I have been writing and publishing, though much more infrequently than I did previously. However, I haven’t been updating this website with links or content from those. I notice my last published piece here was from late last year. Sigh. Still, those of you who follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn, or subscribe to my newsletter would have seen or read some or most of those pieces. For the sake of others, and for me to have a record of those writings, here are links to the writings I have done this year, in order of recency.
(1) How startup founders should think about business metrics, how to derive those metrics, and rank order them, through building out a revenue equation. I highlight why Controllable Input Metric(s) (and not North Star Metrics) are the most important metrics for founders to focus on. In addition, I cover how to set incentives to drive desirable behaviours and nudges. Link to the piece.
(2) ‘Narrative Capital’ is my term for successful tech newsletter writers + podcast hosts launching VC funds (think Harry Stebbings of 20VC, Packy of Not Boring, Mario of Generalist etc. What underpins / explains its rise + what implications? Link to the piece.
(3) A piece on one of my portfolio companies Smartstaff elaborating its raison d’etre and the potential for growth. TLDR; Indian factories are struggling with a sudden shortage of skilled talent. To solve them, comes Smartstaff, a new age staffing contractor, that leverages tech to source and staff skilled workers on behalf of the factories. It is, I dare say, amongst the most ambitious and audacious startups in Blume’s portfolio. I had a lot of fun writing this, travelling to the southern industrial suburbs of Bangalore to meet workers and factory managers. Link to the piece.
(4) Increasingly, my substack is where I cover my thoughts on venture investing, and the underlying mechanics and trends. In June, I wrote about the role of seed investors (who I refer to as the priest-jesters of the startup world), why lead investors in a round dont get a price advantage (link to the preceding two pieces here) and why VCs always do follow-on rounds in startups (link to this piece).
(5) Advertising in Newsletters and Podcasts is an underrated and underpriced GTM channel, I argue, to B2B founders. Link to the piece.
(6) I made a presentation to the Lead Tribe (a program for women founders by Blume) Cohort II founders on 23 April 2022. The presentation covered why Product-Market Fit (PMF) matters, what it really means as well as the mechanics of PMF and achieving it. Getting to PMF is akin to an art, and the presentation detailed the key iterations and triangulations needed to perfect this art. I converted my notes and explanation of the slides into an essay – you can read it alongside the deck or as it is. Link to the essay.
(7) In March’22, we published the 1st edition of the Indus Valley Annual Report (Indus Valley is our moniker for the Indian Silicon Valley) celebrating the rise of Indus Valley, and its emergence as one of the centres of innovation and enterprise in the startup world. Through 100+ insightful and some, daresay provocative charts, it looks back at the rise of Indus Valley, takes stock of its evolution, and also look ahead to what is coming.
It is the hardest I have ever worked on a narrative piece. My colleague and co-creator Amal Vats likely concurs. Given this, we were gratified at the largely positive reception it has garnered. A popular comparison has been to the Mary Meeker report (which seems to have ceased publication; at least it hasn’t been seen in the past two years). Link to the Indus Valley Annual Report 2022 and an accompanying tweet thread.
(8) I wrote a Twitter thread on encouraging founders to build a scalable GTM (Go To Market) engine, that I turned into a LinkedIn post. In the article I propose the following definition for PMF or Product-Market Fit – ‘Scalable GTM enabling predictable unit-positive customer acquisition indicating a large / expandable TAM’, and then unpack it further. Link to the tweet thread and the LinkedIn post.
(9) I wrote a piece (in my substack) on the rise of the funding announcement video, and how it is emerging as the new funding announcement tweet thread. Link to the piece.