Category Archives: Cb Insights

Product Validation First, Then Investors – In That Order

funding doesn't equal successJust read this post about someone who formerly worked in venture moving to be an entrepreneur and give up his $200k gig.  The post is a bit melodramatic but all in all, good to read and good for him.  I hope he’s successful but even if not, I think trying to build something can help you learn a lot about yourself and things like product, management, marketing, sales, etc.

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Warren Buffett helps me answer “What’s your exit strategy?”

long term thinkingPeople ask this question to me a lot more as of late.  Not sure why.

And when they ask, I’m not sure I have a great response as I don’t think about exiting a lot and find there is excessive focus on the flip versus building something of value and letting things unfold from there.
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25,000 Subscribers on Our Newsletter

CB Insights newsletter sizeI wrote about this in our newsletter that went out yesterday.  Yes – a writeup about our newsletter in our newsletter. Forgive the meta’ness.

While we’ve made numerous mistakes on the path to building CB Insights, our newsletter was not one of them.

This past week, we crossed 25,000 subscribers. And we’re adding 200-350 new subscribers each week! As it tends to get forwarded around a fair amount, we estimate our 3x per week newsletter reaches upto about 150k inboxes per week.

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SaaS Advice & Education

SaaS startup adviceWhile there is a ton of very bad startup advice out there, there are also a few very good providers of wisdom and tactical advice.  But it’s a bear to get through it and find these folks.

And so I thought I’d take a stab at this with a square focus on something near and dear to my heart – SaaS.

I’m hoping to keep this updated over time (we’ll see how that goes) based on other sources I find or based on feedback from others on sources I’ve missed.  So please do let me know.

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TMZ – Here We Come

We’ve been a pretty behind-the-scenes type of company and gang at CB Insights. Do  good work, build good isht and take care of customers and stuff seems to work out.  But it was nice to get a call from a Crains’ reporter, Judy Messina, recently about doing an article about CB Insights.  Judy has been using our data for stories for a while and one day she asked “Things seem to be going well for you guys, right?” and thus began our dialogue.

The article is here and in my insanely biased opinion, it’s pretty awesome from the headline on down.  But the headline is too good not to repeat.

CB Insights grows the old-fashioned way: No bravado, no venture capital money, no ball pits; It’s all business at the data firm.

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Screwing Up While Building A Culture of Nice

screwing up cultureThe good news is CB Insights is growing really fast these days. The result of this is I find myself spending more and more of my time on human resources (HR) — I’d say probably 30-40% of my time.

HR isn’t just recruiting, interviewing and talking to prospective candidates.  It also includes more conversations with the existing team about career planning, goals, feedback about what I can do better, feedback to them, etc.

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Oh Crap, It’s March 1st – Sales Anxiety

sales anxiety - first of the monthJanuary and February were great months from a sales/bookings perspective.  But because I wake up scared and go to bed paranoid, the first day of each month fills me with anxiety because in my mind, sales are back at zero, and it’s go time.

We’re in a hole and we gotta climb out.

Yeah – I tend to worry a lot.

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The “Venture Industrial Complex” and Survivorship Bias

survivorship biasDevin Matthews and Jim Milbery write at the Private Equity Funcast which I just discovered after seeing this article about the “venture capital trap”.  I’m still working my way through their blog archive, but it’s fairly fantastic so far. Cogent arguments and a take-no-prisoners style of writing.  I recommend it.

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The Bowling Pin Strategy

bowling pin strategyA post by Chris Dixon highlighted the Bowling Pin Strategy which has become one of my favorite ways of thinking about how to attack markets.  The strategy was articulated by Geoffrey Moore of Crossing the Chasm fame and is explained well by Chris Spagnuolo in this post where he summarizes:

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