Welcome to Episode 124! Mark Suster is Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures which he joined in 2007, having previously worked with Upfront for nearly 8 years as a two-time entrepreneur. Before joining Upfront Mark was Vice President, Product Management at Salesforce.com following its acquisition of Koral, where Mark was Founder and CEO. Prior to Koral, Mark was Founder and CEO of BuildOnline, a European SaaS company that was acquired by SWORD Group. Mark is also the writer of one of my favorite VC blogs, Both Sides Of The Table, which is a centerpiece to the whole VC community and is a must read for all interested in entrepreneurship and VC.
In today’s episode you will learn:
* How Mark made his way into the world of startups and came to invest in SaaS with Upfront today?
* What are 4 reasons why startups should prioritize professional services in the early days? Why do most VCs disagree with this? How did Salesforce do this right in their period of hyper-growth?
* How should early stage startups approach the topic of pricing? How can they evaluate whether to call high or low? What are the pros and cons of doing both?
* Mark has previously discussed the importance of finding your champion in the buying process. How can startups determine whether your champion is a decision-maker? What questions can you ask to find this out?
* What changes as a SaaS business scales? What are the key inflection points of company development? How does Mark view the amount B2B startups are raising today? How does Mark evaluate responsible and right spend?
60 Second SaaStr:
* What should your first sales reps be really good at?
* How has Mark seen early stage SaaS startups go wrong most often?
* IPO markets, frothy or fantastic?
* What does Mark know now that he wishes he had known before?
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