Solving the Startup Pricing Dilemma: Why Too Many Companies Sell Themselves Short

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on Inc. here. An upscale Italian eatery recently tried an experiment. It offered its buffet for $4 to some and $8 to others. Same food, same amounts, only some people were paying twice as much. How do you think that affected those diners’ perception of the food? Of course, the people paying $8 rated their meal more highly. Similarly, when researchers poured a $90 bottle of wine into a glass and told drinkers the actual price, they loved it. When they told them the same wine was $10 a bottle, they didn’t enjoy it as much. Common sense dictates that it shouldn’t work this way. But we all know that what we pay has a great deal of influence over how we perceive a product or service. Despite this time-tested truth though, too many startups persist in pricing their products or services too low.
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SaaStr Podcast #134: Promise Phelon, CEO @ TapInfluence On The Crucial Difference Between Mentorship & Advocacy

Welcome to Episode 134! Promise Phelon is the CEO of TapInfluence, bringing the first ever influencer marketing platform to the Fortune 1000. Under Promise’s leadership the company has enjoyed a 300% increase in revenue in 2015 alone, they made the successful transition from a services to a SaaS model, and were successful in raising a fantastic $14m Series B. Prior to TapInfluence, Promise was the Founder and CEO at 2 startups, one of which, The Phelon Group, grew to 8 figure revenues and was successfully acquired in 2009. Before that, Promise got her start at BEA systems. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

Twilio: The Inside Story with Jeff Lawson, CEO/Co Founder (Video + Transcript)

Most of us have heard of Twilio but we’re using it the platform a lot more than we realize. Thanks to Twilio, you’re able to do things like make a phone call within the Uber app to your driver, send messages and confirmations with Airbnb, receive alerts from Netflix and more. Jason sits down with Jeff Lawson, CEO and Co-founder of Twilio, to get the inside scoop about Twilio and how they’ve managed to become so successful. Jeff talks about why developers are the key to getting into new markets, the usefulness of billboards, balancing sales and engineering cultures and why focusing on a niche is bad advice. And if you haven’t heard: SaaStr Annual will be back in 2018, bigger and better than ever! Join 10,000 fellow founders, investors and execs for 3 days of unparalleled networking and epic learnings from SaaS legends like Jyoti BansalAaron Levie
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One Simple Rule on When to Build a “Custom” Feature

“Custom” features …  I feel this is perhaps the point founders get the most conflicting advice of all on. Especially from VCs, B2C folks, and folks that have never sold bigger deals and into the enterprise.
  • One-off customization per se is bad. Agreed.  This is SaaS, not a services business.

But

  • Being paid a lot to build something important already on your roadmap can be magical. It helps you see the future. It is a gift.

So here’s my rule:

  • If BigCo offers to pay you a huge sum for a standard contract that also includes a requirement to ship an important feature you don’t yet have (usually > any other customer is currently paying you, or close),
  • And they are OK without any true exclusivity on it (sometimes a short period is OK),
  • And it’s already on your Next 24 Months Roadmap,
  • then build it.
  • Because — there almost certainly Continue reading "One Simple Rule on When to Build a “Custom” Feature"

One Simple Rule on When to Build a “Custom” Feature

“Custom” features …  I feel this is perhaps the point founders get the most conflicting advice of all on. Especially from VCs, B2C folks, and folks that have never sold bigger deals and into the enterprise.
  • One-off customization per se is bad. Agreed.  This is SaaS, not a services business.

But

  • Being paid a lot to build something important already on your roadmap can be magical. It helps you see the future. It is a gift.

So here’s my rule:

  • If BigCo offers to pay you a huge sum for a standard contract that also includes a requirement to ship an important feature you don’t yet have (usually > any other customer is currently paying you, or close),
  • And they are OK without any true exclusivity on it (sometimes a short period is OK),
  • And it’s already on your Next 24 Months Roadmap,
  • then build it.
  • Because — there almost certainly Continue reading "One Simple Rule on When to Build a “Custom” Feature"

Managing Product Launch Readiness: A Checklist to Help You Prepare

Dear CEOs, You’re doing it all wrong. You can’t push your development team to work one whole year on a product and then give your marketing team only three weeks to do their magic and successfully launch it. Signed, A Concerned CMO Most startups never become more than startups because in the earliest stages of the game, they are completely obsessed with one thing: the product. This product, they are convinced, is destined to alter the fate of humanity! But no, it doesn’t, because only after it is too late, do these singularly-focused companies discover that their marketing and sales teams cannot find a way to present and move this thing – this cursed product! (And forget about pricing, retention and investor feedback – when you have tunnel vision on a product, everything on the periphery turns to chaos.) We can put an end to this kind of
Continue reading "Managing Product Launch Readiness: A Checklist to Help You Prepare"

Managing Product Launch Readiness: A Checklist to Help You Prepare

Dear CEOs, You’re doing it all wrong. You can’t push your development team to work one whole year on a product and then give your marketing team only three weeks to do their magic and successfully launch it. Signed, A Concerned CMO Most startups never become more than startups because in the earliest stages of the game, they are completely obsessed with one thing: the product. This product, they are convinced, is destined to alter the fate of humanity! But no, it doesn’t, because only after it is too late, do these singularly-focused companies discover that their marketing and sales teams cannot find a way to present and move this thing – this cursed product! (And forget about pricing, retention and investor feedback – when you have tunnel vision on a product, everything on the periphery turns to chaos.) We can put an end to this kind of
Continue reading "Managing Product Launch Readiness: A Checklist to Help You Prepare"