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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: August, 2017
Aug 28, 2017

Mark Organ, Founder & CEO at Influitive. Influitive helps B2B companies mobilize their army of advocates for more rapid and profitable revenue growth. They have raised close to $50m in VC funding from some of the best in the business including the likes of Lightspeed, First Round Capital, prior guest Cindy Padnos @ Illuminate and Nick Mehta @ Gainsight, just to name a few. Prior to Influitive, Mark was the founding CEO of Eloqua, growing the business to over 150 people, hundreds of clients and a major presence around the world in 7 years. Eloqua was eventually bought by Oracle in 2012 for a reported $810m.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Mark made his way into the world of SaaS, came to found Eloqua and then what the catalyst was for the founding of Influitive?
  • How did Mark make the decision to make profitability a goal? How did Mark communicate his desire to focus on profitability and unit economics over aggressive growth to his investors? What type of SaaS startups should consider this route more?
  • To what extent is “landing whales” crucial to getting to cash flow positive? What are some of Mark’s big learnings in how to attain those “whales”, having done it so successfully before with Eloqua? Where do most founders go wrong and how should they approach pricing whales?
  • Why does Mark believe paying sales reps on signing misaligns incentives? Why does he believe it is optimal to pay half on signing and half on cash being received? How do you communicate that to your sales team?   
  • To what extent should SaaS startups consider debt financing as a respectable and appropriate form of company financing? What type and stage of SaaS company does debt make perfect sense for? When is it wrong in the lifecycle to take debt?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. What hire does Mark wish he had made earlier?
  2. What does Mark know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?
  3. Pros and cons of running a SaaS startup not in Silicon Valley?

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

Mark Organ

Aug 21, 2017

Mike Dauber is a General Partner @ Amplify Partners, the fund that backs technical founders, building technical products for technical buyers. Their portfolio consists of the likes of DataDog, Fastly, Engagio and many more incredible companies. As for Mike, prior to joining Amplify he spent more than six years at Battery Ventures, where he lead early-stage enterprise investments on the West Coast. While at Battery, he was on the Boards of Cask, Duetto, Interana, and Platfora (acquired WDAY). Mike also lead Battery’s investment in Vera, which is also in Amplify’s portfolio. He also previously invested in Splunk (SPLK) and RelateIQ (acquired CRM). As a result of this success, Mike was named to Forbes’ Midas Brink List in 2014.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Mike made his way into the world of early stage enterprise investing with Battery and came to be a GP with Amplify?
  • What does Mike mean when he says he looks for “practitioner founders”? What are the benefits of these types of founders? Why do they find product market fit faster? Does this tunnel vision not sometimes mean a lack of naivete, which can be good?
  • Why does Mike believe that hiring sales people is like being thirsty? How can founders discover the optimal cadence for expanding the sales team? Why must founders differentiate between customers and money?
  • Why does Mike believe that everyone needs to find their Hobbesian advisor? What characteristics should this person have? How can you find this advisor? What should their incentives be?  
  • Why does Mike believe that founders need to set the hook for VCs in the first meeting? How does this compare to how founders traditionally pitch? What should they look for in those early VC meetings?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. Why does Mike disagree with deal attribution in VC?
  2. Cyber investing: Should you invest if not a domain expert?
  3. Is enterprise investing spreadsheet investing?

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

Mike Dauber

Aug 14, 2017

Vineet Jain is the Founder & CEO @ Egnyte, the startup that delivers smart content collaboration in the cloud or on-premises. They have raised over $60m in VC funding from the likes of Kleiner Perkins, Google Ventures and one of our favourites here, Mike Maples @ Floodgate. Prior to Egnyte, Vineet founded and successfully built Valdero, a supply chain software solution provider, funded by KPCB, MDV and Trinity Ventures. Before that, Vineet held a variety of senior operational positions at KPMG and Bechtel.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Vineet made his way into the world of SaaS and came to found his second startup in Egnyte?
  • Vineet states that it is not all about top line growth, how does he look to satiate VC appetitie for growth with this mentality? Why does he think that we should discuss EBITDA margins more often within business models in Silicon Valley?
  • Considering this conservative approach, how does Vineet determine when is the right time to put the “pedal to the metal” and raise a large round of funding and really look to gain the market? What metrics suggest product market fit to this extent?
  • Why does Vineet argue that land and expand is all wrong? What alternative does Vineet offer for those looking to sell to enterprise?
  • How does Vineet evaluate “The Rule of 40% For A Healthy SaaS Company”? What are the inherent flaws in this model? How can this model be gamed by posting enormous growth figures? What figures should startups input into this ratio?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. What does Vineet know now that he wishes he had known earlier?
  2. How long is long enough to give someone who is not performing?
  3. What hire does Vineet 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

Vineet Jain

Aug 7, 2017

Max Yoder is the Founder & CEO @ Lessonly, the modern learning software used by teams to translate important work knowledge into Lessons that accelerate productivity. They have raised funding from the likes of former ExactTarget CMO Tim Kopp, OpenView Ventures and New York Times Bestseller Jay Baer just to name a few of the impressive figures involved. Fun tact; they are based in Indianapolis and so Max brings a fantastic perspective on scaling and operating a growing SaaS business outside Silicon Valley.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Max made his way into the world of startups and came to found Lessonly, one of the hottest SaaS startups outside of Silicon Valley?
  • Max has previously stated that ‘SaaS scaling happens in 3 stages’. What are those stages? What is the most challenging stage? How does the CEO need to transition with each stage?
  • How does Max view the scaling of the team? Why does Max think it is bad to give large and often inflated titles in the early days? How can CEOs most effectively look to place people in the right place to ensure the most productive of scaling?
  • What does Max most look for in potential Lessonly employees? Why is it so fundamental that candidates have experienced some form of professional hardship before?
  • How does Max view the role of the board in the scaling of a SaaS organisation? What are the components that make the best boards? What are the components that make the best board members?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. What one hire does Max wish he had made sooner?
  2. What SaaS reading material can Max not live without?
  3. Pros and Cons of running a SaaS startup outside the valley?

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

Max Yoder

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