Five ways to build a $100 million business

The Angel VC

Some time ago my friend (and co-investor in Clio , Jobber and Unbounce ) Boris Wertz wrote a great blog post about "the only 2 ways to build a $100 million business". I'd like to expand on the topic and suggest that there are five ways to build a $100 million Internet company.

The Metrics-driven SaaS Business

Chaotic Flow

My first serious lesson in the criticality of SaaS metrics was about six years ago when I was unexpectedly stumped in a board of directors meeting.

SaaS Marketing is Not a Numbers Game

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

"If we just dump enough names in the top of the funnel, some paying customers are bound to come out at the bottom of the funnel!" Wrong. This approach to customer acquisition - sucking in as many suspects as possible - is costly and inefficient.

How to manage and run a content marketing machine for your B2B SaaS company

Aaron Beashel

Content marketing can be an incredibly successful approach to customer acquisition for B2B SaaS companies.

How Much Cash Should Your Startup Burn?

Tom Tunguz

Bill Gurley and Fred Wilson have focused on burn rates as an important topic for startups. The immediate question that follows this commentary is: How much does the typical startup burn throughout its life? And what is a “risky” burn rate for a company? I use a rule of thumb to evaluate the burn rate of a Series A startup. I multiply the number of employees by about $10-12k, depending on the location of the company. For example, Bay Area salaries are higher than most other places.

Security, meet scalability: WePay moves to the cloud


At WePay, security is our most important product, the thing that underpins everything we do. When you’re responsible for moving billions of dollars of other people’s money, believe me, security is never far from your mind. Yet at the same time, we also value flexibility and reliability.

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How to use FAQs in SaaS Contract Negotiations?

Aber Law Firm

I have found that FAQs are not used enough by SaaS companies as part of their selling and SaaS contract negotiation process.

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The Metrics-Driven SaaS Business | Ebook

Chaotic Flow

The SaaS community has gained a solid understanding of SaaS financial metrics, as well as many of the operational principles required to achieve them. However, there has always been an obvious gap between what happens on the top line and what happens on the ground. This is about to change!

The Promise of SaaS Customer Success Metrics

Chaotic Flow

Over the past few years, the SaaS community has gained a solid understanding of SaaS financial metrics, as well as many of the operational principles required to achieve them. However, there has always been an obvious gap between what happens on the top line and what happens on the ground.

Driving SaaS Customer Acquisition w/Success Metrics

Chaotic Flow

As a SaaS business matures, the importance and value of SaaS metrics increase. Most SaaS businesses begin their journey down the SaaS metrics path by tracking recurring revenue in relation to customer acquisition costs. After building a solid customer base, churn becomes a priority.

The SaaS Metrics Maturity Model

Chaotic Flow

Becoming a Metrics-driven SaaS Business is no easy task. It takes time, commitment and plenty of customers. However, the financial rewards of moving beyond standard SaaS financial metrics to SaaS customer success metrics and ultimately to sophisticated predictive analytics are significant.

Acquiring Customers Ain't Cheap

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

It costs SaaS companies $1.07 in sales and marketing expense to acquire $1.00 in annual contract revenue. So says excellent research on the experience of SaaS companies, prepared by David Skok along with Pacific Crest Securities. The SaaS companies included in their survey spent, on average, $1.07

Three more ways to build a $100 million business

The Angel VC

It seems like my recent post about five ways to build a $100 million business resonated very well with a lot of people. I also got some really good comments and suggestions, and so I'd like to follow-up with another post on the topic. Introducing: the Brontosaurus!

Bluenose Enables the Metrics-driven SaaS Business

Chaotic Flow

We are witnessing a dramatic change in the way SaaS businesses are managed.

SaaS Inside Sales Benchmarks Survey | Take It!

Chaotic Flow

As many of you may know, Trish Bertuzzi and the folks over at the Bridge Group publish a lot of great stuff on Inside Sales strategy and operations, including inside sales compensation benchmarks, lead development rep best practices, outbound selling strategies, and on an on.

Accelerating the SaaS Purchase Process

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

Inbound marketing can be very cost-effective, but it can also be slow. Inbound marketing relies on prospective customers making contact with vendors. That's the other way around from traditional marketing, where vendors try to make contact with potential customers.

How SaaS Marketing has Changed

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

Over the 10 years since salesforce.com went public, a few things have changed in the way we market software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions. For one, companies are getting more comfortable with the idea of running critical business functions in the cloud.

It's a ZEN day!

The Angel VC

Today is a very special day for me as as an entrepreneur and investor. About an hour ago, Zendesk went public on the New York Stock Exchange. The last time I watched an IPO so carefully was when Shopping.com, the company that had bought my price comparison startup, went public – almost ten years ago.

