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When AI Favors the Incumbents

In his most recent earnings conference call, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella said “Every product of Microsoft will have some of the same AI capabilities to completely transform the product.” Today, Microsoft Teams launched AI features in Teams for a fee. Teams will summarize meetings, create chapters in those meetings, extract tasks, translate in real time,...

The Future of Startup Office

100 years ago, fluorescent lamps & suspended ceilings topped the list of hottest trends in office design. In 1928, San Antonio’s Milam Building claimed the honor of the first office skyscraper with air conditioning. Twenty-five years later, window-encased skyscrapers with internal glass walls distinguished the modern office. Employees ensconced...

Microsoft as a Mirror - What We Can Expect for SaaS in 2023

I’m watching public company earnings to identify early weaknesses in the software market. Yesterday, Microsoft announced earnings. The transcript highlights the major trends in software of 2023. Below, I’ve listed those trends with data & excerpts from the earnings call transcript. 1. Enterprises Have Slowed their Spending, Decelerating Further...

How Layoffs in Startupland Differ Between B2B & B2C Companies

The current wave of layoffs, a difficult component of the innovation boom/bust cycle, differs from the previous years’ dynamics. B2B companies have reduced headcount to a greater extent than at any time since 2020. In the last three years, B2C startups’ ratio of layoffs have dwarfed B2B layoffs. In 2020, B2C companies cut 8.8x the number of B2B...

Is the Suite Strategy Right for Your SaaS Startup?

Most massive software companies structure themselves with an office of the CEO, which allocates capital to different business units. Within each business unit, a general manager operates one or more products. There are three paths I’ve seen to achieve this scale: The dominant path of the last ten years: focus on a single product until the company...

The Most Acquisitive Acquihirers in Software

“The Startup M&A Market Fell 94% Year over Year - But One Segment Thrives”, a post from last week, elicited the same question from many readers. Just who are the most active acquirers for smaller takeouts? To answer the question. I reviewed the roughly 560 US software acquisitions under $400m since January 1, 2020. ServiceNow tops the list...

Rabbits on Firetrucks : Generating Images for B2B Blog Posts Using AI

I’d like to have a hero image atop each blog post. Readers dwell for a few seconds longer on blog posts with images. Plus, images garner more interest across social media. I wondered how the current wave of generative AI image makers like Midjourney, Dall-E, & Stable Diffusion would fare creating images for a few of my posts. Here are the results....

2023 is the Year of _________

Frank Bien at Looker kicked off each year with a theme. A decade later, I still remember them. These themes focused the company & the board. The management team wove that theme through every board deck during the year. I imagine the internal messaging prioritized it, too. One year, he dubbed the Year of the Hound. Looker had focused on technical...

The Startup M&A Market Fell 94% Year over Year - But One Segment is Thriving

The US startup M&A market in Q4 2022 was one of the quietest in the last 20 years. It rivals the dotcom bust & Global Financial Crisis for its paucity. In percentage terms, last quarter dropped the most since 2000, falling 94% year-over-year. US venture-backed M&A fell from $34.6b in Q4 2021 to a paltry $2.1b in Q4 2022. The total...

Sizing the Web3 B2B Software Market

Just how big is the current web3 B2B SaaS total addressable market (TAM)? In the last six months, 103 web3 companies generated revenue on-chain, the smallest of which recorded a few hundred dollars of sales & the largest, Ethereum, tallied $401m. 44% of these companies produced less than $0.5m. But a nascent mid-market does exist : 41 companies...

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