The SaaS Podcast on ConversionAid - SaaS Startups, Growth Hacking & Entrepreneurship
Fred Stutzman is the co-founder and CEO of Eighty Percent Solutions, the company which builds the innovative productivity software Freedom.

Freedom helps you to get more focused and improve your productivity by blocking your access to websites and apps.

The product is used by over 450,000 people and its users report gaining an average of 2.5 hours of productive time each day.

Freedom was founded in 2011 and was bootstrapped for the first 4 years. The product has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR and other publications.

Previously, my guest was co-founder of ClaimID.com and a technology researcher at UNC-Chapel Hill and Carnegie Mellon University. He holds a Ph.D. in Information Science and is currently adjunct professor at UNC's School of Information and Library science, where he teaches courses about privacy and social media.

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This is a story about a college student who was wasting too much on Facebook. He realized that he needed a solution to reduce the daily distractions and to help him focus. So he built a simple tool in a couple of hours which did the job.

He also shared the tool with a few people and it just took off from there. A year later with zero marketing, he had over half a million users - just through word of mouth.

When he started getting multiple feature requests a day from users and people offering him money to add features, he knew was onto a great business opportunity. So he took a week to improve the product and setup a website with a PayPal button.

Today his little tool has turned into a business doing over a million dollars a year.

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Direct download: 154-Fred-Stutzman-Freedom.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PST

David Abrams is the co-founder of Demio, a webinar platform that helps businesses to engage, communicate and build relationships with their prospects and customers.

The company was founded in 2014, but it took them 2 years to develop the beta and launch. And so the product has been in market for about a year. The company is self-funded and based in Tampa, Florida.

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This episode is a story about two guys who decided they were going to build their own webinar software. They spotted a gap in the market and believed their idea could succeed.

But neither of the founders were technical. So they hired a company to build the first version of their product. They spent almost $100,000 and ended up with a buggy and poor quality product which they had to throwaway.

Having learned a very important lesson for $100,000, they decided to start again and this time did a much better job hiring the right developer and being more involved in the design and development of the product.

It took them a long time to get things right. Their product was in beta for 2 years. But in the end, the hard work and patience paid off. Currently, they're generating about $500,000 in annual revenue and are growing fast.

Enjoy the show? Get more by joining SaaS Club. Learn more..
Direct download: 153-David-Abrams-Demio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PST

Allan Wille is the co-founder and CEO of Klipfolio, a SaaS application for building and sharing real-time business dashboards on browsers, mobile devices and TVs. Klipfolio helps you stay in control of your business by giving you visibility into your most important data and metrics, wherever you are.

Klipfolio is based Ottowa, Canada and was founded in 2001. To date the company has raised over $16 million dollars. And it has over 8,500 customers including companies such as Jet.com, Zendesk and Ikea to name a few.

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This episode is a story about 2 co-founders who struggled for 3 years to get their first paying customer. And to make ends meet during that time, one of the co-founders even had to sell his car to be able to put food on the table.

These guys spent 3 years building a business to consumer (B2C) product. And they had almost 300,000 users. But the problem was that they had zero revenue. But they kept telling themselves that they just had to keep going.

Then one day the received a call from someone at Lufthansa, the largest airline in Germany. The company had a number of their employees using the B2C product to track soccer game scores. They wanted to know if the app could also be used to display business data in a dashboard. And that was the day that they co-founders pivoted to a business to business (B2B) model.

They built what Lufthansa wanted. And then went out to find their next corporate customer and then the next one. It wasn't easy. It involved a lot of cold-calling in the early days, which both the co-founders hated. But slowly they started to get traction.

And it was really slow growth. After 10 years of being in business, the company had 14 employees. But finally their persistence paid off and they started to see the elusive 'hockey stick' growth after year 10. The company now has over 90 employees and does over $8 million in annual run rate.

Do you want to learn how to build, launch and grow your SaaS product? Get Our Free Learning Guides.
Direct download: 152-Allan-Wille-Klipfolio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PST

Bastiaan Janmaat is the co-founder and CEO of DataFox, an artificial intelligence and prospecting platform. DataFox helps sales and marketing teams prospect smarter and have thoughtful, personalized conversations at exactly the right time. DataFox's algorithms structure information on millions of businesses and deliver reliable data and machine-learned suggestions where and when they're needed.

