I've written about Core, Near-Core and the Outfield. There will be scope creep. And the Definition of Core will continue to develop. With usually longer enterprise sales cycles that can be a problem. Ask your salespeople: Why are we in this account? This is especially true with Near-Core opportunities: There will be a class of … Continue reading Scaling First Revenue: Why Are We In This Account?
You closed your first customers, all friendlies who you worked with for the past 15-18 months to refine the product (so much for your "three months sales cycle from GA to bookings - that was easy!"). So who's next? You can categorize your prospects into three categories: Core (Hunt): This is the category where you actively … Continue reading Scaling First Revenue: Core Customers.
Wow, just re-found this 5 minutes 56-second video with I had bookmarked. I usually hate these "Five Things Successful Executives Do" etc., but this one was a pretty good framework of four recurring patterns -- instead of "do your taxes yourself." or "smile more." or all the other nonsense you read on clickbait. This one has … Continue reading HBR Whiteboard Session: 4 Things Successful Executives Do Differently.
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.
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
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).
I got a lot of good feedback on my last post on SaaS: Should You Fix EBITDA Margins or Revenue Growth? The main criticism was that the companies of each cell were not true peer-companies and a such not comparable. I admit that perhaps it was a bad judgment using these companies to illustrate NTM revenue growth and … Continue reading Cloud Index: EBITDA Margins versus Revenue Growth
First off: You should have a great product. It's pointless to try and "fix" revenue growth if you don't have a great product. But perhaps you have too many products, or your prospects don't understand what you stand for, or your operations are less than optimal. [At the end of this post I will include … Continue reading SaaS: Should You Fix EBITDA Margins or Revenue Growth?
At some point, every CEO is a first-time CEO. I've met and worked with phenomenal first- time CEOs. They had all internalized leadership lessons from their mentors and bosses, and had a clear vision about cultural norms and responsibilities to their companies. As a venture capital investor, I wish some of them also were more … Continue reading What I wish first-time CEOs would know.