Objectives, SaaS, Sales, Venture Capital, Conversions, Monetization, Growth, SEO, Mentorship, HR, Weekend Roundup #13 Oct 6 2013
This weekend’s Roundup #13 from Startup Management is a manual selection from the hundreds of weekly articles being curated. Previous issues are available here. There are 13 links in this edition. Forward to a friend, so they can sign-up and benefit too.
To monetize large networks of engaged users with a free product, founders need to create a new product that is different from the free one, leading-up to a Monetization Dilemma they will face. That dilemma emerges when the founder doesn’t get as excited or involved as they were with the original consumer product. I list 8 points for managing this dilemma.
Bill Gurley revisits “the most powerful Internet metric of all”, 13 years after he first wrote about it, in Conversion: The Most Important Internet Metric of All (Revisited). “Conversion improvements typically are the aggregate gain of 100 tiny improvements, not one silver bullet. Rarely will you find one single change that is going to have a 5% lift in conversion… rather you will find 30 things on a page that all have a tiny impact.” This is a must read.
Andrew Chen has a guest post from Kento KIvestu of Flurry, How Google and Zynga set and achieve meaningful OKRs. OKRs are “Objectives and Key Results”, and consist of setting an objective, and also a series of measurable results aligned with that objective. This is a key technique that we used while I was at Hewlett-Packard, but under another name. It does an incredible job at aligning strategy with objectives to deliver results, within a focused operational discipline.
Tomasz Tunguz says The 3 Competitive Defenses of Enduring SaaS Companies are Network Effects, Data Network Effects and Ecosystem Creation. “Not every SaaS business needs one of these three defensive strategies to succeed.” But those who do, create a very defensible business. Think Saleforce.com or AngelList type of defensibility.
In The $2 Million Dollar Man (/Woman): How to Think About Scaling Your Customer Success Team, Jason Lemkin argues that you need to hire a Customer Success Manager “ahead” of your $2 Million Annualized Recurring Revenue, and that’s a “solid model to scale with.”
Semil Shah has a long transcript of an interview with David Sze of Greylock, A Career Of Company Building. “A large percentage of what we do is hugely uncertain.” You can say that again. And here’s a fascinating 1.5 hour PandoMonthly video interview with Marc Andreessen. There isn’t a dull moment in it. The Netscape reminiscence moments are priceless.
Hiring data scientists is all the rage. Which of the Five Types of Data Science Does Your Startup Need? is answered by Tomasz Tunguz. At the end of the day, a data scientist touches every department of knowledge work.
Howard Gwin has a short but powerful essay on what it takes to Raising the bar on advisors. It is targeted at the Canadian startup market, but his message applies to anyone: “engage world class advisors to help your company grow.”
Rand Fishkin explains how you can Take Advantage of Google’s Bias Toward Hyper-Fresh Content, because that’s Google’s preference.
A great video interview on This Week in Startups (from 2 weeks ago), with Paul Berberian who went from a PowerPoint to shipping the first Orbotix product (the Sphero ball) in 14 months, including closing 2 rounds of finance.
Albert Wenger reveals The ABC of Startup Recruiting,- a progressively changing list of priorities that depends on the given stage of startup growth. The summary is “Always Be Collecting Candidates”. Rand Fishkin explains the dilemma of promoting from within versus hiring externally in Why “Checking the Boxes” Doesn’t Work for Hiring or Promoting.
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