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Joel York

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Top Stories by Joel York

A few months back, Gartner placed big data at the peak of its hype cycle for cloud computing, meaning most big data products are solutions looking for a problem. I always find this bad entrepreneurial habit to be one of the most frustrating of our industry. Having recently joined Meltwater as head of marketing and product (BTW Meltwater is hiring marketing and product managers!), I think a lot about big data and how to unleash it’s value to solve important business problems, because that is our business. How does big data go from “so what” to “must have”? The Big Data Challenge Big data is a by-product of the Internet and the ever increasing power of computers. Kind of like petroleum sludge. We know there must be great value buried within this vast, raw resource, but the challenge lies in figuring out how to turn it into something useful like plastic, or the other th... (more)

Social Sales | Ten Social Sales Leadership Tips

Sales professionals are some of the earliest adopters and most annoying users of social networking. The problem is that most sales reps treat LinkedIn like a prospecting database for cold calling. It’s just too enticing when all your target prospects are out there showing off their company names, titles, areas of expertise, blogs, and opinions. You can use LinkedIn as a prospecting database, but it is probably the weakest and most professionally irritating use of the technology. To succeed at social sales, you must have something to offer beyond your product. You must be someone ... (more)

SaaS Growth Strategy | A Customer Lifecycle Approach

Driving sustainable growth is a challenge for every SaaS business from startups to public companies. In the beginning, the SaaS recurring revenue model seems like a dream compared to the revenue fits and starts of licensed enterprise software. But within one short customer lifetime, every SaaS CEO startles awake to the fact that the churn monster is always looking over your shoulder. In the short run, SaaS growth scales with customer acquisition, but in the long run churn kicks in and dominates even the most aggressive SaaS growth strategy, creating a SaaS growth ceiling that ca... (more)

SaaS Profitability – SaaS Company is as SaaS Customer Does

Profitability, one would think, should come quite naturally to a successful, growing SaaS company.  But, SaaS startups have consistently struggled to reach profitability.  Unprofitable SaaS companies have gone public and remained unprofitable for years after their IPOs, even as they grow revenues into the hundreds of millions of dollars.  SaaS companies have eschewed economic convention, with management and investors alike calmly shrugging off the passe’ advice of their obsolete microeconomics professors who cry out in vain from their blackboards that “the role of the firm is to ... (more)

SaaS Metrics – Joel’s Magic Number for SaaS Companies

One of the mysteries I hoped to solve when I embarked upon this little SaaS metrics mathematical journey was the reality behind “The SaaS Company Magic Number” introduced by then Omniture CEO, Josh James, and immemorialized by my pal Lars Leckie over at Hummer Winblad. In principal, this number tells you how aggressively you should be spending to build up your customer base: “the key insight is that if you are below 0.75 then step back and look at your business, if you are above 0.75 then start pouring on the gas for growth because your business is primed to leverage spend into g... (more)