Startup Help, Expertise, Wisdom and Resources For Startups and Entrepreneurs

David Skok

Subscribe to David Skok: eMailAlertsEmail Alerts
Get David Skok: homepageHomepage mobileMobile rssRSS facebookFacebook twitterTwitter linkedinLinkedIn


Top Stories by David Skok

There is no question that success for the entrepreneur starts with a breakthrough (or at the very least great) product or service. Yet too often, entrepreneurs fall into the "field of dreams" mentality (in the words of Terence Mann, AKA James Earl Jones: "build it and they'll come"). But the truth is that defining the product is just the beginning. Entrepreneurs must spend significant time thinking about the complexity of their sales process and the cost of customer acquisition, as these factors will strongly impact a company's ability to make money and attract investors. An obvious requirement for a successful startup is that they are able to make more money from a customer than they spend for a customer, i.e. Lifetime value (LTV) should be greater than cost of customer acquisition (CAC) (see my prior blog post, Startup Killer: the Cost of Customer Acquisition). In ... (more)

SaaS Metrics 2.0 – A Guide to Measuring and Improving What Matters

“If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it” – Lord Kelvin This article is a comprehensive and detailed look at the key metrics that are needed to understand and optimize a SaaS business. It is a completely updated rewrite of an older post.  For this version, I have co-opted two real experts in the field: Ron Gill, (CFO, NetSuite), and Brad Coffey (VP of Strategy, HubSpot), to add expertise, color and commentary from the viewpoint of a public and private SaaS company. My sincere thanks to both of them for their time and input. SaaS/subscription businesses are more complex th... (more)

2014 Pacific Crest SaaS Survey By @BostonVC | @CloudExpo [#SaaS]

2014 Pacific Crest SaaS Survey – Part 1 For the third year in a row, we worked together with Pacific Crest Securities, an investment banking firm with a specific focus on SaaS, to survey 306 SaaS companies. This represents nearly double the # of respondents from last year, giving us deeper benchmarking data and insights to share on the growth and operations of the companies in this space. We also welcome this year the participation of OpenView, an expansion stage venture capital firm specializing in B2B Software, who brought additional support. I want to extend my personal than... (more)

Battle In The Making

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)

Startup Killer: The Cost of Customer Acquisition

In the many thousands of articles advising entrepreneurs on what they have to focus on to build successful startups, much has been written about three key factors: team, product and market, with particular focus on the importance of product/market fit. Failure to get product/market fit right is very likely the number 1 cause of startup failure. However in all these articles, I have not seen any discussion about what I believe is the second biggest cause of startup failure: the cost of acquiring customers turns out to be higher than expected, and exceeds the ability to monetize th... (more)