A short study of this web site reveals that a hugely important factor for
success in startup companies is finding ways to acquire customers at a low
cost. In the Business Models section, we looked at the perfect business
model: Viral customer acquisition with good monetization. However viral
growth turns out to be an elusive goal, and only a very small number of
companies actually achieve true viral growth.
In 2005, I invested in a company called Tabblo (acquired by HP in 2007), and
had the good fortune to work with an outstanding entrepreneur, Antonio
Rodriguez. Tabblo did manage to achieve good viral growth, but around the
same time YouTube was launched and managed to achieve explosive viral growth.
In the process of looking at these two companies, we learnt several important
things about virality. This post digs deeper into what it takes to achieve
viral growth,... (more)
How SolidWorks grew to $400m a year in revenues by helping their VARs become
world class business leaders.
SolidWorks was started back in 1993 with the vision of bringing solid
modeling for mechanical design to the masses. Before SolidWorks entered the
market, solid modeling was only available from PTC at $20,000 per seat, on
expensive Unix workstations. Jon Hirschtick, the founder, set out to change
all of that by offering a fully featured product at a fraction of the price.
He also decided to use a reseller model to get the widest distribution at the
lowest cost. This combinat... (more)
This article looks at the high level goals of a SaaS business and drills down
layer by layer to expose the key metrics that will help drive success.
Metrics for metric’s sake are not very useful. Instead the goal is to
provide a detailed look at what management must focus on to drive a
successful SaaS business. For each metric, we will also look at what is
Before going any further, I would like to thank the management team at
HubSpot, and Gail Goodman of Constant Contact, who sits on the HubSpot board.
A huge part of the material that I write about below comes my exp... (more)
Consumerization of the Enterprise – Phase 2
Consumer VCs like to make light of the Founders Fund mantra ‘We wanted
flying cars, instead we got 140 characters.' For those of us working in the
enterprise, it's actually the reverse, "They promised us 140 characters,
instead we got Workday."
Since 2010, SaaS applications were supposed to "consumerize", but as anyone
who has used the majority of SaaS applications released prior to 2014 knows,
they are still clunky, punishing interfaces that happen to be hosted in
someone else's datacenter. 2014 is proving to be the year where this cha... (more)
Portals, e-commerce sites, B2B commerce and so on...we're witnessing
unprecedented demand for e-business solutions of every stripe as companies
rush to put their businesses on the Web. With Y2K now out of the way, this
has become the top IT priority.
In the past many of these solutions have been built on top of IRM (Internet
Relationship Management) products such as Vignette and BroadVision whose
primary specialization has been content management and personalization. For
early Web sites, mostly serving up static content, this was sufficient. But
once the basic site is up and run... (more)