5 Ways to Detect a Fake SaaS Business

By: Ned Stringham

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As the software industry evolves, there are constantly new terms and phrases created to describe and categorize each new model. And, when one of those emerging models has success and the financial valuations for being connected to that model skyrocket, impostors appear and quickly contort their firms to be part of that hot, emerging category. That’s why today, if you ask almost any software company to classify themselves, whether they’ve been in business for 2 years or 10 years, you’ll hear all the hottest valuation terms: mobile, social, cloud, big data, SaaS, PaaS. This isn’t new. Who can blame us, we want higher valuations. More

February Venture Capital Deals

By: Admin

February saw many new funding deals for cloud, tech, mobile, SaaS and social media. Here’s the summary of new deals for February. More

One Reason SaaS Businesses Fail

By: Ned Stringham

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The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business model, when working right, is a financial analyst’s dream.
Revenue is recurring, customer attrition is low, gross margins usually exceed 70% and the business can scale quickly without adding people. The result is amazing cash generation and valuations exceeding 5, 7 and even 10x revenue. It’s clear why every venture capitalist, private equity firm, angel investor and management team in the software space is in love with software-as-a-service. More

Best State for Business…Utah?

By: Admin

If you polled 100 residents of Utah as to why they live in this state, less than 5 would say because it’s the best place in the country to start a business or build a career. San Francisco, New York, Chicago and maybe Dallas or LA are the more likely answers for that. Despite this dated perception,located in Salt Lake City has surpassed MIT as the most prolific creator of new businesses to become the top University in the country in this category. Even more recently, Forbes rated Utah as the number one state in the country for business after examining factors like business costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, current economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life.
Then, just in the last few weeks the State of Utah revealed that it anticipates a $400 million budget surplus, yes surplus. Despite the sometimes crazy things that come out of the Utah legislature, they must be congratulated on keeping Utah’s fiscal house in order. California has some lessons to learn from Utah. More

Shoot for the Horizon Not the Stars

By: Ned Stringham

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It is true that to be an entrepreneur you must have a vision for your business and be unconstrained in your thinking about what’s possible; however, one of the most overlooked ingredients for success is never forgetting what it takes to survive. Sometimes just surviving long enough for your market to come alive or to figure out the right twist in your product or message is the difference between winning big and going under. The true story for many successful businesses involves tales of near death experiences, re-direction, and the will to survive. Too often media focuses on the hype, entrepreneurs dream about being the next Facebook and it all ends badly–either the business collapses or the founders get massively diluted in order to raise the cash to survive. More

Is “Serial Entreprenuer” Just Code for Serial Failure?

By: Ned Stringham

Have you noticed that just about everyone you speak with these days is a ‘serial entrepreneur?’ It’s the vogue thing to be. Like consultants in the late 80’s and venture capitalists in the late 90’s, everyone is trying to spin their story, but as before, the substance is often lacking. More

Kickanotch Fueled for Mobile

By: Admin

Today 42 Ventures announced the addition of it’s newest portfolio company, Kickanotch Mobile, a Kansas City upstart that provides a mobile software platform for broadcasters and publishers to reach and extend their audience through native mobile apps that provide new ways to engage and delight. Download and usage rates of the applications are soaring and Kickanotch’s easy to use analytics dashboard and control panel, make it simple to understand and target users with tailored features, promotions, advertising and offers. The company is led by a young, high-energy executive, Andy Lynn who’s passion for mobile has driven the business into the forefront of its target market in just over 1 year. It should be exciting to follow this dynamic enterprise over the coming months and years.

Telling the Story Backwards

By: Ned Stringham

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When you read a story about a successful entrepreneur in the media, it’s important to remember that in almost every case it is being told after the fact, after the events and after the ‘success.’ By looking backward, the writer always knows how the story ends. They have the luxury of shaping the events to show the path to success. The hard edges are rounded off and miss-steps seem less important. Too often the actions the leaders could have taken that may have delivered greater success and examples of other companies that followed a similar path and failed go unreported. More

Turning an Offer on It’s Head

By: Ned Stringham

A very clever deal guy taught me a simple mental trick when evaluating an offer to sell part or all of your company. He told me, “if you say no to this offer to sell, it’s the same as you buying the business for that price.” The price you turn down is the price you effectively ‘paid.’ It is now your new baseline. You now have to create value above and beyond that baseline. Can you still grow the value of your business at a rate and to a size above that level which justifies saying no to the offer? More