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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: Category: business
Feb 27, 2020

Starting a company can be daunting, exhausting, and expensive, but with the right focus and idea - extremely rewarding; take it from Andrew Filev, Founder and CEO of Wrike. In this session, he will outline the do's and dont's that he learned bootstrapping Wrike. Where it makes sense to invest your precious resources when to outsource, and how to save yourself money without cutting corners.

Feb 24, 2020

Karl Sun is the Founder & CEO @ Lucidchart, a visual workspace that combines diagramming, data visualization, and collaboration to accelerate understanding and drive innovation. To date, Karl has raised $114M with Lucidchart from some of the best in the business including K9 Ventures, Meritech, Iconiq, GV and Kickstart in Utah. As for Karl, prior to founding the company he spent 6 years at Google in some fascinating roles including Head of Patents, Head of Business Development in China and running Google’s energy investments. As a result of his success, Karl was recently announced as EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year. 

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Karl made his way into the world of SaaS with the founding of Lucidchart having been Head of Business Development for Google in China and Head of Patents?
  • How does one know when we need to hire generalists vs specialists? How does this requirement change as the company scales? How does Karl fundamentally think about finding great talent and keeping top of funnel full? How does Karl think about working with recruiters? What works? What does not work?
  • Karl has been in every interview for every new hire for the first 6 years of the business, why? How does Karl think about doing this at scale? How does Karl structure the hiring process today? Why do they have a hiring committee? What does the process look like? How do they assess and test for culture?  
  • How does Karl think about retaining agility and flexibility with scale? How does Karl maintain employee empowerment with the implementation of process? How does Karl think about the balance between creating accountability without a fear of failure? What are the challenges of this?     

Karl’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What is the hardest role to hire for today? Why?
  2. Hardest element of karl’s role as CEO today? Why?
  3. What does Karl know now that he wishes he had known at the founding of the 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

Harry Stebbings

SaaStr

Karl Sun

Feb 20, 2020

SaaStr CEO Jason Lemkin and EZPR Founder Ed Zitron sit down to talk about all things PR. Who actually gets into these outlets? Is PR just pitching and getting articles? Take a listen for more.

Feb 17, 2020

David Skok is a General Partner @ Matrix Partners, the firm with a portfolio including the likes of Hubspot, ZenDesk, Quora, CloudBees and more incredible companies. As for David, he started his first company in 1977 aged just 22. Since then David has founded a total of four separate companies and performed one turn-around. Three of these companies went public. David then joined Matrix from SilverStream Software, which he founded in June 1996. Prior to its July 2002 acquisition by Novell, SilverStream was a public company that had reached a revenue run rate in excess of $100M, with approximately 800 employees and offices in more than 20 countries around the world. David is also the author of foreentrepreneurs.com the must read blog in the world of SaaS metrics. 

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How David made his way into the world of SaaS at the age of 22? How David went from founding 3 public companies to entering the world of venture with Matrix? Does David agree, “entrepreneurship does not get easier with time, it just gets different”?
  • What does David believe is the crucial step missing in B@B when it comes to finding product market fit? What is the most common mistake B2B companies make in the hunt for PMF? How should founders think about budget and resource allocation in this search for PMF? When is to early to measure unit economics and CAC?
  • How does David think about scaling sales teams? How does one know when is the right time to hire your first sales reps? What content and learnings should you have in place when you make the hire? How does David think about payback period on a per rep basis? What have been his lessons on optimising payback period for sales reps?  
  • What numbers is David looking for when it comes to payback period? Why is 12 months so crucial? How should founders think about sales rep compensation? What have been David’s learnings on how to integrate sales and marketing so tightly? How does marketing and customer success intertwine to be successful?     

David’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. Who is the best board member David has sat on a board with? Why?
  2. What advice would David have for me having just joined my first board?
  3. What would David most like to change about the world of tech and SaaS today?

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

David Skok

Feb 11, 2020

Jaleh Rezaei is the Founder & CEO @ Mutiny, the startup that allows you to personalise your website for each and every visitor. Jaleh has raised from some of the best in the early stage business with Mutiny including the likes of Y Combinator, Uncork Capital and Cowboy Ventures on the fund side and then Mathilde @ Front, Henrique @ Brex and Shan-Lyn Ma @ Zola on the operator side. Prior to founding Mutiny, Jaleh spent an incredible 4 years at Gusto seeing their hypergrowth first hand as one of the first 10 employees. If that was not enough, Jaleh has also enjoyed advisory roles at both Google and Y Combinator. 

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Jaleh made her way into the world of SaaS as one of the first team members at Gusto and how that led to her founding Mutiny most recently? 
  • What were Jaleh’s biggest takeaways from her time at Gusto? How did that time impact her operating mentality with Mutiny today? How did her time at Gusto teach her about the right way to build company culture? Where do so many go wrong with this?
  • What does Jaleh believe is the biggest problem in SaaS marketing today? How does Jaleh specifically use ABM to acquire customers and leads effectively? What price points is required for an ABM strategy to be viable?  
  • How does Jaleh approach the issue of determining the success of marketing? Should marketing be held accountable to a number tied directly to revenue? How does brand marketing play into this? Where are the nuances here?     

Jaleh’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What is the hardest role to hire for today?
  2. Hardest element for Jaleh of her role with Mutiny today?
  3. What does Jaleh know now that she wishes she had known when she entered the world of SaaS?

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

Jaleh Rezaei

Feb 6, 2020

Join Bessemer Venture Partners' Alex Ferrara as he takes a look at trends and predictions for the cloud industry in 2019. One of the most popular sessions from SaaStr Annual, this presentation will provide an in-depth look at the cloud computing industry across Europe and globally.

Feb 3, 2020

Karen Page is a General Partner @ B Capital Group with a portfolio including the likes of Bird, Branch, Icertis, Evidation Health and Ninja Van to name a few. Prior to joining the world of venture, Karen was a Senior Director at Apple and before Apple, Karen spent an incredible 9 years at Box as a founding member of the executive team, where she was responsible for defining and leading Box's Industry GTM strategy. Plus, from 2007 until 2013, Karen ran all of Box's business development, partnership, and strategic alliance activities. If that was not enough, Karen is also on the board of some incredible companies including Deputy and Plastiq. 

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Karen made her way into the world of SaaS as one of the first employees at Box and then how that led to her transition to the world of investing with B Capital? 
  • What were Karen's biggest takeaways from seeing the hyper-scaling at Box? How did helping Aaron raise the Series B and onwards inform her view of what it takes to raise funding from the best SaaS investors? How does Karen think her mindset will shift when making the move from angel to now institutionally investing with B Capital?
  • When does Karen think is the right time for startups to think about partnerships? What questions should they ask in the “dating” phase of a potential partnership? What are the red flags? Does Karen agree that signing a massive partner too early can be dangerous? What does Karen recommend in terms of getting in front of the best CIOs? 
  • Is Karen concerned by the compression of fundraising timelines? How does Karen meet entrepreneurs before they go out to raise? How does Karen advise founders when it comes to the question of whether they should always be raising or not?     

Karen’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Karen know now that she wishes she had known entering the SaaS industry?
  2. What is Karen’s favourite book? Why?
  3. Can a partnership be too big too early for a startup?

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

Karen Page 

You need to try Zoho CRM, catering to businesses of all sizes, guaranteeing shorter sales cycles and higher customer retention rates. Who does not love that? Plus, the software gives you complete visibility and control over your customer's life cycle and equips you to connect with your customers across every channel. It also offers integrations with over 300 of the most popular apps on the market. While change is inevitable, it can be comfortable with Zoho CRM. Sign up with Zoho CRM in 2 easy steps! First, visit zohocrm.com/saastr, and then hit the “get started” button. It's as simple as it sounds! Start your FREE trial button by clicking the button on the same page. You'll also be happy to know that Zoho CRM offers a version that's completely FREE! Sign up with Zoho - The worlds favourite CRM!

