SaaS Efficiency; Remote Development, Security, and Work; and Lessons from Zoom

This post first appeared in the a16z enterprise newsletter. Subscribe to the a16z enterprise newsletter and stay on top of the latest tech and trends.

In This Issue:

  • SaaS efficiency before growth
  • Moving to remote development
  • Zoom lessons for scaling from enterprise to consumers
  • What does the rapid shift to remote work mean for security?
  • The platforms for remote work

SaaS efficiency before growth

Two questions are top of mind for most SaaS founders: How does what’s happening impact my business, and how do I plan for the months ahead? We looked at public filings for 18 SaaS companies through the 2008 crisis, which, while very different, offers lessons on where to focus in hard times: efficiency, before growth. So what does that require? Retention, profitable customer acquisition, and managing runway. Read the Post


-Kristina Shen (@kshenster) & Kimberly Tan (@kimberlywtan)

Moving to remote development

Development teams were some of the first to pioneer remote, distributed collaboration, but with the new shelter-in-place orders, more organizations are now moving to remote development at scale, often quickly and without a lot of time to plan. What are the best (and worst) practices? In this recent podcast, Jason Warner, CTO at GitHub and a remote executive for more than 10 years, and a16z general partner David Ulevitch cover the most common mistakes managers make and how to avoid them, aligning communication, and interviewing and hiring when you can’t meet in-person. Their conversation is a guide to getting any distributed team to operate like a seasoned distributed development team, and hints at the future of work. Listen Here

-a16z Editorial

Zoom lessons for scaling from enterprise to consumers

Zoom has not only experienced unprecedented, rapid growth (from 10M to 200M daily active users) due to the coronavirus pandemic and shelter-in-place — but has also broadened from enterprise customers to more mainstream consumer uses, such as children’s education, online gym classes, and medical appointments. At the same time, there have been several security issues and concerns around Zoom, including “zoombombing;” home-grown encryption; and key-management systems, servers, and engineers in China.

In this episode of 16 Minutes, David Ulevitch (former SVP/GM at Cisco), and operating partner for security Joel de la Garza (former CSO of Box) share what enterprise companies scaling into mainstream markets means, including; the tradeoffs between friction of adoption and security. More broadly, what does the case of Zoom tell us about trends such as cloud security, video conferencing, and the consumerization of SaaS? Listen Here

-a16z Editorial

What does the rapid shift to remote work mean for security?

Even before Covid-19, workers were accessing files and apps through their mobile phone, and enterprises were moving data and applications to the cloud. However, the scale of this current shift — now 90% (rather than 20%) of an organization working from home — is new for security teams, and for employees. So how do we balance business continuity while keeping the enterprise secure? And with the castle-and-moat security based on a central office gone, how do teams prepare for the longer term implications of a more distributed workforce?

-Joel de la Garza

The platforms for remote work

The swift rise of remote work and virtual networking has blurred the line between professional and social use of virtual tools. In this podcast, we look at the platforms powering the new at- home workforce and the creative use cases for video conferencing and streaming that are emerging. Listen Here

-a16z Editorial

***

image: Pexels | Pixabay

The views expressed here are those of the individual AH Capital Management, L.L.C. (“a16z”) personnel quoted and are not the views of a16z or its affiliates. Certain information contained in here has been obtained from third-party sources, including from portfolio companies of funds managed by a16z. While taken from sources believed to be reliable, a16z has not independently verified such information and makes no representations about the enduring accuracy of the information or its appropriateness for a given situation. In addition, this content may include third-party advertisements. A16z has not reviewed such advertisements and does not endorse any advertising content contained therein.

This content is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities or digital assets are for illustrative purposes only, and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investors or prospective investors, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any fund managed by a16z. (An offering to invest in an a16z fund will be made only by the private placement memorandum, subscription agreement, and other relevant documentation of any such fund and should be read in their entirety.) Any investments or portfolio companies mentioned, referred to, or described are not representative of all investments in vehicles managed by a16z, and there can be no assurance that the investments will be profitable or that other investments made in the future will have similar characteristics or results. A list of investments made by funds managed by Andreessen Horowitz (excluding investments for which the issuer has not provided permission for a16z to disclose publicly as well as unannounced investments in publicly traded digital assets) is available at https://a16z.com/investments/.

Charts and graphs provided within are for informational purposes solely and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The content speaks only as of the date indicated. Any projections, estimates, forecasts, targets, prospects, and/or opinions expressed in these materials are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by others. Please see https://a16z.com/disclosures for additional important information.