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David Skok

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Top Stories by David Skok

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 thanks to the many readers of this blog who participated in the survey. My thanks also go out to David Spitz and his team at Pacific Crest Securities (@dspitz and @PacCrestSec, respectively on Twitter) for their hard work on the survey. Part 1 of the results of the survey, which focuses on growt... (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)

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)

SaaS Metrics – Measuring and Improving What Matters

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 actionable. 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)

Using Surveys to Validate Key Startup Decisions

This article describes in detail how to use on-line survey tools to validate your key startup assumptions, and gain actionable insights into topics such as pricing, target demographics, messaging, etc. Introduction By now pretty much every entrepreneur knows the basics of Lean Startup methodology: start by searching for product/market fit. Get out of the building and talk to customers. Run a series of experiments to validate your ideas. Above all else, validate your thinking as early as possible: don’t spend millions of dollars building something before you have tested the ideas ... (more)