The SaaS Podcast - SaaS, Startups, Growth Hacking & Entrepreneurship
Rob Fitzpatrick is a tech entrepreneur and author. He ran various tech startups for about 10 years, has raised funding in the US and UK and is a YC alum.

He's the author of The Mom Test: How to Talk to Customers and Learn if Your Business is a Good Idea When Everyone is Lying to You and also the author of The Workshop Survival Guide: How to Design and Teach Workshops That Work Every Time.

One of the biggest challenges you face as a SaaS founders is validating your idea. It might be an idea for a new company or something that you want to change in your existing business.

You're excited about the idea. But how do you know if your prospective customers will love it too? And more importantly how do you know if people will pay money for your idea?

Most founders know that they've got to talk to customers to validate their idea. But it's easy to screw up customer interviews and hard to do them right.

In this episode, I talk to Rob about his book The Mom Test and we go through a step by step process to improve how you run customer interviews.

We talk about how to ask good questions, how to avoid collecting bad data and how to know when people are lying to you or telling you what they think you want to hear.

By the end of this episode you'll know how customer conversations can go wrong and you can do a better job at learning if really have a good idea or not.

I hope you enjoy it.


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Direct download: 206_-_Rob_Fitzpatrick.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Tim Soulo is the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Ahrefs.com, a SaaS startup that provides SEO tools to help grow your search traffic, research your competitors and monitor your market niche.

In 2015, Tim joined a SaaS startup as head of marketing. The company had spent several years building their blog but it still wasn't generating much traffic or leads.

Tim decided that publishing higher-quality content regularly on their blog was going to be one of his top priorities. But after a year he still had little to show in terms of traffic and leads.

Eventually Tim figured out the problem. They were creating high quality content, but they weren't it optimizing for SEO. They weren't doing keyword research or doing on-page optimization.

Now that's not uncommon. A lot of companies make that mistake. But the startup that Tim worked for was in the business of SEO and their product helped their customers to grow search traffic! So it was pretty crazy that they weren't thinking about SEO on their own blog!

Once he figured out the problem, Tim made a simple change - he started by doing keyword research to find out what people were searching for and then focused on creating the best content around those keyword.

And in a couple of years, their blog traffic grew from 15,000 to over 250,000 monthly visitors and has become one of the biggest drivers of new customers and revenue growth.

But the real story here is about a SaaS startup that's incredibly product focused and breaks a lot of rules and conventional wisdom about marketing and growth.

For example, they don't have a target customer or persona. They don't do growth hacks. They don't use analytics software or track conversion rates. They don't even to do proper' SEO.

They focus on building a great product and educating people on how to use that product through their blog. And that approach is working -- they're bootstrapped and doing over $40M ARR.

It's a great story. I hope it'll inspire you to think differently about your business and give you some insights to grow faster by ignoring conventional wisdom and trying something new.

I hope you enjoy it.


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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: Tim_Soulo_-_Ahrefs.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:22pm PDT

Rob Kall is the co-founder and CEO of Cien, a product that helps sales teams get an edge using AI to enhance the quality of their data and improve their productivity.

As every founder knows, building a SaaS business is rarely easy. And if you're doing it for the first time, it can be particularly hard and you often wonder if you should keep going or not.

So can we learn anything from serial SaaS founders who've built and sold several companies?

In 2001, Rob Kall and his co-founder talked about starting a SaaS business. They liked building websites and were interested in real-estate, so decided to build websites for realtors.

They didn't put much thought into it. It seemed like a good idea and they thought they could build better sites for realtors than the ones they'd seen. So they started a business.

3 years later, they sold that business for $80 million. Rob says he was lucky. He had a great idea at the right time and sold the company at the right time.

But then he started a second SaaS business and sold that a few years later for $15 million.

Was it luck again? Was it really just about being in the right place at the right time?

Rob is now building his third SaaS business. He seems to be a natural serial entrepreneur and on the surface it seems like it's been smooth sailing from one company to the next.

But when you look below the surface you start to get a picture of how tough it's really been for Rob. It's the same roller coaster ride experienced by first time SaaS founders.

At every step, you're faced with a big problem and then you find some breakthrough. And then you hit another big problem and another one. It doesn't stop.

While luck plays a factor, it's really about your mental resilience, having faith in yourself and the ability to keep going. Those are the factors that create a successful founder and company.

In this interview we talk about that journey, some of the challenges that Rob has faced along the way and what keeps him going through the tough times.

I hope you enjoy it.


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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: Rob_Kall_-_Cien.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Omer Artun is the founder and CEO of Agilone, a predictive marketing platform for business to consumer brands.

AgilOne allows marketers to understand and predict customer behavior to deliver automated, personalized experiences across all customer touch points, online and offline.

What do you do if you spot a market opportunity for a SaaS product, but you don't have the money or resources to build the product?

Well that's the situation that Omer Artun found himself in. He was working as a consultant and seeing the same recurring issues with his clients.

He knew that a machine learning based SaaS product could help these clients use customer data to improve their business strategy and deliver a better customer experience.

But he didn't know where to start or how to build that product.

So he took a different path. He launched his own consulting practice and started solving these problems for clients one at a time. After a few years, he built a productized service' and started charging a subscription for his service.

It took him 7 years to finally turn his idea into a SaaS product, which he shipped in 2012. And he bootstrapped them his SaaS product from the proceeds of his services business.

Today, he's raised over $50 million. His company is doing almost $20 million in annual recurring revenue and he employs 115 people.

So if you've ever felt like you're being held back because you have an idea, but you don't have the money or skills to build your SaaS product, then this episode is for you.

Of if you're currently running a services business and dream about transitioning into a full time SaaS business, then you might just get some insights to help you get closer to your goal.

It's a great story and I hope you enjoy the interview.


Enjoy the show? Subscribe and leave a rating & review to show your support.

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: 203-Omer-Artun-AgilOne.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:02pm PDT

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