SaaStr

Every Marketing Initiative, Every Channel … Plateaus. Plan for It.

SaaStr

Once you hit Initial Traction in SaaS, say that first $1m-$1.5m in ARR, you’ll finally find something that works. One channel, often. E.g., partnerships. Or Facebook ads. Or an app store. Or a specific outbound strategy. Or blogging, or podcasting, or something. Or paid webinars.

How long does it take to negotiate a term sheet? Who should open the negotiation on valuation – VC or entrepreneur? What are the top tips for entrepreneurs preparing for a term sheet negotiation?

SaaStr

It shouldn’t take more than a week, or even just a few days, to negotiate a term sheet, once a VC decides they want to do a deal. There really aren’t many variables these days, really just price and how much you raising / selling.

How do VCs value startup?

SaaStr

There is one common factor, that founders know, but often lose track of in their pitch: every VC, at any stage, is looking for outliers.

12 Things You’ll Look Back On in SaaS … And Regret

SaaStr

Recently on LinkedIn and Twitter I put together a list of things that later, once you are successful, even very successful, you’ll regret.

What Is (and Isn’t) Product Management?

Speaker: Steve Johnson, VP of Products, Pragmatic Institute

Product Management is one of the most exciting - and most misunderstood - functions in technical organizations. Is it strategic or tactical? Is it a planning role or a support role? Many product professionals are unclear about what is (and isn't) product management. After all, product management spans many activities from business planning to market readiness. In this session, we’ll examine many product activities and artifacts for product strategy, planning, and growth, and introduce a simple tool that you can use in your organization to clarify the roles of product management and others. Steve Johnson explores the many roles of Product Management in this fun talk focused on why product managers should obsess on problems instead of solutions.

Zoom Had a Burn Rate Budget. So Should You.

SaaStr

There was a very curious thing in Zoom’s financials leading up to its IPO that I am surprised no one commented on. But as a founder, it jumped out at me. In 2017, Zoom’s cash burn was exactly equal to its Gross Proft.

About 70% of SaaS Unicorns Are New Versions of Existing Categories of Software

SaaStr

Ok this isn’t the most profound SaaS post of all time, but now that there are 100+ public SaaS companies and unicorns, we can finally answer a question — is it better to start a company that remakes an existing category, or that creates a new one?

The Competition You Always Have: Headspace and Budget

SaaStr

A common VC-ism is that You Always Have Competition. This probably is mostly true, especially since 70% of the top SaaS companies are really just new versions of old, established categories. About 70% of SaaS Unicorns Are New Versions of Existing Categories of Software.

2 Cold Emails I Funded For Millions

SaaStr

Cold emails to investors have their detractors. There are so, so many start-ups these days. Everyone with a checkbook is looking for signals which of the 1000s to invest in. Because these days in SaaS, there are just too many. 5 years ago, you could meet many of them.

Top Lessons in Building Great Teams from Khosla Ventures (Video + Transcript)

SaaStr

Keith Rabois is an investment partner at Khosla Ventures where he focuses on consumer Internet, education, enterprise, financial services, and digital health investments.

When and how should SaaS startups offer reduced pricing?

SaaStr

For most SaaS apps, you want to at least start with “just right”, Goldilocks pricing: Too high a price, and you start to add friction to the sales process. Deals take longer, leads shop other vendors, etc. That may be OK if you are the only vendor or in the space, or have the dominant brand.

The Magic of Intent: Start Knowing The Goals of Your Users

Speaker: Terhi Hanninen, Senior Product Manager, Zalando, and Dr. Franziska Roth, Senior User Researcher, Zalando

It's important to know your users - what are their preferences, pain points, ultimate goals? With user research and usage data, you can get a great idea of how your users act. The tricky part is, very few users reliably act the same way every time they use your product. Join Terhi Hanninen, Senior Product Manager, and Dr. Franziska Roth, Senior User Researcher at Zalando, as they explain how they were able to reach a new level of user understanding - by taking their user research and segmenting their users by point-in-time intent. You'll leave with a strategy to change how your product team, and organization at large, understands your users.

5 Myths That Stop SaaS Companies from Moving Upmarket with Dropbox (Video + Transcript)

SaaStr

Dropbox Chief Customer Officer Yamini Rangan draws on 20 years of experience to challenge five common misconceptions about SaaS success.

What do all the unicorns which reached their $1bn valuation fastest have in common?

SaaStr

In SaaS, they all have top-tier net revenue retention. Even, and even especially, if their customers are SMBs (which churn at a higher rate): PagerDuty, 139% net revenue retention. 5 Interesting Learnings From PagerDuty. And Congrats on the A+ IPO!! SaaStr. And from SMBs!

All Platforms Have Their Favorite Partners. Be One Of Them If You Can.

SaaStr

Recently I was catching up with an exec from a SaaS company well in excess of $100m ARR. One of the key platforms their app integrates with has started to … slow down their access. Slow down access to new features, to semi-documented APIs. Slow down access to their team.

10 Awesome New Offerings for Sponsors at 2020 SaaStr Annual!

SaaStr

After the 1000+ attendee, 1-day S aaStrScale.com in SF on Aug 29, we’ll be gearing up full-time for the 2020 SaaStr Annual.

