2014

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.

Good VCs, bad VCs

The Angel VC

Inspired by Ben Horowitz’ excellent “Good product managers, bad product managers” post and Stefan Smalla’s “Good leader, bad leader” masterpiece I’ve tried to put together my thoughts on what I think makes a great venture capital investor.

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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.

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 Much Cash Should Your Startup Burn?

Tomasz 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

wepay

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.

Cloud 40

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10 B2B Blogs Every Software Nerd Should Read

Software Platform Consulting

The vast majority of tech press is about B2C software companies or software for IT department (e.g., databases, security, performance monitoring and other stuff) that does not excite me. But, there are a few good b2b blogs and newsletters those of you interested in enterprise cloud business applications should follow for inspiration. My nominations, in no particular order, are as follows: Price intelligently.

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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 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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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).

Data 195

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

In a Wall Street Journal interview that was published yesterday, Bill Gurley , General Partner at Benchmark and one of the smartest and most successful VCs of all time, said that the current environment reminds him of the tech bubble of the late 1990s: “Every incremental day that goes past I have this feeling a little bit more.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Reflections on the early days at Zendesk (part 1)

The Angel VC

Yesterday I posted a brief review of Mikkel’s excellent book “Startupland”. For me, the book is also a good opportunity for some reflections and to share some thoughts in relation to Zendesk’s journey.

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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Four (more) things we look for in SaaS startups

The Angel VC

More than two years ago I wrote about what we look for in early-stage SaaS startups. Since then we've looked at hundreds of SaaS startups and have gained additional insights through the work that we've been doing with the SaaS startups that we have invested in.

Startupland – How three guys risked everything to turn an idea into a global business

The Angel VC

As some of you may know, my friend Mikkel , founder and CEO of Zendesk , wrote a book. It’s called “Startupland: How Three Guys Risked Everything to Turn an Idea into a Global Business” and you can learn more about it here.

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

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.

Contactually + MailChimp = yummy

The Angel VC

Some time ago I wrote that we at Point Nine love to eat our own dog food. That is, we run Point Nine almost exclusively on Cloud apps. We're also heavy users of Zendesk , Mention , Geckoboard and other products from our own portfolio companies. Another great example is Contactually.

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How to use behavioural psychology to improve your content marketing

Aaron Beashel

I am a big fan of the Content Marketing being done by the guys over at Buffer. I think they create some great content and I have personally learnt a lot from them about happiness, productivity and other topics. Recently however, I was looking at their Open Blog and in particular the Content Marketing Report for April and found some of the statistics quite interesting. Here’s a rundown: 729,832 unique visitors. 962,389 total visits. 1,193,967 pageviews. 1,604 conversions.