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. Today, one-third of daily internet users visit websites built on top of AWS. AWS is now an $11.5B run rate business and has made up for an incredible 67% of Amazon’s operating revenue last quarter.

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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. In the last few weeks I've finally found some time to create a "v2" of the template.

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Trending Sources

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. Alex co-founded the well-known SaaS company Desk.com before selling it to Salesforce and becoming the VP of Service Cloud (their second largest business unit, behind Sales Cloud).

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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.

Facebook Causes Continue to Show Little Promise as Fundraising Tools

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. If you’re at they'll never look, it’s unlikely prospects will see you. This idea certainly sounds logical. In fact, it may sound blatantly obvious. So why do so many companies ignore it?

More Trending

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! The below tidbits are taken from 30+ job descriptions for Growth Engineers, all from tech companies such as Asana, Airbnb, AdRoll, Cybercoders, Mircosoft, UXPin, and Zenefits, to name a few. Copy and paste what’s relevant to you to build your job description, or just scroll through to get some inspiration.

There are Only 3 Pricing Strategies for Your Startup

Tomasz 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.

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.

7 Principles To Mastering Growth Marketing

Brian Balfour

We have a big addiction problem in our industry. Hacktics, the tips, tricks, hacks, tools, and secrets that promise to solve our growth problems. A glance at the front page of GrowthHackers.com , Inbound.org, or any other growth hacking community is all it takes to understand the obsession. As a result, marketers now get the majority of their “learning” through this hack-tic based content.

6 Steps to Improving Your Application’s Analytics Experience

No one designs bad dashboards and reports on purpose. So why do so many applications have terrible analytics experiences? Download this ebook for secrets to creating dashboards and reports your users will love.

6 ways to attract more customer love to your brand

ReSci

Customers are looking for companies they can keep purchasing from and brands they can become advocates of. In other words, while you are searching for customers to love your brand, customers are also looking for companies and brands to love. Think about it: with all the choice in the market…. The post 6 ways to attract more customer love to your brand appeared first on ReSci

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! That’s when I realized that fundraising may be startup founders’ biggest pain point. In the interviews, my business partner and I asked founders about their fundraising process and problems.

That’s a nice little $1-2M SaaS company you have here. Call me to discuss if it will scale!

The Angel VC

About two years ago, Josh Hannah of Matrix Partners wrote an excellent article titled “That's a nice little $40M eCommerce company you have there. Call me when it scales.” In it he argues that an eCommerce business with $10 to $20 million in revenues is not that hard to build and also not very valuable.

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. Expecting to find a set of data more representative of what I’m used to seeing around (essentially startups), I turned to a bigger sample, scraping information from the first 400 startups in AngelList’s ‘Trending’ category.

Don't Pick Your Next LMS Until You Read This Guide!

With so many factors and people to consider, how do you make sure you pick the right LMS? It’s simple: This guide covers crucial considerations with actionable advice and professional insights, so you know you’ve picked the perfect eLearning solution.

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. Bidding on highly targeted keywords in Google Adwords was one of the logical places to start.

Why Drive-by Marketing Doesn’t Work

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

So you’ve just shipped your new software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution, and for sure you’re eager to tell the world: get out a press announcement, roll-out a search engine marketing campaign, sign-up for industry events, and whatever else you can think of. Here’s some advice: Slow down. As tough as it is to resist the urge to do something , hold off a bit before going full blast with all this marketing activity. And if you’ve already started, hang on and take a deep breath.

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). We can put together a WordPress website and we have some fancy badges in CodeAcademy, but no CTO in his right mind will let either of us touch their production environment and/or keyboard. But we do know how online businesses work.

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. But if you have a process, a “machine” that lets you test and evaluate tactics to reach specific goals, then you’re paving the way to success, and ensuring that the team learns.

SaaSOptics SaaS Metrics Template

Download this template that includes calculations, formulas, definitions and a customizable dashboard. The template includes subscription momentum metrics (ARR, customer count, avg. ARR), churn and retention metrics, and customer lifetime value metrics.

Land, Expand, Retain

Tomasz 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.

Increase Mobile Conversions with Apple Pay on the Web

wepay

Here’s a common problem on mobile: you’ve done all the right things to make your UX seamless. You’ve implemented responsive design. You’ve streamlined content for faster load times. You’ve even simplified the site navigation to make it work on small screens. But still, your users aren’t completing their transactions. Invoices remain unpaid and donations stand half completed.

