Facebook made the most epic tech company pivot of this decade, and on pivots in general

Facebook made the most epic tech company pivot of this decade, and on pivots in general

Pivots are gut wrenching. The more eyes there are on the company, the tougher they are. Therefore, public-company pivots are usually the most gut wrenching. Many public companies of the past ceased to stay public because their leaders couldn't face the pivot (change is a bitch - who moved my cheese?!), their business radically declined, and they eventually got delisted from NASDAQ or the NYSE.

Investing in natural network effects in SaaS

Sometimes startups we meet with (I've personally seen over 1,000 pitches in the last two years) talk about their network effect in a hopeful way. But most of the time it is just that - hope, and hope is not a strategy. But Bazaarvoice actually has a working network effect that benefits all participants: retailers, brands that sell through those retailers, consumers that shop at those brands and retailers, and Bazaarvoice and some of its partners. In other words, the more participants that are on the Bazaarvoice network, the great the effect of that network for the benefit of all. I wrote about this in detail in my first annual shareholders letter after Bazaarvoice became a public company.

The tale of Bazaarvoice, as told through the shirts on our backs (2007-2009) - part two

As I mentioned in my first post in this series, every startup has their t-shirts. But you can tell a lot about a company by the t-shirts they make. And so I would like to continue to take you through our history - and our culture - with the most complete collection of Bazaarvoice t-shirts with the possible exception of my co-founder, Brant Barton.

This is the second in my series, and I'll cover the years 2007-2009 here. The first post covers our first two years in business - 2005-2007.

Michael Osborne, our first global head of sales, and I worked hard on establishing a sales-driven culture. In my opinion, this is very important for a B2B company. Your clients are the ones that pay your bills and you should be obsessive about both selling to and servicing them well. All other functions in the company are in support of that goal. The most successful B2C companies, like Wal-Mart and Amazon, are no different in that they are obsessive about those that also pay their bills - with the only difference being they care most about consumers - versus businesses - as consumers are their key source of revenue. Osborne, as we all called him because his personality is bigger than life, was amazing in this regard and a huge part of the culture that quickly took root. His theme song for us "doing the impossible" in our achievements quarter after quarter became Don't Stop Believing by Journey. The YouTube video below will give you a window into our culture and all of us celebrating at the Alamo Drafthouse, where we held our All-Hands (I talked about why the awesome Alamo in my first post in this series). I took this video right after my talk to close out the day, where I was expressing my deep love for the company and then the Bazaarvoice band brought the house down by playing our theme song. This can only be described as a magical moment as I think you'll agree in watching the video (have you ever seen this type of energy at a company you worked at?).