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)
Great companies are almost always run by great management teams. And great
management teams know that the only way to improve a process is to start by
measuring it. Good metrics should also be actionable, and drive successful
behavior. In this post I hope to help show how to figure out which metrics
matter the most, and how to design them in such a way as to drive behavior
that will lead to the results that you want.
This post is applicable to any kind of business. In a follow up post, I will
use this technique to walk through the design of a set of metrics for a SaaS
company. S... (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)
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 obv... (more)
Many entrepreneurs have a strong suspicion that there is an opportunity in a
particular market, but lack the detailed understanding of customer pain
needed to design an appropriate solution. The following guest post by John
Raguin, ex-CEO, and co-founder of Guidewire Software, describes how he and
his co-founders tackled this problem. Recently, David Skok and [...]