Bootstrapping, managing product-led growth, and knowing when to fundraise

Product-led growth is all the rage in the Valley these days, and at TechCrunch Early Stage 2021, two of our top thinkers discussed how to incorporate this into a startup. Tape Awotona is the CEO and founder of Calendar, which for the most part exists before raising $350 million in a p $3 billion valuation from from OpenView and Iconiq.

In addition, on the other side of that table and in this interview Blake Bartlett was a partner at OpenView, leading the enterprise deal based on efficient growth policies. In this interview, two bootstrapping and product-led growth, expanded internationally, when to bootstrap and when raise funds and how VCs go to for-profit organizations (carefully and with a big stick). Oh and how spend $350 million.

About product-led growth efficiency – spending all the initial capital and time of a startup to capture new users to perfect its product, and the most enthusiastic customers help the product with others or perhaps managers to approve their spending. This directly related to bootstrapping, since by avoiding VC investments, a startup needs more closely tie to customers first.

The journey began on the calendar, as there was absolutely no marketing. Therefore, the primary users were in higher education and very quickly, we moved into the commercial sector. In addition, all of that was because of the virality of the product. So a combination of self-serving that is incredibly capital efficient, because you do not need all these sales people, and virality, you can rely on real virality without spending a dollar a dollar on advertising. Only those two things really allow us to succeed.

We discussed later how the ultimate focus on users could drive efficiency through product-led growth. This is the product and distribution model and this needs firmly align. There was some talk with bait, but I think first, even outside of metrics, how this business built? In addition, on the product front, the product made; the tasks have to done, so the focus is on the actual user, not their boss. SaaS historically built for the boss because the boss owns the budget for that department. So if you have created a sales tool, create a sales VP and then hopefully they will keep up with it but now with product-led development, you are actually building for that user building… Finally, the things you set up are like admin panel and all sorts of stuff can make things like that above.