SaaS Business Model and Metrics

David Skok has an excellent presentation over on Slideshare about the SaaS business model and metrics with the 3 Stages of a Startup. David’s blog, For Entrepreneurs, is one of the best out there for startups, especially Software-as-a-Service ones. Here are a few notes from the 85-slide SaaS business model and metrics deck: Conserve cash…

Product Pricing

Earlier today I got into a pricing discussion with a fellow entrepreneur. We were talking about all the usual topics like number of plans, positioning in the market, and competitor pricing. Then, I shared the biggest pricing mistake we made at Pardot in the early years: our pricing model didn’t grow well with the account.…

Net Promoter Score and Customer Referrals

After manually sending out customer surveys on a regular basis for years, we decided to put an automated net promoter score (NPS) question in the application. Every 90 days the user would see the question “How likely are you to recommend this product to a friend?” with numeric choices ranging from 0-10, a simple “Comments” box, and a…

Bronto and the Big Bootstrap Exit

Back in 2002, a year after I started Hannon Hill for content management software, I was introduced to Joe Colopy, CEO of Bronto, as he had just started a new email marketing company with Chaz Felix. Both of us were based in Durham, NC, and even with the Duke/UNC rivalry, entrepreneurs enjoy connecting with entrepreneurs. After talking…

More Vertical, Niche SaaS Startups

Over the past few months I’ve talked to a number of entrepreneurs with vertical, niche Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products. As expected, mainstream SaaS platforms are being carved up into small, specialized point solutions, while also providing a better experience to their customers. Most venture investors are looking for large, platform-like SaaS startups, but more entrepreneurs are going to…

Public SaaS Company Valuations Q1 2015

Once a year I like to take an inventory of the public Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies regarding their valuation, revenues, and employee count. On the public equities side, I don’t pick individual stocks (I’m a fan of Vanguard Index Funds), so I only hear about things when a stock makes a big swing. Here’s a snapshot of public…