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
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Dustin Moskovitz, Asana: Fast Growth, Mindful Business (Video + Transcript)

Alex Konrad, Staff Writer at Forbes sits down with Dustin Moskovitz, CEO and co-founder at Asana and former co-founder of Facebook, to have an interesting conversation about what it means to be a mindful business. Startup culture, whether it’s in Silicon Valley or not, tends to lean heavily towards pulling all-nighters, running on coffee and lack of sleep, pretty much working yourself to the bone. Most, if not all, of us can relate to that, but is this really the best way to work? Dustin doesn’t think so. He shows us a different way to look at productivity by balancing periods of intense work and working at a more sustainable pace. If you want to learn more about creating a healthy work/life balance, the importance of building a diverse company, and using your resources to make the greatest positive impact possible on the world, you definitely won’t want to miss
Continue reading "Dustin Moskovitz, Asana: Fast Growth, Mindful Business (Video + Transcript)"

Dustin Moskovitz, Asana: Fast Growth, Mindful Business (Video + Transcript)

Alex Konrad, Staff Writer at Forbes sits down with Dustin Moskovitz, CEO and co-founder at Asana and former co-founder of Facebook, to have an interesting conversation about what it means to be a mindful business. Startup culture, whether it’s in Silicon Valley or not, tends to lean heavily towards pulling all-nighters, running on coffee and lack of sleep, pretty much working yourself to the bone. Most, if not all, of us can relate to that, but is this really the best way to work? Dustin doesn’t think so. He shows us a different way to look at productivity by balancing periods of intense work and working at a more sustainable pace. If you want to learn more about creating a healthy work/life balance, the importance of building a diverse company, and using your resources to make the greatest positive impact possible on the world, you definitely won’t want to miss
Continue reading "Dustin Moskovitz, Asana: Fast Growth, Mindful Business (Video + Transcript)"

Michele Law (Castlight Health, OpenDNS) + Mark Roberge (HBS, Hubspot): Sales Mistakes that Can Kill Your SaaS Business How to Avoid Them (Video + Transcript)

Building a well-oiled sales machine in SaaS is no easy feat. Mark Roberge, Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School and former CRO at Hubspot, and Michele Law, former CRO at Castlight Health and former COO at OpenDNS, take the stage to talk about the top four sales mistakes that could ruin your SaaS business. But what’s more important than understanding what these mistakes are? Knowing how to rectify them, or even better, avoiding them altogether. One of the mistakes that Mike and Michele made was growing too fast. We can all agree that growing too fast can potentially destroy a business, as ironic as it may be. It’s not just about hiring as many sales reps as possible so your revenue balloons uncontrollably, but understanding the stages going into growth, when and who to hire, and more. Check out the video and full transcript to learn more about the other
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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.
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Promise Phelon, CEO @ TapInfluence: Venture Backed CEO: Lessons Learned Inside and Outside of Silicon Valley (Video + Transcript)

In the future, we’re going to be seeing a lot more Silicon Valley companies employ people that live outside of the Valley. Promise Phelon, CEO of TapInfluence, is living this reality running the company from Colorado…a challenge she was more than happy to take on. So what’s it like to run a SaaS startup in Silicon Valley from the outside? One of the biggest challenges was the “culture shock” — she learned the hard way that what motivates people in Boulder is strikingly different than what motivates people in the Valley. There is also a lot less ego and a greater focus on building relationships when it comes to boards of investors. The thing she recommends you tell yourself no matter where you are? When things get rough, don’t make it about motivation, make it about discipline. You can see the slide deck here. And if you haven’t heard: SaaStr
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