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The woman

The woman

1 year ago

Because he worked on his side projects during working hours, my junior was fired and sued.

More on Entrepreneurship/Creators

Matthew O'Riordan

Matthew O'Riordan

1 year ago

Trends in SaaS Funding from 2016 to 2022

Christopher Janz of Point Nine Capital created the SaaS napkin in 2016. This post shows how founders have raised cash in the last 6 years. View raw data.

Round size

Unsurprisingly, round sizes have expanded and will taper down in 2022. In 2016, pre-seed rounds were $200k to $500k; currently, they're $1-$2m. Despite the macroeconomic scenario, Series A have expanded from $3m to $12m in 2016 to $6m and $18m in 2022.

Generated from raw data for Seed to Series B from 2016–2022

Valuation

There are hints that valuations are rebounding this year. Pre-seed valuations in 2022 are $12m from $3m in 2016, and Series B prices are $270m from $100m in 2016.

Generated from raw data for Seed to Series B from 2016–2022

Compared to public SaaS multiples, Series B valuations more closely reflect the market, but Seed and Series A prices seem to be inflated regardless of the market.

Source: CapitalIQ as of 13-May-2022

I'd like to know how each annual cohort performed for investors, based on the year they invested and the valuations. I can't access this information.

ARR

Seed firms' ARR forecasts have risen from $0 to $0.6m to $0 to $1m. 2016 expected $1.2m to $3m, 2021 $0.5m to $4m, and this year $0.5m to $2.5m, suggesting that Series A firms may raise with less ARR today. Series B minutes fell from $4.2m to $3m.

Generated from raw data for Seed to Series B from 2016–2022

Capitalization Rate

2022 is the year that VCs start discussing capital efficiency in portfolio meetings. Given the economic shift in the markets and the stealthy VC meltdown, it's not surprising. Christopher Janz added capital efficiency to the SaaS Napkin as a new statistic for Series A (3.5x) and Series B. (2.5x). Your investors must live under a rock if they haven't asked about capital efficiency. If you're unsure:

The Capital Efficiency Ratio is the ratio of how much a company has spent growing revenue and how much they’re receiving in return. It is the broadest measure of company effectiveness in generating ARR

What next?

No one knows what's next, including me. All startup and growing enterprises around me are tightening their belts and extending their runways in anticipation of a difficult fundraising ride. If you're wanting to raise money but can wait, wait till the market is more stable and access to money is easier.

Dani Herrera

Dani Herrera

1 year ago

What prevents companies from disclosing salary information?

Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels

Yes, salary details ought to be mentioned in job postings. Recruiters and candidates both agree, so why doesn't it happen?

The short answer is “Unfortunately, it’s not the Recruiter’s decision”. The longer answer is well… A LOT.

Starting in November 2022, NYC employers must include salary ranges in job postings. It should have started in May, but companies balked.

I'm thrilled about salary transparency. This decision will promote fair, inclusive, and equitable hiring practices, and I'm sure other states will follow suit. Good news!

Candidates, recruiters, and ED&I practitioners have advocated for pay transparency for years. Why the opposition?

Let's quickly review why companies have trouble sharing salary bands.

💰 Pay Parity

Many companies and leaders still oppose pay parity. Yes, even in 2022.

💰 Pay Equity

Many companies believe in pay parity and have reviewed their internal processes and systems to ensure equality.

However, Pay Equity affects who gets roles/promotions/salary raises/bonuses and when. Enter the pay gap!

💰Pay Transparency and its impact on Talent Retention

Sharing salary bands with external candidates (and the world) means current employees will have access to that information, which is one of the main reasons companies don't share salary data.

If a company has Pay Parity and Pay Equity issues, they probably have a Pay Transparency policy as well.

Sharing salary information with external candidates without ensuring current employees understand their own salary bands and how promotions/raises are decided could impact talent retention strategies.

This information should help clarify recent conversations.

Andy Raskin

Andy Raskin

1 year ago

I've Never Seen a Sales Deck This Good

Photo by Olu Eletu

It’s Zuora’s, and it’s brilliant. Here’s why.

My friend Tim got a sales position at a Series-C software company that garnered $60 million from A-list investors. He's one of the best salespeople I know, yet he emailed me after starting to struggle.

Tim has a few modest clients. “Big companies ignore my pitch”. Tim said.

I love helping teams write the strategic story that drives sales, marketing, and fundraising. Tim and I had lunch at Amber India on Market Street to evaluate his deck.

After a feast, I asked Tim when prospects tune out.

He said, “several slides in”.

Intent on maximizing dining ROI, Tim went back to the buffet for seconds. When he returned, I pulled out my laptop and launched into a Powerpoint presentation.

“What’s this?” Tim asked.

“This,” I said, “is the greatest sales deck I have ever seen.”

