The SaaS Year of Hell. And Then – Reignition.


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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Screen Shot 2013-04-25 at 1.10.43 PMI wrote an early SaaStr post way back in 2013 on my “Year of Hell” as a SaaS CEO in 2008. In 2013, we were just 2 years removed from the real recovery from ’08-’09. And the one thing that was clear to me was that as hard as it was to see at the time, once we got out of our Year from Hell at Adobe Sign / EchoSign … things roared back. I thought it would be worth a refresh of that post here. Will it be a V-shaped recovery this time? Or a swoosh? I don’t know. But many of you will go through not just a rough few weeks, but a Year From Hell. That happy customers and recurring revenue will pull you out of. Almost all SaaS founders experience a Year from Hell at least once on the 7-10 year SaaS journey. And it’s almost
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VC Firms Are Still Open For Business. Just Assume It Takes 2x Longer and 2x Harder.


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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Q: Which VC firms are still reviewing fundable deals during the Covid-19 quarantine?

Almost every VC firm is reviewing deals. The question is what are they doing about them.

We did a deep dive on the topic with Byron Deeter of Bessemer Venture Partners and it’s a pretty incredible look at what’s happening in VC right now:

 

A few summary thoughts:

  • A lot of time is still being taken up with “triage” on existing portfolios.
  • Many bigger firms have “tapped the brakes” and at least made a decision to slow down their investing pace for now.
  • Many bigger firms want to reserve capital for deals later in the year when valuations “reset” a bit.  They feel (right or wrong) that they overpaid for deals in 2019 and early 2020 and a need to benefit from lower valuations later in 2020.
  • Most VCs still need to meet face-to-face, Continue reading "VC Firms Are Still Open For Business. Just Assume It Takes 2x Longer and 2x Harder."

How You and Team May Feel Around May 15 or So


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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Everyone’s gone into War Mode of some sort. If you are one of the SaaS companies that is “benefitting” from the current crazy environment, you’re overloaded. If you are one of the SaaS companies that is in one of the hardest-hit categories (travel, events, housing, etc.) you’ve already been through gut-wrenching change. Many of you are in the middle right now — deals slowing down, churn or pre-churn creeping up, etc. Wherever you are in SaaS, you’ve probably adapted. Founders are really good at this. It’s so hard to start something, you almost fail so many times, that somehow you can deal with almost anything. Even a Black Swan event. Even, somehow, a global pandemic. You’ve adapted.
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I don’t have any profound insights, but perhaps one way I can help a little bit is that little old team SaaStr started going into War Mode earlier. So we might just
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Why Do Some People Consider Venture Capital a “Young Person’s Game”?


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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Because it takes so, so long to make money from it. At least from very early-stage investing.  So while not a young person’s game per se, it really helps to start early.

It doesn’t take that long in venture to make a decent salary. You can start there on Day 1 in a big fund, or a few years in in a smaller fund that does well.

But it often takes so long for early-stage investors to make material “carry”, or a share of gains.

Let’s take a fun example of a simply awesome SaaS company that will IPO soon, doing hundreds of millions in ARR — Procore.

Procore was founded in 2003.

Imagine you were a seed VC:

Top Cloud Stories of The Week: April 4, 2020


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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What have the 320,000+ readers of Cloud Daily on Quora been reading this week? Here are the top stories of the week if you want to catch up:

#1: “SoftBank Abandons $3 Billion Deal With WeWork Investors”

#2: “Salesforce promises no ‘significant’ layoffs over the next three months, even with coronavirus spreading”

#3: “Tech billionaire Marc Benioff wants every CEO to take a ‘no layoff’ pledge as part of an 8-point plan to deal with coronavirus”

#4: “Notion, Maker of Collaboration Software, Raises $50 Million”

#5:   The post Top Cloud Stories of The Week: April 4, 2020 appeared first on SaaStr.

Is This The Beginning of the End of the Bay Area as The Global HQ of SaaS?


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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Things are so crazy right now, and beyond that, the pace of change is almost incomprehensible.   Zoom has grown 20x in usage in just more than a month.  But at the same time, we added 6,000,000 new to the unemployment rolls.  SaaS for some industries is being decimated in just a week or two.  In other cases, unexpected upgrades and leads seem to come out of nowhere. We are going to see some sort of rapid evolutionary change in SaaS.  Exactly where is hard to see right now. But one thing that has already started is the erosion of the SF Bay Area as the Global HQ of SaaS. Start-ups have certainly became very global in B2B in the past 5-7 years.  Atlassian, Adyen, and so many other leaders weren’t founded in the U.S., let alone the Bay Area.  MongoDB, Datadog, Continue reading "Is This The Beginning of the End of the Bay Area as The Global HQ of SaaS?"

If You Have to Cut — 5 Thoughts On Where


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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Q: Based on what is going on in the world right now (coronavirus), is this the right time to ask businesses to outsource? Should I keep my cold calling team? What will be the best marketing strategy?

There are no easy answers, but we do know one thing:

When things come back, you will need everyone great.

Marc Benioff said one of his top mistakes was not hiring enough salespeople in 2009, during the peak of the last downturn.

  • At almost every company, if we’re honest, the “bottom” 10% doesn’t contribute that much if any value. If you have to cut, start there. Every VP, every manager, and probably even most employees know who isn’t contributing enough. It’s about a 20-minute discussion to align on who the bottom 10% is. Beyond that is harder.
  • And then, if you have to cut more, at least think about if you can repurpose Continue reading "If You Have to Cut — 5 Thoughts On Where"

As a CEO of a Startup, Is It Normal to Argue With Your Co-founder Early On?


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


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Q: As a CEO of a Startup, Is It Normal to Argue With Your Co-founder Early On?

It is common. It is not IME normal.

I’ve had 2 incredible co-founder experiences. And I’ve had 1.5 challenging ones. (I’m broadly defining things).

Some folks do like to argue. I don’t. Some folks do like to be challenged. I do.

But being a co-founder has to be a 1+1=4 relationship. When you’ve had that, you know. When you have it, you should know.

If it feels like 1+1=1.8, or less … then it’s broken I think. It’s probably not fixeable.

But it might be. Try. Bring in an outsider to see if you can improve communication and fix it. Sometimes, it’s not too late.

But sit the both of your down and ask is 1+1=4? If you can’t agree it is, something is off.

More here: A Simple Commitment Test Continue reading "As a CEO of a Startup, Is It Normal to Argue With Your Co-founder Early On?"

Great Salespeople Are Made, Not Born. But It Does Help to Start Early.


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Q: Are great salespeople born or made?

I think they are made in SaaS — but made early.

By that, I mean the best SaaS professionals and managers I know have a variety of approaches and temperaments. Some have a very intellectual approach to sales. Some shoot a lot from the hip. Some are aggressive, others are determined (similar, but different).

But all the best ones I know started early. Often, their first job or close to it. As an SDR. As a recruiter. Maybe even outside of technology. But they started there, learning, improving, and growing.

What I do worry about is someone that later in their career that wants to get into sales because they think it pays better, or is more glamorous. I don’t see that work out that often.

Getting 50 No’s before a Yes is tough. Probably best to learn early if that’s you.

The Continue reading "Great Salespeople Are Made, Not Born. But It Does Help to Start Early."