The management-craze of "bring me solutions" has gone too far. I recently met with two spin-out teams of enterprises where the engineers and interim-CEO were scared to share any challenges or problems with corporate management because they were expected to be more "solutions-oriented." When I went back to one of the senior executives with a problem … Continue reading Bring me Problems.
When you work in a high-risk industry of startups -- whether as an entrepreneur, an employee, a VC, or a consultant -- there will be failures. You know that. And you are always surprised how much they hurt. You would think by now surely you've learned how to cope with it. It's painful and frustrating, … Continue reading Why Do You Keep Doing It?
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?
The last-mile delivery experience sucks. There are so many venture-capital-subsidized delivery services in the bay area. They double park, block traffic, dump the stuff on the front door, sheepishly smile if you happen to catch them, some even might utter a word or two. They are the workforce behind the "sharing economy" (I wonder who … Continue reading The Last-Mile Delivery Experience Sucks.
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.
"If I ask CEO <x> about what your most transformational value on the board was over the last twelve months, what would she say?" My firm also invests in other venture capital funds, known as 'fund-of-funds'. I recently met a long-time friend from a great fund in enterprise software who I deeply respect. When I asked … Continue reading Do you Know Your Transformational Value?
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.
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).
Europe seems to be on a roll. The European venture industry in 2017 saw €16.9Bn in venture capital deal value, a 13% increase year-over-year . And "2017 proved to be a rebound year for VC-backed IPOs, which raised over €3 billion across 53 offerings."  The SuperReturn/SuperVenture conference in Berlin was drinking its own Kool-Aid, and … Continue reading Dangerous Paths of European Venture Capital.