Five Essentials of a Great Sales Narrative

I showed Tim a sales slide from IPO-bound Zuora, which sells a SaaS platform for subscription billing. Zuora supports recurring payments (e.g. enterprise software).

Ex-Zuora salesman gave me the deck, saying it helped him close his largest business. (I don't know anyone who works at Zuora.) After reading this, a few Zuora employees contacted me.)

Tim abandoned his naan in a pool of goat curry and took notes while we discussed the Zuora deck.

We remarked how well the deck led prospects through five elements:

(The ex-Zuora salesperson begged me not to release the Zuora deck publicly.) All of the images below originate from Zuora's website and SlideShare channel.)

#1. Name a Significant Change in the World

Don't start a sales presentation with mentioning your product, headquarters, investors, clients, or yourself.

Name the world shift that raises enormous stakes and urgency for your prospect.

Every Zuora sales deck begins with this slide:

Zuora coined the term subscription economy to describe a new market where purchasers prefer regular service payments over outright purchases. Zuora then shows a slide with the change's history.

Most pitch recommendation advises starting with the problem. When you claim a problem, you put prospects on the defensive. They may be unaware of or uncomfortable admitting the situation.

When you highlight a global trend, prospects open up about how it affects them, worries them, and where they see opportunity. You capture their interest. Robert McKee says:

…what attracts human attention is change. …if the temperature around you changes, if the phone rings — that gets your attention. The way in which a story begins is a starting event that creates a moment of change.

#2. Show There’ll Be Winners and Losers

Loss aversion affects all prospects. They avoid a loss by sticking with the status quo rather than risking a gain by changing.

To fight loss aversion, show how the change will create winners and losers. You must show both

  1. that if the prospect can adjust to the modification you mentioned, the outcome will probably be quite favorable; and

  2. That failing to do so is likely to have an unacceptable negative impact on the prospect's future

Zuora shows a mass extinction among Fortune 500 firms.

…and then showing how the “winners” have shifted from product ownership to subscription services. Those include upstarts…

…as well as rejuvenated incumbents:

To illustrate, Zuora asks:

Winners utilize Zuora's subscription service models.

#3. Tease the Promised Land

It's tempting to get into product or service details now. Resist that urge.

Prospects won't understand why product/service details are crucial if you introduce them too soon, therefore they'll tune out.

Instead, providing a teaser image of the happily-ever-after your product/service will assist the prospect reach.

Your Promised Land should be appealing and hard to achieve without support. Otherwise, why does your company exist?

Zuora shows this Promised Land slide after explaining that the subscription economy will have winners and losers.

Not your product or service, but a new future state.

(I asked my friend Tim to describe his Promised Land, and he answered, "You’ll have the most innovative platform for ____." Nope: the Promised Land isn't possessing your technology, but living with it.)

Your Promised Land helps prospects market your solution to coworkers after your sales meeting. Your coworkers will wonder what you do without you. Your prospects are more likely to provide a persuasive answer with a captivating Promised Land.

#4. Present Features as “Mystic Gifts” for Overcoming Difficulties on the Road to the Promised Land

Successful sales decks follow the same format as epic films and fairy tales. Obi Wan gives Luke a lightsaber to help him destroy the Empire. You're Gandalf, helping Frodo destroy the ring. Your prospect is Cinderella, and you're her fairy godmother.

Position your product or service's skills as mystical gifts to aid your main character (prospect) achieve the Promised Land.

Zuora's client record slide is shown above. Without context, even the most technical prospect would be bored.

Positioned in the context of shifting from an “old” to a “new world”, it's the foundation for a compelling conversation with prospects—technical and otherwise—about why traditional solutions can't reach the Promised Land.

#5. Show Proof That You Can Make the Story True.

In this sense, you're promising possibilities that if they follow you, they'll reach the Promised Land.

The journey to the Promised Land is by definition rocky, so prospects are right to be cautious. The final part of the pitch is proof that you can make the story come true.

The most convincing proof is a success story about how you assisted someone comparable to the prospect. Zuora's sales people use a deck of customer success stories, but this one gets the essence.

I particularly appreciate this one from an NCR exec (a Zuora customer), which relates more strongly to Zuora's Promised Land:

Not enough successful customers? Product demos are the next best evidence, but features should always be presented in the context of helping a prospect achieve the Promised Land.

The best sales narrative is one that is told by everyone.

Success rarely comes from a fantastic deck alone. To be effective, salespeople need an organization-wide story about change, Promised Land, and Magic Gifts.

Zuora exemplifies this. If you hear a Zuora executive, including CEO Tien Tzuo, talk, you'll likely hear about the subscription economy and its winners and losers. This is the theme of the company's marketing communications, campaigns, and vision statement.

According to the ex-Zuora salesperson, company-wide story alignment made him successful.

