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SaaS Open Mic by ChartMogul
30 minutes | 16 days ago
Build a company that people root for with Andrew Gazdecki
We're back with a new season of SaaS Open Mic. To kick things off, I talk to Andrew Gazdecki (@agazdecki), former CEO of Bizness Apps & Altcoin (both acquired). His most recent venture is MicroAquire, a marketplace designed to help startups get acquired. Andrew shares his goal to make a thousand millionaires by helping entrepreneurs exit.“The genesis of the idea was, I looked at the market, I saw a lot of options for startups looking to sell.”Tune in for advice about building, selling, and still loving your SaaS businesses.Also, Andrew pushes a competition with the Hustle to give away a SaaS business up to $25,000.Topics covered in this episode include:How Andrew got the idea to start MicroAcquireWhy you shouldn't go all in on starting a company until it starts to workWho acquires startups and how that's changedWhat is due diligence, how to value a SaaS company, how to negotiate a LOIStrategies to attract buyersThe 3 stages of SaaS: invention, go-to-market models, and building your brandUnderstanding and storytelling with SaaS metrics (Net Cash Flow, Churn, CAC, LTV)Links and Resources: Win a SaaS Business Valued At Up To $25k From MicroAcquireDriftCopy.aiListen to the episodeAs always, you can find this episode — along with all previous episodes — in your podcast player of choice. Just search for “SaaS Open Mic”. If you enjoy it, please take a moment to leave us a review, it’d really help us reach a wider audience. Thank you!
29 minutes | 2 years ago
David Skok on choosing the right metrics for the right growth stage
This interview is with one of my most-requested guests and someone who’s had an outsized influence on my thinking about SaaS metrics and the wider SaaS industry. David Skok is a former entrepreneur turned VC, who founded four companies before he turned his focus to investing. He’s now General Partner at Matrix Partners. David was thinking about SaaS metrics before I was even starting out on my career. His industry-defining post, SaaS Metrics 2.0 is the go-to reference for entrepreneurs and VCs alike, and serves as a guiding light for anyone who has a need to understand the principles and measurements behind a SaaS business. This conversation was recorded at this year’s SaaStock conference in Dublin, where I was super excited to sit down with David in the SaaStock podcasting studio. There’s so much in here for anyone building or growing a SaaS business, we dive deep on certain metrics and measurements, we talk about why some metrics are only useful at specific stages of growth, and what’s relevant for businesses in 2019.
35 minutes | 3 years ago
Scaling customer feedback with Hannah Chaplin of Receptive
Receptive is a SaaS company helping businesses build better products by collecting and acting on customer feedback more effectively. Hannah Chaplin founded the company, along with her co-founder Dan, back in 2015. Like many other B2B SaaS products, Receptive began its life as a project inside of an existing organization that was eventually spun out into a full-scale business. Hannah and Dan found that they'd struck a chord with businesses that were really struggling with capturing, prioritising and acting on customer feedback to try and answer a critical question: What should we build? In this conversation, we discuss: How you can balance product vision with feature requests Some common Common mistakes companies make with feedback Tools and strategies for prioritizing input from customers ...and much more! As always, you can find this episode — along with all previous episodes — in your podcast player of choice. Just search for “SaaS Open Mic”. If you enjoy it, please take a moment to leave us a review, it’d really help us reach a wider audience. Thank you!
32 minutes | 3 years ago
Christoph Janz on SaaS fundraising in 2018 and how startups should use data
Christoph Janz (@chrija) is managing partner at Point Nine Capital — a venture capital firm that's highly prevalent in the world of SaaS. After founding several internet businesses in the 90s and early 2000s, Christoph converted to a career in venture capital and made several early investments in companies such as Zendesk, FreeAgent and Geckoboard. Today, Point Nine invests in early stage companies with a focus on SaaS and marketplaces. If you're not a regular reader, make sure you check out the team's excellent thought leadership content! In this episode, the pair covered: What it takes for SaaS startups today to raise venture capital Whether you should aim to create a moat of defensibility How startups should be using data today Whether startups should aim to dominate a niche before expanding to wider market segments How Point Nine Capital is making fundraising suck less for founders Whether it's possible for startups to shift from linear to exponential growth And much more!
