Who Are You Building Your Business Applications For?

I have had the privilege of meeting with many early stage business software CEOs and teams over the past 5 years since moving from an operational role to an investing role.

Each of these teams is passionate about the products they are creating. However, many, in my personal opinion, share something in common that may prevent them from growing their companies as fast as they might otherwise.

Most are so intent on building their products for and then marketing/selling to daily practitioners they forget about creating a version of the product or a set of features in the product for the people who aren’t likely to use the product very often, or at all; the people who must approve the expenditure.

Tangible Small Business Results from Social Media

Cool infographic regarding small businesses and their use of social media. This demonstrates some tangible business value now being derived from leveraging social media sites.

How Small Businesses Are Using Social Media – crowdSPRING
Crowdsourced Logo and Graphic Design by crowdSPRING

Is Your Business Idea “8 Minute Abs” or “7 Minute Abs”?

For those of you who have seen the movie “There’s Something About Mary”  – the 1998 comedy starring Cameron Diaz, Ben Stiller and many other great actors/comedians – there is a scene where a hitchiker (Harland Williams) is picked up by Ted (Ben Stiller) and the hitchhiker – who the audience knows is a psychotic killer – starts telling Ted about his great new business idea:

The Value of Growth for SaaS Companies

I received a report from SaaS Capital titled “Leaders and Laggards: SaaS Growth and the Cost of Capital”. The subject of the report is how the public markets value a high growth SaaS company (their definition of high growth is >25% YoY).

The report states, “13 public SaaS companies tracked by Pacific Crest Securities have increased in value 40% since the beginning of 2008. During that same period, the S&P index has yet to return to its pre-recession value.”

Managing Hyper Growth So “The Wheels Don’t Come Off”

I was reading the Wall Street Journal this past Saturday and came across an article on page B3 regarding GroupOn’s revenue growth from 2009 to 2010.   For anyone who has been asleep for the past year, GroupOn is a “daily deals” website offering online discount coupons for primarily local goods/services.

According to the article, from $33M in 2009, GroupOn’s revenue virtually exploded in 2010 to $750M. From an employee base of 120 in 30 cities in 2009, the company now has 4,000 employees across 565 cities. Holy cow!