And now Slack joins them, getting there faster than almost all of them.
But this is the last time most likely that we’ll be able to check in on “Slack, Inc.” as it now joins Salesforce in a 27B+ mega-acquisition.
So this is our last chance to learn from a lot of their metrics as a stand-alone company. What can we take away? My top 5 learnings:
Q: What are the main responsibilities of an average venture capitalist?
Let’s break it down a bit.
General Partners at VC firms have to:
Raise capital. Yes, VCs themselves have to raise the money they invest. If you are top tier firm, with a long track record, this often can be done easily. If you aren’t though, it can take years. And so this can consume anywhere from 5%-50% of your time.
Manage their LPs. This doesn’t take a massive amount of time, but it does take time. VCs have to manage their own investors, the “LPs” or Limited Partners. This includes an Annual Meeting (which can take a lot of prep), quarterly reporting, audits, and more. This is probably 5% of your time.
We’ve talked a lot on SaaStr about the damage a bad VP of Sales can do. They often make things much worse than they were before — and burn a year and half of your capital doing it. More on that, and the line between Great, Good and Bad here:
But what if you are struggling to just find a Good VP of Sales … should you hire an Interim one? These days, with more and more SaaS veterans out there, maybe aren’t quite ready to go truly full-time again. But they are OK doing an interim role for 3-6-9 months.
But should you? Interim of course is never really as good as 100% full-time, 100% dedicated, 100% all-in.
I think the answer is yes, sometimes.
A good interim, seasoned, proven VP of Sales:
We’re almost at SaaStrScale.com next week, the secrets to scaling to $10m, $100m, and $1B in ARR … and beyond! Grab your FREE keynote pass here!
After that, we’ve got a full slate of 4+ mega digital events and SaaStr Annual 2021 lined up for next year.
NOW is the time to apply to speak for next year. We already have incredible speakers lined up for 2021, from the CEO of Twilio to the CEO of Notion to the CEO of Gitlab and so much more!
You can apply to speak at specific events, or any events, on the application.
Especially encouraged are less represented speakers. SaaStr is committed to having a majority of women and underrepresented speakers, and has been for 5 years.
The post Now Is the Time to Apply To Speak at a 2021 SaaStr Event!! appeared first on SaaStr.
Q: How long does it usually take to close a deal in SaaS?
Ok here’s a really rough set of timelines to how long it takes to close an Opportunity in SaaS:
A $5k deal, or say $499 a month, can often be closed in a call or two. Certainly the buying decision that can be made in a day, a week, or at least the same month.
A $20k-$50k deal often takes 2–3 months. At this deal size, there is some real cost to the decision, and often, more work to deploy it internally. A few weeks of discovery of a potential vendor or two, a few demos, internal discussion, and planning. Then a month or so to make the decision, negotiate price, and sign. If there’s a pilot, add that to the timeline. But this deal size isn’t usually large enough to be budgeted in mid-sized Continue reading "How Long It Roughly Takes to Close a Deal in SaaS. And Why."
We’ve done a non-engineering scrum since Covid, and taken the basic idea of a stand-up to work across all functional areas in our small team at SaaStr.
Our modified structure is:
7:30–8:00am. M-Fri. Check in on Slack. Everyone shares Top 3 bullet points of what they are working on for the rest of the day.
1:30–2:00pm. Tu-Fri. Live meeting on Zoom. Bring up blockers, ideas, where need help. No repeats of Top 3 points from Slack check-in (i.e., assume everyone has read the points in Slack).
Monday only 12:00–1:00pm. Deep dive on everyone’s dashboard. Run on Notion, shared in Zoom. Every single employee and team member now has a dashboard in Notion, shared with everyone else. Monday is a progress review of each dashboard, with a chance to highlight issues and challenges.
Start-ups aren’t democracies, no matter what some employees may think. The CEO is the CEO, and the founders are the founders.
But start-ups also aren’t IBM or Cisco. Or even, anything like DropBox or Slack or Box or Hubspot, not organizationally at least.
From 1-10 employees, it’s a family. After 150 or so, somewhere in there, it starts to become a traditional hierarchical structure.
In between … from 10ish employees to 1X0ish … a start-up is something unique. Something organic. A couple of platoons. An organization that has come together voluntarily to take on a mission, at least in part. Later, it’s just a job. Maybe a cool job, but just a job. But from 10-150, it’s no longer a (squabbling?) family, but for many of your team, it’s more than just the best way to pay the rent.
And in this phase, most likely, at least once — the troops will revolt.Continue reading "When The Team Revolts"
What is the minimum projected annual revenue in the exit year and projected exit valuation for a startup to be investable from a VC?
For most “traditional” U.S. VCs doing early-stage investment, the goal is simple:
At least 1 investment out of every 20 or so per fund needs to be worth $1 Billion or more within 10–15 years.
If that happens, the math generally works out. If there is more than 1 “Unicorn” per fund (i.e., per every 15–30 investments), even better. If there is a “Decacorn” (i.e., worth $10 Billion+), then the fund makes a lot of money.
So VCs are thinking that when they meet you. Is there a 5-10% chance this investment might be worth $1B+? Or more subjectively, is there a real chance, given the team, the market, and the very early traction?