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Questions About Returning to Work

By Tomasz Tunguz | April 21, 2020

When will a start up’s management team feel comfortable telling employees they’re safe to return to work? Is it when the government declares it safe? Or schools re-open? Or customer prospects agree to meet in person? Or when we each record a positive antibody test? How will we conduct meetings? With masks and gloves? What […]

Product Launches Become the Operating Cadence of a Startup

By Tomasz Tunguz | April 7, 2020

In November 2019, two spectacles occurred. The first is Dreamforce, Salesforce’s annual event and the largest software conference in the world. The second is Elon Musk announcing the Tesla Cybertruck. Benioff and Musk use these events strategically. They engender an operational cadence to Salesforce and Tesla. There’s no feeling like launch day. It’s the day […]

Why Product Innovation Slows After The Series A

By Tomasz Tunguz | September 10, 2019

You’ve found product market fit. You’ve hired a team, including some managers. Your initial, small customer base is very happy. You’ve discovered an initial channel of customer acquisition that’s working. You’ve raised a meaningful round of capital. And then, right then, product innovation decelerates to zero. The fast pace that characterized the past 12-18 months, […]

The Fundraising Environment In 2019 – Three Major Shifts

By Tomasz Tunguz | July 2, 2019

In a recent meeting, a founder asked me what I thought of the fundraising environment. My answer was: it’s become incredibly sophisticated along three dimensions: diversity of product offering, pricing sophistication, and efficiency of investment processes. If you read eBoys or Done Deals or Creative Capital, you’ll get a sense of the early days of […]

Benchmarking Slack’s S-1: How 7 Key Metrics Stack Up

By Tomasz Tunguz | June 11, 2019

Slack has transformed the way we work. By replacing email with beautiful and simple internal chat, Slack has productized productivity. Founded as a gaming company called Tiny Speck in 2009, the company’s initial product, Glitch, didn’t catch on as expected. So the business pivoted to commercialize an internal tool – a Searchable Log of All […]

Benchmarking PagerDuty’s S-1:How 7 Key Metrics Stack Up

By Tomasz Tunguz | April 16, 2019

PagerDuty was founded in 2009 by 3 former Amazon engineers who were often on-call. To engineers, being on call means carrying a pager to respond to crises when software breaks or services go down. In the 10 years since that day, PagerDuty has built an exceptional business. Their product has evolved from on-call management, which […]

Predictions for 2019

By Tomasz Tunguz | January 8, 2019

Here are some predictions for 2019 and a review of my thoughts for 2018, many of which were wrong. The M&A market slows meaningfully, especially at the multi-billion dollar level. The recent seasickness in the public markets forces most CEOs adopt a more conservative approach to acquisitions. Facing large swings in valuation, these leaders may […]

Selling Your Product While You Build It

By Tomasz Tunguz | December 4, 2018

Customers will pay you to build your SaaS product. It’s one of the great advantages of a SaaS model. Annual prepay contracts – wherein customers pay for a year’s cost on day – is a free loan from customers. And every startup can benefit from this advance. There’s only one requirement: you must be able […]

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