In over 20 years in business, I’ve never met a single founder who hasn’t had to fire at least one employee. While the thought may create knots in your stomach, letting an employee go is actually a super valuable skill with further reaching implications than you might think. Because done wrong, It could crush team morale, compromise data, and even cost you valuable customer accounts. Breaking up isn’t fun… but it’s a skill that as a founder you need to
Freakin’ typography. Add that to the list of things I never thought I’d learn. Yet I’m proud to say I could now rock the basics like a champ. Did I take a course? Nope. Read a book? Not this time. Instead, I tapped into one of the most underleveraged sources of knowledge capital that EVERY software founder should be capitalizing on:
If you’re in the software game for the long haul, at some point you’re going to have to disrupt yourself. This could mean announcing major price hikes, firing most of your customers, drastically trimming your product line, and even shifting core product functionalities. Scary? Of course. Necessary? You freakin’ bet.
Ever read about those outrageous “rider” demands that touring musicians demand from the concert promoter? … Iggy Pop demands a Bob Hope impersonator. … Mariah Carey insists on gallons of vitamin water to bathe her dogs in. … Van Halen would refuse to take the stage if a brown M&M found its way into the candy jar. Borderline insane right?
I have a little secret. A few years ago when I started coaching growth-minded SaaS founders on how to scale their companies, I created someone named ‘Software Scaling Sam”. Sam was obsessed with growth, had achieved product/market fit, and was ready to take full ownership and responsibility in scaling beyond 10k MRR. If you think that Sam sounds quite a bit like you, that’s because Sam is you.
Chances are you’ve already done some work in defining your “customer avatar”. At the very least, I feel good assuming you don’t think I’m talking about a blue space creature ;-) But when it comes to defining and dialing in your B2B SaaS avatar… … the rules are a bit different.
“Why would they ever give me the time of day?” “How could I possibly add value to their life?” “How could I reach out without feeling needy, desperate, or an intrusion on their day?” These are just a few of the excuses founders make for not reaching out to the game-changing mentor or advisor that could dramatically accelerate the growth of their business. Instead of the “who” -- they play it safer by focusing on the “how”.
Did you know that there’s a multibillion dollar industry dedicated to doomsday prepping? Even crazier… Reid Hoffman was quoted in the New Yorker, estimating that about 50% of Silicon Valley billionaires have acquired some level of “apocalypse insurance”. Now whether you buy into that idea or not, there is a type of doomsday in the software world you absolutely NEED to be prepared for. It’s this:
Imagine taking the stage for the opening keynote of your own customer conference. Hundreds (or even thousands) of your users in front of you. Enjoying that super cool inflection point where you can literally see the community you’ve built right in front of your eyes… And at the same time, unlock a hidden series of growth levers that your competitors (who shied away from the whole conference thing) will never have a chance to pull. Pretty cool, right? Here’s a
If you run a small team of just 5 employees/co-founders… Your weekly meetings are likely costing you well north of 50k/year. Simple math… … average hourly rate x number of people x 52. That’s how much you’re spending to run your weekly meeting.