In case you missed - Airtable announcement from Dec 2022 to employees about change for direction at Airtable

How is this sentence not related to revenue concerning Enterprise customers?

Enterprise, which makes up the majority of our revenue, is growing more than 100% YoY with best-in-class of NDR of 170%.

Yeah, you keep referencing that, but I’m not finding it in the press statement. I just want to read it where you are reading it. A link would help. All three references in this thread are you pasting it. What’s the source?

UPDATE: I found it. It’s in the opening thread, but your copies of it do not appear in an in-page search. Very odd - must be some hidden characters in your copies.

We can probably agree that the phrase “majority of our revenue” cannot be interpreted as anything less than about 51%. However, a few ways companies tend to spin this is to base it on the number of users. It is plausible that enterprise revenues per user are higher than non-enterprise revenues per user. However, in aggregate, enterprise revenues are actually less than all other revenues combined.

Private companies also play hide the ball with the investment community and analysts such as Gartner through many sleight-of-hand tricks. The most obvious is the definition of “enterprise”. Is a small company with 6 Pro users an enterprise? This is a dial they are free to move to suit their outward-facing narrative. And that narrative must match the outward-facing pitch that they should be considered as a viable solution by all enterprises because they are [by their own definition] already earning from mostly “enterprises”.

Next, “best in class” NDR of 170%. Who defined the “class”, and what is that class?

What this suggests is that among a select group of products (determined by Airtable) compared with those products’ NDR, their 170% upsell from existing customers is better than any other products in the class. Whew - that’s a lot of predicates, most of which are defined by Airtable.

And what makes this even more mushy is the likelihood they choose the customers that form the basis of the NDR computation - ergo - what’s the definition of an enterprise customer?

This sentence (for me) is rife with opportunities to mislead or camouflage the underlying data. And who exactly is this sentence targeted? Indeed not the 250+ people laid off. Not likely the remaining employees (they have no clue what NDR is). This is a message for Wall Street and potential enterprise buyers.

Lastly, a vacuum of announcements or evidence concerning enterprise customers. This is another red flag for me.

I have been a spectator for several enterprise sales attempts, all of which failed. I have no confidence their sales engineers are capable of closing deals where the technology must meet stringent enterprise requirements in security, GDPR, permissions, and performance at scale. Airtable may claim they are killing it, but the product [itself] suggests it is premature to label it as enterprise-ready.

I’m skeptical until they share actual numbers and methodologies.

Glad you found it. I stated which paragraph and which sentence in the paragraph up thread, so I was confused why you couldn’t find it. But maybe you were reading a summary and searching instead of reading the thread linearly?

Yup. I can agree that majority can be as little as 51%. It could be higher, but might not be.

Maybe, but that feels like a stretch to me. Of course enterprise revenue per user is higher than non-enterprise revenue per user. Airtable charges per user, and it charges considerably more per user for Enterprise—up to 3.5 times more. More likely “revenue” means “revenue”.

No. I don’t think Airtable is playing as fast and loose with vocabulary as you imply they might be. In the context of Airtable, enterprise accounts are fairly well defined. Enterprise accounts go through a different sales process than Pro accounts. They have contracts. They have access to enterprise features, as listed on their pricing page. To use a different definition of enterprise in this context without stating that it has a different definition would be lying.

Yeah, I didn’t touch the “best in class” aspect of the phrasing. It’s mushy. I tried to limit my discussion to vocabulary that I think is less mushy.

I agree with this.

I think your point of view is biased. You tend to work with companies with exacting requirements, and thus you see a higher percentage of failed attempts.

Here’s my thoughts on this:

Sure, I can switch. Again. From Airtabe to Smart Suite. It will cost me time, money but it all seems so promising, right? SmartSuite seem to do everything right, that Airtable isn’t.

But that’s probably what happened when Airtable first enetered the stage. It was all so promising. And then came the big success, built on the shoulders of many, many, many smaller users. At the top of Act II came the Enterprise users, dumped large sums of money on the desk and from what I read made the Pro Users “obsolete” in terms of strategy.

This is what happens to all companies, to ALL companies that a) forget their beginnings c) have no real human-centered DNA and c) think that strategy revolves only around revenue. They leave the relationship capital neglected because the other pathway seems more alluring.

Sure, I can switch. Again. From Airtabe to Smart Suite. It will cost me time, money but it all seems so promising. SmartSuite seem to do everything right, that Airtable isn’t.

But who is to say that Smart Suite won’t follow the same path?

It’s all about human values, integrity, responsibility and a strong, owner based leadership. Airtable has clearly shown their state of dissarray. But I know nothing about SmartSuite and their human DNA.


As an aside, I always enjoy when @bfrench and @Kuovonne go back and forth on these threads.


Love your perspective.

You’re right - the sources of [promising] success will change SmartSuite’s focus just as it did for Airtable. But, with each generation of this sick little play, it begins roughly where the other left off.

SmartSuite approximates Airtable’s capabilities in many ways, but not all. We hope they will strive to be far better than Airtable, and by the time money or lousy advice or whatever causes them to repeat history, our solutions and clients will have benefited measurably by its new generation of success.

There’s another [better] answer to your question that is probably best served by the founders of SmartSuite, who would likely compare and contrast their genesis and rise with Airtable’s.

While these two products began in vastly similar ways (small technical teams in search of what’s next after spreadsheets), Airtable focused on the convergence of spreadsheets and databases. Whereas, SmartSuite’s founders were more concerned about including documents, team collaboration, file management, and automation capabilities (in addition to spreadsheets and databases). Take a close look at the SmartDoc field as an example of its deeper focus on work.

Airtable, of course, has no dog in the document fight, and team collaboration and security were afterthoughts (architecturally, it shows). Automation was never on Airtable’s roadmap; it was bolted on as many of the essential features have been.

I get the sense that SmartSuite’s underlying architecture is very different from Airtable’s. It may actually be possible for this platform to cater to SMBs as effortlessly as enterprise customers without choosing one over the other.

Lastly, financial considerations. Airtable has taken ~$1.2b from investors; SmartSuite Holdings ~$0.0b (as far as I know). I believe it is fully bootstrapped by the founders. This is good in many ways, but it is bad in one way - they are a perfect candidate for acquisition.

Let’s roll the dice. :wink:


LOL. It often reminds me of this, which, I’m not sure could actually be aired in this day and age. Try not to think about Airtable’s horrific behavior as you listen to Akroyd’s counterpoint.

I am your fan for life Bill. :heart_eyes:

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