Mattermark Daily – Tuesday, November 25th

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From the Investors

Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures defines the ‘fundamental unit’ of a SaaS business and details the ratios of each part of the unit based on multiple variables in “The Fundamental Unit of SaaS Growth


Robert Bonanzinga of Balderton Capital provides his perspective of the ‘psychology of a venture capitalist’ with five points for entrepreneurs to ‘keep in mind’ in “The Venture Capitalist Struggle

Fred Wilson and Joel Monegro of Union Square Ventures describe the ‘Blockchain Application Stack‘ and how they think it will impact the future of app development in ‘The Emerging Architecture of Internet Applications

Ela Madej of Innovation Nest shares her journey going from a full-time CEO for six years to a VC at Innovation Nest in “Jumping Into a VC Rabbit Hole

Hunter Walk of Homebrew calls out a scenario for requesting introductions that he sees as ‘asymmetrical warfare on (other peoples’) time and social capital’ in “Don’t Carpet Bomb for Introductions

Ali Hamed of Coventure highlights their staffing industry thesis, case studies of ‘demand commoditized services’ and future opportunities in “Staffing Industry” (slideshow)

Albert Wenger of Union Square Ventures believes ‘we have to start acknowledging how much we still let our emotions control our behavior’ in “Starting with Ourselves

Leo Polovets of Susa Ventures outlines two ways being the ‘man-in-the-middle’ in email introductions can be an opportunity to learn in “A Learning Technique Inspired by Computer Hackers

From the Operators

Craig Watson of Soundwave gives an (extensive) overview of ‘the main legal touch-points founders can expect throughout the life of their startup’ in “The Legal Life-Cycle of a Startup

First Round Review: Robert Falcone of Monetate summarizes the tactics he’s learned ‘to convince people that they need your product in just one conversation’ in “Your Product Demo Sucks Because It’s Focused on Your Product”

Brian Scordato of Tacklebox explains how ‘startups don’t fail, founders quit’ with his story of shutting down his dating app ‘too soon’ in “I Coulda Been a Con-Tinder…

Francine Hardaway of Stealthmode Partners challenges Uber to ‘grow up’ saying ‘this is a major and critical inflection point for the company’ in “Corporate Culture Will Make or Break Uber

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Mattermark Daily – Monday, November 24th

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From the Investors

Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures concludes that as revenue and team size grow for SaaS companies, the number of new customer salespeople decrease and upsells salespeople increase in “How Much Should Your Startup Spend on Customer Account Expansion?


Jessica Livingston of Y Combinator launches Founder Female Stories, a collection of interviews highlighting the backgrounds, startup journeys and perspectives of forty female YC founders in “What We Learned from 40 Female YC Founders

Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures gives his perspective of Uber’s recent situation, thoughts on competitive business practices and user privacy in “In Defense of Uber: An Objective Opinion

Josh Breinlinger of SigmaWest outlines key attributes of service-based marketplaces, noting massive cost savings as their biggest advantage in “Marketplaces Are Eating Firms (Unedited)

Jason Lemkin of Storm Ventures explains how and why ‘every single employee that can materially influence revenue (should) have a variable revenue component’ in “Your Variable Comp Plans for ’15. You Probably Need More of Them.

Ben Weiner of Jumpseed Ventures outlines lessons learned becoming an investor and the importance of getting back to founders with conclusive feedback even if the answer is still no in “How I Became the First Investor in ‘The Most Promising Startup in the World’ (and Almost Blew It)

Michael Copeland and Jeff Jordan of Andreessen Horowitz discuss increased online holiday shopping leading to challenges in managing logistics and consumer experiences in “Ecommerce and the Holiday Shopping Collision” (audio)

Angela Tran Kingyens of Version One Ventures shares how to ‘ask the right questions’ and ‘go for the low hanging fruit’ in understanding your startup’s data in “How to Start Making Sense of Your Data

Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures counters Re/code’s decision to remove comments from their site, providing metrics pointing to comments being ‘alive and well on the web and mobile’ in “Comments Are Dead, Long Live Comments

Charlie O’Donnell of Brooklyn Bridge Ventures believes early employees should evaluate how their salary effects a startup’s finances and opt for taking more equity vs. cash in “What Salary Means

Chris Moore of Redpoint Ventures details the key qualities he looks for in (preferably first-time) founders before investing in “What It Takes: Qualities of a Successful Founding CEO

From the Operators

Joseph Walla of HelloSign confronts DocuSign for blatantly copying HelloSign’s design in “DocuSign, with $230 Million in Funding, Why Are You Copying Us?

Ben Huh of Cheezburger shares how he overcame the struggle of being an entrepreneur by embracing his own fears and launches his ‘redemption’ Cheezburger app in “Rewriting Cheezburger Saved My Life

Jason Freedman of 42Floors advises founders on how to mitigate complete startup failure in the scenario of not raising a Series A in “Surviving the Series A Crunch

Sara Haider of Secret says, ‘this isn’t Uber’s problem to solve’ and encourages everyone in the tech industry to ‘lead by example to change this culture’ in “Hey Silicon Valley, We Are All Uber

Jordan Cooper of Wildcard talks about the sensationalism created around failure and its impact on risk tolerance in “The Dopamine Squirt You Got From Fab’s Failure

Todd Schneider of Genius uses data to analyze startup hype and funding announcements in “The TechCrunch Bubble Index: Parsing Headlines to Quantify Startup Hype

Jonas Downey of Basecamp makes the case for a design process that startups with writing before diving into sketches, wireframes or prototypes in “Writing-first Design

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Removing Friction in the Mattermark Funnel: Manage Settings, Change Credit Card Info & Plans

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Startups generally use their company blogs to talk about big new features, but over the past couple of months we’ve put emphasis on polishing the experience of Mattermark from the user interface to integrations, while reducing technical debt internally, building out important internal systems for both the engineering and sales teams, improving data quality with a broader range of sources and methodologies while closing out a wide range of bugs from the annoying to the critical.

Mattermark grew remarkably quickly over the past 18 months since we launched, and many decisions we made when we had fewer than one hundred users no longer make sense now that we serve thousands of people logging in to use our tools to help them get their work done every day.

Account Settings Page

Users can now edit their contact information, password, credit card and plan directly through the user interface, rather than by contacting support. Login and check out the account settings page


Update Credit Card Information

We’ve used Stripe to process payments from day one, but if you didn’t sign up with a credit card on day one or if you needed to change your card later we had to take your information by phone and manually update Stripe. Not anymore!


Looking back, it’s kind of amazing how successful we have been while still handling most of these administrative requests through support. I think the startup lesson learned here is that if you’re getting ready to launch and are spending a lot of time automating this part of your product, you might want to think twice and wait until you have a lot more users. Your time is precious, and it could probably be better spent on the thing that makes your product uniquely awesome and helps you reach product/market fit.