The main advantage is you can pursue a market or opportunity that is not worth their time. Yet.
Big, established tech companies aren’t stupid, or ignorant. Not at all. They are better aware of tech trends than you are, usually. After all, they have all the customer data.
But so many things just aren’t worth their time … yet.
As a rough rule, anything < 10% isn’t material or worth their time. I.e.:
Anything that today doesn’t seem like it can be > 10% of the business/revenues overall; or at least,
Anything that today doesn’t seem like it can be > 10% of a division’s business/revenues overall.
SurveyMonkey is one of the Old School SaaS companies that has followed an interesting path. Founded back in 1999 (like Salesforce) in the Web 1.0 days, for years it was run by a tiny team and dominated the self-service side of surveys. It stayed small until 2009 when the founders were bought out by a private equity firm.
Its growth has been more slow-and-steady than traditional rocketship, crossing $69m in Q4 revenues (let’s call that $280m+ in ARR, so soon to be $300m) — growing 17% a year by revenue, and 10% a year by customer count. So the current products are very successful, but mature. That is a similar revenue growth rate to Salesforce’s core CRM product. But Salesforce’s other products are growing more quickly.
SurveyMonkey itself is going more enterprise and upmarket now, with 16% of its revenue now enterprise, up from
SaaS as we know it probably started in 1999. Salesforce was founded then, NetSuite just before that. SurveyMonkey was founded in 1999, one of the few SMB survivors of that era. There were apps before that (e.g., WebEx was founded in 1995), but Salesforce kicked off the current era, and is the biggest player in SaaS.
That means, especially if you are HQ’d in the Bay Area or have or are opening an office there … the market is flooded with folks with up to 20 years of SaaS experience now. That’s a lot of experience, especially if you are a first-time founder.
Ep. 235: Andrew Filev is the Founder & CEO @ Wrike, the cloud based collaboration and project management software that scales across teams in any business. In Dec 2008, Vista Equity Partners acquired a majority stake in Wrike for a deal reportedly valuing the company at $800m. Before this transaction, Andrew had raised over $45m in funding from the likes of Rory @ Scale and Bain Capital Ventures just to name a few. As for Andrew, he started his first software development company at the age of 18 and has been running Wrike for the last 13 years alongside advisory roles with both Ditto and Appulate.
In This Episode We Discuss:
How Andrew made his way into the world of SaaS from his starting his first software business at the age of just 18 and how that led to his founding of Wrike?
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on Inc. here.
Picture this: you’re in a meeting with the executive team, and someone says, “It’s our most important problem.” Everyone around the table nods.
As an executive coach, I know this is my moment to step in. I stop the action. “What do you think ‘it’ is?” I ask everyone around the room. “What is the ‘it’ that is our most important problem?”
Invariably when I ask seven people this question, I get seven different answers. “It” is our inability to get enterprise sales. “It” is our need to fix our sales process.” “It” is the need to work better together as a team.
One of the main jobs of startup CEOs is to make sure everyone has the same picture in their heads of what success looks like. You need to make sure that next steps are
Before you raise your next round, ask yourself this question. Are there any key people you need to hire? Essential executives, critical engineers, important managers or anyone else? Your common stock value, or 409a valuation will increase the second you receive a term sheet. And the strike price of any new options will increase with the 409a valuation.
Let’s take a step back. When you hire someone, you’ll grant them a salary and options. An option is the right to buy shares of the business at some future point in time. The strike price of the option is equal to the value of the common stock, which is set by the company’s board periodically, based on a report by an independent appraiser, the 409a valuation.
During the early stages of a company, the board typically ratifies an updated 409a valuation annually. As the company grows and approaches an IPO, the Continue reading "Before You Raise a Round of Funding, Ask Yourself This Question"
Dave Kellogg is the former CEO of Host Analytics and prolific blogger. Join him as he takes you through lessons learned from Host Analytics on the top questions every SaaS CEO wrestles with.
Want to see more content like this? Join us at SaaStr Annual 2020.David Kellogg – Former CEO @ Host Analytics FULL TRANSCRIPT BELOW
Morning. Morning. Thank you all for attending this morning. For this session, where we’re going to talk about really the five kind of questions that keep CEOs up at night. Or the five questions that really never get put to bed in growing a SaaS start up. So thanks for joining us. You know, my belief is you’re either a CEO or you work for one. And I think there’s value for both groups here today. If you’re a CEO or a co-founder or a board member I’m hoping you can get