Articles

Here are a few recent recent developments at Basis State: NEW COMPANIES ONBOARDED We recently onboarded two companies. 1. Adtech SaaS reporting tool for web publishers and intermediaries (SSPs). It harmonizes reporting between 17 of the major ad exchanges to give a consolidated view of daily ad revenue. The tool could be an interesting strategic asset to ad platforms that ...
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There’s a right way to do software product management. There are schools to teach it, certifications prove it, and plenty of articles on it. This is not one of them. This is an article on how to manage an early-stage product when resources are too constrained to do it perfectly. When money is too tight to hire a full-time, certified ...
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I frequently hear investors say they are looking for passionate founders. I think in this instance "passionate" is just a proxy for "driven." Driven founders work hard, and push through adversity to get to success. Really, investors are not interested in just any flavor of passion. It’s important to consider whether yours is the type that investors want. Here are ...
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Companies acquire sub-scale SaaS for three reasons: (1) to accelerate a roadmap, (2) to access a new type of customer, (3) to avail a new product to existing customers. This article focuses on #2. Determining your value when you are being acquired for your customers (or types of customers) depends on the market you’re addressing, and whether your existing product ...
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When acquirers buy a sub-scale SaaS business, it's rarely for the business's revenue. The revenue-based valuation rules that apply for scaled SaaS companies do not apply sub-scale. Instead, sub-scale SaaS valuation is based on the particular reason the target is receiving interest, and this can vary. As I've mentioned in previous articles, there are three main reasons why companies acquire ...
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“When they teach you how to drive a racecar, they tell you to focus on the road when you go around a turn. They tell you that because if you focus on the wall, then you will drive straight into the wall.”    - Ben Horowitz Ben Horowitz has a great point. There are a myriad of pitfalls that can kill a startup, ...
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Building a successful VC-backed company requires getting everything just right. Getting it right means hitting a bullseye where three factors intersect: Founder Competency, Market Reality, and Investor Approach. When you hit that intersection, you have a big exit and sail away to your private island. When you miss, you either hire or negotiate, depending on how you miss. Let’s start ...
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“Sounds like a feature, not a product.” Anyone who has been on the VC trail a few times has probably heard these words. It’s one of the most common reasons for VCs to pass on your business. It makes sense. Features don’t get to VC scale, and they can easily get knocked-off by large platforms. For example, Google is notorious ...
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Startup failures send perfectly good tech to the scrap heap. That’s nothing new. What is new is that more and better tech is getting abandoned earlier. It’s an inefficiency created by our convergence around a common playbook. It starts with taking the path down a very narrow funnel The standard startup playbook goes something like this: build a product, get ...
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I was looking through a list of around 40 companies that had gone through a certain startup accelerator’s program. Of the 40, I knew of two exits (one small, one large) and one viable continuing operation. 90% of the companies were either gone, or on life support. Using VC math, one might argue the one big exit created enough benefit ...
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