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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: July, 2019
Jul 25, 2019

Leah is currently a General Partner at Fuel Capital, an early stage venture fund located in Silicon Valley. She likes to invest across consumer, B2B saas, and technology infrastructure companies at the earliest stages. In 2008 Leah founded TaskRabbit, the leading on-demand service marketplace in the world. She spent nearly a decade involved with the company as CEO and Executive Chairwoman before she sold the company to IKEA in October of 2017. Hear about her takeaways from a product reboot with TaskRabbit.

 

Missed the session? Here’s what Leah talks about:

  • What are the lessons learned from a product reboot?
  • When  bringing a product to market - what are the BHAGs?
  • How to navigate a product pivot.

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

Jason Lemkin

SaaStr

Leah Busque

Jul 22, 2019

Eric Christopher is the Founder and CEO @ Zylo, the software management system built for the cloud pioneering a new standard in software management. To date, Eric has raised over $12m for Zylo from some of the best in the business including Byron @ Bessemer, Salesforce, GGV, Semil @ Haystack and the team at High Alpha. Prior to founding Zylo, Eric was the VP of Sales @ Sprout Social leading the revenue operations for over 11,000 customers. Before Sprout Social he was VP of Sales at Shoutlet, responsible for global direct and channel sales teams and developing and managing strategic relationships. Finally, prior to Shoutlet, Eric spent over 7 years at ExactTarget as a Senior Business Development Manager which is where he met High Alpha’s Scott Dorsey. 

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Eric made his way into the world of startups and SaaS? What were his biggest takeaways from working with Scott Dorsey @ ExactTarget? What was the founding moment with Zylo?
  • What have been Eric’s biggest lessons when it comes to making the transition from founder led sales to sales team? What would we have done differently with the benefit of hindsight? What were the biggest challenges in the process?  
  • How does Eric think about the importance of quantity vs quality of logos when acquiring your first few customers? Do big logo brand names really provide social validity or is it over-hyped? How does Eric think about discounting in the early days? What can founders do to really extract the most value from the discount they are giving away? 
  • Why does Eric believe that hitting the employee 50 mark is a huge moment for founders and the scaling of the company? What fundamentally changes? What gets harder? What gets easier? How has Eric seen his role evolve with the scaling of the team? How does Eric think about goal and KPI setting with a much larger team? What needs to change? How does one create and retain accountability and ownership at scale?
  • Why does Eric believe that the bar for execution in SaaS in 2019 is so much higher than in 2009? What has changed? How does this make Eric change the way he approaches benchmarking, capital allocation and growth? How did Eric find raising the Series A as a non-Bay area company?

Eric’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Eric know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning? 
  2. What is the toughest role to hire for today?
  3. If the money is on the table, take it. Agree or not? Why?

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

Eric Christopher

Jul 18, 2019

Michael Seibel is CEO and a partner at Y Combinator and co-founder of two startups – Justin.tv and Socialcam. He has been a partner at Y Combinator since 2013, advised hundreds of startups, and has been active in promoting diversity efforts among startup founders. Hear his take on the future of work with a decade in learnings from YCombinator.

 

Missed the session? Here’s what Michael talks about:

  • How quickly should you hire?
  • When is the right time to sell a startup?
  • How large a differentiator will investors make in your company?