Cohort Analysis: A (practical) Q&A [Guest Post]

The Angel VC

My colleague Nicolas wrote a great guide with tips and tricks on how to do cohort analyses which I'd like to share with the readers of this blog. Thanks, Nicolas, for allowing me to guest publish it here.

Winning SaaS customers requires patience

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

"Eighty percent of success is showing up." — Woody Allen. For most companies, buying a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution to address a critical business need isn't a decision they take lightly.

A/B testing is like sex at high school

The Angel VC

A few days ago I went on record saying that A/B testing is like sex at high school. Everyone talks about it, not very many do it in earnest. I want to follow up on the topic with some additional thoughts (don't worry, I won't stretch the high school analogy any further).

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A toast to all the great ones that we've missed

The Angel VC

Picture taken by "nlmAdestiny" One of the things that inevitably happens when you're in the angel or VC investing business for a couple of years is that besides a hopefully healthy portfolio, you're also building a growing anti-portfolio.

3 Reasons We're in a Bubble. And 3 Reasons We're Not.

The Angel VC

We ? vanity metrics ;-)

The Angel VC

Who ever said only startups love vanity metrics? Here's our revenge for all those misleading stats that we have to muddle through almost on a daily basis when startups pitch us! Yesterday I saw this post on the blog of Karlin Ventures.

SaaS Buyers are Quick to Buy

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

Most SaaS buyers make their purchase decision quickly. When they need a solution, they do some online research, maybe ask a colleague, try the solution or watch a demo, and then buy. The whole process might take a few days, maybe a few hours.

5 reasons to ditch the PDF eBook from your content marketing

Aaron Beashel

The PDF eBook has been a staple of content marketing for a very long time, and for good reason too. It’s a great lead or subscriber magnet to offer people, and when done right it can significantly increase the amount of leads you generate and help build your all important email list.

Your message should be boring

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

Why in the world would I want a box of business cards with a different design on each one? In radio ads, I’ve heard a company that sells business cards promoting that very feature: “Business cards with a different design on each one.” I’m sure they use some very nifty software to make this happen.

What really happens when you get featured in Buffer’s recommended content section

Aaron Beashel

I have to hand it to the guys at Buffer, the recommended content section was a genius play. Not only did they create a feature that has probably tripled product usage, but they created a content distribution channel that they can use to send content on a sharing rampage.

Why your content marketing should be like a rock concert

Aaron Beashel

Late last month, I was fortunate to take some time off to head up to Splendour In The Grass in Byron Bay with a few friends. It was quite the event, with 40,000+ people all converging in one bigass field outside of Byron for 3 days of music and drinking.

A Free Trial Isn't Really Free

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

Free, free, free. It sure is a powerful word. Which probably explains why “free trial” is used so often by software-as-a-service (SaaS) marketers. Lots of SaaS solutions, whether they’re for business or for personal use, let prospective customers use the solution for free.

The human touch wins SaaS customers

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

Lots of smaller software-as-a-service (SaaS) businesses are tempted to try to sound “corporate” or hide their real personality when they talk to prospective customers. They act impersonal, like some alien borg. They think that “sounding bigger” makes them more credible.

The Hail Mary Offer: How To Turn Bounces Into Customers

Aaron Beashel

You’ve worked so hard. You’ve written an incredible post. You know your audience will be delighted, as your post has heaps of actionable ideas on how they can make their lives better. You’ve even tweaked the headline to perfection. It grabs attention. It arouses curiosity. It’s got it all.

What makes junk mail junky?

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

The junk email I get about replacement windows, oil change coupons, and life insurance doesn’t really bother me. Somehow I got on a list of millions of people who own a house, own a car, and can still fog a mirror. These emails go out in bulk and luckily my spam filter traps most of them.

How to create a Growth Engine for your SaaS product

Aaron Beashel

These days we have more access to great information on marketing our SaaS products than ever before.

Listen to your SaaS customers

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

Companies get more from software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions than just lower cost. So says a recent study conducted by IBM. It reveals that companies find that the greatest benefits from SaaS solutions are more collaboration, a better customer experience, and faster time-to-market.

SaaS Security: Don't Ignore It

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

Remember all those concerns about the security of software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions? When SaaS was still a new idea, at some point in the sales process you'd get the same questions: Who's got my data? Who can see it? Is it safe?

Three more ways to look at cohort data

The Angel VC

I've just added three new charts to my Excel template for cohort analysis. The first one shows the MRR development of several customer cohorts over the cohorts' lifetime: Each of the green lines represents a customer cohort.

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