$100 invested in Nike (IPO:1980) is now $6.07M, while in Alphabet (Google; IPO:2004) it is $2.6K. $100 in Walmart IPO in 1957 is now $1.24M while in Amazon (IPO:1997) it is worth $120.6K. In both cases the time period is obviously not similar. $100 invested in Apple (IPO:2002) is currently $43.4K. So what is the point? First, Tech companies are historically not the best Return on Investments (at IPO for retail investors, VC’s typically would have taken their share out during the IPO itself).
The change in the B2B sales process was apparent several years back and HBR has been in the forefront of reflecting the shift. Not necessarily in these exact terms. Take for example the article “The New Sales Imperative” written by Nicholas Toman, Brent Adamson and Cristina Gomez of CEB. The shift is from ‘the customer purchase from us’ journey to a ‘proactive, prescriptive approach that guides customers through decision making’ journey
Gary Vaynerchuk is either loved or hated. Over the past several months he has been very active on LinkedIn. Something he wrote sometime back stayed with me – “The truth is, the way to win on social media is to actually be social. ….The only real way to do this from scratch is to become part of the conversation”.
What excites me about this time we are living in, the connectedness and this whole urge to share is – the knowledge you can find freely shared by those who are in the trenches. They think nothing of telling you about experiments and learnings, what they found, what worked for them and what didn’t. Being part of a generation that used rotary phones and lived without, electricity (well, for large parts of the day, Calcutta in the ’70s), television, computers and information, it fascinates me how we have come to be in a world where literally everything is just a search away.
Warren Buffett took early retirement at 26 from his teaching job and invested his retirement fund of $174,000 in his own investment business. A billionaire by age 46, (current net worth $83B) his insightful Letters to Shareholders carried unforgettable wisdoms and have become an annual must read for the investing and business community since 1977.
In my post on sales on 14th Feb I wrote about the Buyer study conducted by Steve W Martin. Steve teaches at the Marshall Business School, author of the Heavy Hitter series, advised companies like Google, IBM and PayPal and an expert in *Sales Linguistics.
I read this very appealing piece by Benjamin Hardy and he argues that most productive work gets done first thing in the morning. Block off your first 3 hours or so for distraction free, focused deep work. In fact Robin Sharma, whom Hardy quotes, talks about the 90/90/1 rule which translates to 90 days of focused 90 minute work on the most important project you have on hand – ‘your willpower is highest first thing in the morning, your energy is highest first thing in the morning, and your mental focus is highest first thing in the morning.’
In a recent TrustRadius report on the growing Vertical SAAS market they pointed to an article by Brian Feinstein of Bessemer Venture Partners which pegs growth of Vertical SAAS market between 2010 and 2016 at 3X – from 50B to 150B. He ought to know. Bessemer has a large Vertical SaaS portfolio across education, real estate, construction, healthcare et all.
In a report CBInsights analyzed 1100 startups (that raised seed rounds in 2008-2010) to answer exactly that question. Post seed funding 67% startups stall at some point, fail to raise or exit (unless they become self sustaining but unattractive for investors).