Development outsourcing with large code base?

My company has matured quite a bit and we are now commercial and have a relatively large codebase for our SaaS… Somewhere in the order of 400-500k lines of code. This code was all written by the co-founders. However, we are now at a point where we want to accelerate development and are looking at either a full time hire, contractor, or dev shop. For full-time or long term contractor we know the path. However, with dev shops it seems that most are focused on helping start-ups with MVPs and not with working with mature codebases.

How do we screen these shops technical capabilities and what should our expectations be for getting them up to speed and being in productive?

submitted by /u/DrCam
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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Is it possible to send a proposal to large retailers?

I have a concept that I need proof of concept for. This requires getting a large business on board to try it. The idea will either flop or hit it big and I am not protected with a provisional patent. What I am looking for is mostly interest. Hell if they steal the idea I’ll move to the next. If they don’t like it I need to move on to find a better differentiator.

I guess the full question is are there cases where a proposal sent may provide feedback at all? Or is it pointless/worthless?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

How large a TAM would investors be interested in?

Anyone ever tried to raise venture funding knows, he/she needs to prove to an investor the business can reach $ 100M ARR. I have always been thinking about this, have some questions, and would like to get any inputs you would like to share.

  1. Using a bottom-up method to calculate TAM, do we use the price of the current MVP or an imaginary product that embodied the full, grandiose full vision? If using the latter, how much validation is expected?
  2. Is the $ 100M revenue a regional number (e.g US) or the world-wide number?
  3. Is a $ 1B TAM required to convince an investor of the possibility of this $ 100M ARR requirement?
  4. Does the type of startup matter? Do investors judge pure software SaaS with other technology-enabled startups under the same rubric? Their margins can be quite different. For the likes of AirBnB, Uber, Amazon (eCommerce department), WeWork, this type of businesses can quite easily achieve a large ARR. They cannot just use their GMV as their ARR, can they? If you count in the goods exchanged, or services involved in these market-type businesses, their gross margin is not likely to be good looking. How are the TAM and ARR calculated for these startups?

Here is my situation:

  1. I've always used the price of our MVP and end up much lower than $ 100M. I know the mantra of "making a few people really happy" and going after them with a high price tag, only to complete your startup story, but when those a few people became your friends, you kind of don't want to ripe them off for your own purpose. My plan was to expand the product to bring much more value, then get a higher price, but that seems hard to convey clearly during the short period of time people listen to me.
  2. I have always used the US numbers and ask people to x10 for world-wide numbers. It's perhaps to my disadvantage doing it this way because the 1st number would stuck in people's minds and I can see them thinking, boy that is too small.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Is it normal for a large startup/scaleup to experience frequent waves of redundancies?

Hi everyone,

I have been growing with insecurity and distrust for the company that I currently work for, because within 12 months of being at this company, I've sat through 3 waves of redundancies, totalling ~50 people.

I want to understand and be able to empathise with others out there that have experienced this, to know if this is normal, or if this is the result of bad management/leadership/spending money too quick, etc.

One of the redundancy rounds was as a result of COVID, which is no different to most other companies out there.

But the abnormal thing to me is that I've noticed there is a trend of waves of redundancies happening twice a year. I heard from coworkers that it's been going on like this for 4 years. That's probably 6-8 waves of redundancies. And after each round of redundancy, they hire a few experienced people to take their place.

Our company preaches values like "care", but when it comes to these redundancy rounds, it's like they don't learn better from treating employees from the previous rounds.

I guess it could be a variety of aspects, when accumulated, resulted in the need to make redundancies. It really lowers the morale of the rest of the people that are still in the company, because it gives us the feeling of "we're next, we're dispensable" – especially to the people who are still at the bottom rung of the company hierarchy.

Would love to gather your thoughts and experiences, if you are founders of large startups/scaleups that have had to go through this, I'd love to empathise with you and understand it from different perspectives, because a lot of what I currently see is the suffering of those that have been made redundant, and the suffering and insecurity of those who feel like they're the next to go.

Thanks.

submitted by /u/yoghurtlover307
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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

How to pitch a Saas Idea that would be sold to large corporations (Fortune 5000) without an MVP/Prototype?

I have a SaaS idea that would be sold to large corporations – Fortune 5000 and larger. Ive validated the idea with hundreds of potential end users via forums, social media, and in person discussions.

What would I need to pitch to them? Does anyone have any experience pitching what is essentially an idea to a F5000?

I have no prototype, online presence, customers, VC funding, etc. Just a landing page and a company email.

The goal of getting the validation is to raise money from VC's and attract a technical co-founder.

submitted by /u/helpplease12223
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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

PayPal won’t send large negative balance to collections?

Have any of you had a PayPal account go negative? I had a business that went bust last August. I had a PayPal business account that went negative in July 2019 from client refunds.

The last refund/chargeback was in October 2019.

It’s negative $ 43,800.

What’s odd is that except for one phone call to my house in October they haven’t contacted me at all. I’ve been calling them more than they’ve been calling me.

The account is closed/charged off (I can’t log in either), but every time I call and ask for the contact info of the collections agency they sent it to I’m told they are still holding it with their in house collections.

Customer service has no answers.

I want to set up a payment plan that’s 24 to 36 months long, but because they are not a bank they don’t offer payment plans. That’s why I was waiting for them to send it to collections

I don’t even mind setting up a payment plan for the entire balance. I just want SOMETHING in place where I’m paying it off so I can sleep at night. This not knowing is killing me

It’s just a regular PayPal business account that went negative, so there’s no interest rate.

They also can’t tell me when it will be sent to collections.

What should I do? My personal account went and stayed negative a few years back by accident for a small amount and they very, very quickly sent it to collections and called like crazy.

I’m just kind of baffled figuring out what they’re next move could be

submitted by /u/thesonofnarcs
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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Strategies to reduce risk of large chargebacks

If a startups' core business is a service broker on behalf of others whom are providing some service, and they are receiving money by credit card and then paying the other party by ACH, what strategies can you use to reduce risk? Is there a good resource or guide on this aspect? For purposes of this conversation assume a model similar to how AirBNB works. $ 200-300 bookings collected via CC, then when the service is paid by startup after the booking service is provided. The actual service provider gets their payment to their bank directly, minus some sort of booking commission fee that is transparent to the consumer; or, instead an explicit service fee is added and explicitly paid by the consumer.

A potential concern for fraud for example would be someone creating a totally fake service provider and the validation done doesn't catch that, churning money out of a stolen credit card, then getting paid to that fake provider, and then the card gets charged back 3 weeks after. Additionally–how do you scale worldwide in this scenario… or do you not?

A few things that come to mind would be evaluating the risk profile of the consumer/provider either manually or w/ something like Maxmind; perhaps holding back money for payment to the provider on some schedule until both parties are considered not new. Or not getting involved as a party to the transaction, but having the payments go one party to the other, and the provider pays a larger monthly membership fee instead. I'm specifically trying to not do that though for competitive reasons. And in terms of chargeback risk/fraud (/legal risk?), are there pros/cons to taking a service commission out transparently when paying the service provider vs giving the provider the full amount but charging the consumer a service fee?

submitted by /u/danekan
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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!