15 minutes | Nov 24, 2021
SSO: 057 - A conversation with Mazier Adl, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Gocious.
Gocious is a Southern California based startup that helps discrete manufacturers bring products to market by providing product teams and decision-makers the capabilities and environments necessary to define, decide and communicate changes to their product portfolio faster. Throughout his career, Mazier has become renowned as an expert in improving organizations and teams' long-term performance strategies using better, accessible, and timely information and analytics. 1. Mazier shares his background developing information systems. He started in manufacturing and became interested in back office information systems development. After his experience at Experian, he teamed up with his partner and helped introduce SaaS to product portfolio management for manufacturers. 2. Mazier talks about how SaaS helps transform manufacturing processes. Some companies have made significant investments in on premise systems. More companies are realizing to start that transition to SaaS models. Globally, there are a lot of challenges for manufacturing, supply chain structures, so manufacturers have to change how they work and it's a good time to consider changing methods of sharing information. 3. Mazier talks about the benefits of SaaS - sales, product management, integrate more seamlessly when we have new supplies, sites - you can integrate them faster. As new capabilities get introduced, you can adopt them at a faster pace. ...and much more! For more information, go to Gocious or on LinkedIn.
21 minutes | Nov 10, 2021
SSO: 056 - A conversation with Ryan Estes, Co-Founder at Kitcaster.
Ryan Estes is the co-founder at Kitcaster, a podcast booking agency that currently serves over 150 clients. He has an expertise in leveraging podcasts for meaning and profitability, and currently validates and scales Kitcaster products. Prior to Kitcaster, Ryan owned a media and marketing agency for ten years. During that time, he hosted the Talklaunch podcast which consistently ranked in the iTunes top 100.In this episode:1. Ryan shares how Kitcaster helps book SaaS startup founders on podcasts and the benefits of doing so. He discusses creating evergreen marketing assets through podcasting.2. Ryan shares his lessons learned for new a startup founder. He has started several startups and talks about the hype of entrepreneruship and people tend to wrap their personalities around their business. Ryan talks about separting yourself by treating your product/project as a science experiment, startingwith a hypothesis. Ryan talks about the onboarding process at Kitcaster...and so much more!Learn more at Kitcaster or reach out to Ryan on LinkedIn.
21 minutes | Oct 27, 2021
SSO: 055 - A conversation with Vedran Cindric, Founder at Treblle.
Vedran Cindric, Founder at Treblle. Vedran has been a developer for the past 15 years and started with back-end development in PHP/MYSQL and progressed to learning HTML/CSS/JS as well as DevOps. He loves writing great, efficient and optimized code. Before starting Treblle, he ran a development company for the past 10 years with clients all around the world. With his development company, he completed over 100 projects and launched multiple products and startups for others. In this episode: 1. Vedran shares his interest in programming at a very young age. His experience in backend development and API's led him to starting Treblle which allows developers to view what they are sending/receiving within APIs. Treblle makes it easy to understand APIs. 2. Vedran shares his lessons learned as a startup founder. 3. We talk about the current market trends in SaaS. Vedran says he's seeing a higher quality and value-add within SaaS. Pricing models have also improved. SaaS will continue to be a competitive market. 4. We talk about building a valuable customer experience that includes multi-channel communcation methods to build a user community. ...Vedran talk about what's next for Treblle and much more!To learn more go to Treblle.You can find Treblee on LinkedIn and Twitter.
20 minutes | Oct 13, 2021
SSO: 054 - A conversation with Dave Hurt, Co-Founder & Head of Product at Verb Data.
Dave Hurt is co-founder and head of product at Verb Data. He began his career working in customer success at SaaS startups and stepped into product management as a way to help his customers get the features they needed for success. He caught the entrepreneurial bug and started a software development and design agency which eventually sold to a customer - where his team worked for a few years. Dave and his long-time business partner, Oleg, started Verb at the end of 2019 as a way to help SaaS companies build better dashboards for the end-users.In this episode:1. Dave shares his experience working with building dashboards & KPI's at various startups and agencies which led him and his partner to build dashboards inside customer productsthat would be easier to scale and maintain.2. Using a product-led, self-service growth model, Verb Data has about 20 customers in their first cohort. Mostly B2B (eCommerce SaaS and RFP/documentation software) are main targets inside B2B space.Dave talks about the onboarding process and how they have started a white glove service which allows them to stay close with these initial customers to establish an onboarding process. Eventually will move to a more strategic self-service model.3. Dave shares his lesssons learns - stay close to your customer and do not be embarrassed to share early products with customers. Also, Dave feels the foundershould perform all fucntions (sales, marketing, etc) - experience all roles before you hire someone for that role. Although it's uncomfortable, it'sa valuable process.You can reach Dave by email or Twitter....Dave shares the market trends he's seeing, what's next for Verb Data and much more!
