Today marks the four year anniversary of the Pardot acquisition by ExactTarget. As a part of Salesforce.com now, it’s incredible to see the company thrive and scale to hundreds of millions of dollars of recurring revenue. Looking back, here are a few lessons learned post acquisition:
SaaS Market Opportunity is Huge
In hindsight, it’s clear that the SaaS market is much, much larger than expected. Within SaaS, marketing technology has exceeded expectations. Historically, in the pre-Internet client/server era of technology, marketing was never a major tech area because it wasn’t as people driven (e.g. there weren’t that many seats to sell). Now, the four major marketing automation vendors are approaching $1 billion in annual recurring revenue and still growing fast.
Startups are Hard
After we sold Pardot, I invested large sums of money in several startups that went under. Hubris is real and should be acknowledged when present. It’s better to take things slower while building expertise and traction. Then, ramp when there’s a clear market and demand (ramping early often results in failure).
Giving Back is Fun
Engaging with other entrepreneurs and helping build the startup community through the Atlanta Tech Village is fun. There’s something special about trying to do the impossible and help entrepreneurs grow a business. Easy? No. Fun? Yes.
As I look back on the four years post acquisition, I’m grateful for the journey and lessons learned.
What else? What are some more lessons learned post acquisition?