Who Are You Building Your Business Applications For?

I have had the privilege of meeting with many early stage business software CEOs and teams over the past 5 years since moving from an operational role to an investing role.

Each of these teams is passionate about the products they are creating. However, many, in my personal opinion, share something in common that may prevent them from growing their companies as fast as they might otherwise.

Most are so intent on building their products for and then marketing/selling to daily practitioners they forget about creating a version of the product or a set of features in the product for the people who aren’t likely to use the product very often, or at all; the people who must approve the expenditure.

Back To The Future….

I recently had the opportunity and pleasure to speak on a panel held at Oracle HQ in Redwood City, CA. It was a small conference – sponsored by Oracle – and attended by current Oracle ISVs to discuss the issues of converting and/or building a SaaS business. The panel was moderated by Kevin Dobbs with Montclair Advisors .

Joining me on the panel were Byron Deeter, a GP at Bessemer Ventures and Joel York, CMO at Xignite. I really enjoyed the panel members and the audience interaction and was reminded again just how bright the people are throughout Silicon Valley and how fortunate I have been to work in an industry where the US still continues to lead the rest of the world.

Are Large Incumbents Structured and Motivated to Innovate? Spin Ins Might Help

I wrote about the dearth of innovation within large companies a couple years ago but I didn’t post anything in this blog on the topic. Based upon a number of conversations I’ve had lately, I thought I would dust off  and update what I’d said previously and reintroduce the idea here.

I look forward to any feedback you might have. 

Tangible Small Business Results from Social Media

Cool infographic regarding small businesses and their use of social media. This demonstrates some tangible business value now being derived from leveraging social media sites.

How Small Businesses Are Using Social Media — crowdSPRING
Crowdsourced Logo and Graphic Design by crowdSPRING

What It Takes To Make A Successful Software StartUp Today

Our newest partner at InterWest Partners, Keval Desai – who is a former Google product executive -shared with me a very interesting report he received this week; it’s called the “Startup Genome Report”.

It was published based on data from 650+ web start-ups. The authors are Berkeley & Stanford professors including Steve Blank.

The goal of the report as the authors describe it is “…to lay the foundation for a new framework for assessing startups more effectively by measuring the thresholds and milestones of development that Internet startups move through.”