Jason Lemkin, the founder of Saastr has written “The Ultimate Guide for scaling, sales and Raising Capital” compiled from his responses on Quora. All 100 of them. Here are some of my favorite questions and their answer highlights. Read the book for the detailed responses. It is a quick read and the Return On Time is phenomenal.
Jason Lemkin, thought leader and one of the most prolific bloggers in the SaaS space built SaaStr to what it is practically with singular effort, by bringing compelling content to his readers. He authors a series in SaaStr titled ‘5 interesting things….’
Last December Openview Partners put out their predictions of SAAS trends they believed will become mainstream in 2019. 4 months into the year I wanted to revisit those and list them out so you can see (and share) how they are playing out for you and in market segments you are watching. Openview is very focused on ‘Product Led’ strategies, and well, products. Their portfolio is evidence to that approach – with products like Calendly, Expensify and Loopio. So no wonder the list started with –
Bessemer Venture Partners released their State of the Cloud 2019 report at Saastr 2019 and it was a lot of good news. While a decade ago there were no private Cloud Unicorns, there are 55 today. Add the 44 that are public, there are in total 99 Unicorns in the Cloud ecosystem.
Tom Tunguz wrote an insightful piece analyzing the recent Slack S1 filings and comparing it with its cohort including Zoom in particular which also had a stellar debut couple of weeks back.7 key metrics put Slack in a comfortable position poised for spectacular growth. The only data missing, though tangential but relevant is how much each company raised unto the point of IPO. In case of Slack it was $1.2Bn while Zoom raised $145Mn (source CrunchBase, link below).
Product led growth is a recurring theme amongst some of the most known brands in the market today. B2B Saas is driven by this growing tribe of products and companies like Slack, Dropbox, Twilio and Shopify. OpenView Partners have been focused on this and have backed a bunch of ventures which, as it turns out, had PLG (product led growth) in their DNA.
Well a lot of literature is out there specially from Steve Blank and Eric Ries. What is it and how do you demonstrate it? Is it customer traction? Revenue or YOY growth? At what stage does it make any sense for founders or the founding team? Brad Feld wrote on it way back in 2015 and it still makes a lot of sense.
Alexander Osterwalder is the co- developer of the Business Model Canvas and in his recently published interview with Bill Fischer under the aegis of IMG Business School he elaborated on the origin of the Business Model Canvas. He also wrote a piece way back in 2011, in his then blog – Business Model Alchemist, on the 7 questions to assess your Business Model Design which is surprisingly relevant today.
If you are running a SAAS company you are part of the Subscription economy. One killer datapoint we often ignore is ‘Churn’. Normally we are so focused on the customer acquisition part – with marketing initiatives and events and advertising and campaigns we overlook at what rate we are loosing customers. Churn impact both the key numbers – CAC and LTV. The motivation of all SAAS companies is to reduce the first and increase the 2nd. Churn puts a spanner of sorts in that (fly)wheel. So we need to pay attention on day one.