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David Skok

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Top Stories by David Skok

“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 than traditional businesses. Traditional business metrics totally fail to capture the key factors that drive SaaS performance. In the SaaS world, there are a few key variables that make a big difference to future results. This post is aimed at helping SaaS executives understand which variables... (more)

The Application Server Market

The application server category is one of the more confusing markets to understand. In addition, the market changed rapidly during 1998, with a number of companies being acquired. This article aims to clarify the situation. Software: A History of Consolidating Services on New Platforms Looking back at the major shifts that have taken place in the software industry, a trend emerges that is a helpful indicator of what is likely to happen in the evolution of the application server market. As new platforms emerge, there are generally a number of players providing point products that ... (more)

Six Things VCs Look For in An Investment

As a serial entrepreneur, I learned a lot of lessons from things that didn’t work. These lessons later on shaped my ideas on what would be needed to build a successful startup company. When I became a VC, I realized that these same lessons could be applied to helping evaluate the many businesses that I was getting to see. Whilst the following criteria are by no means a guarantee of success, or the only criteria that you should think about, I do believe they can be very helpful. So in no particular order, here is a list of six questions that I learned to ask to validate my own st... (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)

Consumerization of the Enterprise By @BostonVC | @CloudExpo [#Cloud]

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)