23 minutes | Oct 6, 2021
SSO: 053 - A conversation with Amit Mathradas, President & COO of Avalara.
Amit is President and COO of Avalara, where he oversees sales, marketing, business development, customer experience, and professional services. Throughout his career, Amit has focused on supporting businesses grow and thrive in the global economy through the use of tools and solutions. Prior to Avalara, Amit was general manager and head of the small and medium business segment for North America at PayPal. He also served in senior leadership roles at Web.com and Dell, focusing on partnerships and go-to-market strategies. In this episode: 1. Amit shares his journey which started at Dell and how that paved the way for his experience in SaaS. Avalara helps merchants and partners navigate the sales tax & compliance complexities. 2. We talk about scaling -- people/teams, leveraging technology and product. Amit suggests determining what is it you are trying to solve. Then you can determine how to leverage technology to increase input and when to introduce tools and build the balance between people and technology. 3. Amit shares more lessons learned for a new founder -- not staying static and planning for change. Really spend time around your differentiation in the market and how you bring that to light. Don't be afraid to constantly reinvent yourself...Amit talks about market trends, what's next for Avalara and so much more!Learn more about Avalara here or connect with Amit on LinkedIn.
19 minutes | Sep 29, 2021
SSO: 052 - A conversation with Skyler Reeves, CEO and Founder of Ardent Growth
Skyler Reeves is the founder and CEO of Ardent Growth. Prior to earning degrees in Computer Science and Philosophy from MSU he served as a combat medic in the Iraq war. He was the CMO of RunDoyen, where he took their conversion rate from 2.2% on their lead form to 18.5% in his first 30 days and doubled their revenue in the first quarter. He later went on to found Ardent Growth in 2019. His primary passion is content marketing where he can blend his passion for data and creativity into one. After being frustrated with most approaches to hub & spoke content he began developing a way to algorithmically determine how topic clusters should be structured to align with both search engines and user journeys. His primary focus is on content intelligence — determining exactly which content should be created for websites, how to group it together using topic clustering, and prioritize it based off of financial modeling. His latest pursuit is helping companies save money in the long run by bringing content marketing and outreach in-house by finding, hiring, and training marketers on how to develop strategy and manage processes.In this episode:1. Skyler talks about Ardent Growth and how they help large B2B enterprise and SaaS companies deliver high-quality content marketing who want a clear path to ROI with financial modeling. We also talk about outbound marketing strategy for startups, which include developing brand and focusing on building relationships with people.2. Skyler talks about his journey to scaling his agency. He talks about the importance of documenting processes, empowering his team to document the processes for their joband the tools that helps the team maintain SOPs. 3. Skyler shares his lessons learned, mainly around delegating and managing your own time. Getting the right people in the right seats as past as possible regardless of your profitability to create a more sustainable business in the long run...Skyler talks about market trends in SaaS, what's next for Ardent Growth and much more!For more information, visit Ardent Growth or connect with Skyler on Twitter and LinkedIn.
35 minutes | Sep 22, 2021
SSO: 051 - A conversation with Hjalmar Gislason, CEO and Founder of GRID.
