2015

The Missed Opportunity of Agile SaaS

Chaotic Flow

I’ve been thinking a lot about how my SaaS experiences have shaped my thinking on agile management , and visa versa. SaaS and agile present complementary aspects that enable a uniquely symbiotic relationship.

A closer look at the 6 things to pre-empt 90% of Due Diligence

The Angel VC

Since last week's post about 6-7 things to pre-empt 90% of Due Diligence was liked/shared/retweeted quite a bit, I'd like to follow up with some additional details on what exactly SaaS Series A/B investors will look for when you supply them with the data and material that I've mentioned.

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Let Your Prospective Customers Know "This Solution is for You"

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

I'm guessing that at some point before you built your software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution, you thought about who might need this kind of product. Maybe you figured it out through market research, your own personal experience and frustration, or a flash of inspiration. Whatever the methodology, either consciously or unconsciously you somehow answered a critical question: Who would need a solution like this?

Retention Marketing Tips from Taylor Swift

ReSci

Whether or not you're a fan of sugary pop princess Taylor Swift's music, one thing can't be denied: the woman is a pro at retaining her customers. Did I say customers? I meant fans. Or Swifties, as they prefer to be called. Swift has always been canny about building her brand, and…. The post Retention Marketing Tips from Taylor Swift appeared first on ReSci. Uncategorized Customer Retention Retention Marketing Social Media

Facebook Causes Continue to Show Little Promise as Fundraising Tools

The Innovator's Dilemma for SaaS Startups

Tomasz Tunguz

See also: Innovator’s Solution for SaaS Startups. There’s a familiar path now to SaaS companies that start in the SMB (small-to-medium business) part of the market. Over time, they seem to inevitably begin serving larger customers. Box, Hubspot, Zendesk and among many others have exhibited this pattern. Why does this happen? I believe we’re seeing Clay Christensen’s Innovator’s Dilemma at play.

More Trending

Intern stories: What I learned about what makes WePay successful

wepay

On my last day at WePay, I took a final snapshot of the office on my way out, reminiscing everything that had happened. Saying goodbye has never been this hard. I’ve spent a total of 16 weeks at WePay, 6 weeks longer than most interns, and just enough time to witness an office expansion, a $40M funding, a hiring sprint, a notable ranking of 62nd on Inc. 5000 with 4354% growth, and a company birthday celebration as it completes its 7th year on a strong note.

Why You Need a Disclaimer In Your SaaS Agreement?

Aber Law Firm

I have always thought that disclaimers were good things to add to SaaS agreements, but this very recent case demonstrates that they really can make a difference in a legal dispute. By the way, a disclaimer is a statement regarding things you are not liable for. Example , if you provide a medical software service, it is a good idea to state that you are not providing medical advice, and that the doctors are solely responsible for providing medical advice. You get the picture.

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Take Rates for B2B Marketplaces

Software Platform Consulting

The two questions I’m most often asked are: 1. How do you keep your hair looking so lush and luxurious? How much can a B2B Marketplace or Multi-Sided Platform charge for its services? Some folks call this the platform’s “take rate” ). The answer to the former question will need to remain a mystery, but the answer to the latter follows. B2B Marketplace Services.

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Avoiding Poor SaaS Customer Alignment

Chaotic Flow

When I’m not completely absorbed with my agile marketing software startup , I do a bit of SaaS consulting on the side. SaaS colleagues come to me with a wide variety of problems from positioning to sales compensation to churn analysis, but lately I’ve noticed a common theme: poor SaaS customer alignment.

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.

Aligning SaaS Customer Success

Chaotic Flow

SaaS businesses develop intimate, long term relationships with their SaaS customers. Keeping that relationship positive and aligned over the years is a real challenge. In fact, many public SaaS companies have yet to turn a profit. If they don’t keep their customers around for years, then all that capital invested in customer acquisition will have gone to waste. This is the third post in a series that explores the importance of SaaS customer alignment across the SaaS customer lifecycle.

Aligning SaaS Customer Acquisition

Chaotic Flow

SaaS businesses can be overwhelmingly complex. If the multi-tenant, cloud-based technology isn’t enough, there’s the recurring revenue model which creates all kinds of challenges from accounting to sales compensation to funding. Then, there’s the marketing. Getting noticed on the Internet gets harder every year and almost every SaaS product category has a crowded field of competitors. And of course there is mobile, which should come first right?

Finding SaaS Product-Market Fit

Chaotic Flow

Finding product-market fit is a central, early stage challenge of every startup. SaaS startups, however, have unique advantages. Unlike consumer Internet products, SaaS products are essential business tools. SaaS customers take them very seriously. SaaS customers want to provide feedback and they want to see that feedback acted upon in a timely fashion. In other words, SaaS customers want product-market fit as much as the SaaS vendor.

The problem with month-over-month growth rates

The Angel VC

Most fundraising decks contain a slide with a chart that looks roughly like this: Chart #1 Or this: Chart #2 I’ve also seen charts that look like this: Chart #3 Or this: Chart #4 Chart #3 and #4 are good for a LOL (or a “WTF!”, depending on your sense of humour), and fortunately we’re not getting too many of these (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, take another look at the charts). A chart that looks similar to #1 or #2 is something we look at on a daily basis, though.

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.

The evolution of the SaaS landing page

The Angel VC

When you look at the landing pages (or homepages or marketing sites, however you want to call them) of today's SaaS companies, they usually look quite beautiful. They typically have a clean, simple and friendly look, with very little text and a lot of images or videos. In many cases, these websites could just as well advertise a consumer product.

