I'm a partner at Redpoint. I invest in Series A and Series B SaaS companies. I write daily, data-driven blog posts about key questions facing startups including how to fund raise, startup benchmarks, management best practices and team building. I co-authored the book, Winning with Data. Join more than fifteen thousand others receiving these blog posts daily by email.


The Two Ingredients of Mastery

I've been reading Robert Greene's book Mastery. Greene has amassed biographies of tens of great people from Henry Ford to Paul Graham, from Alexander the Great to Larry Page. Across many of them, he identifies two common paths to mastery, mentorship and grit.

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How Many Inboxes Do You Have?

LinkedIn. Twitter. Facebook. Asana. RelateIQ. Slack. 3 Email Accounts. Each of those is an inbox, an implicit or explicit to do list. If I count the feed and the messaging products as separate inboxes, I have a grand total of 12 inboxes for work. 12 things to check first thing and last thing. How many do you have?

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The Decline of New SaaS Company Formation

The rate of new software company formation seems to have declined materially in the past few years. In 2011-2013, about 1450 software companies were founded each year on average. In 2014, that figure fell to 1186 and in 2015, we count 481.

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The Four Factors to Consider When Developing Your Startup's Pricing Strategy

What is the optimal pricing strategy for my start up? That depends. It depends on at least three other variables - the product, the placement, the positioning. Combined with price, these are the four 4Ps of marketing created by Dr. E. Jerome McCarthy, former professor of marketing at Michigan State and Notre Dame. Also called the marketing mix, these four variables need to be aligned when determining pricing for your startup.

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Mitigating Myopia in SaaS Marketing

As a SaaS startup scales from finding initial product market fit to building its go to market organization, one of the most important goals in building that go to market organization is developing a multifaceted marketing team. Marketing’s role in SaaS sales has expanded to the success of SaaS companies as customers prefer to educate themselves more than they have in the past.

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The Impact to Startups of the LinkedIn Acquisition

The acquisition frenzy continues in SaaS. This morning Microsoft announced it would acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, which prices the business at 8 .1x trailing 12 month revenues and 6.7x next 12 month revenues. In addition, Symantec announced that it would acquire Blue Coat for $4.7 billion, a 7.7x trailing multiple. In the 2016 acquisition market, the median acquisition multiple is 7.8x trailing 12 month revenue and 6.4x next 12 month revenue.

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The Key Ingredient to Disrupting with Machine Learning

Which are the ripest areas for startups to disrupt using machine learning? At the core, machine learning/artificial intelligence relies on two key ingredients - advanced algorithms and data sets to train those algorithms. Novel algorithms are increasingly making their way into the public domain in the form of open-source libraries. So, the key differentiator for startups and ultimately long-term competitive advantage is access to proprietary data sets.

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Subverting Systems of Record with Chat Bots

How does a chat bot company transform a technology advantage into a distribution advantage? This I think is the key question facing startups in this part of the ecosystem.

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When to Scale Sales for Your SaaS Startup

When is the right time to increase sales headcount for a SaaS startup? It is one of the most strategic decisions for early-stage business to make given the amount of effort and expense involved in building, managing and scaling a sales team.

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Comparing Two Ways to Build a SaaS Sales Team

There are two main ways of building a SaaS sales team - top down or bottoms up. Top down SaaS sales organizations start with a VP of Sales who often hires senior account executives. Bottoms up sales teams hire the first account manager and promote from within. Which is better?

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