Amazon buys Body Labs! Body Labs is a Series A startup that developed AI to understand 3D body shape and motion from smartphones. Then, Amazon buys Body Labs within six months of announcing their AI technology: I met Body Labs in 2015 when there were 7 employees. I co-led their Series A, on behalf of Intel. Subsequently, I joined as VP of Business Development and led the team responsible for revenue. Then, I co-led selling Body Labs to Amazon. This is also my last week at Body Labs as I decided to not join Amazon. Crazy. I remain extremely excited about the future of Body Labs at Amazon. No doubt that Amazon will drive innovation at an exhilarating scale and it has been my honor to help make it happen. So, why did Amazon buy Body Labs? This is what I can say. In 1997, Jeff Bezos wrote the following letter to shareholders: We will continue to make investment decisions in light of long-term market leadership considerations rather than short-term profitability considerations or short-term Wall Street reactions. We will make bold rather than timid investment decisions where we see a sufficient probability of gaining market [...]
One of the most important metrics for a SaaS business is the sales cycle and the best way to decrease it is through a sales ready product that will scale B2B sales. Automating as much of the human labor in the sales cycle is one of the largest areas of leverage for your business. This is more than asking your sales team to be more efficient, this is: i) creating cross-team goals across product, marketing, and sales, ii) measuring and iterating on the sales cycle, and iii) automating as much of the sales cycle as possible. How to think about a Sales Ready Product: One should create a sales ready product after creating a minimum viable product (MVP). An MVP is an early iteration of product with just enough features to satisfy early customers and to provide feedback for future product development. After releasing an MVP, do things that don't scale. That means intensely focusing on selling the product with as much human glue as necessary to learn what works with what customer segments. Then, start working on a sales ready product that incorporates learnings on how stakeholders learn about, test, decide whether or not to buy, integrate the product, and ultimately use it. [...]
When starting a company it is important to understand how equity will change hands at every round. The valuation of the company is one of a few key terms to negotiate, but to do so effectively you need to also, at least, understand liquidation preferences and employee option pools.
Employees, directors, and ultimately companies have a strong place to play in shaping the culture of our organizations and ultimately our country.
The fact that AI can not only learn from pre-collected examples but also learn through experience plots a new trajectory of what software will be able to achieve.
When closing a sale or influencing a situation, resolve the roadblock no the symptoms.
Startups should aim to create monopolies, not to compete or incrementally improve on ideas, but to own markets with products that are 10x better.
The primary advantage of joining a startup is the pace at which you will learn. You may also get rich, but the odds are stacked against you.
Let's celebrate women in tech. This means accepting females for who they are, their unique attributes, and their differences.
Coach High Performing Millenials Millennials have made it to where they are today by ignoring conventional norms so why should they listen to you? If you want to coach high performing millennials then think from their perspective and follow these steps: Regardless of how successful they have been, they are looking for what's next. Most know where they want to go and are trying to figure out how to get there. To date, they also have probably been rewarded for paving their own path against the grain and achieving large creative wins. After three to five years of this type of momentum, they will reach a level where leading with their strengths will not outweigh their weaknesses and their successes don't mask their missteps. They will want to be coached. Build Trust: First, know that they want to see you as a trusted ally. Also, know that high performers will eventually see through any falsehoods so you have to actually want what is best for them.Beware of touting the company line or standing on their shoulders to get ahead. Instead, figure out what is best for them and help them. That includes helping them find their way even if it is not [...]