Catch Up on the The Amazing Sessions from the Summer Social!

Missed the SaaStr Summer Social? Good news: all the sessions are now on-line! We’ve got:
  • The CEOs of red-hot PagerDuty + Algolia, talking about how to scale sales and culture, with customers Small, Medium and Large
  • The co-founder and President of unicorn Medallia with Sequoia Capital + CEO of Clari, on all the lessons learned building an inconic SaaS company
  • The VPs of Sales of newly-minted unicorn Duo Security + LinkedIn/EchoSign/Talkdesk on hiring a Great VP of Sales and more;
  • The CIOs of Uber and Netflix talked about how and why big companies really buy from SaaS startups (you will learn a lot from this one)
  • and more!
These really were great sessions. Check ’em out here:   The post Catch Up on the The Amazing Sessions from the Summer Social! appeared first on SaaStr.

Top Hack: Keeping a “Stub” Source of Capital in Your Back Pocket

One of the wonderful things that has changed in the years since I was running my own SaaS company is the rise of “stub” sources of capital.  Investors that, for a variety of reasons, are OK buying fewer shares than the average investor, and often, outside of the timing of traditional venture rounds. The most visceral example is how the top startups out of YCombinator Demo Day raise money.  For the top YC companies, there is always more investors than room to invest, and the startups are often fairly capital efficient.  This combo means they can leverage Demo Days to fine tune the exact amount of capital they want to raise. I wish I had had that luxury.  I didn’t have trouble raising traditional venture rounds.  But the gap in between rounds was tougher. When EchoSign was at about $6m in ARR and growing nicely, and cash flow positive,
?
?
Continue reading "Top Hack: Keeping a “Stub” Source of Capital in Your Back Pocket"

Top Hack: Keeping a “Stub” Source of Capital in Your Back Pocket

One of the wonderful things that has changed in the years since I was running my own SaaS company is the rise of “stub” sources of capital.  Investors that, for a variety of reasons, are OK buying fewer shares than the average investor, and often, outside of the timing of traditional venture rounds. The most visceral example is how the top startups out of YCombinator Demo Day raise money.  For the top YC companies, there is always more investors than room to invest, and the startups are often fairly capital efficient.  This combo means they can leverage Demo Days to fine tune the exact amount of capital they want to raise. I wish I had had that luxury.  I didn’t have trouble raising traditional venture rounds.  But the gap in between rounds was tougher. When EchoSign was at about $6m in ARR and growing nicely, and cash flow positive,
?
?
Continue reading "Top Hack: Keeping a “Stub” Source of Capital in Your Back Pocket"

10 Tips To Avoid SaaS Burnout

Burnout is a real risk in SaaS.

Not usually in the early days.  But as time marches on — It’s a huge risk.  

One piece of “evidence” — a lot of fairly successful SaaS startups all sell at about the same point in time … about 5 years in. Because the founders get just too burnt out around Year 4 … and as Year 5 rolls in, they’re running a bit on fumes, and … they sell.  Or take a bad venture deal.  Or just plain start to give up a little.  Often, as it’s just finally getting good.

My Top 10 suggestions to avoid long-term burn-out:

  • Hire than Extra VP — a True Owner. Don’t try to save a few nickels here. You’re responsible for everything as it is. But you have to own less as you scale. Find 1 or 2 or 3 truly great VPs that Continue reading "10 Tips To Avoid SaaS Burnout"

Josh James, Domo/Omniture: DoubleUnicorns – How Things Are Different Now And Things That Never Change (Video + Transcript)

For many CEOs and founders, taking their company to unicorn status might seem like a pipe dream. Now try to imagine having two unicorn SaaS companies under your belt. As someone who has achieved just that, Josh James, CEO and Founder of Domo, can teach us some of the things he learned the second time around. One thing’s for sure, there’s a lot more pressure to be successful. He has a unique and quirky approach to many things. When recruiting, he likes to make potential hires really uncomfortable as a way to test them. The way he goes about building comp plans and incentives will make salespeople drool as well. He even talks about some fun ways, though they may only be short term solutions, to get focused on closing a lead or retaining a customer. Josh is in a unique position to shed some light on the mistakes and
Continue reading "Josh James, Domo/Omniture: DoubleUnicorns – How Things Are Different Now And Things That Never Change (Video + Transcript)"

5 Advantages To Working With a New VC

We’re all attracted to brands.  We want Google and Salesforce and Amazon as our customers.  We want to be in the Cloud 100 and on TechCrunch every week.  We want to be on stage at the SaaStr Annual ? Brands do matter.  They are a proxy, albeit an imperfect one, for quality.  They at least help guide us on what vendors and products to pick, especially if we don’t have time to do the diligence ourselves. The same is true in venture capital, when you go to raise money.  There are good reasons to take money from the Top Brands in VC.  Their brand will accrete to your brand.  They likely have better networks.  And maybe even most importantly, later stage VCs all want to write bigger checks into startups funded by the VCs with the best brand at each preceding stage (pre-seed, seed, A, B, C, etc.).   Look Continue reading "5 Advantages To Working With a New VC"

Your #1 Management Hack: Weekly 1-on-1s

When I catch up with founders on the march from $1m to $10m in ARR, the number one topic is always recruiting.  Where do i find a great VP of Sales, Marketing, Engineering, Product, Customer Success, etc. Sometimes, it seems like simply building a management team is all you have time for.  But it’s not.  It can’t be.  It has to just be the start of a journey together. Once you finally build out your first management team, the last thing you want to do is lose it.  Or more subtly, for your team not to perform as well as they could. The question I always ask founders here is:  Do you do 1-on-1s with your VPs and direct reports?  I’d guess 90% do not.   Most of us end up with once a week staff meetings.  That’s OK.  But it’s not a substitute for a 1-on-1 with your VPs.
?
Continue reading "Your #1 Management Hack: Weekly 1-on-1s"