TLDR Founders 2024-02-16

SaaS IPO Market 📈, Wish sold for pennies 🦄, Preference Stacks in VC 💵

Headlines & Trends

Y Combinator’s Latest Request for Startups (6 minute read)

Y Combinator's new Request for Startups lays out 20 world-changing ideas - spanning revolutionizing robotics to ending cancer - aimed at motivating founders to fuel applications for YC's upcoming summer batch. Is this you?

The Software IPO Market in 2024 and Beyond (6 minute read)

The software IPO market saw a surge of optimism in 2023 after a year of low activity, witnessing the debut of Klaviyo and Instacart. Despite having strong financial profiles, both companies’ revenue multiples were lower than the 2021 average. What does this signal for other companies looking to go public?

E-commerce Company Wish Sold at Significant Discount (2 minute read)

Qoo10, a Singaporean e-commerce company, has acquired Wish for $173 million in cash. The deal values Wish at a mere 1% of its peak valuation of $14 billion at the time of its IPO in 2020. Qoo10 now faces steep competition from discount retailers Temu and Shein, which have been on an ad-spending blitz to attract American shoppers.
Strategies & Tactics

4 Steps to Become a Sales-Focused Founder (4 minute read)

Many startups wrongly believe the saying, “If you build it, they will come.” Even with a great product, growth demands a polished sales machine. This article lays out 4 vital steps towards sales mastery for technical founders new to sales.

Building a Successful Referral Program (3 minute read)

If every customer brings you two more (n+2) you won’t ever have to hire salespeople. This article shares overlooked referral techniques, from VIP rewards and promo pairings to features enabling shared use and compound word-of-mouth momentum.

A Deep-dive on Arc’s Growth Model (45 minute read)

Arc, a product from The Browser Company, has been trending recently. They’ve reinvented, you guessed it, the browser. The Browser Company is now valued at $100m. This long read unpacks its recent growth, extracting lessons learned about building excellent startups that challenge the status quo – from strategy and product ethos to storytelling and brand building.
Tools & Resources

Startup Resources Toolkit (Resource)

An extensive list of resources on design thinking, legal frameworks, fundraising strategies, pitch decks, growth metrics, marketplace tactics, and much more.

Sequoia Arc (Accelerator)

Sequoia’s 7-week seed-stage accelerator program.

Being a Leader is Lonely (3 minute read)

Your relationship with your team changes when you become a leader. You realize you cannot be friends with everyone and have the same relationships with your employees as they have with each other. Are leaders cursed with being lonely in their jobs?

Scaling Product & Growth Teams (8 minute read)

As a company grows, finding the “right” structure for product and growth teams often proves to be elusive. The ideal structure may be counterintuitive at first: a tangled cross-functional team with engineers, PMs, and designers all doing a little bit of everything all at once.

Are PIPs are Cruel and Unusual? (3 minute read)

Performance improvement plans, an HR relic of the 80s, have recently resurfaced in the tech industry after the hiring boom of 2021 and subsequent layoffs. The former CEO of Netflix doesn’t like them very much, but are they a useful tool to exit underperforming hires?
Quick Links

Less is more (1 minute read)

The title speaks for itself: limit meetings, shorten emails, cut down memos. Do less to do more.

Slow down to speed up (1 minute read)

As entrepreneurs, we tend to pack our schedules with activities. Here's a quick reminder that creating buffer time can help you and your team achieve much more.

Preference Stacks in Venture Capital (1 minute read)

Preference stacks matter, a lot. When a company exits with $200M after a $50M investment, investors with a "1x preference" get $50M upfront, while those with a "2x preference" get $100M upfront, impacting how the rest is divided among founders and employees.
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