Layoffs are brutal. In fact, I don’t think they generally ever should happen in SaaS.
Why not? The simple fact is if you have 110%, 120%+ NRR … then you >know<. You know then the next 6-8 months, within a range. You should plan to that model.
Many of us got into trouble by not just hiring to the plan our “last 4 months” average growth model told us to hire to. Being overfunded can do that. More on how to build a basic Last 4 Months plan here:
Having said all that, we’ve been through a time of dramatic change in SaaS. The pandemic radically changed buying patterns, and the reopening changed them again. In both cases, faster than anyone predicted. It’s whiplash and few of us could really keep up.
I have just one suggestion, one word of advice in this new world:
Go Out Appreciative.
Even if you have to fake it. No matter how hard it may be. I know for many, this will sound silly, and counterintuitive.
But in startups, everyone wants to hire the believers. The romantics. The ones that want to do great things. Not the ones that are angry and bitter. Even if it’s deserved.
I can tell you personally, as a founder, I haven’t gone out that many times. But when I did it and wasn’t appreciative — I regret it today. Not back then. But today.
There’s no karma out there; I’ve learned that over the years. But I’ve learned over the years that leaving strong relationships behind just always pays off.
Even if it’s not clear at the time.
And a related post here: