The 13 Critical Questions to Answer about Your Startup’s Product Marketing

Early in the life of a business, the product manager (often a founder) plays both the role of the PM and the PMM. Over time, the startup’s growth demands a more specialized role.

Many times, the PM builds the product as quickly as possible to establish product/market fit. In contrast, the PMM answers critical questions about the company, product and market to ensure the product sells.

What … [ Read more ]

Ten Years’ Worth of Learnings About Pricing

Why do we set prices? Setting aside the important reasons of generating revenue and maintaining solvency for a business, there are many other reasons to set price. Price reinforces brand because price telegraphs whether a product is a premium product or a value product. Price differentiates products in the market and can be used as a go-to-market strategy. Underprice the competition to gain share. There … [ Read more ]

Tomasz Tunguz

Many great entrepreneurs I’ve met embody both of these characteristics: unflagging resilience and a clear understanding of their ultimate purpose. They reinforce the other. A strong sense of purpose bolsters the spirit in challenging times, and persistent resilience sustains a founder to ultimately attain their telos.

When Startup Compensation Isn’t About the Money

As Daniel Kahneman showed in Thinking Fast and Slow, humans think in normal distributions. Most people will near the mean and a few outliers exist at the best and worst end of the spectrum. But, that’s not the case at work.

The Three Questions to Ask When Hiring Your Startup’s Head of Sales

Mark Roberge, the Chief Revenue Officer at Hubspot, has spent 20 years in startups. As he told me a few days ago, he has observed the lack of sales management and sales execution skills as one of the most consistent deficiencies limiting the potential of early stage SaaS companies. Frequently, the first sales leadership hire is the hardest, because it’s difficult to ascertain the right … [ Read more ]

Startup Best Practices 19 – Recognizing the Breaking Points of Your Startup’s Management Structure

At the founding of a startup, the structure of the company is flat. Everyone is effectively a peer. At about 8 people, a leader must emerge to shepherd the growing team, and so the first management layer is created. Then again, somewhere around 60 employees, the company must add another management layer, and then again when the company reaches a few hundred employees.

This pattern … [ Read more ]

8 Customer Discovery Questions to Validate Product Market Fit for Your Startup

During a typical customer research process, we will interview customers and might ask them questions like these. All of these questions are customer and product discovery questions, almost identical to the ones product managers use to understand if the company has unlocked product-market fit. In addition, these interviews surface insights about marketing positioning and true perception in the market; customer support effectiveness; overselling; and product … [ Read more ]

Startup Best Practices 16 – Option Pool Planning

No matter the stage of the business, startups need to manage the size of their Employee Stock Option Pool or ESOP. The ESOP contains the shares set aside by the company for hiring and retaining employees. Like a financial budget, ESOP budgets help a startup plan how to finance its growth.