How Startup Founders and CEO’s Rate the Top VC’s in SV

Someone shared the latest YouGov Entrepreneurs Poll with me recently and the findings are very interesting.

They interviewed a select group of founders about their experiences working with different VC’s and asked them about what they wanted from their VC and what they were actually getting from them. Here are some of the key findings: Continue reading →

Success in Business Development

Business development is one of the most common titles at a startup for the first non-technical hires. It’s also one of the least understood roles and in many cases results in wasted efforts and wasted burn.

BD can have many different meanings for many different companies. There are business development reps (BDR’s) at saas companies who prospect  at the top of the funnel. There are BD execs at internet companies like Spotify who may only close one or two large partnerships a year when they are first getting started. There are BD execs at ecommerce companies who have a mix of growth, product and marketing responsibilities. Continue reading →

Market to the Circumstance

I’m obviously a huge fan of Clay Christensen’s disruptive innovation theories and have written about them previously. In the Innovator’s Solution there is a quote,

“…just as (a company) needs to develop products for the circumstance and not the customer, the (company) needs to communicate to the circumstance, and not necessarily to the consumer.”
What he is saying here is that you shouldn’t be targeting customers of your product by segmenting them into demographics/geography. Rather, you should be targeting the job that your product gets done.

Continue reading →

Thoughts on Channel Sales Strategies

Many successful enterprise software companies have significant channel strategies. What is a channel strategy? To me, it is about how to leverage an external network of partners that can resell another company’s product, refer leads to that company, or enter into formal partnerships to go after deals together (specifically when one company has a killer feature that the other company’s product doesn’t have).

Another way of putting this is: sell with, sell through, sell to.

I have seen numerous startups try and fail to set-up their own channel strategy early on – early typically being less than $1-3m ARR. Should they have explored these opportunities this early on? Continue reading →