High Alpha 2017: A Year in Review

by Paige Haefer

With a few short weeks left in 2017, we’ve been thinking and reflecting a lot here at High Alpha. It’s been another big year for us, and we wanted to share some of the highlights from our writing over the last year.

Below is a brief review and collection of some of the ideas we enjoyed discussing the most in 2017:

Dollars and Cents

When building any business, capital is key. There’s no way around it: a strong grasp on all things finance can make or break your business — a great idea just isn’t enough. Financial Analyst, Brigitte Hackler has some great thoughts about What Every Startup Employee Should Know About Finance, building a financial model, and understanding your churn rate.

For SaaS founders, our VP of Finance, Blake Koriath, this year explored the Top 20 Things SaaS founders Should Know About Finance and how to avoid “Finance Guilt”—an epidemic for startups.

To round out our top finance articles of the year, Eric Tobias has some great insight into the speed of VCs from both sides of the equation.

The Future is Data Science

The undercover hero of High Alpha? Mark Clerkin, our resident Data Scientist. Data Science is the future and its a big part of the forward mobility and feedback loop in our companies. To really dive into Mark’s work at High Alpha, I highly recommend checking out his Flight Recorder series: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Outside of the Box

One of my favorite aspects of High Alpha is learning from the dynamic team I get to work with everyday. There is no shortage of big ideas around these parts so i’ve shared just a few of the posts that have gotten me thinking.

If you really want to dive deep into what makes Billion Dollar Ideas, Srikar Kalvakolanu, our Research Analyst, has a whole series on them.

Drew Beechler, our Director of Marketing, never disappoints with big ideas and loves to dive deep into topics and thoughts (yes, Drew is my boss). Some highlights from Drew’s 2017 articles include his look at The (Second) Greatest Sales Deck and Pitch, Fundamentals of Startup Marketing, and 5 Tips to Nail a Successful Product Launch.

One of my personal goals right now is working on Radical Transparency. Ryan Larcom, Director of Operations here at High Alpha, wrote a great article recently around a talk he gave on this topic and I can’t stop thinking about it.

Onward and Upward

High Alpha is almost 3 years old, and while we continue to Dream Big, Move Fast, and Expect More, we’ve done a lot of thinking (and in-turn, writing) about the culture and best-practices for SaaS startup growth.

From personal experience and conversation with peers, I shared A Beginner’s Guide to Working at a SaaS Startup. High Alpha Talent Specialist, Nancy Gutwein, takes her experience and highlights what great company culture should look like.

As High Alpha has developed, we’ve also honed in on areas and ideas that we are truly passionate about. Senior Designer, Kolby McElvain, explored Why a Designer Should be Your First Hire and Ryan Larcom also dove deep into our Sprint Week process.

It’s been a great year at High Alpha. Thanks for sticking with us.