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10 lessons from Marketo’s growth to a multi-billion-dollar exit

Doug Pepper Contributor Doug Pepper is a managing director at Shasta Ventures. More posts by this contributor A New Revolution Modernizes The Revenue Supply Chain With Adobe’s acquisition of Marketo, I have been reflecting on what an amazing and pioneering company Marketo has been since it was founded in 2006. There are very few tech companies that have defined a new category, executed a successful IPO, been acquired by a private equity firm for more than four times the company’s initial IPO market value and now, at a price of $4.75 billion, become the largest acquisition of a world-class company like Adobe. The credit for this dream-come-true Silicon Valley company goes to the co-founding team of Phil Fernandez, Jon Miller and David Morandi, who together built an amazing customer-first product, defined a breakthrough category and launched a marketing automation company that continues to delight and amaze partners and customers alike. I had the unique pleasure of meeting the founding team in 2006 when they shared their vision and passion for marketing automation. At the time, all they had was a PowerPoint deck. But it was clear then that they had a special idea and the unique capability to build a breakthrough product to deliver on their vision. In all honesty, I couldn’t know how truly extraordinary the company would become. Thankfully, I was lucky enough that the team chose me and my former partner Bruce Cleveland as their first investor and also was fortunate to serve on the board for 10 years. Most recently, I was thrilled that Phil joined me at Shasta. One of the qualities I admire most about Phil — which was apparent all those years ago and continues to this day — is that he never stops iterating to do things better or faster or more efficiently or more thoughtfully. Phil always carried a notebook that said “THINK” on the cover, which epitomizes how he approaches his work. Phil recently shared his “10 Things I’d Do Even Better If I Did It Again” presentation with our team and our founder/CEO community. We believe his insights are “10…

Paychex Survey Says Entrepreneurs Optimistic About Business Outlook, Ability to Find New Customers

Are you wondering whether now is the right time to start a business? Are customers out there? Is the economy optimistic or pessimistic? According to Paychex and their first ever Business Sentiment Report, the outlook for businesses is more positive than negative. Paychex regularly conducts polls to analyze the business climate. Their most recent poll can be found here. Paychex polled businesses with 500 or fewer employees regarding issues relating to human resources, finances, and customer relations. In the poll, respondents could answer on a scale of 1 to 100 with 1 being completely pessimistic and 100 being totally optimistic. The overall business outlook was good, except when it comes to finding employees. Paychex will continue to poll businesses on a trimester basis, with the most recent poll representing 500 randomly selected businesses for Summer 2018. These businesses were polled during the week of June 18 and June 27, 2018. The business outlook overall was 65/100. They felt that they were most optimistic about finding new customers, which was rated 69/100. Other optimistic ratings were about access to capital 62/10, capital investment opportunity 59/100, and the overall economy 60/100. In the academic world, 60/100 is a D and a below-average score. But in this poll, 60 is a good number. Of course, it is not as high as 100, but it is closer to 100 than to 1, which is why it is considered an optimistic number. In the poll, businesses in the Midwestern and Southern states were more optimistic than in other areas of the country. On the flip side, employers were not optimistic about finding new talent to fill their empty positions. They rated finding part-time or full-time employees at 31/100. Interestingly, they were notably pessimistic about finding contract or temporary employees. This rating was 16/100. There are ways to become more optimistic about finding new employees through recruitment and other “outside of the box” ideas. According to the respondents, manufacturing businesses have the most difficulty finding qualified employees. For those companies to find skilled employees, they are turning to the schools that prepare them. They are looking…

Gardening leave: why are offices turning into botanical spaces?

Amazon has built treehouses in its offices and Microsoft employees work in the woods. Companies reveal why they are using plants to boost productivity Most offices have a few plants dotted around the place. Some companies, however, like to take things to extremes. Amazon has treehouses inside its offices, Microsoft employees work in treehouses in the woods; while Timberland’s headquarters has gardens with orchards. The benefits of bringing plants in workspaces are well documented. Researchers have found that as well as brightening up the office environment, plants can reduce sick days and stress. Danica-Lea Larcombe from Australia’s Edith Cowan University wrote in the online publication The Conversation that indoor plants can “scrub” the air of bacteria; remove harmful chemical compounds released by cleaning products; and improve people’s moods. Continue reading…

Journey to work a daily grind? How to make your commute more productive

Nearly four million of us spend two hours a day travelling to and from the office. Here’s a guide to making that time well spent Despite advances in remote working, Britain’s love-hate relationship with commuting continues. Workers in London are battling an 81-minute commute, the longest in the country and equivalent to 38 working days a year. Meanwhile nearly 3.7m of us spend two hours a day travelling to and from work. So if commuting can’t be avoided, how do you make the most of it? Continue reading…

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