Greatest SaaS podcast episodes

A curated episode list by CloudyGuy
Creation Date September 15th, 2019
 Be the first to like this!
E61: Martin Henk, Co-founder of Pipedrive. Focus, Validate, Say No!
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Episode 61: Martin Henk, Co-founder of Pipedrive, in conversation with Stephen Cummins. Martin talks about Estonia’s minor economic miracle, it’s pre-eminance in the world as a digital nation and it’s huge success as a 4-unicorn startup nation. He talks about the importance of staying clear and focused in the early days of building a company. We estimate Pipedrive will reach 100,000 customer companies in 2020. It’s in the leadership quadrant of the CRM quadrant of G2 Crowd. However, despite G2’s classification (in fairness they have to draw the line somewhere on categories), PipeDrive is definitely not a full CRM tool. Pipedrive describe itself accurately – it’s a Sales CRM tool. ——- Martin Henk My best advice to anyone that is trying to build something is kind of …  be focused …  be really clear what the problem is that you’re trying to solve and then stay true to that for a while … don’t go all over the place and try to solve every problem in the world, but kind of … really understand your customer and really take care of them and validate… validate… validate. Over the years I’ve said ‘no’ so many times in PipeDrive that when someone wants to say ‘no’ they just use my picture. Luckily, I haven’t yet seen a bot really close a deal. Like there are bots that are gonna help you schedule meetings and kind of take care of the tedium … and that’s good. Like nobody wants to do all of these kind of repetitive boring stuff anyway. But when it comes to kind of really closing a deal, especially when you’re selling something expensive, it takes a long time … you really need that human touch. I don’t think sales people will go away anytime soon. Stephen Cummins Welcome to 14 minutes of SaaS, the show where you can listen to the stories and opinions of founders of the world’s most remarkable ScaleUps. Martin Henk Martin talks about Estonia’s minor economic miracle, it’s pre-eminance in the world as a digital nation and it’s huge success as a 4-unicorn startup nation. He talks about the importance of staying clear and focused in the early days of building a company. We estimate Pipedrive will reach 100,000 customer companies in 2020. It’s in the leadership quadrant of the CRM quadrant of G2 Crowd. However, despite G2’s classification (in fairness they have to draw the line somewhere on categories), PipeDrive is definitely not a full CRM tool. Pipedrive describe itself accurately – it’s a Sales CRM tool. Stephen Cummins So we have Martin Henk, co-founder and head of product management in Pipedrive, here on the SaaS  podcast stage in SaaStock … for 14 Minutes of SaaS. How are you doing Martin? Martin Henk Good… good yeah. Thanks. For having me so. Stephen Cummins Tell me maybe a 90 seconds … your life up to the point when you create you started building this rocketship. Martin Henk Up to the point when we started building PipeDrive? Alright. So. I grew up in Estonia in a really small place. I went to the school that got internet access really early on so. That was in the nineties. You wouldn’t have computers and internet at home yet, but we were lucky enough to have a really good computer class in school. So I spent all of my free time at the computer learning to program, learning to design, to edit videos … and that kinda progressed naturally … so I kept doing that. And when I went to college I started my first startup with some friends in college. And that failed in a very spectacular way – it became this zombie startup. Went through a couple of corporate jobs … I couldn’t stand them for more than a year. Joined this startup early on – that was a social network for people that really liked their pets. So you could upload your pictures of your dogs and talk to other people that are into pets. And that went bankrupt in a very public way. And out of the rubble of that startup we met up with some other people that were looking to build a tool for salespeople. We started Pipedrive. Stephen Cummins Right now, Estonia is quite a phenomenon. It’s only 1.3 million people – which is significantly smaller than even Northern Ireland – which makes us look big (the Republic of Ireland). I’m amazed at how strong you are in SaaS, Blockchain, crypto … What is in the water? I’m actually a resident …  digital. Resident … of your country. I joined about a year ago. It’s such an amazing program. First of all … what’s in the water in Estonia? What’s happening there? And what do you think of that ambitious plan to bring in people from all over the world as e-residents? Martin Henk Yeah. So many things came together, especially in the nineties where we gained independence again. … ——- [transcript under construction] —— Stephen Cummins In the next episode of 14 Minutes of SaaS, we move to the Web Summit in Lisbon, where we’ll welcome back my old friend Polina Montano, who was the 3rd guest on the show way back at the start. This time, instead of a single episode, we recorded a 3 part mini-series together. She’ll tell her whole history from humble beginnings in the beautiful city of Saint Petersburg in post-perestroika in Russia. Like our very 1st guest, Branch’s Mada Seghete, a strong mother had a massive influence on her career. Polina went on to become an international business person and accomplished polyglot, a champion of operational excellence and a hugely successful co-founder of SaaS rocketship Job Today – an employment networking app and SaaS service. The platform handles over 6 million applications per month and 70% of their job matches happen within 24 hours. Stephen Cummins You’ve been listening to 14 minutes of SaaS. Thanks to Mike Quill for his creativity and problem solving skills. And to Ketsu for the music. This episode was brought to you by me, Stephen Cummins. If you enjoyed the podcast, please don’t forget to share it with your network, subscribe to the series and give the show a rating.
E59: Bridget Harris, Co-founder and CEO of YouCanBook.me – 1 of 2 – My VC is Viral Cycling
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Episode 59: 1 of 2. In this, the first of two episodes, we have CEO & Co-founder of YouCanBook.me Bridget Harris chatting with Stephen Cummins. She chats about her history and colourful CV – from Covent Garden busker to film and television to a very successful career in politics to serial product creator with her husband and co-founder Keith, to bootstrapping YouCanBook.me – appointment scheduling SaaS that has scaled to well over 40 million bookings and is on a current run rate of about 1 million bookings a month. It’s a fully distributed company of 15 with management and design in the UK, Engineering in Spain and Customer Success in the US. It’s in the leadership quadrant for online appointment scheduling in G2. —– Bridget Harris part 1 – SaaStock 2018 14MoS – 14 Minutes of SaaS Transcript —– Bridget Harris And when I was 14, living in London, it was one of the most obvious things to do ..is you go busking. I mean nowadays busking is a lot more heavily regulated, but those days (like 30 years ago), you could just literally walk into anywhere in the underground or Covent Garden and put your case down. The thing about it is that you open up your case – and people walking by didn’t ask you to play – they don’t know what you’re going to play – and that’s a bit like launching a product. You know you’re launching something out into the into the world hoping somebody is going to notice you. And to this day that feeling of somebody putting their money into my fiddle case – and I just aren’t some money – and I could earn good money busking – always makes me feel like ‘well that’s my fallback’ … you know and if YouCanBook.me and everything else goes to the ground, my fallback will be busking. Bridget Harris Stephen Cummins You can book me but you can’t VC me! Why did you bootstrap all the way? Bridget Harris Online scheduling has this natural viral loop. So as a result we could see a natural and very organic growth rate that was kind of presented in front of us. That allowed us to grow and make mistakes more slowly. So bootstrapping definitely stretches stuff out for longer than VC funded experiences and it just suited us better. So after a while we just doubled down on that choice. Stephen Cummins Welcome to 14 minutes of SaaS, the show where you can listen to the stories and opinions of founders of the world’s most remarkable ScaleUps. Stephen Cummins In this, the first of a chat spanning two episodes, we have CEO and co-founder of YouCanBook.me Bridget Harris chatting with me Stephen Cummins. She chats about her history and colourful CV from Covent Garden busker to film and television to a very successful career in politics to serial product creator with her husband and co-founder Keith to bootstrapping YouCanBook.me – appointment scheduling SaaS that’s scaled to well over 40 million bookings on a current run rate of about one million bookings a month. It’s a fully distributed company of 15 with management designed in the UK, engineering in Spain and customer success in the US … and it’s consistently in the leadership quadrant in the G2 grid for online appointment scheduling. Okay for the live audience here ancestor I’m with the wonderful Brigitte Harris CEO and co-founder. YouCanBook.me here on the SaaStock podcast stage – and this is for 40 minutes as SaaS. Welcome Bridget! Bridget Harris Hello Stephen. Thank you. Stephen Cummins So tell me. Give me the 90 second version of who is Brigitte Harris … prior to you setting out on your entrepreneurial journey. Bridget Harris I’ve had actually lots of different careers Stephen and I had one of those portfolio careers which is a polite way of saying you know … trying to figure out what you want to do in life. But I started off actually working in film and television … so my first career was working as a vision mixer and an operator for live TV, and then I worked in film as a runner, and for adverts and things and so I drifted took me through university. And after that I got a real hold over my interest in politics. So I went into politics. Ran an MPs’ office in Westminster. And then kind of made my way up a political ladder in the UK parliament, and then after that local governments. So I’ve done 15 years of work around political engagement, democratic theory, representation, all sorts of good stuff like that. I worked for Lib Dem ministers and others. My interest really is in constitutional change. And at the same time latterly myself and my husband Keith had always been working on web projects. And basically if you work in politics your first your first and only real purpose is to try to get people to agree with you and vote for you and do all of those sorts of things. So Keith and I had been working together for a long time. He’s a developer and we’d worked a long time on our web campaigns, political database, voter contact type things. And so we basically proved that we could work together, and in the meantime Keith had started to … we’d started to build and develop products together. So SaaS products essentially. We built quite a few of them. Had