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Key Data from 45 SaaS IPOs | OpenView Blog

Key Data from 45 SaaS IPOs | OpenView Blog | Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
Investigating key data from over 45 SaaS IPOs to determine common trends that separate the best from the best.
Craig Stark's insight:

Very interesting data regarding Founder's equity at IPO.

 

Be interested in the distribution for the acquisition from a partner or customer etc.

 

Anyone have any recent examples?

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Texas Hold'Em Is A Useful Metaphor for Technology Startups

Texas Hold'Em Is A Useful Metaphor for Technology Startups | Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
Texas Hold'Em is a useful metaphor for technology startups: pick the right table (competitors) and understand how your cards best combine with common cards.
Craig Stark's insight:
A great model to learn startup strategy from. I'll call it the "Texas Hold'Em Strategy Stack" as laid out brilliantly by Sean Murphy.

Note that collaboration and seeking partners is a key way to manage risks across the stack.

This needs to be mapped out as a "canvas" that agile teams can use to navigate the "tables" of today's business.
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Is Canada falling behind with the Internet of Things?

Is Canada falling behind with the Internet of Things? | Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
There’s been an enormous amount of hype around the Internet of Things (IoT) and, for applications within the industrial sector, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
Craig Stark's insight:
It is no surprise that C Suite Executives have no clue about IoT and Platform Disruption. The carriers and vendors are still trying to hire people and develop strategies.

Most of the IoT vendor marketing and roadshow events taking place in Europe and the US aren't happening here.

Canadian based (US) vendors and distribution channels are pure spreadsheet driven push agencies and will wait until demand is generated in a commoditized model to engage.

Yes- I find this frustrating. Yes I am trying to solve for these gaps.
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Capitalizing on The Third Wave: A summary for Bootstrappers and Startups

Capitalizing on The Third Wave:  A summary for Bootstrappers and Startups | Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
Strategic Partnerships in the Third Wave
Craig Stark's insight:
Our latest Blog covers off the key success drivers for Startups and Bootstrappers to take advantage of "The Third Wave", as covered by Steve Case in his new book by the same name.
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Bill Watterson Offers Some Thoughts on the Real World

Bill Watterson Offers Some Thoughts on the Real World | Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
Excerpts with commentary on Bill Watterson's 1990 Kenyon College address: "Some Thoughts on the Real World By One Who Glimpsed it and Fled."
Craig Stark's insight:
Entrepreneurship will be a viable and necessary option for thousands of College graduates.

Bill Watterson of Calvin and Hobbes fame offers some valuable insights into  the realities of E-Ship and "overnight success" as well as picking the right personal drivers. 
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Startup Professionals Musings: 7 Reasons For Startups To Maximize Early Visibility

Startup Professionals Musings: 7 Reasons For Startups To Maximize Early Visibility | Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
Craig Stark's insight:
When should you be in stealth mode? It may sound cool but also may be crippling your chances of success.

From early customer validation to attracting seed rounds, you may be worse off trying  to protect IP.

Open relationship models support Open Innovation- this is where traction happens.

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Startup Professionals Musings: Validate The Pedigree Of A Startup Before You Jump

Startup Professionals Musings: Validate The Pedigree Of A Startup Before You Jump | Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
Should I stay or should I go?
Craig Stark's insight:
How to perform Due Diligence on a Startup opportunity. It's easy to get about the sugar coated version of what the opportunity is.

The process requires patience and focus and building a total view of the company before making any decisions.
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Corporate Accelerators: What's In It For The Big Companies?

Corporate Accelerators: What's In It For The Big Companies? | Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
Although the original accelerator model was created as an investment tool, it’s not the main reason corporates choose to finance an incubation program. Opening an accelerator is

Via Justin Jones
Craig Stark's insight:
Open Innovation models encourage partnerships with "strange bedfellows". Allowing for venture opportunities draws them in.
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Startup Professionals Musings: 6 Ways For Entrepreneurs To Hone Leadership Skills

Startup Professionals Musings: 6 Ways For Entrepreneurs To Hone Leadership Skills | Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
Craig Stark's insight:
Breaking out from your personal status quo takes some calculated efforts.

Develop your networks methodically, for operational, strategic and personal development.

You can't rely on the comfort of your existing support ecosystem!
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Simple Sales Advice from Box's VP of Sales Productivity - OpenView Labs

Simple Sales Advice from Box's VP of Sales Productivity - OpenView Labs | Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
The right timing and messaging can make or break your next sales call. This simple sales advice is a must-read for any sales rep.
Craig Stark's insight:
This is also must read advice for startup founders with no sales experience.

