1. SaaS METRIC OF THE WEEK: Developer productivity: There are two primary frameworks for measuring developer productivity: DORA (with a free poster!) or the GitLab source. 5 metrics for a four-letter acronym to measure DevOps performance and SPACE - a more holistic framework for productivity. And also, as a little bonus, how to measure DevEx (Developer Experience)
2. ANNUAL DISCOUNT: If, like me, you are part of the great SaaS Ponzi Scheme, it may come as no surprise to you that annual contracts are discounted. But how much? 10% is the median - and the range is tighter than I thought - 6%-14%.
3. FRAMEWORKS: Beyond the above laws, a successful framework can distill complex processes or models to make execution more of a simple recipe. Kinda why OKRs exist. Sarah Tavel has compiled a great list of compelling Frameworks covering: The 10x model, The hierarchy of engagement, Hype cycles, and more!
4. DUE DILIGENCE: As reported last week, Startup formation has significantly declined over the past 3 years. Some of which is VC based. This means that Due Diligence of the VC kind has gotten more complicated and longer. So read this article from Allison Weil Lechnir at Hyde Park Venture Partners for great insight into what VCs expect when deciding to invest. FE International has a similar article but written from an acquisitions lens.
5. CAPITAL: Another follow-up from last week's report on the significant decline in Startup formation over the past 3 years comes with news that Sequoia Capital has downsized two of its recent funds - the crypto fund is down from $585M to $200M. They also halved the ecosystem fund from $900M to $450M. This is likely to provide/return liquidity to their partners - it also looks like Sequoia is going through some non-fund restructuring.
6. MOBILE: 2022 was a negative growth year both in app downloads and mobile consumer spend but in H1 2023, $67.5 billion in consumer spend and 76.8 billion app downloads were measured globally across iOS and Google Play (that's a 5.3% and 3.2% increase respectively), most of the spend was on iOS (5.8% vs. 4.3% on Google Play). TikTok is the major player in consumer spending outside of gaming -31% growth. At the same time, other apps that rely on subscriptions, such as Disney+, YouTube, and Duolingo, also delivered solid growth at 33%, 39%, and 48%, respectively.
7. APPLE-GPT: Get outta the way Siri, expanding on #6 above, to keep their iOS stronghold in terms of Mobile Growth; how might more modern AI fit into the Apple Empire? Take a read of this analysis and report from Bloomberg. Historically, they may be late to the party with these significant technology adoptions - but their execution is where they excel.
8. SALES COMP (PLG): Figuring out the proper sales comp and plan is super tricky for high-growth companies, and it gets even trickier for companies that have PLG + Sales. So check this guide on PLG Comp Plans from the team over at OpenView.
9. FOLLOW-UP: I probably push this too hard on Sales follow-ups and nudges, so I needed to subject myself to this article last week: How often to follow up: Follow-up Frequency to Close Deals Instead of Annoying People. It was great to see "Way more than you think." though 🙂 . There is also this concept of the "Rule of 7," which states that a potential customer needs to see or hear your message seven times before they buy something.
10. CASE STUDY: Z-Scaler is probably got some of the best growth metrics out there, and most people have never heard of them - FYI, they are a cloud security company: $1.5 Billion ARR, 125% NDR, 46% YoY Groth and 45% of revenue is non-US.
POD OF THE WEEK: From Lenny's Newsletter and complimenting #1 this week: How to measure and improve developer productivity from Nicole Forsgren (Microsoft Research, GitHub, Google).