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Product-led growth and profitability: What’s going on?


An interview with OpenView operating partner Kyle Poyar

Anna Heim

9 hours

Among public tech companies, “product-led growth (PLG) companies — those who educate and convert buyers with product rather than sales and marketing (SLG) — operate at about 5% to 10% less profitability than sales-led motions,” venture capitalist Tomasz Tunguz highlighted in a blog post.
This data point may be specific to the moment we are in: First, because public tech companies overall are less profitable than a mere year ago. Second, because not so long ago, PLG companies had higher net income margin than their sales-led peers. But just because this reversal might be temporary doesn’t mean it isn’t worth looking into.

“The PLG playbook is still being written — and what’s happening today will be an important chapter in that playbook.” OpenView Partners’ Kyle Poyar

Product-led growth these days is no longer the exception to the rule: Following the footsteps of Atlassian, Zoom and Snowflake, many private startups adopted this model. If it is inherently less profitable, founders will want to …

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