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What are the pros and cons of selling a company? Do you ever regret selling?

SaaStr

It’s complicated. Having a “good exit” is a special thing. You will make some money, perhaps even life-changing money. It will prove you can do it. It will Level You Up in the hierarchy of founders. You will have beaten the odds, and be a “winner”. But as time goes by, you may see it all differently.

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Your 2-Part Metrics Audit for High-Value Products

Speaker: Sam McAfee, Product Development Consultant, Startup Patterns

You know what they say: what's measured improves. As product managers we're in a golden age of being able to get all sorts of metrics and run all sorts of experiments. But what are your measurements and analytics focused on? Are they really truly objective? Do they contribute to the ultimate vision of your product? And is everybody clear on that vision? Join Sam McAfee, Product Development Consultant, as he takes you through a two-part measurement audit. First, you'll learn how to make sure your measurements actually align with your product strategy. And second, you'll learn how to evaluate your culture of using measurements, so future experiments will more consistently provide high-value results.

SaaStr Podcasts for the Week with PatientPop and Plaid — August 16, 2019

SaaStr

Ep 257: Justin Welsh is the former SVP Sales @ PatientPop, the startup that offers the first all-in-one practice growth platform that’s HIPAA-compliant and is proven to grow your practice.

What are the qualities of a good co-founder?

SaaStr

My list: Same values and commitment as you. No matter how smart you both are, you also have to share the same values and commitment. Are you both 100% all-in? Are you both willing to go 18–24 months before initial product market fit? Are you both willing to do what it takes to win?

5 Interesting Learnings from SurveyMonkey. As It Crosses $300m in ARR.

SaaStr

SurveyMonkey is one of the Old School SaaS companies that has followed an interesting path. Founded back in 1999 (like Salesforce) in the Web 1.0 days, for years it was run by a tiny team and dominated the self-service side of surveys.

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“From Hackathon to Unicorn” Talkdesk Co-Founder Tiago Paiva and SaaStr CEO Jason Lemkin (Video + Transcript)

SaaStr

In 2011, Tiago Paiva won a Twilio hackathon by embracing the overlooked call center industry. 7 years later that hackathon project achieved Unicorn status while transforming the call center space.

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Measure the Immeasurable: Beyond Vanity Metrics

Speaker: Sari Harrison, Product Management Instructor, Product School

As a product manager, it's your job to realize your product’s vision by executing your chosen strategy. It’s also your job to deliver value to the business. Ultimately, these two outcomes are aligned so the temptation is to focus primarily on business metrics. Doing this can cause you to lose focus on the real value you are trying to achieve, in favor of moving the vanity metrics such as launches and time spent. Join Sari Harrison, Product Management Instructor at Product School, as she explains how to use immeasurable success criteria along with your more standard KPIs to deliver products that don't just get used a lot, but deliver real value.

5 Interesting Learnings from Xero. As It Crosses $650m in ARR.

SaaStr

Xero is one of those SaaS companies most of us have heard of and know is a big success and sort of know about, but, not really ??. What lessons can we learn from this huge Kiwi SMB success, for other founders?

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What was the biggest ousting of a CEO that ever occurred?

SaaStr

CEOs get fired all the time. Founder-CEOs getting fired seems rarer these days, though. Two that would be hard to imagine happening today: Pushing Steve Jobs out of Apple. Pushing Sergey Brin + Larry Page “down” to bring in an Outside CEO.

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5 Interesting Learnings From Slack. As It Gets Ready to IPO.

SaaStr

With Slack’s IPO data and financials finally public, what is left to know about the app we all use and have been reading about for years? What’s interesting to know about Slack … that we didn’t already know? ??. Slack is obviously a rocketship going from $0 to ~$600m+ ARR (!)

How Founders Can Take Control of Their Destiny with Tradeshift (video + transcript)

SaaStr

Join Tradeshift founder and CEO as he shows founders how to take control of their destiny. Tradeshift has grown to 650+ people with offices in 12 countries from its start as a mere vision in 2005. Want to see more content like this? Join us at SaaStr Annual 2020.

Build Delightful Products with Customer Validation

Speaker: John Little, Head of Product Marketing, Centercode

When it comes to delivering a solid product/market fit, customer validation is key. After all, you want to provide customers with a product that not only fills the need, but is delightful -- right? To get there, you need to commit to a vital blend of market research, strategy, and user testing. Join John Little, Head of Product Marketing at Centercode, as he explains a two-part approach to customer validation. First, how do you strategically identify your top product areas that need attention prior to release. And second, how do you turn user data into strategic priorities that help the right teams make the right decisions.

Lessons from New Relic: Five Critical Steps to Scaling Enterprise (Video + Transcript)

SaaStr

Erica has led New Relic through massive growth, scaling the company’s enterprise business 10x since she joined the business pre-IPO. Growing a company’s revenues, customer base, team, process, and product doesn’t just happen without major work and strategy.

What are some key signs that the managers that got you to $5m ARR may not be the right managers that will get you to 25m ARR?

