The Real, Simple Reason SaaS Execs Get Fired


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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Q: What are some common reasons that CEOs and other top executives are fired?

Ironically, it is rarely for missing the plan — at least at start-ups.

Rather, execs and CEOs are fired for (x) hiding that they are missing their plan, and (y) blaming others.

The reality is VCs and board members know externalities do matter. Times get tougher and then easier. And they know the best VPs and CEOs will course correct and go find the help they need to get back on track.

A VP that doesn’t make excuses, and telegraphs issues calmly ahead of time, and doesn’t spring surprises is rarely fired. At least, not for quite a while. They are almost always given more chances at least.

But the VP that keeps saying they’ll make it up next quarter, but that never does? The VP that cries wolf is shown the door after 2 quarters of misses.

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At About $2m in ARR, Every Great Hire Will Be Accretive.


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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Recently, I was talking to the CEO of a pretty successful SaaS company doing ~$3m in ARR, growing nicely, in a good space.  Doing just fine. And he was proud he’d just hired a VP of Sales at a below-market rate. Dude.  I told him.  That’s a negative.  Because at your size and growth rate, It Just Doesn’t Matter.  If they are any good.  You don’t want to save money on a great hire.  You want to instead, make sure they are accretive. Because it turns out, once you hit just Continue reading "At About $2m in ARR, Every Great Hire Will Be Accretive."

Talking Growth Frameworks with HubSpot’s Chris Miller


This post is by Kristin Hillery from Openview Labs


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Growth is a big topic in any organization. And it’s one that inevitably generates a lot of questions. What can you do to drive growth? Who is in charge of it? How might different teams collaborate on accelerating growth? On a recent episode of the OV BUILD Podcast, we heard from Chris Miller, Director of Product, Growth at HubSpot. He shared some helpful insights about the differences between the growth function on marketing and product teams. He also outlined a couple of key growth-related frameworks that HubSpot uses: the “Three Ds” framework for solving growth problems, and the Learn/Collect/Apply framework for setting up effective audience segmentation (something that was critical to HubSpot’s success). Throughout his conversation with host Blake Bartlett, there was a running thread about the importance of well-structured cross-functional collaboration. Listen to the episode below, or scroll down to read the rest of this story.

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Why IPOs, Direct Listings, and SPACs Will Flourish in Startupland


This post is by Tomasz Tunguz from Tomasz Tunguz


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    Most high-growth software investors value public companies on enterprise value to forward revenue multiple. But investors in private companies use a different metric, enterprise value to forward annual recurring revenue (ARR).The private markets project the ARR a year from now. The public markets project revenue for the next 12 months
What if we could compare the relative valuation multiples of public and private high growth software companies? What conclusions could we draw? It’s possible with some estimation. To estimate ARR for a public company, we annualize the analyst consensus estimates for the revenue 4 quarters from today. image The chart above shows the median enterprise value to forward ARR value since 2016. It hovers around 5x until 2018, then spikes to 8x, and despite some volatility, reaches its current zenith at a bit more than 10x. The valuation multiple has doubled in about two years. image But this figure includes companies
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How to Win When There are 1000 Players in Your Market


This post is by Amelia Ibarra from SaaStr


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How do you compete in a tough marketplace with thousands of other competitors? Adam Blitzer, EVP & GM, Marketing Cloud Salesforce and former VP, Marketing @ Pardot, shares insights from launching a company in the already crowded marketing automation space and zig-zagged the way to market leadership. The truth is, sometimes things are just out of your control. You can’t control how much competitors raise, where you get to be located starting out, and you can’t force the market to mature faster.  So what are the things you can control? #1 When the world zigs, zag This was a marketing ploy by Levi’s for black jeans. It pictures a black sheep among a crowd of white sheep. This ties back to asymmetry, when the world is doing one thing try to do the opposite. You want to stand out from the market, not fit in along with your competitors. Continue reading "How to Win When There are 1000 Players in Your Market"

SaaStr Podcast #385 with Balsa Founder & CEO Paul Rosania


This post is by Amelia Ibarra from SaaStr


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Ep. 385: Paul Rosania is the Founder & CEO @ Balsa, the company that recognizes that builders move the world forward and so they are building the best second screen for builders, integrating tools you already use like Jira, GitHub, and Figma. Coming out of stealth today with their seed round being led by Andrew Chen @ a16z and joined by former CPO @ Slack, April Underwood, Chapter One’s Jeff Morris Jr and then of course, 20VC Fund. Prior to founding Balsa, Paul was Senior Director of Product @ Slack and before Slack was a Group Product Manager @ Twitter where he was responsible for the home timeline, including timeline ranking.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

Pick Up The Phone. Answer the Chat. Be Present.


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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We’ve talked quite a bit on SaaStr about Customer Success, and there’s a very specific reason for it.  It’s one of the most non-obvious drivers of revenue growth in Years 3, 4, 5 and beyond of your SaaS start-up.  More on that here.  Customer Success can feel like a cost center in Year 1 (and indeed, it is), but by about 18 months out after your first 10 paying customers … it will be your largest profit center.  So invest in it!  Early.  And get it right. What we haven’t really talked about is Customer Support.  Basic, reactive, customer support.  Solve the customer problem.  Try to.  Pretend to.  Etc. mimirogersAnd we won’t talk a lot about the
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What’s Your Moat?


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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A few years back, we did an extra “Day 0” AMA session at SaaStr Annual with Christoph Janz of Point 9 Capital and several hundred founders came.  One asked what were top moats are in SaaS. At the time, I didn’t have a great answer.  A lot of SaaS apps don’t really have moats, I thought.  But that’s wrong. Let’s take a look at moats in SaaS:
  • Brand.  Brand can be a big moat in SaaS.  Most customers just want to pick the app they’ve used and heard of.  We all underestimated this in the earlier days of SaaS.  There may be 100+ CRMs today, but most us just want to pick the one we know.
  • Data. Data lock is real.  LinkedIn owns the human record.
  • Structured Data.  Even if data resides in many silos, structuring makes it unique.  Exporting
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You’re Holding Your Business Back If You’re Not Automating These 5 Processes


This post is by Mark Faggiano from SaaStr


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Whether you just scored your Series A or are about to go public, there’s no reason to waste precious capital on tasks that could be automated. Of course, you should be thoughtful about what you choose to automate. No AI solution will understand your brand tone better than your marketing team, and you’d be taking a huge leap of faith if you let bots write your code. But—and no one knows this better than you—SaaS solutions can save your team so much time. Practice what you preach to your users, and position your business for faster growth by automating these five processes. #1 Sales tax Have you memorized the sales tax rates for all 14,000 jurisdictions in the U.S.? Your accounting team hasn’t either. This means collecting and reporting on sales tax isn’t just a time-suck—it’s a liability. When you have nexus in multiple states and potentially thousands of Continue reading "You’re Holding Your Business Back If You’re Not Automating These 5 Processes"