Peter Reinhardt is the cofounder and CEO of Segment which provides a customer data infrastructure that helps businesses put their customers first. The company has raised $300 million from top tier investors such as Accel, Google Ventures, Meritech Capital Partners, Thrive Capital, NEA, Kleiner Perkins, and General Catalyst to name a few.
E63: Peter Reinhardt, CEO and Co-founder of Segment. Since this interview Peter Reinhardt, CEO and Co-founder of Segment, and his team have raised another 175M USD to bring total funding to to $284 million and a valuation of over 1.5B.
He validated an idea he was trying to kill by publishing a link to a sign up page on Hacker News – pretending they’d built it. The response was massive and Segment built it’s 1st hugely successful product in just 5 days
Peter talks about why building a business where the target customer is developers can to some degree sidestep the question of what company size range you chase after initially. He describes Segment as a customer data infrastructure company – he wants to help customers manage all of their data from different sources. He lets us know whether or not he’s interested in building a marketing automation app on top of that and gives his view on the rise of 100% remote teams. This episode is about how Peter helped lay the foundation for building of a unicorn, by trying to kill the idea before it was brought into existence. If you love classic early validation stories, tune into the next instalment of 14 Minutes of SaaS. He also talks about how selling to developers can bypass the old chestnut of whether you want to go after SMBs or the Enterprise first.
The most important thing about a business in the early stages is finding product market fit. After product market fit it becomes go-to-market and distribution, but prior to product market fit nothing else matters. And I think it really requires actually a scepticism. And I think the failure mode for most companies prior to product market fit is that they drink their own kool-ade. They have a vision for the world - of how the world should be. And they build a product to try to make the world like that. But actually the world doesn’t give a shit.=
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Since this interview Peter Reinhardt, CEO and Co-founder of Segment, and his team have raised another 175M USD to bring total funding to to $284 million and a valuation of over 1.5B. Peter talks about why building a business where the target customer is developers can to some degree sidestep the question of what company size range you chase after initially. He describes Segment as a customer data infrastructure company – he wants to help customers manage all of their data from different sources. He lets us know whether or not he’s interested in building a marketing automation app on top of that and gives his view on the rise of 100% remote teams.
Ok – we’ve got Peter Reinhardt, CEO of Segment here at the WebSummit. Nice to meet you.
Thanks for having me. Nice to meet you as well.
Tell me a little bit about your life up to Segment
Sure. I grew up in Seattle and was really into math. Then went to MIT and decided math was a little too abstract. Then studied physics. Decided physics was a little too abstract. Then studied aerospace engineering. I wasn’t going to get my aerospace engineering degree. But anyway I decided aerospace engineering was a little too abstract anyway. And ended up dropping out with my roommates and starting a company. So made the whole transition from math to business. For the last seven eight years have been working on a company that’s now doing reasonably well.
What made you decide to found Segment?
So originally we … myself and my roommates in MIT … we were just interested in starting a company together. So we were roommates and best friends and just really wanted to spend more and more time together working on cool things. So we actually started as a classroom lecture tool. And the idea was to give students this button to push to say ‘I'm confused’ and the...
The post E935: Segment Co-Founder & CEO Peter Reinhardt shares insights from pioneering customer data infrastructure (CDI) to unseat CRM, lessons from first failed product launch & critical pivots, the importance of customer pain as your startup’s North Star, & building the unicorn that actually protects customer privacy appeared first on This Week In Startups.
In this episode of Secrets for Scaling, we chatted with Peter Reinhardt, Co-Founder and CEO of Segment. Segment is a SaaS company helping thousands of companies collect and leverage their customer data. Here’s a quick company overview:
- Founder experience: 6 years
- Team size: 130 team members
- Traction: 4,000 customers
- Stage: Series B
- Company founded: 2012 (5 years old)
Having dropped out of college his junior year to start Segment, then scaling the company to 130 team members in five years, Peter has learned several tough lessons in his founder’s journey. He candidly shares his lessons in management, goal-setting, and values in the episode!