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Founder Reading – Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019

GROWTH: Shane Murphy-Reuter, SVP of Marketing at Intercom, shares learnings from his experience in taking their product upmarket which includes, the importance of consistency in messaging, how to navigate the journey to upmarket, how to instill change in a fast-moving, high-performing team and more: How we’re building a marketing engine to move upmarket

SAAS: Brooke Goodbary, Customer Success Consultant at Intercom, discusses how professional services and customer success should work together in SaaS startups, and further explains how to use such services to increase sales, lower churn, deliver long-term value to the customer and more: Professional Services and Customer Success in SaaS Startups

HUMAN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT: Gloria Lin, Head of Product at Flipboard, shares the rigorous approach she used to find potential co-founders, and presents the questions she asked to probe compatibility more deeply: The Founder Dating Playbook – Here’s the Process I Used to Find My Co-Founder

PRODUCT: Bryton Shang, Founder of Aquabyte, shares learnings uncovered during the early stages of building Aquabyte, and further discusses the key drivers to find the right product market fit which included doing things that don't scale, looking for solutions to real problem of an underserved industry and more: 3 signposts on the road to product market fit

CUSTOMER SUCCESS: Melissa Rosen, Content Creator at Groove, provides tips for founders on managing customer service which include setting unified cultural directions, deep understanding of the metrics, hiring a lead before hiring reps, sharing customer service goals and more: Customer Service Tips for Small Business Owners and Startup Founders

FUNDRAISING: Sid Krommenhoek, Co-Founder of Zinch, shares thoughts and insights on the importance of understanding the dynamics behind first venture check into a startup, and makes the argument that founders need to dig into VC dynamics while in their fundraising process: Understand the Dynamics of Your First Venture Dollars

GROWTH: Margot Whitney, Content Marketing Specialist at WordStream, provides insights on how to address key challenges PPC managers face when marketing B2B products, and recounts the lessons learned from various WordStream customers who run AdWords campaigns for SAAS startups: 3 Lessons Learned from PPC Advertisers in the B2B Software Industry

CULTURE: Katie Burke, Chief People Officer at HubSpot, on the common pitfalls faced when building company culture which include the assumption that everyone in the company is on the same page, confusing perks for culture, mismanaging team leaders, focusing solely on growing profits and more: Building Company Culture: Katie Burke on What Most Businesses Get Wrong

Founder Reading – Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

COMPETITION: Marie Prokopets, Co-Founder of Product Habits and FYI, makes the argument that competitors should not be ignored, and further explains that competitor research is one key to learning how to cater to your customer's problems, wants, needs and desires: Why you shouldn’t ignore your competitors

PRODUCT: Jenny Wolochow, Senior Product Manager at Coursera, and Todd Olson, CEO and co-founder of Pendo, discuss how to use data to your advantage when roadmapping and building products: This is Product Management: 217 Making Data-Informed Decisions is Product Management

MARKETING: Shanelle Mullin of Conversion XL on how to strategically segment an audience, the typical challenges entrepreneurs face, core categories to segment potential customers and more:Audience Segmentation: Where Do You Start?

EXITS: Bram Berkowitz, Content Strategy Lead at GoingVC, on why Zumper purchased NowRenting, a web-based software platform that automates rental process, and further explains how focusing on core product and technology can lead to an exit:Startups Should Focus On Their Core Technology Instead of Strictly Users

INVESTOR INTERVIEW: Brad Feld, Managing Director of Foundry Group, shares thoughts on why market size at early stage is not helpful in evaluating an investment opportunity, how the best VCs work for their CEOs, what entrepreneurs must understand with regards to market cycle dynamics and more:The Twenty Minute VC Venture Capital, Startup Funding, The Pitch

GROWTH: William Steward of Cobloom discusses the key stages of SaaS product growth, how those stages are defined, what they mean for sales and marketing strategy and more: THE 4 KEY STAGES OF SAAS PRODUCT GROWTH

Founder Reading – Monday, September 30th, 2019

MANAGEMENT: Lenny Rachitsky, Former Head of Consumer Supply Growth at Airbnb, and Nels Gilbreth, Former Head of Global Revenue Strategy at Eventbrite, share the system they call the "W Framework" which helps managers plan by walking them through each step of a planning process, highlights best practices, points out common pitfalls and more: The Secret to a Great Planning Process — Lessons from Airbnb and Eventbrite

FOUNDER INTERVIEW: Julia Enthoven, Founder and CEO at Kapwing, on why marketing innovation is as important as product innovation, what are benefits of building a website over an app, how bootstraped life compares to VC funded startup and more: The Twenty Minute VC

MANAGEMENT: Jeff Lipp, Co-Founder and COO of Artkive, shares thoughts and insights on how small businesses can improve their efficiency, and explains the importance of offering equity to employees, spending less time in micromanaging team members, using software to automate tasks and more: How small businesses can become more efficient with their time: A conversation with Jeff Lipp from Artkive

FOUNDER INTERVIEW: Ahti Heinla, Co-Founder of Skype, walks us through his inspiration and path to starting Skype, and the what and why of his new venture, Startship Technologies: Marathon Series: The co-founder of Skype joins me in Estonia

Founder Reading – Friday, September 27th, 2019

EXITS: Joe Procopio of Intrepid Media offers step-by-step guide on how to generate and respond to acquisition interest which include building relationships with potential acquirers, getting a lawyer involved to protect the company's interests, letting the acquisitor make the first offer and more:  How To Get Your Startup Acquired: A Step by Step Guide

SAAS: Einar Vollset, Founder of TinySeed, discusses the endless potential of SaaS businesses, how a founder should choose to exit a company, why merger and acquisition (M&A) brokers are moving into the SaaS space, the investment thesis behind TinySeed.com and more: The Limitless SaaS Space With Einar Vollset from TinySeed.com

LEADERSHIP: Ali Rowghani, CEO of the YC Continuity Fund, on how founders an lead, motivate and retain good people in: Ali Rowghani - How to Lead

PRODUCT: Dee Reddy and Fiona Lee of Intercom provide practical advice on building platforms, how founders can support developers, how to ensure customers and partners get mutual value, how to measure success and more: Beyond the hype: Practical advice on building a platform

FUNDRAISING: Matt Preuss of Visible on how employees think about their company's funding and why employees typically want to see the valuation of the company moving up and to the right direction, outside of the direct financial reward: How Employees Think About a Fundraise

PRICING: Patrick Campbell of ProfitWell makes the argument that pricing objective sets the course of a company's pricing strategy and can mean the difference between the success and failure of a SaaS business, and further explains the pricing objectives for SaaS companies- to maximize profit, beat competition, extend customer contracts: PRICING OBJECTIVES FOR GROWTH: CHOOSING THE BEST FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Founder Reading – Thursday, September 26th, 2019

STRATEGY: Kat Mañalac and Gustaf Alströmer, Partners at Y Combinator, cover how startups should think about launching, why launch continuously, how to measure product-market fit, why make decisions using A/B testing and more: Startup School Week 4 Recap – Kat Mañalac and Gustaf Alströmer

GROWTH: Corey Haines, Head of Growth at Baremetrics, discusses the components of every growth strategy, and provides a framework for designing a holistic growth strategy: The Four Components Of Every Growth Strategy

FUNDRAISING: Tyler Hollenbeck of The Venture Alley provides an overview of a standard venture financing timeline, and further explains the main work streams involved in closing a venture round which include diligence materials, investors' rights agreement, compliance certificate and more: How Long Should it Take to Close my Venture Financing?

GROWTH: Insight Venture Partners shares thoughts and insights on how high growth organizations are using account-based strategy to drive success, the resources and tactics businesses use and value in their account-based initiatives, the things best-performing account-based organizations are doing differently and more: Driving Revenue Growth By Adopting an Account Based Strategy

STRATEGY: Sammy Abdullah, Co-Founder at Blossom Street Ventures, makes the argument that first to market does not create long term strategic value, and supports his reasoning with what happened to Pandora as a dominant player in streaming after it was launched in 2005 but eventually its stock prices languished for years: First to market isnt worth much

Founder Reading – Wednesday, September 25th, 2019

FUNDRAISING: Michael Seibel, Partner at Y Combinator, gives thoughts on how to cold email investors, the do's and don'ts like the use of jargon, format of the letter, key topics that should be included, how to request an in-person meeting and more: How To Cold Email Investors - Michael Seibel

GROWTH: Steli Efti, CEO of Close, recounts how SeamlessDocs started closing huge deals with federal government agencies, and further explains how other companies can get started in business-to-government (B2G) sales: B2G sales: How tiny startups can sell to government agencies

FOUNDER INTERVIEW: Neil Patel of CrazyEgg shares thoughts and insights on hiring talents in the digital marketing environment, starting and running multiple companies, surprising elements he believes have the biggest impact on search engine optimization (SEO) success and more: Hiring Talent, Running Multiple Companies and Winning With SEO: Business Lessons From Neil Patel

STRATEGY: Morgan Housel of Collaborative Fund makes the argument that no company or investment strategy is proven until it's survived a calamity, and discusses key factors that could either lift up or tear down down an entity which include vision and corporate decorum, cost of operations, target customers and more: WeWork Lessons That Apply To Lots of Stuff

GROWTH: Meg Fitzgerald, Vice President at Insight Venture Partners, offers tips on how to continually grow a successful partnership in the software business, and further explains the importance of having the right infrastructure in place to provide the tools and programs necessary for partners to scale-up, drive growth and create opportunity: The Journey to Building a Successful Partner Program for Your Software Business – Step 5 of 6

GROWTH: Levente Szabo, CS & Digital Marketing Manager at Midori, offers thoughts on how startups can leverage the Atlassian Ecosystem or the Midori apps to enable a product led growth (PLG) strategy\: How Atlassian Helps Startups Clone Their Product Led Growth Strategy

Founder Reading – Tuesday, September 24th, 2019

INVESTOR INTERVIEW: Matt Harris, Partner at Bain Capital Ventures, gives thoughts on why valuation and market size are not the most important considerations at Series A, how seeing the boom and bust of the dot com impacted his investing mindset, what are the acceptable risks and unacceptable risks for founders and more: The Twenty Minute VC

ORGANIZATION: Alexander Buchberger of senovoVC discusses the key personas that are crucial in scaling and growing a B2B SaaS start-up, and makes the argument that setting up decent recruitment processes is one of the keys to achieve high growth: B2B SaaS: the right Org Structure at the right Stage

EXITS: Sammy Abdullah, Co-Founder of Blossom Street Ventures, recounts the lessons learned by Doxly Founder Haley Altman in managing a successful SaaS exit to Litera, and explains the importance of strategic help in such exit, how they handled fundraising and more: Lessons from Doxly – a successful SaaS exit

FUNDRAISING: David Beisel, Co-Founder at NextView Ventures, discusses the ideal flow for a seed stage pitch, specifically how to approach or ask potential investors about the amount of capital founder's need to raise, and explains why enumerating the startup's funding history to date and having a stage roadmap are important factors: Pitch Deck Month: The “Ask” Slide

FOUNDER INTERVIEW: Patrick Campbell, CEO of ProfitWell, shares the peaks and valleys of bootstrapping ProfitWell over seven years, including making $0 in one year, building a consulting model to help sell Price Intelligently, managing product/market fit and more: Lessons from 7+ Years of Bootstrapping ProfitWell with Patrick Campbell

Founder Reading – Monday, September 23rd, 2019

GROWTH: Mike Volpe, CEO of Lola.com, provides case studies on how SaaS companies he's worked with have acheived growth like Privy which nails the freemium model, HubSpot which which focuses on timing and content, Cybereason which builds trust with human connection and more: How Lola.com CEO Mike Volpe Found the Keys to Success and Growth

FOUNDER INTERVIEW: Immad Akhund, Founder & CEO of Mercury, shares thoughts and insights on why angel investing makes founders better operators, the best way for founders to discuss and present competition to investors, how to think about your initial wedge into the market and how to expand it over time and more: The Twenty Minute VC

GROWTH: Marc Barros, Co-Founder of Moment, recounts the success of their YouTube channel which reached 22.4 million video views over 18 months, why they chose a vlogger approach in their content, the best practices in producing videos to attract audience which in time should lead to better customers and more: How We Built a Million-Dollar YouTube Channel

BRANDING: Louis Coppey, Venture Capitalist at Point Nine Capital, offers thoughts on the importance of branding for early-stage SaaS company, the different steps of the branding process, the hierarchy of business needs and more: ahttps://medium.com/point-nine-news/branding-your-early-stage-software-company-8e6cb0c2fe9b

COMMUNITY: Jason Lemkin, Founder of SaaStr, offers tips on how to create a community which include prioritizing quality content over quantity, incorporating search engine optimization (SEO) that matters, focus on your superfans or those folks that write or tweet about your channel and more: 10 Learnings On How To Build Your Own Community

FOUNDER INTERVIEW: Markus Villig, Founder of Bolt, recounts how he built Bolt to a billion dollar valuation at age 25, how the company uses technology to enhance their services, the influence of his brother in founding the business, his inspirations and more: Marathon Series: Bolt and the Estonian founder with a billion dollar valuation at age 25

FUNDRAISING: Carolynn Levy, Partner at Y Combinator, details the basics of startup financing, how modern early stage rounds of financing are done using convertible securities like SAFEs, why convertible promissory notes are a better way to fund early-stage startups and more: Carolynn Levy - Modern Startup Financing

Founder Reading – Friday, September 20th, 2019

STRATEGY: Jerry Neumann of Neu Venture Capital provides a framework for understanding the different types of moats, also known as barriers to entry or sustainable competitive advantages, which principles are important to evaluate and incorporate in the context of starting a company, and makes the argument that moats are an integral part of what allows an early-stage startup to be successful: A Taxonomy of Moats

FOUNDER STORY: Eric Rea, CEO of Podium, recounts how he grew the company he launched from his spare bedroom into one of the fastest-growing SaaS companies in the US, and shares how he was able to scale outside Silicon Valley from $0 to $60M ARR in four years: Scaling Outside Silicon Valley: Going from $0 to $60M ARR in 4 Years with Eric Rea, CEO of Podium

GROWTH: Aggelos Mouzakitis, CEO of Growth Sandwich, makes the argument that there isn't a one-size-fits-all product led growth strategy, and advises founders to embrace the extended growth approach to minimize the chances of users to churn after the first interaction of a product: Accelerating Growth With The Extended Product Led Growth Strategy

FUNDRAISING: Aaron Harris and Janelle Tam, Partners at Y Combinator, share insight into how much preemptive deals dilute founders, and make the argument that such offers are neither good nor bad, but each offer needs to be considered on its own merits and in the context of the business, founder and specific investor: The Cost of Preemptive Deals

FUNDRAISING: Matt Preuss of Visible.vc discusses the importance of understanding the concept of power law curves to raising venture capital (VC), and makes the argument that knowing the motives behind a VCs investment process is a way to conduct due diligence on potential investors: Understanding Power Law Curves to Better Your Chances of Raising Venture Capital

Founder Reading – Thursday, September 19th, 2019

PRODUCT: Ryan Singer, Head of Product Strategy at Basecamp, walks through how Basecamp cultivates its unique company culture, why they use breadboards and fat marker sketches to mock up potential products, how to separate strategic failure from execution failure and more: How To Ship Work That Matters with Basecamp’s Ryan Singer

FUNDRAISING: Justin Kan of Atrium and Jason Lemkin of SaaStr, share their learnings from across 100s of investments, and provide founders with actionable insights to navigate the fundraising process: Justin Kan and Jason Lemkin: “Things VCs Say”

STRATEGY: Anu Hariharan and Adora Cheung, Partners at Y Combinator, discuss how investors evaluate startups, best approaches for minority female founders to gain visibility within venture capital (VC), common startup business models, e-commerce, product market fit and more: Startup School Week 3 Recap: Anu Hariharan and Adora Cheung

FOUNDER INTERVIEW: Rahul Vohra, Founder of Superhuman, recounts what it takes to build a truly remarkable product, how to find product market fit when you're not yet launched, raising capital and more: How to Launch Without Launching — Advice From the Founder of Superhuman

FUNDRAISING: Melody Koh, Partner at NextView Ventures, discusses the ideal flow for a pitch, the so-called people and product roadmap, key milestones to achieve long-term vision and more: Pitch Deck Month: The “Where Are You Going?” Slide

INTERNATIONALIZATION: James Allgrove, Head of US East Coast at Stripe, discusses the core steps to international expansion which include identifying the right market, assigning and hiring the most effective team, setting realistic and achievable goals and more: Move Thoughtfully and Create Things: Stripe’s 4 Steps to International Expansion

STRATEGY: Martina Lauchengco, Operating Partner at CostanoaVC, shares thoughts and insights on how to transition go-to-market from SMB to enterprise, what works on both sides of the board table and more: “Don’t listen to the Silicon Valley archetypes,” and other priceless advice I heard at the Operator Summit

Founder Reading – Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

PRODUCT: Piyush Kaushal, Senior Product Manager at Amazon Prime Video, provides an understanding of the global markets, how to think with a global view of your product, prioritize your product locally while also expanding abroad and more in: How to Build Global Products by Amazon Product Manager

CUSTOMER SUCCESS: Des Traynor, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Intercom, explains why customer retention is more important than conversion for SaaS businesses, and discusses techniques that product owners and marketers can use to improve customer relationships in: Customer retention is the new conversion

LEADERSHIP: Claire Lew, CEO of Know Your Team, shares thoughts and insights on how leaders should think, and makes the argument that soliciting conflicting advice from others helps in gaining space, perspective and context to make a decision on your own in: The value of conflicting advice: How great leaders think

MANAGEMENT: Berk Birand and Pamir Ozbay, CEO and Head of Sales and Business Development at Fero Labs, respectively, discuss the significance of keeping product and sales team on target and aligned, and offers tips for B2B SaaS startups on how to have a cross-team unity to achieve a common goal in: Keeping Product and Sales Aligned – Part 1

SALES: Bethany Fagan, Content Marketing Manager at PandaDoc, discusses the steps to create an effective sales process which include analyzing current data to achieve results, conducting research and making the pitch, handling objections and obstacles and more in: How to Create a Winning Sales Process: 7 Essential Steps

FUNDRAISING: Pat Grady, Partner at Sequoia, gives thoughts on the focus of Sequoia, the company’s perspective about investment decision-making processes, the core requirements, skills and traits that it looks for when adding to their partnership and more in: 20VC: SEQUOIA’S PAT GRADY ON WHAT SEQUOIA IS FOCUSED ON TODAY, HOW SEQUOIA THINK ABOUT INVESTMENT DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES & WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO TRADE A FEW POINTS OF EFFICIENCY FOR CULTURE WHEN IT COMES TO ATTRIBUTION

CULTURE: Gustavo Razzetti, CEO at liberationist.org, shares thoughts on how to achieve an ethical corporate culture, and gives advice on how to avoid unethical behavior within the organization which include building a psychologically safe culture, keeping principles over rules, avoiding unrealistic goals and more in: How to Design an Ethical Culture

Founder Reading – Monday, July 1st, 2019

MINDSET: Sachin Rekhi, Founder and CEO of Notejoy, recounts how applying the concept of growth mindset help him upgrade his work and life, and discusses practices and attitudes that became essential elements of his own growth like spending an hour learning every day, memorializing praise and rejection and more in: How I Redesigned My Work and Life Around a Growth Mindset

FOUNDER INTERVIEW: Steven Galanis, Founder and CEO of Cameo, gives advice to startup founders on internal scaling, how to extract as much value from investor base as possible, the concept of hiring 6 months ahead of time and more in: 20VC: CAMEO’S STEVEN GALANIS ON WHY YOU MUST FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR MISSION NOT YOUR PRODUCT, HOW TO EXTRACT AS MUCH VALUE FROM YOUR INVESTOR BASE AS POSSIBLE & SHOULD YOU REALLY HIRE FOR 6 MONTHS AHEAD OF WHAT YOU NEED?

GROWTH: Tim Jackson, Seed VC at www.walking.vc, explains why VCs care about growth, and discusses the ways to increase the growth rate of an startup which include building a product that people really want, raising enough funding to pay the team, building in-house technology and more in: How To Turn A Low-Growth Startup Into A High-Growth Startup

FUNDRAISING: Elizabeth Yin, Co-Founder of Hustle Fund, shares thoughts and insights on how to find angel and close investors which include planting the seed in the head of potential investors that you are open to an investment, figuring out how to tie your story to something that investors want and more in: How to close angel investors

SALES: Sammy Abdullah, Co-Founder of Blossom Street Ventures, shares the best practices of a SaaS business sales team which include letting the sales rep travel (for $20k ARR clients and above), paying the sales team well, offering re-onboarding to big customers as often and more in: Structuring your SaaS sales team

FOUNDER INTERVIEW: Max Levchin, Co-Founder and CEO of Affirm, shares how Affirm was a product of HVF (Hard, Valuable, Fun), and talks about diversity and inclusion, distributed teams, working smart vs. working hard and more in: Founder Real Talk Episode #25 With Max Levchin, Co-founder & CEO of Affirm

SAAS: David Appel, Head of the SaaS Vertical at Sage Intacct, and Michael Brown, Founder and Managing Partner at Bowery Capital, discuss on how founders and sales teams can increase lead volume through customer segmentation, the challenges when considering such practice of segmentation and more in: BC Startup Sales Podcast – Increasing Leads Through Customer Segmentation with David Appel (Sage Intacct)

CULTURE: Katie Burke, Chief People Officer at HubSpot, explains why skeptics are key to building a solid culture within an organization, and makes the argument that embracing feedback from skeptics is a way to ultimately grow and make the organization better in: KATIE BURKE OF HUBSPOT ON EMBRACING THE SKEPTICS

Founder Reading – Friday, June 28th, 2019

PRODUCT: Sequoia Capital’s Data Science team discusses how to leverage product data to build a story that helps entrepreneurs understand where their products are succeeding and failing in: Understanding Products Through Storytelling

STRATEGY: Jackie Vullinghs of Airtree discusses the ways a business can build structural advantage into their business model, and explains how Wal-Mart, Amazon, Uber and others make use of them in: What is your unfair advantage?

PRODUCT: Joe Procopio, Founder of Intrepid Media, shares thoughts on how to put a product team together, and identifies key points related to leadership, engineering data, services and more in: How To Put a Product Team Together

PRICING: Mike Volpe, CEO of Lola.com, discusses pricing strategies that will contribute to short- and long-term success of SaaS companies, and makes the point that the best pricing strategy is one that considers things from customer’s perspectives in: SaaS Pricing Strategies for Short- and Long-term Success

CUSTOMER SUCCESS: Sammy Abdullah, Co-Founder of Blossom Street Ventures, gives key points that SaaS businesses can use to create excellent customer retention and upsells which include valuing customer feedback, adding new features, avoiding the upfront fee for onboarding and more in: 12 commandments of customer success

SALES: Tim Darling of Medium shares thoughts and insights on how to develop a sales engine, and conveys the idea that startups need to focus more on a buyer and user need instead on technology in: How to Develop the 2nd Product Your Startup Needs: A Sales Engine

PRICING: Patrick Campbell, CEO at ProfitWell, explains the importance for SaaS companies to understand and choose the right pricing method, and discusses different pricing practices like demand-based pricing, cost-plus pricing, competitor-based pricing and more in: UNDERSTANDING AND CHOOSING THE RIGHT PRICING METHOD FOR YOUR BUSINESS

INVESTOR MANAGEMENT: Brock Benefiel, Co-Founder of Visible, explains the need for businesses to better rank their investors, and makes the point that doing it right can spur increased engagement from their investors and better to illustrate their additional needs from the board in: Why you Should Rank Your Investors

GROWTH: Sean Ellis, Co-Author of Hacking Growth, discusses the key factors for building a successful startup which include achieving strong product/market fit, experimenting to figure out how to scale growth, leadership and more in: Three Key Factors for Building a Successful Growth Organization

STRATEGY: Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh of Greylock Partners focus on the threats that blitzscalers need to watch out for as they scale, and offer tips on how to identify such threats and address them before they derail the company in: Blitzscaling Strategy | Identifying and Addressing Major Threats

PRODUCT: Des Traynor, Co-Founder of Intercom, and Paul Adams, Intercom’s SVP of Product, discuss how to encourage effective decision-making when building and releasing products, and explain the typical cadence of product meetings and how they work in their company in: Intercom on Product: The most valuable meetings for building product

Founder Reading – Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

SAAS: Michael B. Gilroy of Canaan Partners VC reasons why LTV/CAC calculations are of waning importance in SaaS, and discusses traditional and new SaaS business models to help explain why SaaS analytics is changing in: The Death of the SaaS LTV/CAC

LEADERSHIP: Marty Cagan, Founder of Silicon Valley Product Group, talks about coaching behavior, discusses the mindset of a successful product manager and the difference between thinking like an owner versus thinking like an employee in: Coaching – Owner vs. Employee

FUNDRAISING: Nathan Beckord, CEO of Foundersuite.com, shares thoughts on the unusual strategy Matthew Klein used to raise capital for Backbone PLM in: The Unusual Strategy This Entrepreneur Used To Raise Most of His Round Before It Even Started

PRICING: Andy Wilson, Founder and CEO of Logikcull, explains how pay-as-you-go pricing model improved customer acquisition and revenue of Logikcull, and stresses that SaaS companies need to constantly test their pricing schemes and remain open to further pivoting even after an initially successful strategy in: How Customer-Driven, Pay-As-You-Go Pricing Changes Everything

SAAS: Sammy Abdullah, Co-founder of Blossom Street Ventures, gives thoughts on gross dollar retention and net dollar retention as ways to measure SaaS performance, and analyses data of 41 SaaS companies which disclosed their net dollar retention at IPO in: Net vs gross dollar retention stats

FOUNDER INTERVIEW: Neil Patel, Co-founder of Neil Patel Digital, shares thoughts on the success of his service business, why KISSMetrics closed, why he is copying paid software and giving it for free and more in: Neil Patel: services businesses are better than software companies

FUNDRAISING: Bill Gurley, General Partner at Benchmark Capital, shares thoughts and insights on market sizing, creation, expansion and more in: 20VC: BENCHMARK’S BILL GURLEY ON 5 TRAITS BENCHMARK LOOK FOR WHEN ADDING TO THE PARTNERSHIP, WHY THE ABUNDANCE OF CAPITAL IS TODAY’S BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN VC & THE RIGHT WAY TO THINK ABOUT MARKET SIZE WHEN ASSESSING OPPORTUNITIES

Founder Reading – Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

MARKET PLACES: Lenny Rachitsky, Former Product Leader of Airbnb, discusses tactics and ideas that he used to bootstrap and accelerate supply growth for Airbnb and Uber, including referral programs, investing in SEO, leveraging events and PR and more in: 28 ways to grow supply in a marketplace — by Lenny Rachitsky, ex-Airbnb

HUMAN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT: Pat Poels, SVP at Eventbrite, shares thoughts and insights on the benefits and competitive advantages of building globally distributed teams, and explores how their San Francisco based company was able to build a 300+ strong engineering team across North America, South America and Europe in: Engineering Your Own “Luck”: The 3 Key Rules of Building Globally Distributed Teams with Eventbrite (Video + Transcript)

EXITS: Sammy Abdullah, Co-founder at Blossom Street Ventures, shares the lessons from the successful exit of Cognate to GoDaddy, discussing the challenges of the selling process, how a partnership turned into an acquisition and more in: Lessons from a successful blockchain exit

GAMING: David Baszucki, Founder and CEO of Roblox, and David Sze of Greylock Partners discuss the social gaming landscape, and share advice for scaling company vision, how to build company culture early on and more in: Building The Next-Gen Entertainment Platform

HUMAN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT: Alexander Grosse, Director of Engineering at BCGDV, gives advice on how to ensure successful scaling, and shares insights on how to recognize warning signs and deal with them in: Building and Scaling Teams: How to Spot Warning Signs — and How to Reac

METRICS: Sean Fanning, Corporate Development Manager at OpenView, explains the importance of customer acquisition costs (CAC) for SaaS businesses, and discusses several CAC payback practices that OpenView team recommends: CAC Payback Basics: What It Is, How to Calculate It and Why It Matters

FUNDRAISING: Christoph Janz, Managing Partner at Point Nine, shares the results of SaaS funding survey where he polled 35 investors to understand what it takes to for SaaS companies to raise funding in: What does it take to raise capital, in SaaS, in 2019?

SALES: Steli Efti, CEO of Close, gives overview on sales development, why it is essential to your business, how to develop a sales team, analytics, goals and more in: The ultimate guide to sales development

Founder Reading – Monday, June 24th, 2019

EXITS: Ben Weiss, Founder and CEO of Zcruit, shares the lessons from his journey in founding Zcruit, the challenges in recruiting software engineers, the acquisition offer of Reigning Champs and more in: How Zcruit exited early

FOUNDER INTERVIEW: Justin Kan, Founder and CEO of Atrium, shares insights on the need to normalize vulnerability in startups, explains the meaning on why attaching happiness to future outcomes will lead to suffering, his biggest lessons that drive success in therapy and more in: 20VC: JUSTIN KAN ON WHY WE HAVE TO NORMALIZE VULNERABILITY IN STARTUPS TODAY, WHY ATTACHING HAPPINESS TO FUTURE OUTCOMES WILL ONLY LEAD TO SUFFERING & WHY IT IS TOTAL BS THAT YOU HAVE TO “SUFFER” WHEN DOING A STARTUP

FUNDRAISING: Scott Kupor, Managing Partner at a16z, provides a brief tutorial for current and potential founders and how to understand the common economic terms found in termsheets, covering core definitions and concepts, and implications and consequences for your company in: The Economics of Term Sheets

GROWTH: Pulkit Agrawal, Co-founder and CEO of Chameleon, defines the product marketing role, responsibilities and KPIs after interviewing Product Marketing Managers from software companies in: What is Product Marketing? A Data-Backed Definition

HUMAN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT: Jenna Lee or Carta describes how incentive stock options are and how they work in: What are incentive stock options (ISOs)?

STRATEGY: Rich Wong, General Partner at Accel, speaks with Eniac Founding General Partner Nihal Mehtaon about his thesis of picks and shovels, his experience supporting Accel’s investments in Facebook and Slack as well as why he believes the reigning technology companies today are not immune to another generational disruption and more in: Seed to Scale: Episode 23 with Rich Wong, GP at Accel

Founder Reading – Thursday, June 20th, 2019

STRATEGY: Vic Singh, Founding General Partner at Eniac Ventures, discusses the role of the economic moat as one of the core criteria to evaluate investments in seed-stage technology companies in: Compounding Economic Moats for Technology Companies

CASE STUDY: Corey Haines, Head of Growth at Baremetrics, shares insights on how he shipped a profitable job board for marketers in tech, SaaS and e-commerce with no-code tools in 3 weeks including how he assessed the feasibility, and marketing opportunity and drove initial traffic in: How I Launched a Profitable Job Board for Marketers with No-Code Tools in 3 Weeks

PRODUCT: Ceci Stallsmith, Director of Platform Marketing at Slack, shares thoughts on building a platform that benefits both developers and their partners, and highlights key points Slack has considered like customer adoption, personnel management, app quality and more: Slack’s Ceci Stallsmith on marketing your product platform

SAAS: Neel Desai, Product Manager at ProfitWell, shares insights on how a customer’s contract length affects average revenue per user (ARPU) and churn in: HOW DOES CONTRACT LENGTH IMPACT ARPU AND CHURN?

HUMAN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT: Jeff Bussgang of Seeing Both Sides shares thoughts on how to properly assess the value of stock options, providing points to consider like the number of shares being offered, common stock price of shares, preferred post-money valuation and more in: Valuing Those Pesky Stock Options

SAAS: Sammy Abdullah, Co-founder of Blossom Street Ventures, argues that net dollar retention needs to be 109%+ for SaaS companies to obtain growth from existing customers by analyzing the performance of 40 public SAAS companies in: net dollar retention needs to be 109%+

FOUNDER INTERVIEW: Sahil Lavingia, Founder and CEO of Gumroad recounts his journey starting Gumroad and what happened when they realized the company wasn’t going to be as successful as they had hoped, dealing with the psychological ups-and-downs of having your identity as a founder wrapped up in the fate of your company and more in: Sahil Lavingia on “failing to build a billion-dollar company”

Founder Reading – Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

STRATEGY: Jeremy Liew, Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, makes the argument that product innovation is a fleeting advantage in beating a competitor in a two-sided marketplace in: Product innovation is not enough to beat a competitor’s network effects

FUNDRAISING: Sammy Abdullah, Co-Founder of Blossom Street Ventures, looks on the aftermath of raising too much VC money for a SaaS business citing the failure of Moz as an example in: The aftermath of raising too much cash

FUNDRAISING: Micah Rosenbloom, Managing Partner at Founder Collective, explains why financial model at the early stage is important to investors and argues that its importance in understanding the main drivers of a business, its strengths, weaknesses, dynamics and more in: Why do VCs Really Want to See Your Financial Model?

PRODUCT: Brittni Bowering, Head of Brand at AJ&Smart, shares results and analysis on a week-long experiment in running iterations after product design sprints in: Design sprints need iteration

STRATEGY: David Cancel, CEO, and Founder of Drift, shares thoughts on Charlie Munger and Warren Buffet’s mental model known as the Circle of Competence, and gives advice to entrepreneurs on applying it in: Finding Your Own Circle of Competence: The Difference Between What You Think You Know and What You Actually Know.

STRATEGY: Devon Maloney of Slack explains the significance of organizational effectiveness as a measurement for company success, and cites the steps leaders can take to position their company for more efficient performance in: Organizational effectiveness: the X factor for company success

Founder Reading – Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

FUNDRAISING: Nathan Beckord, CEO of Foundersuite.com, shares how Jessica Chang, founder of SaaS platform WeeCare, raised $4.2 million seed round for just a few weeks in:How the Founder of “SaaS for Daycare” Raised a $4.2 Million Seed Round — While Barely Using Her Pitch Deck

ACQUISITIONS: Sammy Abdullah, Co-founder of Blossom Street Ventures, outlines the successful acqui-hire exit of Trill Travel to Lonely Planet, and shares the lessons learned by Trill’s founder Eric Shepard from his experience in:  Learnings from the acqui-hire of a travel startup

GROWTH: Reid Hoffman and Josh McFarland, Partners at Greylock, outline the rationale for the blitzscaling set of growth practices and the counterintuitive rules necessary to scale up in: Blitzscaling From Startup to Scaleup

HUMAN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT: Mike Boufford, CTO at Greenhouse, shares thoughts on why engineering leaders should put emphasis about healthy and unhealthy turnover instead of aiming for zero regrettable attrition, and explains how he crafted a culture that made engineers want to stay in: Why This Engineering Leader Thinks You Shouldn’t Aim for Zero Regrettable Attrition.

PRODUCT: Robert Munro of Medium shares thoughts and insights on how product managers could ensure more feedback from diverse stakeholders during PR FAQ product process in: Driving Diverse Product Feedback at your Company

SALES: Dave Kellogg, Former CEO of Host Analytics, highlights the topics he presented during a summit with sales and marketing executives including selling solutions, sales forecasting and more in: Slides From My Presentation at a Private Equity S&M Summit

SAAS: Tomasz Tunguz, Venture Capitalist at Redpoint, provides the key metrics for SaaS startups to understand and present the health of their company in: REDPOINT SAAS STARTUP KEY METRICS TEMPLATE

Founder Reading – Monday, June 17th, 2019

FUNDRAISING: Scott Kupor, author of the book Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It, shares thoughts about the way venture capital firms work, why venture investors only fund companies with large market sizes, how to choose a venture investor and more in: Secrets of Sand Hill Road for Entrepreneurs, Video Edition

FUNDRAISING: Anu Duggal, founding partner of F3, recounts a panel conversation with female founders who have gone through the process of raising hundreds of millions of venture capital, and shares their experiences fundraising, and working with venture capitalists in: Fundraising at Scale with Zola, Lola, Andela, and Dia&Co

STRATEGY: Eric Migicovsky, founder of Pebble, looks at pros and cons for tech company to consider before moving to Silicon Valley like network, competition, costs and more in: Should You Move Your Company to Silicon Valley? - Eric Migicovsky, Pebble Founder

FOUNDER INTERVIEW: Steve Chen, co-founder of YouTube, reflects on the early days of YouTube, how it nearly became a dating app, and how complexities led them to a deal with Google in: How YouTube Nearly Became Another Dating Site (and Other Reflections From Steve Chen)

FOUNDER INTERVIEW: Brad Bao, co-founder and CEO at Lime, shares thoughts on how he gets into the world of technology with Tencent, how he assess the competitive landscape for micro mobility, the factors to consider when entering a new location and more in: 20VC: LIME CEO BRAD BAO ON HOW LIME ASSESS THE MICRO-MOBILITY LANDSCAPE AND COMPETITION TODAY, WHAT IT TAKES TO LAUNCH AND WIN A NEW CITY & WHY LIME HAVE SPENT $0 ON MARKETING TO DATE

WELLBEING: Matt Barnett, founder of Bonjoro, makes an argument that even though founders of companies who were averaging 4 to 7 hours of sleep did seem to have higher growth rates than their more restful counterparts, founder’s well being should not be sacrificed as it is significant for long-term success in: HOW DOES FOUNDER SLEEP IMPACT COMPANY GROWTH?

HIRING: Alex Iskold, founder and managing partner at 2048 Ventures, shares insights on how to build a hiring plan for early-stage startups based on two major considerations: milestones and functional areas in: How to create a hiring plan for your startup

EXITS: Semil Shah, venture partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, shares insights and analysis about Looker and Tableau acquisitions in: Quickly Unpacking The Looker And Tableau Acquisitions

Founder Reading – Friday, June 14th, 2019

GROWTH: Brad Plothow, senior marketing and communications executive at Womply, details a step-by-step guide on how they built their in-house PR engine which reeled them 1,300 unique press stories in 18 months in: How My Startup Used Data to Get 1,300 Press Hits with No PR Agency

SAAS: Tomasz Tunguz, Managing Director at Redpoint Ventures, shares analysis and thoughts on how SaaS companies use free trials to acquire customers. His discusses why you shouldn’t do more than a 14 day free trial, always do sales assisted free trials and more in: Top 10 Learnings about Free Trials with Tomasz Tunguz (Video + Transcript)

STRATEGY: Sasha Poljak, executive chairman of Ximble, details the successful exit of Ximble to Paycor, and shares insights on why the company choose strategic investment over traditional venture, product over market share, its technology platform and more in: Lessons from Ximble’s exit

STRATEGY: Boris Wertz, founding partner at Version One Ventures, shares thoughts about the “flywheel effect” explained in Jim Collins’ book “Good to Great,” and makes an argument that it should be read by every founder, CEO and business leader in: Finding and turning your flywheel

ECOMMERCE: Lee Hower, co-founder and partner at NextView Ventures, shares insights on the success of pet e-commerce company Chewy, and outlines how the recurring nature of customer purchases helps to drive Chewy’s rapid growth, and explains how they’ve capitalized on this in: Chewy S-1: Category Leadership + Conveyor Belt Into Consumers’ Homes

SALES: Sujan Patel, co-founder of Mailshake, discusses the 4-step process for sales referrals, which include when to ask for referrals, how to automate the referral process, why make referrals part of your playbook and more in: The Elegant 4-Step Process Any Rep Can Use to Ask for Referrals (PLUS Templates)

FOUNDER INTERVIEW: Julian Shapiro, founder of Bell Curve, shares thoughts on how he does marketing for some of the best tech companies in San Francisco, California in: How Julian Shaprio’s Bell Curve does marketing for some of the best tech companies in San Francisco

Founder Reading – Thursday, June 13th, 2019
FOUNDER INTERVIEW: Tracy Young, co-founder and CEO of PlanGrid, shares thoughts on how she got into the construction industry, and details her company’s sales process, product breakthroughs hiring process and more in: Tracy Young on Scaling PlanGrid to 400+ People with YC Partner Kat Manalac  GROWTH: Jonathan Lehr, founder of @NYETM, discusses the go-to-market tactics that enterprise founder needs to know such as getting to “go to market fit,” the puffer fish effect, customer sequencing and more in: 8 Go-To-Market Tactics Every Enterprise Founder Needs to Know (That Can’t Be Found on Blogs)  GROWTH: Matt Duczeminski, a freelance B2B blogger, shares thoughts on customer retention strategies like promoting rewards programs for dedicated customers, offering a variety of options to pay for products and services and more in: How To Grow Your Business Using Smart Customer Retention Strategies  PRICING: Mike Walsh, head of marketing at Reflektive, explains the significant role of sales reps throughout a pricing change, how to think about pricing as a competitive advantage and more in: Hypergrowth Pricing Strategies from the Trenches [Podcast]  SAAS: Patrick Campbell, CEO of ProfitWell, shares learnings from Kristen Craft’s (Chief Revenue Officer of Tettra) experience moving her product from having a free pricing tier to freemium. Patrick provides the “why”, framework, and case study in: HOW TO SWITCH TO A FREEMIUM PRICING MODEL AND GROW YOUR BUSINESS  PRODUCT: Brian Polidori, PM at Google, shares thoughts on how product managers can identify opportunities to incorporate machine learning into products in: Identifying Opportunities for Using Machine Learning as a Product Manager  PRODUCT: Jonas Downey, designer at Basecamp, shares his personal experience of how he manages disappointment when his software designs are replaced and makes the argument that nobody “owns” anything in a product made by a team: Nobody really owns product work
Founder Reading – Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

GROWTH: Greylock Partner Reid Hoffman and Blitzscaling co-author Chris Yeh share practical details of how entrepreneurs can aggressively grow their organizations in:  The Strategy Of Blitzscaling

PRODUCT: Tristan Kromer, founder of Kromatic, shares thoughts on the significance of an after-action report (AAR) or the capacity to learn from past mistakes, and details the types of AAR in a lean startup environment in: Learning as We Go with the Power of Retrospectives

PRODUCT: Min Wang shares thoughts on creating solutions to challanging problems, and covers why that product managers need to make sure all factors are taken care of to provide maximum customer satisfaction It’s Not About How Cool the Solution Is, It’s About Solving the Problem

HUMAN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT: Keith Rabois, managing partner at Khosla Ventures, shares the lessons he learned in building great teams, and discusses why team composition matters startup success in: Top Lessons in Building Great Teams from Khosla Ventures (Video + Transcript)

GROWTH: Anthony Kennada, CMO at Gainsight, shares how he built a company, and talks about category creation in the B2B space in: So You Want To Create A Category. Here’s What Gainsight’s CMO Says You Should Do.

STRATEGY: Eric Friedman, investment team at Union Square Ventures, shares the type of forcing functions he believes to be effective when dealing with situations like fundraising, hiring or sales/partnership opportunity in: Forcing Functions

FOUNDER INTERVIEW: Henrique Dubugras, co-founder and CEO of Brex shares thoughts about underwriting, product development philosophy and recruiting in" IVP’s Hyper-Growth Podcast with Co-Founder and CEO of Brex, Henrique Dubugras

FUNDRAISING: Rob Go, co-founder and partner at NextView, shares tips and suggestions about creating a supportive investor base for a typical institutional seed round in: Building the Best Seed Syndicates

Founder Reading – Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

PRODUCT: Prachi Wadekar, product manager at Mixpanel’s data infrastructure team, explains why they launch features in phases and how to leverage feedback to throughout the beta process in: How to use betas to launch killer products

PRODUCT: Tomasz Tunguz, venture capitalist at Redpoint, explains the reasons why product innovation tends to slow down in many software companies after the series A is raised in: WHY PRODUCT INNOVATION SLOWS AFTER THE SERIES A

PRODUCT: Marty Cagan, a partner at Silicon Valley Product Group and former product manager at companies like AOL, Ebay, Netscape and HP, shares  discusses a range of topic on product management from building cross-functional teams to why companies don’t operate like their role models and the difference between discovery and delivery and more in: We Talked To Product Management Legend Marty Cagan. Here’s What We Learned.

FOUNDER INTERVIEW: Justin Kan, co-founder of Kiko Software Justin.tv, Twitch, Socialcam, and Atrium, talks with a16z general partner Andrew Chen about the lessons he learned in managing and building a technology company, and shares advice on fundraising strategy, stress management, mentoring and more in: a16z Podcast: 10+1 Lessons from a Serial Entrepreneur

INVESTOR MANAGEMENT: Justin Kan, CEO of Atrium founder of Twitch, Socialcam, Justin.Tv and Kiko Software, shares tips  on facilitating productive board meetings,  and how to leverage collaboration of board members to solve a company’s problems in: Founder’s Guide to Productive Board Meetings

FUNDRAISING: Sammy Abdullah of blossomstreetventures.com shares the qualities that venture funds investors look for in a CEO in: What big funds look for in a CEO

FUNDRAISING: Scott Kupor, managing partner at Andreesen Horowitz, shares how he became a part of one of the world’s most renowned venture firms in the form of a16z, and explains the mistakes entrepreneurs make when pitching venture capitalists and more in: 20VC: A16Z’S SCOTT KUPOR ON THE BIGGEST LEARNINGS FROM SCALING A16Z FROM $300M TO $7BN AUM, THE BIGGEST MISTAKES ENTREPRENEURS MAKE WHEN PITCHING VCS & WHY VC IS SIMPLY A CUSTOMER SERVICE BUSINESS

SAAS: Kyle Poyar, vice-president at OpenView’s market strategy team, shares guidelines for SaaS product management, and offers a wealth of resources (articles, podcasts and interviews) for product managers in: The Ultimate Guide to SaaS Product Management

Founder Reading – Monday, June 10th, 2019

FUNDRAISING: Rob Go of NextView Ventures discusses three unique paths he has recently observed founders succeed with in getting to series A funding round in: "The Road Less Traveled: Non-Standard Early Stage Funding Paths"

FOUNDER STORY: Zach Perret, Founder of Plaid ($300m in funding), is interviewed by 20VC and discusses how to create an effective recruiting process, what great leadership looks like, how he went from consulting to building a startup, and more in: "PLAID’S ZACH PERRET ON WHY YOU HAVE TO HIRE FOR SPIKES AND WHAT THAT REALLY MEANS, FINTECH PREDICTIONS FROM INCUMBENT ENTRANTS TO THE RISE OF EUROPE & THE 2 BIG QUESTIONS THAT CEOS SHOULD ASK THEMSELVES"

STRATEGY: Sammy Abdullah of Blossom Street Ventures provides 29 lessons learned after reading "By Invitation Only,” a recount of the experience of building Gilt into a billion dollar business. His points are mostly about branding but many are strategy, growth and more: "Building an online brand"

HIRING: Luke Baseda of Lightspeed Venture Partners argues that measuring interview hours per hire can help startups create an interview process that is both predictive of employee success and as efficient as possible in: "The Critical Hiring Metric"

MANAGEMENT: David Beisel of NextView Ventures provides remarks about how "some founders have a remarkable and uncanny ability to supersede that reality to make near-impossible things happen despite the existing facts on the ground" in: "Defying Gravity"

SALES: Karen Rhorer, Customer Success & Sales Strategy Lead at Atrium, is interviewed by the Bowery Capital Podcast and discusses first principles and how to think about the basics of the quarterly business reviews, shares the QBR template that she uses with her team and with founders she coaches and more in: "From Good To Great: Transforming Your QBR Process with Karen Rhorer (Atrium)"

METRICS: Alex Iskoldhow of 2048 ventures shows how to set up a simple, actionable dashboard for Pre-seed and Seed-stage startups in: "How to setup KPI Dashboard for your Pre-seed and Seed Stage Startup"

Founder Reading – Friday, June 7th, 2019

STRATEGY: Alex Turnbull, CEO and founder of Groove, narrates how he rebuilt his struggling company, and explains the important changes that he and his team made to scale up in: "What I Learned Rescuing Our Startup From Death"

STRATEGY:  Syed Balkhi, CEO of WPBeginner and OptinMonster, shares practical ways to grow your SASS business, the technical details of black-hat SEO, YouTube domination, and more in: "How to Keep Your SaaS Product Competitive with Syed Balkhi at WPBeginner"

STRATEGY:  Rich Waldron, Co-founder and CEO of Tray.io, shares how he went from a side hustle selling Wellington boots in London to bootstrapping the company to building a high growth startup across continents in: "Founder Real Talk Episode #24 With Rich Waldron, Co-founder & CEO of Tray.io"

GROWTH: Sammy Abdullah of blossomstreetventures.com explains why upsells are critical for revenue growth of software as a service (SaaS) companies in: "Upsells are critical to SaaS growth"

GROWTH: Kyle Racki, CEO of Proposify and Angel investor, provides tactical advice on how to get customer success right. He dives into the specifics of the onboarding process and how getting these early interactions right can set up customers for a long and successful relationship with your company in: "How Our Customer Success Team Achieved Negative Churn For Four Consecutive Months"

CUSTOMER DEVELOPMENT: Matt Thoms, principal at VC firm Bolt, explains the importance of finding the right initial customers in B2B startups, and gives advice on how to manage such customers  and their affect the long-term goals of early-stage company in: "How to think about your first B2B customers"

MANAGEMENT: Lee Edwards, former CTO/VP at Teespring, gives advice on management, and cites books/blogs/podcasts that made an impact on how he managed people in: "Management Advice"

PERSONAL BRANDING: Rebecca Buckman, VP of marketing communications at Battery Ventures, provides four actionable tips for founders to do thought leadership well in: "Startup CEOs, You’re Blogging All Wrong"

Founder Reading – Thursday, June 6th, 2019

LEADERSHIP: Phin Barnes of First Round Capital noticed that many of the highest performing CEOs he’s worked with ruthlessly prioritize their tasks. He connects the act of prioritizing to confidence and the eventual success in: "Self-confidence is the foundation of focus — to get more done, take time for yourself"

GROWTH: Satyen Sangani and Stephanie McReynolds, CEO an SVP of Marketing at Alation, have been credited with creating the "data catalog" category by Forrester Research. They share the top three lessons they learned by being the first to bring a data catalog to market in: "How To Create And Secure A Category"

GROWTH: Sumyukthaa Sankar and Vikram Bhaskaran, Product Marketer and Director of Marketing respectively at Chargebee, define what Revs Ops is, and why it is an important role for startups to hire for in: "RevOps: The new function brewing in your org that you didn’t name yet"

STRATEGY: Abde Tambawala, Head of Business Strategy, Operations and Monetization at Atlassian, breaks down why even successful companies can benefit from a pricing change, how to create a framework to make data-driven pricing decisions and how their product-led growth approach affects their overall strategy in: "Making Better Business Decisions Faster at Atlassian [Podcast]"

SALES: Sammy Abdullah of Blossom Street Ventures provides the main lessons of the book “Hire Right, Higher Profits”, along with commentary on why industry experience is over-rated in B2B sales hiring, the rule of five, why failure in B2B sales hiring is high and more in: "Improve B2B sales hiring"

SALES: Josh Bean, Product Marketing Manager at Base, provides a high-level overview of what sales pipeline management is, the tools and metrics to consider and more in: "Guide to the sales pipeline"

Founder Reading – Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

PRICING: Harry Alford of Humble Ventures walk through how to find the maximum price customers are willing to pay in: "How To Measure Your Customers’ Willingness To Pay"

PRICING:S The SAAS CFO helps us learn how to effectively price sales discounts in multi-year SaaS contracts in: "How to Price Discounts in Multi-year SaaS Contracts"

FUNDRAISING: Godard Abel, 2x exits and founder and CEO of G2, provides lessons learned on what to look for in an investor in: "G2’s CEO Godard Abel on Getting the Best Investors Around the Table"

PRODUCT: Jesse Ceasar, independent consultant who has worked with companies like Amazon and Gatorade, gives a comprehensive overview of qualitative market research and the kinds of questions that qual, uniquely, can shed light on. He outlines practical advice for how startups can choose the right methodologies to suit their product and set up their research for success in: "Why Qualitative Market Research Belongs in Your Startup Toolkit — and How to Wield it Effectively"

CONTENT: Jason Lemkin, Founder of Saastr, on how to drive traffic from Quora in: "New Podcast with Quora: “Going From 2 to 45 Million Views in 5 Years”"

STRATEGY:  Ryan Moore of Openview Partners covers the definition of disruptive innovation, and gives examples of disruptive innovations in: "11 Disruptive Innovation Examples (And Why Uber and Tesla Don’t Make the Cut)"

Founder Reading – Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

GROWTH: Jonathan Kim, Founder of Appcues, explains how to provide intentional onboarding to deliver value, provide support, and improve ease of use for your customers in: "The Power of Intentional Onboarding for Product-Led Companies"

STRATEGY: Andrew Chen of Andreessen Horowitz provides insight into how venture capitalists make money, and how those dynamics affect founders in: "Why startups are hard — the math of venture capital returns tells the story"

PRODUCT: Ross Yesikov, software product manager at Pandora and former hardware product manager at Cisco, shares his perspective on the differences and similarities in managing Hardware vs Software, B2B vs B2C, and more in: "Pandora Sr PM: Hardware or Software Product Managers?"