Prior to launching DataFox, my guest was an investment analyst at Goldman Sachs. He and his co-founders launched DataFox in 2013 and to date have raised $9 million in funding.

The company's investors include Goldman Sachs and Google Ventures. And their customers include companies such as Twilio, Box, Google, Amazon & SalesForce.

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This episode is a story about 4 co-founders who decided that they could use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help sales & marketing people to make better decisions.

They saw first hand how the explosion of information available to sales & marketing people was overwhelming and making it harder for them to do their jobs.

They decided to use data science and machine learning to capture millions of data points about companies and people. And turn that data into actionable insights.

But they also knew that they needed to move fast. So they started building the AI technology, but also did a ton of work manually to process the data they collected.

In other words, they focused on solving customer's problems however they could.

The first version of their product was sold for $49 per month. Today, their customers pay them anywhere from $10,000 to $200,000 a year.

In this episode we talk about how they came up with the idea, how they got started, what they did to get customers and how they've continued to grow the business.

We also talk about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how they're using AI technologies to help real-world problems for businesses trying to prospect and generate leads.

Do you want to learn how to build, launch and grow your SaaS product? Get Our Free Learning Guides.

Direct download: 151-Bastiaan-Janmaat-DataFox.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:47pm PST

Tim Broom is the co-founder and CEO of ITProTV, a subscription based learning site for IT Professionals. The company provides an easy and entertaining approach to IT training which is broadcast live every day and is also available on-demand.

The founders launched the business in 2012. They originally started out with a few authorized brick and mortar' training centers, which they sold and went all in with their new startup built around a SaaS business model.

The company is based in Gainesville, Florida and has been self-funded from day one.

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This is a story about two guys who were running a brick and mortar computer training center in Gainesville, Florida. They spent many years building and growing that business.

But they realized that a brick and mortar business wasn't going to let them grow as fast enough. And they also wanted to build a recurring revenue business. So they launched a second business called ITProTV to deliver IT training online.

It began as a humble startup business on the side. Eventually the founders decided to make a big bet on ITProTV and sold the brick and mortar business.

In 4 years, they've built a successful SaaS business that's on track to do $9 million annual run rate this year. And they've grown with very little marketing -- or I should say, very little marketing that's worked for them.

This is a great story and my guest is a great guy, who's humble and level headed. In this interview he shares his story and the lessons that's he's learned along the way to building an almost 8-figure SaaS business.

Do you want to learn how to build, launch and grow your SaaS product? Get Our Free Learning Guides.
Direct download: 150-Tim-Broom-_ITProTV.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PST

Rob Percival is a former high school math teacher from England who started teaching people to code. He posted his first online web development course for $199 in June 2014 and only made 1 sale in the first 24 hours.

Since then he's gone on to launch several coding courses with well over 500,000 students and has generated over $5 million in revenue.

You can find his online courses at Udemy.com. The topics range from web and mobile development courses to Ruby on Rails & Python programming and database development.

He's also the founder and managing director of Eco Web Hosting, a company that focused on environmentally friendly web hosting and packages that are 100% carbon neutral.


Do you want to learn how to build, launch and grow your SaaS product? Get Our Free Learning Guides.
Direct download: Rob-Percival-Eco-Web-Hosting.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PST

Raj Bhaskar is the co-founder and CEO of Hurdlr, a mobile app for independent workers, freelancers and solopreneurs to manage their business finances. It seamlessly tracks all of your income streams, expenses and tax deductions in real-time, on the go.

Previously, Raj was the founder and CEO of VisualHOMES, a software company focused on property management and real estate solutions which he built and sold after 10 years.

Hurdlr was founded in 2012 and is based in Washington DC.

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This episode is about a guy who came up with an idea for a startup after noticing that many freelancers were struggling with a specific problem.

And then he realized that Airbnb hosts and Uber drivers were also dealing with the same problem.

So he set out to build a product that would solve that problem.