quite a lot of starts and failures. And actually I did a presentation a few years ago about the 10 products that we built before YouCanBook.me. Stephen Cummins 10! Bridget Harris So YouCanBook.me is our first company, but it’s not our first product. And so 6 years ago, almost to the day … I did one of those really big major things an entrepreneur has to do to run their companies. You give up your full time job and you start running your company and expression I think is that ‘you go all in’. So I sort of took my experience of working in these different industries as a professional and I basically started to learn the ropes again of how to build up a company. Stephen Cummins Now before we talk about the amazing achievement that is you can book me. You busked, and I believe the first time you did that was in Victoria Station. How did it feel? … that first coin … was it like the first sale for YouCanBook.me? Bridget Harris I think there’s a lot of parallels here Stephen. Yeah. I’m an Irish and Scottish folk fiddle player. And when I was 14, living in London, it was one of the most obvious things to do ..is you go busking. I mean nowadays busking is a lot more heavily regulated, but those days (like 30 years ago), you could just literally walk into anywhere in the underground or Covent Garden and put your case down. The thing about it is that you open up your case – and people walking by didn’t ask you to play – they don’t know what you’re going to play – and that’s a bit like launching a product. You know you’re launching something out into the into the world hoping somebody is going to notice you. And to this day that feeling of somebody putting their money into my fiddle case – and I just aren’t some money – and I could earn good money busking – always makes me feel like ‘well that’s my fallback’ … you know and if YouCanBook.me and everything else goes to the ground, my fallback will be busking. Because what you can do is that you can generate basically business right there – just by playing your instrument. And I tell this to, you know, to people who are learning instruments right now. It’s a great way to make money, but it also – you know I didn’t know at that point I was gonna become an entrepreneur – but t I think you need the same sort of gumption to stand there and start playing. You know you launch your product into the world – you say ‘look I’ve decided that this is a problem that I’m going to solve this way and I you know I want you to pay attention to me’ – and you’re not entitled for them to pay attention to you, just like you can’t force people in Victoria Station to like what you play. But if you do it well, then yes you can make some money. Stephen Cummins Brilliant! So you always had that entrepreneurial itch. And maybe that ability to get over the fear to do this. Bridget Harris Yes! Stephen Cummins Harold Wilson once said a week is a long time in politics. Now that you’ve left politics … Bridget …  Would you agree that a week is never long enough in StartUp Land? Bridget Harris Oh my goodness! You know we we’ve gone for like a one week sprint to a two week sprint to a seven months sprint to a five year sprint. No I mean … one week is … right now I am trying to … we’re trying to retrain our team to basically land on Friday afternoon having roughly achieved maybe 80 per cent of what we set out to do on a Monday. And there’s always more to do and in fact actually here at SaaStock … Patrick Campbell did an amazing talk this morning-  from Profitwell – around founder work-life expectations and founder mental health and management and essentially understanding what you’re trying to achieve. And I think that we do ourselves a disservice if we say you know you can get it all done in hyperventilation of growth. Actually it can be very stressful. I think founders and any entrepreneurs need to understand the context. And one of the advantages of being a vision mixer for a live television show is that in the middle of an outbreak you have five minutes – and actually sitting there for five minutes waiting to come back online again is a very long time when you’re sat there in the gallery. And it also if something goes wrong and you’ve only got two minutes, you start to know how much you can achieve in two minutes. Equally in politics, as you said … a week … the press officer that I used to work with used to say you know today’s paper is tomorrow’s fish and chip wrappers. You know like … it’s like whatever news is happening today you have to be able to cut through that. And it’s the same really in the business that we’re in. Stephen Cummins I actually interviewed Patrick yesterday – and what I loved about interviewing is how open he was about about his struggles as a founder – and it takes a bit of courage. Bridget Harris Very raw! Very raw! … It does! Stephen Cummins A very, very human person. Gave me a big hug after interviewing him. Just the type of guy he is. Bridget Harris   Stephen Cummins   A very, very human person. Gave me a big hug after interviewing him. Just the type of guy he is.     Harold Wilson once said a week is a long time in politics. Now that you’ve left politics … Bridget …  Would you agree that a week is never long enough in StartUp Land? Bridget Harris   Stephen Cummins   Harold Wilson once said a week is a long time in politics. Now that you’ve left politics … Bridget …  Would you agree that a week is never long enough in StartUp Land? Bridget Harris   Stephen Cummins You can book me but you can’t VC me! Why did you bootstrap all the way?   Bridget Harris We did it through … partly inexperience … like everybody we were told that’s the way to go. And we had conversations and we talked to people. But we didn’t do it very seriously. I think we did a couple of pitches to VCs, but I would look back in embarrassment about them now. I think now I know what a real pitch to VC actually needs to include. I think our pitches were kind of awful.     But I also think there was a part of intuition as to what kind of business did we want to build. It’s a bit like asking me why was I a busker and not a concert violin player? Why wasn’t I going to play in an orchestra? Why was I basically you know jobbing around Covent Garden? And it’s just … it’s in a way what you have to do what naturally feels right. YouCanBook.me with the products that we’d built earlier … it was obvious to us we weren’t gonna be able to succeed in growing them without external investment. Basically the whole job of finding customers and finding growth and product market fit would have required funding.   Where as with YouCanBook.me online scheduling has this natural viral loop. So as a result we could see a natural and very organic growth rate that was kind of presented in front of us. That allowed us to grow and make mistakes more slowly. So bootstrapping definitely stretches stuff out for longer than VC funded experiences and it just suited us better. So after a while we just doubled down on that choice.   Stephen Cummins   You’ve been listening to 14 minutes of SaaS. Thanks to Mike Quill for his creativity and problem solving skills. And to Ketsu for the music. This episode was brought to you by me, Stephen Cummins. If you enjoyed the podcast, please don’t forget to share it with your network, subscribe to the series and give the show a rating.     In the concluding episode of our chat, Bridget talks hiring remote first people. And when it comes to founders … she says they need to be alive, intentional, patient and prepared to land planes in the dark – over and over again.
E60: Bridget Harris, Co-founder and CEO of YouCanBook.me – 2 of 2, Nailing a Remote Culture
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Episode 60: Bridget Harris, Co-founder and CEO of YouCanBook.Me interviewed by Stephen Cummins. Bridget Harris digs a little bit more into her experiences and knowledge around building, empowering and motivating distributed teams. She explains how YouCanBook.me got into some of their growth verticals and marquee customers. She described Brexit wonderfully as ‘What kind of a circus are you running here’ and since I interviewed her the UK has certainly found a clown to run that circus. Bridget also uses her academic background in what we refer to as the classical world to beautifully illustrate a point about how entrepreneurs need to keep moving forward with positive intent – and not get distracted by past failures or current laurels. — Transcript: Bridget Harris part 2 – SaaStock 2018 14MoS – 14 Minutes of SaaS Bridget Harris In the early days when we were growing YouCanBook.me and it was happening really fast, my analogy was that it was like landing a plane in the dark every six months. I think you’ve kinda basically managed to predict it right. You know, get used to the journey … because actually most of your experience building this tool or business or product is, and it’s a cliché, but it is about that journey. It’s not about landing on the ground. It’s not about the massive exit. Or about some kind of ‘I succeeded!’. How your journey ends is not necessarily your experience halfway through. And I think that for any entrepreneur you need to be alive and intentional about every week and everything that you do. You need to be able to say ‘Yes, I’m enjoying this. This is good.’ rather than I’m sacrificing for the sake of something I think I’m going to get. Because you might not get it. Or even if you do get it, it might take 20 years. So I think you need to be prepared to invest. Nailing your culture, knowing who you are, and making sure that when people join you that remote company isn’t the same as working from home. What it is …. is actually a way of working which requires autonomy and trust and to get on with it. If you love bouncing around an office chatting to a million people all the day – and being an extrovert and that’s how you love to work … probably remote working is not going to suit you. So when we hire, we hire for a remote first person. And so remote changes an awful lot about the way we choose to grow our company. Stephen Cummins Welcome to 14 minutes of SaaS, the show where you can listen to the stories and opinions of founders of the world’s most remarkable ScaleUps. In this our 60th episode of 14 minutes of SaaS, the conclusion of our chat with Brigitte Harris, she digs a little bit more into her experiences and knowledge around building, empowering and motivating distributed teams. She explains how you can book me got into some of their growth verticals and marquee customers. Brigid also uses her academic background in classical antiquity to beautifully illustrate a point about how entrepreneurs need to stay in the moment and keep moving forward with positive intent – and not get too distracted by past failures, current laurels or future possibilities. Stephen Cummins Now you hire remote employees .. which brings its own challenges. What’s the one or two top tips you’d give to companies doing that these days. Bridget Harris So the top tips would be that remote isn’t just like an afterthought. It’s not like a convenient thing to do – to just to hire better people. You actually hire different kinds of workers who want to work for a remote company. And again we’ve been having some really good conversations with huge remote