Hi, I'm a partner at Redpoint. I invest in Series A and B SaaS companies. I write daily, data-driven blog posts about key questions facing startups. I co-authored the book, Winning with Data. Join more than 16,000 others receiving these blog posts by email. Subscribe.

Using Data to Demystify Data Science

While the phrase data scientist may be [growing exponentially in its usage, and the number of data scientists job requisitions following a similar trend, the definition of the term is hard to pin down precisely. I wasn't sure I could define it well until I watched a talk by Hilary Mason, former chief scientist at Bitly, called Dirty Secrets of Data Science at a NYC meetup. During the presentation, she highlighted a chart created by the Data Community DC team that demystifies term data scientist.

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What the Nest Acquisition Means for the Internet of Things

As recently as six months ago, it was easy to disregard the Internet of Things (IoT) as just a theoretical market that Cisco measured in the trillions, but whose potential never seemed to materialize. That’s all changing. The past year ushered in a new era for the Internet of Things for three reasons.

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Three Important Trends in the Startup Exit Market

Each year the National Venture Capital Association and Thomson Reuters release data characterizing the state of the startup market. I've analyzed the 2013 data and there are three important trends I observed. All in all, the startup exit market is quite healthy.

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The Average Value of a Tech Company is Decreasing

On the heels of last week's post about the Health of the Public Technology Market, Felix Salmon asked the thought-provoking question above. Despite the 68x growth in the value of technology market caps since 1980, are newer average technology companies worth less? Surprisingly, yes.

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Why Everything I Thought I Knew About Churn Is Wrong

Churn is one of the most important metrics for businesses. Churn dictates customer lifetime, lifetime value (CLV), customer acquisition spend and customer success spending. In short, churn is pivotal number to evaluate a startup's business, both for founders/management teams and investors. Unfortunately, accurately measuring churn rates/lifetime value is more complex than I initially thought. I was researching the topic after Ryan Shank asked me how best to calculate an average customer's lifetime value. The more I dug into the math, the deeper the rabbit hole went.

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The Two Key Skill Sets Startups Must Develop To Grow

As I've watched a few of the companies I work with grow, the pattern I see emerging from most of them is their ability to persistently face chaos and from it, create processes and then continuously improve them.

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Why Quotas Aren't the Most Important Number for Startup Sales Teams

I'll never forget the first time I was assigned a sales quota. I was six months into a sales role at Google in which I on-boarded and managed the accounts of social networks running AdSense ads. Our key metric was customer satisfaction and retention. After a few months, I was starting to get into a groove. And then, our team was assigned a new manager who put the team on a quota, sending me into a tailspin.

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The Importance of Seasonality in SaaS Startups

For Google, seasonality is an important factor in forecasting quarterly revenue growth. In the advertising business, Q4 is always the strongest, followed by Q1. Q2 is the weakest. In Google's latest financial year, the difference between the weakest and strongest quarters was 22%: $14.4B in Q4 and $11.8B in Q2. I wondered if the same were true for SaaS companies. While not subject to the consumer buying holiday cycle like advertising based companies, SaaS salespeople might be impacted by the vacation schedules of their customers or some other factors I couldn't anticipate.

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My Thoughts on CES: The Six Trends on the Show Floor

Yesterday, I walked the sprawling floor of the Consumer Electronics Show. These are the six key themes/trends I noted: The Coming Era of Drones, The Internet of Things is Going Away, The Reinvention of the Car, Searching for the Next Massive Hardware Market, Commodification of Wearable Technology, and Hunting for TV's New Killer Feature

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The Three Doors to SaaS Success

Tien is the founder and CEO of Zuora, and was formerly CMO and CSO at Salesforce. He is a brilliant marketer and created the notion of the three doors to SaaS success.

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