My first two companies FAILED hard. Sure, there were many factors at play. But when I take a sec to assess where things really went off the rails, it all came down to this… I had the wrong people on board. And it’s no criticism to them. As a founder (especially in the early stages), you’re ENTIRELY responsible for making sure that you have the right personnel for each position. Where most founders go wrong is that they hire by
Ready for a shocker? Stalled growth is rarely a product, marketing or sales problem… It’s a founder problem. And more specifically, it’s a failure to think strategically instead of tactically. Yes, tactics matter. But only if they’re guided by the RIGHT strategy at the RIGHT time. If you just keep repeating the same tactics over and over again (or adding random ones to the mix just because it "feels right" and "other people are doing it")...
I’ll never forget this one employee I had just hired at clarity.fm His first few hours went super smooth. But then at exactly 4:59pm… the guy BOLTED. Laptop packed. Door shut. Making a beeline straight to the front door. My jaw literally dropped. Here was this guy I had just hired… someone who was still getting onboarded to our team, our clients, and our company…
I recently had an unfortunate Growth Session with a SaaS founder who was running his company straight into an iceberg. … an unforgiving 25% churn rate … about 3 months cash runway … total mis-management of capital Instead of fixing the leaks (churn), he insisted on keeping the sales and marketing engines on full blast. Essentially a great way to crash into that iceberg even faster. 😬 While it’s usually great advice to maintain a growth mindset (I’m all about
Growing a tech company is hard. Growing a tech company with lawsuits being thrown at you left and right is nearly impossible. The good news is, most legal issues that startups face are HIGHLY preventable, and can be sidestepped with just a few simple measures.
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.
We’ve all seen it. The over-enthusiastic startup founder who hands out equity with the same discretion as a pre-teen using their parent’s credit card to buy front-row Bieber tickets. *sigh* And I totally get it. In the early phases of your startup (especially the idea stage) you might not have the cash on hand to cover the major expenses related to developing your MVP.
Tell them what to do. Check that’s been done. Tell them what to do next. Leadership 101 right there. A fine recipe if you want to run a mediocre company with eight or ten B level players that constantly tap into your managerial bandwidth and cripple your capacity to achieve accelerated growth. An outdated paradigm for any SaaS founder with more ambitious plans to scale. For that SaaS founder, I offer a major upgrade from the “transactional leadership” approach.