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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: Category: business
May 6, 2016

Following our meeting at SaaStr Annual 2016, I am thrilled to welcome David Cancel. Now David really is a serial entrepreneur having founded 5 companies, with the last, Performable, being acquired by Hubspot, resulting in his taking up the position as Chief Product Officer at Hubspot. Now David is the CEO @ Drift. Drift allows you to talk to your website visitors and customers in real time. David is a master when it comes to hiring, company culture creation and maintenance and team building and we dig into all that in today’s episode, as well as:

  • Why David’s golden rule to recruiting is hiring people not skills?
  • Why is cultural fit so important for future employees? How can you test for it in an interview? Can you hire a team of all A team players without having insane competition and friction?
  • What does David mean when he says it is important for candidates to be scrappy? What signals are there that the person is an insane hustler?  
  • What questions does David pose to get the candidate out of the standard interview style answering? How does david push them out of their comfort zone?
  • Why does David believe it is crucial to never hire PMs who have done it before? What is the benefits of this?
  • How does David view success? What commonalities does David se in thementiality fo those that have and have not been successful?

In a round we call the 60 Second Saastr, we also hear:

  1. Must read books for startup CEOs?
  2. What are the 3 biggest lessons you learnt the hard way?
  3. What is David’s approach to learning?

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

May 2, 2016

Delighted to welcome Jon Miller to The Official SaastrPodcast today. John is the Founder & CEO @ Engagio, the all inone account based marketing platform that allows you to accelerateyour move to account based marketing, streamline account basedreporting and analytics and map salesforce leads to targetaccounts. Prior to Engagio, Jon was the Co-Founder and CMO atrocketship, Marketo.

 

Intoday's show with Jon we discuss:

  • Whatreally is account based marketing and how does it differ to otherforms of marketing?
  • Whatwere Jon’s biggest takeaways from co-founding Marketo and watch itscale into hyper-growth mode?
  • Howcan startups determine whether account based marketing is the rightmarketing solution for them? How can startups accelerate theprocess of moving to account based marketing?
  • Howcan startups communicate with their ideal customers in a nongimmicky, personalised fashion? What can be done to show personaland effective touches?
  • Towhat extent does account based market intersect with account basedsales development? How much of a role will this integration play inthe future?

 

In a round we call the60 Second Saastr,we also hear:

  1. Themost effective ABM channels?
  2. Thebiggest mistakes startups make in ABM?
  3. Thehardest element of growing Engagio from scratch?

 

If you would like to find outmore about the show and the guests presented you can follow us onTwitter here:

Apr 29, 2016

Joining us today on The Official Saastr Podcast is Laura Behrens Wu, Laura is the Founder & CEO @ Shippo, the API and dashboard for all your shipping needs. They have raised from the likes of SoftTech, 500Startups, SLow Ventures and many more incredible investors. In today's show with Laura we discuss:

 

  • What are APIs and what do they allow us to do?
  • With APIs developer adoption is crucial, what has worked for Laura in terms of finding developers, onboarding them and ensuring developer retention?
  • How much of a role does content marketing and education play in a complex product and tech stack, like Shippo? What strategies have been the most successful in educating potential clients?
  • Why does Laura believe transparent pricing is so fundamental? How does Laura harness the freemium model while attempting to onboard large corporate clients
  • What do the next 20 years hold for Shippo? What will it take to reach the milestones?

 

In a round we call the 60 Second Saastr, we also hear:

  1. Most challenging element of building Shippo?
  2. Biggest advice to SMB’s on shipping options?
  3. The fundraising process: What was it like?

 

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

Apr 22, 2016

Welcome to Episode 15 of The Official Saastr Podcast. Joining me today, I am delighted to welcome, Nicolas Dessaigne. Nicolas is the CEO and Co-Founder of Algolia, Algolia are a brilliant case study for the successful pivot, having started off life as an offline search engine for mobiles but really took off by helping companies deliver an intuitive search-as-you-type experience on their websites and mobile apps. They participated in Y Combinator's Winter 2014 batch and raised $18.3M in May 2015 from the likes of Accel Partners, Point Nine Capital, Storm Ventures and many more incredible investors. and in today's show with Nicolas we discuss:

  • Why is company culture so important and was it fundamental for Nicolas and Julien to have this outlined from the beginning?
  • How did Nicolas implement the vision for the company future when founding the Algolia?
  • How does Nicolas look to balance the scaling of the business with maintenance of company culture?
  • What were Nicolas' biggest takeaways from his time at YC? 
  • How can SaaS startups optimise the fundraising process to also be a source of business development?

