We produce a lot of content now on SaaStr. A lot. 100+ podcasts a year with 1m+ downloads. 200+ videos. 300+ posts and answers a year. A whole lot of tweets. It is a lot. And let us know what you’d like to see more of — and less of.
So you might have missed a post or two 😉
I thought I’d highlight then what the most popular pieces in 2019 were. (I’ll do a second post later on what I think the best ones were, and we can compare and contrast).
I’m going to not include the ones that were written before 2019. But for your SEO and content marketing folks out there, note the most read pieces weren’t even published in 2019. So go long on content.
But the top new pieces of content in 2019 were:
Top Blog Posts
1. The Ultimate Guide For Scaling, Sales & Raising Capital. Our #1 post was actually our first eBook, which you can get here for free. I guess that’s no surprise since it was also the #1 featured product on ProductHunt which probably helped a lot.
This section in the "Sales" chapter is gold. pic.twitter.com/iDMbhFEq5f
— Michael Zimmerman (@ZimVC) April 28, 2019
2. The $1 Billion ARR Club. A short piece, but it sure resonated. The learning from the top cloud leaders is that every SaaS company that gets to $100m ARR basically gets to $1b ARR. Almost all of them. Power laws, indeed.
3. Why A Great Sales Rep Can Close 9x More That a Poor Rep, and Even 2.5x More Than a Good Rep. If you are building your first sales team, read this post. The maths and logic here are not obvious. But once you’ve done it, you’ll see too. The best reps don’t sell just a little more. They can sell up to 10x more in the early days. Why? This post explains the math and numbers. Read it.
4. 5 Interesting Learnings from Zoom as It IPOs. Boy, what a year for SaaS IPOs. Epic. Our most-read post on the topic was on Zoom’s metrics, perhaps not a surprise. Zoom is growing faster with SMB customers than anyone else before. Why? There are many reasons, but crazy net retention is a big one. Read more in the post.
5. How to Build a $100 Billion SaaS Company. We took a fresh look at Salesforce’s numbers as it aims for $100b in ARR, having already crossed $100b in market cap. The keys? Going even more upmarket. And selling even more to its existing base.
6. A Step-by-Step Guide to Revenue Growth with Mark Roberge. This was one of the top-rated sessions at 2019 SaaStr Annual, and Mark is doing a new master class at 2020 SaaStr Annual. The video and post are all here.
7. About 70% of SaaS Unicorns Are New Versions of Existing Categories of Software. How many of us are creating new categories, vs. rebooting existing ones? I didn’t know, so we took a look at the numbers. Most of us are rebooting existing categories of software. Microsoft and Google and Salesforce did. You probably are, too.
8. 12 Things You’ll Look Back on in SaaS … And Regret. Boy this is a good one. Most SaaS posts are “how to” checklists. This one turned it around and listed out the mistakes we all make, that you should just try to make less of. Many of these mistakes haunt me to this day. Don’t make them yourself. They are easy to avoid. Read this one.
9. Why Your Cost of Sales Generally Doubles As You Scale. This is a good one, with the real numbers. You’ll hear that sales efficiency plummets as you scale, but you won’t really get why until you go through. This post explains exactly why. You’ll feel like you have a super-efficient sales engine in the early days. But then you’ll see that wasn’t sustainable.
10. What The Downturn Will Probably Look Like in SaaS. Lots of folks predicted a slowdown this year. They were all wrong. We are ending the year at all-time highs for SaaS and Cloud. But the best of times can’t go on forever. Or even if they can, there has to be a bump or two coming. This post outlines what happened last time, and what probably will happen next time.
Like our videos? Ok the top new videos of 2019 are below. Again, content marketers — the top videos were long tail from prior years. But here are the top new videos and sessions:
1. The Things Nobody Tells You About an $8B Acquisition with Ryan Smith from Qualtrics. This was our opening fireside from 2019 Annual and it proved very popular during the year. Ryan did a lot of press and PR after the acquisition, but we dug into the founder journey in some pretty unique ways.
2. Lessons from a Second-Time Founder: How Brex Went from $0 to $1b in Less Than 2 Years. Brex is now worth $2b+ since the video was shot! But it’s a great session on how Brex did early marketing, sales, and other tactics.
3. A Decade of Learnings from Y Combinator. Michael Seibel speaks a lot, but he brought something unique and compelling to Annual. Folks loved this session.
4. State of the Cloud with Bessemer Venture Partners. This has become a tradition at Annual, and will be back for 2020 Annual. A deep dive on the trends and metrics in SaaS and cloud.
5. Lessons from Gorgias: How To Get to 1,000 Customers Solely with Data. I was a bit surprised this one was so popular, but the data and topic and metrics are pretty compelling for folks getting to their first 1,000+ SMB customers. Take a look.
6. The Top 10 Learnings About Free Trials with Tomasz Tunguz. Tomasz always brings deep insights, and he’ll be back for 2020 Annual too. This session dove into some non-obvious learnings from the data on free trials.
7. The Funnel is Dead. Long Live the Flywheel with Brian Halligan, CEO of Hubspot. Brian and Dharmesh are two of the most popular and down-to-earth founders out there. Brian came to Annual for the first time, and had a very popular deep dive on his thoughts for marketing in 2020 and beyond.
8. From Burn-Out to $100m in ARR with Jason Cohen of WP Engine. This session was from 2018 Annual but wasn’t published until 2019. It was popular. Everyone goes through burn-out. Jason turned it around into a unicorn.
9. Scaling from $1m to $500m in ARR: 5 Strategies to Drive Your Next Wave of Intercom. Karen Peacock is one of the most thoughtful leaders in SaaS and she always brings incredibly actionable insights in how to scale. This was a Top 5 session at Annual.
10. 8 Years of Learning from Zoom. Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom, has been part of the SaaStr community since the beginning. Here was his look back on what worked for Zoom.
Twitter has become an important force for SaaStr in 2019. Here were our most popular tweets: