In a well argued article in The New Yorker Nathan Heller questions the very core of VC claims. With reference to the book“VC: An American History” by Harvard Business School professor Tom Nicolas (I wrote about this and Fred Wilson’s article on this – post #196 – Whales. Not Unicorns) where the narrative starts with Whaling and its funding in the early 19th century.
We all know it. Building a product is relatively easier than selling it. One of the reasons founders keep pushing, first – the face to face with customers and after that asking for money from them – is because we want to keep the fantasy rolling. In many guises – the product is not ready, we need to add those two features, our market it elsewhere and so on.
Well let’s get real. Thanks to Tracey Ruff‘s list of 10 must watch videos for SaaS Growth, I found this great talk by Mark Roberge (MD, Stage 2 Capital, Prof, HarvardHBS and former CRO at Hubspot) and Michele Law (former CRO at Castlight Health and former COO at OpenDNS). And they list these four core issues failing SaaS sales, ergo – what not do to.
1. Pre-mature focus on growth/ Going into growth mode too early
2. The first sales hire
3. Ignoring sales impact on customer success
4. Aligning GTM by function rather than buyer
There is more advice on what To Do. It’s a 20 min listen. Go for it. hashtag
Where I learnt this #382
Learn from the Leaders: 10 Must-See Videos on SaaS Growth https://blog.userlane.com/saas-growth-videos/
I have about 60 folders. 22 Favourites. How many mails are in your inbox? How many mails come in each day and how many are critical ? How may do you look at partially and revisit many times. How many distributed amongst multiple mail ids you have – which you thought would help manage your inbox?
A good place to start reflecting on the state of startups is to analyze the state of VC investments in 2019. As expected possibly the most succinct and comprehensive overview is available in this post by Tomasz Tunguz. The investment in quantum and the number of rounds have declined in Q4 – although it is possible that all deals have not been announced yet.
The Betts Recruiting Compensation Guide 2019 shows the current hiring pay for all levels of Sales, Marketing and People positions in the Tech Industry.
The typical compensation structure (Base + Commission) was 100% Salary + bonus for a Sales Ops role to a 50:50 (B+C) split for Enterprise sales. Typical SDR had a 60:40 split between salary and commissions.
“Finally writing makes you smarter. Our working memories are incredibly limited. Writing opens a canvas that can allow you to form more complex thoughts, allowing you to understand harder ideas and solve tougher problems.” – writes Scott H Young author of the Book Ultralearning.
Tomasz Tunguz wrote this piece last year and it is a great place to start 2020 for all of us working on a SAAS product. In multiple forums and columns one key learning has been developing the ability to ask the right questions at various times in your business lifecycle. If the answers surprise you – which most likely it will – you have your work cut out. Consider these 8 questions (of 13) focused on the customer any PMM should be asking –
YouTeam — Dev Teams Marketplace, a YC co. listed the VC’s making Series A investments and companies those garnered them. Seems like Biotech and Pharma are the largest beneficiaries (in terms of number of companies in top 25 – which is what they listed – as well as the $ raised). All data was sourced from Crunchbase.