Recently, someone asked me whether they should exchange shares in their startup for services from a consultancy delivering software development. I’ve been on both sides of this equation (as a consultant who exchanged fees for equity and as a startup taking on new shareholders).
I’m not saying it can’t work, but in my opinion, there are a lot of things to be careful of.
Why would you do it? As an agency, with one exception I can think of, we would only really get offered this kind of arrangement for very early-stage startups. From the startup’s point of view, they…
Consider three facts separately:
1. Most companies, somewhere on their website or in their Annual Reports, will trot out a variant of the phrase “our people are our greatest asset”. A cursory search suggests that companies typically spend between 25% and 50% of their operating budgets on salaries, depending on the industry type. So whether it’s a company’s greatest asset, it’s certainly one of their most expensive ones.
2. Most successful companies have a very good understanding of their customers. At ScreenCloud, we know how much it costs to acquire a customer and we can segment customers into contract size…
How and why did I start One Year, No Beer?
Very briefly, I wasn’t what you’d describe as someone with a drinking problem, but I was pretty much drinking alcohol every day. During the week I would drink normally half a bottle of wine every evening and at the weekends more. I never really binge drank: never really got so drunk I was throwing up. But, I was a habitual drinker who most days would wake up feeling a bit hazy. Not a hangover exactly, but not what you’d call ‘as fresh as a daisy’ either.
Like most people, I’d…
Remember The Flight of the Conchords’ “Business Time” song? The song hilariously tells a story from the perspective of a man describing the lead up to an evening of intimacy with his partner as if it’s a deeply erotic experience, where quite clearly it’s anything but. At one point he points out she’s wearing “that same old ugly, baggy T-shirt with a stain on it that you got from that team-building exercise you did for your old work several years ago: ‘Team Building Exercise ‘99’”.
We just got back from our annual company conference. We flew everyone to Bangkok, where…
An inclusive working environment means not being scared to be yourself irrespective of gender, race, sexuality, disability, age, socio economic background, political beliefs, or personality. It’s all about supporting each other’s differences and focusing on making sure everyone is respected and valued. When someone can be their true self, they are happy and better able to give their best to the organization they work for.
It all sounds idyllic, right? But how do you actually make this happen in a fast-growing business, where everyone needs to be pulling their weight and contributing to the company’s ambitious vision?
“Hands down, your investor update is the best we get”.
— ScreenCloud Investor
I’m not saying that to brag, but to show that a bit of effort goes a long way when it comes to keeping your investors in the loop. And before we get into it, let me tell you a little secret….
Here are 3 reasons why it’s important to produce regular updates about your business for the people who have invested in your company:
Most days I go for a run. Doesn’t matter where I am or what the weather is, I just get up, get dressed, lace on my running shoes and head on out. Leaving aside the obvious benefits of physical and mental health, there are some positive work-related side effects from dragging your butt out on a run most mornings, too.
Being alone We all need time alone with our thoughts. It gives us time to process complex stuff and can foster creative insight (I didn’t just make this up, take a look at what Professor Cal Newport says about solitude…
What are the key measures that are widely accepted as being good in SaaS and how are we at ScreenCloud measuring up against them at this stage in our development?
In terms of the history of business evolution, SaaS is a relative new-comer. But nevertheless, there is already a load of data out there that we can draw upon: data that is a pretty reliable predictor of future success. Think of it like the human body: we know what a healthy BMI is; what represents good blood pressure and what is cause for concern; a decent pace for a 5km…
For anyone who doesn’t know about the SaaS Quick Ratio, there is a great piece written by ChartMogul here.
In a nutshell, you calculate your SaaS Quick Ratio like this:
(New MRR + Expansion MRR) / (Contraction MRR and Churn)
If this gives you a ratio of at least 4, then your SaaS business is running efficiently. It’s a great way of looking at your MRR net growth figure and deciding whether it’s healthy or not. We’ve had a few occasions where in absolute percentage terms our growth month-on-month has been fantastic, but when you look at the Quick SaaS…
Some time in 2017, ScreenCloud reached $1m in Annual Recurring Revenue. Seems like a million years ago now, but I remember that it was a significant milestone for us. Not just because of the number, but because this journey is such a fraught and fragile one, it felt like a huge validation that we were doing something right. Yet as a milestone, it is one so few people talk about, I suppose because in the world of investment, this is so early in the game that it just doesn’t register on many investors’ radars. But as the chances of falling…
Co-Founder of ScreenCloud, Codegent and more. With a particular interest in how technology and changing behaviours will improve the way we work and play