The Tech Press Cycle and Unicorns

Just 25 months ago, Aileen Lee coined the term unicorn in her post Welcome to the Unicorn Club and last week the Economist declared these Unicorns “Gored.” Over the span of those two years, the Unicorn press cycle has swung from euphoric apotheosis to bleak nadir. The rise and fall of unicorns in the press isn’t a unique phenomenon. A company’s narrative moves like a clock: it starts at midnight, ticking off the hours.

The Biggest Buyers of Software Companies in 2016

In 2015, startups benefitted from a vibrant fund raising market. In 2016, I believe they will enjoy a very active acquisition environment. The roughly 60 or so publicly traded software companies hold more than $380B in cash and short term investments on their balance sheets. Though Microsoft, Google, Cisco and Oracle possess 75% of that cash, 14 other companies have cash reserves of greater than $500M. If we examine the M&A activity measured by number of acquisitions announced through November 28, 2015 across the largest 18 businesses, we can see Google and Microsoft have become increasingly acquisitive over the past few years, with Microsoft setting nearly doubling the number of acquisitions since Satya Nadella took the helm as CEO.

Startup Best Practices 20 – Managing Oneself

It’s the end of the year, time for performance reviews, self-reflection, and planning for next year. In addition to preparing our goals for our teams and our businesses, we should prepare goals for ourselves. Oftentimes, it’s easy to let the company’s ambitions drive our OKRs. But there’s something more to consider. In 1999, Peter Drucker, the greatest management thinker of the twentieth century, wrote short book called Managing Oneself. In it, he stresses a critical idea:

How Startups Can Build a Recruiting Machine (Webinar)

The competition for hiring the best top talent in startups has never been higher. The best people are almost never on the market, so it’s imperative to develop recruiting processes to find and sell passive candidates. It may take months or years of relationship building with these candidates to find the right moment when they are open...

SaaS Office Hours with Maia Josebachvilli on Strategic and Tactical Recruiting Metrics

On December 2, SaaS Office Hours at Redpoint will welcome Maia Josebachvilli, VP of Strategy and People at Greenhouse, a fast growing recruiting software company. Before Greenhouse, Maia founded Urban Escapes, a DC-based startup she sold to LivingSocial. Maia is especially well known for her thought leadership in developing best in class recruiting metrics. She was also selected for Inc’s 30 under 30. As we learned at SaaS Office Hours with Pete Koomen, after a startup is found product market fit, the company’s most important initiative is building the machine that builds the machine.

2015 Pacific Crest SaaS Survey – Part 2

Last week I posted the results from Part 1 of our survey in which 300+ SaaS companies shared data on their growth and go-to-market strategies. This week I’m sharing the results from Part 2 of the survey where we compare application delivery methods, operational costs and gross margins, contract terms, churn rates, capital requirements and accounting methods. We’re also very...

2015 Pacific Crest SaaS Survey – Part 1

For the fourth year in a row, we worked together with Pacific Crest Securities, an investment banking firm with a specific focus on SaaS, to survey 305 SaaS companies. This survey represents deep benchmarking data and insights on the growth and operations of the companies in this space. I want to extend my personal thanks to the...

4 Lessons For SaaS Startups From Optimizely’s Early Days

Last night, SaaS Office Hours hosted Optimizely co-founder and CTO Pete Koomen. Pete was a Google Associate Product Manager for AdSense and launched Google App Engine. Then he joined his co-founder, Dan Siroker, also an APM at Google to found three companies, the last of which is Optimizely. As Pete shared with us, the idea of Optimizely was borne from a need Dan saw when managing the teams to build Obama’s fundraising websites during his first campaign.

SaaS Marketing | SaaS Customer Aligment Ebook!

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. Like many long term relationships, it is founded on a recurring cycle of needs fulfilled and expectations met, or not. And I don’t just mean customer needs and expectations. There are two sides to every relationship. SaaS businesses need to make money as much as SaaS customers need to spend it. SaaS customer alignment means aligning the goals and actions of the SaaS customer with the goals and actions of the SaaS business at every stage of the
saas marketing strategy
Continue reading "SaaS Marketing | SaaS Customer Aligment Ebook!"

SaaS Marketing | SaaS Customer Aligment Ebook!

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. Like many long term relationships, it is founded on a recurring cycle of needs fulfilled and expectations met, or not. And I don’t just mean customer needs and expectations. There are two sides to every relationship. SaaS businesses need to make money as much as SaaS customers need to spend it. SaaS customer alignment means aligning the goals and actions of the SaaS customer with the goals and actions of the SaaS business at every stage of the

saas marketing strategy
Continue reading "SaaS Marketing | SaaS Customer Aligment Ebook!"