Month: April 2021

Figures of Speech: 40 Ways to Improve your Writing

This post is by Carmen Ang from Visual Capitalist

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Figures of Speech

Figures of Speech: 40 Ways to Improve your Writing

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Figurative speech plays an important role in our ability to communicate with one another. It helps create compelling narratives, and evoke emotion in readers.

With this in mind, this periodic table graphic by Visual Communication Guy groups the 40 different figures of speech into two distinct categories—schemes and tropes.

What’s the difference between the two, and how can they help improve your writing?

Types of Schemes

In linguistics, a scheme is language that plays with sentence structure to make a sentence smoother, or even more persuasive, using syntax, word order, or sounds.

Here are four different ways that schemes fiddle with sentence structure.


This is especially important when trying to make a sentence smoother. A good example of balance is parallelism, which is when you use the same grammatical form in at least two parts of a sentence.

  • Not parallelism: “She likes reading, writing, and to paint on the weekends.”
  • Parallelism: “She likes reading, writing, and painting on the weekends.”

Word Order

Changing the position of words can have an impact on the way a sentence is understood. For instance, anastrophe is the deliberate reordering of words in a sentence to either emphasize a certain point, or distinguish a character as different.

  • An example of anastrophe: “The greatest teacher, failure is.” -Yoda

Omission and/or Inclusion

Omissions and inclusions are useful in (Read more...)

G7: The Seven SaaS Metrics Georgian Uses to Evaluate Growth-stage Software Companies

This post is by Evan Kerr from Georgian

At Georgian, we invest in high-growth technology companies that harness the power of data and trust. We also build our own software that helps us identify and accelerate these companies. It’s no surprise then that we are passionate about both the data and the metrics we use to explain our view of financial success to current and future partners.

Last year, we simplified and strengthened the benchmarks we use to evaluate the health of growth-stage software and technology companies. We analyzed data from 100+ technology IPOs and private benchmarks during this process, including OpenView, KeyBanc Capital Markets (“KBCM”) and Scale Venture Partners. Collectively, these sources cover over 2,000 growth stage software companies. We then back-tested that data against the 50+ companies in our portfolio to determine the “top” metrics that helped define our own companies’ success. 

Introducing the G7 Metrics

Coming out of this work, we created a new framework composed of the seven most important metrics that we use to evaluate the strength of a growing technology company. We call it the “Georgian 7” or “G7” for short. Unlike the other G7, there have always been just seven core metrics, and we haven’t yet had to expel a metric for rogue behavior…though, you never know. 

So what are those metrics? 

The G7 Metrics

  1. ARR Growth YoY (ARR = “Annual Recurring Revenue” Year Over Year)
  2. EBITDA Margin excluding SBC (SBC = “Stock-Based Compensation”)
  3. Gross Dollar Retention
  4. Net Dollar Retention
  5. Capital Efficiency
  6. Gross Margin CAC Payback (CAC = (Read more...)

Venture Analyst – High Alpha

Dated Posted: 4/30/21
Indianapolis, IN

High Alpha is looking for a Venture Analyst eager to learn about venture capital and B2B software. This entry-level position presents a rare opportunity to work with the High Alpha team to find and help fund next-generation enterprise cloud companies.

About You:

You’re action oriented with a high sense of urgency balanced with strong attention to detail and organizational skills
You have a deep passion for technology, entrepreneurship, and venture capital
You’re a great teammate with a growth mindset eager to learn and apply those learnings in your job and career

What You’ll Do:

Enhance & maintain High Alpha’s investment tracking, internal processes and tools by identifying opportunities to continually improve how we do our work
Assist in preparation of investment memos and investor updates
Support the investment team’s due diligence process including financial analysis & modeling, market research, and competitive analysis

What We’re Looking For:

Humble, self-motivated, and equipped with an entrepreneurial, positive, can-do attitude
Demonstrated interest in investing and/or startups
Analytical and proficient with Microsoft Excel & Google Sheets
Uncompromising integrity
Note this is a two year position at High Alpha.

What We Value:

We constantly challenge ourselves to push boundaries, defy conventional wisdom, and take smart risks by pursuing big opportunities hiding in plain sight.

We push ourselves and portfolio companies to build processes and systems that compress time, speed, and decision-making to produce results faster.

We demand the best from ourselves, our team, and our (Read more...)

Controller – High Alpha

Dated Posted: 4/30/21
Indianapolis, IN

At High Alpha, we partner with exceptional founders to conceive, launch, and scale next-generation B2B SaaS companies through the application of business strategy, world-class design, and product development. We design new businesses from the ground up by providing the critical research, infrastructure, talent, and resources that companies need to innovate and scale quickly.