Hjalmar Gislason is the founder and CEO of GRID. Hjalmar previously served as VP of Product Management at Qlik in Boston. He was the founder and CEO of DataMarket, founded in 2008 and sold to Qlik in 2014. A career data nerd and entrepreneur, GRID is Hjalmar’s fifth software startup as a founder.In this episode:1. Hjalmar shares his experience and passion for helping people who use spreadsheets to effectively communicate the data and models they have put together. He believes in a "bottoms up" approach by empowering the end users within knowledge based companies. 2. Hjalmar describes the 3 phases of team growth at Grid. He talks through the processes and tools that were implemented to support this growth and aligning the team in various ways. 3. Some lessons learned Hjalmar shares include bringing the team together in person and empowering them to do that work. He introduced a professional coach from day 1 that is available for each employee, available for any changes to team structure as well as the executive team. The coach acts as an observer and has been transformational to the culture and commication among the Grid team. ...Hjalmar shares key market trends in #SaaS and so much more!You can learn more at Grid.is or follow Hjalmar on Twitter.
17 minutes | Sep 15, 2021
SSO: 050 - A conversation with Ece Kural, CEO and Co-Founder of Scrintal.
Ece Kural is an entrepreneur, the CEO and co-founder of Scrintal. At Scrintal as the CEO of a B2C SaaS product, Ece has both growth and product responsibilities, making sure that month on month continues steadily and the product roadmap is aligned with the company goals. Prior to Scrintal, Ece received her PhD in climate change, has 7+ years experience in academic and commercial research. In this episode:1. Ece describes her experience in research and academics that led her to start Scrintal. Her challenges with extracting reserach from audio, video and text to make learning, studying and reserach easier gave her the idea to start Scrintal.2. University students and researchers are in constant need of making sense of a lot of content. These are the early target groups for Scrintal. 3. Ece describes competitors in this market which include the intersection of note taking, personal knowledge systems and resarch oriented software.4. Ece shares her lessons learned - mainly talking to customers and understanding their values helped her lead the Scrintal team to make decisions. She also talks about documentation and not waiting for everything to be perfect!...Ece shares the market trends she's seeing and much more!To learn more about Scrintal and to join the waitlist go to https://www.scrintal.com Twitter: @scrintal Youtube: Scrintal Email: email@example.com Ece's personal twitter: @ecethinks
17 minutes | Sep 8, 2021
SSO: 049 - A conversation with Dean Shapero, CEO and Co-Founder of Invisit.
Dean is a serial entrepreneur in the technology industry and CEO of Invisit, a website monitoring software for small businesses. Dean and Invisit are focused on protecting small businesses in a constantly changing digital world by helping customers fix bugs, legal issues, and other issues on their websites. Prior to starting Invisit, Dean launched and exited a marketing technology software company. He then went to Hearst, a media conglomerate where he built the company's data monetization practice, growing it to a $15mm / year business. In this episode:1. Dean shares his experience in the SaaS data space and the challenges he encountered with changing privacy regulations. Invisit helps startups and small businesses manage a variety of legal and tech platform requirements and regulations.2. Dean discusses the challenges startups and small businesses face with the complexity of losses without configuring platform requirements correctly that could cause loss of revenue.3. Dean shares his lessons learned as a startup founder. Less reliance on paid aquisition channels and more focus on customer loyalty and customer experience. ...and much more!Learn more at Invisit or email Dean directly.
22 minutes | Sep 1, 2021
SSO: 048 - A conversation with Andy Zambito, Chief Sales Officer at Creatio
Andy held various leadership roles at Pinpoint and Vera, where he was the Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Chief Revenue Officer, built a GTM strategy and Revenue teams. In the role of a Chief Sales Officer Americas, Andy is driving Creatio’s continued growth on two continents.In this episode:1. Andy shares his journey that led him to his current role at Creatio. Andy spent most of his career in startups.2. Andy talks in detail about Creatio, the customers they serve and how the low code/no code model is becoming more and more popular across all departments within organizations. Creatio helps organizations differentiate on their processes. On top of the platform, Creatio has built a world-leading CRM solution ultimately helping organizations Attract, Aquire, Transact and Service customers.3. Andy and I talk about the customer experience being at an industry-threat level. Customers are looking for a better experience, not really loyal to a specific brand anymore. Companies need to be innovative, iterate and experiment at a low cost and high speed to keep up with customer demand. If companies don't have the ability to launch a customer experience quickly with processes to support that, it will be difficult to be innovative.Andy also talks about market trends and much more!To learn more go to Creatio or contact Andy by email or LinkedIn.
25 minutes | Aug 25, 2021
SSO: 047 - A conversation with Ryan Chana, Head of Growth at Jayex.
