1. SaaS METRIC OF THE WEEK: Usage-based pricing and MRR/ARR models are often mentally hard to compute collectively (I know this from experience), so this article was a sight for sore eyes earlier this week, discussing the mental mapping required from Annual to Monthly and Usage-Based Metrics (and introducing Implied ARR) from David Kellogg. A recent analysis of usage-based pricing from Bessemer Ventures is here to help you think about your own pricing models.
2. CUSTOMER JOURNEY: What the heck is a Customer Journey anyway, and why do you need to create one? Now that you know you need one, mapping out a Customer Success Journey via a visual map is a great way to tell what areas a Customer Success Team needs to be involved in (and what their responsibilities will be) via various engagement models. And a "complete guide" with some great, modern templates can be found here.
3. VALUATIONS: AngelList keeps a comprehensive set of Startup Valuation Data. Here are the highlights: Average valuations for startups in Q1 2023: Pre-seed $10M, Seed $19M, Series-A $95M.
4. SALES vs. MARKETING: Great (and relatively short) read from Jason Lemkin here for all you early-stage people discussing how a startup's growth problem was misdiagnosed as a sales one (when it was actually a marketing problem).
5. SLOW: One lesson my brain still resists thoroughly learning is that with any new technology adoption curve, regardless of how progressive or latent the core demographic is, customers will move way slower than you want them to.
6. REPRESENTATION - VENTURE: Women-founded startups raised just 1.9% of all VC funds in 2022, a drop from 2021. This comes at a cost for Female Founders who fundraise only from Female VCs. Women-led firms whose first round of VC funding was raised exclusively from female VC partners were two times less likely than those whose first round included male partners to eventually raise a second round.
7. REPRESENTATION - Web3: In Web3 only, well known for CryptoBros, 13% of Web3 founding teams include a woman, and only 3% have teams exclusively made up of women. Nasdaq has gone even further to ask what it is people are even building in the metaverse given the current gatekeeping status quo (and who's on a mission to fix it).
8. BUYOUT CONTRACTS: SaaS is increasingly competitive across markets and niches. To be successful, there are some cut-throat things you will have to do, one of which is offering buyout deals. If you want to steal a customer from the competition. Jason Lemkin goes into some detail on this topic via this post (including when Buy out contracts make sense and how to structure commission.)
9. ZERO-BASED DESIGN: Internal performance improvement may be higher on your agenda this year compared to previous years, so crack open your dictionaries to add Zero based Design. McKinsey goes even deeper than the Bain article linked with this paper, looking at what they call "Operations Practice," which is the kind of modernization process problem that companies such as ProMapp help solve.
10. CASE STUDY: Surely you have all tried ChatGPT out by now - but how the heck does it actually work? Here is an inside look into what ChatGPT is and how this kind of model (large language models or LLM - for your tech dictionaries) actually work.
POD OF THE WEEK: The extension of #6 above, a Podcast from TechCrunch covering more in-depth numbers and subjects such as pitching bias, the complications of imbalance, and more