6 Characteristics of Successful SaaS Salespeople

By | Leadership, Sales, Startups | 8 Comments

All SaaS companies need sales people.

Even products like Dropbox & Slack have sales teams.

If you look at the Montclare SaaS 250 list, they all have sales teams.

So why do startups push off making this hire for so long?

It’s usually because they don’t know what to look for and are scared that a new fancy pants sales person wouldn’t close enough deals to cover their cost.

A totally legit concern.

But one you need to quickly blast through if you have any serious hopes of scaling. Read More

8 Steps to Achieving Success in Life

By | Life Hacks, Motivation, Personal | One Comment

Want to know one habit ultra-successful people have in common?

They read.

A lot.

In fact, when Warren Buffett was asked about the key to his success, he pointed to a stack of books and said:

“Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”

It’s why you’ll find a bookshelf or library in most wealthy people’s homes… reading is a leading indicator of success. Read More

How To Compensate & Scale Your Startup Sales Team

By | Leadership, Sales, Startups | No Comments

Have you ever been talked into do something you knew was dumb?

*raises hand*

Back when I was scaling my company Spheric Technologies, a friend introduced me to his buddy who did outsourced sales.

Essentially, a quick fix “easy button” for business owners who can’t be bothered to take full control of the lifeblood of their business. Smart right? 😉

His big promise was that he could get me scheduled meetings with qualified buyers for our services…

… so I gave him a try.

The cost was about $5K/month + a $5K setup, so I gave it a try to see if it would move the needle.

My average deal size was $60K, so I figured just one new customer every month would be a huge win. No brainer, right? Read More

The Top 5 Problems with Distributed Teams and How to Solve Them

By | Community, Productivity, Startups | 3 Comments

Wow.

Every once in a while I re-watch one of my videos and just laugh…

This time around, I can’t believe how many times I said “distributed team”??!

You could easily play a drinking game on it and end up loaded within 10 minutes.

Not recommended btw.

For real. Don’t do it.

Instead, I wanted to take a few mins to show you how I’ve been able to manage large teams virtually, and the process I use to do this. Read More

The 5 Parts of Every Business

By | Leadership, Startups, Strategy | 2 Comments

Do you remember the first time you had someone buy something from you?

For me it was when I convinced a bunch of bed & breakfast owners in Atlantic Canada to send me cash in the mail to have their property published online.

Still not sure if that was legal.

Suspect cash collection methods aside…

What they didn’t know is that I was a 17 year old kid with no formal “business.” Read More

Using The Power of Story To Build Powerful Software Products

By | Community, Growth Engine, Startups | No Comments

Your product or service tells a story.

It either tells one that’s clear and coherent, highlighting the challenges you’re most ready to solve for your ideal customer…

Or it confuses them.

The story you’re telling depends on whether you’re being thoughtful in the process, or building it blindly.  

And the difference between the two has a massive impact on your prospect’s ability to buy from you. Read More

The Ikea Effect: How To Use a Simple Analogy To Hire Your Next C-Level

By | Leadership, Startups, Strategy | 4 Comments

One of my favourite questions to ask someone is “Who’s the best [CMO/CTO/VP of Sales] you know?”

I don’t care if they already have a job… I just want their name.

Actually, I prefer if they’re already working because it allows me to build a relationship with them without the pressure.

My approach once I have a name is to reach out with a big, real-world challenge that I can get their advice on…

… usually the first contact lasts 15 minutes.

I’m just looking to establish a connection.

From there, I follow up and keep the conversation going and work them through my process for hiring.

But what if you don’t know anyone to ask? Read More

The 5 Steps I Used To Teach Myself To Code And Sell Something At 17 Years Old

By | Education, Personal, Productivity | 17 Comments

The first thing I ever built that I charged for was an MP3 burning app.

I had just learned Visual Basic in one of my elective programming classes in highschool, and I wanted to see what I could create.

The problem I wanted to solve was simple…

As one of the few people at the time with a CD burner, I would always have my friends come over to my house and spend hours going through all of the MP3’s I had downloaded from Napster to create the ultimate playlist for themselves or their girlfriend…

(K-Ci and JoJo was always a crowd pleaser)

So after a few weeks of this, I built a simple app that anyone could install at their house. Read More

The 5 Growth Indicators Required To Build The Perfect Software Business

By | Growth Engine, Startups, Strategy | 5 Comments

Every startup wants to grow fast.

And while there’s value in modelling the tactics and strategies that have fueled the rapid success of companies they look up to…

There’s even MORE value in identifying the core, underlying principles that serve as the backbone for that success.

Over the years, I’ve identified 5 core elements behind the perfect software business.

I learned one of them directly from Jason Fried @ Basecamp.com when I visited Chicago to take his workshop over 10 years ago.

Another from guys like Mike McDerment @ Freshbooks.com, and Ben Chesnut @ MailChimp.com, both early mentors of mine who inspired a lot of the work I create at Flowtown.

In today’s world you see companies like Slack.com, and Intercom.com (disclosure: I’m an investor) shooting for the moon and you wonder:

“How did they do it?” Read More

The 8 Most Reliable Ways To Fund Your Startup

By | Financial, Fundraising, Startups | No Comments

When I started my SaaS (that stands for Software-as-a-Service) startup Flowtown my co-founder Ethan and I had a tough decision to make…

How do we fund the company?

Even though I had the capital to self fund the whole thing, as I had just sold my previous company Spheric, he was 23 and didn’t have a penny to his name.

So this is what I did…

It was Friday, and I said, if you can find a way to raise $15K, I would fund the rest. Read More

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