Working backwards to uncover key success factors

If you’re a SaaS business — you’re likely overwhelmed with data and an ever growing list of acronyms that purport to unlock secret keys to your success. But like most things — tracking with you do has very little impact on what you actually do. It’s really important to find one, or a very small number, of key indicators […]

Free Is Not A Business Model, Especially For Your Book.

A group of Product Managers just co-authored what sounds like an interesting book, called ‘Launch’. But I doubt it will get the readership it may deserve. It certainly won’t get a mass of critical reviews. Why? Because it’s free. Free isn’t a business model. Charging isn’t only about making money (gasp!),it’s about creating the perception of value — and […]

Knowing what to focus on is a Super Power

The outcomes someone who is good at focussing, and knows what to focus on, can generate far outweigh the horsepower of their input. In fact, input effort isn’t really a good predicator of success at all. You hear phrases like ‘busy fool’ and ‘just spinning their wheels’ to represent people that are working hard, but […]

The CEO is the CMO

Scrappy business people are fantastic people to work with — lean, mean, execution machines. But there comes a point where all scrap and no strategy results in a hard working team that are running to stand-still. Many small company CEOs lean too far into the COO role, at the expensive of setting — and ensuring execution of — the strategy. If anything, […]

Don’t fear the Big Company ‘Kill Zones’

Do you worry about the so called ‘kill zones’ of big tech companies? The Economist thinks you should. The theory basically suggests that if your product or service is anyway threatening or accretive to one of these incumbents — they will either force-buy your company, or clone it and destroy your market.  Any entrepreneur that believes this should […]

The SaaS Market is Fragmented

Let me start by posing a question — will the SaaS market go the way of cars and PCs — massively consolidated from hundreds (or thousands) of manufacturers down to a few mega suppliers? Or will it go the way of restaurants and software — big chains as well as lots of boutiques and small franchises?

Don’t Talk to Customers

Interview them. There’s a world of difference. Most founders like to say they talk to their prospects and customers. But ‘talking to’ most often means passionately selling or preaching to people.

Business Goals – A Template for Reviewing and Planning the Year

It’s that time of year for reviewing what we achieved over the last 12 months, and what we plan to do in the year ahead. I love this process — I think we always stress how little seems to be getting done week to week, but when you look back at a whole year, often a lot […]

Strategy is Hard for Productive People

I’m a list maker, aspirational Inbox Zero’er and general organizer and tidier. My peers poke fun at me for always asking for an agenda or goals at the start of a meeting, and never leaving one without asking ‘what are the next steps?’. I’m not apologetic for this — I, unsurprisingly, think it’s the right way to […]

How Too Much Capital Can Ruin Your Startup Edge

Generally, startups have very few things going for them. No one has ever heard of you. You have no reference customers. Your team is most likely new to business with few credentials. But, startups have a couple super powerful things that make them win against bigger foes. I think two really matter: Extreme focus. Startups are […]