1. SaaS METRIC OF THE WEEK: ARR per FTE: Capital Efficiency is a new-fangled metric we all want to track in these LeanOps times. Benchmarking this - the median is $143K per FTE according to the 2022 KeyBanc Private SaaS Report. With public companies, it's double that, according to data from Maritech and Kyle Polar from Openview, breaks this down to tell whether you're on the right track.
2. AD BOT: The internet is only half human - Imperva's annual Bad Bot report revealed almost half (47.4%) of all internet traffic was from bots, with bot traffic of the bad kind accounting for over a quarter (27.7%) of all traffic.
3. DEX: Crack open your tech dictionaries for another acronym-based entry: Digital Employee Experience. This is all about your internal users - your team. In a surprise to mostly no one, 95% of employees say IT issues decrease workplace productivity and morale - which is a bigger deal AND a more significant challenge to solve now that digital tools are more mission-critical in today's WFH/Hybrid/Remote work environments.
4. SaaS (Born again): Great article from Harvard Business Review summarizes how the traditional sales model "funnel" does not apply to modern SaaS and equates a customer life-cyle to look more like a "Bowtie" rather than a funnel shape because most revenue takes place outside the marketing funnel (which is why modern Customer Success and NDR exists).
5. B2B SAAS: Silver Cloud lining time! Adding onto the Harvard Business Review article above is from Boston Consulting Group, who make the case that overall Tech may be cooling off, but B2B SaaS is not. They also bring receipts to back up that claim (B2B SaaS is outpacing Industry growth by 10x) and deliver a playbook that B2B SaaS companies can make to continue the growth trajectory
6. PR: Getting good PR if you're an unknown startup is hard (and also can be seen as a low priority in the endless stable of things to get done) - but it's easier than you think without a publicist. Here is a great 101 article from Point Nine Capital (they call it PR for dummies) on how to get great press coverage. ChartMoguls also have this article late on PR for SaaS - with some sample scripts!
7. ENTERPRISE ADVICE: a16z convened some early-stage CEOs for a recent event, discussing business management need-to-knows like hiring, firing, scaling, sales, and marketing.
8. DOWN ROUNDS: According to data from Pitchbook, down rounds are on the rise but don't worry - read this article with the author making the point that down rounds won't kill you.
9. STATE OF WORK: A new report from software.com on the future of work (for Software Development) is an AI baseline of sorts that we should revisit next year. TL;DR - Devs have better work-life integration post-pandemic (with fewer late nights and weekend work), productivity remains unchanged (BUT devs are spending a little less time coding per week), and that's because AI is starting to show up. It will fundamentally change how Devs work.
10. CASE STUDY: I'm still trying to figure out why, but last week's article on Product Market Fit was very popular, so let's double down on how some popular companies got found PMF (via a Tweet Thread).
POD OF THE WEEK: As AI continues on a burn, founders and CEOs (me included) are discussing how to integrate this new superpower and also considering essential questions around data privacy, accuracy, and pricing (me included). Please take a listen to a16z's Podcast on what we are all already talking about.