Jan 27, 2020

Eugenio Pace is the Founder & CEO @ Auth0, the startup that allows you to rapidly integrate authentication and authorization for web, mobile, and legacy applications so you can focus on your core business. To date, Eugenio has raised over $213m with Auth0 from some of the best in the business including Meritech, Sapphire, Manu Kumar @ K9, Bessemer and Trinity. Prior to founding Auth0, Eugenio spent an incredible 12 years at Microsoft leading the Program Management team in the patterns & practices group at Microsoft.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Eugenio made his way into the world of startups with the founding of Auth0? What were his biggest takeaways from 12 years watching the hyper-growth of Microsoft first hand? 
  • How does being a developer-first product fundamentally change the go-to-market? Who has done this best over the last few years? What have they done that has allowed them to scale faster than others? What has been Eugenio’s takeaways in what works when building developer communities and early developer adoption?
  • How does Eugenio respond to the common thinking that “devs don’t have the budget”? Does this limit your ability to expand into large ACVs once in an organisation? How does Eugenio approach the issue of agency when selling to CIOs but having devs use the product? 
  • What have been Eugenio’s biggest lessons in what it takes to make a freemium product successful? How does one know how much of the secret sauce to giveaway? How does Eugenio approach pricing today through 4 different variables? How does Eugenio adopt a variable pricing mechanism that does not discourage usage?     

Eugenio’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. Quality or quantity of logos in the early days?
  2. What does Eugenio know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning of his time at Auth0?
  3. What is the hardest element of his role today as CEO? What is he doing to really upscale there? 

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

Eugenio Pace

Jan 20, 2020

Dimitri Sirota is the Founder & CEO @ BigID, the startup that provides advanced data discovery and intelligence for the data centre and cloud. To date Dimitri has raised over $145M for BigID from some of the best in the world of enterprise including Boldstart, Scale Venture Partners, Bessemer, Salesforce Ventures and Tiger Global who just a couple of weeks ago, led their latest $50M Series C. Before to BigID, Dimitri founded 2 prior businesses, the first in 1999 being a VPN security company called eTunnels and then the second being Layer Technologies where Dimitri enjoyed an incredible 10 year journey leading to their acquisition by CA Technologies in 2013. Dimitri is also an angel investor with a portfolio including Zume Pizza, Modalyst and TalentClick. 

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Dimitri made his way into the world of enterprise software and came to found BigID as his third company? 
  • What specifically would Dimitri advise founders when the interests of their investor are not aligned to theirs? What is the right way to manage that situation? Does Dimitri believe that founders should always be raising? Does Dimitri believe when the money is on the table, you should take it? What is the right way for founders to think about valuation? 
  • What did the fundraising journey look like for BigID? What situation does every founder want to put themselves in? How does Dimitri think about runway and using fundraising for optionality? What does Dimitri make of the rise of pre-emptive rounds? How does Dimitri determine when is the right time to pour fuel on the fire?     

Dimitri's 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What is his biggest strength and biggest weakness as a CEO?
  2. Who was the first check in BigID? How did the check come about?
  3. What does Dimitri believe that most around his disbelieve? 

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

Dimitri Sirota

Jan 13, 2020

Yousuf Khan is the Chief Information Officer @ Automation Anywhere, the only web-based and cloud-native RPA platform. To date, Automation Anywhere has raised over $840m in financing from Salesforce Ventures, Workday, General Atlantic and NEA to name a few. Prior to Automation Anywhere, Yousuf was the CIO & VP of Customer Success @ Moveworks. During his time at the company, they raised over $108m from Lightspeed, ICONIQ, Kleiner, Sapphire and Bain Capital. Before Moveworks, Yousuf was CIO @ Pure Storage during their period of hypergrowth both as a private and public company. Finally, before Pure, Yousuf’s first role in the valley was with Qualys again as CIO where he owned the entire global IT budget.   

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Yousuf made his way from the UK to the valley and how that led to his becoming one of the leading CIOs today in the rising prominence of CIOs in enterprise? 
  • What are the biggest green lights for CIOs when startups are pitching them? Why does Yousuf believe now more than ever, the buyer experience is more important than the price? What makes for the best buyer experience for the CIO? What are the biggest red flags CIOs see when startups are pitching them? What must startups always remember when pitching CIOs?
  • How does Yousuf advise CIOs to approach pricing strategy when pitching CIOs? What must startups remember about how CIOs think about price? What other elements of the contract should startups really spend a lot of time focusing on? Where do founders make mistakes in negotiation? What can they do to enforce a sense of urgency when signing new clients?  
  • What can startups do to actively work with procurement teams and make the process as fast as possible? How does Yousuf advise founders to think about customised procurement requests to fit certain buyers? What do CIOs really want to see in the form of security and compliance? How can startups clearly and articulately present their plans for security, compliance and change management?     

