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Famous venture capital partners: 23 practical experiences and lessons on company construction (2)

2022-05-07 15:52:2536kr

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Editor's note : Among many start-ups , Only a handful of companies will eventually succeed , There are few companies that can develop into large-scale companies . This article comes from compiling , This article introduces the payment giant Stripe Notes and collaboration tools Notion Christina, who is an executive of the company · Cordoba (Cristina Cordova) To share the 23 Practical experience and lessons about company construction , Hope to inspire you . Because of space , The article is divided into three parts . The second part focuses on the lessons learned in customer relations and partnerships .

Cristina · Cordoba (Cristina Cordova)

Two 、 Start from zero , We should pay attention to our customers

5. In terms of product functions ,“ If there is an increase, there must be a decrease ”

If you have made a product plan for the next six months , Before long , A competitor in the industry has launched a new product , Or have a potential big customer contact you , Ask you to make major adjustments to the product , This is the time , What would you do ?

“ In the face of this kind of situation , There are two types of errors that can occur . First, the plan was completely disrupted . The team turns to new content , And what you end up doing may be worthless . Another mistake is to completely ignore , Still stick to the original plan , Refuse anything ‘ Custom features ’. And in general , The best way to do this is somewhere in between .” Cordoba said .

Regarding this , Cordoba said :“ I like it very much ‘ Stack ranking ’, But the premise is that the team can always adhere to this practice . To be specific , You can call everyone in the team , Tell them ,‘ We plan to finish this next quarter 10 Tasks , If the task is not completed , What will be the impact , Another task has not been completed , What impact will it cause ……’” Cordoba said .

“ If a new task appears temporarily , When you decide to finish this new task , Then you stack the... In the task list 10 This item must be left out for the time being . perhaps , If it involves a larger new product plan , Maybe the last three tasks on the list will have to stop temporarily .‘ Our most important customer requests an update to a feature , And claim that if we don't do this , They will abandon our products .’ and ‘ Customers related to a task in the stack ranking suggest that we add a icing on the cake function .’ There is a big difference between . If you can always stick to the stacked ranking method , Then you can face the relevant work with ease .” Cordoba added .

Many people deceive themselves into thinking that , Based on the tasks the team has been performing , It doesn't hurt to add a new project . But in fact , What you have to think about is , Whether this new project is worth abandoning your original mission plan .

6. Cultivate into user Innovative spirit of service

“Stripe The attention of the two founders of the company to users , Almost to the point where madness can be described . They always remind me , We must attach great importance to every aspect of the user experience . therefore ,Stripe The company has also built amazing brand loyalty .” Cordoba said .

“ stay Stripe company , We will send thank-you cards to the earliest users . This eventually evolved into celebrating users after they achieved milestone achievements , For example, when their annual recurring income breaks through 100 Ten thousand dollars per hour , We'll give them a nice gift . perhaps , When our users encounter major changes , We will also send them cupcakes as a token of sympathy .” Cordoba added .

7. With “ The first perspective ” Go through the process , Then check again .

“ Whether in the Stripe still Notion, Many particularly successful growth projects involve user experience , And you need to learn to think in other places . It sounds simple , But you may find , Many companies don't usually do that .” Cordoba said ,“ stay Notion At work , Even if I have used the company's products for many years , But I will still register a new account . From the perspective of new users , Experience the product from scratch , And record various situations that may damage the user experience throughout the experience .”

“ for example , Before completing account setup ,Notion You will be prompted to invite friends into your workspace . And when you start entering the email addresses of multiple invitation objects , The instructions on the page are not clear enough —— Whether you need to add a comma between two email addresses ? Although this is only a small detail , But it has a great impact on the user experience .” Cordoba said ,“ therefore , We have made adjustments to this , Make users more intuitive when inviting other users . This adjustment has also led to a sharp increase in the number of invited users to the original 9 times .”

In terms of growth , To a large extent, it can be understood as making the user-guided process and experience more friendly . Even if you only created the current user guidance process six months ago , But when you experience it again now , Multiple problems may still be found .

8. “ Self help growth ” It doesn't mean creating a good process “ Don't ask ”

When you're creating a self-help growth process , You should be more proactive about the high-value users you want to connect with , Even if these users are “ Self visitor ” So it should be .“ for example , If there are domain names in the top 1000 Register your business account and start using your product , You can use instant messaging software Slack Many of the tools in inform the entire sales team . And then , They can actively carry out in-depth communication with these users , Or give them a noble user guidance experience .” Cordoba said .

9. Don't fall into the registration trap

The previous recommendation only applies to the first release of the product .“ On the product release date , You may get many high-value users , Regarding this , You need to prepare the team well , Follow up and provide friendly services to these users . Many startups are neglecting to focus on , How high is the ultimate retention rate of these users .” Cordoba said .

“ stay Stripe company , Our standard for measuring the retention rate of users is the actual receipt of three user payments ; and Notion The measure is to invite at least two users , And the invited users must also produce certain traces of use , Add something to it . All in all , Growth focuses on participation , Not just how many people have registered to use your product .” Cordoba added .

