Here’s the deal: if you cut your sales hiring and scale back your expectations — you may end up regretting it. Marc Benioff did. In 2008–2009, at the height of the panic, I was at Salesforce and Marc Benioff responded to the (much bigger and real) global economic crisis by cutting back on expenses and […]
Go forth and multiply — your apps.
There’s a new wave of reporting focused on the post app era. The Recode announces “App Boom is Over”. Quartz points out how most users never download any apps. Let me be very clear: The App Boom is Not Over. The reporting on this topic made me think of an imagined Yogi Berra quote. “Nobody […]
Amazon: The Company with a 100 CEOs Cannot Be Stopped
A company with a 100 CEOs can do anything. Amazon appears to be a unique success when it comes to not just the success it has achieved but the diversity of businesses it has succeeded in — from online retail to web services, and the march continues into many, many new lines of business. Almost every large, […]
Engineer’s Guide to Picking an Early Stage Startup
What I wish I had known 10 years ago One of the questions I often get from engineers I mentor is how do you decide on what early stage startup is worth working for? Often, this is long before you have paying customer logos or big name venture funds with substantial commitments as ‘signals’ of potential […]
Riding with Nutanix from Day Zero
What I learned from angel investing I am the luckiest guy in the world. I met Dheeraj (CEO) during my years at Oracle more than 10 years ago, and Bipul (Board Member) during my years at IIT more than 20 years ago. When Bipul reached out and told me that Dheeraj was building a company, […]
Why We Invested in ProsperWorks CRM
With so many CRM products in the market, I was not looking for a new CRM startup. But when I met Jon Lee, the founder and CEO of ProsperWorks, two years ago I thought he was on to something big by solving the biggest, unsolved problem of CRM: Sales people hate entering data They do […]
When Free is Not Really Free
The Free Basics program which has become a topic of intense debate thanks to the tweetstorms by Marc Andreessen — is a stroke of genius. The program is called free, it sounds like free, and it is “free”. Yet, it is not truly free — for it comes with many restrictions that limit the usefulness of the service, the freedom […]
The Strong Shall Inherit the Nasdaq
I wrote this post on Feb 3, 2016 — and like clockwork two years later, its timely again. The Dow Jones and Nasdaq are tanking and people are out with stories of imminent end. This too shall pass The unicorn, the billion dollar startup, is finally dead. The same columnists and magazines that turned every startup funding […]
The Stack Fallacy™: Why Big Companies Keep Failing
Stack Fallacy™ has caused so many companies to attempt to capture new markets and fail spectacularly. When you see a database company thinking apps are easy, or a VM company thinking big data is easy — they are suffering from Stack Fallacy. Stack Fallacy™ is the mistaken belief that it is trivial to build the layer above yours. Source: http://xkcd.com/435/ […]
When do SaaS Startups get M&A Offers?
There are many points along the SaaS startup journey where its ripe for M&A from acquirer perspective: Is their a right time to be eaten? Product Market Fit (<$5M in ARR): Your startup is in a new or adjacent area for us (the acquirer) and you have proven product market fit. At this point, we can […]
How do I find a co-Founder?
Find your POV and you will soon attract the right potential cofounders. (POV stands for point of view.)Unless you have been organically working with and talking to potential cofounders who want to work with you because you like each other etc, the main reason someone will work with you is because of shared interests. The POV can be […]
Death of Native Apps on PC: Trillion Dollar Transfer from Microsoft to Apple
The web browser is dead or at least dying. After its peak of popularity in early 2000’s when we spent our time on the internet and that primarily meant the web browser, we are now living in the age of the apps.The web browser was never invented to run apps — it was meant to render the […]
The Missing Watch Billionaires: The Platform Test?
Every new platform enables a new breed of entrepreneurs to change the world and become billionaires in the process. The iPhone (and the smartphones that followed) produced the Uber billionaires, the WhatsApp billionaires, the Snapchat billionaires and so forth. If Apple watch is to be successful, it must not just sell a lot of watches […]
The SaaS Billionaires and Naysayers
If you are on your journey as an entrepreneur to truly build something new and revolutionary, you will hear a lot of naysayers along the way. Today, Salesforce and Workday both announced their financial results — once again showing that they continue to grow as part of the larger movement to SaaS. Salesforce is now generating almost […]
Deconstructing Governments: Is Estonia the first Full Stack Government Startup?
The purpose of a government is provide services to its citizens. After all its all about ‘for the people’. Many of these services are not related to a geographical boundary – a few like fire, safety and roads are. This is why we already experience multiple government bodies – city, county, state and federal but […]
Is Your Product Roadmap Just Burning Your Money?
The number 1 mistake I have seen companies of all sizes make is to let the customers, sales people, engineers and tactical product managers decide the product roadmap by adding one feature after another. by Disaster Area (Creative Commons) If you have product market fit and are doing more than a few million dollars in ARR […]
Full Stack Startup Index – and the hunt for Uber Unicorns
Given that full stack companies are in a league of their own – in terms of the markets they serve and how they are built – I think its time to maintain a list of all full stack startups. Uber Unicorn: yes, its full of diamonds Before we do that, let me give you a […]
Tech Bubble? Full Stack Goes Beyond $3.7 Trillion IT Budget
I want to convince you that this time it really is different. Its fundamentally different because the silicon valley is bursting out of tech. In the earlier generational shifts of computing paradigms from mainframes to client server and then from client server to internet, we were primarily still constrained by the IT budget.Gartner predicts IT […]
Is your company about to be BlackBuried?
I had an interesting conversation with a fellow executive at Blackberry 4 years ago who wanted my opinion on their product strategy. What I said to him was so obvious that I almost hesitated – build an Android phone. Now, this was common wisdom in silicon valley that if you ran BB you would have […]
The Social Kerfuffle: What is an Employee?
Who owns the behavior of an employee on the social networks? In a world where we have all gone BYOD, and I would posit – gone BYOS (Bring your own “Social Network”) – who owns what? And who is responsible when an error is made by the employee? What is an error? What is an […]