Yousuf’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. Who does Yousuf think is killing it in the world of CIO’s today? Why?
  2. What is the ideal relationship between the CIO and the CEO?
  3. What are the core reasons buying processes take longer? 

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

Yousuf Khan

Jan 6, 2020

Bob Moore is the Founder & CEO @ Crossbeam, the startup that helps companies find overlapping prospects and customers while keeping the rest of their data private and secure. To date Bob has raised over $15m with Crossbeam from friends of the show including Andy @ Uncork, Matt @ Firstmark, Bill @ First Round and Matt @ Salesforce Ventures, to name a few. Prior to Crossbeam, Bob founded Stitched, a powerful ETL service built for developers that was acquired by Talend in 2018. Before that Bob co-founded RJ Metrics, where he built a global base of online retailers leading to their acquisition by Magento Commerce in 2016. 

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Bob made his way into the world of SaaS and came to found Crossbeam?
  • As an entrepreneur, Bob has previously said, “no one is coming to save you”. What did he mean by this? What were the core mistakes that he made with RJ Metrics? Is it the responsibility of the board to course correct at this early stage? How does Bob determine whether to be visionary and determined vs realising when something is not working?
  • Does Bob agree with the notion that channel sales have completely died in the world of SaaS? Why is this? What are the drivers of it’s death? How important is it to own the entire customer journey? At what scale does that become impossible? In terms of replacement, what does Bob believe will be the emerging trends in SaaS Go To Market that will replace it? 
  • How does Bob think about when is the right time to hire a Head of Partnerships? In the early days, partnerships can be a distraction, how does Bob determine between right and wrong when determining whether to engage in a partnership? Where do most startups go wrong both in hiring for partnerships and in the engagements themselves? 

Bob’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What is the hardest element of Bob’s role with Crossbeam today?
  2. What does Bob believe that most around him disbelieve?
  3. What does Bob 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

Bob Moore

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Dec 30, 2019

This interview originally aired as Episode 213 on February 26, 2019.

Tom Tunguz is General Partner @ Redpoint Ventures, the venture fund with a portfolio including the likes of Stripe, Netflix, Zuora, Hashicorp and Juniper Networks just to name a few. As for Tom, he joined Redpoint in 2008 and has since led investments in Kustomer, Looker, Expensify and Gremlin all prior guests on the show I hasten to add. He is also the co-author of Winning with Data: exploring the cultural changes big data brings to business. Tom has also been named on the Forbes Midas Brink list. Before joining Redpoint, Tomasz was the product manager for Google’s AdSense social-media products and AdSense internationalization.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Tom made his way from creating software with his father in Brazil to being GP and forefront figure in the SaaS investment community as a GP at Redpoint today?
  • Annual contracts: To what extent do annual contracts dominate today? How does this differ when comparing enterprise to SMB? Why does Tom think in the early days one should be wary of signing too many multi-year contracts? What are the dangers there? How does Tom think about calculating churn when it comes to multi-year contracts?
  • What were the findings on what good looks like when it comes to logo retention? How does this differ when comparing SMB to enterprise? What were the commonalities of leading indicators of churn? Is it fair to always surmise that when serving SMB one will always have a higher rate of churn? What is the right way to conduct a churn analysis?
  • Assisted vs unassisted: What does Tom believe are the leading benchmarks for both? How does this differ when comparing SMB to enterprise? How does the impact of a salesperson change the conversion rate? What time frame from SAL to closed lead suggests product market fit? What one question must all founders be asking in the sales process? 
  • How does Tom think about constructing comp plans the right way today? How should comp plans differ when comparing AEs to customer success? Where should the responsibility for upsell lie, customer success or sales? Should sales commission be paid on renewals?  

