SaaS shouldn’t mean ‘free’ or ‘cheap’

Posted by in Opinions

Bit of a soapbox post this one (appropriate banging of table actions not included). A bug-bear of mine is the number of businesses I meet where the founders/entrepreneurs/sales team bandy around words such as ‘cheap’, ‘free’, ‘freemium’ and ‘scale’ as relevant terms for a SaaS product. Particularly companies with a B2B revenue model. What incenses […]

it’s who you are more than your money that matters

Posted by in Investing, Opinions

The longer I spend with young companies the more it reinforces my view that angel investing/venture capital/private equity (etc… etc…) should be much less about ‘financial products’ and much more about people based service industry with a strong financial overlay. When I originally joined the private equity industry (now left) my employer at the time […]

it’s not a sales pitch

Posted by in Investing, Opinions

I had a meeting last week with a great entrepreneur with a good business idea who made one simple mistake. He gave me the sales pitch. I enjoyed it but it missed the mark. To be fair to the entrepreneur in question, it’s a common mistake. The problem is that the sales pitch in isolation […]

tactical or strategic capital?

Posted by in Investing, Opinions

In the marketing world a tactical campaign is one that is constructed to seize on an immediate and valuable opportunity (often offer or promotion based) to boost the P&L. Generally from a responsive budget and with short-term defined goals. A strategic campaign is one that is less focussed on short-term gain and more structured in […]

keeping control

Posted by in Investing, Opinions

I have blogged a few times about equity splits, pre and post money valuations and to be focussed on the end value of a stake rather than the emotional ‘percentage’ when capital raising (for example alignment of interests). However in a recent blog post (I doubt it’ll be a majority stake)  I made the point that […]

hard coded outputs…. shame on you

Posted by in Investing, Opinions

A financial model is not a business plan. Even if it is allied to a ‘vision’ document or route map. Instead it is an excel spreadsheet with a series of numbers in it that calculate a series of outcomes. 1+1=2 etc….. Not a business plan: Spreadsheet + Vision document = an idea with numbers open […]

pre-money and post-money

Posted by in Investing, Opinions

A conversation yesterday prompted me to republish this post from March 2011: A very personal topic that’s unavoidable in every equity investment conversation is that when equity risk investment comes in, a percentage of the company must change hands (otherwise it’s not an equity investment). The investor needs the equity to drive their returns (and through […]

there’s a storm coming…..

Posted by in Investing, Opinions

I don’t hold myself out to be an expert on these things . There are better placed and more intelligent people than me that understand economics and cause and effect. And my opinions are based on instinct rather than hard fact – but what the hell, I’ll blog about it anyway….. I reckon there’s a storm […]

tell tales

Posted by in Investing, Opinions

This post derives from a blend of marketing and investment experience. It is going to sound a little bit churlish (which it is not meant to be) as it is all about really small minutiae that I believe make a fundamental difference at that initial point of intro to an investor. Normally such minutiae I […]

growing pains

Posted by in Investing, Opinions

The secret diary of….. being involved in start-ups. Growing pains is a great term, short, sharp but precise. As a kid you experience literal pains and ache as you grow – ditto young companies. I can genuinely say I have never had more arguments, or ‘impassioned debates’ nor have I ever come across more people […]