1. SaaS METRIC OF THE WEEK: a16z has the top 16 startup metrics that, from their VC perspective, are the most valuable to measure.
2. GROWTH: Silicon Valley has an obsession with growth. The 40% rule and the Mendoza line are examples of that. Tomasz Tunguz takes a view this week of growth rates and why they matter so much (it relates to the future values of a business and when that is created).
3. CYBER: With all kinds of cyber attacks happening lately, it's time to hammer this home: Regardless of the size of your SaaS business, for 2023, security should be part of your dev cycle, but also know your weak spots. Founder Institute discusses 6 points of vulnerability in a tech stack that may be a bit leaky. Security needs to be rolled up into the process: DevSecOps being the new port-portmanteau, or is that SecDevOps? - anywhoooo……beyond the DevSecOps article, Heavybit also has a great article discussing cloud security challenges (as apparently, if we extrapolate this out, 88% of SaaS is now sitting on public cloud).
4. EMAIL: In the middle of last year, Mailmodo launched a list of SaaS-specific Email flows and tips across customer flow from cold nurture to Churn prevention. It's a great article, and they are wasting no time this year by launching the State of Email 2023 Report - a 4 chapter report covering myths, benchmarks (SaaS has a higher open rate than average), and top tips for 2023.
5. M&A: As mentioned last week, Crunchbase forecasts that M&A activity in startups could pick up in 2023. Now is an excellent time to understand what's in an acquisition offer via this essential guide covering key terms and common issues.
6. RECESSION: Many of us are forecast to enter a recession in 2023. The good news is that software thrives during recessions because companies do a lot of optimization.
7. MARKETS: JP Morgans's Q1 2023 Guide to the Markets is now out, and they are noting that inflation and interest rates are peaking in the US. This is a good indicator that the slide in SaaS valuations is over - As they are inversely correlated to rising inflation (MRR gets less valuable as inflation increases).
8. PLG: Kyle Pola from OpenView has a roundup of four PLG growth tactics they have been excited about over the last two months that could help you grow faster.
9. MOBILE: Last year, consumers downloaded over 255B mobile apps and spent over $167B on them. In response, brands spent over $336B advertising on mobile platforms. This year, people will spend over 5 hours per day on their mobile devices. This and many more nuggets can be found in Data.ai's (formerly App Annie) State of Mobile report for 2023.
10. CASE STUDY: Grammarly - I'm a big fan, daily active user, and paid subscriber - but most users are on the freemium plan. So how did this product get to $90 million in revenue and last valued at $13 Billion? Here is the short version behind their growth, but here is the deeper case study on SEO, engineering, great content, and an embedded and rewarding product experience.
POD OF THE WEEK: Expanding on #10 above with Yuriy Timen, former Head of Marketing and Growth at Grammarly, discusses the ever-changing world of growth, emerging growth tactics, and how to find your growth engine.
BONUS: The fastest way to deliver the right software is to deliver the wrong software sooner.