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The Official Saastr Podcast: SaaS | Founders | Investors

The Official Saastr Podcast is the latest and greatest from the world of Saastr, interviewing the most prominent operators and investors to discover their tips, tactics and strategies to attain success in the fiercely competitive world of SaaS. On the side of the operators, we centre around getting from $0 to $100m ARR faster, what it takes to scale successfully and what are the core elements of hiring. As for the investors, we learn what metrics they hone in on when examining SaaS business, what type of metrics excites them and what they look for in SaaS founders.
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Now displaying: June, 2017
Jun 26, 2017

Jens Nylander is the Founder and CEO @ Automile, the startup that makes fleet and asset management much much easier. They have backing from some of the best in the business including Godfather of SaaS himself Jason Lemkin, the wonderful team at Point Nine, Justin Kan and Dawn Capital in London. As for Jens, he really is a serial entrepreneur with past endeavours including creating Sweden’s largest music player and founding Jays, the manufacturer and developer of innovative headphones that went public and is listed on the NASDAQ.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How did Jens make his way into the world of SaaS and come to found Automile?
  • How does Jens look to build a repeatable scalable sales process with Automile? What are the core infrastructure requirements needed to make the process as automated as possible?
  • How does Jens evaluate selling into the SMB market? How does Jens look to optimise the onboarding process to maximise conversion? How does Jens look to minimise churn with a market as potentially unstable as SMB’s?
  • Why does Jens prefer technology minded sales teams? What benefits do they bring in terms of process to the sales cycle? What should founders look for in potential new engineering led sales teams?  
  • Jens is increasing transparent, posting numerous figures on Twitter, what are the benefits of such transparency? How does that help the team to achieve the wider goal? Are there any cases, such as fundraising or exits, where transparency has negative consequences?

60 Second SaaStr

  • What was the hardest element of leaving Europe to go big in the US?
  • What does Jens know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?
  • What hires does Jens wish he had made earlier?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented, you can follow us on Twitter here:

Jason Lemkin

Harry Stebbings

SaaStr

Jens Nylander

Jun 19, 2017

Steve Loughlin is a Partner @ Accel in San Francisco, one of the leading funds with prior investments in the likes of Facebook, Dropbox, Atlassian, Slack and many more incredible companies. Prior to Accel, Steve was the CEO and co-founder of RelateIQ, later named SalesforceIQ following the acquisition of the company by Salesforce in 2014 for $390 million. Steve was also president and CEO of Affinity Circles, a professional social network that connected more than 18 million professionals. Steve has also advised or invested in the likes of Palantir Technologies, Addepar, and Roam Analytics.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Steve made his way into the world of SaaS with the founding of RelateIQ and then came to be a Partner at Accel on the other side of the table?
  • Why does Steve believe the hardest balance a founder has to consider is the balance between building for the future and building for the present? How can this short to long term dichotomy be considered effectively by the team?
  • RelateIQ was early to the AI/ML landscape, what does Steve think they did so right with RelateIQ? Does Steve agree that for an enterprise ML play to be interesting it must fundamentally change the go to market strategy?
  • What were the key learnings from working so closely with Marc Benioff on the Salesforce exec team? What is it about the internal structure and operations of Salesforce that make it the massively profitable behemoth that it is today?  
  • Having been a founder himself and now a VC, how does Steve look to help founders specifically? Where has Steve found that early stage founders need the most help? Where do VCs proclaim to help the most but really do not at all? 

60 Second SaaStr

  1. What is the worst advice Steve often hears being given?
  2. What is something that Steve has changed his mind radically on over the last few years?
  3. What is Steve’s favourite SaaS reading material?
  4. What does Steve know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented, you can follow us on Twitter here:

