today, we'll examine Tableau, the market leader for data visualization software. The company went public in 2013 and we'll use data from their S-1 through 2013 to benchmark the business.
Yesterday, SAP announced it would acquire Concur for $8.3B, the single largest SaaS acquisition in history in dollar terms. To put this acquisition in context, I looked at six other public-to-public acquisitions, where one publicly traded company acquired another.
Jason Fried, co-founder of 37Signals and Basecamp, published a blog post today called Faith in Eventually that captures the emotional tensions of building a product
Startups are intense experiences. Driven by a burning passion to change some aspect of the world, startup teams push, push, push to grow as fast as possible. Without the right balance, though, teams burn out - a terrible outcome. One of the most important responsibilities of every startup's management team is to manage their teams to maximize their performance and prevent burnout. But how?
After reading a few of the S-1 analyses on this blog, an entrepreneur asked me to look into the balance sheets of public SaaS companies. More specifically, how much cash should SaaS hold? How much equity do they raise? And do they employ debt to grow?
At the time of its IPO, Veeva employed about 600 people. Veeva built a CRM specific for the life-sciences/pharmaceutical industry, built on Salesforce's Force.com platform. In addition, the company provides tools to manage the documents for clinical trials. Today, we'll look at Veeva, masters of the massive enterprise sale, and one of the most remarkable SaaS businesses.
What will the world look like when cloud compute and storage are free? Cloud computing prices are hurtling to zero. The chart above shows the logarithmic decline of the cost of a transistor cycle by 11 orders of magnitude (11 decimal places) over the past 40 years. AWS has decreased prices for EC2, elastic compute cloud, and S3, simple storage service, 42 times in eight years.
I wish I had been in Stanford's CS183 class in 2012, the year Peter Thiel taught it. A student of the class, Blake Masters, copied all the class notes and I read every post, like thousands of other visitors to the site. In a few days, Thiel and Masters will release a book version of these notes called Zero to One: Notes on Startups or How to Build the Future. I was given a copy at TechCrunch Disrupt. Over the past day or so, I've read it in its entirety. Every person curious about or in the world of startups should read it, because it contains so much original thought.
Is there an optimal price for a product to maximize a SaaS startup's sales efficiency? As I've been analyzing the S-1s of publicly traded SaaS companies, most recently of HubSpot and Zendesk, I've been asking myself that question. Do million-dollar enterprise price points and field sales people create more efficient sales organizations than content-marketing-driven SMB startups? Or are the high-velocity inside sales teams of the pursuing the mid-market, the most efficient?