How do you know your business partner would not stab you in the back?

Flags. I’ve known my co-founders for 8 months, 10 years, and 12 years.  The one I knew the least amount of time, was the one I could trust the most. Look for flags.  If they do anything at all untrustworthy — they will be untrustworthy.  If they play games with equity.  If they don’t contribute equally in any way.  If they hedge.  If they aren’t as committed as you.  If they don’t believe as much as you.  If they hide — anything. See Questions On Quora View original question on quora

Q1 2016 Venture Investment Trends

Q1 venture capital investment remains steady relative to Q4 2015 at about $15 billion, but down from the near records attained in 2015. Over the last five years, seven of the twenty-nine quarters have reached or exceeded the $15 billion mark, all of them within the last two years. So, on a historical basis, venture capitalists are still investing at rates substantially above average. 2016 is off to a slower start than 2015. In Q1 2016, venture capitalists invested $17.5 billion compared to $14.6 billion in Q1 2015, a decline of about 17%. Nevertheless, Q1 2016 activity exceeded Q1 2014. Let’s break this aggregate figure down by round size. Rather than analyzing the trends by named rounds (Seed, Series A, Series B) whose definitions of fluctuated over the last six years, this analysis cuts the data using round sizes. Seed is defined as rounds smaller than $3 million,
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Friday Q&A: How Do You Reach Your Competitors’ Customers?

Every Friday, we’re answering your questions about business, startups, customer success and more. Happy Friday! This week’s question comes from Chris, who asks: I’ll share one thing that has worked really well for us. But first, I’ll say this: I’d be very hesitant to make this my only approach. The customers that you want aren’t the ones who are going to defect from your competition really easily (especially if your big differentiator is price or something else that’s simple to copy). Because those types of customers are equally likely to defect from you when someone better comes along. The best approach to get valuable, long-term customers is to invest in building relationships with them and delivering tons of value. We do that with our blogs and our customer support, though there are other ways, too. We play the long game, and we want anyone using Zendesk to think long and
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5 Clues You’re Not Ready To Grow

So you’re excited about your business, your ideas, products and services… and you’re
ready to grow faster. You might be a startup, a consultant or a Fortune 100 brand.
And you know that lead generation is the #1 lever that drives revenue growth, and can
create hyper­growth. You’ve been trying to grow your leads, and thus sales… but it’s
been harder than you expected. Maybe a lot harder. Read more on 5 Clues You’re Not Ready To Grow…
The post 5 Clues You’re Not Ready To Grow appeared first on Predictable Revenue.

3 Easy Steps for Transforming Networking Contacts into MQLs

So you’re a networker, huh? You attend meetups, burn the midnight oil at post-conference gatherings, and lag behind after big presentations in the service of meeting the right people? Good. You’re on your way. It’s no secret that networking is hugely beneficial to you as a person and a professional. It helps build much-needed bonds with other adults (which feels like a real luxury from this side of 30) while also exposing you to others working in your field or industry: people who you should know to get ahead or otherwise get stuff done. But one of the lesser discussed benefits of networking is that, ultimately, it’s good for business. It helps sales professionals perfect their pitches, it helps department heads discover amazing new talent, and yes, it even helps us marketers. You see, what we tend to forget is that every connection we make at one of these
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If a VC backs out of a signed term sheet, should the entrepreneur spread the word?

No. First, there’s a good chance it’s at least 1% your fault.  Rarely in an auto accident is one party truly 100% at fault.  Are you sure you didn’t hide something, even inadvertently?  That you were totally upfront about that issue with your co-founder?  Etc. etc. So if it’s even 1% your fault — you’ll look bad “spreading the word.” Two, no one will care.  Not really.  I know, but the thing is, someone else will still take their money.  Also, no one really thinks VCs are saints, folks.  It’s a tough business, with sharp elbows, and half promises.  Everyone knows this.  If you refuse to work with VCs that have never done something remotely questionable — your VC network will end up being close to zero partners.

Three, let it go.  As founders, we Continue reading "If a VC backs out of a signed term sheet, should the entrepreneur spread the word?"

If a VC you’re friendly with passes on investing in you, and you feel sure your company is going to take off, should you tell him he’s being an idiot?

No, the opposite.  Be a tiny bit sympathetic.  She is in a tough spot. VCs have very, very specific boxes they like to invest in.  At just the right stage.  Just this sort of team.  This sort of risk — but not that sort of risk.  VC is about taking measured risk.  Everyone measures that risk differently. Nothing can be more uncomfortable then having a friend and/or someone you’ve known a long time not understand why you can’t invest, because it doesn’t fit your personal, specific box. And … If this VC friend believes in you, it’s just not the right fit for her … don’t alienate her.  She can still support you with other investors in other ways, either now.  Or later. See Questions On Quora View original question on quora

Winning with Data

There’s a new class of company that wield data to create long-term competitive advantage. TheRealReal uses this morning’s sales data to inform this afternoon’s marketing campaigns. Hubspot motivates its sales teams not just with a target quota, but a blend of key sales metrics that reflect the strategic priorities of the company. Zendesk’s data team educates and trains its employees to use data in meetings to prioritize key product management and marketing efforts. I first saw the impact of this type of data informed decision-making at Google. Underneath my desk, I kept a server that used data from the Google crawler to benchmark AdSense’s market share relative to our key competitor, Yahoo’s Publisher Network. Since then, I’ve reaffirmed a belief that the best run companies are data-driven, and this skill sets businesses apart from their competition. In 2013, Redpoint partnered two very similar minded entrepreneurs, Frank Bien and Lloyd Tabb, Continue reading "Winning with Data"

How A 30-Day Pushup Challenge Made Us A Better Team

We’re feeling and working together better than we were 30 days ago. Here’s why. We talk a lot about big things on this blog. Strategies that encompass your entire business, or the way you do marketing, or build your culture. And looking at the big picture is really important. But so is understanding that it’s not just your high-level thinking that matters’ the little things you do every single day are critical in helping you win. Today, I’ll share an example of something small that we did (and are still doing) as a team that has made an impact on our culture, among many other benefits. It’s not a “strategy,” and it’s not a “huge win.” But it matters, and helps to demonstrate that little things can make a big difference.

The 30-Day Pushup Challenge

It all started with a simple Slack message. It didn’t take long for the
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How Did We Raise Our Series A Round? A Startup Founder’s Perspective

Around this same time last year, two things happened:
  1. I eagerly jumped in to be a co-founder and CMO at Terminus.
  2. Mark Cuban said the tech bubble was doomed to burst.
Now, I’ve got a ton of respect for Cuban, and there has been a lot of doomsday talk about venture capital slowing down when it comes to funding new startups. After all, 2016 is an election year. If you attended Jason Lemkin’s SaaStr Annual Conference in San Francisco this year, I think there was no shortage of comments like: “buckle up” and “the storm is about to hit your company head on.” I knew next-to-nothing about raising venture capital when I jumped ship from being a Head of Marketing at Pardot (acquired by Salesforce) to a startup called Terminus. But here’s what I did know: there was a need for account-based marketing (ABM) software. As a marketer, I
Dos Commas
Flip My Funnel Stack
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