Nearbound Daily #426: The state of startups is grim ☠️

Nearbound Daily #426: The state of startups is grim ☠️

Micaela Richmond 5 min

Sangram Vajre, best-selling author and Co-founder & CEO of GTM Partners, is speaking at the Summit! 


As a founder of multiple successful companies, a community leader, and a recipient of DMN network’s Top 21 B2B Influencers in the World award, Sangram will share why creating a startup without nearbound is a major problem. 

Register here!

Three reasons startups fail (and what to do about two of them)

It’s often repeated that around 90% of startups fail and that tech startups have the highest failure rate. Besides the inherent risk in the model, what are the main reasons for failure? Exploding Topics reports that startup failure can be boiled down to three major issues:

The last one has a lot of factors, including the macro-economy. But the first two can absolutely be improved with a shift to a more nearbound mindset.

If, like Kevin Maney suggests, you flip the first one on its head and think about market-product fit (own the market first, then design the product to serve them) you’ll increase your odds of success.

Similarly, the risk of dying by the second bullet can be reduced by living-in-market instead of trying to go to it.

If you are a part of the market, and in the orbit of trust that surrounds buyers, you have a lot less not to do marketing at them. Companies that think nearbound from the bottom up are more resilient.

A nearbound mindset = A successful startup

Last year at the Summit, our winners for the best partner-led startups were Alyce, Databox, and Partnered. Here’s what these three companies can teach other startups about using nearbound to thrive in the current market: 

1. Give first: As Greg Segall, CEO and Founder of Alyce shared, “Giving to people is all about getting a chance to know them better…In thinking about the partner ecosystem, how do you actually connect with people in unique ways to be able to say, these are relationships we’re trying to invest in.”


Greg and his team have used their product and ecosystem as a way to help others win, and in turn, quickly gained exposure and clout in the industry. 


2. Make partnerships a part of every department: Pete Caputa, CEO of Databox, has structured the company so that Sales, Marketing, and CSM teams work with partners daily. He shared of their sales structure, “We don’t comp in a way that causes conflict.”


Embedding a nearbound mindset in the company culture has allowed Databox to be the #1 third-party connection built in the HubSpot App Marketplace. 


3. Partner from day 1: Adam Michalski, Co-Founder & CEO of Partnered, explains that early partners like Crossbeam “were instrumental in our entire company journey.”


Because of the nearbound ethos they implemented since their inauguration, Partnered was one of the first ecosystem-native tech companies to be acquired by another ecosystem-native tech companies in the industry.


Let us know of any great companies you think should be nominated for the 2023 Nearbound Startup Award. Reply to this email and we will add them to the list!

The GTM process in 3 P’s

Sangram Vajre shares on LinkedIn that startups need to understand the GTM maturity curve’s three stages and three “P’s”:

  • Ideation (Problem-Market Fit): in this stage, you lack a fully developed product and are uncertain about its market fit.


  • Transition (Product-Market Fit): with the right product-market fit, you shift focus to developing a repeatable, scalable process to increase market share.


  • Execution (Platform-Market Fit): as your company evolves into a multiproduct organization, the emphasis shifts from individual products to a platform approach.

Screenshot 2023-10-04 at 11.54.51

Source: Sangram Vajre and GTM Partners


How are you using nearbound in each of these phases? Reply to this email to share! We want to hear your strategies. 

A meme battle for the ages 

The Nearbound Summit WhatsApp community hosted by Partnership Leaders is poppin’ off with a hilarious meme battle. Here’s a great one from Mary Hand

Mary Hand (1)

Stuff you don’t want to miss!

  • Oct 11th, 10 AM EST —Women in Alliances Summit— Join the FREE global summit featuring speakers like Jay McBain, Tina Gravel, Christine Bongard, Allison Munro, and more. They’ll touch on AI’s impact on the ecosystem, how partnerships are changing, and tips to boost your career. Register here.

  • Oct 11, 2 PM EST —Building a Partnership Strategy— Join Cari Kesten (Former Director, Global Strategy & Partnerships Lead at Spotify) and Scott Pollack (CEO at Firneo) as they share key elements of a successful partnerships strategy and more. Register here.

  • Oct 12th, 11:30 AM EST —Direct is Dying— Join two CMOs, Isaac Morehouse of Reveal and Pete Rawlinson of Allbound, for a 30-minute discussion diving into the implications of a pivot from direct to partner-led demand generation. Register here.

  • October 18th —Firneo Partner Strategy Forum (Day 1): How to Fix Your Broken Partner Program— Learn how to fix the root cause of your partner program’s biggest challenges. Register here

  • October 25th —Firneo Partner Strategy Forum (Day 2):  How to Prioritize the RIGHT Partners— Learn how to make sure you’re investing your (limited) resources in partners that will generate a meaningful. Register here

  • November 1st —Firneo Partner Strategy Forum (Day 3): How to Get Executive Buy-In for Partnerships— Learn how to secure resources & support from key stakeholders that are critical to partnership success. Register here

  • November 6th-9th —Nearbound Summit 2023— The future of GTM is Nearbound. Join us for the biggest-ever remote experience in GTM where B2B leaders across departments unite to share how they’re winning with Nearbound strategies and tactics. Register here.

  • April 19th-20th –SaaS Connect 2023– It’s that time of year again! Get your spot early for the 11th annual partnership conference in San Francisco, hosted by Cloud Software Association. Register here. 

Startup Day at The Nearbound Summit 

Join Sangram, Laura Padilla, Kevin Maney, and more at the Nearbound Summit. Get your spot today!

Sangram Vajre - Startup Day-1

Micaela Richmond 5 min

Nearbound Daily #426: The state of startups is grim ☠️

Three reasons startups fail (and what to do about two of them).

You Might Also Like


This is a test comment.


This is a longer test comment to see how this looks if the person decides to ramble a bit. So they're rambling and rambling and then they even lorem ipsum.