2016

How Amazon Web Services (AWS) Achieved an $11.5B Run Rate by Working Backwards

Hitenism

In 2006, after Amazon Web Services (AWS) helped pioneer what we now call the cloud, product development changed forever. What once took millions of dollars and a team of engineers to create, a lone developer could suddenly hack together in half an hour.

Cloud 213

SaaS Financial Plan 2.0

The Angel VC

Almost exactly four years ago I published a financial plan template for SaaS startups based on a model that I had created for Zendesk a few years earlier. I received a lot of great feedback on the template and the original post remains one of the most viewed posts on this blog up to this day.

There are Only 3 Pricing Strategies for Your Startup

Tom Tunguz

Pricing. Is there any word that confers some whisper of dark arts than pricing? Or any question that instills less confidence than, “How did you derive your pricing strategy?” ” Many times, startups replicate and tune competitors’ pricing strategies. If everyone else prices per seat, then so should we… Is this the right thought process? Madhavan Ramanujam is a pricing expert.

How to use the V2MOM framework to align and inspire your B2B SaaS marketing team

Aaron Beashel

Just a few months into my stint at Campaign Monitor, a new CEO joined to lead the company. That CEO was a guy named Alex Bard.

B2B 130

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.

Content: More isn’t necessarily better

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

When it comes to content marketing, more isn’t necessarily better. If one blog post per month is good, it doesn’t always follow that two posts will be really good. In fact, it might be worse. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen content marketing work.

More Trending

How to Run a Regression Analysis to Forecast the Return on PPC Spending

SaaS Growth Strategy

Early in my career I began working with an early stage, SaaS start-up with only a handful on employees. With a relatively inexpensive product and a very small marketing budget, one of the company's Co-founders had been tasked with testing out some initial customer acquisition strategies.

Tracking Customer Acquisition in SaaS

Pierre Lechelle

Are you a CMO? When was the last time you invested money into Customer Acquisition? Today? When was the last time you felt confident spending one dollar because you’d get back 10 dollars? And I’m not speaking about extrapolating LTV.

Why credit thieves love giving to charity

wepay

When you think about fraud targets, charitable donations aren’t exactly top of mind. After all, credit thieves are supposed to be self-interested jerks, right? Who would steal a credit card just so they could give to a worthy cause? Thing is, there are a lot of selfish, despicable reasons why a credit thief might want to do a seemingly good deed. In fact, fake donations are a huge area of online fraud, and something nonprofits and crowdfunding sites ignore at their peril.

Insightful Study of 386 SaaS Startup Pricing Pages

OnStartups

Late last year, I combed through the Montclare SaaS 250 — a directory of the biggest SaaS companies in the world — to find common trends in what I thought would be a significant dataset. As it turned out, 80% of the 250 biggest SaaS companies didn’t have a pricing page at all.

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.

Manual Automation: How to build software with no code

Hacking Revenue

We don’t know how to code, yet we built and sold online businesses. We’re a business person and a product person who always wanted to learn how to program, but just never gave it enough effort (that’s what we like to think).

The Five Most Critical Mistakes Founders Make When Raising Money

Hitenism

Two tweets about raising money was all it took to get 81 email responses and 53 customer development calls with founders. I haven’t had this big of a reaction to an idea and I’ve done this type of research on product ideas for the last 13 years!

Building any business is hard

The Angel VC

Judging from the number of Facebook likes and retweets, as well as comments on Twitter and elsewhere, my last post resonated with quite a lot of people.

Land, Expand, Retain

Tom Tunguz

In ServiceNow’s Q1 Investor presentation are the first semblances of SaaS metrics in public company reporting. If you sift through the 40+ public SaaS businesses, you won’t find mention of annual recurring revenue, churn, account expansion, or cash collection cycles in most of them - even though these are the the metrics the management teams employ to evaluate and steer their businesses.

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?"

Growth Engineer Job Description Cheatsheet

Sylvia Ng

Putting together a job description for a Growth Engineer? Wondering what others are doing? Save time with this cheat sheet!

Looking for customers in all the wrong places

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

When asked why he robbed banks, Willie Sutton explained “because that’s where the money is.” Not that marketers are bank robbers, but the same idea applies to finding prospective customers. If you want to get their attention, you need to go where they are.

5 Recommendations for Setting Yearly Growth Goals

Brian Balfour

(You can download my Yearly Growth Goals Template that I used on our team at HubSpot at the bottom of this post.) We are nearing the year end and that probably means many teams are finalizing their growth goals for next year.

7 Tips to Make Your Agency Relationships More Productive

SaaS Growth Strategy

I’d say that it’s the norm, rather than the exception, that start-up SaaS companies rely on agencies to help them execute on some aspect of their strategy as they seek initial traction, begin to grow, and scale their business. This is perhaps more true in marketing than within any other part of an organization.

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.

SQL is still superior for big-data analytics

Rakam

Data 52

SaaSOptics Seals Deals with New CEO and Funding

SaaSOptics

SaaSOptics, a cloud-based subscription platform, steps into the limelight as they announce a newly closed $1.8 million funding round, prepare to present at Venture Atlanta, and add new executive leadership. Tim McCormick, a B2B software industry veteran, will now serve as the company’s new CEO.

Cloud 52

Zero to IPO: Lessons From The Unlikely Story of HubSpot

OnStartups

HubSpot has had a pretty good run. Went from zero to IPO. What's not known is how unlikely the story of our success is. II gave a talk at the 2016 SaaStr Conference hosted by Jason Lemkin.

Why Direct To Consumer Ecommerce Brands Are Winning Over Retail

Hacking Revenue

There is a tectonic change in the retail and services industry. The Direct-To-Consumer movement. While it already began a few years back, these brands and entrepreneurs are now in every industry, changing the habits, preferences and share of wallet of the most desirable consumers.

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.

Pitch Deck Templates Won’t Get You Funding, Here’s What You Can Do

Hitenism

When raising money, most founders start by creating a pitch deck. Investors see countless versions of these pitch decks every day. Between cold emails, warm introductions, founders I know and incubators I help, I personally get ten to twenty a day. Every single one of these businesses is unique.

What does it take to raise capital, in SaaS, in 2016?

The Angel VC

When we invest in a SaaS startup, which almost always happens at the seed stage, the next big milestone on the company’s roadmap is usually a Series A.

Not All Revenue Dollars Are Created Equal

Tom Tunguz

A dollar is a dollar is a dollar, right? Not quite. Not all revenue dollars are created equal, but all gross profit dollars are. Gross profit, not revenue, is the metric companies should be using to compare themselves. Ultimately, gross profits account for more than 55% of the forward multiple of publicly traded SaaS companies after normalizing for revenue growth. SaaS companies vary hugely in their gross margins. BenefitFocus, Five9 and Shopify operate at 45-55% gross margins.

Setting Up Analytics for Your Tech Startup to Scale

Sylvia Ng

I’m a huge fan of Brian Balfour (ex-VP of Growth at Hubspot), who maintains that growth is about process first and tactics second. Tactics change and tactics fail.

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.