In a round we call the 60 Second Saastr, we also hear:

  1. Hiring Your First VP of Sales: When and What Questions To Ask?
  2. Nicolas' favourite SaaS resource?
  3. What would Nicolas do differently if he were to start the journey again?

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

 

 

Apr 18, 2016

On the show today I am thrilled to welcome Russell Glass, Head of Products For LinkedIn Marketing Solutions. Formerly founder, president and CEO of Bizo, a B2B audience marketing and data platform which he, from founding in 2008 to $50mm+ revenue run-rate and over 150 employees before being acquired by LinkedIn for $175mm in August of 2014 he really is a Serial technology entrepreneur, having founded or held senior positions at four venture-backed technology companies. If that wasn’t enough he is also the Co-author of The Big Data-Driven Business: How to Use Big Data to Win Customers, Beat Competitors, and Boost Profits 

In today's show with Russell we discuss:

  • What did Russ and the Bizo team do effectively that allowed them to scale, leading to their acquisition by Linkedin?
  • Is customer focus a constraint on long term growth and how can you communicate this long term vision to your investors?
  • How important a role will data play in the future of content marketing?
  • How can SMB marketers determine which platforms will be most effective for them?
  • To what extent can content marketing reduce customer acquisition? What are the other benefits?

In a round we call the 60 Second Saastr, we also hear:

  1. Who Is Doing SMB Marketing Most Impressively At The Moment?
  2. The Biggest Leanring Curve From Being Acquired By LinkedIn?
  3. What SaaS resource or blog is a must for Russell?

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

Apr 15, 2016

Joining us today, I am delighted to welcome Mark Woodward CEO @ Invoca - software that helps marketers drive revenue with call intelligence. Invoca has built a platform that addresses the top concern for enterprise CMOs today — delivering personalized customer experiences across devices and channels. They have backing from the likes of Upfront Ventures who wrote this on Invoca's recent $30m raise (http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2016/03/30/inside-scoop-funding-environment-might-mean/)  and in today's show with Mark we discuss:

  • Question from Mark Suster: How does Mark feel taking the contrarian approach that phone calls are alive and growing?
  • How was Invoice's journey to raising $30m in funding? What were the challenges? What was unexpected?
  • What all new CEOs must know coming into a new role?
  • How can a new CEO implement a new company culture and management style without disrupting the existing one?
  • What does IPO ready look like in a company? What are the requirements before you consider that newt step?

In a round we call the 60 Second Saastr, we also hear:

  1. The most crucial characteristic of all good CEOs?
  2. Biggest lesson from being a 3 time CEO?
  3. If Mark could start the process again, what would he do differently?

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

Apr 11, 2016

Joining us today, I am delighted to have Daniel Chait, Founder & CEO @ Greenhouse - software that gives people the power to build great companies. Greenhouse automates and simplifies the best practices for recruiting top talent, continuously monitors your recruiting activity, and automatically suggests improvements. They have backing from the likes of Social Capital, Benchmark and Felicis Ventures and in today's show with Daniel we discuss:

  • How Daniel views the hiring funnel and how you can get a consistent stream of high quality incoming candidates?
  • How can individuals breach the knowledge gap of not knowing what to look for in a iOS developer, for example?
  • How important is a strong company culture when interviewing candidates?
  • How can recruiters test candidates to ensure that their culture and skills align with the company?
  • When did Daniel hire his first Head of Sales and what was the catalyst for causing this hire?

In a round we call the 60 Second Saastr, we also hear:

  1. The Candidate Experience: How Can We Optimise It?
  2. Who Does Daniel Most Respect & Admire With Regards To Their Recruitment?
  3. What Is Daniel's Fave Hiring Blog Resource or Newsletter?

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

Apr 8, 2016

I am thrilled to welcome, Ajay Agarwal, Managing Director @ Bain Capital Ventures, where he focuses on early stage application software and SaaS investing. Included in his immense portfolio are the likes of Optimizely, SendGrid and GainSight, just to name a few and prior to crushing the world of investments, Ajay was an early employee at Trilogy, where as Head of Sales and Marketing he was instrumental in growing their annual revenue to $300m. 

Discussed In Today's Show:

  • What is the difference between SaaS and Enterprise Software? (there is one!)
  • How does the introduction of cloud software affect the sales cycle for startups?
  • How can startups know when is the right time to release their MVP without having significant issues with churn?
  • What does product market fit really look like for SaaS startups?
  • Once product market fit is achieved, is it merely a case off during money into the machine? 
  • Why has customer success become such an integral part of SaaS and what can startups do to optimise customer success?

In a round we call the 60 Second Saastr, we also hear:

  • Why is the system of record the easiest way to build a $bn company?
  • The $10bn opportunity in marketing? 
  • The future of zenefits?

