As regular readers of this blog know- I’m currently available for hire 😉
Since I first announced it on TWIS a couple of weeks ago- I’ve been having some brilliant, and some not so brilliant conversations with people, so I thought it was about time I wrote something about me, what I’m looking for and what I can do people.
For regular readers and people who know me well- this bit will be boring- but essentially what I do is help companies create amazing SaaS products! Why? Because I’ve got great experience in SaaS (over 4 years now…) and I understand how to create great products that sell- we call this Product / Market fit (PM Fit). I primarily use techniques such as Lean Startup and Customer Development, and deploy them effectively to create profitable, scalable SaaS businesses.
So why hire me?
OK- so you’re thinking about SaaS or you’re in SaaS.
The problem with SaaS is that SaaS is hard. The dream of subscription revenue is soon lost once the very real challenges of Customer Acquisition are realised. Many people try to scale before they’re ready or have found excellent PM Fit- i.e. customers love your product and are willing to pay for it. Marc Andressen calls this “market pull”- where the market is actively pulling the product out of your company- wanting to buy it.
Scaling before finding PM Fit is a waste of time and money. It’s like fuelling a Skoda when you should be saving it for a Ferrari.
I help companies get to PM Fit, by utilising experience, best practice and rapid iteration with customer development / Lean techniques. I’ll spare you the details, but the key for any product is customers, revenue and eventually profit. In SaaS, this is harder than it looks at the outset and I’ve got skills to help you get there, on new or existing products, to create brilliant product experiences which customers love and buy.
As Lincoln Murphy said:
SaaS vendors need to stop thinking like software companies
Apparently I’m a rare commodity according to Dave McClure
It’s kind of a dirty little secret of the startup industry, but there are very few good product, design, and marketing people in tech.
He goes on:
* Assertion #1:
Addictive User Experience (aka Design) & Scalable Distribution Methods (aka Marketing) are the most critical for success in consumer internet startups, not pure Engineering talent.
In summary: i suggest to you that Engineering for consumer internet startups need only be competent, and that the real challenge is in finding designers & product managers who can build an awesome product experience, and marketers who can figure out effective scalable, integrated distribution strategies (whether organic or paid, whether technical or creative). (Emphasis- Ed.)
OK- you’ve got the idea…
So what am I looking for?
I love hard work- I really want to get my teeth into something. That’s why ideally I’d like to move away from consulting towards a full time gig- I want to work with great people and be part of a winning team- you don’t get that feeling often when you’re consulting.
Types of company?
What really matters to me is the team. If it’s dynamic and going somewhere good- the size of company doesn’t matter. I’ve talked to companies large and small- it’s all about the team.
This might sound mercenary, but I really don’t want to work in an unfunded startup… I’m an advisor to enough. The main reason is that funders are really good judges of a companies potential- that’s what they invest in. They also look at the sector in detail and the skills of the team. If you can sell yourself to a funder successfully then I think the chances are better of success. Even if it doesn’t play out well for an exit then at least I’ll have paid my mortgage for a few years 😉
I’ve worked across many sectors in SaaS. My particular expertise is creating a winning product using the SaaS business model- so I don’t specialise in one particular domain. I pick up domain specific knowledge really quickly especially since most companies I’ve worked with have had a domain expert. I think the success of a SaaS product is more about SaaS than the domain- Steve Blank would say- the Market Risk is greater than the Technical Risk. That’s a whole blog post on it’s own right there…
So in terms of compensation- it’s not something people really want to talk about, but for people contacting me should be aware of the parameters I’m working with… I’m looking for a basic of circa £100k ($165k), with either equity or a performance bonus depending on the company size- I’m flexible.
If you’re looking for a more short term engagement- I’m available for consulting too at £750.00 ($1250) a day with block discounts available.
I’d love to give someone a $500.00 gift card who refers me to a job I get! Apple tablet????
Refer a consulting gig and I’ll do something similar.
If you think you’re a fit, or know someone who is- please don’t hesitate to give me a ring or email me firstname.lastname@example.org