Ryan Chana has extensive experience driving customer success in startups in the US and other international markets. He is the Head of Growth at Jayex Technology, a patient engagement management platform.In this episode:1. Ryan shares his journey and experience which started in sales and account management, helping companies break into overseas markets with a focus on emerging markets.2. Ryan talks about challenges often encountered with scaling, mostly that startups tend to want to scale too quickly. The issue lies with no infrastructure to handle additional customers and the growing needs of product development. Finding the balance to scale up and meet the demands of your new customers is one of the biggest challenges.3. Bringing in leadership -- Ryan discusses how to make sure you have the right people in the right places.4. Ryan talks about trends in SaaS which include specific niches. Using BI to make data-driven decisions which feed to more effective communication processes is also on the rise. ....and much more!You can learn more about Jayex here.You can connect with Ryan on LinkedIn.
20 minutes | Aug 18, 2021
SSO: 046 - A conversation with Joran Hofman, Founder of saleslovesmarketing.com and Reditus.
Joran Hofman is the Head of Customer Success at Leadfeeder and Founder of saleslovesmarketing.co and Reditus. He's a B2B SaaS enthusiast and in his spare time, he enjoys snowboarding in the Alps and playing football.In this episode:1. Joran shares his journey to becoming a founder and a B2B SaaS enthusiast. Reditus is a marketplace for partner programs which recently launched on appsumo. 2. Joran started saleslovesmarketing.co to create a toolkit for both departments to work better together. The website has a wealth of information, including a glossary and blogs.3. Joran shares his lessons learned for new startup founders. In addition to persistence and patience, Joran suggests getting help. You don't need to do everything yourself - figureout what you can outsource. Joran talks about some of the market trends in SaaS and much more!You can learn more at Reditus or contact Joran via email.
26 minutes | Aug 11, 2021
SSO: 045 - A conversation with Omar Alvarez, Co-Founder and COO of Simbiosis.
Omar Alvarez is the co-founder and COO at Simbiosis. Simbiosis is the marketplace for hiring full-time software engineers from vetted software agencies in Latin America. Prior to Simbiosis, Omar founded several startup companies in various industries and technologies. In this episode:1. Omar describes his startup experience launching products and software. Simbiosis is a marketplace that allows US tech companies to compare talent across multiple agencies in Central and South America. Simbiosis also has the tools to process all legal documents and payments in multiple currencies.2. There are 27 software agencies (85% located in Mexico) as part of the Simbiosis marketplace. Simbiosis serves early startups to help boost their talent for the long-term as well as US-based software agencies that require talent for specfic projects. 3. Omar shares his lessons learned as a startup founder which includes being careful not to burn through investment, especially when you are iterating through developing your product. Omar talks about what's next for Simbiosis..and much more!You can learn more at Simbiosis or contact Omar via email.
32 minutes | Aug 4, 2021
SSO: 044 - A conversation with Chris Hull, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of Otus.
Chris Hull is the Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of Otus, a Chicago-based edtech company. After 13 years as an educator, Chris wanted to minimize the chaos of disconnected edtech tools for K-12 administrators, educators, students, and their families. Otus is one system to teach, grade, analyze, and plan. With Otus, school leaders can focus on student learning, not technology. In this episode:1. Chris shares his journey from Middle School Social Studies Teacher to startup founder. It started back in 2010 when he co-authored a proposal to bring a device to every student. Handing an iPad to middle schoolers presented new challenges and exposed inefficiencies in education. This sparked the beginning of Otus.2. Otus is used in over 160 districts which includes 1 million monthly users. The onboarding process with each district starts with identifying the specific initiatives. This allows the Otus team to really identify the key metrics for success to get the most value out of the system.3. Pre-Covid, Otus was well-positioned as a remote or hybrid eLearning platform. It was the official system approved in Illinois for "snow days". 4. Chris shares his lessons learned from becoming a startup founder. Mainly, his best practices of teaching apply really well to leading in any situation. He also shares that authenticity is key to gain buy-in. Finding the right teammates that you trust is also important to move the company forward.5. Chris shares some key market trends within edtech - mainly, identifying "learning loss" and re-engaging students. We are facing an engagement crisis and focusing on measuring learning will not help support the students on a path forward to create lifelong learners. The market is trying to figure out how to handle both. Schools are mostly funded by public dollars and had many unexpected expenses with Covid. There is a long road ahead to figure out these challenges.You can learn more at Otus.comFollow Otus on TwitterFollow Chris on LinkedIn
45 minutes | Jul 28, 2021
SSO: 043 - A conversation with Sam Ovett, Founder of Mobile Pocket Office.