High Alpha is looking for a Controller to build and own the High Alpha accounting function. You’ll be part of the team that works with High Alpha leadership to manage the company’s financial resources so we can create, launch and scale next-generation enterprise cloud companies.

What You’ll Do:

Oversee key financial management activities including monthly financial close, reporting, treasury, billing & collections, payroll, general accounting and controls
Manage relationships with external auditors and tax advisors
Provide leadership regarding all technical accounting questions and updates
Provide support for the budgeting and planning process; work with team on monthly forecast against budget including cash flow projections
Partner with Fund CFO to ensure accurate fund financials and record keeping
Ensure adequate insurance coverage & lead financial risk management

What We’re Looking For:

You’re organized and demonstrate a high attention to detail and accuracy
You’re a self-starter who can put ideas into action
You love working with numbers and helping people
You have the rare ability to quickly shift from high-level strategic thinking to tactical execution
6+ years in public accounting, corporate accounting or finance, or similar experience
Excellent quantitative skills with strong experience in (Read more...)

How Accountable Teams Drive Performance in Challenging Times

This post is by Katie Jones from Visual Capitalist

The future of work is changing, and new rules are being written before our very eyes.

Teams are more important now than ever before, but many of them are struggling to step up and drive high performance when it matters most.

Creating a Culture of Accountability

Today’s infographic from the bestselling author Dr. Vince Molinaro demonstrates how leaders can create an environment where truly accountable teams can flourish, and employees are inspired to do their best work.

accountable teams infographic

>> Download Dr.Vince Molinaro’s How to Build an Accountable Team

Accountable Leaders Build Accountable Teams

Weak, mediocre teams demonstrate behaviors that can breed a toxic work environment, such as working in isolation or not demonstrating trust among other team members.

In order to combat mediocre teams, leaders must create a culture of accountability in their organization where individuals can step up and be accountable.

“No group ever becomes a team until they can hold themselves accountable as a team.”

—The Discipline of Teams, Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith

When teams take full responsibility for their actions, they manage most issues themselves rather than looking to leadership to solve problems.

Overall, accountable teams demonstrate two critical dimensions: team clarity and team commitment.

1. Team Clarity

Accountable teams should have full clarity about the business they operate in by having the ability to:

  • Anticipate external trends both in and outside of their industry.
  • Have clarity on the strategy and purpose of their organization.
  • Understand the expectations of their stakeholders and the interdependencies that (Read more...)

Talent Associate, Life Sciences – Anzu Partners

Date Posted: 4/30/21
Billerica, MA

Anzu Partners is a venture capital firm that invests in breakthrough industrial technologies. We team with entrepreneurs to develop and commercialize technological innovations by providing capital and deep expertise in business development, market positioning, global connectivity, and operations. We focus on four key areas: manufacturing, materials, monitoring and measurement, and modeling.

Anzu manages ~$400 million in capital commitments and we have developed a robust team of investment professionals, technical specialists, and operational support to drive results for our portfolio companies and investors. In 2016, we launched Anzu Industrial Capital Partners, L.P., our first fund, to invest in North American-based private industrial technology companies.

In April 2019, we announced the launch of our second industrial technology fund, Anzu Industrial Capital Partners II L.P., which follows a similar investment strategy.

About the role

Anzu is looking for a Talent Acquisition Associate who will join our Talent and Operations team and take on responsibilities supporting both the firm and our portfolio companies. This individual will report to our Deputy Director of Talent and the role is based in our office outside of Boston in Billerica, MA. They will lead recruiting efforts to source, screen, assess, and hire the brightest scientists and engineers in the industrial tech and life sciences space, and assist our portfolio companies in shaping their employer brand and processes.


  • Partner with portfolio company leadership and teams to build a strong talent pipeline to fill current and future roles.
  • Partner with portfolio companies to build (Read more...)

ClickUp’s Product-Led Growth Playbook

This post is by Conor Ross from Georgian

Georgian recently held an event on go-to-market models as part of our CoLab Connect Series. At this event, Tommy Wang, Head of Global Revenue at ClickUp, opened up the playbook for their product-led growth (PLG) model.

ClickUp is a productivity platform that replaces all other workplace tools and enables all teams across an organization to work together in one place. Tommy heads up ClickUp’s sales engine that focuses on product-led growth. From the first release in 2017, Tommy and his team have grown the business to over 300,000 teams and more than 3 million users around the world; this rapid expansion is due to a largely organic, product-led growth.

