What's 🔥 in Enterprise IT/VC #162

AWS re:invent update

I’m back from spending a week at AWS re:Invent where 75,000 people attended to learn about the breadth of products that AWS is offering and which startups markets they would kill over night. Hint, one area we are happy we are not investing heavily in is the AWS ML Stack and Sagemaker in particular - it’s a prolific and ambitious roadmap that keeps getting bigger.

While the show may seem way too big to get any real value from it, I love going because it’s a great mix of founders (we had 12 of our founders in from all over the world), VCs who invest in infrastructure (pretty much everyone was there), and Forunte 500 customers as I got to spend time with folks from Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, and Disney.

If you like the new format or content, please share and ❤️ above! 


Scaling Startups

  1. Fred Wilson from Union Square Ventures nails it again, there is no silver bullet to solving problem, it requires patience and faith and “Grinding

  2. Great interview with Eric Yuan (Zoom) and Santi Subotvsky from Emergence. Eric shares what he has learned in this journey including always be learning, focus on customers, not VCs, prove naysayers wrong, hit the right rhythm, hire smart, ignore titles, fire slow, and look everywhere for new opportunities.

  3. Jason Lemkin of SaaStr lays out a recurring debate - should I abandon the the low end of the market? For me it comes down to cost of acquisition and retention. If low end is self service and zero touch and zero cost on support, then you may want to keep. If not, you should think long and hard about the value of keeping the low end, i.e. does it lead to upsells, etc.

Enterprise Tech

  1. Andy Jassy who leads AWS lays out what’s ahead for AWS, the cloud and the enterprise. This is why no matter what economic environment we are in, the growth of cloud and migration will still continue.

    “More enterprises are deciding to mass migrate and bet on the cloud,” he said. “When they make that decision, all bets are off. [At that point] everybody they’ve been using before, everything they’ve been using before, everything is on the table to be reconsidered, which is interesting because it throws the world upside down. And it’s a great opportunity, not just for us, but for really the entire ecosystem.”  

  2. Every Fortune 500 is a tech company, GS with a booth at AWS re:Invent and announcing the launch of developer.gs.com. In fact, most forward thinking Fortune 500s have developer.fortune500.com like JPM Chase, Walmart, and Citi. More on GS and their partnership with AWS.

  3. AWS re:Invent recap from Stephen O’Grady of Redmonk. Rather than covering each new release, he laid out 5 broader themes, Abstraction, ARM servers with 40% better price/performance vs. x86, Dominance and humility, Open Source, and Platform.

  4. Congrats to portfolio company Kustomer on their $60mm Series E led by Coatue and including existing investors Battery and Tiger Global - exciting as they are going after Zendesk and Salesforce Service Cloud and layering in more AI and automation

  5. 👇🏼This is too good!

  6. Is Amazon Skynet? Unreal piece in NY Times detailing how Amazon has woven itself into the very fabric of life in Baltimore and amazing to see how Amazon touches every aspect of life.


  1. Slack beat its numbers hitting revenue of $168.7mm revenue, up 60% year over year with more enterprise penetration

    Slack said it has more than 50 customers that each generate $1 million or more in annual revenue—a newly disclosed figure—up from more than 30 a year ago. It also has 821 customers with greater than $100,000 in annual revenue apiece, up 67% from a year ago.

  2. Palo Alto buys Aporeto, moving from firewall and towards zero trust. A deeper dive into why zero trust here. Alex Yampolskiy, co-founder/CEO of portfolio company Security Scorecard nails it when discussing the rapidly consolidating security market.

    Overall, the acquisition should be a net benefit for data center security managers, said Aleksandr Yampolskiy, co-founder and CEO at SecurityScorecard. Today they have to deal with too many vendors and technologies.

    “Most CISOs I spoke with welcome the consolidation, because they will get to deal with one company like Palo Alto Networks, which can offer all these different solutions out of a single suite,” he said.

  3. ServiceNow not worried about crowded enterprise software landscape - “This era for digital transformation in the enterprise is the biggest growth opportunity in our lifetime, it’s that simple” - thanks to Bill McDermott!