1. SaaS METRIC OF THE WEEK: RETENTION: Hey! Capital is currently costly for startups, so prioritizing customer retention is critical. Gross revenue retention (GRR) and net revenue retention (NRR) are key metrics to master. Here is a valuable guide to all things retention (and having merry customers).
2. VENTURE: New data out from Crunchbase last week puts the state of Venture Capital funding worldwide down 53% in Q1, and this includes the mega OpenAI (of ChatGPT fame) raise ($10B) and Stripes Series I (their 18th round overall) of $6.5B.
3. PRODUCT DESIGN: Getting better at Product is a '23 Goal, so I love this step-by-step guide (along with some solid examples/case studies) on how to package up and present all that extraordinary research, design, functionality, and user testing that product designers have to endure.
4. MISTAKES FEATURETTE: A morbid list of mistakes and failures to learn from this week. First up is a list of Seven deadly ones startups make. Next, Jason Lemkin lists his top 10. Failory has a free Notion Document from over 80 startups who have failed and identified some of their common mistakes (some fatal). Marketing problems seem the most abundant (and deadly) - but product-market-fit, market size, and value add are all creeping around too. CBInsights also lists their top 12 reasons Startups fail.
5. IP: If you have not noticed Facebook's general MO, many startups in the software space are vulnerable to their competitors producing copycat technologies. Now Twitter is in Zuck's cross-hairs. Please read this interview from Nico Hodel of Start It Up NYC on how to better protect your Tech IP and Entrepreneur magazine: 4 IP Mistakes startups make and how to avoid them.
6. CONTENT: Viewing content (of your content marketing) as a "product" was an aha moment for me, as was being told that the strategy of "producing ten blog posts" is wrong. Instead, read this Two-part blog (part 1 and part 2) to change your mindset on what good content should be.
7. SECURITY: It's table stakes that Tech companies should be continually concerned about the security of the software being built (it's why DevSecOps is a thing). But for all of you in the B2B Enterprise-y space, technical Due Diligence is also a critical part of the sales cycle (there is a growing need for chief compliance officers, for example). Having some kind of compliance, certification, or training, such as SOC-2 or ISO-27001, can reduce security/audit friction. Here is a guide to getting started on SOC-2 and an ISO-27001 guide. BONUS - I'm currently trialing trustshare.com as my compliance portal.
8. DIFFICULTY: Having all your security and compliance ducks in a row is MEGA hard, so the payoff (in terms of customer ACV) has to be worth it. Payoff > Difficulty. This is called the Difficulty Ratio - discussed more in a Substack post from David Sacks earlier this month.
9. AI: Weekly AI posts will likely be the norm for a bit - because the space is moving that fast right now. This week is a SaaStr Workshop Wednesday presentation from Tomasz Tunguz that he created via Ai Startups (Gamma, Midjourney, and IA Presenter) covering the four questions a startup should ask themselves about building a startup that uses generative AI. BONUS: The Video is a must-watch, too (starts at watch the whole thing as there is a BUNCH of value before Tomasz even gets to the presentation - and the Q&A after).
10. CASE STUDY: Complimenting #4 above: The top 10 Mistakes from the CEO of Gainsight - Nick Mehta - on his way to 100m ARR.
POD OF THE WEEK: Complimenting #4 above and probably one we all need to share around - this brilliant video covering all aspects of failure and resiliency - and how to get back up when you get let down.