Most Enterprise markets are somewhat finite regarding the number of customers: F1000 by definition has exactly 1,000 companies (d'oh!). Getting new customers is good. That usually comes in cycles: yay, the first customer! Oh no, who's next? I think I figured it out.... Darn copy-cats! You will hit the point where competition isn't sleeping anymore. … Continue reading Scaling First Revenue: Don’t Forget ARPU Expansion.
Startups are notoriously short on resources, especially when they are rapidly scaling. Scaling friction takes more tolls than anticipated. At these moments, startups become vulnerable to ecosystem changes: Not because they need to take immediate action, but because the perceived threat came as a surprise and your organization is frantically scrambling to understand your options … Continue reading Discuss Your Offensive and Defensive Strategic Options With Your Board.
Up to a year ago, I would have said that the CTO is the most important person after the CEO for enterprise software startups. I'm a tech geek, so that's natural. Without a working prototype or technology, there is no high-tech startup, so for most high-tech startups engineering is pretty important, obviously. By now I … Continue reading The Most Important Executive Besides the CEO.
Enterprise IT Infrastructure has probably the most disciplined budgeting process and most rigorous procurement department. Not that they are always on target, but they have a very clear understanding of the different buckets, ROI, impact on operations, and necessary multi-vendor management. Enterprise IT infrastructure organizations know the percentage their enterprise wants to spend on IT … Continue reading Scaling First Revenue: IT Infrastructure.
One of my favorite analysts at 451 Research is Brenon Daly. One of his remarks at the recent RSA 2018 Analyst Breakfast caught everyone's attention: We see about 120 to 140 infosec transactions every year in our Tech M&A Database. There are about 2,000 infosec vendors we are tracking, and venture capital is adding more … Continue reading More Than A Decade of Supply for Infosec M&A Transactions
Talk about burying the lead: "The competitive strength of Tesla is not going to be the car; it's going to be the factory," Musk said. https://arstechnica.com/cars/2018/02/tesla-loses-another-675-million-in-q4-its-biggest-quarterly-loss-yet/ Car manufacturers have known that for years (though some seemed to have forgotten about it) If you ever toured the factory floor of BMW in Munich, you know how … Continue reading Production, not Product, as Competitive Strength
Short answer: Don't. Don't worry about your industry focus (yet), unless you are clearly a vertical solution for a very specific industry; unless you and your first sales team only have experience in selling into one specific industry and have no other contacts and you are determined to keep only this team for a while … Continue reading Scaling First Revenue: Industry Focus.
I'll start to spend my money calling everybody honey And I'll wind up singing the blues I'll spend my whole paycheck on some old wreck And brother I can name you a few Willie Nelson sings in I Gotta Get Drunk. Surely he must have meant Corporate Venture Capital groups, or "CVCs" for short. Different corporations … Continue reading Corporate Venture Capital Pitfalls.
A Chief is the leader of a tribal society. In Scottish clanns, the principal function of the chief was to lead his clan in battle on land and sea. All Chiefs need to be great communicators. They need to communicate a common purpose and rally their tribe to fulfill that purpose. They are often judges and … Continue reading You are not a CTO (yet).
When it comes to your team slide in your pitch, there are usually two lines of thoughts: First tell me who you are and why I should listen to you First show me the problem set and what's hard about solving that problem. Once I understand what you want to achieve, show me how your … Continue reading Pitch Clinic: Your Team Slide Sucks.