1. SaaS METRIC OF THE WEEK: Space Metrics. The biggest rocket in history launched (and exploded) last week, so here is a great deep dive into the relevant Space industry metrics, acronyms, and Market Sizing that's driving real competition (including the loss of Virgin Orbit earlier this month) - Why should we care? The rise of Heavy Launch Vehicles has just started, and see Pod of the Week for more details - TL;DL - it's all about the global movement of goods and materials.
2. SHAPE UP: A refresher for your tech dictionaries and reading list. Software product development requires innovative strategies based on today's cadence expectations of continuous integration, micro-services, feature delivery, and scale. The team at Basecamp (I'm an old-school fan) has developed ShapeUp, its publications, and a toolbox of techniques that can eliminate chaos when it comes to designing, prioritizing, and shipping products/features.
3. SALARY: Hey Founders, a recent TechCrunch article recommends that founders pay themselves rather than doing it for the equity - after all, paying people is what Venture should be for, right? So how much? This doesn't mean you get Market Rates; startup founder's and CEO salaries can often range from zero to a gated raise based on ARR. See here for lots of good answers and also lots of different situations. According to Nathan Latka, a good rule of thumb is that if you're two-co-founders and just hit $1m in ARR, you should make about $100k per year and Increase to $150k at $2m in ARR.
4. PRODUCT BENCHMARKS: I'm hoping for an updated report soon, but this report is a must-read for those of you starting or deep into product-led growth. It's year 3 of the Openview product Benchmark Reports - downloadable here. Products continue to perform well as acquisition, conversion, and expansion tools, so this is an excellent report to gauge what's good vs. what is great regarding product conversion. In a hurry to benchmark yourself? Use this interactive calculator to see how your user journey compares to businesses of a similar size and scale. FUN FACT: 61% of companies in the Cloud 100—including Calendly, Amplitude, and GitLab—leverage a PLG model.
5. GO-TO-MARKET: The team at ContentBeta has teased their now-released Go-To-Market Playbook for 2023. Check here for some great nuggets - guides, ebooks, and research reports are still the best content assets to differentiate your software (more than video), and cold email is still a strong go-to.
6. COLD EMAIL: So based on #5 above, cold email remains a go-to modern-day sales tool - but diving deeper, this method historically has a shallow response rate (1% for cold emails historically but has dropped below 1% in recent years). 1. Jason Bay has spot-on methods to optimize response rates, 2. Predictable Revenue has this PowerPoint deck on the four pillars they think constitute a quality sales-based email campaign. 3. This is a quality case study for anyone with email marketing as part of their businesses - a deep dive into a single cold email and why the author actually opened it (TL;DR - yes, it's all about everything in the design of the email, but its more about how targeted the message is). 4. So here (from LeadIQ) is their 3-step guide to getting noticed by email. And finally, with a VERY focused mission on getting to Demo - a guide to booking 70+ demos/month/rep using cold email.
7. SAAS SPEND: Maybe in part to the AI boom of '23, but there is a growing demand for cloud that will push spending to about $600 billion by the end of the year, according to a new report from Gartner, with 1/3 of that spending on SaaS (about $200 million up 18% YoY)
8. EARLY STAGE FUNDING: Startups go through various fundraising lifecycles. This article guides understanding startup funding/investing for all of you at the early stage of Startup life.
9. ONBOARDING: Userpilot has just released their State of User Onboarding for 2023. 74% of SaaS companies offer a free trial, up from 43% in 2022. There may be a bit of survey bias here as they state that only 4% of companies relied on demos for customer acquisition - prob a ton of enterprise b2b SaaS that would disagree. It may be a hangover from their prior MarTech focus.
10. CASE STUDY: AutoGPT: OK - it's been a couple of weeks since AutoGPT was launched (which is like a year in AI time); here is everything you need to know (via a Twitter thread) - until, of course, things change.
POD OF THE WEEK: Complementing number 1 above. Why should we care about Space? Well, listen to the All In Podcast that hosted SpaceX investors and team members discussing how transportation (especially of goods and materials) could rapidly change in the next 10 years by traveling sub-orbital, at scale, and in big-ass rockets).