1. SaaS METRIC OF THE WEEK: Customer Renewal Rate measures the percentage of customers who renew their subscriptions at the end of each subscription period. High renewal rates inform companies about product-market fit, market, pricing fit, value, business model viability, etc. The authors of this article from Profitwell describe the formula and differentiate between renewal and retention - one is actively renewing, and the other is not actively canceling.
2. DOWN-ROUNDS: According to data from Pitchbook, almost 7.5% of all venture funding rounds in the U.S. in Q1 2023 were down rounds. They also note that over 400 unicorns haven't raised new funding since 2021, and 94% (of tech unicorns) are unprofitable.
3. VENTURE: But wait - there is more. The Q1 '23 Venture Monitor report from Pitchbook dropped last month, and we may have the beginnings of a Startup pipeline problem: The angel and seed markets are at a 2.5-year low. The early stage Venture is the same (A&B rounds), while the late stage is at pre-2018 levels (21-quarter low). CBInsights has the same news, just different graphs.
4. DEMO: This one interests me (and apparently some people reading last week's newsletter) - as the path to Demo is precisely the primary call to action my website is designed for. I assume it is the same for many of you B2B people, so....." Should Your Website Drive Prospects to a Demo?" Read the article to determine if this is a problem at your startup.
5. MARKETING: Bookmark this article from the MKT1 Newsletter that dives into how to organize a B2B growth marketing team as we move away from just a demand gen/Growth hacking worldview.
6. BOTTOMS UP: Crack (get it) open your tech dictionaries for this one. Stage 2 has a Go To Market Analysis Model called the Bottoms Up Model (Bonus Worksheet here), starting with Current State to assess if Sales & Marketing efforts are well matched to the products' finance plan and unit economics.
7. VIDEO: Complimenting the above, nailing introductory and Demo videos is an art form. Need help to figure out where to start or have video-block? Get inspiration from this curated collection of some of the best, and here is a list of 6 videos every SaaS Company needs. (TL;DR Explainers, Company, Testimonials, landing, page, FAQ, and Personalized Sales)
8. INTERNET: Big earnings from Big Tech last week, and see #10 below for a reason for this post; over the past 30 years, the Internet has launched some of the world's biggest companies - Google (~$1.4 Trillion), Amazon (~$1.1 Trillion), Facebook (~$615 Billion), and Netflix (~$150b). BUT - growth was all almost single digit. AI has landed, and none of it is powered by Big Tech (yet). The next earning season will be informative on that front.
9. AI: Another week, another eternity of progress in AI: Italy restores access to ChatGPT, the Godfather of AI quits Google, StabilityAI releases a ChatGPT competitor, Palantir releases a Military AI Platform (and it's scary), and a study found ChatGPT outperforms Physicians both in skill and empathy.
10. CASE STUDY: The World Wide Web turned 30 years old (publicly) last week, and we've come a long way since the Web protocol and code became royalty-free in 1993. Here is a history of how that all started from the OGs of Web Tech (where it was birthed pre-public in 1991) - CERN - with the badass domain of home.cern. The Wall Street Journal has an excellent visual story of the Web with images of Mosaic (the first image-based browser), AOL Online CDs, and Y2K flashbacks!
POD OF THE WEEK: Complementing #6 above - Mark Roberge of Stage 2 covers common SaaS sales potholes and how to avoid them.