Nerdshala+ roundup: Why your title matters, part-time CFOs, Sequoia’s new model

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Startup culture is informal, which is why some employees end up with job titles like “customer delight manager” or “product whisperer.”

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This can work inside mature companies, but early-stage founders who are presenting themselves to investors need to be more specific.

In an interview with Natasha Mascarenhas, B2B stealth startup founder Akshay Dinesh recalled the time his team was rejected by an accelerator because they had not yet chosen a CEO.


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“We said something like, ‘We’re too early and we’re both technical so we’re doing everything together,’ but if we had to pick it up it would be X,” Dinesh said.

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Ensuring that each contributor has a clearly defined title gives potential investors a better understanding of the team and its capabilities – and it will also help avoid future legal disputes.

But like it or not, it also means that some founders will get a bigger piece of the pie than others.

“As we have learned through vigorous legal disputes and calm gestures, title matters,” writes Natasha, who also interviewed several investors and legal experts. “Maybe even more so than the name of your startup.”

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday in the US, we will not publish on Thursday, November 25 and Friday, November 26.

Thanks so much for reading!

Walter Thompson
Senior Editor, Nerdshala+
@your hero

5 must-have board slides for SaaS sales and revenue leaders

image credit: Aramayana (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Prior to becoming a partner at Battery Ventures, Bill Binch was chief revenue officer at product analysis app, Pando.

In his former role, he was responsible for providing quarterly updates on growth and revenue to his company’s board.

“As a wise consultant once told me, no one gets a promotion from a board meeting, but people definitely get fired afterward,” he tells Slide Five about sales and revenue teams. Writes in the article:

  • Headline reel.
  • Wide, five-quarter view.
  • Segment, Geographic and Vertical.
  • line pipe.
  • Sales Team Health.

Data collection isn’t the problem: what are companies doing with it

rear view of young man circling on red background

image credit: Claus Weidfelt (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Instead of raking in user data as a general practice, companies should collect information to optimize product development and create better customer experiences, writes Maxim Kharchenko, director of fintech products at Rakuten Viber.

In a detailed Nerdshala+ post, Kharchenko uses examples to explain how companies can set up a data fabric, AI and decision intelligence framework to build data-driven businesses without sacrificing user trust.

3 Ways Fractional CFOs Can Fast-track Startup Success

red balloon helping people cross the abyss

image credit: wildpixel (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Getting a CFO along is not a high priority in most early-stage startups.

Unless the company produces a product-market fit, it’s not an important role to play, and it’s expensive to recruit and retain the best people.

Ranga Bodla, head of industry marketing for Oracle NetSuite, advises that hiring a part-time CFO may be a better option, especially for companies that are shaping their finances before seeking new funding.

“With no indication that capital flows will decrease in the near future, bringing on a partial CFO may well be a strategic move for startups with ambitious growth plans,” they write.

What happened to Paytm’s IPO valuation?

In India, almost every store has a placard with a Paytm QR code that customers can use to pay for almost anything.

Given its ubiquity, there was boundless optimism ahead of the fintech’s IPO last week. However, the stock declined the next day and declined further this week.

The public didn’t seem to like the IPO price very much, writes Alex Wilhelm. Despite a growing merchant base and strong growth in GMV, it appears that Paytm is “struggling to draw enough revenue from its operations to cover the cost of doing business.”

In Amazon Mayhem, Visa’s Loss May Affirm’s Gain

Online shopping concept.  3D rendering of credit card and laptop computer on blue background, 3D Illustration

image credit: eliza ersego (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images (image has been modified)

Interchange fees can be costly for e-commerce retailers in more than one way – expensive payment methods like credit cards cause customers to make fewer transactions and abandon shopping carts.

And Amazon’s recent decision to stop accepting Visa cards on its UK site is proof of how much those costs can matter, writes Ryan Lawler.

Many e-commerce platforms are increasingly moving to options like Buy Now, Pay Later as customers shop more frequently when offered no-interest or interest-free payment options, and providers like Affirm and Afterpay are looking to reap the benefits. are ready for This change, writes Ryan.

“We are likely to see greater BNPL participation and adoption as retailers seek to increase their top-line sales, reach new customers and move beyond credit cards as the primary payment method.”

What open source-based startups can learn from Confluent’s success story

3D illustration of multiple arrows to converge towards the objective on kraft paper.  Sangam background.

image credit: Olivier Le Mol / Getty Images

Founders are often asked to perfect a product and focus only after it succeeds or fails.

But Confluent spun off its on-premises services business, writes enterprise reporter Ron Miller, and simultaneously built a cloud product.

“The challenge for us was that we had a software offering with very large customers with a lot of demands, and we had to [build] A cloud offers to all the different clouds in service [existing] customer base,” Confluent CEO and co-founder Jay Kreps told Ron.

“Growing an existing business and creating something new are both very difficult problems, so this was a big challenge for us.”

Craps and Ron also explained how helping Confluent become a $22 billion publicly listed company paid dual focus, its early days, and why founders should trust their instincts.

As Sequoia Changes Its Model, Other Fixed Capital Capitalists Weigh In

Sequoia Capital announced in October that it would create a new structure that rolled all of its investments into a single fund.

“Our industry is still poised for the 10-year fund cycle pioneered in the 1970s,” wrote partner Roulof Botha in a blog post.

The move to a more sustainable, registered investment advisor model is meant to counter this, several UK VC investors tell Anna Heim and Alex Wilhelm.

“To consider such an option, funds like Sequoia have to take into account the strength of their LP relationships,” said Vinoth Jayakumar, partner, Molten Ventures.

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