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Why we politely ask for a deck first

The Angel VC

When founders reach out to us to pitch us for an investment, they usually have a fundraising deck which they’re happy to send over. But every so often it also happens that a founder wants to set up a call or a meeting before sending over any material. In these cases I usually ask the founder if he or she could send us a deck first, with a view to have a call or meeting as a potential second step.

Introducing Jenny Buch, Talent Manager at Point Nine

The Angel VC

Once a startup has released the first version of its product, raised some funding, started to get the word out and is getting some traction, the biggest challenge almost always becomes hiring. No matter how great the founders are and how much good advice they get from investors and advisors: You need people to get s**t things done. And before long, you need more people (AKA managers) to help other people get s**t things done, too.

Achieving SaaS Customer Alignment | Ebook

Chaotic Flow

When your SaaS business is well aligned, your SaaS customers consistently take positive actions that lead to positive business outcomes: they try, they buy, they upgrade and they refer you to a friend. When you are poorly aligned, your SaaS customers consistently take negative actions that lead to negative business outcomes: they bounce, they negotiate, they complain, and they churn. SaaS businesses develop intimate, long term relationships with their customers.

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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.

How fast is fast enough?

The Angel VC

Growth is the single biggest determinant of startup valuations at IPO , as my fellow SaaS investor Tomasz Tunguz concluded based on an analysis of 25 IPOs in 2013. Growth (a.k.a. traction) is also the most important factor that attracts VCs and drives valuations in private financing rounds. Of course your team, product, technology, business model and market matter too, but when you’re past the seed stage the expectation is that these factors will have resulted in excellent growth.

Key Revenue Metrics for SaaS companies

The Angel VC

Thanks to Nick Franklin for reviewing a draft of this post! When I talk to SaaS startups and take a look at their metrics, it still happens quite often that some of the numbers aren’t quite clear to me and it takes some time to clarify things. I’m not referring to sophisticated reports or analyses but to the much more mundane question of what exactly people mean when they use a term like “revenues”.

By the time you're at $2-3M in ARR, you need a VP of Sales who's done it before

The Angel VC

For most SaaS startups, the VP of Sales (along with the VP of Marketing) is one of the most crucial hires they need to make. Unless you have a no/low touch sales model and you're growing virally (a.k.a. you're successfully hunting flies or mice ), someone needs to build a scalable sales organization, whether it's an inside sales team (a.k.a. hunting rabbits or deer ) or a field sales team (a.k.a. hunting elephants ). It's also one of the toughest hires. Jason M.

6 things to pre-empt 90% of Due Diligence

The Angel VC

The founder of a portfolio company recently asked me what kind of numbers and other material he'll need when he goes into his next round of fundraising. He wanted to make sure that when he starts talking to new potential investors, he'll have answers ready to most of the questions he'll be asked. That was a great question. By putting together a comprehensive set of data you can pre-empt 90% of the questions which investors will ask you when they assess a potential investment.

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.

Announcing Point Nine Capital III

The Angel VC

Today we’ve announced Point Nine Capital III, our new €55M fund. Investors in PNC III include institutional investors like Horsley Bridge Partners , Sapphire Ventures , Flossbach von Storch and Vintage Investment Partners as well as a number of highly successful Internet entrepreneurs. To our existing LPs: Thank you for your continued trust! To the new ones: Welcome on board! When we raised PNC II , our goal was to build a leading independent European early-stage venture capital firm.

A simple tool to improve your 2016 planning

The Angel VC

In my last post I wrote about the problem with month-over-month growth rates. One of the issues I talked about was that when your revenue plan numbers are based on a constant m/m percentage growth figure (i.e. you're projecting to grow exponentially), your short-term objectives are likely too low relative to your longer-term goals. As an example, I showed a (fictional) SaaS startup that wants to grow from $1,000 in MRR to ~ $85,000 in MRR within one year.

6 reasons to be bullish on SaaS

The Angel VC

Yesterday I argued that SaaS founders and investors shouldn’t worry about short-term movements of SaaS stocks and said that there are a lot of reasons to be bullish about the Cloud. Here are some of them. 1) SaaS is quickly becoming the norm In the last years there’s been a dramatic shift in deployment preferences of software buyers. According to a survey by technology evaluation business Software Advice , 88% of buyers with a deployment preference preferred on-premise solutions in 2008.

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Announcing our investment in ChartMogul

The Angel VC

The big guy who's lifting Nick is Michael Hansen, Zendesk's first employee and a co-investor in ChartMogul As reported by TechCrunch, we’ve led a seed round in ChartMogul. We’re thrilled about the investment. The decision to invest in ChartMogul , which has developed an analytics solution for subscription businesses, was a very easy one. Here’s why: 1) ChartMogul was founded by Nick Franklin, an early Zendesk employee.

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.

What makes fundraising so stressful?

The Angel VC

Hyper-growth in SaaS

The Angel VC

Following his well-received guest post about cohort analysis , here comes another guest post from my colleague Nicolas. Enjoy! Status Quo From an investor’s perspective, SaaS companies have a lot to love: High gross margins, predictable (recurring) revenues and capital efficient operations. On the flip side, most of them follow a common thread when it comes to growth.

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What sucks about fundraising

The Angel VC

Last week I wrote a post titled “What makes fundraising so stressful?” and asked founders to tell me which parts of the fundraising process suck. As of this writing, about 110 founders have completed the Typeform survey. The results are very interesting, and in some cases shocking.