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

Apr 4, 2016

Welcome to Episode 10 of The Official Saastr Podcast. To celebrate this milestone, we have a very special guest: Mathilde Collin. Mathilde is the CEO and Co-Founder of Front, one of the world's most innovative young SaaS startups working in the space of email collaboration and in today's show with Mathilde we discuss:

  • Mathilde's experience as a young founder and CEO in the enterprise space?
  • How did Mathilde manage to attract some of the world's top talent and hire effectively?
  • What were her biggest takeaways from her time at YC? 
  • Why did Mathilde decide to raise US funds rather than European?
  • How has the evolution of content marketing altered Front's sales strategy? 

In a round we call the 60 Second Saastr, we also hear:

  1. Hiring Your First VP of Sales: When and What Questions To Ask?
  2. Mathilde's favourite SaaS resource?
  3. Compare UK to US investor mindsets?

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

 

 

Apr 1, 2016

This episode was recorded at Saastr Annual 2016 featuring Jason Lemkin, Founder @ Saastr and Josh Stein, Partner @ DFJ. For those that do not know, Josh is arguably one of the most successful investors in the SaaS space having backed the likes of Box, Twilio, Yammer and many more from the very earliest of stages.

In Today's Show We Cover:

  • What is the fundamental differing between a great and a good CEO in SaaS?
  • Is it possible to learn to become a great CEO?
  • What did Aaron Levie do to enable Box to scale so successfully?
  • How can startup founders determine whether they have the ability to go the distance as CEO?

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

If you enjoyed the conversation with Keith today and want to save your space at what promises to be the best Saastr Annual ever, Saastr Annual 2017! You can buy early bird tickets here!

Mar 28, 2016

This episode was recorded at Saastr Annual 2016 and it is an incredible conversation whereby Jason Lemkin deep dives into the career and wisdom of Keith Rabois. For those that do not know, Keith is a legend of the tech industry having helped build some of the most important companies in Silicon Valley including Paypal, Square and Linkedin. He is also a very prominent VC with Khosla Ventures and has recently rejoined the world  of operations, looking to disrupt the world of property with OpenDoor.

For your chance to win a signed copy of Jason's new book 'How Hyper Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue', we would be so grateful for you to upvote the episode on ProductHunt!

In Today's Show We Cover:

  • Why Keith rejoined the world of operations having been a VC with Khosla?
  • Is domain expertise a good or a bad thing to have when entering an industry?
  • When hiring, how do you achieve the balance of experience and potential?
  • When is the right time to hire a COO? What are the signs?
  • How Did Keith approach hiring in high growth rocketship companies?

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

If you enjoyed the conversation with Keith today and want to save your space at what promises to be the best Saastr Annual ever, Saastr Annual 2017! You can buy early bird tickets here!

Mar 25, 2016

I am thrilled to welcome, Doug Pepper, Partner @ Shasta Ventures to the show today. Doug is a master when it comes to SaaS investments with his companies generating over $500m in revenue in 2015, having funded the likes of Marketo, Optimizely and Flurry. In today's show with Doug we discuss: 

  • How Doug made his approach into investing?
  • What metrics are required for startups to get Series A investors interested?
  • What are the guidelines for a startup to manage their burn rate?
  • In future tough markets, we will see greater consolidation?
  • How can startups stand out when selling to CIO, CEO's and VPs? 

In a round we call the 60 Second Saastr, we also hear:

  1. What has been the scariest moment of Doug's VC career?
  2. Why Doug is so excited for the future of mobile SaaS? 
  3. What the main effects are of the rise of bottoms up sales strategies?

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

Mar 21, 2016

Joining us today, I am delighted to have Russell Fujioka, US President at Xero, the world's fast growing SaaS company making accounting software beautiful. Prior to joining Xero, Russ was the Global Vice President of Marketing at Dell, EIR at Bessemer Venture Partners and held executive roles at the likes of Adobe. In today's show with Russ we discuss:

  • How Russ came to be US President at the world's fastest growing SaaS company?
  • How has Russ seen the SaaS industry change over his 25 years?
  • Why does Russ believe all the SaaS best companies are founder led?
  • What were the determinants that allowed Adobe to go from 40m to $1bn?
  • How does Russ view the current competitive landscape for accounting software? 
  • What were the main benefits of experiencing the VC industry with Bessemer?

In a round we call the 60 Second Saastr, we also hear:

  1. Which pubic markets SaaS company does Russ most respect?
  2. Russ' favourite SaaS resource?
  3. Is accounting software a winner take all market?

