We all need to have these – Difficult Conversations. Most of us avoid it till the point it cannot be avoided anymore. And we all know the delay hurts the organisation and relationships. Joel Garfinkle, an executive leadership coach wrote in this piece in Harvard Business Review and it provides simple framework that will help with those otherwise dreaded moments.
What is the right price? Are you charging too high leading to fiction in conversion, long sales cycles thereby reducing the revenue velocity? You need to closely examine if the extra per deal is worth it in terms of the friction it adds to the sales process.
I have been a fan of Guy Raz and How I Built this from NPR. I look forward to its episodes and have heard some truly fascinating stories of grit, determinations and growth. This is where I heard the Whole Foods Story from John Mackey ( remember the multibillion dollar Amazon acquisition?), of Jerry Murrell of Five Guys and a Burger, Melanie Perkins of Canva and today James Dyson and his vacuum cleaner story.
I came across this 2015 article in Mashable by Seth Fiegerman on why and how Google jumped into the Social bandwagon, created a non starter and sort of Me-too product, copying Facebook and lost the plot. It is a back story of how Vic Gundotra, then close to Larry page, built up a threat frenzy within where apparently none existed (at this point FB was valued at 14B and Google 200Bn – not any more). Although the security lapses gave the immediate reason for Google to decide on shutting down G+ the broader issues, primarily of non adoption, and blowback for coercion ( remember when you had to have a G+ account to sign into other Google services?) hastened the end.
As an entrepreneur you need time to just sit and do nothing. Sleep. Read a book. And not go out and party. Or group watch a movie. Or even take care of the kids. Managing ones scarce unscheduled time is crucial. It is one of the most valuable resource that you have.
Looking around for attributes while building great Saas teams I came across this post by Brad Feld (Oct 2017). He writes about a Keynote by Scot Dorsey the founder of ExactTarget (sold to SalesForce for $2.5Bn in 2013) and currently the Managing Partner of High Alpha, a venture studio for next generation Enterprise Cloud companies.
There is normally a lot of hype around any new tech that comes into the horizon. Specially those VC’s think will deliver the next bunch of Unicorns. Last year it was Blockchain (and the mad rush of ICO’s when unthinkable amounts of money was raised on the back of white papers). This year it is AI/ML. There is hardly a product that does not have a customer slide on AI. And how their cutting edge disruption will be driven by AI. A lot are deep fakes. Some are onto something. A lot simple decision tree based outputs.
Lisa Gansky, published her book “The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing” and co-founded Mesh Ventures. One key point she made in her TED TALK was about Access Vs Ownership. This basic shift can be arguably credited with the growth of most developments that are driving enterprise and customer conveniences world over. AWS and a host of other cloud services ushered in the era of cheap experimentation and thus extreme low cost threshold for testing, validating and launching a business. Ditto for Airbnb or Uber or WeWork or Zipcar. Dropbox, eMail (started with Sabeer Bhatia and Hotmail), Netflix or Maker spaces.
Sometimes we believe complex is better. Not Jason Lemkin. It is not without reason his answers in Quora crossed 50mn views. Here is another column you will love for the in-your-face simplicity. The question was :
For someone just starting out in SaaS sales (entry level Salesforce in November), what are your tips to accelerate growth/ability in early stages?