Jason Lemkin

Harry Stebbings

SaaStr

Steve Loughlin

Jun 16, 2017

May Habib is the Founder & CEO @ Qordoba, the best platform for building truly localized products across apps, websites and marketing content. It is the fastest, most scalable way to grow from one market to many. We do also want to say a big congratulations to May for recently raising a fantastic Series with the likes of Upfront Ventures and Rincon Partners leading the round. Prior to founding Qordoba, May was Director of M&A at Mubadala and an investment banker at Lehmann Brothers and Barclays in New York. May has also been named to the 30 Under 30 and CEO of the Year award.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How May made her way from North Lebanon to founding one of the hottest early stage SaaS companies on the West Coast?
  • May has quadrupled her MRR growth since last year through ‘turning her SDR’s into the smartest people in the space’. What does this mean? How can this be done and replicated? What “SDR best practices did May follow that damaged her?
  • May has a unique approach to scaling prospect search, how does this play out Does May agree with Mark Suster with regards to always calling high on customer outbound? Why does May think there is only value in outbound to seriously qualified leads?
  • Why does May believe that startups are wrong to think that they have to start at SMB and then move up to enterprise? How can startups immediately start with enterprise? What advice does May have in terms of asking for those big ACV’s as a small startup?
  • What advice did May receive during her fundraising that she found particularly jarring? What other than funds does May believe fundraising can be particularly good for? 

60 Second SaaStr

  1. What does May know now that she wishes she had known at the beginning?
  2. What is May’s favourite SaaS reading material?
  3. Hardest moment in the journey with Qordoba?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented, you can follow us on Twitter here:

Jason Lemkin

Harry Stebbings

SaaStr

May Habib

Jun 12, 2017

Nicolas Dessaigne is the Founder & CEO @ Algolia, the most reliable platform for building search into your business. Just last week they raised $53m in funding led by Accel with participation from Jason Lemkin @ SaaStr, Point Nine Capital, AppDynamic’s Jyoti Bansal, Intercom’s Des Traynor and InVision’s Clark Valberg and more incredible investors.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Nicolas made his way to YC and came to found Algolia?
  • What are the key things that change when you cross the 10m in ARR milestone? What have been the fundamental learnings in the march to $10m in ARR?
  • Jason Lemkin has said before that ‘the first 10 unaffiliated customers you get is the first sign of pre-success’. Does Nicolas agree with him here? When are the first signs of pre-success for Nicolas?
  • Does Nicolas agree with Jason that $1m-$2m in ARR is always the hardest for a scaling SaaS startup? Which element did Nicolas find most challenging? How has Nicolas seen himself change and develop as a leader with these inflection points?
  • What are the fundamental to building a successful developer community? What have Algolia done to do this so successfully? What mistakes do other startups normally make in their pursuit of this? 

60 Second SaaStr

  1. What hires does Nicolas wish he had made earlier?
  2. What does success look like for Nicolas with Algolia?
  3. What does Nicolas know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented, you can follow us on Twitter here:

Jason Lemkin

Harry Stebbings

SaaStr

Nicolas Dessaigne

Jun 5, 2017

Ryan Carson is the Founder & CEO @ Treehouse the startup that teaches you to code and learn the skills needed to launch a new career. They have backing from some of the best investors in the business including the likes of Social Capital, Greylock Partners and then notable individuals such as Reid Hoffman, Josh Elman and Mark Suster just to name a few. As for Ryan, prior to Treehouse he was the creator of famous The Future of Web Apps Conference, showing his unparalleled access to the top tier of West Coast founders. Due to the success of the conference, Ryan later sold the event to another events company.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Ryan made his way into the world of startups and came to found Treehouse?
  • How does Ryan think all founders can build a truly diversified pipeline for developer talent? How does Ryan detect the seeds of potential in young engineers? How does he nurture them to grow and fit the desired role?
  • How does Ryan approach regrettable and non-regrettable churn? What is the dunning process? Why is it so important to instantly increase retention and reduce churn?
  • Does Ryan agree with Jason Lemkin that the hardest element of SaaS scaling is the $1-2m phase? Does Ryan agree with Jason in suggesting that your first 10 unaffiliated customers is the first sign of product market fit?
  • Ryan has previously said, ‘as a founder, there is one thing you need, otherwise you will quit’. What is the one thing? Why is it so important?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. Why does Ryan know now that he wishes he had known when he started?
  2. What is Ryan’s favourite SaaS reading material?
  3. Freemium in SaaS: What are the pros and cons?

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented, you can follow us on Twitter here:

Jason Lemkin

Harry Stebbings

SaaStr

Ryan Carson

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