The Zuora marketing folks ran campaigns and branding around this shift to the subscription economy, and [CEO] Tien [Tzuo] talked it up all the time. All of that was like air cover for my in-person sales ground attack. By the time I arrived, prospects were already convinced they had to act. It was the closest thing I’ve ever experienced to sales nirvana.

The largest deal ever

Tim contacted me three weeks after our lunch to tell me that prospects at large organizations were responding well to his new deck, which we modeled on Zuora's framework. First, prospects revealed their obstacles more quickly. The new pitch engages CFOs and other top gatekeepers better, he said.

A week later, Tim emailed that he'd signed his company's biggest agreement.

Next week, we’re headed back to Amber India to celebrate.

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Matthew Royse

Matthew Royse

1 year ago

7 ways to improve public speaking

How to overcome public speaking fear and give a killer presentation

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

"Public speaking is people's biggest fear, according to studies. Death's second. The average person is better off in the casket than delivering the eulogy."  — American comedian, actor, writer, and producer Jerry Seinfeld

People fear public speaking, according to research. Public speaking can be intimidating.

Most professions require public speaking, whether to 5, 50, 500, or 5,000 people. Your career will require many presentations. In a small meeting, company update, or industry conference.

You can improve your public speaking skills. You can reduce your anxiety, improve your performance, and feel more comfortable speaking in public.

If I returned to college, I'd focus on writing and public speaking. Effective communication is everything.” — 38th president Gerald R. Ford

You can deliver a great presentation despite your fear of public speaking. There are ways to stay calm while speaking and become a more effective public speaker.

Seven tips to improve your public speaking today. Let's help you overcome your fear (no pun intended).

Know your audience.

"You're not being judged; the audience is." — Entrepreneur, author, and speaker Seth Godin

Understand your audience before speaking publicly. Before preparing a presentation, know your audience. Learn what they care about and find useful.

Your presentation may depend on where you're speaking. A classroom is different from a company meeting.

Determine your audience before developing your main messages. Learn everything about them. Knowing your audience helps you choose the right words, information (thought leadership vs. technical), and motivational message.

2. Be Observant

Observe others' speeches to improve your own. Watching free TED Talks on education, business, science, technology, and creativity can teach you a lot about public speaking.

What worked and what didn't?

  • What would you change?

  • Their strengths

  • How interesting or dull was the topic?

Note their techniques to learn more. Studying the best public speakers will amaze you.

Learn how their stage presence helped them communicate and captivated their audience. Please note their pauses, humor, and pacing.

3. Practice

"A speaker should prepare based on what he wants to learn, not say." — Author, speaker, and pastor Tod Stocker

Practice makes perfect when it comes to public speaking. By repeating your presentation, you can find your comfort zone.

When you've practiced your presentation many times, you'll feel natural and confident giving it. Preparation helps overcome fear and anxiety. Review notes and important messages.

When you know the material well, you can explain it better. Your presentation preparation starts before you go on stage.

Keep a notebook or journal of ideas, quotes, and examples. More content means better audience-targeting.

4. Self-record

Videotape your speeches. Check yourself. Body language, hands, pacing, and vocabulary should be reviewed.

Best public speakers evaluate their performance to improve.

Write down what you did best, what you could improve and what you should stop doing after watching a recording of yourself. Seeing yourself can be unsettling. This is how you improve.

5. Remove text from slides

"Humans can't read and comprehend screen text while listening to a speaker. Therefore, lots of text and long, complete sentences are bad, bad, bad.” —Communications expert Garr Reynolds

Presentation slides shouldn't have too much text. 100-slide presentations bore the audience. Your slides should preview what you'll say to the audience.

Use slides to emphasize your main point visually.

If you add text, use at least 40-point font. Your slides shouldn't require squinting to read. You want people to watch you, not your slides.

6. Body language

"Body language is powerful." We had body language before speech, and 80% of a conversation is read through the body, not the words." — Dancer, writer, and broadcaster Deborah Bull

Nonverbal communication dominates. Our bodies speak louder than words. Don't fidget, rock, lean, or pace.

Relax your body to communicate clearly and without distraction through nonverbal cues. Public speaking anxiety can cause tense body language.

Maintain posture and eye contact. Don’t put your hand in your pockets, cross your arms, or stare at your notes. Make purposeful hand gestures that match what you're saying.

7. Beginning/ending Strong

Beginning and end are memorable. Your presentation must start strong and end strongly. To engage your audience, don't sound robotic.

Begin with a story, stat, or quote. Conclude with a summary of key points. Focus on how you will start and end your speech.

You should memorize your presentation's opening and closing. Memorize something naturally. Excellent presentations start and end strong because people won't remember the middle.


Bringing It All Together

Seven simple yet powerful ways to improve public speaking. Know your audience, study others, prepare and rehearse, record yourself, remove as much text as possible from slides, and start and end strong.

