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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: September, 2017
Sep 25, 2017

Andy Byrne is the Co-Founder & CEO @ Clari, the startup that helps sales teams drive more revenue and increase forecast accuracy through improved deal execution and predictive analysis. They have raised over $30m in venture funding from some of the best in the business including Sequoia and Bain Capital Ventures. Prior to Clari, Andy was part of the founding executive team at Clearwell Systems—Gartner's highest ranking e-discovery company—which he helped grow from pre-product & pre-revenue in 2005 to $100 million run rate until its acquisition by Symantec (SYMC) in Q2 2011. Prior to joining Clearwell, Andy co-founded Timestock, Inc., acquired by Computer Associates (CA) via the acquisition of Wily Technology.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Andy made his way into the world of SaaS and came to found Clari? What were the key takeaways from his two prior successful founding experiences?
  • Why is it important for startups to look larger than life to potential “whale” customer? What is the methodology that startups can use to gain this appearance? What role does the website play in this?
  • Why is it important for startups to understand the risk the buyer is undertaking at large corporates when becoming a customer? How does this mean that startups should convey the product roadmap? How can startups sell the product vision and the instant value add simultaneously?
  • How can startups look to “create theatre” with their product? What does this really mean? How can startups do this when the product is in MVP stage?
  • Why is it so important for the startup to make the switch from vendor to partner? How can startups use execution time as the key way to achieve this?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. What hires does Andy wish he had made earlier with Clari?
  2. Recruiting in the valley, how hard and top tips?
  3. What is the most challenging element in the day to day running of Clari?

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

Andy Byrne

Sep 18, 2017

Ben Uretsky is the Co-Founder & CEO @ Digital Ocean. Under Ben’s leadership, DigitalOcean has risen from a cloud startup for developers to the second largest and fastest growing cloud computing platform. To date, more than 1m developers have deployed more than 50 million cloud servers, and the company has expanded its worldwide infrastructure footprint with multiple datacenter locations around the globe. The company has raised $123 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Access Industries, IA Ventures, CrunchFund, and Techstars. Prior to DigitalOcean, he co-founded and built a managed hosting provider that supported some of the top websites online and generated million-dollar annual revenues.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Ben made the move from co-founding a bootstrapped startup competing with Rackspace to co-founding DigitalOcean and competing with Amazon?
  • What have been Ben’s big learnings in raising $123m for DigitalOcean? How does Ben suggest building a trusted relationship with VCs?
  • How have DigitalOcean scaled to over 1m customers without a sales team? What are the core tenets that have made this possible? How does the team prioritise customer acquisition channels at DigitalOcean? How does Ben say is the right way to build a community?
  • Sean Rad has said before the hardest part is scaling with the firm. How has been seen his scaling as CEO with the firm? How has his personal relationship to the company changed with the scaling? Hear an inflection point in the scaling of DigitalOcean and how Ben’s leadership changed as a result?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. What hire des Ben wish he had made earlier?
  2. What does Ben know now that he wishes he had known earlier?
  3. What are the key inflection points in SaaS businesses?

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

Ben Uretsky

Sep 11, 2017

Dave Kellogg is the CEO @ Host Analytics, the leader in cloud-based enterprise performance management (EPM). Previously, Dave was SVP/GM of Service Cloud at Salesforce and CEO at unstructured big data provider MarkLogic. Before that, Dave was CMO at Business Objects for nearly a decade as the company grew from $30M to over $1B. Dave has also worked in various capacities with the likes of Breeze, GainSight, Tableau and MongoDB and previously sat on the boards of ag tech leader, Granular (acq by DuPont for $300M)  and big data leader Aster Data (acquired by Teradata for $325M).

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Dave made his way into the world of SaaS with Salesforce, came to be CMO at Business Objects and now running his own SaaS company as CEO at Host Analytics?
  • What does David believe is the single most important metric in SaaS? How should SaaS companies structure the first four lines of their financial statements? Why is retention and renewal not always an accurate sign of customer satisfaction?
  • How does Dave look to analyse churn? What is the post-mortem? What is more important, logos or expansion? If a startup’s churn is too high, what is the top 3 things they should do? Why must you have a “standard taxonomy” for churn? How can you construct this?
  • How does David think about taking existing customer and up-selling them? How does he view this in contrast to cross-sell? Does Dave agree with David Skok on the need for more than 1 variable pricing mechanism? Why does Dave not encourage usage based pricing?
  • How does Dave analyse the benefits of multi-year contracts paid upfront? How does this distort TCV and inflate the figures? Does upfront payment misalign the provider and the consumer, in terms of care and support? With that in mind, how does David view billing frequency? Contract durations?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. What does Dave know now which he wishes he had known at the beginning?
  2. What is the 90 day rule? Why is it important?
  3. How much ARR should a good sales rep add in relation to comp?

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

Dave Kellogg

Sep 5, 2017

Scot Chisholm is the Founder & CEO @ Classy, the world's leading  fundraising platform for nonprofit organizations As a result they have raised close to $50m in VC funding from the likes of Salesforce Ventures, our friends at BullPen Capital, Mithril Capital and many more great investors. With support and funding like this, since 2011, Classy has helped more than 3,000 nonprofits and social enterprises raise hundreds of millions of dollars and be named to "The World's Most Innovative Companies in Social Good" and to the "100 Brilliant Companies" by Entrepreneur Magazine. As for Scot, he is also a prolific angel investor, investing out of a fund called Mixture that includes investments in Change.org, inDinero, Iodine, Casetext and more.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Scot made his way into the world of SaaS and how a “pub crawl” came to be the founding story for Classy?
  • What have been the key learnings for Scot in raising $50m for Classy, in an industry that is maybe not so sexy for investors? Why did Scot choose to raise both the seed and A round from angels? What advice would Scot give to aspiring founders, looking to raise?
  • How has Scot seen the evolution of his sales team? What are the key inflection points in the scaling when elements tend to break? How important is it to segment the sales team? When should this be done? At what speed is optimal?
  • How does Scot evaluate startups looking to move upmarket? How does the decision to move upmarket change the internal decision-making with regards to product roadmap and strategy? How does it change the role of CEO in the organisation?   
  • How does Scot look to balance the attainment of short term objectives with holding the vision for the future? How far is too far to plan ahead? How should founders think about investing in areas of the business ahead of time?

60 Second SaaStr

  1. What does Scot know now that he wishes he had known when he started?
  2. Challenges as a first time CEO/entrepreneur?
  3. The key challenges of building a SaaS company in San Diego?

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

Scot Chisholm

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