1. SaaS METRIC OF THE WEEK: Not just one - but 32: It's the motherlode from the Chargebee Blog: 32 SaaS KPIs Every Company Should Track, awesomely split across 5 different divisions: Marketing, Sales KPIs, Finance KPIs, Revenue, and Customer Success KPIs.
2. MARKETING: SaaS Marketing is a practice covering many different disciplines and specialties. Which one should a startup hire first?
3. FAILURE: 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.
4. CLOUD: Battery Ventures' "State of the OpenCloud 2022" report is out this month. Revenue multiples are down across the board - The median forward multiple for SaaS companies has fallen from about 16x to roughly 6x today and was at its max (44.1x) a mere 11 months ago, and the market is shifting from "growth at all cost" to "measured growth" - growth + profit. It now needs to be both.
5. SALES TEAMS: Take a good read of this article from David Sacks on the simple math you can use to set up a sales team. With Individual plans, team plans, and expansions/renewals are all considered for a high-growth sales team structure.
6. MOATS: As mentioned in past posts, Moats are one of the best ways to provide a competitive advantage for your business, and moats come in all kinds of different flavors (such as speed, Brand, or growth). But here is a great one that conceptually covers b2b and b2c: EMOTION!. Regarding B2B, this post lists some popular and effective ways companies create moats for their products.
7. LAYOFFS: Twitter, Lyft, Stripe, and Meta all joined the layoff lists this week - see htpps://layoff.fyi for a comprehensive list so far. "Lean Big Tech' or "Lean Ops" is probably a phrase we are going to hear a lot of in the upcoming months (and I totally coined both). Stretching Capital is the main reason why, according to Jason Lemkin.
8. HIRING: The ying to the yang above. The new opportunity for early-stage startups is to scoop up laid-off Tech workers - something unheard of a couple of years ago. It's important to note that, as of now, unemployment in the tech industry is still crazy low: 2.1%.
9. INFLATION: Who's increasing prices this year due to inflation and/or FX rates? Tomasz Tunguz notes in this week's newsletter that 8% annual inflation for a startup means losing a month of runway yearly! That is some perspective that hurts.
10. CASE STUDY: There is nothing better than a good case study covering products I love to use. Grammarly is still privately held (and last valued at $13 Billion) with 30 million daily average users (of which I am for-sure one) - they have been profitable since day 1 as they are one of the ultimate PLG businesses that merge B2C and B2B with a TAM of.........pretty much everyone with a computer. An excellent case study on SEO, engineering, great content, and an embedded and rewarding product experience.
POD OF THE WEEK: Speaking of SEO (in 10 above), here is how to grow your B2B SaaS with SEO with Jeremiah Smith, who operates a SaaS-focused SEO and Content Marketing agency.