Speaker and author Seth Godin is the author of 18 books, including Tribes, which was on the Amazon, New York Times, BusinessWeek and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. To his raving fans, Godin needs no introduction. To the average software developer who doesn’t religiously read his blog, one of the most popular in the world, it’s important to understand the marketing guru knows the ins and outs of software businesses.
Building a market while building cohesive engineering teams.
I attended a software startup demo day last week, and I wish every mature, established ISV could have been there to experience the infectious energy of young, aspiring, innovative entrepreneurs. The event was hosted by Pittsburgh-based AlphaLab, the software division of Innovation Works. AlphaLab was recently named one of the top 30 startup accelerators according to Forbes and the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project.
I recently talked to an iOS developer who works for a software company that sold this past year for more than $400 million. That kind of cash isn’t dropped on a software company unless its product engineering is ahead of the curve. That’s why I was surprised to learn the different development teams weren’t always in synch. For example, the web developers will push out a product but the iOS team won’t know about it, so they aren’t able to support the new features until the next release. By that next release the iOS team is perpetually in catch up mode, and the vicious cycle continues.
I can count on one hand how many times I’ve asked a software executive why his or her company is successful and the answer has not somehow related to culture. But I’ve yet to meet a software company claiming its culture and its employees are 100 percent aligned, or even close to it. When a software company credits increasing revenue, decreasing churn, and deploying updates faster “because our employees are the greatest, and they love working here,” it’s getting harder and harder for me to take that at face value. “Culture” can’t be every software company’s secret sauce, right?
Ivan Ruzic has built and sold multiple software companies throughout his 30+ year software career, and he’s held virtually every senior executive position at both startups and mature companies. He is a VP with the Corum Group, an M&A advisory firm that works exclusively with software and tech companies. Ruzic delivered a keynote address at the ISV Insights conference in Philadelphia about building a software company with the end in mind. Here are six takeaways from his presentation.
I recently talked to an investor who has spent more than 20 years investing in and working with early-stage SaaS companies. This VC has made more than 50 investments in software companies, has more than $250 million under management, and has a cumulative market cap well into the double-digit billions. Here are a few takeaways from our call that can help any software company looking to raise money and scale.
October 12, I’ll be on stage at ISV Insights : Philadelphia moderating panels about building a reseller channel and overcoming the tech talent shortage. The seats on the stage will be occupied by leading software execs ready to offer deep insight into how they’ve done both.
Ask yourself: Do you really want to raise money? Raising money puts you on the track of OWING money. The payback comes in different forms: debt payments, dividends, or climbing equity. But there is payback. You have a boss; you have someone who can demand answers; you have set expectations. Now this is not a bad thing if you think your company has a big enough market, a good enough product and a strong enough team to (1) raise money and (2) give back a nice return.
Cloud-based restaurant software company Toast Inc. was founded in 2012 and has already grown to more than 500 employees. This kind of growth requires much more than finding a bigger office. Toast co-founder and CEO Steve Fredette explains how this growth has required a conscious effort to continually adapt the company’s culture. He’s studied how companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon have adapted their culture and has networked with other fast-growing companies nearby in Boston. Fredette also relies on examples his executive team has observed at their past companies.