“The PayPal experience didn’t really prepare me for sales and go-to-market,” so it’s time to give the ‘back in my day’ talk on what we learned building Yammer.

In a competitive tech landscape where differentiation is key, David Sacks is a category creator in more ways than one. As the Founder and CEO of Yammer, he defined the category of “enterprise social networks” when most were focused on building “consumer social networks”. While large companies were applying a “top-down” sales approach, he developed a “bottom-up” strategy that’s become the default for early stage SaaS companies. His contrarian approach paid off: Yammer was acquired by Microsoft for $1.2 billion in 2012. He’s currently the Founder and Managing Partner of Craft Ventures, a firm investing in market-defining products.

I recently…

The rise of design collectives, technical designers, no code + production-ready tools and viral side projects (e.g. Amazon Dating 💕)

A few Saturdays ago, I was running late for drinks at the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. My friend Ani was already waiting by the pool. I had dozens of messages on Slack, WhatsApp and Twitter to coordinate who was arriving when, and most importantly, what everyone wanted to drink.

On my way up the elevator, I had the strangest thought: “I have NO idea what my friends look like…”

After months of catching up, hours on the phone, and really meaningful advice that inspired new companies, cool collaborations and my own new fund Worklife.

Here’s the catch…

My interview with Nathan Baschez on the momentum required to back the best founders

In today’s funding environment, founders have a lot of options when it comes to raising early rounds — operator-angel funds, alumni syndicates, celebrities and growing seed programs at Sequoia, a16z and most multi-stage firms in Silicon Valley.

For repeat founders & A-teams, fundraising feels like a fast game of Tetris where every name/allocation on the cap table must deliver a high value per $ invested — relevant operating experience, strategic alignment with early customers, strong signal for the next round. …

The 4 components of a game-like experience featuring Superhuman CEO Rahul Vohra

I recently sat down with Rahul Vohra, the founder and CEO of email client Superhuman, to discuss his unique approach to building products that turned email, one of the most routine and mundane daily tasks, into a game-like experience that’s fast, enjoyable, and worth sharing with friends.

With a computer science degree from Cambridge and a background as a video game designer, Vohra entered the tech scene in the early 2000s. During that time, he co-founded Rapportive, an email company that LinkedIn eventually acquired. …

As LinkedIn unbundles, SaaS companies emerge as leaders of the new professional networks

LinkedIn, now in its 16th year, was built for a different era where professional ability was confined to a resume and recruiters served as gatekeepers between professionals and hiring managers.

Resumes, career fairs, networking events, professional organizations…

If the new American Dream is defined by “creative expression, online influence and extreme optionality” over linear moves up the corporate ladder, then LinkedIn is enough to make any Millennial or Gen Z jobseeker cringe.

Today, we’re seeing an “unbundling of LinkedIn” with a whole ecosystem of programs, services and technologies to better serve the 500 million+ professionals across different geographies, sectors, interests.

What companies can learn from Fyre Festival and the new sources of trust for consumers

The release of two Fyre Festival documentaries on Netflix and Hulu has sparked a much needed debate on consumer trust and the misaligned incentives between influencers and their followers today.

In my presentation Distrust goes viral, I present an in-depth look at recent events where distrust has been amplified by millions of people in a matter of seconds including:

Why Fyre Festival is a pinnacle moment for influencer culture and late-stage capitalism

What happens when an ultra-exclusive event backed by the world’s most popular Instagram influencers ends in disaster as thousands of ticket holders, some of which paid up to…

Why I invested in Voxeet, the best API for live video.

In 2018, I believe many of our best moments will happen online.

With real-time video calling, we’re connecting with friends and family in a more meaningful way. We’re celebrating holidays, reconnecting with old friends and creating new memories from our phone.

And even though the experience is getting better, it still doesn’t compare to IRL. There’s distracting background noise, garbled noise and crosstalk (🤐).

What if we could add “same room” technology to make every video call feel real?

With Voxeet, developers can bring IRL quality video to any…

90% of contacts from list buys are total duds, so let’s explore a few data-driven growth alternatives.

I recently calculated that 40% of my LinkedIn Inbox messages are cold emails from vendors who sell contact lists. “Hot leads.” “New contacts.” “Prospects searching for software in your category.” Each sales rep claims thousands of unique contacts based on a proprietary technology or differentiated data sources. Tempting, but something tells me these hot leads are too good to be true.

If you’re in B2B, and in particular have lead generation or growth in your title, then I’m guessing your inbox is also…

Join me at one of the sessions below (Notes updated daily).

Tuesday: 10:30am

Jumpstart: Zero to $50M — A Roadmap of the Key Stages, and How to Win at Each Stage (David Skok, Matrix Partners)

Tuesday: 11:30

Main Session: Re-Imagining the Workplace of the Future: In Conversation with Stewart Butterfield (Alex Konrad, Forbes)

Tuesday: 12:50pm-1:20pm

Fireside Chat: Growing & Scaling SaaS Businesses from $1M to $500M in ARR (Byron Deeter, Bessemer Venture Parters; Karen Peacock, Intercom)

Tuesday: 1:50pm-2:20pm

How to Build Customer Loyalty With Subject Matter Expertise (Allie Janoch, Mapistry)

Tuesday: 2:50–3:30pm

How Artificial Intelligence Will Impact the Future of…

Three ways to build trust quickly using growth best practices

When you look at the latest crypto companies, it’s clear that good companies are being built outside of Silicon Valley. The challenge for these companies? How do you earn trust and establish credibility? How do you successfully transition from a scrappy side project to a more mature company? Where do you go for relevant best practices when you’re building in the Wild West?

As I spend time researching the latest crypto companies, I’m reminded of the early days of TransferWise. …

Brianne Kimmel

Founder of Worklife.vc. Tech culture writer featured in Fast Company, Forbes, TechCrunch. The future of work is flexible, creative & human

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