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What's 🔥 in Enterprise IT/VC #231
Lessons from DocuSign, 17 years to $1 billion, <1 year to $1.5B
I always ❤️ Analyst Day Presentations as once a year it gives public companies a chance to take a pause from their short term focus on quarterly earnings and zoom out on product and their longer term roadmap. Breaking down DocuSign’s Analyst Day presentation, I found a number of interesting lessons for founders of SaaS/PLG companies. First, we all know DocuSign as the standard for eSignature and here they start with their big vision, the “Agreement Cloud.”
Love this wedge of how DocuSign thinks about their business…Focus on the individual user, signer and work the journey from there which leads to incredible efficiency on the sales and net retention side
It also took a long, long time to create a new market but accelerating big time!
Incredible PLG/Land and Expand model equals incredible sales and marketing efficiency as S&M went from 51% of sales to 44% with a goal to 35-39% by expanding existing customers through more spend on existing product and stapling on new products with its goal of becoming the market leader for the “Agreement Cloud.”
There are a few lessons when I think about DocuSign:
Patience - building up a bottoms up PLG motion takes a ton of time but when done right can create tremendous value
Focus on the individual user and PLG motion pays off, never lose that product North 🌠. Even 17 years later you can see in the GTM Customer Engagement Model that they always start with that eSignature use case.
Your initial market is way bigger than you may think, especially if growing rapidly, so don’t rush to add new products too quickly
As always, 🙏🏼 for reading and please share with your friends and colleagues!
Founders, it takes a village to raise a startup and as we’re huge fans of helping founders bring the best angels on their cap table from day one, this is the single greatest invention for you and investors - I suggest reading on. But imagine having 10-20 angels and having to track every signature for important decisions when it comes to fundraising, selling a company, whatever requires chasing them down - this eliminates that and consolidates into one vehicle with one person voting. Read on!!!
👇🏼 Pure gold from Shreyas Doshi, StripeA B2B Product Management Story: on discovering problems that customers actually care about Very visual story thread👇🏾
and the TL:DR here when doing customer discovery
Slack thinking of what next and 💯 on importance of async communications, especially with multiple time zones - question is whether or not better filters to block out the noise1️⃣ With remote work, there’s a premium on written and async communication. As some people return to the office, teams will go “hybrid remote”. It’ll be imbalanced. And even more challenging. Teams will need tools that enable inclusivity, flexibility, and connection.
On the other other end of the spectrum is the idea of Clubhouse-like audio channels for serendipitous communications…
Amazing developer growth in India - so much more opportunity ahead
ServiceNow coming in aggressively into RPA space with purchase of Intellibot
“ServiceNow is the platform of platforms for the workflow revolution, offering powerful end-to-end automation capabilities that allow customers to streamline business decisions and unlock new levels of productivity,” Kahn said in a press release. “Our customers represent nearly 80% of the Fortune 500, and the vast majority are trying to drive automation across a mix of legacy and modern applications. With Intellibot, we will extend ServiceNow’s ability to help customers connect systems so they can easily automate workflows and drive productivity.”
ServiceNow’s buyout — its first this year — comes after Google said it would partner with Automation Anywhere to develop RPA capabilities and Microsoft and IBM snatchedup Softomotive and WDG Automation, respectively.
Don’t Settle for Less than 100% Net Retention from SMBs (Jason Lemkin)
One Year of Graviton2 at Honeycomb - 🤯 read on to learn about how Honeycomb was able to see 30% price performance improvement from switching to the arm64 architecture at Amazon vs. Intel
Traffic to Honeycomb has surged in the past year, but the expense for serving and the complexity of our services hasn’t. Graviton2 is a large part of how we do it. We proactively were able to double the number of threads (and dramatically improve the performance per thread) available to our “retriever” query engine when we switched from i3.xlarge instances to m6gd.2xlarge instances, without needing to double the cost. We’ve profiled our new Refinery sampling agent on both Intel and Arm instances for our own dogfood workload. We can wholeheartedly recommend Graviton2 given that the same size Refinery cluster runs cheaper and at higher throughput on Graviton2. Furthermore, we include support for Refinery with Honeycomb Enterprise plans, no matter which architecture you’re using.
The Identity Crisis Facing Open Source Companies in the Cloud from Tomasz Tunguz - great post as always but he’s missing a 3rd path and one I would recommend, always go managed service/cloud and use Replicated (a portfolio co) to handle the on-prem using modern-on prem, still just one version of your SaaS but using k8s can also deploy for those customers who want more control
Do you support on-premises deployments or launch a managed service (aaS)?
This is a challenging, hand-wringing, sleepless-nights decision for many open source companies.
On one hand, the previous generation of open source companies did start out supporting on-premises. With that strategy, they’ve built huge businesses. And for good reason. The open source user base already uses, deploys, and contributes to the project.
On the other hand, the future is in cloud.
Will we see a resurgence on consumer spending post COVID like the roaring 20s? Check out McKinsey’s framework for how to think about it - from savings to what behaviors will stick when we return to more in-person.
Creator economy come to enterprise marketing - fun video from Dinginem on Dooly…There’s a slim notetaker in all of us 🗒 🤣 **Crank up the volume and watch to the end, seriously** 🎤 1st single by Dinginem- "Without Dooly" 🎤 For the full video: bit.ly/3m7hPwA A huge thank you to everyone involved in making this absolute 🔥 video!
So much more room to 🏃🏼♂️for the ☁️
FYI for those not following crypto markets…you should…has not hit enterprise yet but payments are starting to flow and it will eventually. As for me, I’ve dipped my toe in the water a few years ago as we led Blockdaemon’s first round, Heroku for blockchain, largest independent blockchain infrastructure platform connecting institutions and developers to leading networks - supporting over 20 protocols now and growing