SaaStr

A few signs: Lack of organization. You can get to $5m being only sort of organized. After that, you gotta get really organized. Either by yourself, or with a Sales Ops / Marketing Ops / Some Sort of Ops leader under you.

SaaStr Scale is coming to SF! Here is what you need to know.

SaaStr

SaaStr Scale, our one day, San Francisco based event. We’ll be at the Terra Gallery downtown with all our favorite SaaStr G.O.A.T.s. With about a month left to go, here is who you can expect!

Top 10 Learnings about Free Trials with Tomasz Tunguz (Video + Transcript)

SaaStr

Join Tomasz Tunguz, Managing Director with Redpoint Ventures as he takes you through a quantitive analysis of 600 Freemium Soon companies. Want to see more content like this? Join us at SaaStr Annual 2020. Tomasz Tunguz, Managing Director @ Redpoint Ventures. FULL TRANSCRIPT BELOW.

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Driving Discovery and Experimentation in your Organization

Speaker: Teresa Torres, Product Discovery Coach, Product Talk, David Bland, Founder and CEO, Precoil, and Hope Gurion, Product Coach and Advisor, Fearless Product LLC

If you want to build what matters, you can't move forward blindly. But to make progress, you can't let things slow to a crawl while you focus resources on gathering data. This is where continuous discovery and experimentation come in. Join Teresa Torres (Product Discovery Coach, Product Talk), David Bland (Founder, Precoil), and Hope Gurion (Product Coach and Advisor, Fearless Product) in a panel discussion as they cover how - and why - to build a culture of discovery and experimentation in your organization.

Top Lessons in Building Great Teams from Keith Rabois and Founders Fund (Video + Transcript)

SaaStr

Keith Rabois is a General Partner at Founders Fund where he focuses on consumer Internet, education, enterprise, financial services, and digital health investments.

5 Interesting Learnings From Zoom. As It Gets Ready to IPO.

SaaStr

Much has been written about Zoom’s impressive financials as it prepared to IPO, growing > 100% at $425m+ in ARR!

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Why has Microsoft Teams overtaken Slack with 13 million daily users?

SaaStr

It’s an impressive statistic. But … it is difficult to know how seriously to take this without knowing true engagement, because Microsoft Teams is packed into so many editions of Office, etc. Just like Yammer was (and still is): Perhaps that means Teams will kill Slack.

What’s the most efficient way to allocate inbound leads?

SaaStr

A few thoughts in the early and early-ish days: Segment your leads, once you have enough reps to do so. At least, by Small, Medium and Larger leads (if they aren’t all the same size). Let reps specialize at the business process changes, questions and needs of customers of a specific size.

Encouraging Innovation in an Established Product Culture

Speaker: Richard Cardran, Chief Creative Officer and VP Strategy, HIA Technologies

Innovation is both a process and an outcome. The best way to begin innovating your products is by innovating your internal process. We'll explore the challenges, solutions, and hands-on techniques for becoming a successful "agent of change" within a well-established product culture. We'll examine the importance of UX and user-centric feature analysis, the adaptation of Agile Methodologies to the creative process, as well as a way to drive successful culture change for setting expectations and winning approvals with cross-functional stakeholders. Innovation and Leadership go hand in hand. Join Richard Cardran, Chief Creative Officer and VP Strategy, HIA Technologies, as we assess some case studies to see how to lead with a clear strategy well-defined tactics, and an unbiased understanding of the fundamental question: "why are you innovating?"

SaaStr’s Most Respected Leaders Awards 2019: The Top Five

SaaStr

Meet SaaStr’s Most Respected Leaders of 2019. Our most popular CEO, COO’s and Presidents that spoke at SaaStr Annual 2019. Curious how we came up with this list?

In B2B marketing, how do I get sales and marketing to work together?

SaaStr

The simplest way is to get sales and marketing to work together is align marketing’s #1 goal to a revenue-related “commit” that sales agrees to. Your VP Sales Has a Sales Quota. Your VP Marketing Needs a Lead/Opportunity Quota. Period. SaaStr.

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What are some fundamental sales principals entrepreneurs must understand?

SaaStr

Creating urgency is an art. Most founders are great “middlers”. They are great at explaining not just what the product does, but what it can do to solve your problems. No one is better than a founder at this. And then … the deal often never quite closes.

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Should You Visit More Of Your Prospects In Person? Almost Certainly

SaaStr

I remember the first customer I lost due to not showing up in person. They were a Fortune 50 customer. We did a CSAT survey, and every user loved us. The implementation was flawless. There were zero issues. And … we lost them at renewal.

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Embedding Operational Reports: Everything Product Managers Should Know

Speaker: Dean Yao, Sr. Director of Product Marketing, Logi Analytics

Businesses are run with analytics - but companies continue to struggle with interpreting, analyzing, and distributing data. Operational reports help get information to the people who need it most, in formats they understand, and in a timeframe that matters. Join the webinar to learn how embedding operational reports can give your users a precisely formatted, ready-to-analyze view of their operational activities. World-class software teams are embedding operational reports to empower end users with interactive data visualizations, detailed information, and highly precise formats that can be shared via email, PDF, print, or online.