1. Show your product’s true value to convert to paid 

The goal of a product-led model is to get more people using the product and then paying for that use once they have experienced the product’s value. This relies on a self-serve model where users can get a taste of the product without paying.

The go-to-market team at ClickUp focuses on two key metrics to achieve this:

  1. Onboarding activation: Using trials to encourage users to sign-up for the product
  2. Monetization activation: Encouraging people to pay more for their use of the product

If those are your objectives, then why hide features that would make your customers willing to pay behind the paywall? ClickUp doesn’t lock features up-front to determine the shift to a paid account, and allows users to stay free forever within certain usage limits. Usage-based limits are in place (Read more...)

Y Combinator-backed Uiflow wants to accelerate no-code enterprise app creation

TechCrunch recently caught up with recent Y Combinator graduate Uiflow, a startup that is building a no-code enterprise app creation service.

If you are thinking wait, don’t a number of companies already do that?, the answer is yes. But what Quickbase, Smartsheet and others are working on isn’t quite the same thing, at least from the startup’s perspective.

Uiflow, a Bay Area-based concern that has been alive for far less than a year, has built an app creation tool that works with whatever backend a large company currently employs, and helps its development team build apps collaboratively. As the startup explained in a public posting, customer developers can import Figma files while their engineers can use existing UI libraries, and product managers can quickly vet an app’s logic.

The service is akin to a “cross between Unity and Figma,” Uiflow says.

Here’s what its own user interface looks like, per a screenshot the company provided to TechCrunch after an interview:

Per Y Combinator, the company has closed a pre-seed round of more than $500,000. The company told TechCrunch that it has been talking to investors lately — as essentially every Y Combinator-backed startup does after their public unveiling —  but appears to be holding off raising more capital until it fully launches self-service of its product; the company may also accelerate its hiring efforts once its self-serve GTM motion is more broadly available.

The startup told TechCrunch that after its Product Hunt launch it picked (Read more...)

Science Does Not Aim to Predict the Future From the Past

This post is by naval from Naval

It is an error-correcting mechanism

Naval: Where do good explanations come from?

There’s currently an obsession with induction, the idea that you can predict the future from the past. You can say, “I saw one, then two, then three, then four, then five, so therefore next must be six, seven, eight, nine.”

There’s a belief that this is how new knowledge is created, that this is how scientific theories are formed and this is how we can make good explanations about the universe.

What’s wrong with induction, and where does new knowledge actually come from?

Brett: You mentioned the black swan earlier, and I’d like to go back to that. The black swan is an example people have used over the years to illustrate this idea that repeatedly observing the same phenomena over and over again should not make you confident that it will continue in the future.

In Europe we have white swans, so any biologist who’s interested in birds would observe white swan after white swan and apparently conclude that, therefore, all swans are white. Then someone travels to Western Australia and notices swans there look otherwise identical to the ones in Europe—but they’re black.

Let’s consider another example of induction.

Ever since the beginning of your life, you have observed that the sun has risen. Does this mean that scientifically you should conclude that the sun will rise tomorrow and rise every day after that? This is not what science is about.

Science is not about (Read more...)

Optimism reigns at consumer trading services as fintech VC spikes and Robinhood IPO looms

With the Coinbase direct listing behind us and the Robinhood IPO ahead, it’s a heady time for consumer-focused trading apps.

Mix in the impending SPAC-led debut of eToro, general bullishness in the cryptocurrency space, record highs for some equities markets, and recent rounds from, M1 Finance and U.K.-based Freetrade, and you could be excused for expecting the boom in consumer asset trading to keep going up and to the right.

But will it? There are data in both directions. While recent information could indicate that some of the most lucrative trading activity at companies like Robinhood could be slowing, there’s also encouraging app download information that paints a more bullish picture regarding the durability of the boom in consumer interest regarding savings and investing, which The Exchange has had an eye on for some time.

The Exchange explores startups, markets and money. Read it every morning on Extra Crunch or get The Exchange newsletter every Saturday.

Our question today is this: How bullish are companies in the space about continued consumer interest in equities and other asset trading? And why? We’ll also put similar questions to their backers.

We’ve compiled notes from Accel’s Sameer Gandhi about views concerning Public as one of its backers and Index’s Jan Hammer about Robinhood and its market, as well as comments from and M1 Finance about what they see regarding consumer trading interest in the future. Thoughts from Robert Le, PitchBook’s senior emerging technology analyst, cap things (Read more...)