I'm a partner at Redpoint. I write daily, data-driven blog posts about key questions facing startups. I co-authored the book, Winning with Data. Join more than 20,000 others receiving these blog posts by email.

A Tale of Two Go To Market Strategies

There are approximately 22 million trucks in the US. Many of these trucks run software to track the location of the vehicle, manage inventory, and comply with regulation. There are two SaaS companies operating at greater than $100M million in ARR in the space and they illustrate one of the mantras on this blog. There are many different ways to build a SaaS company.

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Is There a No Man's Land in SaaS ACVs?

A founder asked me recently if a dead zone in ACVs exist around the $10k price point. Yesterday, I listened to a podcast in which an executive asserted that infrastructure software priced lower than $250k in ACV threatens the viability of the company. What does the data show?

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When Machine Learning Just Isn't Enough

At SaaStr earlier this year, I spoke about the huge potential of machine learning in SaaS. In that talk, I broke down some of the advances in ML that might be useful for software companies. In the discussion that ensued, I stressed the importance of not letting the technology obfuscate the value proposition of the software. Yes, ML is a huge step forward, but it's not enough by itself. In fact, it likely isn't the most challenging part of building a disruptive product.

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The Four Dimensions of a Demand Generation Portfolio

After a startup establishes product market fit, scaling demand generation becomes the the next major challenge. Doubling or tripling ARR each year for several consecutive years is not easy. The best marketers create a demand generation portfolio. There are four axes to measure this portfolio - scale of investment, sophistication, breadth and potential.

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SMB or Enterprise - Which is the Better Go To Market in SaaS?

A friend recently asked, "Which path is better for SaaS startups? SMB to mid-market to enterprise or straight to enterprise?" It's a key strategic question for many founders building software companies.

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The Asset Allocator in Chief

A CEO uttered a brilliant statement in a board meeting recently. He said, "This experiment will cost $250,000 to run. After three months, we will know whether our new go-to-market strategy is viable." What's so clever about this statement? The CEO's frame of mind when marshaling the company's assets - time and money.

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Startup Best Practices 25 - Bounding the Unknown Unknowns

Every once in a while, I receive a FedEx from an entrepreneur I haven't met. Inevitably, this mail contains a modern rarity - a business plan. Ten to twenty pages describing the idea, the genesis, the business model, the team and its structure, customer acquisition strategy, sales model and other key details of the business. A plan for how to start a company, and a defense of the idea.

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Managing a User's Trust with Machine Learning SaaS Software

There's no quicker way to lose a user or buyer of your software than to lose their trust. The software didn't save my data. The database suffered corruption. The website is down frequently. Data integrity is a challenge every company storing data faces. Machine learning SaaS startups face another trust risk – one introduced by probability.

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Benchmarking Cloudera's S-1 - How 7 Key SaaS Metrics Stack Up

Cloudera is the second of the Hadoop players to go public. Last week, the company filed their S-1 and revealed a massive business. Cloudera generated $261M in revenue, counts 500 clients and grows those accounts by 43% annually. 18% of their customers run Cloudera software in the cloud.

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The Most Important Thing I've Learned about Writing

The most satisfying compliment the reader can pay this to tell me they feel personally addressed. Think of your favorite authors and see if that isn't precisely one of the things that engages you, and often at first without noticing it. A good conversation is the only human equivalent.

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