Tom’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Tom know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?
  2. What is Tom’s favourite book and why?
  3. What is Tom’s most recent investment and why did he say yes?

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

Tom Tunguz

 

Dec 16, 2019

This interview originally aired as Episode 229 on April 29, 2019.

Manny Medina is the Founder & CEO @ Outreach, the market leading sales engagement platform that turns your team into a revenue driving machine. To date, Manny has raised over $114m in funding from some great people including friends of the show in the form of Alex Clayton @ Spark, Mayfield, Trinity Ventures and DFJ Growth, just to name a few. Prior to founding Outreach, Manny spent 7 years with Microsoft where he ran the Latin America and Canada business development group for Microsoft’s emerging mobile division, representing $50M of yearly revenue. Befofe that Manny was a Senior Product Manager @ Amazon where he engineered the compensation system for Amazon Associates and Web-Services which accounts for 15% of Amazon's traffic. 

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Manny made his way to found the leader in sales engagement from product management at Amazon and Business Development @ Microsoft.
  • How does Manny fundamentally approach managing top of funnel? What are the 2 big dangers of not managing it aggressively? What can be done to ensure not only full but high quality top of funnel? 
  • Why does Manny believe it is so important to track pipeline coverage as one of your core metrics? What does good look like when it comes to pipeline coverage? How does this change if you are creating vs in an existing market? How does Manny think about specialisation within the sales function? Why are SDR’s 99% of the time not able to carry leads to completion? 
  • How does Manny think about quota construction today? Does Manny err on the side of setting high to be ambitious or setting low to increase confidence? How can managers really empower their reps to be aggressive in hitting their quota and exceeding it? How does Manny think about resource allocation on the individual rep level? What is sufficient? What is excessive?
  • Does Manny believe that the founder should always be responsible for selling their product at one moment in time? How did Manny sell the first $1m in ARR simply through walking the streets of SOMA and selling door-to-door? What were his biggest lessons from doing this?  Why does Manny believe that you should not have a VP before $5m? 

60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Manny know now that he wishes he had known in the beginning?
  2. What does the future of sales prospecting look like to Manny?
  3. What would Manny like to change about the world of SaaS today?

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

Manny Medina

Dec 9, 2019

Yousuf Khan is a serial CIO, start-up and VC advisor. Most recently Yousuf was the CIO & VP of Customer Success @ Moveworks, the advanced AI built for enterprise providing automatic resolution of IT issues. During his time at the company, they raised over $108m from Lightspeed, ICONIQ, Kleiner, Sapphire and Bain Capital. Pre Moveworks, Yousuf was CIO @ Pure Storage during their period of hypergrowth both as a private and public company. Finally, before Pure, Yousuf’s first role in the valley was with Qualys again as CIO where he owned the entire global IT budget.   

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Yousuf made his way from the UK to the valley and how that led to his becoming one of the leading CIOs today in the rising prominence of CIOs in enterprise? 
  • How open and can transparent can CEOs be with CIOs? Do CIOs know the state of early-stage companies in terms of their cash situation, fundraising etc? Does that ever put them off buying? What is the right tone and temperament to take with those CIOs in the first meetings? How does Yousuf advise founders on quality or quantity of logos in the early days? 
  • How does Yousuf advise CEOs approach CIOs when it comes to discounting? Do they make a difference to the buying decision of the CIO really? Should founders offer discounts in exchange for customer testimonials? How can CEOs provide alternative forms of social validity to other CIOs in the ecosystem, other than case studies?  
  • How does Yousuf advise founders approach CIOs when it comes to multi-year deals? Does the mindset of the CIO change when the deal is paid upfront? How should the founders position that? When it comes to implementation, how important is time to value in the mind of the CIO? What is the worst thing a founder can do when discussing implementation?    

Yousuf’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What separates good from great when it comes to CIOs?
  2. What makes the best board members?
  3. What are Yousuf’s biggest strengths and weaknesses?

