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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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Now displaying: Page 1
Oct 21, 2022

“Find a need and fill it” is a well-known maxim. After identifying the white space, though,  understanding how to navigate category creation is key in order to grow and scale a company for the long term. For many SaaS businesses, the first category others consign you to may not match your ambitions as a founder. Entrenched forces have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, and it takes courage to stick to your convictions about the future. As industries expand and mature, new strategies are needed to further deepen the competitive moat to secure and retain category leadership. Product is just the beginning: Ongoing success hinges on the growth and cultivation of the team, the company culture, and the larger stakeholder community—the work is never done. 


When Braze was founded in 2011 with Bill Magnuson as CTO, smartphones were just becoming mainstream and mobile marketing was in its infancy. At that time, the category term ‘customer engagement platform’ did not exist yet, but the cofounders believed that technology which enabled brands to better understand and serve customers across mobile and beyond was the future for Braze. Fast forward 10+ years, and the founding team’s conviction has enabled Braze to become a leader in the nascent customer engagement category, reaching $100M in ARR in eight years, then doubling that to $200M less than 18 months later, to then making its public company debut at the end of 2021. In this session, Braze Cofounder and CEO Bill Magnuson will share best practices and lessons learned from his experience scaling Braze and establishing the company as a leader in the recently formed customer engagement category, including: 

  • Having conviction for your vision will help you navigate the changing SaaS landscape as you grow your business. Staying true to your initial vision is critical to category creation and for long-term company success. 
  • Determine when and whether to pivot, or to adapt to shifting circumstances. Founders must be adept at identifying and articulating the unique value the business delivers, refining the message over time without deviating from foundational beliefs. 
  • Category leadership results from a community effort: customers, end users, partners, investors, analysts, and team members collaborate to build on the founders’ vision.
  • How and why a CTO founder might transition to CEO: Technical founders deeply understand product value and can take on the wider leadership role as they navigate the nuance of category creation.

 

Full video: https://youtu.be/T5r6ajAHyvI

 

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