The product wasn't an overnight success, but the feedback from the market was positive enough to keep going. Today, his product has over 100,000 users and is continuing to grow.

Most of the growth has been driven by content marketing. But he didn't just create content, he put just as much effort into distributing that content.

So in this interview, we explore how he made content marketing work for his business. And we look at how he's built a business within the Uber and Airbnb ecosystems and beyond.

Do you want to learn how to build, launch and grow your SaaS product? Get Our Free Learning Guides.
Direct download: Raj-Bhaskar-Hurdlr.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PST

JD Graffam is the founder of SimpleFocus, a design agency that helps create user interfaces and digital products. The company's clients include Starbucks, Oracle and the U.S. Air Force.

But this agency is a little different because it also has its own portfolio of software products. This includes Pulse (a cash flow management software for small businesses), Sifter (a bug and issue tracking app for nimble teams) and BallPark (an invoicing and time tracking app) that JD acquired from Metalab's founder Andrew Wilkinson (who was my guest on episode 76). And JD just acquired another app called Curated (a product that helps you grow your audience by collecting and sharing engaging content).

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This episode is about a design agency owner who wanted to get into the SaaS business. He didn't have any success building his own SaaS product, so he acquired one instead.

The SaaS product that he acquired, already had customers and some recurring revenue. He and his team improved the product and over time, more than doubled the monthly recurring revenue.

So he acquired another SaaS product and did the same again. And in the last few years, my guest has built a portfolio of 6 SaaS products, all through acquisitions, and he's still looking for more.

The remarkable thing is that he's grown recurring revenue for his products without any marketing. He just focused on serving the existing customers better and the improving the products.

In this episode we talk about how he acquired his first SaaS product, what he did to grow recurring revenue, what he looks for when acquiring a SaaS product and how he manages multiple products and businesses.

Do you want to learn how to build, launch and grow your SaaS product? Get Our Free Learning Guides.
Direct download: JD_Graffam-SimpleFocus.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PST

Clate Mask is the co-founder and CEO of Infusionsoft, which makes sales and marketing automation software exclusively for small businesses.

Infusionsoft combines CRM, email automation and e-commerce capabilities into one product. It helps small businesses capture more leads, improve conversion rates and generate more sales.

The company was founded in 2001 and has raised over $125 million to date. Infusionsoft has over 125,000 users and so far has processed $3.4 billion of payments for its customers.

Clate is also the author of Conquer the Chaos: How to Grow a Successful Small Business Without Going Crazy', a New York Times best seller which focuses on balancing personal and work life, will becoming successful as a budding entrepreneur.


Do you want to learn how to build, launch and grow your SaaS product? Get Our Free Learning Guides.
Direct download: 146-Clate_Mask-Infusionsoft.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PST

Nadim Hossain is the co-founder and CEO of BrightFunnel, a SaaS product that generates predictive and actionable insights for B2B marketers, and shows what impact marketing is having on revenue.

Founded in 2012, BrightFunnel has raised just under $9 million in funding to date. And its customers include companies such as Verizon and Cloudera.

My guest has over 17 years of experience in building, marketing, and selling cloud applications. Prior to founding BrightFunnel, he was VP of marketing and sales at PowerReviews which had a $170 million exit. And he was also a product marketing executive at Salesforce.com during their hyper-growth years.

This is a story about a marketing guy who was working at a tech company. He was frustrated about hard it was to understand the impact that marketing was having on revenue. He started creating his own solution by gathering data from different sources and putting it all into Excel spreadsheets. And he thought to himself, someone should really find a good solution for this.

Eventually, he realized that he was the one who needed to solve this problem. But he wasn't a developer so needed to find the right technical co-founder. He was also a first time founder and was trying to build this business while he and his wife were expecting a baby. So there was a lot of pressure on him and huge sense of urgency.

Fast forward to today, he's grown his startup into a company that's generating several million dollars in revenue. He's raised just under $9 million in funding to date. And his company now employs 35 people and that number is likely to double in the next year.

He shares some great insights both from the early days of turning his idea into a business. And we also explore lessons he's learned as his role as a CEO continues to grow.

Direct download: 145-Nadim-Hossain-BrightFunnel.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:36pm PST