Sam Ovett is the Founder of Mobile Pocket Office. Mobile Pocket Office is leading the way in helping new and established businesses augment their human and technological resources to leverage growth and streamline productivity. Sam leads a team of 15 to a profitable bottom line of over $1M ARR.In this episode:1. Sam shares his unique background as a professional athlete and how that led him to start Mobile Pocket Office. 2. The onboarding process starts with data collection. Documenting your personal activity log gives insight into your current processes. Everything is viewed from the lens of the customer, specifically mapping the journey across the following 5 stages:Attract - Convert - Fulfill - Delight - Refer3. Sam provides some insight into how you can begin to determine what to automate.4. Sam's key lesson learned for new startup founders is to develop partnerships.5. Sam talks about market trends in automation...initially the market went toward automating everything to now reviewing where we can use human interfaction to enhance the customer experience....and much more!To learn more go to Home - Mobile Pocket Office
30 minutes | Jul 21, 2021
SSO: 042 - A conversation with Justin Kistner, Co-Founder of Upfocus
Upfocus is on a mission to make quality product management available to all SaaS companies. In this episode:1. Justin shares his experience working in product process & product management along with the challenges of managing backlog and feedback. He saw this as an opprotunity with Upfocus to help comapnies align teams with a streamlined view into the backlog.2. Upfocus helps growth-stage companies. Upfocus provides several key features such as capturing both inbound and outbound product feedback and product market surveys. You can use Upfocus to distill these into themes to see commonalities.3. Upfocus customers really benefit from the product market surveys which have allowed them to have a clearer understanding of their customers.4. Justin shares his lessons learned as a startup founder.We also dive into operations, market trends and much more!You can learn more about Upfocus on their website or Twitter.
33 minutes | Jul 14, 2021
SSO: 041 - A conversation with Sonya Pelia, a B2B Marketing Executive
Sonya Pelia is a B2B marketing executive with expertise in driving revenue, product led growth, marketing strategy and brand development for startup companies. She is a startup mentor, founder at How Women Invest, Non-Profit Leader, TEDx Speaker and Aspiring Author. In this episode:1. Sonya defines product-led growth which means the go to market strategy uses the product to aquire, convert and to retain customers. Freemiums and free trails arecommon mechanisms for product-led growth. Continue to dest your freemium and trials every 6 months to convert customers into your enterprise product.2. Sonya describes the difference between lead generation and demand generation. Although often used interchangeably, they are different. Demand generation is the top of the funnel and is used to describe the challenges customers are facing. Lead Generation are techniques that move your customer onto your website. It describes the process of someone who is willing to give their contact information for you to email them.3. Sonya talks about many operational challenges that SaaS founders face at various stages of the startup. One of the challenges is time. Digitalization of solutions is happening so quickly that startups can no longer wait to operationalilze critical programs. Another challenge is the lack of a metrics-driven sales & marketing team. Determining the metrics early on is critical. Ensure that all teams are looking at the same numbers. The earlier you can understand churn, CAC, CLV, etc. the better you can work against numbers. Another challenge is around the hiring process. Competition for talent is fierce. Developing a process for onboarding talent is important. Finally, developing a methodology for customer engagement and success are critical. This includes talking to customers regularly and ensuring there is an active customer base. 4. Sonya shares her lessons learned for startup founders: CEO's should talk to 5-10 customers per week. Don't wait until they have a problem. Also, your website should look bigger than your product and the size of your company. This helps to infuse trust with your customers that you plan on being around a long time. ...and much more!You can connect with Sonya on LinkedIn or at sonyapelia.com
27 minutes | Jul 7, 2021
SSO: 040 - A conversation with John Bentley, Founder of Artisan Coding
