Wednesday, July 23, 2014 Thursday, July 17, 2014

you just have to throw out all your old ideas about how users interact with your software and put all your energy into designing a streamlined, elegant, efficient mobile app.

it won’t be easy, but it has to be done. otherwise, your enterprise software company may slowly fade away as a relic of the bygone desktop era.

roger lee

As of late last year, Americans spent 34 hours a month on their mobile devices, compared with just 27 hours accessing the web via a computer, according to Nielsen.

This mobile-first mindset has also deeply permeated the enterprise. Some 95 percent of knowledge workers own smartphones, and they reach for them first to do all kinds of tasks – from email and document sharing/management to meeting planning and videoconferencing.

Sunday, July 13, 2014
when you materially improve an offering, and create new features, functions, experiences, price points, and even enable new use cases, you can materially expand the market in the process

bill gurley

There are three drivers of a network effect in the Uber model:

Pick-up times. As Uber expands in a market, and as demand and supply both grow, pickup times fall. Residents of San Francisco have seen this play out over many years. Shorter pickup times mean more reliability and more potential use cases. The more people that use Uber, the shorter the pick up times in each region.

Coverage Density. As Uber grows in a city, the outer geographic range of supplier liquidity increases and increases. Once again, Uber started in San Francisco proper. Today there is coverage from South San Jose all the way up to Napa. The more people that use Uber, the greater the coverage.

Utilization. As Uber grows in any given city, utilization increases. Basically, the time that a driver has a paying ride per hour is constantly rising. This is simply a math problem – more demand and more supply make the economical traveling-salesman type problem easier to solve. Uber then uses the increased utilization to lower rates – which results in lower prices which once again leads to more use cases. The more people that use Uber, the lower the overall price will be for the consumer.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 Tuesday, July 8, 2014
with a bad VP Sales you can lose so much momentum, and create so much internal confusion, that this one bad hire can really cripple you as you try to get from Initial Traction to Initial Scale

jason lemkin

The Top 5 Things a Great VP of Sales Actually Does at a SaaS Company from say $500k in ARR to $20m+ ARR:

(1) Recruiting: recruiting great reps and making them successful is the #1 most important thing your VP Sales will do.  And the great VP of Sales all know this.  They all either have in their backpocket, and/or are constantly on the prowl for, the next 2-3 great reps.  Because sales is a lead-driven but headcount-closed business.  To hit their number, they know they need the heads.  It becomes mathematically impossible without them.  

(2) Backfilling and helping the sales team: Working and closing key deals with them.  Spotting issues before they blow up.  Seeing opportunities ahead of the horizon.  In general, making sure his/her 3 reports, then 10 reports, then 30 direct and indirect reports — work as effectively and efficiently as they can.

(3) Sales Tactics: How to compete.  Pitch scripts.  Coordinating FUD and anti-FUD.  Segmenting customers.  Optimizing how best to work with Demand Gen and marketing.  Getting feature gaps filled with Product and Engineering.  In sum -> Learning and understanding how to maximize the revenue per lead.

(4) Sales Strategy: What markets should we expand into?  How do we shore up our base?  Where should we spend our resources, our money?  Once you’re past $20m or so in ARR, Strategy passes Tactics and goes higher on the list — once the VP Sales has a strong group of lieutenants/managers (e.g., Directors of Sales) to repeatably execute core Tactics.

(5) Creating and Selling Deals: This is last of the Top 5.  Important, yes.  But #5 on the list 5 most important things your VP Sales should be doing.  And this is perhaps the unobvious part.

a Great VP Sales can take that tiny bit of Initial Traction, that small little trickle of inbound lead flow … those raw materials … and do something really magical with them.  

drive your revenue per lead way up, and put you in place to jump on and close every practical piece of business that comes through the door.  

create a real machine to monetize the prospects and leads that find their way to you.  and then add some gravy in outbound and other expansion on top of that. 

that’s the magic in a great SaaS VP Sales.

from the three part VP Sales series:

three ways to combine both types of focus:
(1) ask the right questions
(2) in order to have focus we need to escape to focus
(3) know how valuable your time is
focusing on what is essential is a powerful ability, perhaps the most powerful in a world where we are so bombarded with distracting ideas, information and opinions.
however, if we want to consistently give our energies to what is essential we need to develop both kinds of focus.
only in this way can we answer with confidence the question, “what’s important now?”
via.

three ways to combine both types of focus:

(1) ask the right questions

(2) in order to have focus we need to escape to focus

(3) know how valuable your time is

focusing on what is essential is a powerful ability, perhaps the most powerful in a world where we are so bombarded with distracting ideas, information and opinions.
however, if we want to consistently give our energies to what is essential we need to develop both kinds of focus.
only in this way can we answer with confidence the question, “what’s important now?”

via.

to argue that huge numbers of people will be available but we will find nothing for them (us) to do is to dramatically short human creativity marc andreessen
Saturday, July 5, 2014
starting a great company is neither easy nor impossible, it is somewhere in between. it’s really hard, but doable peter thiel