How to transition from Sales Rep to CRO from the best VP sales there’s ever been in B2B tech

Unlearning moment: From the battlefield to the war room In our latest podcast episode, we spoke with, Mark Smith, four-time SVP Sales for Rubrick, Arista Networks, InfoBlox, and NetScreen who has managed revenues of less than $2 million and in excess of $2bn.  He shared with us the challenges of going from SVP Sales to the ultimate leadership role in …

Advice for First-time CEOs: Think in Swimlanes 

As we heard in our recent podcast, in the very early stages of an enterprise startup, searching for Product-Market Fit often means the CEO is absorbed with building the product. Or perhaps the first-time CEO comes from sales or marketing and naturally gravitates to their comfort zone—spending time with customers. This is natural. Yet, very quickly, the enterprise startup needs …

Picking a Co-Founder: Three Common Challenges

#1: Too Many Co-founders #2: The Equity Split #3: Founder Drama This is our second post on co-founders. As we’ve said in our previous post, picking the right or wrong co-founders will shape your entire startup journey. Here. we outline the common challenges of picking a co-founder. Founder challenge #1: Too many co-founders Some startups fall prey to the too-many-founders …

How to pick co-founders: Imagine you’re getting married

Picking the right co-founders is a mix of fit and skills, not clones.  Like a married couple, founders should complement each other. Minimize the number of co-founders. Too many founders creates a messy and confusing relationship. Founders set the tone:  they define the culture and the work ethic. Take the Founder Oath: Separate mission from ego. Founder drama kills startups.   …

How to test your founding idea for a startup.

Founding Ideas and teams must create gravity to attract people and capital. Start with a problem or a disruption, rather than a technology. Enterprise customers don’t buy technology for technology’s sake. Do the homework to validate The Founding Idea with customers. It always starts with an idea. Some founders see a new product or business opportunity. Others see a major …

Introducing the S2T Blog: B2B entrepreneurs, this is for you

What do we wish that we could tell ourselves—15 years ago as a newbie entrepreneur and investor?  A simple question that unleashed a tidal wave of reflection and conversations.  If you are an entrepreneur, an employee, or an investor anywhere on the enterprise startup journey, this upcoming series of blogs are for you. We are all in this together.   This …

The 1st GTM Fit Summit – SF CA May 2018

We hosted our first Go-To-Market Fit (GTM Fit) Summit last week.  Huge turnout and it was a blast! Feedback from attendees could be summed up as “rather than usual event blah-de-blah, this was super useful—with candid stories, live workshop examples, and unfiltered GTM Fit advice from real entrepreneurs in the trenches.”  Special thanks to entrepreneurs Clara Shih, Dominique Levin, Jon …

The Story Behind the Survival to Thrival Books

This isn’t a hero’s journey. Far from it. It’s a mind meld of a 15-year entrepreneur-investor team and dozens of enterprise entrepreneurs who all struggled through the journey to build enterprise startups. Over 15-years together with help from many others, we built two successful enterprise startups; the first was bought by Cisco for $450 million, and the second went public …