Continuing with yesterday’s post Key Moments in the Life of Pardot, it’s also important to address some of the things we could have done better. Over the course of five and a half years we had a number of opportunities, many for which the appropriate response was saying “no” (see the post Startups Should Say No to 99% of Partnership Opportunities).
Here are some things we could have done better at Pardot:
- At one point we went almost an entire year without adding a net new salesperson, while our business and market continued to grow super fast (we subsequently invested heavily in our sales team and sales recruiters)
- Hosting costs grew significantly faster than revenue for a period of time before we realized that we needed to change our approach, which we addressed and brought inline after six months
- When we hit our stride and started growing fast on an absolute and relative basis, we ramped up hiring slower than possible (it took us time to realize we should be hiring for all major positions, all the time so as to always be opportunistically hiring)
- Our London expansion turned out well but needed much more money than we budgeted to be successful
All issues were high class and great learning experiences. We never strove to be perfect, rather, we worked hard to make the best decisions possible based on the information available.
What else? What are some learning experiences from your startup where you could have done things better?
3 thoughts on “Things We Could Have Done Better at Pardot”
What processes would you put in place to “sense” when to staff up or would you just depend on these past experiences to prevent the same mistakes?
We should have listened to prospective and current customers more in the early days. Most of our growth strategy could have been refined with more customer feedback.
I believe a CEO should dedicate at least an hour a week to talking to customers. Otherwise decisions are made in a bubble.
David – great post. Any insights you can provide into how you changed your hosting costs would be interesting to know.