Follow these tips to improve your speaking and audience communication. Prepare, practice, and learn from great speakers to reduce your fear of public speaking.

"Speaking to one person or a thousand is public speaking." — Vocal coach Roger Love

Percy Bolmér

Percy Bolmér

1 year ago

Ethereum No Longer Consumes A Medium-Sized Country's Electricity To Run

The Merge cut Ethereum's energy use by 99.5%.

Image by Percy Bolmér. Gopher by Takuya Ueda, Original Go Gopher by Renée French (CC BY 3.0)

The Crypto community celebrated on September 15, 2022. This day, Ethereum Merged. The entire blockchain successfully merged with the Beacon chain, and it was so smooth you barely noticed.

Many have waited, dreaded, and longed for this day.

Some investors feared the network would break down, while others envisioned a seamless merging.

Speculators predict a successful Merge will lead investors to Ethereum. This could boost Ethereum's popularity.

What Has Changed Since The Merge

The merging transitions Ethereum mainnet from PoW to PoS.

PoW sends a mathematical riddle to computers worldwide (miners). First miner to solve puzzle updates blockchain and is rewarded.

The puzzles sent are power-intensive to solve, so mining requires a lot of electricity. It's sent to every miner competing to solve it, requiring duplicate computation.

PoS allows investors to stake their coins to validate a new transaction. Instead of validating a whole block, you validate a transaction and get the fees.

You can validate instead of mine. A validator stakes 32 Ethereum. After staking, the validator can validate future blocks.

Once a validator validates a block, it's sent to a randomly selected group of other validators. This group verifies that a validator is not malicious and doesn't validate fake blocks.

This way, only one computer needs to solve or validate the transaction, instead of all miners. The validated block must be approved by a small group of validators, causing duplicate computation.

PoS is more secure because validating fake blocks results in slashing. You lose your bet tokens. If a validator signs a bad block or double-signs conflicting blocks, their ETH is burned.

Theoretically, Ethereum has one block every 12 seconds, so a validator forging a block risks burning 1 Ethereum for 12 seconds of transactions. This makes mistakes expensive and risky.

What Impact Does This Have On Energy Use?

Cryptocurrency is a natural calamity, sucking electricity and eating away at the earth one transaction at a time.

Many don't know the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies, yet it's tremendous.

A single Ethereum transaction used to use 200 kWh and leave a large carbon imprint. This update reduces global energy use by 0.2%.

Energy consumption PER transaction for Ethereum post-merge. Image from Digiconomist

Ethereum will submit a challenge to one validator, and that validator will forward it to randomly selected other validators who accept it.

This reduces the needed computing power.

They expect a 99.5% reduction, therefore a single transaction should cost 1 kWh.

Carbon footprint is 0.58 kgCO2, or 1,235 VISA transactions.

This is a big Ethereum blockchain update.

I love cryptocurrency and Mother Earth.

Camilla Dudley

Camilla Dudley

1 year ago

How to gain Twitter followers: A 101 Guide

No wonder brands use Twitter to reach their audience. 53% of Twitter users buy new products first. 

Twitter growth does more than make your brand look popular. It helps clients trust your business. It boosts your industry standing. It shows clients, prospects, and even competitors you mean business.

How can you naturally gain Twitter followers?

  • Share useful information

  • Post visual content

  • Tweet consistently

  • Socialize

  • Spread your @name everywhere.

  • Use existing customers

  • Promote followers

Share useful information

Twitter users join conversations and consume material. To build your followers, make sure your material appeals to them and gives value, whether it's sales, product lessons, or current events.

Use Twitter Analytics to learn what your audience likes.

Explore popular topics by utilizing relevant keywords and hashtags. Check out this post on how to use Twitter trends.

Post visual content

97% of Twitter users focus on images, so incorporating media can help your Tweets stand out. Visuals and videos make content more engaging and memorable.

Tweet often

Your audience should expect regular content updates. Plan your ideas and tweet during crucial seasons and events with a content calendar.

Socialize

Twitter connects people. Do more than tweet. Follow industry leaders. Retweet influencers, engage with thought leaders, and reply to mentions and customers to boost engagement.

Micro-influencers can promote your brand or items. They can help you gain new audiences' trust.

Spread your @name everywhere.

Maximize brand exposure. Add a follow button on your website, link to it in your email signature and newsletters, and promote it on business cards or menus.

Use existing customers

Emails can be used to find existing Twitter clients. Upload your email contacts and follow your customers on Twitter to start a dialogue.

Promote followers

Run a followers campaign to boost your organic growth. Followers campaigns promote your account to a particular demographic, and you only pay when someone follows you.

Consider short campaigns to enhance momentum or an always-on campaign to gain new followers.

Increasing your brand's Twitter followers takes effort and experimentation, but the payback is huge.

👋 Follow me on twitter