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

Mar 18, 2016

It is a huge honour to welcome, Mamoon Hamid, Partner @ Social Capital. One of the world's best performing funds with investments in the likes of Slack, Box, Intercom, Yammer and many more incredible companies. Prior to joining Social Mamoon was a Partner at US Venture Partners (USVP) and in today's show we discuss:

  • How Mamoon made his way into the world of investing and VC?
  • What were Mamoon's biggest takeaways from seeing the rocketship growth of the likes of Slack and Box? What were their challenges faced?
  • What is the distinct value proposition of Social over other VC funds? How do you look to differentiate?
  • What has been the effect of the rise of the bottoms up sales apprcach and what role will this play in the future for selling to enterprise clients?
  • Which company will be the first to make a million on Slack? 

In a round we call the 60 Second Saastr, we also hear:

  1. Biggest challenge facing Mamoon and Social Capital?
  2. Mamoon's favourite SaaS resource?
  3. Biggest piece of advice to SaaS founders?

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

 

Mar 15, 2016

I am thrilled to welcome, Shardul Shah, Partner @ Index Ventures to the show today. Shardul is the sole member of the Index team to have worked in all Index's offices around the world in Geneva, London and SF. Now in SF, Shardul focuses on security, software and infrastructure with investments in the likes of Squarespace, DropBox and Adaloom, just to name a few. 

Discussed In Today's Show:

  • How Shardul made his unorthodox approach into investing?
  • What Shardul really looks for in early stage SaaS products when investing?
  • Why is reducing time distance to value so important for a SaaS product?
  • How can startups effectively sell to CSO's in this new wave of cyber security?
  • What are the risks and flaws of the open source community? 
  • How can enterprise SaaS products create true customer stickiness?

In a round we call the 60 Second Saastr, we also hear:

  1. What is Shardul most concerned about in the SaaS space?
  2. Shardul's favourite SaaS resource: 
  3. Which public markets SaaS companies is Shardul most impressed with?

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

Mar 2, 2016

Joining us today, I am thrilled to welcome, Mark Geene, CEO @ Cloud Elements the cloud API integration service that uses uniform APIs to connect your application with entire categories of services. Prior to joining Cloud Elements, Mark has had over 20 years experience in the industry including executive roles with IBM and Oracle and in today's show with we discuss:

  • What was the origin story behind Cloud Elements and how Mark became CEO?
  • What does it take for a company to transition from a 50 person company to a 500 person company?
  • How does Mark apply lean startup methodology to SaaS?
  • When is the right time to really invest in sales and marketing?
  • Does the lack of SaaS exits greater than $500m concern Mark? 
  • Why have we seen the rise of the API economy and what does the future hold?

In a round we call the 60 Second Saastr, we also hear:

  1. What lesson has Mark learnt recently that changes the way he works?
  2. Mark's favourite SaaS resource?
  3. Vertical vs platform SaaS play?

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

 

Mar 2, 2016

Joining us today, I am thrilled to welcome, Andy Lark, CMO at Xero, the world's fast growing SaaS company making accounting software beautiful. Prior to joining Xero, Andy work with the likes of Dell, Sun Microsystems and The CommonWealth Bank Of Australia and in today's show with Andy we discuss:

  • How Andy came to be CMO at the world's fastest growing SaaS company?
  • How Andy structures his team?
  • What does Andy make of the expansion of the traditional marketing role?
  • How to approach branding with regards to competitors?
  • How did Tiago choose his investors? 
  • What are the main differences of the old enterprise world compared to selling SaaS to SME's today?

In a round we call the 60 Second Saastr, we also hear:

  1. What lesson has Andy learnt recently that changes the way he works?
  2. Andy's favourite SaaS resource?
  3. How does Andy approach the issue of work life balance?

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

 

Mar 2, 2016

Welcome to Episode 1 of The Official Saastr Podcast, the show will delve behind the scenes of the latest and greatest SaaS rocketships talking to the founders and operators themselves. We will also be chatting with the investors and VCs funding these hyper growth companies to reveal their tactics and strategies when it comes to deciding whether to invest. 

To celebrate, we have a very special guest: Tiago Paiva. Tiago is the CEO and Co-Founder of Talkdesk, the world's leading browser -based call center software solution and in today's show with Tiago we discuss:

  • The Origin Story For TalkDesk
  • How Tiago achieved $3m in Sales without spending a $ on marketing
  • When is the right time to hire your VP of Sales? 
  • How important is it for SaaS startups and founders to be in SF?
  • How did Tiago choose his investors? 

In a round we call the 60 Second Saastr, we also hear:

  1. The biggest challenge Tiago has faced to date?
  2. Tiago's favourite SaaS resource?
  3. What role is the hardest to fill in a SaaS organisation?

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

 

 

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