41 minutes | 3 years ago
How Maxime Berthelot grew PixelMe to $5k MRR and kept his day job at Buffer
If you’ve ever thought about bootstrapping your own side project to meaningful revenue and scale, this episode is for you. Today I’m talking to Maxime Berthelot of Buffer and PixelMe. PixelMe was conceived next to a pool in Bali, but this is not a digital nomad story — both founders are based in France. In fact, Maxime didn’t even quit his day job as Product Manager of Growth at Buffer. Yet the pair have managed to validate their concept and reach $5K in monthly recurring revenue. I spoke with Max about: Validating the product without writing code Hacking his way to those first few paying customers The radical transparency at both Buffer and PixelMe Balancing time on his side project with his primary job …and much, much more!
29 minutes | 3 years ago
Improving customer feedback in SaaS with Canny
We all know that SaaS companies should be collecting customer feedback. But how you should actually manage, process, quantify, categorize and action that feedback data is far from simple. Especially when you’re operating at scale. Canny Co-Founders Sarah and Andrew left their jobs at Facebook to bootstrap Canny as a SaaS business, because they believe there was a better way to handle customer feedback and feature requests. I’m really happy that I could pick their brains on a lot of best practices for making feedback more valuable within a business.
58 minutes | 3 years ago
How Ulysses pulled off a controversial pivot to subscription
When Max Seelemann (@macguru17) and his team at Ulyssess announced their pivot to a subscription model in August 2017, they knew it would cause some controversy among users and the wider tech industry. In fact, Max wanted to create a wave in the industry and the operation was poised to make the most of any resulting publicity. "For us as developers, it’s important that we have the freedom to experiment and try things out. Recurring payments give us planning security and enable deep thought. We are less rushed to release features, and we are more inclined to iterate on them, if we do so on a sound financial basis." Sitting down with Max at the team's headquarters in Leipzig, Germany, it would be easy for him to look back on the period and say everything went as planned -- there were certainly some surprises -- but it's hard to argue that shifting Ulysses to a subscription-based product wasn't a big success overall. Topics covered This chat with Max is a must listen for anyone evaluating the subscription model for their own business. In this conversation, we discuss: The carefully planned process of announcing subscriptions, and the following media buzz How Max and his team finally made the decision to go ahead with the move The economics of perpetual licensing vs. subscriptions Some unexpected impact from the move Finding optimal pricing for the subscription plans How the team plans to measure success in the subscription world I'd like to extend a huge thanks to Max and the Ulysses team for hosting me at their beautiful office in Leipzig! (and for letting me drool over that 2016 Apple Design Award trophy...) Check out Ulysses at https://ulyssesapp.com/
27 minutes | 3 years ago
Going global from day one with Vasco Pedro, CEO of Unbabel
One of the biggest barriers to SaaS businesses going truly global from day one is localization. That is, the process of adapting your product to meet the language and cultural requirements of a specific target market. Vasco Pedro is Founder and CEO of Unbabel, a company helping businesses go global from day one through both AI and human-powered translation as a service.
56 minutes | 3 years ago
The Problem With SaaS Marketing ft. Gia & Claire of Forget The Funnel
Welcome back to this new season of SaaS Open Mic! In this first episode I'm talking to Claire Suellentrop and Georgiana Laudi of Forget The Funnel -- both strong proponents of a more holistic approach to modern SaaS marketing.
25 minutes | 4 years ago
David Cancel, CEO of Drift on chatbots, metrics & mentorship
David Cancel, CEO of Drift is a product person through and through. He’s no stranger to growing a SaaS business, formerly working as CPO at HubSpot after his startup Performable was acquired by the Marketing giant. David firmly believes that the experience of buying business software is lagging far behind the experience we’ve all come to expect from consumer shopping. David and I chatted about his vision of the future of Sales and Marketing software - and how Drift fits into this. (hint: it involves chat bots).
29 minutes | 4 years ago
Fostering feedback culture, with Small Improvements Founder & CEO Per Fragemann
Feedback culture doesn't just happen. In startups feedback is rarely given focus from day one. So how can an established team nurture processes and attitudes towards feedback that make the difference between a desirable company and one you shouldn't touch with a bargepole? Feedback, and the culture surrounding it, is one of the biggest contributors to a company’s desirability, from a recruiting standpoint. But after some quick research, it occurred to me that the act of developing good feedback processes is almost always under-invested in, especially with early stage startups. Per Fragemann has made it his mission to improve feedback and feedback culture in business, with a business he started called Small Improvements.
35 minutes | 4 years ago
Freshdesk's Arun Mani on European SaaS expansion, self-reinvention and diversity
For most SaaS startups, there comes a point when expansion to new markets seems like the logical path to faster growth. Arun Mani is Managing Director for Freshdesk's efforts in Europe, and his approach and philosophy towards this (and career growth in general) is something we should all pay attention to.
31 minutes | 4 years ago
Zapier CEO Wade Foster on the future of API SaaS
Whether by design or by chance, Zapier has found itself at the center of the unbundling of SaaS and rise of API-based solutions. Enabling code-free integrations between over 800 apps (including ChartMogul), it's clear why this is the case -- Zapier empowers employees across the world to scale their output and effectiveness to new levels. I spoke to Co-Founder and CEO Wade Foster to understand what made him pursue this way back in 2011.
35 minutes | 4 years ago
Ghost CEO John O’Nolan: How we built the non-profit, distributed SaaS company of our dreams
From blog post, to Kickstarter, to sustainable SaaS business: We spoke to globe trotter founder John O’Nolan to understand what’s behind his mission for open source blogging platform Ghost.
32 minutes | 4 years ago
From selling berries to selling SaaS with Mikita Mikado of PandaDoc
Mikita Mikado started out on his entrepreneurial career, selling berries he’d picked in his home Belarus, and now runs PandaDoc, a Series-A funded SaaS business in San Francisco. Clearly there’s a LOT that happened between those two points of Mikita’s life. I joined him to try and understand some of the things he’s learned along the way. In our discussion, we cover: - How activities from his youth translate to his business today - How his long-term business relationship with co-founder Serge works successfully, and how the complement each other - Why he’s so passionate about making business transactions and contracts less painful - What metrics are important to the team at PandaDoc, and how they’re actionable - The books he’s learned the most from (which you can find on blog.chartmogul.com)
30 minutes | 4 years ago
Grover: Gadgets as a service
As a consumer, an increasing proportion of my digital life can be attributed to subscriptions. Photo editing, movie watching, music listening, ebook reading, blog hosting… and plenty more. But what about subscriptions for physical products? This is the realm of Berlin-based Grover. I paid a visit to their HQ, to chat to Thom Cummings (CMO) and Michael Cassau (CEO) and dig a little deeper.
36 minutes | 4 years ago
SaaS pricing mastery with Sharon Savariego, CEO of Mobilize
Looking back at Sharon’s experience, it’s clear that nurturing communication in communities, groups and movements is the underlying theme of her career. This conversation goes deep on the pricing strategy for Mobilize. Sharon and her team have a very clear vision for how the subscription pricing should be structured, with each plan targeting a specific company profile, with a very clear understanding of their set of needs.
33 minutes | 4 years ago
Jukely: Solving live music discovery with subscriptions
Introducing: Jukely Founder, Bora Celik. Jukely is a subscription for going to concerts. For a monthly fee you can go to unlimited live concerts — even every night of the week, if you can handle such a schedule. The music events scene is a tough segment to crack — many startups have tried and failed along the way, trying to use technology to change the way people consume live music. So why is Jukely equipped to succeed where others haven’t? I took away a lot from this conversation that can be applied to any subscription business — SaaS included. Bora has a thirst for constantly experimenting and adapting the product — which he sees as a constant work-in-progress.
29 minutes | 4 years ago
Webflow: SaaS, consolidated? With Co-founder Bryant Chou
Webflow is a fascinating product in the SaaS space, partly because it’s commonly associated to a current trend in the industry towards consolidation. I wanted to probe a bit more on this topic, and also understand Bryant’s approach to building, marketing and selling a product that targets multiple user personas.
37 minutes | 5 years ago
Freemium as a catalyst for growth with Tope Awotona, Founder of Calendly
Tope Awotona, Founder and CEO of Calendly is big on Focus, and it’s clear that this has played a big part in launching his product to the world. Tope moved from a background of Enterprise Sales in businesses like IBM, Perceptive Software and EMC to solve a problem that was close to his heart in those roles: Scheduling. I Spoke to Tope about why the freemium SaaS model has been key to the product’s success so far, how the most important acquisition channel for Calendly is the product itself, and how he manages feedback from customers, among other things.
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