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

Yousuf Khan

Dec 2, 2019

Des Cahill is the Chief Marketing Officer for Oracle CX Cloud Suite, an integrated set of marketing, sales, commerce and service solutions that power customer experience for thousands of leading global brands. Prior to Oracle, Des was the CMO @ Kerio Technologies marketing to over 60,000 SMB customers and 5,000 channel partners. Before Kerio, Des was the CMO @ Ensighten, where he helped grow the customer base from 10 to 100 and revenues from $2M to $14M. Des has also spent time as CEO having founded and grown Habeas Inc from 0 to 450 customers, $9M in revenue and raising 3 rounds of venture financing. 

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Des made his way into the world of startups and came to be CMO of Oracle’s CX Cloud suite? 
  • Why does Des believe customers are more unpredictable now than ever before? How is their behaviour fundamentally changing? What are some great examples of how Des has seen companies amend to the changing consumer demands?
  • How does this change the role of the marketer today? How does this change the prioritisation of customer experience for marketers? What are the challenging elements of this change? How does the role of marketing also integrate with the post-sale and customer success with much of their content being used there?  
  • How does Des think about the relationship between marketing and sales teams? What are Des’ biggest tips on how to reduce friction in the handoff from marketing to sales? What works? What does not work? What is the right OKR to measure marketing teams? Does it have to be tied directly to revenue?  

Des’ 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. Biggest breakdown in the working of an efficient funnel?
  2. Who is killing it in SaaS marketing today and why?
  3. Advice in SaaS you commonly hear but disagree with?

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

Des Cahill

Nov 25, 2019

Allie Janoch is the Founder & CEO @ Mapistry, the startup that makes environmental compliance simple. As for Allie, prior to founding Mapistry she started her career in MIT’s Lincoln Lab before joining IQ Engines (acquired by Yahoo). Post acquisition, Allie integrated the technology built at IQ Engines into Flickr search. 

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Allie made her way from the world of Yahoo to founding the game changer of environmental compliance in Mapistry? Having had both big company, small startup and founding experience, what would Allie advise new graduates entering the workforce today? 
  • What were the biggest mistakes that Allie made when it comes to sales hiring? What were the learnings from those mistakes? How does Allie advise other founders on scaling sales teams? How does Allie think about sales rep payback period? How can one determine the effectiveness of a sales rep when they are engaging in 9-12 month sales cycles?
  • How does Allie think about the importance of focus applied to customer segmentation today? How does Allie measure true customer success? NPS? Churn? Product analytics? How does Allie explain the macro market size to VCs when they initially see the small customer segment?  
  • Why did Allie start doing their own events with Mapistry? How should startups think about whether events are the right strategy for them or not? How should founders think about resource allocation and budget when it comes to events? How does Allie measure the ROI of events? 

Allie’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Allie know now that she wishes she had known at the beginning? 
  2. What would Allie most like to change about the world of tech and Silicon Valley?
  3. What is the biggest challenge for Allie today with Mapistry?

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

Allie Janoch

Nov 18, 2019

Travis Bryant is Partner for Founder Experience @ Redpoint Ventures, the venture fund with a portfolio including the likes of Stripe, Netflix, Zuora, Hashicorp and Juniper Networks just to name a few. As for Travis, prior to joining Redpoint, Travis was head of Customer Growth at Front, after spending 5 years building the global Sales organization at Optimizely, the world’s most popular experimentation platform. During his time at Optimizely, the company grew from from $7 to >$90M in ARR and from 40 to 400 people. Before Optimizely, Travis spent 6 years at Salesforce in a number of sales roles including building the first Platform Sales team.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Travis made his way into the world of venture as the first ever Partner for founder experience at Redpoint? What were the 2 biggest lessons Travis took from Salesforce? How transformational is the 12 quarter year for Salesforce?
  • Why does Travis believe we need to abolish the title of CRO? Why does it suggest misalignment between customer and vendor from Day 1? What aspects of CRO’s roles is Travis in favour of? What elements is he not in favour of? What does Travis advise founders when it comes to uniting customer facing teams?   
  • Why does Travis believe that SaaS has upended the economic model but not the engagement model? How does the engagement model with customer need to shift? What does this do to the structure of the conventional funnel? 
  • Why does Travis believe net retention must always be the guiding North Star? How does Travis think about the different steps to customer qualification today and what makes the best SDR’s? What does Travis advise founders when it comes to churn analysis? What questions must you ask? What metrics must you look for? 