teams here …. like I was talking to David from Hotjar yesterday. Stephen Cummins I interviewed him today. Bridget Harris Oh fabulous. There’s 40 of them now. And one of the things I’m really interested in is … YouCanBook.me is 15 people. How are we going to grow to 40 people. How do you get to … you know someone like Automattic … you know WordPress’s parent company. They have about 500 people and you have to go all in. And me and David were agreeing … you can’t do hybrid. You can’t have a mothership and then some peripatetic people around. Stephen Cummins He has an incredible focus on culture. And he spoke highly of you as well actually. Bridget Harris Nailing your culture, knowing who you are, and making sure that when people join you that remote company isn’t the same as working from home. What it is …. is actually a way of working which requires autonomy and trust and to get on with it. If you love bouncing around an office chatting to a million people all the day – and being an extrovert and that’s how you love to work … probably remote working is not going to suit you. So when we hire, we hire for a remote first person. And so remote changes an awful lot about the way we choose to grow our company. Stephen Cummins You are in the top right hand corner of G2 crowds’ online appointment scheduling quadrant. that’s one. It’s one of the selectors I use – amongst many when when I when I look for the valuable time from amazing founders. Now … you’re number one for satisfaction. The most important thing really. YouCanBook.me versus Calendly. Which on is better? And why? Bridget Harris Yes controversial either way. I’m sure a Calendly is better than you can book me on on many things actually. One of the things you get used to in the online appointment scheduling world is there’s like one hundred and fifty of us. And often people will come to us from calendars because we do something that Calendly don’t. Equally somebody will say ‘well I’m leaving YouCanBook.me because I’m going to schedule once or I’m going to a pointless or I’m going to …. ‘ … you know all of these other great tools, because there’ll be something very specific about the way they like to manage their schedule that we do … or that they don’t or whatever. In terms of Calendly what they’ve done for the whole sort of group of software tools … if you like … because they’ve done a really great job in spreading the word about the utility or online scheduling. Yesterday was talking about the fact that we’re proud of the fact that we’re top of the tree on G2 crowd and I think the reasons why people love YouCanBook.me is because we’re very customizable … we’re very, very personal and customisable experience for the customer. And you know I’m sure you can do something like that with Calendly – but I know that’s why people love YouCanBook.me. Stephen Cummins Now you’ve got marquee customers like Box, Insightly, Shopify and Rovio … amazing customers … but how did you initially get traction presumably with smaller guys. Bridget Harris Yes. That’s a very good question. Well actually … we sort of thought of a bit of a sneaky way of doing it really. I’m not saying necessarily this is repeatable, but we actually built another tool called ‘When is good?’ …  which is an aggregate scheduler. Which I know sounds ridiculous, but it’s a bit like a Doodle or something …  One of those kinds of tools that finds a time when a group of people can meet. We built When is Good. And still there today people love ‘When is good?’ … but it’s a free tool. Wasn’t making us any money. And what we found was that people were trying to use ‘When is good?’ slots for mutually exclusive times. So they’re basically trying to use it as a scheduler – as a booking tool. So eight years ago we built a booking tool on top of Google Calendar – which looked a bit like ‘When is good?’ … but essentially it was doing the job that YouCanBook.me does today. And so we were able to market YouCanBook.me off the back of what was already …. you know … hundreds of thousands of people that were using When is Good. So we did have a bit of a bouncy start – essentially to propel us. And then of course as I said before – online scheduling begets booking – bookings beget bookings – so we’re in a nice world. Stephen Cummins So it’s a very horizontal application which means you’ve got a big market and everyone can benefit from it. But nevertheless, a vertical focus is usually a good thing to build a bridgehead at the beginning. I noticed you’re quite big in the education space. Did that just happen or did you design that? Bridget Harris So it sort of just happened in the sense that when we built the bookings too, we imagined it was going to be used for small businesses. That was originally what we thought, because that’s where our revenue was coming from. And what actually happened was we benefited a huge amount from Google Apps for Education that all the school districts in America and universities have been adopting. And still do. So in the university education sector in schools in America, they would use YouCanBook.me for parent teacher conferences – which was a massive growth channel for us. They would use us for you know professor – student bookings, that kind of thing. So we used to give that software away for free to everybody. And that helped us grow. So it was one of our growth channels, our marketing channels. I think about a third of people who YouCanBook.me are in the university sector. And again they absolutely love YouCanBook.me. And it’s one of those things where we get a lot of love from you know school district secretaries in Wisconsin or something who use YouCanBook.me – and we’re very proud of that. But our kind of major vertical sector that we focus on are the Box … Shopify …these big companies which I would call B2B2B – so their customers are also business customers – and they’re using us for customer success, onboarding, sales, recruitment – that kind of B2B interaction where you’re not charging for your time but you just where time is precious basically – and you just need to get the scheduling in the diary as quickly as possible. Stephen Cummins Describe Brexit in less than 10 words. Oh my goodness that’s just too depressing. Stephen what kind of a circus are you running here. Bridget Harris Oh my goodness that’s just too depressing Stephen … What kind of a circus are you running here? Stephen Cummins Okay it’s a great way one. Linkedin Co-founder Reid Hoffman once said an entrepreneur is someone who jumps off a cliff and builds a plane on the way down. If you can pass on one piece of advice, or two pieces of advice, to someone looking to become an entrepreneur … What would you say to them? Bridget Harris I think yeah … that’s a funny analogy. In the early days when we were growing YouCanBook.me – it was happening really fast – my analogy was it was like landing a plane in the dark every six months hoping that you’ve basically managed … to predict it right. I think that a misconstrued assumption is that you think its all gonna be over in two years. You know when people would buy two year upgrades on YouCanBook.me I just could not believe you know that they would have that much trust in my tool. That they seemed to be thinking longer term than I was thinking about my tool – because somehow we would pivot or flip or sell or you know move to Tanzania before then. I just couldn’t think long term. Because you’re stuck in the weeds. And in the day to day. I think I would say to any entrepreneur this is thinking about jumping out of the plane … that’s great but make sure you have a parachute, make sure you packed lunch, make sure you ordered food for next week … you know basically it’s a long way down. You know …. get used to the journey …. because actually most of your experience of building this tool or business or product is about that journey. It’s not about landing on the ground. It’s not about the massive exit. Or about some kind of ‘I succeeded’. And Solon has this … Solon in ancient history. He was saying to Croesus, the king of Lydia, who was asking .. ‘Now who’s the happiest? Who’s the most successful person?’ And Solon refused to say it was Croesus because he was still alive … and he hadn’t finished his journey. Obviously we have this expression ‘As rich as Croesus’ … but of course after Solon went off, the Persians came and invaded Lydia … and Croesus was nearly burned at the stake. And at the end of that, Croesus said ‘Oh I know Croesus meant now’. How your journey ends is not necessarily your experience halfway through … and I think that for any entrepreneur you need to be alive and intentional about every week, and everything that you do. You need to be able to say ‘Yes, I’m enjoying this. This is good.’ rather than I’m sacrificing for the sake of something I think I’m going to get. Because you might not get it. Or even if you do get it, it might take 20 years. So I think you need to be prepared to invest. Stephen Cummins Great advice. Be in the moment. It’s more sustainable and embrace what you’re doing. Final question for you Bridget. What’s the one quality that you have … do you believe … that’s helped you succeed in politics, and now as an entrepreneur? Bridget Harris Anybody who knows me and listening to this will laugh because I think this is true …  which is I think I’m a very strategic thinker. And so I think I’m you know … I’m good at a lot of things, but I think the things where I can see success … on any of the careers I’ve done … is because I’ve been able to think strategically and understand where I’m trying to get to. And then work out the tactics of how to get there. And I think that’s really, really helped me. And I think that that’s again helped me think more about a more longer term vision for YoiuCanBook.me … because of that ability. And there’s great strategic thinkers out there that can also help you get better at thinking strategically. But I think you have to be able to think strategically to do what I do. Stephen Cummins Bridget Harris. Listening to is like a breath of fresh air. Thank you so much for giving us an interview for 14 Minutes of SaaS here in SaaStock. Bridget Harris Thank you Stephen. It’s been a pleasure. Stephen Cummins In the next episode we meet Martin Hanke. He grew up in a small place in Estonia and ultimately became co-founder and former CPO chief product officer of a certain well-known rocket ship known as pipe drive. He talks about the importance of product validation as early as possible and about how entrepreneurs and product builders need to stay focused. Stephen Cummins In the next episode we meet Martin Henk. He grew up in a small place in Estonia and ultimately became Co-founder and former CPO (Chief Product Officer) of a certain well known rocket-ship known as PipeDrive. He talks about the importance of product validation as early as possible. And about how entrepreneurs and product builders need to stay focused and clear, and avoid distractions. You’ve been listening to 14 minutes of SaaS. Thanks to Mike Quill for his creativity and problem solving skills. And to Ketsu for the music. This episode was brought to you by me, Stephen Cummins. If you enjoyed the podcast, please don’t forget to share it with your network, subscribe to the series and give the show a rating.
