I met with a multibillion dollar SaaS founder last year who told me one of their top mistakes was shutting down their startups program.

They’d begun the march upmarket, as so many of us do.

And the math for “startups” didn’t make sense. And they found their formal startup program was a distraction. Fast forward 12 months, and they’d realized it was a huge strategic mistake.

Their competitors had taken over the “startup” segment, and in particular, the highest-profile startups had moved there. Not just as customers, but as partners.

But it took over a year to see the impact show up at all in the numbers.

A lot of us are making similar trade-offs today. We’re cutting anything that doesn’t pay off now, that doesn’t seem 100% core to the market at the moment.

Sometimes you have to.

But my only advice is this: if (x) you can make anything close to $1 from spending a $1 anywhere today, maybe even $0.50 and (y) those customers are truly happy, maybe don’t cut that program, that segment, that marketing initiative.

You’ll need all that pipeline, those customers, those referrals, and that second-order revenue pretty badly. Not now.

But about 12 months from now.

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