Hiring a gunslinger with little expertise in "C Suite" level sales will result in a rickety CRM based pipeline of disparate cold calling notes that you can't do anything with.

Outbound calling tactics are fine once you have established a verifiable value proposition. This comes AFTER the first few deals are closed and analyzed.

Only at this point can an expert then develop a high level, C Suite approved repeatable process.
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Startup Professionals Musings: 10 Startup Mistakes You Can't Afford To Make Again

Craig Stark's insight:
From the "Second time around" perspective, these top 10 mistakes are critical to avoid.
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3 Best Ways To Reach Startup Nirvana - thinkfuture

3 Best Ways To Reach Startup Nirvana - thinkfuture | Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
OK so you are fed-up with your day job and are thinking about leaving to join a startup or starting your own startup. Good for you. Of course, it’s scary. In fact, its freaking you out. How will you know if it will be successful? How will you know if its right for you? How…
Craig Stark's insight:

It certainly makes sense to look at the underpinnings of a startup's DNA before worrying about all of the other Lean Startup process.

 

The "Minimum Viable Startup" can be defined by some hardened objectivity, as outlined in the blog post.

 

You can "fake it till you make it" with being passionate and seemingly committed to your idea or the thought of being an entrepreneur, but skills and "solving for x" (customer driven needs) can not be faked.

 

Signing up for participation in an accelerator program will quickly uncover your weaknesses. What is needed is an Open Lab environment to help anyone define their #MVSquotient

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WEBINAR: Are You Betting on the Wrong ‘preneur? - thinkfuture

WEBINAR: Are You Betting on the Wrong ‘preneur? - thinkfuture | Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
In a culture that worships at the altar of entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship takes a back seat.  There are support systems to mentor, guide, and finance entrepreneurs; meetups and webinars to share entrepreneurial wisdom, and classy events to honor them. They even have their own TV shows. Intrapreneurs, not so much. You are invited to attend a webinar on Thursday,…
Craig Stark's insight:

The dichotomy of external and internal innovation needs to be flattened out into a ODI or Outcome Driven Innovation platform.

 

Corporate culture needs to embrace Open Innovation and start to trust external inputs. The status quo defends IP and the "Not Invented Here" limitations to thriving.

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The Different Worldviews of a Startup — LEAN STACK

The Different Worldviews of a Startup - LEAN STACK - Medium
In his groundbreaking book, “All Marketers are Liars Tell Stories”, Seth Godin defines a “worldview” as the set of rules…
Craig Stark's insight:

For the investor audience, I totally agree to spend more time on and lead with your business model vs. product pitch.

 

Reminds me of the HBR coverage on "Why engineers fail" when focus on the better solution takes over from the business realities.

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Your Product Is Your Go-to-Market Strategy. Here’s Why. — Expand Upon

Your Product Is Your Go-to-Market Strategy. Here’s Why. — Expand Upon | Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
Get the product right, and it will sell itself — or your customers will help you sell it.
Craig Stark's insight:
The evolution of selling technology is quite remarkable. I think any product development should involve at least the possibility of a self educating future.

IoT is the current angle to provide for unlocking new methods of extending customer service, product feature scalability, cost management (energy) and even social insights and machine learning.

Our lab will be specializing on this methodology and offering workshops to help companies bake in self selling futures.
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Startup Professionals Musings: For Equity Investors, A Startup Has To End To Win

Startup Professionals Musings: For Equity Investors, A Startup Has To End To Win | Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
Seeking investors too early and without an exit strategy?
Craig Stark's insight:
Although startups seek to "Scale" and go after VC money, the reality of managing high growth in house is not realistic.

Startups may be better to partner early and co-develop an IP portfolio which can be easily assimilated.

Understanding the preferred Exit Strategy options gives you an "early distant warning" as to you best and most profitable path.
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Innovation Excellence | Three Lessons in Innovation from Jeff Bezos

Innovation Excellence | Three Lessons in Innovation from Jeff Bezos | Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
Disrupt your own business before someone else does. Offering second hand books at low margin threatened Amazon’s higher value new book sales but this did not bother Bezos. He wanted to own that segment of the market too and to prevent a competitor from seizing it.
Craig Stark's insight:
Can't argue with Jeff Bezos' intuition.

Anticipating Customer needs is a tricky process. You need to change lenses to gain perspective.

If you are a startup, partnering with companies that are trying to innovate to "disrupt or be disrupted" is a great way to "launch".

