Back to Research

Hyper growth for some

4 months ago 3 mins read
Adam Schoenfeld
Adam Schoenfeld

*Quick ask:* *If you are the Keyplay customer who shared* *this case study with Scott*&dashCommentUrn=urn%3Ali%3Afsd_comment%3A(7153444430065061889%2Curn%3Ali%3Aactivity%3A7153157372952121344))*, can you email or DM me?

In a time when efficiency is key, I love seeing a 60% reduction in cost per opportunity!

I'm hoping to hear more about the details.* 👇

*We're finding a lot of leverage from* *bringing ICP into focus* *for 2024.*

---

TALE OF TWO CITIES?

**These 30 B2B software companies** have added a whopping ~26K employees in the last 18 months.

They’ve grown ~43% in that time and continue hiring today.

Some never stopped hiring in the 2022 correction.

Others tapped the brakes, got more efficient, then stepped on the gas from a stronger position.

Headcount and hiring is (only part of the story) suggests that hyper growth is happening in spots.

But it looks like a tail of two cities.

Private breakouts (Notion, Ramp, etc), public companies (Elastic, HubSpot), and new class of AI leaders (OpenAI, Jasper, Scale) keep scaling.

Meanwhile, we see a net headcount decline amongst the smaller software companies in recent months.

Last time I shared this chart showing the "recovery" in B2B software hiring.

But if we break it down by stage, we can see different shapes between stage/size.

In fact, the two smaller cohorts have had a continued decline in hiring activity (as well as aggregate headcount).

Again the aggregates aren't the individuals.

On the smaller side, there are still many startups and rising stars emerging.

Not surprisingly, Generative AI is seeing higher growth than other categories amongst those cohorts:

Companies like Pinecone, Writer, Descript, RunwayML are still relatively early, but moving very fast.

I've also talked in the past about boring categories looking increasingly attractive.

Or the success some "modern" challenges entering very large existing categories.

In 2020-2021 the SaaS frenzy made everything look good.

Now we have to look closer to find the growth stories and discover the new GTM playbook.

I’m not a macro expert or interest rate predictor, but I will keep watching to find interesting role models.

***What cadence do you think makes sense to review our hiring data?

Quarterly?

Monthly?

Other?***

Shoot me a reply with any feedback.

Best,

Adam

---

*Have a B2B tech company in mind you’d like us to track?*

*Fill out* *this form**.*

*​*