Matt Preuss's posts

Mike’s Note #10 — Natural Growth Rate

Publishing this on the weekend…It would be a lie if I said I was A/B testing engagement. I ended up in an all day workshop Friday with some university students — it is always refreshing seeing what the next generation is working on. I digress… I recently came across a great blog post by OpenView called “The New SaaS Metric You Should Be Tracking“. In short, the argument is that current SaaS metrics are dated and as go-to-market models shift to product led growth we should evaluate these businesses with a new set of metrics. The core thesis is that PLG companies don’t have the same immediate growth rates as SaaS companies of yesteryear since they take time to compound. In the post, they introduce a metric called “Natural Rate…

By Matt Preuss - April 5, 2020

Leaders Have Been Taking Communication Seriously

Naturally, communicating when times are tough is intimidating. No one likes to share what is potentially bad news. However, when times are tough it is more important than ever for leaders to communicate with their stakeholders. Loads of VCs and founders have written about the importance of communication during a crisis over the past few weeks: “First [of six disciplines for challenging times], transparent communication… There is no better example than Winston Churchill. As you articulate communication plans, speak with transparency, candor, and gravity.” — Tomasz Tunguz in Six Startup Disciplines for Challenging Times   “When people get Happy Talk instead of Hard Talk, it doesn’t reassure them. In fact, it does the opposite: It causes them to question the credibility of their leaders, which heightens their anxiety and makes them…

By Matt Preuss - April 3, 2020

The (Remote) Water Cooler

As many companies are transitioning to remote work for the first time it is normal to feel overwhelmed. Getting used to the social norms of working from home can be odd for some individuals: no group lunches, desk visits, mid-day games, and “water cooler talk.” Being remote for the last 5 years, we’ve missed the serendipitous moments and random conversations that take place at an office. We have done our best to fill the void with different Slack channels, games, Zoom calls, and offsites (more on that in a different post). Being able to have personal conversation outside of work is vital to any startup culture. Being able to translate that conversation when working from home is just as important. Out of the different strategies and ideas we have tried to mimic office communication,…

By Matt Preuss - March 31, 2020

When is it Time to Hit Pause?

A lot can happen in a short amount of time. Just 4 weeks ago, restaurants were full, basketball was being played, and many startup conferences were still a go. For many startups, operations were continuing as normal just 4 weeks ago: fundraising, new campaigns running, customers buying, etc.  Last week, we wrote how this can be a time to focus on what matters to your business. “This can be a time to take a deep breath and get a clear picture of what you want to focus on (easier said than done).” Part of focusing on what matters is being able to hit pause on projects or ambitions that are being impacted by the current market. If you have to hit pause on a project, that’s okay. If you have to…

By Matt Preuss - March 29, 2020

What SaaS Companies are Saying About Communication

Follow @visiblevc Our friends at Baremetrics are putting together quotes, resources, and tips for SaaS companies as they handle the current circumstances. They are covering everything from performance and growth estimates to handling stressed out employees and teammates. Communication is on the front of mind for many companies as they deal with the stresses of coronavirus combined with teams being distributed. If you’ve been struggling to communicate with your team, check out the thread below. Be sure to give the Baremetrics Twitter a follow as they continue to share tips to navigate uncertainty. On picking the right medium when working from home: 2. Choose your medium "Define channels for communication – email is not the best for everything. Use a project management tool to keep tabs of everything and everyone. Don't track…

By Matt Preuss - March 25, 2020

Focus on What Matters

For most of us it feels like the only certainty is uncertainty right now. The past couple of weeks have been exhausting. Mix in organizations working from home for the first time with everything else happening right now and the stress, anxiety, and turmoil can be crippling. However, this can be a time to take a deep breath and get a clear picture of what you want to focus on (easier said than done). As the team at a16z writes, “A crisis is an opportunity to change one’s culture, to model scenarios and set up a crisis plan/process, to become a better company. But it’s also a bit like therapy, from the act of asking probing questions to get at the facts … to dealing with emotions and conflicting agendas.”…

By Matt Preuss - March 24, 2020

Do You Have a Stakeholder Management Strategy?

As we’ve written about in the past couple of weeks, all eyes are on leaders in a time of uncertainty. How a leader acts, presents themselves, and communicates echoes throughout the organization (and any outside stakeholders). Having a stakeholder management strategy in place is a surefire way to give a sense of unity and direction to all of your stakeholders; especially in a time of turmoil. A stakeholder management strategy generally relates to individual projects or campaigns. However, a founder can use a stakeholder management plan to oversee their communication. As the team at MindTools writes, “Stakeholder management is the process of maintaining good relationships with the people who have the most impact on your work. Communicating with each one in the right way can play a vital part in…

By Matt Preuss - March 23, 2020

Businesses We Can Learn From

In a time of crisis everyone looks to leaders for guidance. Thousands of individuals have stepped up over the past few weeks and months in a time of turmoil. Organizations also look to one another for ideas and guidance. Over the past few weeks thousands of organizations have stepped up and have altered their plans to help where they can. Below we’ve shared some of the businesses that we have personally found admirable in a time of crisis. Hopefully we can all learn a thing or two about what they are doing and apply the same ideas to our businesses and everyday lives. Plus, we all could probably go for some positive stories. Note: These are just a few examples of businesses we admire. If you have any you feel…

By Matt Preuss - March 21, 2020

Founders, Feeling Stressed? Check Out These Posts

The life of a founder is stressful. Founders have to worry about their company, their employees, their investors, and other stakeholders, on top of their loved ones and themselves. The past few months have certainly not helped to eliminate stresses that founders are feeling. In a time of uncertainty, it often feels like all eyes are on leaders waiting for them to make the next move. Not only are founders feeling the additional stresses of the last few months, they are also looked to by their employees and other stakeholders to guide the ship. We are no mental health experts ourselves so we’ve shared our favorite posts to help founders deal with stress and pressure, especially as we face uncertainty. If you have any items you’d like to add to the list, send us a message to marketing@visible.vc Stripe…

By Matt Preuss - March 19, 2020

Checking Out Venture Capital Funding Alternatives

Over the last few years there has been an explosion of alternative financing options to venture capital. There are a number of interesting alternatives to venture capital that each have their own pros and cons. Today, these alternative options are becoming more widely available to companies at every stage. In an effort to help founders sort through different funding options, we’ve shared a few of our favorites below.   Pipe Pipe is one of the newer and most interesting options. Pipe is a non-dilutive financing option for SaaS startups. As their website puts it, “Pipe turns MRR into ARR.” So how does it work? Pipe looks at your monthly contracts and offers a cash advance on the annual value of those contracts. In turn, they will take a small %…

By Matt Preuss - March 18, 2020