I'm a partner at Redpoint
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book, Winning with Data
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Over the last year in particular, Revenue Ops is a term that's gaining some mindshare in the SaaS world. Revenue operations teams combine marketing operations and sales operations into one team. Yesterday, I heard time a further refinement of this idea - Customer Operations.
When I first met Jen Grant, Looker's CMO, she told me a story from early days of Box, where she was SVP of Marketing. Jen spoke about the importance of creating tension in the marketing message.
When should you sell your business? There is no universal to this answer because the question is multifaceted and unique to each company. But we can answer another related question. Given a declining growth rate, when is my company's value maximized?