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.

Startup Pricing: How to Manage Channel Conflict

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You have just launched your new software start up. The last webpage to go up on the website is the pricing page. Like many other SaaS startups, you decide to employ some version the three pane pricing plan: first the free version, second a paid upgrade costing between $5-$40 per month, and third an enterprise tier with a “Call for Quote” in place of the price.

A few days after you launch, an enterprise customer contacts you asking for a quote. You respond with an offer ...

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A Startup’s Guide to Maximizing Last Mover Advantage

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About a year ago, Peter Thiel spoke at a PandoDaily event where he extolled the last mover advantage:

“First mover isn’t what’s important — it’s the last mover. Like Microsoft was the last operating system, and Google was the last search engine.”

I hear this refrain more and more in pitches. The thinking goes the last entrant to the market benefit from mistakes made by earlier entrants.

But being the last mover isn’t always advantageous. The reality is more nuanced.

When Last ...

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Antagonism is the Heart of the Consumerization of IT Movement

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At today’s Under the Radar Consumerization of IT (CoIT), the predominant theme will be antagonism. Friction, dislike, resentment within organizations marks opportunity for consumerization of IT startups.

Taking advantage of this sentiment, Expensify employs a very deliberate marketing tactic: “Expense reports that don’t suck.” Talk to anyone who uses antiquated expense report systems and they are bound to sigh and complain, frustrated by the experience but resigned to the fact they can’t do much about it. Expensify provides those people with a better alternative and, most ...

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Investing in the Consumer Web is Dead

Reading through the tech press since the Facebook IPO, you might get the impression venture capitalists are still reeling from that apocalyptic offering, believe no further successes can be had in the consumer web, and so are fleeing the consumer web in droves to pursue enterprise investments.

That’s because in the past year or so most major tech publications have swung from focusing on consumer products to enterprise companies. GigaOm made this transition first, now TechCrunch and PandoDaily are following suit.

But the problem with sounding the alarm for the ...

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You Shouldn’t Start an Ad Tech Company, But If You Do…

I started working in ad tech in 2005 and during the past eight years, the ad tech ecosystem has progressively become more sophisticated, competitive and oligopolistic. It’s hard to innovate in ad tech. But if you’re looking to start a company in the sector, you’ll need to amass proprietary data or develop a market place with unassailable liquidity to vie successfully in the market.

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A Mental Model for the Ad Ecosystem

The structure of the ad ecosystem, greatly simplified, ...

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The Future of Human Data Interaction

On the day of Tableau’s IPO, a company known for innovating in data visualization, I thought I would share the most impressive HCI concept I’ve seen in a long time.

In my view, Bret Victor is on the forefront of human computer interaction design. In the first two or three minutes of this video at Stanford, he demonstrates his home-built software that combines data analysis with visualization. It’s magnificent and really hard to describe because it’s so novel.

Drawing Dynamic Visualizations ...

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Coding and Cooking: The Connection between Jacques Pepin and Database Migrations

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When I was a little boy, I watched a cooking show on Sundays called “Jacques Pépin.” Over the course of 30 minutes, Jacques would orchestrate a symphony of raw ingredients into a dish that I yearned to smell and taste. That chicken paillard looked sumptuous.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been coding in Rails 3 quite a bit, building a collection of tools to be more effective as a VC. And oddly enough, I think back to Jacques Pepin quite often.

The Jacques Pepin ...

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Social Network Alchemy: The Five Ways of Turning Users Into Gold

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Derek Powazek questions the intrinsic economic viability social networks in his post “What If Social Networks Just Aren’t Profitable?”. It’s a logical question to pose in the aftermath of the Digg sale and the wobbly Facebook IPO.

There is one clear lesson from Digg’s sale: the technology that powered a once-massive social network is worth about $500,000.

The Big Digg Lesson

The Atlantic summed up the essence of social networks' business models brilliantly. It’s not the technology that’s intrinisically valuable, but the activity ...

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Your Startup’s API Could be Its Disruptor

platform-arrows.jpg How deeply do you consider the impacts of building a public API for your startup? It’s no small decision: you could be enabling your disruptor.

APIs are incredibly powerful tools for enabling partners, building ecosystems and engendering success among customers. For example, Salesforce’s Force ecosystem, which enables developers to build products atop customer Salesforce installations and increases the value customers derive from Salesforce selling more seats and retaining customers longer. Google’s Maps API enables developers to spread Google Maps, building the brand, increasing distribution and all the ...

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Redpoint is Hiring a Consumer Analyst

We’re looking for an analyst to join the early stage consumer investment team at Redpoint. This person will help us find and evaluate investments and work closely with the early stage team. If you know anyone who is a recent grad, is passionate about technology and is looking to work hard and learn a ton, please send them our way. Details are below:

Job Specification:

Redpoint Ventures is looking for a full-time analyst to join our investment team. As an analyst you will help us research and develop new ...

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