Categories
Product Management SaaS

The Future of SaaS and Enterprise Software

Most of the SaaS and Enterprise software is built mostly for single-purpose or single-user workflows.

In a cloud-first and remote-first work environment, we need a different kind of software.

All SaaS and Enterprise software will need to be:

• Intelligent out of the box
• Collaborative and real-time
• Deeply integrated across other workflow apps
• Secure & privacy enabled
• Super intuitive & delightful to use

These are “table stakes” requirements now.

Categories
Philosophy Productivity Startup

The Secret for Doing Effective Work

If there is one secret to do your work most “effectively” – then it is “concentration”.

Every single time when I take up too much on my plate and commit to too many things – I mess up.

The quality of my work and results hamper.

And obviously, I never complete everything I commit.

On the other hand, every single time when I concentrate on only one important thing at a time – I excel.

While saying this is easy, doing it is very hard.

Even though I know this, I make the mistake of saying “Yes” to too many things all the time.

But constantly thinking and reminding about this helps me to keep building my self-discipline to say “No” more often.

In fact, concentration helps me to
– Finish things faster
– Produce better quality
– Use lesser resources

So my recommendation to you – review what’s on your plate, pick up the most important thing, and only concentrate on that thing.

There you have it – a simple, yet powerful secret to do your work most “effectively”.

Categories
Sales

Great Salesperson

I don’t think there’s any such thing as a born salesperson.

If you demonstrate empathy, learn to be charismatic, and, most importantly, choose to work hard, you can be a great salesperson.

Categories
Productivity

Remote Work: From Synchronous To Asynchronous Collaboration

The big transition with work from remote is going from “synchronous” to “asynchronous” collaboration.

You don’t have to be at the “same place” to work together.

In fact, you also don’t have to work at the “same time” to work together.

This means the tools that have helped us to collaborate in real-time, are no longer sufficient.

Either existing tools need to evolve to help us collaborate more efficiently asynchronously or we need new tools and workflows.

It’s definitely not easy and not meant for everyone too.

It will take some time and practice to get the hang of working asynchronously.

But once you get hang of it, you’ll realize that it’s the work that matters – and not the face-time clock hours.

Categories
Philosophy Productivity

Remote Work for Forever

All knowledge workers should work remotely now.

Forever, not just for this pandemic.

If you use computer to do your work, you should work remotely (preferably home or a closest coworking space).

You should let industrial workers, medical professionals, local businesses, or anyone who absolutely needs to be in physical space, give a priority.

It isn’t about a preference or convenience.

It is about being responsible and doing the right thing.

It isn’t just about social distancing and being cautious and prepared for another pandemic.

It’s about getting back the 5-10% time of our life we waste in commuting.

Less people on the road means:

Less or no commute time for everyone.

Less stress, neck and back pain, headaches, and accidents.

Less pollution and fuel consumption.

And more importantly – more time for family, exercise, cooking, and hobbies.

Categories
Entrepreneurship SaaS Startup

There is No Plan B

When I was doing customer-development and searching for a co-founder for Avoma, people often asked me – “Are trying to throw this idea on a wall and see if it sticks?”

I hated that question.

There was no Plan B for Avoma.

I strongly believed in the problem with extensive customer research and the gap in the market.

I had a point of view to solve this problem and an ambitious vision of what the world would look like in 5-10 years.

I left the high-salaried full-time job without having a co-founder for 6 months, without having a prototype, or any sort of commitment and clarity on any milestone.

I never doubted my vision and the opportunity even though we had very (I mean really “very”) highly-funded competitors.

We had many investors rejected us because we had “many” highly-funded competitors who had already launched and were ahead of us in the market.

There is not even a single day since Avoma’s inception I ever thought about a Plan B.

There is no Plan B.

Categories
Entrepreneurship SaaS Sales Startup

I Have Fallen In Love with Selling

I’m an engineer by training. But have fallen in love with selling.

Here is why.

Selling is personal. Share your stories. Be vulnerable.

Selling is interpersonal. Meet new people. Build relationships.

Selling is collaborative. Get help from colleagues. Strategize with the team.

Selling is disciplined. Be consistent. Make and keep promises.

Selling is scientific. Follow the process. Learn from the best.

Selling is artistic. Be creative and solve problems. Make it unique.

Selling is hard. Face many rejections. Persevere until you succeed.

Selling is addictive. Win one, two, ten. Keep winning more.

Selling is rewarding. Create impact. Make companies successful.

Selling is mysterious. Wonder why it worked. Diagnose why it didn’t work.

Categories
Philosophy Productivity

Meeting Participants’ State of Mind

There are a lot of folks who are experiencing video meetings a.k.a. Zoom fatigue with the new normal of working remotely.

What if you get asked – “How do you feel?” before and after each meeting? 🤔

It needs to be a very lightweight approach to capture each participant’s “state of mind”.

Before the meeting, you can select one of the options:
Great: Well-prepared, well-rested, excited, or calm.
Meh: Not prepared, overwhelmed, tired, or distracted.
Worse: Sad, angry, depressed, sick, or injured.

And after the meeting, you can select one of the options:
Great: Inspired, hopeful, confident, or decisive.
Meh: Confused, hopeless, doubtful, overwhelmed, or distracted.
Worse: Angry, unhappy, lost, frustrated, or sad.

In Avoma, we already capture each meeting’s “Purpose” and “Outcome” to track meeting level success.

But this is taking it to the next level and understanding each participant’s success.

It would be interesting to capture participants’ feedback over a certain period and see how it affects meetings’ outcomes and employee satisfaction.

What do you think? Would you like to track this?

How could it be helpful for you as an individual and your team?

Categories
Entrepreneurship Startup

How Do You Hire for Passion?

In the previous post, I shared one of the hiring mistakes we did at Avoma that we hired for skills and not for passion.

But the question is still unanswered, how do you hire for passion in early-stage startups?

If I want to hire for passion in the future, I’ll ask these two questions:

1. What are your passions? (So clichéd 😊)

The goal is not to understand “what” their passion is, but “how” they talk about it.

Their passion could be about literature, painting, sports, etc. and not necessarily about early-stage startups.

But you can judge how passionately they talk about their passion, how deep they go, how do they find time to work on their passion, etc.

2. Do you have any side hustles?

The goal is to understand if they have the ambition to turn their passion into an additional income source.

It indicates their resourcefulness and creativity.

And that’s why they might have a higher chance of being more successful and instrumental in early-stage startups.

Do you agree? Is there anything that you would consider?

Categories
Entrepreneurship SaaS Startup

Hiring for Passion, Not for Skills

In Nov 2019, we were a team of 7 people at Avoma, then by Jan 2020, we were a team of 13 people, and then by Mar 2020, we were 10 people again.

And no, these reductions are not due to COVID, but what I believe is due to passion (or lack of it).

Early-stage startups are a different beast (note, I didn’t say “hard”).

They require a different level of combination of skills and passion.

I think the mistake we made was – we primarily hired for skills and experience on resume.

But we didn’t hire for passion and grit.

We can teach new skills, product knowledge, subject domain, strategies, tactics, etc.

But I don’t think we can teach passion, drive, or grit.

I believe we should hire for passion and grit.

And then bridge the gap for skills and domain knowledge if there is any.