2014

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.

What Is (and Isn’t) Product Management?

Speaker: Steve Johnson, VP of Products, Pragmatic Institute

Product Management is one of the most exciting - and most misunderstood - functions in technical organizations. Is it strategic or tactical? Is it a planning role or a support role? Many product professionals are unclear about what is (and isn't) product management. After all, product management spans many activities from business planning to market readiness. In this session, we’ll examine many product activities and artifacts for product strategy, planning, and growth, and introduce a simple tool that you can use in your organization to clarify the roles of product management and others. Steve Johnson explores the many roles of Product Management in this fun talk focused on why product managers should obsess on problems instead of solutions.

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

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

More Trending

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.

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.

Embedded BI and Analytics: Best Practices to Monetize Your Data

Speaker: Azmat Tanauli, Senior Director of Product Strategy at Birst

By creating innovative analytics products and expanding into new markets, more and more companies are discovering new potential revenue streams. Join Azmat Tanauli, Senior Director of Product Strategy at Birst, as he walks you through how data that you're likely already collecting can be transformed into revenue!

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

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.

The Magic of Intent: Start Knowing The Goals of Your Users

Speaker: Terhi Hanninen, Senior Product Manager, Zalando, and Dr. Franziska Roth, Senior User Researcher, Zalando

It's important to know your users - what are their preferences, pain points, ultimate goals? With user research and usage data, you can get a great idea of how your users act. The tricky part is, very few users reliably act the same way every time they use your product. Join Terhi Hanninen, Senior Product Manager, and Dr. Franziska Roth, Senior User Researcher at Zalando, as they explain how they were able to reach a new level of user understanding - by taking their user research and segmenting their users by point-in-time intent. You'll leave with a strategy to change how your product team, and organization at large, understands your users.

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.

Data 177

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.

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.

Nine Companies Share 30+ Best Practices for Creating Embedded Analytics Products

In this 4-part series, product and technology leaders share insights for successfully going to market with a data product. Download the eBook now, and find out how you can embed analytics in your solution, from building your business case to designing and launching your product.

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.

Your 2-Part Metrics Audit for High-Value Products

Speaker: Sam McAfee, Product Development Consultant, Startup Patterns

You know what they say: what's measured improves. As product managers we're in a golden age of being able to get all sorts of metrics and run all sorts of experiments. But what are your measurements and analytics focused on? Are they really truly objective? Do they contribute to the ultimate vision of your product? And is everybody clear on that vision? Join Sam McAfee, Product Development Consultant, as he takes you through a two-part measurement audit. First, you'll learn how to make sure your measurements actually align with your product strategy. And second, you'll learn how to evaluate your culture of using measurements, so future experiments will more consistently provide high-value results.

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

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.

Top 10 industries for monetizing data: Is yours one of them?

Find out which industries, use cases, and business applications are the best opportunities for data monetization. Understand what data is being monetized, who wants it, and why. Use data you already own to create new revenue sources. Download the eBook today!

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.

Cloud 148

Learning More About That Other Half: The Case for Cohort Analysis and Multi-Touch Attribution Analysis (Part 1 of 2)

The Angel VC

Note: This article first appeared as a guest post on the popular KISSmetrics blog. Thanks to Hiten Shah and Sean Work at KISSmetrics for publishing it. I'm republishing the post here as a series of two shorter posts, with a few small edits.

Churn 141

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.

Measure the Immeasurable: Beyond Vanity Metrics

Speaker: Sari Harrison, Product Management Instructor, Product School

As a product manager, it's your job to realize your product’s vision by executing your chosen strategy. It’s also your job to deliver value to the business. Ultimately, these two outcomes are aligned so the temptation is to focus primarily on business metrics. Doing this can cause you to lose focus on the real value you are trying to achieve, in favor of moving the vanity metrics such as launches and time spent. Join Sari Harrison, Product Management Instructor at Product School, as she explains how to use immeasurable success criteria along with your more standard KPIs to deliver products that don't just get used a lot, but deliver real value.