Courtesy of Rajesh Rajput via Unsplash

I wish it wasn’t true, but sadly it is. The noble idea of under-appreciated companies being found by brilliant investors willing to take a chance on them and connect them with tons of capital seems so great…until you dig in.

Upfront, a question worth asking is if VCs are struggling to find good deals today with relatively fewer startups starting and more competing sources of even cheaper money, why is it that SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company) candidate companies are having trouble finding capital? The simple reason is that they are generally shitty businesses. …


Image Courtesy of the Guardian.

Take what you know about enterprise sales in software and get prepared to throw it out the window.

Take what you know about enterprise sales in software and get prepared to throw it out the window. In the era of product-led growth, enterprise sales will entirely change. I had to think about it, but I started my career in sales, and I have had the chance to work closely with 11 different sales teams. I’ve been through training with them is TAS and Spin Selling. I’ve been in the middle of the coursework and deliverables with them for elite selling…


Hopefully you don’t have to rent a Sikorsky to change your brand. Courtesy of Philadelphia Magazine.

On the path to a big outcome, your brand may become tired or no longer relevant. Unfortunately, there is a natural tendency to keep things just the way they are. Small companies are most guilty of this, but large companies do it too. One large company most people are familiar with is Salesforce. This is a massively successful company and a household name. Having said that, if you look at the software they built and the acquisitions they have made, they are clearly anchored to serving the front office of a company. There was time, probably 15 years ago, when…


Crafted from the crazy stuff on the Internet.

The Marketing functions in B2B startups come from humble beginnings but play an increasingly important role on the path to that ideal benchmark for a successful exit of 100 Million in recurring revenue. B2B software companies generally come from two broad starting points:

1. Building Software for Larger Companies — They built technology for large companies and live somewhere between the expectations of some of the largest companies on earth and SMBs that want something far easier than they have so they can get started quickly with limited overhead & effort.

2. Building Software for Smaller Companies — They built…


Embrace the Inherent Bias of your Role & Call it Out to Counteract It

Photo Curtesy of Essentia Analytics

Do you ever wonder why most CEOs come from either Sales or Product organizations? Most people think it is because they can either get big deals done or they know the product inside and out. Both of these skills certainly don’t hurt, but my take is that they are specifically selected by boards because they are the most visibly committed believers. These two functions are the paid zealots for whatever the company does. As a steward of the funding of the company, a board always wants an optimistic, can-do attitude. But money at the core of the interaction can certainly…


Crossing the Chasm Model
Crossing the Chasm Model
The Chasm Model from the Bestseller and Bible of the Tech Industry, Crossing the Chasm.

I am always amazed when I meet a tech entrepreneur and they aren’t familiar with Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore, a book I consider the bible of the tech industry. The pattern of innovators & early adopters not looking like or acting pragmatic early majority buyers plays out over and over again in tech companies and beyond.

In early companies, the joy of the first 12 customers is euphoric until you learn that they often have grandiose visions of super software so much bigger than yours that you are just a means to their delusional end. I’ve heard this…


Image Courtesy of PsycheAlive

Empathy is a key missing ingredient in companies that are struggling to find success. This hit home when I recently took some time off to finalize the remodel of our house that had been dragging for years as both my wife and I were working full-time and couldn’t really give it the attention it deserved. I managed to miss at least half of this crisis, but I worked through the full brunt of the dot bomb and the financial crisis of 2008/09, so I don’t think I missed much, but I will soon join the recovery effort. Never let a…


Like Snitches, Ultra-Niches get Stitches

Left is Mount Tam (Tamalpais) & right is a niche of a pond my wife & I found in Lassen Volcanic National Park.

<<<You’ll have to forgive me because in addition to having a blog habit, I find alliteration sometimes too tempting, and I have a gene for bad puns that I got from my father. It gets better and decidedly more serious if you read on.>>>

The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club. This is also kind of an unwritten rule in startup addressable markets too. After the big number with a T behind it appears in the pitch for the series A, B, or C this discussion is rarely…


Photo Courtesy of David Kovalenko on Unsplash

If you look at last year’s tech IPOs it is quite a snoozer of a list with largely napworthy performance. With the exception of Beyond Meat and Zoom, the rest could easily fall into the “who cares” category. Two ways to hail a private car as a taxi. Sure. A company that knows Africa and can deliver food and electronics there. OK, but that sounds derivative and hard. Getting sleepier. A platform that allows snooty people of limited means to buy used Gucci bags. Now I feel like I’ve taken a melatonin. …


Are you sure your startup is a swan if only you say so? (photo courtesy of Unsplash)

If you’ve spent any quality time in Silicon Valley you’ve noted that despite the many vocal complaints that you hear about the number of MBAs running around the place, the actual ratio of propeller heads to business folk is probably 30 to 1. In a country that pitifully doesn’t value STEM as much as it needs to, our relatively small number of technical graduates are in super demand and if we could print H1Bs in Silicon Valley we would. As in any scenario like this where demand dramatically outstrips supply, it goes to their technical heads. Every widget is beautiful…

Ken Pulverman

Executive | CMO | Product Leader | Strategy Expert | Digital Marketer | Applauded Writer | Awarded Product Manager

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