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Mavens of Change
44 minutes | 2 months ago
Creating and Dominating a New Category: How David Cancel Pulled Sales and Marketing into the Third Innings of SaaS with Drift
David Cancel is a 5x founder, who has scaled businesses in each of the "3 innings of SaaS". In this episode, David talks through his approach for creating a massive new category of Conversational Marketing, and for leading Drift into becoming one the fastest growing SaaS companies in the hyper-competitive world of Marketing Tech. We learn: - Why we are squarely in the "third inning of SaaS", and why Brand and customer affinity are the only moat available for SaaS companies today, - How finding "arbitrage" instead of worrying about what scales is the key to getting outsized returns in the early days, - How hiring, on-boarding and communicating with a focus on principles- rather than a process- is critical to build a team of "counter-positioners". Management books to read, mentioned in the episode: - This Won't Scale (Drift), - Managing Oneself & The Effective Executive (Peter Drucker), - From Impossible to Inevitable (Jason Lemkin)
45 minutes | 5 months ago
Awakening the BB-8: How Paul Berberian Helped Sphero Grow Up to Launch the #1 Toy in the World
Sphero- one of the first companies to consumerize robotics- was still hunting for the right business model when the Walt Disney Company came knocking with a life-changing proposition. Sphero was offered the opportunity to build the BB-8, which would become the #1 toy in the world- in partnership with Disney. In this episode, Paul Berberian- the former CEO of Sphero- breaks down how he helped shepherd the company through this transformative opportunity and towards a new vision, mission and 10x revenues. We learn: Why consensus-building is a core skill needed for a manager, How traction is sometimes a strong substitute for culture, and Why saying no to opportunity is sometimes better in the long run for a business. Management readings: Team of Rivals (Dorris Goodwin).
44 minutes | 7 months ago
Steering a Rocketship Into Orbit: How Ethan Agarwal Pivoted Aaptiv from Burning Millions to Being Free Cash Flow Positive in Seven Months
Ethan Agarwal created a new, massive category of audio fitness with Aaptiv, one of the fastest growing consumer businesses, in 2016. In this episode, Ethan breaks down how he pivoted the thriving business from burning millions in cash due to a "growth at all costs" mindset to one that unlocked several months of runway and further growth by focusing on its economic fundamentals. We learn: How the hardest switch an early-stage founder/ manager must accomplish is going from being sole decision-maker to an expert delegator, Why an understanding of the fundamentals of finance should be a part of every manager's toolkit and Why working capital is a critical operating lever in consumer SaaS businesses. Management readings: Amazon Letter to Shareholders (Jeff Bezos) , Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Letters Warren Buffet), It's All Your Fault (Andy Dunn).
40 minutes | 8 months ago
Re-engineering a $300 Million Annual Run Rate Business: How Toby Gabriner shepherded AdRoll from a single-point solution into a multi-unit business
Toby Gabriner has made a career out of transforming businesses into high-growth rocketships, most recently as CEO of NextRoll. In this episode, Toby dissects the process of turning AdRoll- a leader in the ad retargeting space- into a multi business-unit software and services MarTech business with the launch of RollWorks. We learn:Why having a sense of “urgency and paranoia” is an important trait in a manager looking to go big,How clarity on “What, Why and How” can be the catalyst for igniting growth and change in a team,Why a manager needs to master the art of being a “high functioning schizophrenic”.Management books to read, mentioned in the book:Mindset (Carol Dweck),Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter (Greg McKeown),Brave New Work (Aaron Dignan)
42 minutes | 9 months ago
Doubling Down on Communication: How Tobias Peggs Accelerated Square Roots' 10-year Plan to 10 Weeks in a Pandemic
Tobias Peggs is an accomplished tech CEO-turned disruptor of the industrial food system. Co-founding Square Roots with Tesla and SpaceX board member Kimbal Musk, Tobias led the tech-enabled urban farming company to rapid growth before COVID19 threw a wrench in the company's 2020 plans. In this episode, Tobias breaks down the story of how Square Roots rapidly evolved from selling high-end herbs (the "roadster" of Square Roots) to growing arugula (its "Model 3") in 10 weeks- a process that was expected to take 10 years on its roadmap.In this episode, you will learn:1. Why all competition is not bad, and how managers should think about competition in a large-yet-underdeveloped market2. Why "The Playbook" is a powerful framework for articulating your mission and values, and connecting them to your team's day-to-day on a single piece of paper3. How constantly communicating the "why we exist" can feel ad nauseam during good times, but is the thing that pulls a team through when times inevitably turn hard4. Why the #1 skill for a manager to master at every level in the organization is to become an expert at communicating the vision and mission to their team(s)5. Why a conversation on the "future of work" that focuses on remote work is a very limited view of the worldManagement books to read, mentioned in the episode:- The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business (Patrick Lencioni)- The Goal (Eliyahu M. Goldratt)
38 minutes | 9 months ago
Never Waste a Good Crisis: How Doug Conant Replaced 300 of his Top 350 Managers to Turn Around the Campbell Soup Company
Doug Conant is one of the most accomplished executives in the world, having previously led Nabisco Foods, the Campbell Soup Company and Avon Products as President/ CEO. In this episode, Doug breaks down his Story of Change at the Campbell Soup Company- one of the world's most revered brands- and how he identified, and quickly acted on, replacing ~90% of the company's top managers as the lynchpin in turning around the company from the brink of failure.In this episode you will learn:1. How Doug went from being fired from his first job to eventually becoming CEO of one of the most prestigious brands in the world2. The inner workings of Doug's management philosophy on being "tough-minded on standards, but kind-hearted with people"3. Why Doug believed a complete overhaul of a management team is sometimes the only way to save a business, and what traits he was looking for in his new leadership4. How and why Doug used Words of Affirmation- writing over 30,000 thank you notes over 10 years- as a way to anchor the employees of the company through a period of unrelenting change, while re-enforcing standards5. Doug's advice on how managers can think, act and succeed with change like a CEOManagement books to read, mentioned in the episode:- Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...and Others Don't (James C. Collins)
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