Archive for March, 2007

BigCo fishing expeditions

March 31, 2007

Since most exits are acquisitions, not IPOs, one has to seriously consider overtures from BigCos. That said, some companies use fishing expeditions to learn more about your business with no serious intention of ever making a legitimate offer. Ed Sim lays out a set of questions you should ask BigCo as well as ask yourself that is a useful list. Having been on the BigCo side of this equation, I can tell you that the fishing expedition often isn’t intentional. One set of people inside BigCo might be completely serious about their overtures but get blocked by some other person/team in BigCo. This is more likely to happen at BigCo if they don’t have a structured process for acquisitions. Thus, one additional question I’d ask BigCo is “how does BigCo’s acquisition process ensure that there is internal buy-in before getting into deep discussions with SmallCo?”

Venture 2.0

March 31, 2007

Peter Rip’s post on Venture 2.0 is worth reading. In the first part, he does a preamble on Venture 1.0 that’s worth a read to better understand the current landscape. Here’s his intro to the series…   This the first in a series of posts on the idea of “Venture Capital 2.0.”  I thought it was appropriate to first set the stage of Venture Capital 1.0 as the point of contrast.  This first post is obvious stuff to those of us who have been in the business for a while, but less so for the casual observer.   It will be interesting to see if he comments on the implications of fund sizes on the current landscape. In a nutshell, most Limited Partners (“LPs”) don’t want to invest less than $10M at a pop and don’t want to own more than 10% of any given fund. This makes the minimum fund size $100M. A fund can only manage so many deals at a time due to board commitments, etc. thus they typically need to invest $5-10M at a pop. That figure is no issue for some sectors but it is overkill or premature for others leading to unnecessary dilution for founders and current shareholders.  

Top 5 Tools For Generating Sales Leads

March 31, 2007

Top 5 Tools For Generating Sales Leads

From a podcasting news site, this talks about the top 5 sales lead generators.

When asked, “Which offers are ‘very effective’ for generating high-quality leads?” marketers in all three areas studied – technology services firms, and business software and hardware – put Blog and the Podcast in the top five.

The information comes from Marketing Sherpa’s annual survey of business technology marketing executives. About 1,900 responded to the survey.

Top 5 Tools For Generating Sales Leads

·         1. Free Trials — Business software marketers ranked free trials extremely highly, with 54% calling trials very effective.

·         2. Webcast — At 41% this was another favorite for software marketers, however technology services and related hardware firms also ranked webinars at 33% and 31% respectively.

·         3. White paper — All business technology marketers rated white papers fairly evenly, giving white paper offers ratings ranging from 31-36% ‘very effective.’

·         4. Blog — 35% of software and ASP marketers rated their blog as very effective, as did 33% of technology services firms. However, just 19% of hardware companies felt that a corporate blog was effective. This may be because general business executives are more likely to read a blog, while IT staffers may not.

·         5. Podcast — Last year the concept of a podcast was barely on the technology marketing map. By June 2006, 22% of software marketers who’d given a podcast called them ‘very effective’ lead generation tools. Perhaps IT professionals are more likely to be in an early adopter community that might listen to a podcast.

Source: Marketing Sherpa (PDF)