E56: Patrick Campbell, Founder and CEO of Profitwell. 1 of 3, Chasing Hard Targets
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
This is Episode 1 of a 3 part interview with Patrick Campbell, SaaS pricing guru and CEO & Founder of Profitwell, in conversation with Stephen Cummins for 14 Minutes of SaaS – recorded in SaaStock in Dublin. Profitwell is a fremium model that more than doubled their employees to 85 over the last 2 years. Their average monthly recurring revenue per customer is approximately $2,000 and their payback period for new customers averages less than 3 months. Owler estimates their revenue is $10M ARR – but we know they are doing way more than that and they will be well north of $20M by the end of this financial year. In terms of users the company claims to cover more than 15% of the subscription economy. Patrick was born in a town with more cows than people. He used to investigate people considered the bad guys by the US intelligence community. And Patrick feels that chasing these ‘targets’ with limited access and limited information was a great preparation for his tech start-up career … as it primed him with an augmented capacity for critical thinking, problem solving, and approaching things from a logical perspective. #14MoS
E57: Patrick Campbell, Founder and CEO of Profitwell. 2 of 3, Last One off the Ship
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Episode 2 of a 3 part interview with Patrick Campbell, SaaS pricing guru and CEO & Founder of Profitwell talks – in conversation with Stephen Cummins for 14 Minutes of SaaS. Recorded in SaaStock in Dublin. Patrick talks about how business analytics has evolved to give you nice graphical representations of your data, but has not evolved to the point where it actively solves these problems for you. It leaves you too much of the work in the hands of the client. He argues that software needs to focus on pro-actively surfacing the solutions for customers. He feels that Profitwell will enter into a number of domains over time from customer success to business intelligence. Patrick has the self-awareness and courage to open up about his weaknesses too … he found it tough to learn to delegate and feels he should look after his health better. #14MoS  
E58: Patrick Campbell, Founder and CEO of Profitwell. 3 of 3, Ambition
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Episode 3 of a 3 part interview with Patrick Campbell, SaaS pricing guru and CEO & Founder of Profitwell, chatting with Stephen Cummins for the 14 Minutes of SaaS podcast. Patrick continues to open up about his emotional vulnerabilities. He reveals his ambition in 2 ways. Firstly he opines that the sort of work-life balance delivered to employees by the Basecamp guys is really tough if you want to build a very large company. Hard to argue against that in my opinion. Secondly he states that although Profitwell is bootstrapped, he sees funding as a tool that he’ll use at some point in the future. He also has some advice and caution for new entrepreneurs. Recorded in SaaStock in Dublin. #14MoS
E53: Mark Organ, Founder of Influitive and Eloqua. 1 of 3. 4X Humans
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
This is the 1st episode of a 3 part mini-series recorded with Mark Organ, who is the Founder and at the time of recording was the CEO of Influitive. He’s just moved to an Executive Chairman position 1 week before recording this update. Influitive was founded in 2010 in Toronto, Canada – has raised $60M in funding and is the leader in the G2 quadrant for Customer Advocacy Software. 87% of people who worked there would recommend the company according to Glassdoor. Total Employees \ have dropped 16% to 125 over the last 2 years. They’re doing north of $25M in ARR, Average Recurring Revenue. Mark describes himself as a mix between a street fighting entrepreneur and a research scientist. He was the original Founder and former CEO of Eloqua – and took them to $20M ARR and 165 people. It was later sold to Oracle for a cool $870M. He talks about the power of trying to understand your fellow human and about building teams in this episode and recorded our chat in SaaStock in my home town of Dublin. Mark Organ I learned a lot from that … I actually learned a lot more about building a company from doing house painting than anything else. That’s where I learned that most of the value is actually in selecting the right employees. You may not have 10 X painters, but there’s such a thing as a 3X or 4X painter! I used to drive around with a stop watch I used to watch painters on the job – and I would hire those people who are very efficient and good at their work. Stephen Cummins Welcome to 14 minutes of SaaS. The show where you can listen to the stories and opinions of founders of the world’s most remarkable SaaS ScaleUps. This is one of a three part mini series recorded with Mark Organ. He was the founder and at the time of recording was the CEO of Influitive. He just moved to an executive chairman position one week before recording this update. Influitive was founded in 2010 in Toronto Canada and has raised $60M USD in funding and is the leader in the G2 quadrant for customer advocacy software. 87 percent of people who work there would recommend the company according to Glassdoor. Total employees have dropped 16 percent to 125 over the last two years, but they’re doing north of $25M USD in ARR or Average Recurring Revenue. Mark describes himself as a mix between street fighting entrepreneur and a research scientist. He was the original founder and the former CEO of Eloqua. He took them to 20M dollars in ARR and 165 people. It was later sold to Oracle for a cool 870M USD. He talks in this episode about the power of trying to understand your fellow human being and about building great teams. And it was recorded in SaaStock in my home town of Dublin. Stephen Cummins Mark … great to have you here at SaaStock on 14 Minutes of SaaS. Mark Organ I’m delighted Stephen Stephen Cummins Fantastic! Recounts to us briefly your life … up until the point you founded your first big success … Eloqua. Mark Organ Sure. Wow … My whole life! Yeah. So I think… I think there’s 2 big parts of my life before I founded Eloqua. One is … I call it street fighting entrepreneurship. So I actually built a couple of small businesses before I founded Eloqua. I had a house painting business which actually morphed into customer artwork – which was really cool … got some really great stories about that. Came up with a couple of innovations – I hired good looking people had them paint shirtless – including a woman – to drive a lot of a lot of business.  Morphed into customer artwork because a couple of my painters were from art school and that was four times as profitable as normal house painting. I learned a lot from that. I actually learned a lot more about building a company from doing house painting. I learned that most of the value is actually in selecting the right employees. You may not have 10 X painters … but there’s such a thing as a 3X or 4X painter! I used to drive around with a stop watch I used to watch painters on the job – and I would hire those people who are very efficient and good at their work. I did that. I did some custom software and other things like that, very scrappy door-to-door sales – that sort of thing. So that’s one part of my life. And the other one is as a research scientist. So my parents, really want me to be a doctor … it was not what I was fated to do – but maybe the next best thing was if you have a PhD …. and so I was fascinated with the brain – fascinated by why people do what they do … what motivates them…  so I went to go study neuroscience. The supply and demand dynamics of research are not very good. You know, it’s drudgery, its tough work I think. I would have made a great professor, but I was not a very good grad student and would not have been a very good post doc. I was… I was … lonely and… and I missed my then girlfriend – now wife. And so, I managed to get out of my PhD. I got my Masters and went back to Toronto to be a management consultant. But those are the same 2 things that I think make up who I am today professionally in many ways today. I still am a street fighting entrepreneur and research scientist. I’m still out trying to discover today why and how people advocate. What is it that marketers really need to accomplish to be successful in the years to come? Yeah, you know, these are things that research scientists have to do. Well … they have to be able to predict the future. They have to discover things and not been discovered before. But I’m still scrappy as ever. So that’s kind of where I am today. Stephen Cummins That’s fascinating – so we have a lot in common. My first job was in the Institute of Neurology as a molecular biologist in Queens Square in London. Mark Organ Wow, that’s interesting. Stephen Cummins But I moved on to biotech … but eventually I had to get out as well … and meet more people. Mark Organ Wow, that’s interesting. I’ve worked in a molecular biology lab too that too. – but I was not a molecular biologist – I was the only physiologist in his lab. So you gotta imagine … you gotta pristine, clean laboratory. People pipetting things – probably was your job doing that – I brought in all these rats. Depressed rats. Do you know how you know a rat’s depressed? Stephen Cummins No. Mark Organ Well, there’s a phenomenon humans have called learned helplessness. So rats have something similar. If you put a rat into a tank of water, they just float there. A normal rat will swim and swim and swim for around 16 minutes til its exhausted …. anyway … but what I was doing is putting different substances in the brain to see what would change their depression. And it turns out that both rats and humans produce their own antidepressant substances. And our lab was the first to discover that. Stephen Cummins Wow that is a big that is a big deal. Well our lab was the first to discover the link between my mitochondrial genetics and disease. Mark Organ That’s a hot area no .. eh! Stephen Cummins   I worked for Anita Harding who actually made that discovery, but like a lot of women she’s been kinda written out of history. She was phenomenal Stephen Cummins So …  you were the founder and CEO Mark … of Eloqua. And you’ve had a much more colorful background before that than I realised – which is brilliant. That was eventually sold to Oracle for 800M dollars, which is phenomenal. Tell us a little bit about that amazing experience. How was that from the start. How was that? Mark Organ Yeah. So in terms of my… my journey. So I took the company 7 years … up to about $20M and above. So I got the company to a certain point. And as a 32 year old founder CEO, our board made a decision they wanted to bring in a more experienced professional CEO. So I was actually not the person that sold the company. That… that said … that was very interesting experience for me. Stephen Cummins But you created the company … Mark Organ I did create the company … and, you know, even to this day … I still see some of my stamp on it still. Yeah. Yeah. I mean it was …. Stephen Cummins So that happened to Godard Abel too. Were you gone by the time they sold it? Mark Organ Yes. Stephen Cummins Because that happened to Godard Abel with Big Machines. It was sold for 400 million. And he regrets that he put so much into the VCs. The company actually went down a little bit after we left. Did you have the same … ? Mark Organ And so did ours. Yeah, the new CEO came in and it took him a little while for him to get his sea legs. My and Godard’s journey are incredibly parallel – both in terms of what he did at Big Machines and me at Eloqua … and again with him at Steelbrick and G2 Crowd. And, you know our professional lives actually dovetail quite a lot. Stephen Cummins I know him well and he’s an absolute gentleman. Mark Organ Sure is – he’s a great guy! We’re both fascinated with this new world of, you know, advocate marketing and participating in, you know, this space. But in terms of the journey, you know, an amazing and very challenging journey of of self-discovery and leadership. You know, a lot of great learning along the way. I was really lucky and blessed to have had some great mentors along the way. It taught me, you know, there’s no amount of reading you can do … and …  I do a lotta reading and I go to conferences and (look at) what not to learn. But, you know, unfortunately, failure really is the best teacher. Along with mentors who have also failed. And who give back. So one thing I love about the SaaS space is that people really do get back. That’s why I love to do podcasts. I hope that there’s something in that we talk about today that people can learn from. The main category of mistakes that I’ve made … like most CEOS … is arounf people …. And it takes a while to learn … how to hire … how to manage … how to develop … How to hold people accountable …when to let people go … Especially when you’re doing that while the business is growing quite a lot. Any founder or CEO in their twenties … man … every day is an adventure. And so one of the things that I would council, you know, if there are founders on this … is try to spend as much time as you can to really understand people and, you know, take notes along the way of what you’ve learned. Because there, there are a lot of a lot of gems in there. I think ultimately what you’re hired to do …. I believe is as a CEO … is to develop people. It’s what I went through …. my own sort of journey on, you know. Coming from Bain before I started Eloqua … I was maniacally focused on generating measurable value for customers. That was… that Bain’s true north. And so that really took me through some dark days at Eloqua. I mean Eloqua was a bootstrapped company for over three and a half years before we raised any money. We almost went bankrupt four times. It was that focus on making sure we made money for customers every day and that they saw the value …  they experienced value … that is what allowed us to get through the tech wreck of 2001 to 2004. That said … as a CEO it’s very limited what you’re able to do. Maybe you can do occasional powerpoint … you can present something on stage or what not. But 90 percent of your tools are people … and if you can’t figure out how to get the most out of people, then you are not doing your job. And ultimately my board and Eloqua felt like I wasn’t getting as much out of people as the new guy … so they made a change. Stephen Cummins So Mark … I imagine that when you create something like that, it becomes almost like your baby. I know that Godard would have been affected for a little while when that happened to him. You know, at the time, you know, … because I can see that was kind have a break for you between 2007 and 2010. Did that hit you hard? Mark Organ It did hit me hard! Not so much because it was my baby … I think I had good advisers who coach me to  dissociate my founder role from the CEO role – and I was really focused on being the best CEO that I could be. And…  there I think where some legitimate reasons for making a change. I also think there are some illegitimate reasons for making a change. I won’t go into it here. You know, at the end of the day look, I was still a shareholder of the company. And if the board felt like a professional CEO could come in to drive more value … at the time there were 165 people that were depending on me and senior leadership … there were hundreds of customers that were depending on us. So that’s actually not what he hit me hard … it was actually more mundane things. All my friends were in a company. I’d sold every asset I had to put it into the company. You know, so that was hard being away … and a lot of the people – my friends in the company – didn’t know how to treat me … didn’t know if I was a friend or an enemy or what. So that was weird and that was difficult. But there are also things that were wonderful … look I had at a time a four months old little girl. Stephen Cummins So, you had time to spend with her. Mark Organ I had time to spend with my wife I those years … 2007 to 2010. We built a very strong marriage which has been very useful … building a new company. We went on some adventures. I actually moved to Asia for two years based in Singapore, and that was a riot. Stephen Cummins I love Singapore. Great food. 3 cultures in one place. Mark Organ Yeah .. you’re right – the best food in the world I think … more than 3 but it was great living and working there. I built a little business as a marketing consultant there …. and I worked with companies in China and India and Indonesia and Malaysia … a lot of fun. And I learned a ton. In fact, I brought a number of the ideas that I learned into Influitive … which is pretty useful. Stephen Cummins In the next episode Mark confesses to having an obsession with cash flow in the early stages of the start-ups … and explains why this obsession led to the founding of Influitive … and it’s not all business … We will also find out how many months it took him to learn to speak and understand Mandarin. And what app he used to make that happen. Stephen Cummins You’ve been listening to 14 minutes of SaaS. Thanks to Mike Quill for his creativity and problem solving skills and to Ketsu for the music. This episode was brought to you by me, Stephen Cummins. If you enjoy the podcast, please don’t forget to share it with your network, subscribe to the series and give the show a rating.  
