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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 center 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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The Official SaaStr Podcast: SaaS | Founders | Investors
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Now displaying: 2020
Mar 5, 2020

According to a study from SiriusDecisions, the majority of buyers (81%) today make purchase decisions based on buying experience, over product or price. To meet buyers’ high expectations and manage the challenging sales landscape, companies must involve their entire organization in maturing the sales process- including after prospects sign on the dotted line. This session will outline a practical approach to growing revenue and retention by aligning sales, marketing, and customer success.

Mar 2, 2020

Today we deep dive into what startups can learn from the large SaaS incumbents of today. 

Sara Varni: CMO @ Twilio on her biggest takeaways from her time at Salesforce.

Erica Schultz: President of Field Operations @ Confluent on her biggest takeaways from her time at Oracle.

Whitney Bouck: COO @ Hellosign on her biggest takeaways from her time at Box.

Leyla Seka: Partner @ Operator Collective on her biggest takeaways from her time at Salesforce.

Ryan Bonnici: CMO @ G2 on his biggest takeaways from his time at Salesforce.

Ryan Barretto: SVP @ Sprout Social on his biggest takeaways from his time at Salesforce

Tien Tzuo: Founder & CEO @ Zuora on his biggest takeaways from his time at Salesforce.

Paul Albright: Board member @ Clarizen on his biggest takeaways from his time at SuccessFactors.

Jaleh Rezaei: Founder & CEO @ Mutiny on her biggest takeaways from her time at Gusto.

Eugenio Pace: Founder & CEO @ Auth0 on his biggest takeaways from his time at Microsoft.

Liat Bycel: VP @ Airtable on her biggest takeaways from her time at Twitter.

Mark Goldberg: Partner @ Index on his biggest takeaways from his time at Dropbox.

 

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

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 13, 2020

RevenueCat is managing tens of millions of dollars in mobile subscriptions and growing 20% a month. Most of us think a lot about standard b2b and Cloud subscriptions, but we’re still new to the issues, challenges and opportunities in mobile subscriptions.

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 30, 2020

If your SaaS business has a sales team, there’s no way to grow 100% year-over-year without also growing your sales leadership. In this talk, CircleCI VP of Revenue Jane Kim will talk about the 5 mistakes all new sales leaders make. Knowing the common pitfalls won’t stop you or your team from making them, but it will help build the most important skill any manager can have: resiliency. Come and learn how to build great leaders so you can grow your team, and ultimately, your business.

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 23, 2020

Customer expectations are at an all-time high, making it more and more difficult for companies to please them. Companies who understand their customers well are the ones who rise to the top over their competitors. New Relic, provider of real-time insights for software-driven businesses has this formula figured out. Hear from Roger Scott, New Relic's EVP and Chief Customer Officer as he shares his 7 tips and tricks for keeping your customers happy— and how to do so at a large scale.

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 16, 2020

When it comes to seamlessly scaling your applications, a top-notch engineering team will be your foundation. Next comes the decisions to build or buy your infrastructure, DNS, monitoring, and analytics tools. Julian Lemoine, Co-Founder, and CTO of Algolia will share his lessons learned on how to stay focused and innovative as you scale while also avoiding the innovation for innovation’s sake pitfalls.

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 9, 2020

Startup success is not exclusive to Silicon Valley. With more companies launching and thriving outside of Silicon Valley, regions such as ‘Silicon Slopes’ in Utah and ‘Silicon Alley’ in New York City are gaining traction within the startup scene. Podium, an interaction management platform for local businesses, was founded in Utah and grew from five employees in 2015 to more than 300 in 2019 to become one of the fastest-growing SaaS companies in the United States. In just four years, Podium has raised almost $100 million, with annual recurring revenue increasing to almost $60 million. Eric Rea, CEO of Podium, will share how he grew the company he launched from his spare bedroom into one of the fastest-growing SaaS companies in the country.

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

Did you know that if your network goes down it can cost you on average $5,600/minute? What if I also told you, you could have 100% confidence that your business data is secure and allow for  new employees to be on-boarded with ease and offboarded securely in a few short clicks. Your employees automatically have the right applications installed with the right permissions and joy of joys, you never hear about printer issues. Plus it’s all done through a first of its kind IT platform called Electric, delivering enterprise-grade IT support previously not available to small and medium-sized businesses at a fraction of the cost. So whether you have IT in-house or no IT at all, Electric solve it at lightning-fast speed either remotely or sending a certified partner to you. So if you’re interested in deploying world-class IT which keeps your employees productive and data secure visit: www.electric.ai/saastr

Jan 2, 2020

The vision of exceeding sales, establishing credibility and successfully launching a product is no small task, especially when striving for that perfect introduction into the world of consumers. With so many articles, investors, and outside opinions, the true, simple tasks of launching can get lost in the noise. In this session, Jen Taylor, Head of Products at Cloudflare, will share her expertise and teach you to forget the noise, stick to the basics, and use 5 easy steps to turn that idea into a reality.

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