John Bentley is the Founder of Artisan Coding, which is committed to building SaaS platforms and their teams with the focus and attention of a craftsperson. John began building software at age 10, learning to build software with his father on a TRS-80 color computer, followed by an early IBM PC XT. Through his own journey, John expanded his focus on building from the software itself to the organizations that create software. His passion in life is working with SaaS startups as a co-founder, CTO, advisor, consultant, and coach. In this episode:1. John shares his experience in a variety of companies as a mentor and coach. He talks about how company culture and team dynamics impact software development. This led him to start Artisan Coding.2. Artisan Coding focuses on artisenry or the quality of work you are producing when developing software. John discusses how software development processes are different for early stage startups. By focusing on the customer and the idea, getting it well understood and bridging the gap between the business and the product is very important in launching a successful product.3. John describes the startup journey which consists of 2 phases: Idea to Market and Scale for Growth. Each phase has a different focus. During the Idea to Market phase, you want to learn as much as possible from the customer. During the Scale for Growth phase, John describes the progression of people to hire. As you scale, you need role players that are good at what they do.4. John shares his lessons learned for other founders: First, planning and being intentional about the people you hire is important. Second, recognize that culture creates the product and the team organization dictates the product and customer experience. 5. Some of the trends John sees include AI and machine learning. Also tools for SaaS are starting to niche down. Many products are being developed to find the smallest niche possible to operate in which means more SaaS platforms are goign after smaller, more segmented markete places....and much more!You can reach John Bentley on LinkedIn to learn more about him and Artisan Coding.
32 minutes | Jun 30, 2021
SSO: 039 - A conversation with Jonathon Hensley, Co-Founder & CEO of Emerge
Jonathon Hensley is the co-founder & CEO of Emerge, a digital product consulting firm that works with companies to improve operational agility and customer experience. For more than two decades, Jonathon has helped startups, Fortune 100 brands, technology leaders, large regional health networks, non-profit organizations and more transform their businesses by turning strategy, user needs, and new technologies into valuable digital products and services. His work focuses on helping leaders define the value they want to create in a succinct and tangible way. In this episode:1. Growing up in Silicon Valley, Jonathon shares his unique experience which inspired him to get into the digital transforamtion and product space.2. Emerge's model is built around empowering product leaders. They help by defining product startegy & roadmpa, market & customer and develop user actionable customer insights. 3. We discuss the challenges of digital transformation. Jonathon's 10 years of research found that: Roughly 70-80% of digital transformation projects fail or under-perform Post Covid, the investment has been $5 Trillion in lost or ineffective outomes 4. What is strategy? How is strategy misunderstood or misinterpreted as goals and grit. Jonathon describes the components of good strategy.5. Driving innovation starts by focusing on employee engagement and empowering your emploees to work toward a common goal and vision. 6. We disussed Jonathon's book - Alignment: Overcoming internal sabotage and digital product failure. Over 100 people were interviewed for the book that reviews: Alignment - what does this mean at the individual, team and org level Root causes of failure Skills of a leader in a high performance organization Good, effective strategy and much more!Go to the Emerge blog for information. Connect with Jonathon on LinkedIn.
17 minutes | Jun 23, 2021
SSO: 038 - A conversation with Eden Bidani, CEO of Green Light Copy.
Eden Bidani is a conversion copywriter and acquisition strategist. Her company, Green Light Copy, helps SaaS, tech and ecommerce businesses drive more traffic, more highly qualified customers and more revenue all through the power of conversion-focused copy. In this episode:1. Eden shares her journey which started with her studies in anthropology. After her direct sales job, she started writing sales pitches which led her to copywriting.2. We talk about copy - what is it and why is it important in your startup. We also discuss the unique challenges SaaS startup founders face with copy. Often, the challenge is how to communicate the specific problem the product solves.3. Eden describes her process of working with customers. It entails interviews with founders leaders. She also speaks directly with customers and conducts surveys which produce qualitative data. This helps find the strategic narrative that resonates with the customer. 4. We disucss market trends such as users wanting more hands-on experience with products before purchasing them. Freemium plans and removing barriers so that customers have more access and visibility to the product are so important.5. Eden shares her advice to startup founders. She suggests getting close to your customers by reading customer support emails, listening to recorded sales calls and demo calls. Speak to your customers as much as possible.and much more!Connect with Eden on LinkedIn and follow Green Light Copy on LinkedIn.