Travis’ 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What motto or quote do Travis frequently revert back to?
  2. What is the most challenging element of Travis’ role with Redpoint?
  3. How should startup operators coming out of larger organisations determine which startup to join? 

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

Travis Bryant

Nov 14, 2019

Nicole Alvino, founder of SocialChorus, shares some ‘truth is crazier than fiction stories’ about her time in structured finance at Enron and how she applied what she learned to build a company that has 10 of the Fortune 50 as customers. In your constant effort to grow and win, you’ll get the 5 most important lessons on how to push the envelope just far enough - while keeping your ethics in check.

Nov 11, 2019

Michael Pryor, Co-Founder & CEO @ Trello, now Head of Trello Product with Atlassian following their recent acquisition.

Kolton Andrus is the Founder & CEO @ Gremlin, the failure as a service startup finds weaknesses in your system before they cause problems.

Dylan Serota, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer @ Terminal, the startup that helps you create world-class technical teams through remote operations as a service.

Rachel Carlson, Co-Founder and CEO @ Guild Education, the leader in education benefits offering the single most scalable solution for preparing the workforce of today for the jobs of tomorrow. 

Sid Sijbrandi, Founder & CEO @ Gitlab, a single application for the entire software development lifecycle.

Jeppe Rindom is the Founder & CEO @ Pleo, the simple spending solution for your company automating expense reports and simplifying company expenses.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How should founders think about the debate between all remote vs part remote teams? How does life and operations change with each? What are the pros and cons? Is it possible to move between the two overtime?
  • What can one do to maintain culture with remote teams? What processes need to be in place to ensure a cohesive and streamlined communication process? What technical architecture needs to be in place? Where are the breakpoints when it comes to communication? How often does one need to do in person off-sites?
  • How does being remote or part remote impact fundraising? How do VCs think about this new structure of operations? What is the right way to present it? How does being outside a core tech hub impact one’s ability to raise? How should one run a fundraising process if outside a core hub?  
  • How important is it for your team to be near your customers? How does this change according to sector and customer base? How important is it for your team to be near your investors? Does having an exec and sales team in one place and the rest of the team elsewhere work?  

Jason Lemkin

Harry Stebbings

SaaStr

Nov 7, 2019

Rene Yang Stewart, Co-Head and Principal, Vista Equity Partners, and Monica Enand, Founder and CEO, Zapproved discuss growing a company from product market fit to scale. Vista Equity Partners invested in Zapproved in 2017. Hear perspectives from both the investor and founder on growth to scale.

Oct 31, 2019

Glassdoor CEO Robert Hohman and Battery Ventures' Neeraj Agrawal  walkthrough Glassdoor's $1.2 Billion story from its launch in 2008 to its 2018 acquisition by Recruit Holdings. Hear about the early days of Glassdoor; tactical lessons on scaling—from building a business model and recruiting an all-star management team to advice on building a compelling, innovative company culture; and learn whyGlassdoor’s $1.2 Billion acquisition is just one milestone in the early innings of the company’s story.

Oct 28, 2019

Krish Subramanian is the Founder & CEO @ Chargebee, the startup that lets you go beyond billing, payments and recurring invoices — to delivering subscription experiences that "wow". To date, Chargebee have “wowed” some of the world’s leading VCs to the tune of $38m including the likes of Insight Venture Partners, Tiger Global, Steadview and Accel Partners. As for Krish, under Krish’s leadership the team has grown to over 300 people and over 5,000 clients making it one of the next generation in truly global SaaS businesses started in India. 

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Krish made his way into the world of SaaS and came to found one of India’s fastest growing SaaS companies in Chargebee?
  • What does Krish mean when he says, “in SaaS, you either sell to one of 2 customer profiles”? How does Krish think about purely serving the SMB market? Does one have to move to enterprise? Does one have to expand the product line to retain customers? How does he think about the mortality rate of SMBs?  
  • First, what is continuous customer development? Second, why does Krish believe it is one of the most important things any company must do? What is the process to do it efficiently? Does it have to be in person? What questions reveal the most? How should this data feedback into your product roadmap and pipeline? 
  • How does Krish think your customer acquisition and GTM strategy has to change with the movement from SMB to enterprise? What are the biggest challenges in making this transition? How does your customer success and customer support functions change with the move to enterprise? 

