1. SaaS METRIC OF THE WEEK: Renewal rate: You have to scroll down to the bottom of this article before you get to the informative bit on measuring this metric, but don't! (I could link you to this one). Please read the first part, too - it's great. TL;DR: Don't be a jerk when it comes to renewals. If you have to be, maybe it's you, not your customers (and then keep scrolling again to see the 5 main reasons why people unsubscribe). This additional article from Profitwell on Renewal Rates also describes the differences between retention and renewals.
2. PRICING: Openview has surveyed well over 1,000 SaaS companies about pricing. Check out the pricing evolution as companies mature (TL;DR ACV increases by about 60% from seed to expansion).
3. DESIGNOPS: Here is another one for your Tech Dictionary: Listen up! Design isn't a thing; it's a process. The principles of which can be used and adopted across all lines of business (which is why design thinking is trendy). Please read here to get a better rundown of what I'm trying to say. Then, how to use design thinking (and OPs) in product teams to build better products and experiences.
4. BUYERS vs. USERS: The person writing you a check is not necessarily the same person getting value from your business. So read this insightful article from HeavyBit on differentiating messaging based on this premise and the different profiles.
5. M&A: According to this report from Kroll, M&A Deal value is down 52% in Q1 2023 (compared to Q1' 22), but deal volume is up 23% (compared to Q4' 22)? M&A may be something you are evaluating in the near future, so here is a guide to running an M&A process as a founder from First Round Capital.
6. COMPENSATION: This is a great dive into dilution from a CEO's lens- asking what CEO equity looks like by Fundraising Round or at time of IPO?
7. CASH: Here is an interesting analysis. According to Carta research, early-stage startups have to reduce spend (Series B and prior) and that that, which correlates to a decrease in the median daily cash spending ability for seed, Series A, and Series B startups by 25%, 57%, and 65% year-on-year, respectively.
8. AI-1: Uhoh. According to the May 2023 Challenger Report, AI has already begun replacing us humans in jobs. With nearly 4,000 positions lost last month due (including at IBM). Gizmodo has more details.
9. AI-2: I am (and I encourage my team to be) an avid user of AI tools to help complement productivity, learning, and administration. Happily, the HI (Human Intelligence) that is Tomasz Tunguz, did some analysis work for us all this week by asking the question we all need to be answered: "How much more efficient should a SaaS startup be when using AI?" TL;DR - about 13% overall - but Engineers should be smashing it.
10. CASE STUDY: Overhauling pricing is scary, but the payoff can be great for your balance sheet. Here's how Disco increased pricing by 5–10x!.......and more than doubled growth year over year.
POD OF THE WEEK: Adding onto #10 above - How Spotify moved away from Squads and many other things in this 1:30 podcast from Lennys Newsletter with Gustav Söderström (Co-President, CPO, and CTO at Spotify).