A downturn is the perfect time to start a startup
May 23, 2022–
Tech is going through a steep market correction right now. Companies are doing layoffs. Y Combinator published a letter to their founders telling them how to prepare for tough times ahead [https://twitter.com/refsrc/status/1527238287471292417]. Counterintuitively, this is a great time to start a new company–even better than in 2021 when tech was red-hot. I have friends who were considering starting a company this year, but are now feeling a bit skittish. This is the exact opposite of how you s
How to evaluate startup offers in a downturnMay 18, 2022–Ravi ParikhIt feels like a precarious time to join a tech startup. In the last few months, public market valuations of companies have come way down. The Bessemer cloud index [https://cloudindex.bvp.com/], which tracks average public SaaS company prices, shows that the total market cap of SaaS companies has been cut by more than half in the last few months. This has been going on for a few months, but in the last few weeks, reality seems to have hit startups all at once–the funding market has basically drie
Don't accidentally mislead yourself with graphsMay 10, 2022–Ravi ParikhRecently, I was looking at this graph of the number of weekly active users using Airplane [https://www.airplane.dev/] each week over the last few months of 2021: Y-axis omitted intentionallyTo me, it looks like boring, linear growth. We're adding roughly the same amount of new active users each week. But this was really surprising to me. I knew for a fact that we had a big inflection point in growth towards the end of September when a blog post of ours [https://blog.airplane.dev/i-started-a-sa
Why does every startup incorporate with 10,000,000 shares?Jan 12, 2022–Ravi ParikhEvery tech startup in the US incorporates as a Delaware C Corp with 10,000,000 shares of Common Stock at the date of founding. This is remarkably consistent–if you go through an accelerator like Y Combinator or Techstars, if you use the default options with Stripe Atlas or Clerky, or if you ask a tech law firm for advice, they'll all point you in the same direction. Incorporating in Delaware and as a C Corp are pretty well understood and well explained on the internet, but why 10 million shares
Startup defensibility: how to build a technical moat for your productNov 8, 2021–Dan RobinsonI often get questions from founders about how they should think about the “technical moat” of what they’re building, or from potential employees about our technical moat at Heap. If you have a successful product, what’s to stop someone else from building it? Technical moats exist, but they rarely take the form people expect them to take. People often look for an answer to that question in the form of a monolithic, singular technology, like a single algorithm, or a particular piece of code nobo
Just because your product is "enterprise ready" doesn't mean it's any goodOct 5, 2021–Ravi ParikhThis article is not about compliance requirements, RBAC, SSO, etc. If you're interested in that, check out EnterpriseReady.io. However, having every box checked on that website still won't result in a high-quality enterprise product.
How to gain conviction to work on a startup idea for 10+ yearsSep 28, 2021–Ravi ParikhIn December 2020, Josh Ma and I started our startup, Airplane. Before that, we spent several months exploring ideas before settling on the idea that eventually became Airplane.
I started SaaS companies in 2013 and 2021. Here's how things have changedSep 20, 2021–Ravi ParikhIn 2013, I co-founded Heap, a product analytics company that I helped grow to over 200 people and $X0,000,000 in ARR before I left in 2020. In 2021, I co-founded Airplane, a developer platform for quickly creating internal tools.
How we approach pricing for our early-stage SaaS productSep 10, 2021–Ravi ParikhAt Airplane, we recently exited our free early access period and started charging for our product. I thought it'd be helpful to write a post talking through the logic behind our pricing model, partially as an explanation for our customers, but also as a data point for other early-stage B2B SaaS businesses. Prior to Airplane, I also spent 7 years at my previous startup Heap [https://heap.io/] iterating several times on pricing. What are you optimizing for? It might seem obvious that the point of