One of the big mistakes many startups make early on is to focus too much on the number of registered users . It's certainly a good achievement to have 10000 users registered a day , But will they be willing to pay ? Whether they will use this product frequently ? Are they using new features ? These are the areas that really need attention .

picture source :Pexels.com @fauxels

3、 ... and 、 Build partnerships and close deals

10. more haste , less speed : Maybe you don't need a partnership at all

“ For most start-ups , Partnerships are meaningless . For years , I keep this practice .” Cordoba said ,“ But in fact , This will only waste a lot of time , It's also a big mistake to recruit relevant personnel too early .”

To be specific , There are mainly the following reasons :

  • They may cause the company to grow worse and worse .“ If half of the engineering team is arranged by you to go out and find and establish partnerships , Then no one is responsible for the key work of finding product market matching .” Cordoba said ,“ perhaps , You work with an early partner , But in the end, their contribution to the company's business results occupied 50%, Although this can bring great value to the company , But on the other hand , You may not be able to build your core business , This is also a very dangerous sign . It's more likely that , If your partnership breaks down , It will also have a more damaging impact on the company .”

  • Partnerships can be a fruitless experiment .“Stripe The company hired me at the right time . At that time , They have established partnerships with two or three companies , In terms of data and strategy , This is not without results .” Cordoba said ,“ However , Like many of the things startups face in the first place , After exploring for some time , You may find that there are no opportunities for cooperation .”

  • You may just need API.“ Many partnerships do not have a strategic framework at the initial stage . It can be as simple as just participating in an open development project , Or use open from other companies API. If complex terms are not involved 、 Difficult negotiations 、 Or for the first time , In fact, there is no need to recruit personnel from relevant positions to do this .”

I always thought , Well documented API Is the best business developer .

11. Share your... During the project API Writing norms

mention API, Cordoba often works closely with the founders , Jointly formulate strategies , Specify the corresponding time node .“ We are Notion To launch the API There is a clear backlog of demand . Some startups will also launch at an early stage API, But if you haven't got users yet , You don't know how to start from a product point of view . You can't just create API, I thought someone would use .

For better feedback , You can write out the relevant writing specifications , Share with developers in advance , Get their feedback .“ stay Notion, We have specially formulated a API Writing norms , Show its final effect before actual development , And share it with many interested users and partners , To get feedback . This practice has helped us find many loopholes .” Cordoba said ,“ Delve into these details , We realize that , We didn't actually provide what they really needed API Endpoint , Or without the help of more functions or tools , Searching through thousands of files is difficult .”

12. Start in the middle of the target list , Don't start from scratch .

It makes sense to focus on the opportunity to maximize returns , But it's actually the wrong thing to do .“ At the very beginning , It is not recommended to establish partnerships directly with the most important partners , You can start working with someone who wants to rank fourth or fifth . In this way, you can learn about your potential shortcomings from a relatively important partner , And set out to solve these problems . 5、 ... and 、 Six months later , You can introduce your products to the people you want to cooperate with most , You may have a more obvious advantage .” Cordoba said .

Instead of losing the opportunity to work with potential big customers because of the rush to reach the first deal , It's better to spend a few months working with less important partners to accumulate experience .

13. During the negotiation process, remember “ This principle ”

Most founders don't have much experience negotiating terms of cooperation .“ There are two main pitfalls in this regard : Or you're obsessed with the details , Lead to the delay of trading time ; Or compromise too quickly to make a deal , Make concessions on important terms , I regret it in the future .” Cordoba said .

Regarding this , Cordoba shared three tips for her negotiation :

  • Establish a framework of principles .“ Think back , In addition to closing the deal , What else does the company need to pay attention to . In negotiations , Where are you reluctant to make concessions ? for example , stay Stripe In our distribution transactions , We don't want to establish exclusive partnerships with our partners , Because we will also work with cross-border e-commerce platforms Shopify And website construction platform Squarespace cooperation .” Cordoba said ,“ perhaps , Even if the profit margin is low , We must also be profitable .” For a specific transaction , We will list the five most important goals , Ideally, at least four of these goals should be achieved .

  • Seek win-win .“ Many people think that negotiation is to put your company on the opposite side of another company , A successful negotiation means that your company has won .Stripe Chief commercial officer Billy · Alvarado (Billy Alvarado) Tell me , The most successful partnership is win-win .Stripe Our economic model is to divide economic interests into , Therefore, the success of our partners can also contribute to our success .”

  • Minimize the risk of extreme clauses .“ If your startup is only six months old , Then we must be cautious about risks such as the five-year cooperation period . Unless you can get great value from it , Otherwise, this approach is more or less irrational . You can propose ,‘ If you can help us realize how much revenue each year , I am willing to sign a five-year agreement .’ perhaps ‘ If you can bring us many new users ,’ Otherwise, you have the right to terminate this cooperation agreement .”

Your goal is not to issue a press release , Let everyone know that your startup is working with a large company . At the end of the day , A partnership must be based on effective cooperation in order to work .

Extended reading :

translator : Junyi

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