A VC’s Letter To Santa… Gifts For Software Entrepreneurs

December 22, 2010

Dear Santa,

I wanted to send you a letter with my gift list. As an operationally focused venture capital partner at OpenView Partners where we invest growth capital in expansion stage software companies, my list of gifts is not for me but for the founders, CEO’s and management teams of early and expansion stage software companies around the world…

I hope my list is not too long and that you and your elves can deliver these gifts to every entrepreneur in the software industry. My list is not in any specific order and I will try and keep it short, but I have to start somewhere so here we go…

The gift of a repeatable business model that everyone can build a great company around.

The gift of finding the right market segment on which to focus across all operational areas of the company… product development, product management, customer service, sales, marketing, finance and consulting.

The gift of being able to create a profitable economic model around their repeatable business model so they can successfully scale their business without additional rounds of capital.

The gift of defining the right KPI’s to manage the business for continuous improvement and cycle time reductions across all operational departments leading to improved operational execution.

The gift of being able to build out their management teams since founders and CEO’s alone can’t build great companies.

The gift of being able to build out the right board, including independent board members.
The gift of being able to develop the company’s aspirations and create the right mission statement, vision and values to inspire and lead your team as you build a great company around strategy, focus and execution.


I hope this Christmas season that you and your elves can come through and make all of the founders, CEO’s and management teams happy and successful with these gifts!

All the best!


Venture Partner

<strong>George Roberts</strong> is a Venture Partner at OpenView. He enjoys partnering with companies and helping them achieve their goals through strategy, focus and operational execution. From 1990 to 2003, George spent 13 years at Oracle Corporation, most recently having served as Executive Vice President of North American Sales. While at Oracle, George was responsible for over $1 billion in revenue and more than 2,000 employees, reporting directly to the company’s CEO and Chairman, Larry Ellison.