MANAGEMENT: Sammy Abdullah of Blossom Street Ventures breaks down the option pool of one of the companies BSV invested in and reminds founders of 4 benefits to giving employees attractive options in: "Giving stock options to employees"

Founder Reading – Monday, June 3rd, 2019

FUNDRAISING: Ash Rust, Managing Partner @Sterling Road, provides highly tactical Do's and Don'ts of raising a seed round in: "Seed Fundraising — Meeting Requirements"

FUNDRAISING: Elizabeth Yin, Managing Partner at Hustle Fund, provides the pros and cons of raising a seed round with a SAFE in: 'To SAFE or Not to SAFE?"

STRATEGY: For B2B businesses, being the market leader provides a competitive moat that can provide increasing returns. Dave Kellogg, former CEO of Host Analytics, lays out why this dynamic exists, and how to leverage it for your business in: "The Market Leader Play: How to Run It, How to Respond"

FOUNDER STORY: Kulveer Taggar, Founder @ Zeus Living, is interviewed by 20VC on everything from idea generation, validation and his fundraising ($14m raised for Zeus Living, and more for a startup he co-founded and exited with one of the founders of Stripe) in: "WHY YOU MUST HAVE A CUSTOMER ACQUISITION STRATEGY FROM DAY 1, HOW TO TEST AND VALIDATE IDEAS AT SPEED & WHY YOU SHOULD SPEAK TO INVESTORS BEFORE STARTING WORK ON YOUR IDEA WITH KULVEER TAGGAR, FOUNDER & CEO @ ZEUS LIVING"

Founder Reading – Friday, May 31st, 2019

GROWTH: Dayana Mayfield of GoSquared  on how to bridge the activities you perform to create awareness to the activities that create conversions in: "Do you know your middle-of-the-funnel 

GROWTH: Juan Campos, Founder of Nomad App, provides a highly tactical case on how he grew the company's Facebook following to 70,000 in one year with $700USD in spend in: "FACEBOOK MARKETING GROWTH HACKS, KNOW IT!"

GROWTH: Brock Benefiel of Visible VC answers the questions, "what makes a good product lead growth strategy," and "is product lead growth the right strategy for your business," in: "How SaaS Companies Can Best Leverage a Product-led Growth Strategy"

SALES: Tomaz Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures provides analysis on which sales team members you should invest training and development resources in: "AS YOUR SALES TEAM SCALES, FOCUS ON YOUR MIDDLE"

PRICING: Joe Procopio, serial entrepreneur, provides three case examples where peak pricing can solve usage challenges in: "How To Change Customer Behavior With Peak Pricing"

Founder Reading – Thursday, May 30th, 2019

SAAS: Guy Turner of Hyde Park Ventures on influences that slow down the growth of SAAS companies as they scale, and how to increase sales efficiency inorder to outpace slow down in: "SaaS: How will your 10th sale be 10 times easier than your first?"

FUNDING: Ycombinator provides analysis on the series A raises of their portfolio companies in: "Investor Funnels for Series As"

MANAGEMENT: John Chambers, former CEO of Cisco, is interviewed by Philippe Botteri of Accel on building company culture and handling employee departures in: "Cracking The Code"

MANAGEMENT: Hugh Williams, former VP of Engineering at companies like Google, Tinder, etc is interviewed by Airtable on building culture, ideal team size of engineers, and goal setting in: "Building + leading tech teams at scale"

Founder Reading – Wednesday, May 29th, 2019

GROWTH: Paul Levine of Sapphire VC highlights the increasing CAC marketers are facing on established platforms (ex. Google, Facebook) and provides alternatives for profitable and scalable growth in: "The Do’s and Don’ts of Sustainable Consumer Startup Growth | Sapphire Ventures"

STRATEGY: Sammy Abdullah of Blossom Street ventures provides learnings from a SaaS company they invested in that recently exited in: "The story of a successful SaaS exit"

SALES: Nalanie Nath of Insight Partners on how to vet sales talent and onboard them effectively in: "Can You Improve Sales Rep Performance? Yes, Start With Hiring and Onboarding"

SALES: Amy Volas, Founder of Avenue Talent Partners, provides actionable advice on closing enterprise sales customers in: "THE ENTERPRISE SALES PROCESS I’VE -- USED TO CLOSE $100,000,000+"

ORGANIZATION: Will Larson, former engineering team lead at Digg, Uber and now Stripe, dives deep into how to size and structure your technical team in: "How to Size and Assess Teams From an Eng Lead at Stripe, Uber and Digg"

ORGANIZATION: Nis Frome of Alpha surveyed >300 decision managers to discover their most significant challenges and decision-making strategies and get insights into what team size contributes to the best outcomes in: "This is the perfect team size for innovation according to 300+ decision-makers"

SASS: Ben Johnson of Proof unpacks three learnings about how to approach churn from his experience at YC in: "What Y Combinator Taught Proof About Churn"

Founder Reading – Monday, May 28th

STRATEGY: How do you know if your brilliant new feature has worked out? How do you know if it has failed and you need to kill it? Scott Middleton of Terem.com.au answers these questions and more in: "How to Set a Success Criteria For Launching New Products"

STRATEGY: Rob Go of Nextview Ventures describes the importance of doing one thing well vs. competing by doing a lot of things in: “Avoid Swiss Army Knives”

STRATEGY: How big of a market do you need to bootstrap a successful software business? Justin Jackson answers this question and more in: "THE MYTH OF THE NICHE MARKET"

SALES: Sammy Abdullah of Blossom Street Ventures on sales strategy in greenfield markets in: "Creating a new market"

PRICING: How do you set your subscription pricing? Patrick Campbell of Profitwell answers this question by providing the pros and cons of four of the most popular subscription pricing models in: "THE MOST COMMON SUBSCRIPTION PRICING MODELS, AND THE ONLY ONE YOU SHOULD BE USING"

FUNDRAISING: Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures on how new fundraises affect the value of your employee's stock options, and the importance of hiring before your next round in: "BEFORE YOU RAISE A ROUND OF FUNDING, ASK YOURSELF THIS QUESTION"

Founder Reading – Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

CASE STUDY: Vidit Aatrey of Meesho is interviewed by Adora Cheung of Ycombinator on how he decided to start his company, how they grew to be one of the hottest companies in India, mistakes made and more in: "Vidit Aatrey on Building Meesho, India’s Top Reselling Platform, with Adora Cheung"

GROWTH: Meg Fitzgerald of insight partners dives into to topic of enablement (on boarding, systems and infrastructure, etc) in building a partner/channel sales program in: "The Journey To Building A Successful Partner Program For Your Software Business"

GROWTH: Brandon Redlinger of Engagio details why upselling and cross-selling are important revenue drivers, provides post-sales strategies, case examples, important metrics to track and more in: "How To Execute A World-Class Expansion Strategy with ABM"

INVESTOR MANAGEMENT: Dave Kellogg, angel investor, provides a post-speech deck on what boards want during meetings and how to give it to them in: "The Board View: Slides From My Presentation At Host Perform 2019"

INVESTOR MANAGEMENT: Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures provides advice on managing board meetings in: "Managing Your Startup Board — A Short Presentation"

Founder Reading – Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

GROWTH: Intercom provides a framework for creating your onboarding strategy, how to show users continuous value so they stick around for the long-term, how to design your onboarding flow and narrative and more in: "Announcing The Second Edition Of ‘Intercom on Onboarding’"

STRATEGY: Elad Gil, serial entrepreneur and investor, contrasts four distinct types of pivots, advises on when you should shut and restart vs pivot, and provides important areas of focus during a pivot in: "A Brief Guide To Startup Pivots"

GROWTH: Beth Carter of GoSquared outlines one of the key blockages that keep free-tier users from becoming fully paid up users, and how to get around it in: "Freemium Conversion Issues? Why You Need To Address The Penny Gap"

GROWTH: Hiten Shah of Openview Partners on who should be responsible for revenue at product-led companies, how you should do marketing and sales differently, and more in : "Product-Led Companies - Why And How They Work"

GROWTH: Ashvin Vaidyanathan of Gainsight provides four customer success metrics that are not often tracked, but should be in" "Four Customer Success Metrics You’re Not Watching (But Should)"

Founder Reading – Tuesday, May 21st , 2019

GROWTH: John Cowgill, Principle at Costanoa Ventures, provides "A Practical Guide To Understanding And Reducing Churn"

GROWTH: Kyle Poyar of Openview Ventures provides makes the case for why it's getting harder for SASS companies to get traction and how product-led growth can help startups scale in:  "It's A Rough Time To Be A Startup - Heres What You Can Do About It"

STRATEGY: David Ulevitch of A16Z discusses everything from pricing, to packaging, to balancing between product visionary vs. product manager, to how to manage your own time (and psychology) as your company grows, and more in: "a16z Podcast: What Time Is It? From Technical To Product To Sales CEO"

MANAGEMENT: Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint Venture on the importance of delegation in: "Define The What But Delegate The How"

INVESTOR MANAGEMENT: Charlie O'Donnell of Brooklyn Bridge Ventures provides five reasons why you need to update and maintain relationships with the investors who have provided you with the smallest checks in: "Tiny Checks"

Founder Reading – Monday May 20th, 2019

STRATEGY: Andrew Chen of A16z interviews Justin Kan on everything from market risk vs execution risk, to fundraising strategy, to what his reading and listening to in: "10+1 Lessons from a Serial Entrepreneur"

STRATEGY: Justin Jackson, Founder of Transistor.fm, provides a framework for thinking through when you should quit building your startup in: "When Should You Give Up?"

