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.

Cloud 162

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.

SaaS 178
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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.

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).

B2B 100

The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Strong and Effective Value Proposition

Speaker: Robin Zaragoza, Product Coach and CEO of The Product Refinery

Join Robin Zaragoza, product coach and CEO of The Product Refinery, as she shares tips on how to create a powerful Value Proposition that keeps your customer at the heart of your product development process.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

How Customer-Centric Feedback Loops Can Evolve Your Product Process

Speaker: Nickey Skarstad, Director of Product at Duolingo

Join Nickey Skarstad, Director of Product at Duolingo, as she discusses why it’s important to actively gather customer feedback, how to build customer feedback loops into your product planning, the best ways to decipher different types of feedback, and different frameworks for how/when to apply feedback processes.

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.

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.

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.

SaaS 162

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.

The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Pandemic Response: Lessons Learned From COVID-19

In March 2020, the world was hit with an unprecedented crisis when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. This whitepaper reviews lessons learned from applying AI to the pandemic’s response efforts, and insights to mitigating the next pandemic.

VSA. Why this is Great for SaaS Companies!

Aber Law Firm

The VSA is a super new group called the Vendor Security Alliance. As soon as I read this article about it Link , I realized it was a great idea for all Software as a Service (SaaS companies) and will help get cloud service contracts signed.

Cloud 52

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.

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.

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.

Product-Led Onboarding: How to Turn New Users into Lifelong Customers

Speaker: Ramli John, Managing Director at ProductLed and Author

Let’s face it. Today’s users are impulsive and easily distracted. They don’t have the time (or patience) to try and figure things out by themselves. They expect the product to be intuitive. Easy. And fast. Add to that a few, unfairly poor reviews and you’ll be more than just stuck. Ramli will share a simple but powerful framework to get more users to experience a product’s "Eureka!" moment and turn them into lifelong customers.

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.

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.

How to Create Competitive Advantage for Your Startup with Proxy Metrics

Tomasz Tunguz

Imagine you’ve just been named the head of a bustling New York City restaurant challenged by one issue - customers complain about the customer service. A data-driven person, you search for a metric to evaluate the current customer service to validate the complaint and then track as you experiment with the restaurant’s operations. What metrics would you employ? You might run a survey of customers at exit. You could follow with customers by telephone the day after the meal.

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 40

Roadmaps Are Dead! Long Live Roadmaps!

Speaker: Bruce McCarthy, Co-Author of Product Roadmaps Relaunched and Founder of Product Culture

Join Bruce McCarthy, co-author of Product Roadmaps Relaunched, as he discusses the best ways to innovate your product roadmap. So that it reflects your customers’ needs while simultaneously and accurately communicating your products strategy and vision.

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.

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.

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.

Data 40

3 Nuggets Every SaaS Company Needs to Remember

Aber Law Firm

We represent lots, literally 100s and 100s, of SaaS companies and there are a few nuggets of useful information that we want to share with other SaaS companies when they think about negotiating an enterprise SaaS agreement. Ok, here goes. Setting the Right Expectations.

AI in Manufacturing

Manufacturers want to deliver the best products on the market as quickly and ethically as possible. Learn how to solve your most urgent manufacturing and business needs with an enterprise AI platform.

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.

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.

The Hard Thing About Your Brand and Funnel

Hacking Revenue

“In today’s world, It’s easier than ever. to start an online business”. This sentence has been repeated by many experienced business people, especially since the introduction of SaaS and other cloud based online services. While these services significantly lowered the costs of starting a new business, I believe that the people who said that sentence were missing the point of starting a business – to build an always growing, sustainable brand.