E54: Mark Organ, Founder of Influitive and Eloqua. 2 of 3. Cashflow Obsessed
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
In episode 2 of this 3 part mini-series with Mark Organ, Founder and Executive Chairman of Influitive (and original founder and former CEO of Eloqua), describes to Stephen Cummins how the best ideas are born out of pain and how he manages ‘shiny new thing’ syndrome. He talks about why Eloqua was successful and said his obsession with cashflow in the early stages of the companies he founded drove him seek sales as fast as possible. Advocates can massively accelerate the sales process in B2B SaaS he feels – and that was a key method for him was to augment the voice of any happy customers they had from day 1. And this also led to him founding Influitive. ===== transcript of EPISODE E57: Mark Organ, Founder of Influitive and Eloqua. 2 of 3. Cashflow Obsessed ———- Mark Organ That’s why I think to be a great entrepreneur you’ve gotta be an anthropologist. You have to spend time in the field doing what I do …  right … interviewing dozens of people. And I did the same thing at Influitive … I’ve interviewed hundreds of what I call super-advocates … to understand why they do what they do. And what environment we can create for them so that they could accomplish more … and be more of who they wanted to be.   Stephen Cummins Welcome to 14 minutes of SaaS. The show where you can listen to the stories and opinions of founders of the world’s most remarkable SaaS ScaleUps. In the 2nd episode of this three part mini series recorded with Mark Organ, founder and exec chairman in Influitive .. and original founder and former of Eloqua. He describes how the best ideas are born out of pain and how he manages shiny new thing syndrome. He talks about how why Eloqua was successful … and say his obsession with cash flow in the early stages drove him to seek sales as fast as possible. Advocates can massively accelerate the sales process in B2B SaaS he feels. That was key method for him to augment the voice of happy customers they had from day one. And this also led to him founding Influitive.   Stephen Cummins How did you decide to start up Influitive? What was the thing? Mark Organ Yeah. I mean every business I started … this is my seventh … always comes from pain I personally experienced from my last company. So I keep a running record. I already know what my next company is going to be. I don’t know when I’ll have a chance to build it, but I know where I’m going. I know the space I’m excited about. Stephen Cummins Do you suffer from the shiny new thing syndrome? Mark Organ Yeah … a little bit … Stephen Cummins How do you manage that? Mark Organ I know that if I do not focus then I am dead. At the the end of the day, yes, there are a lot of shiny objects that I’m excited about. But again, I’ve got employees, investors, customers … customers count on me. So how I manage it … I write it all in a book. So I have book full of startup ideas. I give them away a lot. So I mean entrepreneurs that are looking for ideas … I say here’s 10 … that I think any one of them could be great find. Find one you’re passionate about, you know, and I think be something there. Although I do think the best ideas are born out of a pain … because building companies … it’s difficult, they are dark days. And sometimes it’s only the fact that I know there’s a business here …  because I like … in the case of Eloqua … why I started that company … is that I interviewed dozens of sales reps who were losing their families or having a difficult time making a living. Because the internet was killing them, this is back in the late nineties. These were insurance salesmen that don’t make a lot of base (salary). And so …. I knew that I could make these people more productive if I could get them good leads –  and the best leads come from the internet. And if I could find ways of nurturing … you know ….  because I understood the lives of these sales people. A lot of people don’t know that the insight from Eloqua actually came out of the sales space … not the marketing space. Okay. And it came from the interviews that I had done. And my co-founder as well. Done with salespeople to understand what it is that they needed to be successful. And the reason why I think Eloqua was successful is because it represented the merger of marketing and sales. Stephen Cummins Tell the listeners what Eloqua was … Mark Organ Oh, sure. Yeah. So Eloqua was a pioneering marketing automation software company. And, so you’ll recognize, I mean, if you know, Marketo or Pardot or whatnot today, basically Eloqua was that … but basically seven years before or Hubspot or Marketo. But… but I think the reason why we did well was that the fundamental insight was that salespeople need to qualified leads and most of the leads that they talked to were a waste of their time. And so marketing … to do its job well … it needed to integrate with the sales function in order to provide the most qualified leads. And that was different from …  that insight is fundamentally different from every other marketing software company that’s out there at the time. And it was born out of my personal experience. That’s why I think to be a great entrepreneur, you’ve gotta be an anthropologist. You have to spend time in the field doing what I do …  right … interviewing dozens of people. And I did the same thing at Influitive … I’ve interviewed hundreds of what I call super-advocates … to understand why they do what they do. And what environment we can create for them so that they could accomplish more … and be more of who they wanted to be. And it was out of that insight that I think is why Influitive is doing well. And why we’re so different from as many other companies doing influencer marketing … and we’re so different … and that’s because we’re focused on the advocate experience … and it again, it comes out of me doing, you know, dozens of hours of work speaking with these people to understand their mental model … how they think. And then how we could get them to do a lot more of that sort of activity.   So that’s been kind of my approach to building companies. And so why I built Influitive was also out of pain that came out of my experience in Eloqua … where because we were bootstrapped company, I was obsessed with cash – we almost went bankrupt four times. You have to have access to cash. And so I needed customers to buy much faster – and customers buy a lot faster when they’re surrounded by people they respect saying you can trust Eloqua, you can trust Mark. They’re good people. And it’s a good fit for you. And so those customers buy very rapidly – sometimes four or five days instead of four or five months.   Stephen Cummins And how does Influitive work? How does it? How does it help someone who has a great product or service to get those advocates to get that message out? How does it work? Mark Organ So we created this environment that advocates just love. And what advocates really want is to feel like they’re part of a movement and I feel like something that part of something bigger themselves like here. Like here we are at SaaStock … it feels great. We’re part of something big… we’re part of the SaaS industry. So human beings long for that. We’re right here. People long for that. Like here in Ireland but when you go to a football game, do people paint their faces like in the United States? Stephen Cummins   Some of them do. Absolutely. Yeah. The other thing is the rugby team actually play beside where we are here. They’re the European champions. Leinster. Most of them actually come from here as well … so they’re massively passionate about it … Mark Organ   Passion about it … even the fans … they may not even play rugby or they played rugby in their teenage years … but they still identify with a team out there on the field. So people long to be part of something that’s bigger themselves. Part of a movement. They want to know that their actions have an impact, they want to get social capital. They want to do better in their life because of their advocacy. So we create an environment where advocates get the feelings that they want. And what that looks like is like a VIP community, right? And so we gamify the process. People get points and badges and they meet one another – and as a result of advocating for their favourite company and product.   And as a result we can get them to do five or ten times as much activities than they normally would. The other thing that’s quite interesting is that a lot of companies in SaaS want a lot of referrals – and they want to generate more referrals, and it’s very valuable. You know, that same person that gives you a referral may also be willing to speak for you on stage can be willing to retweet something that’s important to you. Would be willing to give you feedback on your product. Some of our customers even invite their advocates to their headquarters to do hackathons together with our engineers.   In fact, the more you use them in the more varied ways, the more you use them for. They feel like they’re part of the team. Yeah, the more they feel they’re actually more part of your company than their own company, right. In their own life they may be the backup accountants … you know, somewhere … they are somewhere in the bowels of the company. And they’re not very well known. But when you’re in an advocate role, they’re superman. Yeah, they make it happen for a piece of in this case accounting software that they love. And they make it happen every day. And they’re treated like loyalty and so they feel like they’re more part of that company than they are in their own company. Stephen Cummins So a company I used to work for … a small little SaaS company called Salesforce. They’re masters at this.   Mark Organ   They sure are. Stephen Cummins   I mean when I was with Salesforce, we didn’t have so many MVPs. These days these MVPs are kind of like rock stars with their own identity. And it’s really seeded a massive community. It’s been… it’s been probably their biggest achievement.   Mark Organ I think its one of the biggest achievements. And I took a lot from that. I didn’t mentioned that, you know, part of why I started Influitive was my own experience with advocates massively accelerating the sales process. But I also learned a lot from Salesforce, who is one of our big customers today. We have several divisions that use our product to mobilize their advocates. But I remember going through these city tours … road shows. And there would be someone that I knew was struggling with Salesforce adoption – they would give that person a Glass of champagne and make them feel great and they were evangelising Salesforce better than any sales rep, that was amazing. And I was putting that together and creating the right environment for the advocate and they… and they do a lot. The third thing that was part of my insight was, I learned to speak Chinese. I used an amazing system that was way ahead of his time – still out there – called Chinese pod. And this is amazing, you know. I spent four years trying to learn learn Italian in university – and I can’t order spaghetti in a restaurant today. I spent six months learning Chinese all by podcast. It was one of the first ever podcasts – 2004. And I was able to go to China and do business without an interpreter. Stephen Cummins We have too much in common. I learned a load of languages between the ages of 27 and 3o – primarily through listening. Now. I went and lived in other countries as well. But it was mostly listening on ancient apparatus. But that was the primary way. Mark Organ That make sense? Because when you were a child you didn’t learn grammar by reading – you learned it on your own. Stephen Cummins Mandarin in six months is phenomenal. Well done! Mark Organ Yeah. Yeah. Good. Again, good enough… good enough to have me not need an interpreter. I did have a Chinese English electronic dictionary to help me but… but still pretty… pretty amazing. I can’t read or write Chinese. But I can… I can hear it. I can understand and I can speak. So anyway, that’s awesome – really exciting. I would tell anybody who listens, you gotta check it out. Stephen Cummins So you’re