About this Survey

Earlier this summer, we surveyed 300 enterprise software companies ranging from pre-revenue to more than $20 million in ARR and across every software category. The point of this survey was to gain a better understanding of how software companies are performing as a whole, and to help companies understand how they measure up against their peers – and not just a handful of well-known unicorns.

With our findings, we aim to reframe the conversation of how the tech ecosystem defines success in a growing software business. Success shouldn’t only be defined by an IPO in five years. Success means building a sustainable and enduring business that improves the lives of its employees, customers and shareholders alike.

The Takeaway

For far too long, the tech ecosystem has focused on growth at all costs and glorified so-called unicorns. These companies are often used as benchmarks for success, leading followers to grow unsustainably and irresponsibly. It’s time that software startups start benchmarking themselves against their peer group and setting realistic expectations for growth and spend. Doing so will help them more accurately plan for hiring and reduce burn while keeping an eye on profitability. 

Seven lessons for scaling startups in 2017 and beyond:

  • Growth at all costs only works for so long
  • Figure out where you’re wasting your sales & marketing dollars
  • Fix your ‘leaky bucket’ before pouring in more cash
  • You’re likely burning cash without realizing it, determine your true CAC
  • CAC Maximize your existing customers before hunting for new logos
  • Profitability is your lifeline against future funding uncertainty
  • Commit to creating a culture that’s attractive to diverse candidates