They tend to be old
. Their technologies and approaches, at least.
The good thing in SaaS about getting to $100m ARR is you basically become unstoppable for another decade, at least. Look at Oracle, SAP, and the oldies of enterprise software. They are still around and doing very, very well.
Look at the old guard of SaaS — even the ones acquired like Successfactors, Taleo, Eloqua, Concur, Marketo, ExactTarget, etc. — are all doing just fine. Maybe they’ve grown more slowly after being acquired, but they are all still growing . Box, Salesforce, etc. are all still growing at a very rapid rapid.
But … platforms do matter in SaaS.
After $100m, you are old
. Even Slack is old. Salesforce is way
Things change. AI, ML, mobile, Big Data, whatever. All of the current SaaS companies at $100m+ ARR were built 1–3 paradigms ago in SaaS.
And unlike B2C — Continue reading "What are the things SaaS companies with over 100M ARR all have in common?"
What could be more natural than a marketer selling a product to other marketers? Or an engineer pushing a new devops tool to other developers? Or a customer success person pitching CS tools? After all, they both speak the same language, come from the same domain, will develop trust quickly. Consequently, they will sell faster and more efficiently. This might seem like a very logical argument for differentiating on sales processes, but it’s a fallacy.
Why doesn’t this strategy work?
First, it presumes that the most valuable skill set in sales is building rapport. Trust is critical. You won’t buy a product from someone you don’t trust or respect, or who doesn’t understand your challenges. However, trust-building skills are insufficient to be a great salesperson.
Great salespeople understand how to manage a sales process and the five key people in a sales process
. They know how to structure contracts to Continue reading "The Hiring “The Buyer’s Role to Sell” Fallacy"
It’s hard advice to follow, but it’s critically important. Here’s why.
I got an email last week from an entrepreneur looking for advice.
“I was hoping you could help me with something I’ve been struggling with for a few weeks,” it began.
The email was more than 400 words long, and laid out his thoughtful consideration of three possible solutions for a decision he was having trouble with.
What kind of publications should he reach out to for guest blogging relationships?
It’s not a trivial
decision, of course. Whichever path he chooses will result in a different outcome.
But the truth is, he could have answered that question for himself in just a few days of action
, rather than struggling with it for weeks of indecision
I replied with a story that I’ve shared before, but that I’d like to share again today, because it’s an important
Continue reading "Stop Overthinking Small Decisions"
One could argue that the oldest profession in the world is actually sales. Since the first time a caveman sold a wheel, certain core elements of the profession have stayed the same, however, the intricacies of the methodology have evolved. And they are about to evolve again.
Although there have been many methodologies, including everything from snake-oil sales, pyramid sales and door-to-door selling, the traditional approach was rooted in “feature-benefit” selling; A vacuum salesperson would ring a person’s doorbell. The resident / potential buyer would open the door. The salesperson would greet that person by throwing a handful of dirt into their doorway. Then, while describing the features of their product, they’d plug in their product, cleaning up the mess they made, in hopes that the features and proof would lead to a purchase.
Around 1980, the evolution of selling began to accelerate. It was then that Solution Selling became
Continue reading "Transparency: The Next Era in Enterprise Sales"
You will lose friends on many levels if you build a successful start-up.
If you co-found a company with friends, it’s likely one of them won’t go the distance. And it’s likely that will end up souring the relationship, at least partially. Doing a start-up with a great friend can be very powerful. Just bear in mind, it can also make the break-up a lot tougher.
You’ll also start to have less in common with some of your old friends who aren’t on the super intense founder journey. It’s just so much more intense and all-consuming that an individual contributor or even “ordinary” manager role. Your friends with that great life as line engineers at Google or Facebook … you’ll start to have less in common with them.
The good news is, you’ll also gain great new friends:
Welcome to Episode 125!
Laura Bilazarian is the Founder & CEO of Teamable, the startup that allows you to recruit the best talent from your network. They have raised funding from some stellar investors including the likes of True Ventures and SaaStr. As for Laura, she started out her career on Wall St before making forays into the world of Vietnamese hotel building and being a National Rugby Champion. Laura has also spent time with the likes of Fairmount Partners where she worked on dozens of M&A transactions to large public companies.
In today’s episode you will learn:
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on Inc. here.
For the past few years, there has been a mantra that “every business is a software business
.” While that’s true, it’s also becoming outdated. Software is such an obvious part of doing business that you no longer need to acknowledge it.
So here’s an update to that maxim: “Every business is an AI business.”
That’s not quite the case yet, but every company should be experimenting with AI before that is the case. That’s because AI is the biggest wave to hit business since the PC revolution in the late 1970s and 1980s and the advent of the commercial Internet in the 1990s.
As with those previous waves, companies that try to ignore the change or put off adapting to it will suffer. That’s because there’s an AI solution to every business problem. AI-based startups
are going to
Continue reading "3 Reasons Every Startup Needs to Experiment with Artificial Intelligence Now"
Of course not.
In the SaaS/B2B world, AppDynamics, which was just acquired for $3,700,000,000 had no co-founder. Zoom, one of the fastest ever in SaaS from $0 to $100m in ARR, had no co-founder. Even Salesforce didn’t really have a true, equal co-founder.
It happens all the time, and every day.
But man, I could never have done it alone.
In her first Unicorn article on TechCrunch, Aileen Lee
had a great analysis of how often $1b+ valued start-ups have just a single founder:
Welcome To The Unicorn Club: Learning From Billion-Dollar Startups
So of course, it’s not necessary.
But most of us can’t get there that way. We need help. We can’t code, sell, support and envision a world-class product … on our own.
There’s a reason the concept of a “partnership” came along … most of us do better in them. Even with the drama they almost always Continue reading "Is it necessary to have a co-founder for your startup?"