advocating right now. Mark Organ I’m advocating ….even people who had no interest in speaking Chinese whatsoever … I said – you’ve got a check it out! Yeah, it’s really… it’s really amazing. But what I found was my advocacy really started to wain over time. And it’s because I wasn’t recognized for my work. I wasn’t thanked for it. There’s no feedback. I see. I didn’t feel like I was part of something you know. So all these experiences – all the sum total of it is what gave me the biggest insight for my company – which is not a blinding insight – which is – give advocates the experience they want and they will reciprocate by doing advocacy. And to this day that is an insight that …So if you look at all of our competitors, nobody’s focused on the advocate experience, they’re focused on marketers and what marketers want to buy. And that’s important because marketers pay for us … pay for our product. But ultimately, there’s nobody out there that’s going to build a better experience for advocates than us. But at the end of the day, you know, marketers can have a great experience with your product. But if they’re not getting the advocacy that they want, that’s not going to be a great fit. And so I think, you know, the best businesses in the world are actually pretty simple when you break them down. They come down to a simple insight and often have a different lens on a problem than other people are using. And the way to acquire that other lens, you gotta travel, you gotta read, you gotta go to conferences, gotta expose yourself to different experiences. Stephen Cummins In the next and final episode of this three part mini-series Mark reflects on how Lego is the king of advocate marketing, an is a prime example of how B2C is always years ahead of B2B. And he waxes ever so lyrically and dare I say – proudly – about his home town of Toronto. Sure why not?   Stephen Cummins You’ve been listening to 14 minutes of SaaS. Thanks to Mike Quill for his creativity and problem solving skills and to Ketsu for the music. This episode was brought to you by me, Stephen Cummins. If you enjoy the podcast, please don’t forget to share it with your network, subscribe to the series and give the show a rating.
E55: Mark Organ, Founder of Influitive and Eloqua. 3 of 3. Lego Rules!
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Final episode of this 3 part mini-series with Mark Organ, Exec Chairman & Founder of Influitive (and original founder and former CEO of Eloqua). He tells Stephen Cummins that ‘Best Place to Work’ awards are a sham. He talks about Marshall McLuhan’s famous quote ‘The medium is the message.’ Today he feels the messenger is the message. He explains how writing a book was tough, and reflects on how Lego is the King of advocate. He also suggests that his home town of Toronto is right in the middle of a golden age. Mark reflects on how Lego is the King of advocate marketing and is a prime example of how B2C is always years ahead of B2B. And he waxes ever so lyrically, and dare I say proudly, about the golden age of his hometown Toronto. Transcript of E55: Mark Organ, Founder of Influitive and Eloqua. 3 of 3. Lego Rules! …
E50: Dave Blake – Founder & CEO ClientSuccess – Built for CSMs by CSMs
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Dave Blake, founder and CEO of ClientSuccess, a SaaS based customer success platform, founded in Lehi in the Silicon Slopes of Utah in 2014. He talks with Stephen Cummins about how his solution was built for CSMs by CSMs.
E51: David Darmanin – Founder & CEO of Hotjar – 1 of 2 – 4 O’Clock in the Morning
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Part 1 of 2. CEO & Founder Dr. David Darmanin chats to Stephen Cummins about his startup awakening at 4 o clock in the morning in Malta that led to the founding of Hotjar – software used by marketers, product managers and UX designers that helps you rapidly understand your customers
E52: David Darmanin – Founder & CEO of Hotjar – 2 of 2 – Pragmatism before Passion
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Concluding half of a 2 part series, David Darmanin – Founder & CEO of Hotjar talks with Stephen Cummins at Dublin’s SaaStock about his passion for building 100% distributed companies and the importance he places on self awareness and building on one’s strengths. He advises entrepreneurs to avoid what he calls the passion fallacy when building companies – it will protect them from building stuff that they are passionate about, but that people don’t need. He also lists some great books that he mandates all new employees to read when they join the company. Transcript David Darmanin   I advise … I speak to a lot of young startups and people starting up and I’d say easily 80 or 90 percent of the reason why they end up failing is they made the I did right? They have this great idea … driven typically out of their passion. And I wrote a blog post about this – the passion fallacy which is your passion drives you to do something because you love it, but no one wants it, right? So its important to think about that. Stephen Cummins Welcome to 14 minutes of SaaS. The show where you can listen to the stories and opinions of founders of the world’s most remarkable SaaS ScaleUps. In this the second and final part of our chat with David Darmanin, CEO and Cofounder of Hotjar, he talks about his passion for building 100 percent distributed companies … which are 100 percent remote working.  The importance he places on self-awareness and building on one strengths. And he mentions some great books that he mandates all new employees to read when they join the company. Stephen Cummins Bringing you back to the remote piece … any recommendations for a company that wants to build like that? … build a team like that? David Darminan There aren’t that many actually … and in fact, that’s why I said … after Hotjar …  I’m planning to write a book. Or maybe we start working on that now. I get so many questions about this. And there’s so many things that we’ve learned … and we’ve interacted with so many other companies that do remote ….  from Automattic to Basecamp. We’ve talked about how they do it, and don’t. So there’s so many learnings that we need to be sharing. I’d say the first tip –  more than anything  – is if you have parts of team in one location and you’re thinking of remote as an add-on to that to expand your possibilities, don’t. That’s not gonna work. In my opinion experience, mixing remote with non-remote doesn’t work very well. Mainly because it creates the ‘Us and Them’ culture – and you feel left out. So it’s critical that you avoid this situation – and the reality is human nature. If you’re jumping on a call or a Zoom with a headset … and on the other end, there’s six people in the room, but you don’t really feel like you’re part of the team. And that very early on creates the separation. So unless you’re willing to have everyone with a headset on joining a call separately, then probably remote is not the ideal ….  if you really truly want to invest in this, right? To me remote is everyone individually connected together right? It’s not adding a team on to an existing company in a separate location – that is not remote. Stephen Cummins Is that because part of that means that you’d almost have 2 tiers of people and the remote people are kind of – you never quite get your head around how to work with them – because you’re so used to interacting in situ? …  yeah, okay. That’s fascinating . David Darminan It’s about culture, right? This is really, really important to not create that divide. Stephen Cummins And is it a is it easier to scale … if you’re working in this way … is it much more challenging if they’re working out of the house … or if you have like twos and threes and fours and pods of offices around the place. What works better? David Darminan Yeah. I think it all depends on the culture, the values of the company, the culture of the people. I guess leaders who prefer the more command mode will struggle with remote, right? So it works best when you are a more transparent, trusting, open leader. Not everything is made to work for everyone, right? So there are situations where it’s not ideal. So there are many different formats you can have – with different pods and everything. But what we’ve found is that what’s worked really well for us – and the more I speak to people with challenges – this is kind of feels like what would help them …. . it’s that we do not distinguish between you and like this country and that country … when I speak to someone, it’s probably this global citizen thing I have in my mind. Like I don’t think of them in that way. That’s just like a detail. It’s the equivalent of what clothes they like to where and this is the country they like to live in. When we connect digitally, we’re just there … we’re in the Hotjar-sphere and that’s it. So we don’t think beyond that. Stephen Cummins It’s fascinating to hear it David because so many people will tell you that, you know, they build a remote team …. sometimes for cost reasons, sometimes for other reasons, sometimes just because they can’t find people where they are as it’s so competitive. And they always say … get an office and get eight or nine of them and get that one amazing person that will … but it’s fascinating to listen to someone who has scaled such a successful company for people working at home or working out of their own office or whatever … all around the planet. David Darmanin And the reality is that it will work for some companies to have one office and have a leader and just own that, right. It will work. It all depends what is your objective. Are you just trying to make a quick buck and you need that team. Or are you trying to scale up a culture or an organization, right? So it depends what your objectives are. Stephen Cummins How many people are there in Hotjar now? David Darmanin We’re 70 team members. Stephen Cummins Wow…across how many countries? David Darmanin 17 Stephen Cummins Any tips that you would give to somebody considering starting up a business themselves – whether they’re in the middle of a corporate job or they’re coming out of university? What are the two or three things you’d do if you were going back in time? David Darmanin Looking back in my mistakes and failures, I’d say the one most important thing is to not start with the product… start with the market! And it took me a very long time to understand this. A great book to read about this because we don’t have much time is the ‘22 Immutable Laws of Marketing’. It’s by the people who wrote ‘Positioning’. So it’s all about understanding that at the end of the day you need to be a brand that owns a position in the minds of your market … and you need to start from there. And then build a product for that. And obviously typically your idea of what to build and how to take this position comes from your experience. So I’m not saying you should go and find a hole in the market – but more than anything validate your idea against that, right? I advise … I speak to a lot of young startups and people starting up and I’d say easily 80 or 90 percent of the reason why they end up failing is they made the I did right? They have this great idea … driven typically out of their passion. And I wrote a blog post about this – the passion fallacy which is your passion drives you to do something because you love it, but no one wants it, right? So its important to think about that. Stephen Cummins Do you have any inner superpower … or one or two superpowers that you know …  they’re your strong points, they’re the things that have helped you be successful? Would you mind sharing what they might be? David Darmanin Yeah. And in fact, we actually know at Hotjar everyone’s strengths. We… we do something called the Strengths Finder. Okay. Which is basically a small book with a survey embedded in it – with a link to the survey
E43: Vaughan Fergusson – Founder & ex CEO of Vend – 1 of 7 – the Importance of Timing
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Vaughan Fergusson, Founder and ex CEO of Vend, describes a no-frills upbringing, how he got into software, and gives a great example of the importance of timing in startups.