Don't lead with products, lead with possibilities that you can frame for quick validation and consumption.
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Innovation Excellence | IoT Brings Innovation Opportunity to HR

Innovation Excellence | IoT Brings Innovation Opportunity to HR | Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
HR has to enable the workforce to drive innovation. Don’t look at IoT, like it’s magic. It’s science that you can use to improve the way you work. And you will generate a competitive edge while doing it.
Craig Stark's insight:
IoT brings many opportunities to existing companies. The HR department can certainly benefit from data and new operations in support of building efficiency into the workplace.

I have a hard time visualizing HR people driving the cause initially though. HR does not typically drive strategic initiatives, especially when they are manifested in IT's domain first.

I can see startups offering a methodology and tool kit approach to simplifying this process long before HR could become self sufficient.

If HR becomes the "disrupt or be disrupted" owner of this strategy then many companies will die in the near future since CEO's will lose leadership capacity.
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Startup Professionals Musings: 8 Innovation Inhibitors Challenge Every Entrepreneur

Startup Professionals Musings: 8 Innovation Inhibitors Challenge Every Entrepreneur | Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
Craig Stark's insight:
Innovation inhibitors suck. Going down the commercialization path as an entrepreneur is full of risks and set backs as outlined in this blog.

One option is to validate your MVP and seek to partner with appropriate targets in various segments. Move the IP instead of burning your energy on product development.

There are places you can go to help get  this done. Stay tuned.
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Startup Professionals Musings: Too Many Bells and Whistles Will Not Sell a Product

Startup Professionals Musings: Too Many Bells and Whistles Will Not Sell a Product | Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
Craig Stark's insight:
The "Why, How and Who" of MVP strategy for the Minimum Viable Startups out there.
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Be Wary of Attacking a Walled City - SKMurphy, Inc.

Be Wary of Attacking a Walled City - SKMurphy, Inc. | Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
Taking on established competitors using their same business model and value proposition is called "attacking a walled city." Offer a new value proposition.
Craig Stark's insight:
Starting with customer development vs. solution/ product development makes sense when thinking lean.

In this case study, there may be an opportunity to take a fresh solution to a large manufacturer who needs to open up their own widget sales to an online world vs. the hard road of competition directly.
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Explaining Early Customers and Early Revenue

Explaining Early Customers and Early Revenue | Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it

We help founders find leads and close deals; our focus is on early customers and early revenue for technology and expertise-enabled products and services.

Craig Stark's insight:
This is a great exercise for founders to do as a team. Be able to clearly and simply breakdown their sales proposition using "the most common English words" vs. jargon and/ or proprietary descriptors.

Try the editor tool and see what you come up with!
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5 Things They Don't Teach You In Business School

5 Things They Don't Teach You In Business School | Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
They don't teach you EVERYTHING you need to know in business school.
Craig Stark's insight:
Good advice regarding your sales compensation plans for your startup. To attract the right skills for your first sales person, you have to be willing to  pay big for the first deals.

Don't get conned into hiring a VP of sales to "build a team"- that is a downstream requirement. You need a few key deals to fund your expansion, so pay up.

Be prepared to pay 10- 30% range for the first deal. These sharpshooters live for the big money so they will likely leave after the first year to find another big paying opportunity.
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Is The Startup Gold Rush Over? - thinkfuture

Is The Startup Gold Rush Over? - thinkfuture | Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
According to TechCrunch, the startup “gold rush” is over. Pretty funny stuff. As if there ever actually was a “real” gold rush, in the sense that anyone could just show up, buy some equipment and start panning for gold. The startup media going on and on about how easy it was to get money –…
Craig Stark's insight:
I agree that we are at a pivotal time in the current Gold Rush. I see the same issues and unfunded failure ratios emerging in Canada.

I am also seeing a new startup model evolving. The expectation of 2 co-founders to develop an MVP and try to build a company has been proven to be a total disaster.

The 1% ers who graduate from funded accelerators are being handled at the expense of the 99% who try and fail and now we can ask Why? There are better ways to tap into innovation.

The new "cluster" model is under way. Forget the painful pitches and demos to woo "egos and icons" for investments.


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What Investors Look for in Startups & Founders

What Investors Look for in Startups & Founders | Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
What exactly do investors look for in startups and founders? When you’re looking to fundraise, the answer to this questi…
Craig Stark's insight:

This is a great compendium of investor based insights.

 

Focus on "The guys" for the first level of interest- that's the take away.

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I went on Dragons' Den and didn't get a deal: Here's what it's like to pitch on the show

I went on Dragons' Den and didn't get a deal: Here's what it's like to pitch on the show | Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
Patrick Harrison: The dragons aren’t fire-breathing monsters. They gave me a better understanding of where I'm going..or not.
Craig Stark's insight:
Wellness products are tough to match to those you can ID AND have cash to buy high end products. License any transferable technology to partners or OEM same
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