Platforms and Networks: Managing Startups: Best Posts of 2012
Salim Ismail stashed this in Cool reference stuff
Stashed in: General Wisdom, Product Inspiration, Startups, 106 Miles, Traction, MiscTech, Marketing!, Peter Thiel, Funding, Business Advice, @fredwilson, Awesome, Monetization, @msuster, Customers!, Selling!
I'm liking these posts on monetization:
- Bill Gurley of Benchmark, David Beisel of NextView Ventures, and Seth Rothman of Greylock on key factors for success in building online marketplaces.
- Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures on revenue models for online commerce sites.
- Rishi Shah of Digioh on optimizing freemium pricing for SaaS; David Skok of Matrix Partners on why churn matters so much with SaaS models.
- M. Wensing presents a taxonomy of different types of freemium offers.
- Entrepreneur/angel investor Brian Balfour on solving the chicken & egg problem with network effects businesses; Sangeet Choudary writes about platforms and network effects, e.g., the impact or reverse network effects on social media.
- Tristan Kromer shows how to use a business model canvas based on "Puppies-as-a-Service" as an example.
I also enjoyed these posts on Customer Discovery and Validation:
- Cindy Alvarez on applying customer development techniques with different types of customers and on when to NOT use surveys.
- Laura Klein on how to use personas, how to overcome reservations about shipping an early product version, and the importance of validating a problem, not a product.
- Brent Chudoba on using surveys to validate pricing, messaging, and other key decisions.
Great posts on selling:
- Bootstrapper Robert Graham offers advice on cold calling early customers via email.
- Steve Blank on the challenges of closing a complex B2B sale with multiple decision influencers; Mark Suster of GRP Partners on the same topic.
- David Skok provides a link to a Bridge Group report on metrics and compensation data for SaaS inside sales.
- Mark Suster on when to hire sales people in an early-stage startup and how to choose them.
- Mark Roberge of HubSpot on how to use analytics to build a scalable sales team.
- Brent Adamson et al. on how/why the best sales reps avoid "talkers" who superficially show enthusiasm but are unable/unwilling to mobilize organizational support for a purchase.
Great posts on marketing:
- Blake Masters' summary of Peter Thiel's Stanford CS183 lecture on distribution, marketing and sales.
- Rob Go of NextView Ventures succinctly summarizes marketing fundamentals and their relevance for startups.
- Renee Warren of Onboardly offers comprehensive coverage of marketing basics in KISSmetrics' "Ultimate Guide to Startup Marketing."
- Sean Work of KISSmetrics and Zach Bulygo describe best practices of high-converting websites.
- David Skok of Matrix Partners on adapting marketing and sales tactics to stages of thecustomer buying cycle.
- Entrepreneur/angel investor Brian Balfour offers tips for testing user acquisition methods.
- Eric Siu offers tips for structuring A/B tests; Lance Kidwell on the same topic with specific application to landing pages.
- Tyler King offers tips for monetizing a blog.
- John Koetsier shares pointers for marketing a mobile app.
Great posts on product:
- Laura Klein on dealing with customers' aversion to feature/interface changes.
- Cindy Alvarez on what you will/won't learn from usability testing.
- Martina Lauchengco of Silicon Valley Product Group on the role of product marketing.
- Marty Cagan of SVPG on time-boxed product discovery and on continuous product discovery as a natural extension of continuous software deployment.
- Cagan on the difference between old and new school product management, and on the difference between live-data prototypes and production software.
- Adam Nash of Greylock on the responsibilities of great product leaders.
- Eric Ries on the product manager's lament with waterfall software development.
- Jacques Murphy on the challenges of introducing product management to a startup.
- Ben Yoskovitz on the product manager's role.
- Andrew Chen on Square's concept of product leaders as "product editors."
- Jayson DeMers of AudienceBloom on outsourcing pitfalls.
Great posts on funding:
- Blake Masters' summary of Peter Thiel's Stanford CS183 lecture on the motives/methods of venture capitalists.
- Jeff Bussgang of Flybridge Capital on passive vs. active VC seed investors.
- Rob Go of NextView Ventures on trends impacting seed funds and why VCs have a 20% equity ownership target.
- Rob's partner David Beisel on how to select investors in a seed VC syndicate and on the motives of different types of angel investors.
- Mark Suster of GRP Partners offers a primer on fundraising, discusses when investors in the same round should get different share prices, and reviews the pros/cons of convertible debt
- Suster on super pro rata rights; Beisel on the same topic.
- Attorney Scott Edward Walker offers a primer on convertible note terms.
- Dave Balter of BzzAgent offers advice for angel investors.
- Blake Masters' summary of Peter Thiel's Stanford CS183 lecture on how to pitch VCs.