E44: Vaughan Fergusson – Founder & ex CEO of Vend – 2 of 7 – Therapeutic Personal Challenges
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Vaughan Fergusson, Founder and ex CEO of Vend, talks about people who influenced him and 10 years of amazing personal challenges which he initially used as therapy for his obsessive compulsive tendencies with in business
E45: Vaughan Fergusson – Founder & ex CEO of Vend – 3 of 7 – Online will Never Kill Bricks and Mortar Retail
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Vaughan Fergusson, Founder and ex CEO of Vend, describes journey with the startup he founded - the first holistic cloud based retail platform. He feels the online experience will never kill bricks and mortar retail.
E46: Vaughan Fergusson – Founder & ex CEO of Vend – 4 of 7 – Tell you Story
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Episode 4 of a 7 part series with Vaughan Fergusson. Episode 46 of 14 Minutes of SaaS. If Pam Fergusson had not borrowed money to buy her children a computer, would Vend and OMG tech exist today? Vaughan doesn't think so.
E47: Vaughan Fergusson – Founder & ex CEO of Vend – 5 of 7 – New Zealand evolves away from Tall Poppy Syndrome
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Vaughan Fergusson, Founder and ex CEO of Vend, explains how a post Xero New Zealand is evolving away from tall poppy syndrome into a growing sense of confidence and a stronger personality in the world. He discusses the challenges of governments being slow to innovate.
E48: Vaughan Fergusson – Founder & ex CEO of Vend – 6 of 7 – Don’t Fail too Fast
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Vaughan Fergusson, Founder and ex CEO of Vend, talks about mentorship and why team and timing are more important than ideas. Also the power of diversity when it comes to hiring effectively and also regarding the creation of effective innovative ideas.
E49: Vaughan Fergusson – Founder & ex CEO of Vend – 7 of 7 – the Illusion of Overnight Success
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Vaughan Fergusson, Founder and ex CEO of Vend, reveals whether he has lost the fear as an entrepreneur. He advises entrepreneurs to look after their health and take their time – overnight successes are uncommon in the startup world. It normally takes 10 years to build something really valuable.
E39: Chris Wysopal – Co-founder & CTO of Veracode – 1 of 2 – a Push from Symantec
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Chris Wysopal is Co-founder & CTO of Veracode, a data security SaaS company which sold for $950 million USD. He talks about his hacker mindset and the push Symantec gave him to leave and cofound his company
E40: Chris Wysopal – Co-founder & CTO of Veracode – 2 of 2 – Startups take a long time
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Chris Wysopal, Co-founder & CTO of Veracode, talks about how startups take time and how some founders may look like an overnight success, but usually they've been at it for years. And how to be a successful founder, you need to love what you do.
E41: Cameron Adams – Co-founder & CPO of Canva – 1 of 2 – One Percent Done
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Cameron Adams, Co-founder & CPO of Canva, talks about his personal history and his decision to become a co-founder of this current rocket ship. Canva is a graphic design platform that has raised $157M dollars on a $2.5B valuation, but he says they're only 1% done!
E42: Cameron Adams – Co-founder & CPO of Canva – 2 of 2 – Designing a Unicorn
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Cameron Adams – Co-founder & CPO of Canva, talks about product innovation and building teams that feel safe enough to express their creativity and take risks. He explains why it's almost impossible to AB test your way to a unicorn.
E31: Whurley – Founder & CEO of Strangeworks – 1 of 8 – crashing into his future self
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
A car crash inspires the first step along a serpentine path to becoming an arch inventor, technologist & market strategist. Whurley accelerates the evolution of quantum computing with Strangeworks. He followed no rules in school. His pied piper is an imagination roaming far beyond the box.
E32: Whurley – Founder & CEO of Strangeworks – 2 of 8 – darkness before enlightenment
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
A whirlwind career as a serial-entrepreneur takes off as whurley loses the fear, gains financial independence, then goes through a psychological slump before re-emerging to invent retirement as a service.
E33: Whurley – Founder & CEO of Strangeworks – 3 of 8 – baby steps towards a quantum leap
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Our protagonist acquires wisdom & sheds his super-hero costume – he’ll create an interface between a swelling crowd of dev talent and tech that’ll utterly transform our future – in incomprehensible ways. A vision of an AWS for Quantum
E34: Whurley – Founder & CEO of Strangeworks – 4 of 8 -extracting purpose out of infinite choice
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Whurley talks about the great challenge to finding one's purpose being almost infinite choice. Finding this is key to getting up in the morning filled with joy about the day ahead, charged with energy & desire to make whatever it is happen
E35: Whurley – Founder & CEO of Strangeworks – 5 of 8 – fear, uncertainty and doubt kill innovation
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Expensive meme. will Quantum kill the Blockchain star? Killer blindspot. Do the best companies canabalise their own markets? Big VC: "Wanna buy a bottle of fear, uncertainty & doubt?" Little startup: "Yes please". Innovation exits stage early
E36: Whurley – Founder & CEO of Strangeworks – 6 of 8 – Entrepreneurship is Unromantic
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Inc. Magazine is a Romance Novel for Business Nerds. “Romancing entrepreneurship is like romanticising people who fly 150,000 miles a year. When you’re successful, it’s all worth it. And when you’re in the middle and fighting those battles and you have those small wins, it’s super exhilarating. But it’s a form of gambling and you’re gambling with your career, and you’re gambling with your family, and you’re gambling with your life. And I don’t know that gambling should be romanticised ... I’ve never done a Series A. I’ve done 2 seed rounds. That’s the most funding I’ve done in my entire career. ….I“It becomes too much about raising money is seen as successful because with the money comes the power – I can hire people, I can acquire, I can do stuff. But the money is a poison because the money can also bring complacency." Transcript: WHURLEY Romancing entrepreneurship is like romanticising people who fly 150,000 miles a year. When you’re successful, it’s all worth it. And when you’re in the middle and fighting those battles and you have those small wins, it’s super exhilarating. But it’s a form of gambling and you’re gambling with your career, and you’re gambling with your family, and you’re gambling with your life. And I don’t know that gambling should be romanticised Stephen In episode six have a Whurley describes,how risky the life of an entrepreneur is - although he embraces risk, he believes we should go in with our eyes open. He makes the case for Austin as the greatest city in the world to start a business and talks about the advantages to being an Eisenhower fellow as he travels around Germany and Japan. WHURLEY You know, I was just that at this event, right before TOA… these guys like, you know, saying 'I raised 200,000,000 dollars in  blah blah blah blah'.  I asked what happened to the company? Oh, you know, eventually it folded this and that… to me that's even more horrible. I mean, I would never want to say ... I mean I've only raised for one company raised 3,000,000 dollars for Honest Dollar and that obviously worked out great. I've now raised 4,000,000 in a seed for Strangeworks. To be determined. But, you know, you raise the 3,000,000 for Honest Dollar. And I was the whole time ... was like ... we 3,000,000 dollars in debt. But if we do a series A ...  I've never done a series A. I don't want to go into debt ....  I've only raised 2 seed wounds - that's the most funding in my entire career. I believe, you know the  entrepreneurs credo ... to use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without. That should be, you know, the… the… the Bible, I think for entrepreneurs. Because it becomes too much about raising money and can create complacency in the company. I know how long 4,000,000 dollars will last - to the day ... and I will remind everybody in the company how many days we have left until we run out of this oxygen. That is this money in the startup. I want them to be painfully aware of that. ...... Inc magazine's a romance novel for business nerds ...  
