on Tomasz Tunguz

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The Quickest Way to Estimate How Much Your Startup Needs to Raise

Tell me three numbers and I can estimate the amount of capital your startup will need to raise. Which figures are those? The startups’ revenue …

Startups

Self Service Data

During every person’s working life, there comes a time when you have a question that could be answered by having access to the right data. …

Business Intelligence

The Decline of Investment in San Francisco Startups

Bloomberg published a post this weekend called San Francisco’s VC Boom is Over. The article pointed to the seeming collapse in the amount of venture …

San Francisco

The Best Book on the Fundamentals of Selling

I’ve asked many VPs of Sales the same question. Which is the best book on the fundamentals of selling? Almost unequivocally, they respond, …

state of mind

Patterns in Startup M&A Processes

At some point in the life of your company, you may consider selling the business. Every acquisition process might run a little bit differently, but …

Startups

The Five Questions You Need to Answer About Your Startup's Strategy

Michael Porter wrote the seminal book on strategy in the early 1980s. Called Competitive Strategy, I think it should be required for anyone starting …

Value Propositions

Gratitude

A friend died this week. It’s the first time I’ve lost a friend of a similar age. I don’t often see the fragility of life first hand, but this is one …

Gratitude

Prioritizing Your Startup's Roadmap

One typical Friday morning in 2004, I walked into a government building and headed to work. I was a junior Java engineer and part of a hired team …

Startups

Adoption Chain Risk - The Importance of Selling to Everyone in Your Startup's Supply Chain

In the Wide Lens, Dartmouth Entrepreneurship professor Ron Adner explores the risks associated with innovation. Execution risk is the obvious one. …

Value Propositions

What the Online Advertising World Can Teach Us about the Evolution of Machine Learning in SaaS

In software, we’ve moved from a world where a customer buys a piece of software to run on their own infrastructure, to a world where a customer pays …

Machine Learning

Why Amazon's Acquisition of Whole Foods Matters for Startupland

Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods is notable for many reasons. Of course, there’s the magnitude $13.7B. The second is the shockwaves reverberating …

Whole Foods

How to Tell If You're a Great Manager

I’ve been reading Fred Kofman’s book, Conscious Business. Written in 2006, the book summarizes Kofman’s experiences as a management consultant to …

The Intense Power of a Strong Company Culture

Earlier this week, I spoke at 2U’s annual employee conference. Redpoint partnered with 2U at the Series A, and they are now a $2B publicly traded …

SaaS Fundraising in 2017

When I analyzed the SaaS fundraising market in 2016, three trends emerged. The number of SaaS companies raising rounds had stalled, while the total …

Venture Capital

Apprenticeship

I am most grateful for my work experiences that were apprenticeships. Whether it was Philip who taught me how to write a proper Java function (10 …

Plant Trees You'll Never See

The New Zealand All Blacks are the most successful athletic team perhaps of all time. A rugby outfit whose name originates from the solid black …

New Zealand All Blacks

The Hiring "The Buyer's Role to Sell" Fallacy

What could be more natural than a marketer selling a product to other marketers? Or an engineer pushing a new devops tool to other developers? Or a …

Marketing

Ethics in Machine Learning - An Opportunity for Startups to Lead

We’ve entered an era when computers can understand speech, computers can synthesize speech, computers can develop music, author encryption …

Startup Best Practices 26 - Choosing Your Startup's Competitive Strategy

When I was taught Michael Porter’s value chain analysis, I learned to analyze at the industry level. A beer supplier sells to wholesaler sells to …

The Unbundling of Excel

In January 2010, Andrew Parker wrote a post called the Spawn of Craigslist. Andrew identified companies that had built businesses by unbundling …

Bias Against Creativity

In Bias Against Creativity, a team of researchers at Cornell discuss the bias against creativity they revealed in their study. Originally published …

Creativity

Data Middleware - The SaaS Ecosystem's Response to Fragmentation

As the number of SaaS applications has exploded, the SaaS ecosystem is responding to data fragmentation with middleware. This isn’t the middleware of …

Hiring for Bookings Capacity in Sales

How much revenue do you want to book for your SaaS startup next quarter? And in 12 months? It is one thing to put a number down on the financial …

The Challenges of Raising Your Series B

In January, I wrote The Hardest Round to Raise which argued Series B rounds would be the most challenging early stage round in 2017. Irrespective of …

The Price Anchoring Effect of Distribution Platforms

When building a SaaS product for salespeople, a startup’s price will inevitably be compared to Salesforce CRM’s cost of about $150 per seat. How …

Behavior

The Challenge of Performance Pricing for SaaS Companies

A founder emailed me last week to raise the question of whether performance pricing for SaaS companies is an effective technique. Performance pricing …

Startups

The Bustling IPO Market of 2017

Five months into 2017 nine venture-backed technology companies have gone public compared to 14 in 2016. Four consumer companies and five enterprise …

B2B

When Statistics Will Mislead You

Earlier this week, a founder asked whether the fundraising market suffered from seasonality. Are there more prosperous months to raise than others? …

A Spike of Venture Debt in Startups

Instead of raising an equity round, a startup might choose to borrow money - and for good reason. Venture debt dilutes founders much less than equity …

My Algorithm is Better than Yours

My algorithm is better than yours. My algorithm performs better on the precision/recall tradeoffs. It surfaces fewer false positives. It converges to …

SaaS