August 9 at SaaStr HQ: Hear from the VPs and Directors of Engineering from Zendesk, Box, Affirm, Slack and More

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahi0a2opBNkWe’re adding “semi-official” events at the SaaStr CoSelling Space in San Francisco to our official Speaker Series. The next one up is being put on by our CSS resident company PlatoHQ, is an amazing evening of mentoring and discussion from some of the best engineering leaders in the industry, from Zendesk to Box to Slack to Google to Waymo and more! “The event will be organized around some keynotes and panels on the topics below from 6:00 pm until 8:30pm. Food, wine and SaaStr signature cocktails will be served. 5:00pm- 6:00pm (1h)- Office Hours
6:00pm – 6:40pm (40 min)- Guests arrival
6:50pm – 7:00 pm (10 min) – Introduction from Plato
7:00pm – 7:10pm (10 min) – Keynote “Tech lead and Engineering Manager, which way to choose?”
7:15pm – 7:40pm (25 min) – Panel ”How to identify who to promote to Engineering Management”
7:45pm- 7:55pm Continue reading "August 9 at SaaStr HQ: Hear from the VPs and Directors of Engineering from Zendesk, Box, Affirm, Slack and More"

What do the best entrepreneurs do that really gets your attention as a VC?

See the future, crisply, clearly and directly. And a big one at that. 99% of founders can’t do this. They can’t crisply tell you how they’ll be running a $300m+ARR business in 7–10 years. How the market will evolve and change. How competitors, both today and in the future, will act. How IoT-ML-AI-Etherium-Autonomous Whatever will change their market. How they will recruit an amazing team. How they will go close Google as a customer. Everything. They aren’t right about everything. But they can see it, crisply, clearly, and incredibly thoughtfully. They can sort of do this: The Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan (just between you and me) View original question on quora

Is it normal to feel like a pest when prospecting for customers for a startup?

Yes. Boy sales is hard. It’s being told No a lot. It’s have literal, or virtual, doors shut on your face. It’s figuring out how not to be a pest — yet still be a pest. It actually doesn’t get that much easier over time, either. Yes, once you have a brand, and inbound leads, the engine gets more established. But then you raise the quotas, and sales is still hard. And then, the easy accounts are already in play for the SDRs. So outbound gets harder, too, later often.

How to Raise a Big Arse Round: Lightspeed VC, People.ai, Elementum and Reflektive (Video + Transcript)

Nakul Mandan, Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, sits down with three CEOs who understand the joy and pain of fundraising from investors. In this talk, David Blonski, Co-founder & COO of Elementum, Oleg Rogynskyy, CEO of People.ai, and Rajeev Behera, Co-founder & CEO of Reflektive talk about their approaches to raising a big Series A round. What do you need to consider when comparing a strategic investor to a traditional VC? What are some of the biggest mistakes they made when they were fundraising? What’s the benefit of going from the consumer world into the SaaS world? No matter how hard you focus on courting investors and building relationships with them, you should always keep in mind: never put investors before your customers or product. 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
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Good — and Bad — Types of Debt

Fred Wilson recently wrote a post “There is No Free Lunch” talking in part about debt — bank debt, venture debt and convertible debt — as being toxic to start-ups.  Many of the other very best VCs chimed in and agreed. Debt is indeed scary in general for start-ups.  Yes, equity is more dilutive.  But you don’t have to pay it back.  Whatever happens, that money is yours.  Period. Debt, by contrast, is a ticking time bomb in many cases.  If it’s venture debt and used to either extend your runway, or to hack a higher price for the last round, that’s great — if everything goes to plan.  And if often doesn’t (that’s Fred Wilson’s point).  Don’t do this. And if it’s convertible debt into the next round at a hopefully higher price, and the next round doesn’t happen, or happens on an unanticipated terms … that can create a
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The SaaStr Summer Social is Almost Sold Out! And The Best VCs Will All Be There.

Wow! The response to the SaaStr Summer Social 2017 has blown us away! Within just 3 weeks of announcing the event, we’re already over 80% sold out. We expect about 500 SaaS Founders, Execs and VCs to be joining us in San Francisco on June 28th for a few classic, informal SaaStr-style speaker sessions starting at 2:30pm. Just like to socialize?  You can also just come to the party, starting at 5pm. The hand-crafted cocktails will be flowing throughout the evening, and we’ll have gourmet coffee, boba tea, and delicious tapas for you to snack on while networking with folks from Sequoia Capital, Medallia, Pagerduty, Algolia, the SaaStr team and 500+ of your peers! Featured sessions:

What are the biggest challenges for a non-tech founder?

Adding enough value the first year. If you can’t build it, can you:
  • Sell it? That’s worth it. If you can bring in all the first customers, that’s a magical skill.
  • Design it? Head of Product is just as important as Head of Writing Software. Sometimes, one person can do both. But often, not so much.
  • Market it? If you’re a genius here in bringing in leads and customers via marketing, that’s critical too.
  • Raise the capital? That’s not enough, but it’s super important, too.
If you can’t really do any of those though. Step aside. View original question on quora