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Cloud Stocks: SaaS Companies NEED PaaS Strategy

Posted on Thursday, Mar 14th 2019

I have been analyzing SaaS companies for over a decade. More recently, I have been looking into their acquisition strategies, as many have now reached critical mass and need to expand beyond the one product that made them successful to begin with.

Some clear trends are evident in the industry:

First, SaaS companies are acquiring capital efficient startups much more readily than heavily funded ones. Bootstrapped startups are particularly popular as acquisition targets. We’ve covered several prolific acquirers of small startups:

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Colors: Snow Storm, Monochrome

Posted on Saturday, Mar 9th 2019

Snow Storm, Monochrome | Sramana Mitra, 2017

I’m publishing this series on LinkedIn called Colors to explore a topic that I care deeply about: the Renaissance Mind. I am just as passionate about entrepreneurship, technology, and business, as I am about Art and Culture. In this series, I will typically publish a piece of Art – a painting, a poem, a piece of music, so forth – and I request you to spend a minute or two deeply meditating on it. I urge you to watch your feelings, thoughts, reactions to the piece, and write what comes to you, what thoughts it triggers, in the dialog area. Let us see what stimulation this interaction yields. For today – Snow Storm, Monochrome

Snow StormMonochrome | Sramana Mitra, 2017 | Water color and Pastel | 18 x 24, On Paper

Related Reading: Silicon Valley: The Next Decade

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Best of Bootstrapping: Blitzscaling vs. Bootstrapping

Posted on Friday, Mar 8th 2019

You must have read something or the other about Blitzscaling, the hypergrowth phenomenon that Reid Hoffman has been championing:

What entrepreneur or founder doesn’t aspire to build the next Amazon, Facebook, or Airbnb? Yet those who actually manage to do so are exceedingly rare. So what separates the startups that get disrupted and disappear from the ones who grow to become global giants?

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Colors: Stimulating the Renaissance Mind

Posted on Saturday, Mar 2nd 2019

Snow in Bryce Canyon, Utah | Sramana Mitra, 2017

I’m publishing a new series on LinkedIn called Colors to explore a topic that I care deeply about: the Renaissance Mind. I am just as passionate about entrepreneurship, technology, and business, as I am about Art and Culture. In this series, I will typically publish a piece of Art – a painting, a poem, a piece of music, so forth – and I request you to spend a minute or two deeply meditating on it. I urge you to watch your feelings, thoughts, reactions to the piece, and write what comes to you, what thoughts it triggers, in the dialog area. Let us see what stimulation this interaction yields. For today – White Snow, Brown Canyon.

Snow in Bryce Canyon, Utah | Sramana Mitra, 2017 | Watercolor and Pastel | 18 x 24, On Paper

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Best of Bootstrapping: The Buy Side of Bootstrapping to an Exit

Posted on Friday, Mar 1st 2019

I am sure you are following the Bootstrapping to Exit (let’s call it B2E) articles. Last time, I showed you some case studies of larger companies who are acquiring bootstrapped startups.

In this post, I will double-click down on the buy-side psychology of the B2E phenomenon.

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Best of Bootstrapping: Some Bootstrapping to Exit Case Studies

Posted on Friday, Feb 22nd 2019

You have, presumably, read my recent article Bootstrapping to Exit. As a follow-up, let me offer you some case studies.

From Freshworks Has Acquired Nine Capital Efficient Startups:

All the nine acquisitions by Freshworks have been for undisclosed amounts. Cloud-based video collaboration platform 1CLICK, acquired in 2015, was founded in 2012 and had raised an undisclosed seed round from Blume Ventures and The Chennai Angels in 2014.

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Best of Bootstrapping: Bootstrap First and Raise Money Later

Posted on Friday, Feb 15th 2019

I wrote a book called Billion Dollar Unicorns a few years back. Writing this book took me through the extensive process of talking to entrepreneurs who have built tech companies with valuations above a billion dollars. While there is a tremendous amount of serendipity involved in any extraordinary success story, one recurring theme comes up in these case studies. I am particularly excited to share this nugget because it applies broadly to all classes of entrepreneurial ventures.

Bootstrap first, raise money later.

That’s what Fred Luddy did when he founded ServiceNow back in 2005. Leveraging his domain knowledge and expertise in IT ServiceDesk software, he rapidly acquired 12 customers before raising funding. Initially, he started charging $25 per seat and the 12 customers paid up. He raised $2.5 million in venture capital WITH 12 customers, and ample validation.

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Best of Bootstrapping: Excess is NOT Required for Success

Posted on Friday, Feb 8th 2019

Let’s do a thought experiment.

List all the things you want to do with your life if you had additional resources.

How many of these require additional money?

How much additional money do you need to acquire to afford these things?

How many of these require additional time?

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