GROWTH: Jason Lemkin, Founder of SAASTR, makes the point that SASS companies experience compounding growth, that a small difference today can have a big impact on growth over time, and provides growth ideas that are immediately actionable in: "5 Changes You Can Make Today To Grow Faster"

FUNDRAISING: Elizabeth Yin, General Partner at Hustle Fund, polled her Twitter following to find: "15 Annoying Things that VCs say or ask (and how to think about them)"

FUNDRAISING: Next View Ventures describes the rhythm of the venture fundraising process, and the importance of urgency in: “Time Kills All Deals”

Founder Reading – Friday, May 20th, 2019

GROWTH: Romaine Lapeyre, CEO of Gorgias, on how to build a data-driven sales machine in: "Lessons from Gorgias: How to Close 1000 Customers Based on Data"

STRATEGY: Kate Preston McAndrew of Bolt interviews Sarah McDevitt, CEO of Core, about recruiting, raising money and more in: "Flex your inner strength"

STRATEGY: Jad Naous of A16Z on what opportunities are being created as enterprises continue to adopt more digitization and automation in: "Everyone is an Analyst: Opportunities in Operational Analytics"

Founder Reading – Thursday, May 16th, 2019

STRATEGY: Sarah Guo of Greylock Partners interviews Reid Hoffman about his counterintuitive approach to growth in a competitive market "Speed: The Most Critical Competitive Advantage"

STRATEGY: Phin Barnes of First Round Capital argues that founders should define and measure the failure of experiments rather than their success in order to maximize the pace of learning in their search for product-market fit and their key levers of growth in "Minimum Viable Failure"

STRATEGY: Tyler Eyamie, CEO of Fusebill shares seven things he would do differently if he were ever to start a business again in "7 Lessons Learned Building My SaaS Business"

STRATEGY: Sammy Abdullah of Blossom Street Ventures provides key takeaways after helping a portfolio company that had raised $9M USD to pivot in "Restructuring a startup"

PRICING: Kyle Poyar of Openview Partners interviews Amanda Kleha how to go about a pricing change, when freemium makes sense in SASS and why every founder needs to know their leaders, fillers, and killers in: "Pricing at a PLG Company with Figma’s CCO"

ANALYTICS: Keith Fenecha of Revulytics on leveraging anonymous product usage data to drive meaningful, relevant product development in: "Leveraging Data for More Impactful, Relevant Feature Development"

Founder Reading – Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

STRATEGY: Matt Turck of FirstMark interviews Zach Perret, CEO of Plaid, discussing the journey of the company, selling to developers, the future of fintech and more in: "The Path to a $2.7B Unicorn: In Conversation with Zach Perret, CEO, Plaid"

MANAGEMENT: The Slack team on how to lay the groundwork for team trust, make collaboration part of your culture, and the importance of rethinking team-building activities in: "The essential field guide to team building"

GROWTH: Arielle Jackson of First Round Capital offers a crash course on the process of hiring your first marketer, touching on everything from timing, who to look for, common mistakes and more in: "So You Think You’re Ready to Hire a Marketer? Read This First."

MARKETPLACES: Julia Morrongiello of Point Nine Capital provides key takeaways from a Point Nine Capital hosted B2B Market Place Conference of more than 100 B2B marketplace founders from around Europe in: "4 Lessons Learned from Building and Scaling B2B Marketplaces"

SUBSCRIPTION BUSINESSES: Kristen DeCosta of Churn Buster provides tips on reducing churn for subscription businesses with several points that also apply for SASS companies in: "8 Secrets for Extending Customer LTVs and Reducing eCommerce Subscription Churn - Churn Buster Resources"

Founder Reading – Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

DESIGN: Alex Gilev of Openview Partners provides a guide on what UX Strategy is and how founders can successfully implement it in "UX Strategy: The CEO Guide to Crafting a Winning Customer Experience | OpenView Labs"

DESIGN: Intercom on how content effects user onboarding, and how founders can provide excellent first experiences in "A content-first approach to product onboarding | Inside Intercom"

STRATEGY: Alex Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur of Strategyzer describe the "Portfolio Map" as a tool to understand the evolution of a company’s business model over its lifecycle by measuring risk vs return "Business Model Evolution Using the Portfolio Map"

GROWTH: Patrick Cambell of Profitwell synthesizes Brian Balfour's speech on the importance and strategy of targeting a niche customer group when launching a product in "New Product Launch Strategy: 5 Steps to A Successful Product Launch"

FUNDRAISING: Thomasz Tunguz from Redpoint Ventures outlines three recent trends in fundraising opportunities for founders (e.g. diversity of product offering, pricing sophistication, and efficiency of investment processes) in "The Fundraising Environment in 2019 - Three Major Shifts"

SALES: Steli Efti of Close.io on how to offboard sales reps after parting ways on both good, and bad terms in "Sales team management: How to offboard a sales rep the right way"

Founder Reading – Monday, May 13th, 2019

SALES: Thomaz Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures analyzes post IPO software companies to discover a pattern: sales efficiency is driven by largely by expanding an existing customer base in"How to Develop Best in Class Sales Efficiency"

MANAGEMENT: Persa Saljoughian of IVP highlights the key takeaways from Jeff Bezos' 2018 letter to shareholders in "The power of wandering: Key takeaways from Jeff Bezos’ latest shareholder letter"

MANAGEMENT: Josh Payne, Founder/CEO of StackCommerce, reflects on lessons learned in "25 Lessons From Running a Profitable, Venture-backed Start-up For Six Years"

MANAGEMENT: Tyler Eyamie, CEO of Fusebill, provides tips and anecdotes from his post Series A experience in "You closed a successful Series A round of financing. What happens now?"

SASS: Angel investor, Dave Kellogg emphasizes the importance of specificity in cataloging churn in "What’s the “Cause of Death” in Your Churn Reporting?"

Founder Reading – Tuesday, May 27th

STRATEGY: Geoff Ralston, President of Y Combinator, is interviewed by 20 Minute VC and touches on everything from what he looks for in founders, to when you know you have the right idea, to balancing vision and mission and more in: "Y COMBINATOR’S NEW PRESIDENT, GEOFF RALSTON"

STRATEGY: Andrew Chen of a16z provides a perspective on when seemingly dumb ideas can become high growth companies in: "The Dumb Idea Paradox: Why great ideas often start out by sounding dumb"

STRATEGY: Founders tend to overestimate the likelyhood that a large established tech company will move into their space. Jason Lemkin of SaStr explains the dynamics of why this happens less often than we would expect in: "Why Tiny Start-Ups Can Still Beat The Big Guys. Hint: It’s Not Because Your Team Is Smarter or Better"

PRICING: How do you approach pricing your MVP? Joe Procopio, serial entrepreneur, answers that question and more in: "How to Price Your Minimum Viable Product"

Founder Reading – Friday, May 24th, 2019

MANAGEMENT: Dave Kellogg, former CEO of Host Analytics and angel investor, on fundraising, building the right team, managing the board and more in: "The Top 5 Questions Every CEO Wrestles With – Lessons From Host Analytics (Video + Transcript)"

SALES: Ton Dobbe, consultant, communicates the importance of selling an idea, naming the villain and creating an emotional experience while selling in: "You should not be selling a product — really"

HUMAN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT: Chelsea MacDonald, Head of People Operations at Ada Support, is interviewed by Angela Tran Kingyens of Version One on why organizations need a Head of People, how this role is different from Head of HR, key qualities and experiences to look for in a candidate and more in: "What does a Head of People do? Learning from Ada’s Chelsea MacDonald"

FUNDRAISING: Elizabeth Yin of Hustle Fund on the mindset, and customer development process that helped her to raise funding both for her startup and her venture fund in: "The #1 thing most people do wrong when they fundraise"

INTERNATIONALISATION: Skyscanner reflects the culture, mindset, and approach to product market fit in new markets that enabled them to successfully scale internationally in: "Scaling Skyscanner, Part III: International Ambition"