Process: B2B SaaS Leadgen via Social Tools

yoursales

B2B SaaS LEADGEN VIA SOCIAL TOOLS B2B SaaS LEADGEN VIA SOCIAL TOOLS B2B SaaS LEADGEN VIA SOCIAL TOOLS T his time around we’ve got something special for you: A free step-by-step guide to B2B SaaS Leadgen via Social Tools. YourSales is a sales outsourcing company for B2B SaaS companies. With a global sales force and heaps of experience in B2B sales for SaaS companies, we help clients solve problems, help companies buy, and work with the sales funnel on a 24-hour basis.

B2B 41

What retailers can learn from Home Depot’s mobile app

ReSci

What comes to mind when you think of Home Depot? Perhaps it's the smell of plywood, pristine model bathrooms, and friendly employees in orange aprons. In more recent years, Home Depot reminds marketers of a seamless mobile to in-store experience. An early…. The post What retailers can learn from Home Depot’s mobile app appeared first on ReSci

Why Distributed Tracing is Essential for Performance and Reliability

Speaker: Daniel "spoons" Spoonhower, CTO and Co-Founder at Lightstep

Many engineering organizations have now adopted microservices or other loosely coupled architectures, often alongside DevOps practices. Together these have enabled individual service teams to become more independent and, as a result, have boosted developer velocity. However, this increased velocity often comes at the cost of overall application performance or reliability. Worse, teams often don’t understand what’s affecting performance or reliability – or even who to ask to learn more. Distributed tracing was developed at organizations like Google and Twitter to address these problems and has also come a long way in the decade since then. By the end of this presentation, you’ll understand why distributed tracing is necessary and how it can bring performance and reliability back under control.

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. Yet most of their decks look and sound the same. With titles like “The Problem” “The Opportunity” “Market Size” and “Team” these decks aren’t differentiated.

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. If you carry this thought further and assume that the biggest goal after the Series A is to get to the Series B (and so on, you get the idea) it sounds like turtles all the way down. But financing rounds are obviously not a goal in itself. They are a means to a bigger goal.

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. The slides and full video from the talk are included below, with some quick notes on a few of the topics covered. Here's me presenting what turned out to be the most popular slide (more on this idea at the end of the article). Here is the full deck from Slideshare.

SQL is still superior for big-data analytics

Rakam

I wanted write about using only SQL for analytical queries (possibly for big-data) because when I talk about SQL, people usually tend to say that it’s not a good fit for analytics and they have to write complex code in Java or use a NO-SQL solution that has custom query language because in big-data world, all the paradigms should be changed and become complex.

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The Connected Journey: Developing your Empathy to Strengthen Strategies for Customer Relations

Speaker: Esther Kieft, Delivery Manager (Group Technology) at Domino's Pizza Enterprises

It is well known that empathy is a key ingredient in creating lovable products, yet not all products offer the best customer experience. From meeting stringent deadlines to insufficient resources being available to carry out customer research, there is a range of reasons why customer empathy could be missing in product development. Join Esther Kieft, as she breaks down using empathy at a distance to evaluate the problems that customers are experiencing during this global health crisis.

Competing in a crowded market

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

First a confession. Every once in awhile I get a call from a SaaS company looking for help with their customer acquisition plan, and my first thought is "Are you kidding? The company tells me that they've developed a wonderful solution with a boatload of impressive features. But they're selling into a market that's already crowded with other vendors. Just what the world needs - another HR or CRM or email marketing or whatever solution.

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. Direct-To-Consumer brands are products or services that are financed, designed, produced, marketed, distributed and sold by the same company. They bypass the middleman and connect directly to consumers.

11 Serious Growth Hacking Thought Leaders to Follow

Sylvia Ng

Looking for growth blogs? I don’t know about you, but I am sick of reading hokey growth hacks promising to increase your customer base from 0 to 1M in 60 seconds. So here are personal favorite 11 blogs, all ones from thought leaders that give practical advice on acquiring and retaining customers. Quality content with personal anecdotes, case studies, visuals and a mix of media that’ll satisfy your need for thought provoking reads.