Man sitting in library Featured

CEO Library – The 15 Essential Books for CEOs

The major constraint in a CEO’s skill development is their speed in recognizing patterns and adopting successful models. It’s often possible to shortcut this process by reading the right book. Many 10X CEOs have achieved significant personal breakthroughs because they read the right book at the right time.

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Car on curvy road Featured

The 10X Curve

The 10X Curve is a clear predictor of CEO success in a venture backed company.  It provides the CEO with a clear picture of their own effectiveness and helps them focus on the things that matter and how to use accelerated learning techniques to implement their most important priorities better and faster.

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Finance/Fundraising

Toxic VC and the Marginal-Dollar Problem

Toxic VCVenture capital has a great expectation for growth and, with it, comes a great pressure to perform. In the quest to grow as big and fast as the Unicorn-crazed market expects, companies find themselves scaling with consequence. After all, not all growth is healthy growth. This article takes a contradictory look at the tough decisions start-ups must face to stay healthy in the face of VC funding.

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Finance/Fundraising

Is Your Company Growing Fast Enough?

RocketshipThis Medium article from Parsa VC provides contemporary data to numerically answer the question, “how fast should I be growing to be an attractive IPO candidate?” It explores benchmarks, provides examples of real-world companies, and dives into key learnings from what the data uncovered.

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Broken heart Culture/People

Slack, I’m Breaking Up with You

Slack has become a common communication tool amongst employees and teams particularly with startup companies. This hilarious UserOnboard open letter to Slack describes an employee’s feelings and struggles with the well-intended platform.

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People sitting at board table Culture/People

The Sad Truth About Developing Executives

As a company grows, so must a Founder’s day-to-day approach managing employees. At first, a CEO will find his/herself a functional manager. Then, at some point in the company’s growth, he/she must make the challenging transition to a strategic CEO who doesn’t have time to coach his/her managers. This means the right executives must be ready to hit the ground running as a world class addition to the company without great oversight. This Recode article describes why and how to hire and foster the right executive team.

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Hands Shaking Finance/Fundraising

Why Option Refresh Grants Are Essential For Startup Recruiting And Retention

Employee ownership is a great recruiting and retention tool. As the tech landscape has evolved where time to liquidity is longer, the war for talent has grown and transparency around compensation is greater, the argument for option refresh grants has heated up. This Forbes article takes a fresh look at the argument for option refresh grants and the various forms they can take by looking at Shasta Ventures philosophy on the topic.

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10 Laws of Customer Success Product/Customer Success

The 10 Laws of Customer Success

The recurring revenue model has changed priorities for most businesses, namely the need for customer retention and the subsequent creation of the customer success function. This Gainsight article deeply discusses the various elements to customer success with industry experts who focus on different aspects of the buyer journey.

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Printed money Finance/Fundraising

Why Can’t SaaS Companies Just Mint Cash?

The natural trade-off between burn rate and profitability is one that keeps many CEOs up at night. This SaaStr article explains why no two SaaS companies are the same in terms of how quickly cash is spent and how important it is to be profitable. Plus, it offers some ideas on how to better gauge and understand key metrics when asking this trade-off question.

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Well dress man on PC Marketing/Sales

The Greatest Sales Deck I’ve Ever Seen

Sales pitches are often the same mundane, ineffective tactic every company uses. This article by The Mission goes into detail why Zuora was the best sales pitch they’ve seen to date, including the surprisingly pleasant (and counterintuitive) approaches that made the biggest difference.

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Billboard sign, Send. Sign. Done. Marketing/Sales

Hire the Right Type of VP Marketing — Or You’ll Just End Up With a Bunch of Blue Pens with Your Logo On Them

Once a company has about 10 customers, a marketing executive is a key hire. Many qualified SaaS marketing hires will be best suited for corporate marketing because of their experience with larger SaaS companies. But, this may not be the best fit for a startup SaaS company. This SaaStr articles describes the reasons why a marketing person who excels in demand generation may in fact be the best fit.

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Dart missing target on dartboard Marketing/Sales

A Shockingly Common Way that Sales Misses Plan

Many startup companies face the same problem as they scale – sales targets are missed. A common source for this problem revolves around failure to hit sales hiring targets. This thinkgrowth.org article provides an in-depth look at the formula that will assist in visibility with this issue and ensure success during this key transition point in a company’s growth.

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Chocolate Cake Marketing/Sales

This Sales Plan Moves the Needle on Every Success Metric

As a company grows, salespeople will shift from information disseminators to value-added consultants. At this point, a granular sales process is key to ensure all employees are speaking the same language and understand company expectations for customer acquisition and success. This First Round Review article uses Wildfire’s Stage Management Guide to explore the benefits and best execution methods for a granular sales approach.

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Flow chart Marketing/Sales

HubSpot’s Playbook for Going From Startup to Scale-up

From startup to scaled, there can be a lot of bumps along the way. HubSpot was no different as they found themselves stuck between product market fix and the next step. They took what might seem like an unconventional approach leaning hard into their weakness and reinventing their strategy completely. Every portion of the business was affected and the results were significant. This Readthink article dives into HubSpot’s playbook for real takeaways on a successfully scaled business.

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