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

Jason Lemkin

SaaStr

Michael Seibel

Jul 15, 2019

Peter Yared is the Founder & CEO @ InCountry, the startup that allows you to operate globally with data residency as a service meaning they store your mission-critical data in it’s country of origin, without compliance. To date, Peter has raised $8m for InCountry from some of my very favourites including Bloomberg Beta, Felicis, Ray Tonsing @ Caffeinated and CRV just to name a few. Prior to InCountry, Peter founded six and sold 6 enterprise software companies that were acquired by Sun, Citrix, VMware, Oracle, Sprinklr and Prograph. Previously, Peter was also the CTO/CIO of CBS Interactive where he brought CBS into the cloud. At Sun, Peter was the CTO of the Liberty identity consortium that designed SAML 2.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How did Peter make his way into the world of enterprise SaaS with the founding and selling of 6 companies and how did InCountry come about? What is that founding moment?
  • Why does Peter feel like it enterprise is really hard again? Why is it no longer to come into large enterprises with a small contract and expand? How does Peter think about enterprise pilots today? Do they really mean anything? What proof points suggest an enterprise is really bought in? What benchmarks should startups bake into the agreements? 
  • How does Peter think about and approach market sizing today? Why is market risk no longer a risk he is willing to take? Where do many entrepreneurs make mistakes when it comes to market timing? In terms of timing, how should entrepreneurs think about whether to start at SMB and move to enterprise or start enterprise and move to SMB? What are the considerations? 
  • Why does Peter believe that large orgs are so dysfunctional today? What can founders do to extract the truly special talent out of these large orgs with big pay packets and troves of options? How has Peter found the transition from CTO to CEO this time? What have been some of the challenges? Where has he asked for external help? 
  • Having built numerous successful remote teams, what have been Peter’s biggest learnings in what it takes to successfully build remote teams? Where do many people go wrong? Does it have to be from Day 1? When is the right time to start thinking about this as a startup?  

Peter’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What would Peter most like to change about the world of Silicon Valley and tech?
  2. Who is the biggest rockstar in the valley that is less well known?
  3. Hire fast, fire fast, agree or disagree? 

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

Peter Yared

Jul 11, 2019

Erica has led New Relic through massive growth, scaling the company’s enterprise business 10x since she joined the business pre-IPO. Growing a company’s revenues, customer base, team, process, and product doesn’t just happen without major work and strategy. Erica will share the five critical steps (and some lessons learned along the way) for scaling in the enterprise.

 

Missed the session? Here’s what Erica talks about:

  • How to change up your marketing mix
  • How to transition from SMB to enterprise
  • Identifying your sweet spot target customers and leveraging your network to access those companies.

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

Jason Lemkin

SaaStr

Jul 8, 2019

Joe Chernov is the VP Marketing @ Pendo, the startup that understands and guides your users allowing you to create products they cannot live without. To date they have raised over $108m in funding from some of the best in SaaS including Meritech, Salesforce, Battery, Spark Capital and Sapphire just to name a few. Prior to Pendo Joe was Chief Marketing Officer at Robin and before that he was the CMO @ InsightSquared where he led the transition from an email-driven leads model to an account-based marketing model. Before InsightSquared, Joe was Head of Content Marketing at Hubspot where he increased blog traffic by more than 1M visits/month and increased leads by 40%. Finally, pre-Hubspot, Joe held VP of Marketing roles at Kinvey and Eloqua.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Joe made his way into the world of startups and SaaS marketing many years ago? Does Joe really believe in the saying that, “no one really knows what they are doing?” Where are the nuances to it?
  • Joe has been CMO and then #2 and alternated between the 2 roles many times, so what the continuous alternating? How does switching from CMO to VP of Marketing prepare you better for each subsequent role? Does Joe agree with the saying that the best in marketing are able to “throw the playbook out of the window”? 
  • What does Joe mean when he says, “the most powerful mentorship is mentorship from below”? What makes the best #2’s just so good? What do they do? What advice would Joe give to a #2 in a role today? What can the individuals do to foster a relationship of deep trust and transparency?
  • Having worked at both early and late stage companies, what does Joe believe the early companies can learn from later stage companies? Does installing very severe ops not reduce the creativity of a young company? What does Joe believe that later stage companies can really learn and take from early-stage companies? 
  • How do the marketing functions differ in both structure and process when comparing early to late stage? What does Joe find to be the biggest challenge within each respective stage? How has Joe seen the content landscape evolve and change radically throughout his career alternating between early and late stage companies?  

Joe’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. Who does Joe believe is killing it in SaaS marketing now? Why?
  2. ABM, total BS or real meaning to it?
  3. If Joe could change one thing about SaaS today, what would it be?

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

Joe Chernov

Jul 4, 2019

Hear from Hired's CEO Mehul Patel on how to move from transactional to recurring revenue. Hired is a marketplace that matches tech talent with innovative companies. Hired combines job matching with unbiased career counseling to help people find a job they love. Through Hired, job candidates and companies have transparency into salary offers, competing opportunities and job details.

 

Missed the session? Here’s what Mehul talks about:

  • How to leverage your company values to drive stability.
  • Hiring people, strategically.
  • Finding your pricing sweet spot.

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

Jason Lemkin

SaaStr

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