E37: Whurley – Founder & CEO of Strangeworks – 7 of 8 – data, not drama
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
"For me the talent I work on the most is objectivity .. Data, not Drama .. which is my philosophy for how you should run a startup and run your life. So in my startups anyone can challenge any decision I’ve made, they can challenge anything, and they can challenge any authority – they only have to have data they’ve collected that they can show is objective that backs up why they think something is the wrong route for the company, why they think this is the wrong direction. And I think that would help people in their normal life too." Transcript (under construction) Whurley: Data, not Drama .. which is my philosophy for how you should run a startup and run your life. So in my startups anyone can challenge any decision I’ve made, they can challenge anything, and they can challenge any authority – they only have to have data they’ve collected that they can show is objective that backs up why they think something is the wrong route for the company, why they think this is the wrong direction. And I think that would help people in their normal life too." Stephen Cummins Welcome to 14 minutes of SaaS, the show where you can listen to the stories and opinions of founders of the world's most remarkable SaaS ScaleUps. In this episode - episode 7 of 8, Whurley describes 2 qualities that have underscored his success so far.  One of them is an uncanny knack for timing... the other is an ability to see the positive and the creative in those around him. He seeks to influence not control what they do. Whurley Now when i go to Japan, professor Mori who kinda invented annealing is there. It'll be harder to get the meetings but more relevant to what I'm doing. .... I'm enjoying the journey immensely. Under construction ... Timing is part luck, part opportunity. But if I had something I aspired to ... it would be a Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson etc ... Did you bring your copy of Quantum Computing for babies with you? ... The talent is timeing and ...  
E38: Whurley – Founder & CEO of Strangeworks – 8 of 8 – control yourself, not your team
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Whurley discusses his night-time routine and advises founders not to control their teams and to respond rather than react to important events. In essence he advises founders that the need to control oneself is should be much more pressing than any misplaced desire to control one's team
E24 – Garry Tan, Co-founder & Managing Partner of Initialized – the Power of Smart Engineers – 1 of 2
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Garry Tan, who is co-founder and managing partner of Initialized. The Palantir blues, Big company blindness, there's never too much capital, the power of a great engineer as well as Algolia, EasyPost and Rainforest QA, 1 of 2
E25 – Garry Tan, Co-founder & Managing Partner of Initialized – Fixing a Broken World – 2 of 2
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Garry Tan, co-founder & managing partner of Initialized. Discovering what needs to be fixed in the world, why there's never too much capital, the power of great engineers as well as investments Patreon, Coinbase & Plate IQ. 2 of 2
E26 – Ysiad Ferreiras, ex-COO @ Hustle – Gang Member to Silicon Valley Exec – 1 of 3
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Part 1 of a 3-part mini-series with Ysiad Ferreiras, ex-COO of Hustle. He discusses his evolution from gang member to hedge fund trader to getting depressed in India to Silicon Valley exec
E27 – Ysiad Ferreiras, ex-COO @ Hustle – the magic of Sales Engineering – 2 of 3
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Part 2 of a 3-part mini-series with Ysiad Ferreiras, ex-COO of Hustle. Deep dive into Hustle’s value prop, the magic of sales engineering, and why he’s wired to be a successful COO
E28 – Ysiad Ferreiras, ex-COO @ Hustle – Understand & Cultivate your Uniqueness – 3 of 3
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Final part of a 3-part mini-series with Ysiad Ferreiras, ex-COO of Hustle. Maslow's hierarchy of needs as framework for understanding others, profitable diversity, differentiating oneself
E21 – Andrew Mullaney, Ex Co-Founder & CTO NewsWhip – from Darkness springs Opportunity – 1 of 3
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Andrew Mullaney, ex Co-founder Newswhip - tracking how billions of people engage with stories. Andrew reflects on whether working for a large consultancy helps one as an entrepreneur & tells how he gave away a startup! Part 1 of 3
E22 – Andrew Mullaney, Ex Co-Founder & CTO NewsWhip – I’m a Virus. I never go away – 2 of 3
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Why does Andrew Mullaney, ex Co-founder Newswhip, describes himself as a virus? Why recessions are better than booms in a way, the one question Andrew will ask if he interviews you, and starting up in Dublin. Part 2 of 3
E23 – Andrew Mullaney, Ex Co-Founder & CTO NewsWhip – Embrace the Now, Forget Legacy – 3 of 3
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Andrew Mullaney, ex Co-founder Newswhip - knowing what makes your co-founders & investors tick, navigating a sea of distractions, why a life bereft of holidays creates a soulless vacuum that sucks in bad decisions. Part 3 of 3
E18 – Russ Heddleston, Co-Founder & CEO of DocSend – Mobile First is Overrated – 1 of 3
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Russ Heddleston, CEO and Co-Founder of DocSend (founded 2013, $10M raised), talks about whether you should startup with friends and why mobile first strategies can be over-rated in B2B SaaS.
E19 – Russ Heddleston, Co-Founder & CEO of DocSend – Deconstructing Content Consumption – 2 of 3
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Part 2. Russ Heddleston, CEO of Docsend (founded 2013, raised $10M), chats about counter-intuitive observations around fund raising pitch decks and whether voice interfaces will kill Docsend
E20 – Russ Heddleston, Co- Founder & CEO of Docsend – Self-Service for Starters – 3 of 3
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Part 3. Russ Heddleston, CEO of Docsend talks about co-founders being on a similar financial footing before starting, and on whether to target small business with self-serve first in B2B SaaS
E12 – Kolton Andrus – Gremlin – Part 1 of 3
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Kolton Andrus – CEO and Co-founder of Gremlin, a company that breaks IT systems on purpose to make them stronger. Gremlin is just 3 years old and has already raised $27 million in investment
E13 – Kolton Andrus – Gremlin – Part 2 of 3
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Kolton Andrus – CEO and Co-founder of Gremlin, a company that breaks IT systems on purpose to make them stronger. Gremlin is just 3 years old and has already raised $27 million in investment
E14 – Kolton Andrus – Gremlin – Part 3 of 3
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Kolton Andrus – CEO and Co-founder of Gremlin, a company that breaks IT systems on purpose to make them stronger. Gremlin is just 3 years old and has already raised $27 million in investment
E09 – Ryan Carson – Treehouse – Part 1 of 3
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Ryan Carson, Co-Founder and CEO of Treehouse – based out of Portland, Oregon in the United States. Treehouse helps companies like Google
E10 – Ryan Carson – Treehouse – Part 2 of 3
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Ryan Carson, Co-Founder and CEO of Treehouse – based out of Portland, Oregon in the United States. Treehouse helps companies like Google
E11 – Ryan Carson – Treehouse – Part 3 of 3
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Ryan Carson, Co-Founder and CEO of Treehouse – based out of Portland, Oregon in the United States. Treehouse helps companies like Google
E06 Edith Harbaugh – LaunchDarkly - 14 minutes of SaaS
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Edith Harbaugh, CEO and co-founder of LaunchDarkly, adores software so much that she’s built a product that helps other companies build better software. She also writes, codes, podcasts, runs ultramarathons and mentors startups while running a Silicon Valley star scale-up. Her company is less than 4 years old and has raised over $32m “When you’re outside your mind starts to make connections because you’re not staring at a screen.”
E06 Edith Harbaugh – the Bright Side of a Dark Launch
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Edith Harbaugh, CEO and co-founder of LaunchDarkly, adores software so much that she’s built a product that helps other companies build
E07 Ron Palmeri – Layer and Prism
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Ron Palmeri is Founder and CEO of Layer and Founder of Prism. Layer has raised about $30 million in 5 years for its toolkit for building better conversations
E07 Ron Palmeri – Layer, Prism Skylabs - 14 minutes of SaaS
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Ron Palmeri is Founder and CEO of Layer and Founder of Prism Skylabs. Layer has raised about $30 million in 5 years for its toolkit for building better conversations through messaging. Prism Skylabs has raised $24M in less than 7 years to bring physical spaces online – it’s a video intelligence platform that transforms security cameras into data sources for business analytics. Like Algolia’s Nicolas Dessaigne, Ron is excited about the evolution of conversational ininterfaces. “Mobile is rewiring our brain. All of that is going to get fundamentally remade through what we call conversational interfaces.”
E08 Adi Azaria – Sisense - 14 minutes of SaaS
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Adi Azaria, Co-Founder and Chief Evangelist of Sisense. His company has raised $97M for its business analytics solution. Sisense prepares, analyses, and visualises complex datasets using one single-stack solution. Adi is largely self-taught in the software world and his defining quality is his penchant for solving problems – whether it’s simplifying the pain of data consumption, reducing sex trafficking in India, tackling childhood cancer in the US, or successfully engineering a solution for his own son’s sleeplessness. Rather like LaunchDarkly’s Edith Harbaugh, Adi finds that his best ideas come when he is in a relaxed state of mind – whether mediating, walking, painting or doing sports. And like Algolia’s Nicolas Dessaigne he focuses on the link between company culture and hiring and retaining great people. “I love people more than computers. I love the relationship between them, but I love people more.”
E08 Adi Azaria –– Sisense
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Adi Azaria, Co-Founder and Chief Evangelist of Sisense. His company has raised $97M for its business analytics solution. Sisense prepares, analyses, and
E9 – Ryan Carson – Treehouse – Part 1 of 3
14 Minutes of SaaS - founder stories on business, tech and life
Ryan Carson, Co-Founder and CEO of Treehouse – based out of Portland, Oregon in the United States. Treehouse helps companies like Google, Amazon, IBM and Microsoft identify and retrain people with the potential to be strong developers and coders. We talk about a mismatch between modern education and preparation for a career, hiring for diversity and having the fairness to accept that the middle class white male had a lot handed to him, how the US as a meritocracy is a myth, changing the ‘system’, the power of empathy, embracing the sales process, and self-knowledge. Ryan is someone intensely focused on equality of opportunity and takes a hands-on approach to diversity – and it’s not just ‘me too’ lip service. This interview took place in New Orleans in Collision in 2018. “I’ve been going down this deep journey of realising that America is not an equal opportunity land. You know … it’s not a meritocracy for sure.”