Krish’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. Biggest lessons from working with Lee Fixel?
  2. How does one know when is the right time to introduce a new product?
  3. What does Krish 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

Krish Subramanian

Oct 21, 2019

Liat Bycel is VP of Customer Engagement @ Airtable, the startup that works like a spreadsheet but gives you the power to organise anything. To date, Airtable has raised over $170m in funding from some of the best in the business including Thrive, Coatue, Founder Collective, CRV and individuals like Patrick Collison, Ashton Kutcher and Raymond Tonsing to name a few. As for Liat, prior to Airtable, she was the Chief Revenue Officer @ Assist. Before Assist, Liat spent 6 years at Twitter where she first hand saw their hyper-growth, managing a team of 40 across New York and SF and also Liat achieved 102% to quota on average every year. Finally before Twitter, Liat was VP of Sales @ Revolution Prep where she led and managed 7 offices. 

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Liat made her way into the world of SaaS and came to be VP of Customer Engagement at one of Silicon Valley’s hottest startups in Airtable? 
  • What were Liat’s biggest lessons from Twitter on how to hire successfully? What were some of the key takeaways from that experience on how, why and when to fire? Is there ever a right way to do it? How does Liat think about aligning both the personal ambitions of the person with the wider objectives of the company? Why does Liat reject the notion of “hands off leadership?”  
  • Companies often worry about whether to go horizontal or vertical, how does Liat personally think about this choice? What does she advise founders as a result? What are the core questions they should ask to determine their strategy? What are the biggest challenges of having such a vertical product? How does it impact messaging and brand? Product roadmap? Pricing?
  • How does Liat think about challenging the traditional sales model? How does that challenge the structure of the conventional AE and SDR structure? How does Liat think Airtable is pushing up against the traditional customer success model? How has having children impacted how Liat thinks about operating today? What changes with children? 

Liat’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Liat know now that she wishes she had known at the beginning of her time with Airtable?
  2. What are Liat’s biggest strengths and weaknesses?
  3. What are the challenges of prioritisation?

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

Liat Bycel

Oct 17, 2019

SaaStr CEO Jason Lemkin sits down with Gainsight CEO Nick Mehta to discuss what it means to be a SaaS leader. What are the day-to-day struggles? The fears and the worries and what it means to be "crushing it" today.

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

Oct 14, 2019

Robert Vis is the Founder & CEO @ MessageBird, the company that allows you to talk to your customers via Voice, SMS and Whatsapp. The company raised a monster $60M Series A from Accel and Atomico with only one prior investor being Y Combinator. As for Robert, prior to MessageBird, he was co-founder and CEO of Zaypay.com which focused on driving mobile payments into 50+ countries, enabling 1.5bln users to pay for virtual goods through their phones (sold to Mobile Interactive Group (MIG). 

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Robert made his way into the world of startups and SaaS and came to found Messagebird? What was the a-ha moment for him? 
  • Why does Robert believe the most important element of being a founder is “thinking big”? How as a founder do you balance between thinking big with investors and then the day to day in the weeds with the team? How does Robert as Europe’s mentality of thinking big today? Have our ambitions exceeded what they have been before? How does being in Benelux change how Robert thinks about global ambitions and growth ambitions?  
  • What does Robert mean when he tells founders, “don’t try to scale”? How does Robert think about knowing when a business is ready to scale? Where do many founders go wrong in the preparation for scale phase? What does one need to get in place before scaling?
  • Why did Robert wait 6 years before raising any VC money? Why did he decide then was the right time? Once the raise was in, did he feel the pressure of suddenly having a lot of VC funding? How did his mindset to capital allocation change post-raise? How did he see his decision-making process change post raise? How did raising from the US differ from raising in the UK? 

Robert’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Robert know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning of his time with Messagebird?
  2. What keeps Robert up at night? 
  3. What are Robert’s strengths and weaknesses? 
  4. What advice in SaaS does Robert most often hear that he disagrees with?

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

Robert Vis 

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