5 Things I Wished I Asked Before Switching from Employee to Founder (Video + Transcript)

Co-Founder and CEO at GoCardless, Hiroki Takeuchi and CEO and Founder at Shipamax, Jenna Brown on their switch from the employee role to the founder role and what they learned along the way. If you’re a current founder, do you agree? What lessons did you learn along the way? Also, if you didn’t join SaaStr Europa, we’re having it again in 2019. Check out ticket prices and keep your eyes on diversity and inclusion ticket updates. Seriously, who doesn’t want a good FREE reason to fly over to Paris? Transcript Hiroki Takeuchi: Thank you all for coming. So I’m Hiroki, I’m one of the co-founders and CEO of a company called GoCardless. What we do is we make it really easy for businesses to accept recurring payments. We’re based in the UK, working with about 35000 businesses, collecting six billion pounds a year, growing about 100% year over year Continue reading "5 Things I Wished I Asked Before Switching from Employee to Founder (Video + Transcript)"

Corporate Blogs Always Work. But Only If You Do Them Right.

How do you leverage a corporate blog to actually generate leads?  There are 100,000,000+ blogs.  And “worse” — there are 100,000,000+ new blog posts posted each month!  The last thing the world needs is another one about a boring vendor, telling the world how insightful they are, written by their junior marketing manager.  And yet … done right, they are a critical part of your marketing and sales toolkit.  Even on Day 1.

First, bear in mind, generally ignore people who tell you to be a “thought leader” very early on. Everyone wants to be this, and thought leadership is part of the standard vernacular of PR firms and seasoned corporate marketers.  But on Day 1?  It’s not impossible to pull this off, but unless you were already a guru in your space and well known before you started a corporate

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Our 4+ Year Customers at SaaStr

We’ve talked a long about going long with customers at SaaStr, the 10 year and even the 11 year customers! Now at SaaStr itself, we are starting to see it.  This February we’ll have the 5th ever SaaStr Annual.  I had never produced an event before, and knew zero about event sponorships.  I’d been to Dreamforce.  That was about it. What is interesting is how many members of the “4x Club” we have — great SaaS companies that have sponsored 4x+ years:
  • Intercom.  Eoghan McCabe was kind enough to sponsor himself 4+ years ago, almost out of pocket.  Intercom has since grown 50x-100x in revenues or so.  It is terrific to have them back again, now as a Platinum sponsor.
  • Sage Intacct.  Intacct joined us early, well before their $1b acquisition by Sage.  It’s been terrific to have them as a
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Main SaaStr Annual Expo Almost Sold Out, But We are Adding a Secondary Expo Downstairs Soon!

We’ll be close to capacity for the main expo at the 2019 SaaStr Annual by the end of the month, so we’re going to open up an annex on the lower floor to accomodate more sponsors. The main expo is sandwiched right in between the 2 largest stages, with our mentoring lounge right in the middle, and the evening cocktail parties will be centered there, so it will have constant traffic from dusk until dawn. But the downstairs / secondary expo will be plenty busy, too, and will be a rest space for folks when the main expo is full.  If you want to be in the main expo, sponsor now!  Most of the remaining red spaces above will be gone in September. But if you want a quieter experience, we’ll have space downstairs for some overflow sponsors, too.  More details coming shortly!  And look forward Continue reading "Main SaaStr Annual Expo Almost Sold Out, But We are Adding a Secondary Expo Downstairs Soon!"

The Right Way to Build A Unicorn with CEO @ Qualtrics, Ryan Smith and Jason Lemkin(Video + Transcript)

Building a “unicorn” is a viral term in SaaS right now. We would all love to have our startup known as the “Unicorn for X.” Think Meltwater or Qualtrics as great examples. To figure out how to build a unicorn, our Founder, Jason Lemkin, sat down with CEO @ Qualtrics, Ryan Smith at SaaStr Annual. We also talk about the right way to build a unicorn…because there are many ways out there on how not to become one. If you’re looking for more useful content, you should come to SaaStr Annual 2019! Tickets are still at discounted prices and you can learn from the best in SaaS. Transcript Jason Lemkin: So, I want to welcome Ryan, one of my founder’s founder. Been running Qaltrics since, out of his father’s basement, for 16 years. Crazy story. I met Ryan, a good friend of ours, Lloyd Logo does Attraction Conference, mostly Continue reading "The Right Way to Build A Unicorn with CEO @ Qualtrics, Ryan Smith and Jason Lemkin(Video + Transcript)"

9 Reasons Good Salespeople Fail

In my experience at least, strong salespeople fail all the time in new roles.  Good reps, that could otherwise do well, and have in the past. And it feels like it’s happening more often these days, when in tech at least, frictional unemployment approaches 0%. Why do good reps fail at a new role? Often, they simply pick wrong. And the faster people jump to new roles, and jump around, the higher the odds they may a mis-jump. A quick checklist to help you pick better, in this age of the insta-jump:
  • It’s important first to understand, do you need to be in an environment with lots of training, systems, process, and micromanagement? Big Companies, at least some of them, are generally very good at this. Larger, fast-growing start-ups often become excellent at it. Small start-ups are almost always terrible at it. Don’t join a company of less than Continue reading "9 Reasons Good Salespeople Fail"

SaaStr Podcast #190: Ed Sim, Founder & GP @ Boldstart Ventures on Why SaaS Founders Should Not Sell Their Products in The Early Days

Welcome to Episode 190! Ed Sim is the Founder & General Partner @ Boldstart Ventures, one of the leading players in early stage SaaS investing. Their MO is to be a first check VC for enterprise founders and they have backed the likes of GoToMeeting (acq by Citrix), LivePerson (IPO, NASDAQ), Divide (acq by Google), Kustomer, Snyk and BigID just to name a few. Ed is also a cofounder of MState, a growth lab for enterprise blockchain in partnership with IBM. Ed is also a board director/observer of Kustomer, Hypr Biometric, Snyk, BigID, Fortress IQ, Wallaroo Labs and Manifold. If that wasn’t enough, Ed is also the writer behind BeyondVC, a must read blog in the world of SaaS. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

A No-BS SaaS Marketing Framework with Andrus Purde, Founder of OutFunnel

At SaaStr Europa, we learned a 5 step marketing framework from Andrus Purde, Founder at OutFunnel. What category does your startup fit into? And are you utilizing the right marketing mix? Since you all loved our first SaaStr Europa, we’re bringing it back in 2019. You can get tickets at a super early bird discount rate right now. Transcript Andrus Purde, Founder of Outfunnel: Good morning. I’m slightly confused first because my title is Useful, No BS Framework. This room, I’m not sure whether I can use the word bullshit or should I stick to BS? I think I’ll stick to BS for the time being. I’m here to talk to you about and help you think about marketing. Let’s start with some definitions. The title of this talk, Useful means that I’ve used this framework to drive millions of dollars of AAR in various companies. No BS means that Continue reading "A No-BS SaaS Marketing Framework with Andrus Purde, Founder of OutFunnel"

Bootstrapping vs. Fundraising with CEO of Mapbox Eric Gunderson

At this past year’s Annual, Noah Wintroub, Vice Chairman of JP Morgan, talks with Eric Gunderson, CEO of Mapbox. Noah has Gunderson tell the story of Mapbox and how he went from bootstrapping to fundraising. Which do you use for your business? And how has it impacted your business? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Tweet us and let us know! And in case you haven’t heard, we’re building a completely immersive experience in San Jose for SaaStr Annual 2019! With 3 full days of sessions, featuring over 300 speakers from the best SaaS companies around the world, SaaStr Annual will be filled with actionable thought leadership to help grow your business. Get your tickets to the SaaS show everyone will be talking about! Transcript Announcer: Please welcome Eric Gunderson, CEO of Mapbox and Noah Wintroub, Vice Chairman of JP Morgan. Noah Wintroub: All right, hello everybody. On Continue reading "Bootstrapping vs. Fundraising with CEO of Mapbox Eric Gunderson"

How to Invest in Customer Marketing: The 10+10 Framework

I want to spend a lot of time in the coming year on SaaStr on Customer Marketing.  While the concept may sound old hat to those that have been in the software business for a long time, in SaaS in particular, very little tools, processes, and software are applied to marketing to customers after they are closed. Over the last 5 years, we’ve all started to turn Customer Success into a science and a key discipline in SaaS.  But Customer Success in many ways has been defined as an extension of Sales.  Sales closes, and hands off to CS.  While that’s chronologically accurate in most cases, really CS’s cousin should be Customer Marketing.  If you do it right, you can keep your customers for 10+ years.  Or even longer.  And like retention, a marketing journey should also begin again once a customer closes. Customer Continue reading "How to Invest in Customer Marketing: The 10+10 Framework"