Ajay Agarwal and Ryan Williams
I attended my second Sales Collider meetup yesterday afternoon near Union Square in San Francisco. Sales Collider Founder Ryan Williams and his team did an excellent job keeping the event founder friendly, on time, and packed with relevant, timely content for SaaS founders like myself. The evening’s second speaker was Ajay Agarwal, Managing Director at Bain Capital Ventures. The last time I saw Ajay speak was last year at a SaaStr Speaker Series with Sameer Dholakia, CEO of Sendgrid.
Ajay Agarwal - Bain Capital
Here are my takeaways from Ajay Agarwal's fireside chat with Ryan Williams:
- “Today it’s cloud, back then it was client-server.” (mid 90s)
- Compelling founders nearly always present a vision for the future that the world hasn’t gotten yet.
- Has been at Bain Capital Ventures for 15 years. Ajay's focus is early stage.
- A lot of VCs use $1M ARR as a benchmark. That's not necessarily the case at Bain Capital.
- “The market being too small” is one of the most interesting conundrums for both VCs and entrepreneurs.
- If anything, VCs tend to underestimate market sizes. But it’s also one of the toughest things.
- “Everyone wants to have a recurring relationship with their customer.”
- The best pitches are ones that can be explained in 60 seconds or less.
- “We care about the curve you’re on." It’s both the story and seeing evidence of momentum.
- “The best products that have great product market fit, anyone can sell.”
- “The surest way to see product market is retention.”
- Your product should be the best solution for your chosen segment on the planet.
- Are 60-70% of your Account Executives hitting quarterly quotas?
- Investors want to feel some sort of determinism in their investment.
- “The best companies we see at early stage are incredibly focused.”
- “Go get momentum. Whatever it takes.”
- “Momentum solves all problems."
- As an entrepreneur, can you answer: “Why is there a tailwind behind my company that’s going to allow me to be successful?”
I left promptly at 7:25pm so I could get to my polling station (ie, someone's garage) before 8pm to vote in the California primary.
Gotta love SF. About to vote in someone’s garage on Telegraph Hill pic.twitter.com/16bcxgwx3X— Hoala Greevy (@HoalaGreevy) June 6, 2018