Delivering on Q3 forecasts!

I received some incredible news last night from two portfolio company CEOs updating me on our Q3 numbers.  They not only hit their respective forecasts set early in the year, but they beat them.  Normally I expect our portfolio companies to hit their numbers, but I am ecstatic because we delivered in the midst of the largest financial crisis we have ever seen.  While much news on the technology world is of doom and gloom, and while I too have been advising portfolio companies to conserve cash, it is nice to see that companies are still willing to spend if you deliver a strong value proposition.  More importantly these numbers speak to the commitment of the respective teams to do anything possible to deliver on the Q3 forecasts.  In each company, sales reps and executives flew out to key prospects and knocked off obstacle upon obstacle until they walked away with an order.  Ok, it is not as dramatic as it sounds as there were numerous meetings and technology proof of concepts before getting a sale, but the point remains that the companies that delivered did not wait for the orders but went out and got them.  There were a number of stories of sacrifices that were made including one sales rep who was expecting his third child yesterday but was at a prospect getting the contract inked and another one of a sales rep and sales engineer who camped out at a client's office all day and wouldn't leave until they had a signed contract.  Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures, and I hope that stories like these inspire you to keep fighting the good fight and to go out and make things happen.  Startups need to be scrappy and tough to survive!

Read full story Comments { 1 }

Doing more with less

Being in New York, it is hard to escape the realities of the ailing financial sector.  When I took the train into the city this morning I could see the somber look in people’s eyes knowing what had just happened to Lehman Brothers and the uncertainty of the financial markets and economy.  Given this state […]

Read full story Comments { 6 }

Selling to large enterprises costs big dollars no matter how frictionless your sale is

I have written a number of times about frictionless sales and how on-demand companies have a huge opportunity to reduce their sales and marketing costs and subsequently scale their business more efficiently.  Here is an excerpt from a prior post:Frictionless sales means reducing the pain for customers to adopt and use a service/product and consequently […]

Read full story Comments { 4 }

M&A – it ain't over till it's over

The economy is clearly slowing down and the IPO market is nonexistent.  As I have always said, this is the time to hunker down and tweak your business to get your model right.  If you are interested in exiting today, M&A continues to be the only viable path along that front.  Having been through a […]

Read full story Comments { 2 }

What do I see in venture through 2010???

The Jordan Edmiston Group recently asked me and a few other VCs a few pointed questions about the future for circulation in their July Client Briefing.  As an aside, I worked with JEGI two years ago and they did a fantastic job helping us sell Moreover Technologies to Verisign.  They understand the media and online […]

Read full story Comments { 4 }

Data wars heating up – Microsoft buys DATAllegro

As I have written in previous posts, what you do with data will be one of the next battlegrounds on the web.  Knowing that they had some limitations with SQL Server, Microsoft announced its acquisition of DATAllegro (full disclosure: my fund is an investor in competitor Greenplum) to enter the data warehousing market.  Enterprise volumes […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Your reputation matters – how to handle reference calls

The world that we live in trades on reputation.  What that means is that eventually whether you are raising capital or landing new customers, your references will matter.  If you are an entrepreneur, a VC will want to do some deep reference checks on you and also on any major customers or partners.  If you […]

Read full story Comments { 6 }

Raising capital and meeting expectations

What I like to tell portfolio companies is that on average it will take 6 months to raise capital with some cycles being shorter and some being longer. Given that, it is imperative for a company to start thinking about its next round well ahead of time and the milestones it needs to hit to […]

Read full story Comments { 5 }

The next generation web – scaling and data mining matters (continued)

I had some interesting meetings yesterday and as I reflected on them this morning, one common theme emerged which is that the next generation of the web will be built on data mining and extracting intelligence from the reams of data web services collect on a daily basis.  This reminds me of a post I […]

Read full story Comments { 2 }

Old school content has value…again

Every day it seems we are reading about the power of social networking to transform the Internet and how we communicate online and also consume and discover new content.  While that is true and clearly changing the consumption habits of online users, today seems like a flashback to the old school Internet days where traditional […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }