SaaStr Podcast #157: Ross Mason, Founder & VP of Product Strategy @ Mulesoft on Why Startups Can No Longer Own The Entire Customer Lifecycle

Welcome to Episode 157! Ross Mason is the Founder & VP of Product Strategy of Mulesoft, one of the world’s leading software platforms making it easy to connect the world’s applications, data, and devices. Following over $250m in VC funding from the likes of Lightspeed, Salesforce Ventures, Sapphire Ventures, and NEA, Mulesoft then went public in March 2017, popping as much as 45% on it’s first day of trading. Prior to MuleSoft, Ross was CEO of SymphonySoft, an EU-based company providing services and support for large-scale integration projects. Previously, Ross was Lead Architect for RaboBank and played a key role in developing one of the first large-scale ESB implementations in 2002. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

SaaStr Podcast #085: David Hassell, Founder & CEO @ 15Five On How SaaS Startup Founders Should View Competition

podcast-featured-85-david-hassell2x Welcome to Episode 85! David Hassell is the founder and CEO of 15Five, the leading web-based employee feedback and alignment solution that is transforming the way employees and managers communicate. They have backing from the likes of Matrix Partners, Point Nine Capital with Christoph Janz and many more leading investors. As for David, he was named “The Most Connected Man You Don’t Know in Silicon Valley” by Forbes Magazine, David has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Inc., Entrepreneur, Wired, Fast Company, and the Financial Post. Huge thanks to Josh Hannah for the intro to David today! david-hassellIn today’s episode you will learn:
How David made his way into the world of SaaS and came to found 15Five?
How does David view competition? How should founders view additional competition to their space? What is the right response? Why did David choose such a public Continue reading "SaaStr Podcast #085: David Hassell, Founder & CEO @ 15Five On How SaaS Startup Founders Should View Competition"

7 Tips For Competitive Markets

Guest Post by Daniel Barber, VP of Sales at Datanyze The explosion of sales and marketing technology from ~150 vendors in 2011 to 3500+ in 2016 has led to fierce competition. Every deal counts. Every dollar is fuel for the next battle. The winners are playing chess not checkers. And more importantly building businesses around the success of their customers. Here are my 7 learnings along the way:
  1. Strategic Advantage
The reality is that first mover in SaaS is often not an advantage. In fact, the disadvantages have been well-documented here, here, and here. Differentiated strategic advantage requires the creation of a shared vision beyond a set of features. The future customer must believe that your product (and only yours) will deliver 10X more value above and beyond the associated switching costs. Significant behavioral change of the end user is difficult in the beginning, however gradual change combined with
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Small Deals at Large Companies. Hooray!! And 100% At Risk.

Every customer you close, the next day, is at risk of churn.  A month-to-month customer can basically cancel anytime.  An annual contract customer can sort of cancel anytime, but really probably won’t for a year, or even 3 (more on why Year 3 is the biggest risk for bigger customers here).  You know this, of course. But the riskiest deals of all are Small Deals at Large Companies.  Yes, the logo looks great.  Feels great.  Is great.  But you start off at almost immediate risk of losing the deal. Why is this?  They are almost always just an experiment. Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 1.11.52 PMImagine a Big Co.  They pay $1.5m a year to deploy Salesforce.  And $1m in consulting fees to deploy it.  And say $300k in CPQ tools and others to get Salesforce to do what they want. And they pay $20k for your little SaaS app to make it all Continue reading "Small Deals at Large Companies. Hooray!! And 100% At Risk."

Lew Cirne – New Relic: Scaling Even Faster The Second Time (Video + Transcript)

In anticipation of the upcoming SaaStr Annual 2017, we’ll be releasing the full series of transcripts and videos from all the awesome 2016 sessions. Founders never sleep. Two years after Lew Cirne sold his first company $375 million, he founded new New Relic. As a second-timer (a popular topic here on SaaStr) Lew shares what he’s doing better, pitfalls he’s avoiding, and how he entered a highly competitive market and came out on top. Lew talks about the advantages of raising small rounds as opposed to tens or hundreds of millions of dollars and how it allowed him and his team to laser focus on the scalability and where to direct scarce investment dollars, shares how New Relic had to evolve the company’s “Canadian” culture and strike back at aggressive competitors, and his journey as a “coding CEO”. And be sure to grab your tickets to the 2017 Annual NOW.

Marketo: Winning, IPOing, and Going Upmarket (Video + Transcript)

In anticipation of the upcoming SaaStr Annual 2017, we’ll be releasing the full series of transcripts and videos from all the awesome 2016 sessions. We were super excited to have Phil Fernandez, CEO and co-founder of Marketo, sit down and talk to us about the triumphs (and struggles) leading Marketo from inception to IPO. Phil shares his insights on topics, “How do you react and engage with your competitors in a highly competitive market?”, “Do I need a CFO? What kind should I be hiring and when?”, “What’s the difference between the management team you need at $10m ARR vs $500m ARR? And how do you know who you need when?” and more. Watch the video or read the full transcript below – and grab a ticket for you and your team to the SaaStr Annual 2017!