Last week, Redpoint held our annual Founder Day gathering. At the event, I listened to the stories of Felix Baumgartner's record breaking jump from 120,000 feet, heard about the astonishing comeback of the US America's Cup team and took part in a creativity workshop led by a Stanford Design School professor. In short, the event revolved around doubt.
BYOBI is an acronym I first heard on a telephone call with a VP of Technology at a large corporation. The word is almost unknown today, but I think that it will be one of the largest trends to impact data in the next five years.
I’m a perpetual freeloader. Like a houseguest who has overstayed his welcome with hundreds of people, I depend upon the generosity of strangers - in particular, software teams. I’ve used HelloFax to sign documents for years, but I haven’t paid them a nickel. The same is true for GMail, Google Docs, TripIt, TypeKit, UberConference, LogMeIn, Evernote, the list goes on.
One of the single most effective tools SaaS companies can use in order to grow faster isn't tweaking the product in a particular way or implementing an AB optimization framework or adopting new marketing tactic. Rather, it's financial judo for structuring contracts and cash collection.
At an Internet of Things conference last week, I took part in a panel in which we discussed the future of connected devices. Will simple products win or will complex products dominate in the IoT?, we were asked. I think the question misses the point and raises another problem about the Internet of Things more broadly. It's not about Things. It's about Services. Software-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service.
Fenwick's report on the state of the venture market and I came across these three data points that summarise one facet of the market in Silicon Valley succinctly.
In this week's New Yorker, Jill Lepore reviews Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace, a book whose author asks the question, what is the work place of the future?
Yesterday, I spoke on a panel at the Gainsight Pulse conference with Aaron Ross, the author of Predictable Revenue, Jason Lemkin of Storm Ventures who authors SaaStr, and Brian Stafford, a customer success expert from McKinsey. It was great fun to be on the panel and discuss how customer success is transforming SaaS companies by increasing revenue growth, decreasing capital needs, building better products and consequently retaining more customers. Many customer success leaders were present and I had a great time chatting with a few to understand the state of the market. To summarize the zeitgeist, customer success leaders in the session and throughout the conference voiced four challenges/problem/questions they face today: education, justification, attribution, and team structure.
Startups are in a state of perpetual change. During a startup's first few years of establishing product market and winning the first set of customers, this state of change is obvious. But as a startup scales, the company must adapt by learning and reinventing. Whether it's building the processes to grow the team, creating new sales and marketing initiatives to pursue adjacent customers, developing customer success teams or handling an unforseen crisis, this process of reacting to the market and evolving the company happens at every level in each function. How does a startup team steel itself to persevere through the ups and downs?