The SaaS Podcast - SaaS, Startups, Growth Hacking & Entrepreneurship

Mike Hilton is the chief product officer of Accolade, a healthcare technology platform that partners with large, innovative employers to simplify and improve healthcare for employees and their families.

Previously, Mike was the co-founder of Concur, a travel expense and invoice management product. Mike and his two co-founders launched the business in 1993 from an apartment and self-funded it for the first year and. In 2014 (21 years later) they sold that business to SAP for a mind-blowing $8.3 billion.

They started out with a Windows product which they sold for $69. And eventually became a SaaS business in 2001. And in order to build the SaaS business, they had to bet the entire company and risk all the revenue they were generating from their existing on-premise product.

It's clearly not an overnight success story - the founders put 21 years into the business. And it wasn't all smooth sailing either. They became a public company in 1998 and grew to a market cap of $1 billion and a share price of $60. But within a couple of years, their market cap dropped from $1 billion to $8 million and their share price went from $60 to 27 cents!

They were losing money and hemorrhaging employees. And they were written off for dead. But they figured out a way to keep going and eventually turned things around.

It's a fascinating story and Mike is a great guest who shares it all.

I hope you enjoy it.


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Direct download: mike-hilton-concur-accolade-180.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:07pm PST

Mike Taber is the founder of Bluetick.io, a SaaS product that automates the process of sending follow up emails, while keeping it personal.

Mike is also the co-host of Startups for the Rest of Us podcast and he's the co-founder of Microconf, both of which he runs with Rob Walling, the founder of Drip.

His last startup was AuditShark, a software product that helped regulated businesses such as financial companies to ensure IT security compliance.

He tried for several years to get that business off the ground. It was a long painful effort trying to make it work, but in the end, the business failed.

Mike believes that it wasn't a product market fit issue, but a product founder fit issue. In other words, the business wasn't a good fit for him as a founder.

For example, selling to enterprise customers typically involves outbound sales. Mike wasn't comfortable doing that and probably wasted a lot of time trying to acquire customers in different ways such as inbound marketing, that just didn't work as well.

In this episode, we talk about the lessons he learned from the failure of AuditShark. And how he's making sure that he doesn't make the same mistakes with Bluetick.

I enjoyed chatting with Mike and I think you'll enjoy this episode especially if you're also in the early stages of building your SaaS business.


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Direct download: mike-taber-bluetick-179.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:51am PST

Elizabeth Yin is the co-founder and general partner at Hustle Fund - the seed fund for hilariously early hustlers. She's also the co-founder of Hustle Con, a conference for non technical startup entrepreneurs.

Previously, Elizabeth founded LaunchBit, which was acquired in 2014. She was also a partner at 500 Startups where she led the accelerator program.

In this interview we cover SaaS fundraising 101 for early stage startups. So if you are thinking of fundraising but don't know where to start, this episode will help you figure that out.

We talk about the fundraising landscape in 2018 and the differences between pre-seed, seed and post-seed stages. Elizabeth shares some awesome advice on how to approach investors, how to set up meetings, the do's and don'ts of pitching to an investor, how to think about valuation of your startup and a lot more.

It's an awesome episode, jam packed with actionable insights. I hope you enjoy it.


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SaaS Club Plus


Need help building, launching and growing your SaaS business? Join SaaS Club Plus and get the insights, motivation and support you need to succeed. Learn more about SaaS Club Plus.
Direct download: 178-Elizabeth-Yin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00pm PST

Mikita Mikado is the co-founder and CEO of PandaDoc, a SaaS product that lets you create, deliver, and manage your team's quotes, proposals, contracts, and other sales collateral.

Before launching PandaDoc, Mikita and his co-founder Serge were running another business together in Belarus. They had to send out a lot of sales proposals and contracts.

It was tedious and time consuming for them to create and track all these documents. And after investing hours into putting a document together, they had no idea if their prospective customer had even looked at it.

So eventually, they decided to solve this problem, not just for themselves but also for other people running similar businesses. They built a SaaS product called QuoteRoller and launched it in 2011. The product helped to create and track sales proposals.

They got lucky when they launched and got some initial traction. But soon they realized that they hadn't quite built the product the right way and that they were spending too much time arguing with each other about features, instead of talking to their customers. That was the wake up call for them.

A couple of years later, they built and launched PandaDoc and took it from zero to over 10,000 customers. So in this episode, we talk about the lessons and mistakes they made in the early days. And we dive into the growth strategies that have helped them to grow into a $10 million plus business.

You'll also hear a great story on how Mikita's sense of humor helped them to find an investor in the most unexpected way.

I hope you enjoy the interview.


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SaaS Club Plus


Need help building, launching and growing your SaaS business? Join SaaS Club Plus and get the insights, motivation and support you need to succeed. Learn more about SaaS Club Plus.
Direct download: 177-Mikita-Mikado-PandaDoc.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00pm PST

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