There’s a quote from The Office (US) [Season 6, episodes 5/6, “Launch Party”]: Michael: Okay, okay, what’s better? A medium amount of good pizza? Or all you can eat of pretty good pizza? All: Medium amount of good pizza. Kevin: Oh no, it’s bad. It’s real bad. It’s like eating a hot circle of garbage. The launch in that episode was the ill fated “Dunder Mifflin Infinity”, and while the reference in the passage is to the pizza that Michael Scott had ordered, it may as well been referring to the website. For many reasons, people tend to build all you can eat hot circles of garbage, instead of a medium amount of pretty good pizza. Minimum Viable Product and[…]

Assume that you’re a founder of a tech startup. Assume that you’ve achieved product-market-solution fit. You’ve nailed it. Time to scale. Many founders are great at sales. But not all founders are great at marketing. And that’s a bit of a problem because of three letters: CAC. The Customer Acquisition Cost CAC is the ratio between dollars spent on marketing, and new customers acquired. And it is related to valuation in a very important way. Let me explain. Take a look at the chart below. This is an output from a standard model of SaaS market penetration. Market size is 333,333 customers, the product will approach saturation at 51% of that target, with a monthly churn rate of 0.20% held[…]

In this post: Data Driven Cultures in startups should discover product-solution-market fit more reliably than Ego Driven Cultures Data Driven Cultures Carl Anderson, 2015 (Data Scientist at Warby Parker) defines a data driven culture as: Is continuously testing; Has a continuous improvement mindset; Is involved in predictive modeling and model improvement; Chooses among actions using a suite of weighted variables; Has a culture where decision makers take notice of key findings, trust them, and act upon them; Uses data to help inform and influence strategy. Startups A startup is defined as an experiment looking for a problem-solution-market fit. The goal of a startup is to become a business. To do that, it must discover a market, a subset of people[…]

This WSJ piece “Has the world lost faith in Capitalism” had this infographic: And prompted Marc Andreessen @pmarca to remark on Twitter: “The inevitable result of 15 years of slow economic growth.” His tweet prompted me to think about the relationship between economic growth and the gini coefficient (a measure of income inequality). And there’s a lot to it. I don’t think it’s a straight line causal model between economic growth and inequality. (And I’m not suggesting that Marc thinks it is, it is, after all, Twitter). The core representation of a causal model is depicted below:     In very short terms, when we decided in 80’s that we were going to go for a service based economy, the linkage between wage growth and productivity[…]