1. SaaS METRIC OF THE WEEK: USER ADOPTION - measuring which new users could turn into paying customers (and which will drift away). Everything you need to know is in this article - it's a comprehensive and a very deep dive (because these metrics differ between businesses and between cohorts of users).
2. SAAS SPEND: This is an outstanding benchmarking report for your spending habits. I (semi-often) joke that SaaS is just a giant Ponzi Scheme - because running a SaaS company requires a boatload of money being spent on other SaaS Companies' products: Slack! Zoom! HubSpot! AWS! Google! Microsoft! Adobe! Atlassian! Etc., etc., etc.). But how much money do SaaS companies spend on everything? Well, check the first chart on SaaS company spend - remarkably to no one, bootstrapped companies are being outspent by venture-backed companies - but the average is 80% of ARR to 115% ARR!! (operating at a loss to support growth - because growth is a Moat). Keep scrolling through - way more goodies (such as spending by ARR levels).
3. SCALE: This is a must-download. Mark Roberge, the founder of Stage 2 Capital and member of the founding team at HubSpot, has launched this excellent playbook for scaling. In this detailed book, Mark has defined different stages of scale, establishes quantifiable measures for each of these stages, structures the sequence and signals of when to move from one stage to the next, and explores the optimal go-to-market design of each one.
4. BOOTSTRAPPERS: This is for all of you choosing the do-it-without-investors route: The latest State of Independent SaaS Report is based on hundreds of non-venture track, revenue-generating SaaS companies. It has fantastic benchmarks for the bootstrapped: growth rates, demographics, validation approaches, and more.
5. MARKETING: 11 Marketing Channels That Consistently Work for Founders - an analysis!
6. FAILURE: I think that this is a skill. Prove me wrong. Failure also requires a culture of safety and permission to be wrong. Tall Poppy doesn't help. As many organizations look to best practices from the tech industry, one hard lesson is that innovation needs a lot of failure before success, something they often do not configure culturally.
7. PRODUCT MARKET FIT: I talk about PMF a fair bit - but never with an actual VC lens, even though it's a vital metric for earlier-stage investors. So AirTree (an early-stage VC) has just published this article examining what metrics VCs like them look at for signs of Product-Market Fit and what the red flags are.
8. ENGINEERING TIME: Have you ever wondered what software engineers are actually spending their time on? The StackOverflow memes are true - y'all are copying a lot of code. Also, read this complimentary report on what makes developers happy at work.
9. CSM ATTRIBUTION: How do you account for or budget the cost of a Customer Success team? The team at Gainsight dive deep into this question and come up with some fantastic insights - even though the question itself is complicated and the answers end up being more non-monetary than you would probably like. For example, owning the renewal, up-sell, and cross-sell are key delineation points between expense attribution to different departments which CSM teams may sit under.
10. CASE STUDY: HOPIN - not heard of them? That may be because, in Feb 2020, they were a small team of 8.........Today? Holy Cow: 800 employees, Raised $1b over 5 rounds and $7,75B in Revenue. Here is their Hypergrowth playbook: 19 steps to repeat Hopin's first 6 months of rapid scaling.
POD OF THE WEEK: The 2022 State of Independent SaaS.......the video presentation version.
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