SaaS pricing

Here are some of the parameters I found to be essential when pricing a SaaS product. Scale When one of your customers’ doubles in size, does revenue from that customer also double? or at least 1.5x? If revenue is not proportional to the growth curve of your customers, the pricing is incorrect. Habit Is your product becoming a part of daily routine for your customers, at least to a certain section of people? This is important because once it becomes a habit, you don’t have to worry about churn much (the only exception being your product deteriorates in quality) because … Continue reading SaaS pricing

Great ideas come from inexperience

History says it. The disruption in automobile industry wasn’t from Ford, the disruption in travel & renting industry wasn’t from the CEO of Hilton, the disruption in phone industry wasn’t from Nokia or Motorola and so on.. Being inexperienced in something gives you the liberty to question anything. There are no rules. One of India’s famous directors, Mani Ratnam once told about a shot in his film. He never went to a film school and didn’t receive any formal training from any director. In one of his movies, he had asked the cameraman to tilt the camera and put it in … Continue reading Great ideas come from inexperience

Hiring lessons Part 3 – Annoyance

I’ve hired a lot of people, let go some of them, a few of them went to Facebook & Google and a couple to start their own companies. In all these ups & downs, the one strong quality I’ve noticed with people whom I enjoy working (and who are really damn good) is… annoyance. In a positive outlook, it may be called obsession but the feeling expressed to show your obsession is usually annoyance at something wrong/missing. There are so many variables in a startup that it’s not possible to control everything. An easy solution can be to just give … Continue reading Hiring lessons Part 3 – Annoyance

Hiring lessons – Part 2

A startup’s first two hires. Once you raise money, the default action is usually to hire more programmers to build fast and experiment more. Unfortunately things won’t move in the pace you expected it to. A lot of things fall into your plate – setting up insurance, payroll, a small kitchen, visiting the bank for a company credit card, buying computer peripherals & accessories for employees, decorating office space & many more. This leaves very little time to think about product & hiring and hence slowness sets in. The first hire to make is an office manager. It might seem steep to … Continue reading Hiring lessons – Part 2

Hiring lessons – Part 1

I’ve made a ton of mistakes in hiring people and wanted to write down the lessons I’ve learnt till now.  I’m not sure how many parts this post would have, here’s the first one anyway. Speed vs hire Why does a company having 5x more programmers than you, move slowly or at the same pace as you? Apart from the overhead to manage more people, it’s the failure to maintain a high hiring bar that’s causing the slowness. I made this mistake. It’s a very rationale thing for anyone to ensure that the hiring bar is kept high. But why do … Continue reading Hiring lessons – Part 1

Advisor’s probability

  Advisors help a company fasten it’s growth. You ask advice on a burning issue in your startup (there are usually more than one) and if you’ve good advisors, you come back enlightened. Some companies setup exclusive advisory boards. Incubators/accelerators and VC’s also are advisors. Probability What I realized recently which might sound obvious looking back, is every advisor only gives you a probability of their advice working well. And that probability is based on the environment they are in, the startups they watch, the founders they interact with and the company they have previously built. This means, PG’s advice would … Continue reading Advisor’s probability

Startup idea’s worth

How do you judge whether it’s worthy enough to pursue a startup idea? Talk to a hundred potential users. If an overwhelming majority of users say  something similar to ‘It’s almost impossible to get this done but will be absolutely incredible if it exists‘, quit your job and start working on it.

Immigration

Enough has been said about the war for talent in the valley. It’s definitely hard to hire good engineers and it’s just ending up in a zero sum game where Google tries to poach from Facebook, Facebook from Twitter, Twitter from … and so on. And then there are a few engineers in these companies who’d like to work for a startup mostly because they’d want to do one in the near future. In fact, someone built a site for that. It’s getting increasingly easy for good hackers to start companies. Startups are becoming almost risk-free because even if you … Continue reading Immigration

Right

We’ve done a bunch of mistakes while building the company but there are certain things that we did right which I’ll blindfoldly recommend every startup to do because it has clearly worked for us 100%. [1] Get a sincere office manager. At first it might seem like very little work for a full-time role. But an office manager position is like buying insurance. Only when the need arises, the true value is felt. If you’re running a company that has > 5 employees with 50+ customers, I bet you’ll feel the need at least twice or thrice a week. [2] … Continue reading Right

Dumb

#2: Advice people didn’t tell me. What’s worse than a failed start is failing after/when you’ve got enough traction. On day-1 of your startup, nothing really matters other than getting the company off the ground. The entire focus is on how to build something that users want. If you persist long enough, somewhere on the way, you will encounter fame, money, etc. Don’t let that bother you, just keep going like how you were on day-1. It’s rarely a conscious trap [1]  and a lot of times the subconscious can make you think you’re smart. Now, you’ve to guard the … Continue reading Dumb