Video: Who Actually Competes with Slack?


This post is by Blake Bartlett from Openview Labs


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There are two races happening in product-led growth today. 🏎🏎 Race 1: who will be the next Slack, Zoom or Datadog? The lead contenders here include Notion, Airtable, Loom and Calendly. And since Calendly just announced $50M ARR, my money is on them 😏 Race 2: who will *enable* the broader product-led wave across the software industry? This is exactly why Mixpanel released its “State of Product Analytics” report last week. 📈 The subtitle says it all: “How product teams around the globe are using data to drive product-led growth.” Check out this week’s episode of PLG 123 for all this and more! 👀
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PLG 123: Shopify goes DTC. Will they succeed?


This post is by Blake Bartlett from Openview Labs


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Would you use a business version of Snapchat? We are seeing a rise in asynchronous video communication, which is exactly what Snapchat v1.0 was built around (plus the disappearing feature). Loom is clearly leading the charge on this trend today with >1M users, and the Sequoia Capital stamp of approval. Now with the launch of Loom for iOS, I am seeing the Snapchat parallels even more given the mobile form factor. The big question is what happens next? Will Loom and its kin go full Snapchat and start popularizing the “stories” communication format for B2B? Check out this week’s episode of the PLG 123 below for more on this, as well as big developments from Shopify and Notion.
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Building to Last: Mental Health is a Marathon, Not a Sprint


This post is by Blake Bartlett from Openview Labs


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“I think a lot of teams want to jump into ‘let’s just start forecasting.’ And my sense is, the strategy is optionality. We have no idea how to forecast, every ounce of energy you put into forecasting–don’t forecast. Put it into helping the business. Telling the right story for an economic downturn. Changing your COGs, your product, whatever you need to do. Put your energy there knowing you’re maintaining optionality.” In this final episode of our podcast mini-series Building to Last, product led growth expert Blake Bartlett interviews co-founders Robert Wahbe and Oliver Sharp from Highspot. They discuss the do’s and don’ts of communication during a crisis as well as some mental health tips for leaders during this difficult time. A few takeaways from the episode include: ⏰Don’t waste time forecasting, focus on optionality
💰How to make sure customers get the most value out of your product
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The Recession Planning Framework for SaaS Startups


This post is by Blake Bartlett from Openview Labs


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We are “officially” entering a recession. That’s likely not a surprise to hear. 📉 For SaaS companies, a recession is defined by a few things: 👆 Churn increases (big time)
👇 ARR growth decreases (big time)
🙀 Cash burn feels like bleeding out (big time)
🛫 Runway is king You’ve probably read this same kind of advice in many doom and gloom posts over the last month or so. But how do you turn these high-level truths into practical action? I put together this Recession Planning Framework based on how I have seen the best SaaS CEOs leading through this crisis. I hope that it makes planning during this uncertain time feel less like summoning a crystal ball 🔮 and more like navigating with a map 🗺. This framework is meant to help you develop the map so you can then focus on navigation. Step up. Lean in. Be strong. Make decisions. Move forward. View the framework
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What is Product Led Growth? How to Build a Software Company in the End User Era


This post is by Blake Bartlett from Openview Labs


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How did your company adopt Slack? I don’t know your company’s story, but I’m guessing it went like this: Jane heard about Slack from a friend, so she signed up and started using it with her team. Pretty soon the whole company was on Slack, and no one can remember life before it.Most software companies dream of seeing people adopt their product like this. But they don’t know how to get there. From the outside, it looks like magic. It used to be hard for a company to adopt new software. Long sales processes, complex implementation, formal training and certification—the list goes on. All this took a lot of time—months, quarters, sometimes even years. But today, software just shows up in the workplace unannounced. End users are finding products on their own and telling their bosses which ones to buy. And it’s all happening at lightning speed.This
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Building & Growing Free SaaS Products People Love with Serial Entrepreneur, Hiten Shah [Podcast]


This post is by Blake Bartlett from Openview Labs


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Hiten Shah is the mastermind behind Crazy Egg, Product Habits & FYI. He and his team pioneered heat maps and the left to right funnel, but what actually got him obsessed with product and product led growth? On this episode, Hiten dives into freemium, his love for solving problems in unique ways and why founders should get involved with sales. He also describes how to get the entire team to think about growth and the role of sales and marketing in PLG businesses. You’ll hear how he got to #1 on ProductHunt and his tips for getting there – be sure to check out his collection, ‘Free Stuff For Startups.’ Prefer to listen on iTunes? Click here.
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Appcues’ Jonathan Kim on the Art of Onboarding [Podcast]


This post is by Blake Bartlett from Openview Labs


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This may sound strange, but more often than not, Appcues’ biggest competition is actually nothing. Most companies don’t have an intentional onboarding experience; users are just dropped into a dashboard full of zeros. Their Co-founder & CEO, Jonathan Kim, explains how to master the art of a meaningful onboarding experience through personalization and humanization. Listen to learn about their definition of product led growth, where they’ve seen sales add the most value and what he sees for the future of UX. You’ll also find out how to maximize impact if you’re designing onboarding for the first time. Prefer to listen on iTunes? Click here.
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How Dropbox Scaled with Customer Success as Their Secret Weapon [Podcast]


This post is by Blake Bartlett from Openview Labs


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Customer success has come to mean a lot more than just churn prevention. As Head of CS at Dropbox, Lisa Ashcraft is constantly thinking about continuous improvement and what success looks like for her team. Learn about the importance of pattern matching to remove friction, the metric that matters most for her team and some of her proudest moments. At the end of the day, it’s all about becoming a trusted advisor to users and educating them on using the product in new ways to get the most out of it. Prefer to listen on iTunes? Click here.
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The People Side of PLG with Expensify’s Jason Mills [Podcast]


This post is by Blake Bartlett from Openview Labs


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Expensify kicked off 2019 with a Super Bowl-sized bang, but it’s a well-known fact that for most of their history, they haven’t engaged in outbound marketing or advertising. Oh yeah, and they don’t have a sales team. So what’s the secret to their success? PLG. Jason Mills, the Director of Product and Customers, describes how they focus on their customers and the product to have maximum impact. He also describes how they are proactive about virality, their motivation to remove confusion from the product and how automation is augmented with a human. You’ll also find out what else to expect from the Expensify team in 2019. Prefer to listen on iTunes? Click here.
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Wistia’s CEO on the Role of Sales in a PLG Company [Podcast]


This post is by Blake Bartlett from Openview Labs


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PLG companies don’t necessarily rely on a large sales and marketing team to grow. Wistia’s Co-founder & CEO, Chris Savage, explains their decision to create a self-service funnel and when their sales team gets involved in the buying process. Chris also explains how the sales team came to be and how they adopted Wistia’s values during the customer’s buying process. Also make sure you check out their One, Ten, One Hundred video series by going to wi.st/series. Prefer to listen on iTunes? Click here.
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