Archive for the ‘Startup pitfalls’ Category

Pricing

January 22, 2012

Benny Daon, is one of my favorite entrepreneurs. why?

  • he is  hard working -when i met him first in 1998, he was bootstrapping his company. this included packaging CDs in cardboard boxes prior to shiping to customers.  i believe this is a sight i will not see again.
  • he is insightful – he named his product “the cloud” in 1998. early to market?  i believe the company still has a TradeMark for the word cloud. i did not know how to say ‘cloud’ till 2009.
  • he is unusual – named his company Shunra. perhaps the only start-up in the world with an Aramaic name
  • he still loves coding

and he is also a social entrepreneur

his claim:  the most important page one your website is the pricing page.

how insightful.

that’s the one page you want all your customers to get to.

it also exposes many of your values. what your company really stands for. show me your pricing page and i can tell you who you are

here is what i think is a great pricing page. why?

  • pricing parameters are associated with value created
  • transparent – lends itself to fairness
  • variable –  i pay for what i get
  • simple
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which would you rather be?

September 5, 2011

in life, and in your startup, what would you rather be?

this earth digger?

moving earth one bucket at a time

or

    this guy, who skates almost frictionless on ice?

its kind of a loaded question.

yet, it is surprising how often in life and in business we choose the digger.

in Start-up life, as en entrepreneur or CEO, there are several ways you can make your life easier.

yet some people choose to dig a hole rather than skate.

the most common way to make life hard for you self is in your business model.

the most common mistake that is still common amongst early-stage SaaS startups is to go for direct sales:

  • it is costly.
  • it takes a long time to figure out
  • it changes the DNA of your company early. how easy is it to change later to Self-Serve after your VP sales has dedicated a year to sell direct.
  • it effects the leads you seek, and their costs
  • it gives a false sense of control
  • oh yeah, and the switch later, is really painful

most of the above applies to our bad-traits as individuals, too.

Q3

October 4, 2010

it is that time of the year

everything that has waited since the end of july is now coming back

it is the end of the holidays

and time to loose some weight

but it is also time to realize how to budget better

i am not talking just about personal budget

talking about startup budgets:

  • q3 is just another quarter.   NOT

back in December when it was time to plan a budget q3 looked very innocent. another quarter with 20% growth above q2. does that work for you?

well, in my portfolio and especially over the last 3 years, q3 has been very weak. and this year it affected almost every single company and in a big way. why?

  • this year, the Jewish holidays were in September and all of them were in September. crucial work was lost during the build up period of the last 4 weeks

more importantly

  • August is now a vacation month in the US, and not just in europe. while it is nice that we are learning from the french to rest and enjoy our families, it is important to realize that q3 may be as weak as q1 if not weaker.

personally i feel a bit ashamed as i tool a lot of vacation time this summer (mondial in south Africa with Gil, a wedding in the Philippines). but for those of you who work harder than me, and there are quite a few out there, please remember to plan for a weak q3, and come October you will be thankful.

Board Deck

April 29, 2010

Size of deck is inversely proportional to effectiveness of the package

when my companies get confused, lose focus, i get a very fat board package

i think the deck should be very consistent in its make up

and it should not be hard to produce the board deck, because it is the manifestation of how you run your business. most of the data is redundant to your daily and weekly dashboards

entering a confused board meeting raises the question of what the journey will be like

so i am left with the decision if i want to be on board or on deck?