The SaaS Podcast - SaaS, Startups, Growth Hacking & Entrepreneurship (formerly ConversionAid Podcast) (general)

Calvin Correli is the founder and CEO of Simplero. Simplero is a SaaS platform that makes it easy for topic matter experts to market, sell and deliver their information online. It combines email marketing, invoicing and billing, and digital delivery into one complete package to help you run your entire business.

This is the story of a freelance developer who always wanted to build a product business. He tried and failed several times. So he kept working as a freelancer.

One day, a major client that generated the majority of his income told him that they'd decided to outsource the work he was doing to a company in India.

He and his wife had just bought a new house and had their second child. To say that this was bad timing would be an understatement.

He had a new sense of urgency to make money. But everything he did fell flat.

Out of frustration, he sat down one night and did something that changed the course of his life. It sounds a bit dramatic, but it really was a pivotal moment for him.

And that's when things seemed to start going his way. He built a SaaS product for himself and as word spread, he started letting other people use his product for free.

Eventually he started charging for his product. He spent a lot of money on marketing, but nothing seemed to work. So he focused on building a great product and hoped that the marketing would work itself out through word of mouth.

And that bet paid off. Today his company generates over $2 million a year in recurring revenue.

It's a great story and there are a ton of useful lessons to learn.

I hope you enjoy it.



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: Calvin-Correli-Simplero-Ep187.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Aytekin Tank is the founder and CEO of Jotform, a SaaS product that helps people to create and publish online forms.

Aytekin used to work as a developer for a media company. And he was continuously building online forms for the editors e.g. surveys, polls, quizzes etc.

He didn't enjoy creating those forms. He thought the work was boring. So he decided to research and find a product that would help him do his job.

The only thing he could find was SurveyMonkey. But he didn't just want to do surveys, he wanted to be able to do a bunch of things with online forms.

So he thought to himself -- if I ever quit my job and start my own business, this could a potential product that I build. And one day, he did quit his job and started building that product.

That was 12 years ago. Today, Jotform has over 4 million users and generates 7-figure in annual revenue.

In this episode, you'll learn:
How Aytekin validated his idea without doing any customer interviews.
How he got this first 500 paying customers without doing any marketing.
How he's bootstrapped a 7-figure and profitable business with no debt.

I think you'll get a ton of insights from this interview.

I hope you enjoy it.


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: Aytekin-Tank-Jotform-186.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Christopher Gimmer is the co-founder and CEO of Snappa, a SaaS product that makes it easy to create online graphics in your browser.

Before launching Snappa, Christopher and his co-founder Marc built a student-only dating website. Although they got some early traction, the business quickly failed.

Later they built a website to help people find royalty free images online. They started blogging which helped them get traffic and slowly build an email list.

But it was a pain for them to create images for their blog posts. They sucked at using Photoshop and weren't designers. They wanted a simple tool for the job.

So one day, they emailed their list to find out if they had the same problem. It turns out that a lot of people did. And so they decided to build a tool to solve that problem.

And that's how Snappa was born.

In this episode you'll learn:

* The full story of how they went from a failed startup to launching Snappa.
* Some critical lessons they learned about customer development right.
* A simple but powerful SEO strategy they used to get consistent traffic.
* How they went from zero to over $45,000 in monthly recurring revenue (MRR).

I hope you enjoy it.


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: SaaS_185_Christoper_Gimmer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Sangram Vajre is the co-founder and CMO of Terminus, a SaaS platform that enables sales and marketing teams to run account-based marketing (ABM) at scale.

Before co-founding Terminus, Sangram led the marketing team at Pardot through its acquisition by ExactTarget and then Salesforce.

He's also the author of Account Based Marketing for Dummies' and the mastermind behind FlipMyFunnel.com, a community for B2B marketing, sales and customer success professionals.

This is a story about 3 first time founders who set out to build an account based marketing platform. In those days, most people didn't even know what ABM was.

They didn't have much money and realized how difficult it was going to be for them to get the attention of their target customers (B2B marketers).

So they asked themselves a simple question -- How can we stand out?

They did that by building a community first and focusing on educating their prospective customers, not pitching their product.

In this episode you'll learn:
* How a blog post helped them get the attention of their target customers.
* How they organized their first conference and got 300 people to turn up.
* How they turned a small conference into a community of thousands of people.
* How they drove sales by educating, not pitching.
* What they dealt with high customer churn in the early days.

Today, Terminus has raised over $20 million in funding and has almost 200 employees.

There are some great ideas in this interview that you might also be able to use to stand out in your market by focusing on building community and educating prospects.

And you don't need thousands of people - Terminus started with just 300 people.

So I hope you enjoy it.


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: SaaS_184_Sangram-Vajre.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Andrea Waltz is the author of the book 'Go for No! Yes is the Destination, No Is How You Get There'.

There's plenty of advice out there on how to get people to say yes. But 'Go for No' recommends just the opposite. And it shows how focusing on increasing your failure rate can accelerate your momentum towards success.

So I invited Andrea to discuss what SaaS founders and entrepreneurs can learn from this.

In this interview, you'll learn:
* About the old and new models for success and failure.
* How you can apply Go for No to help you achieve your business goals.
* What you can do to overcome fear of failure and rejection.
* And how to get past failures quickly and move on.

So if you're currently struggling to get more people on demo calls, or struggling to close more sales or you're having a hard time getting investors to say yes to your pitch, then you might find this episode useful.

Or if you don't currently have any of those specific issues, but feel like you need to build your mental resilience, then you might get some useful insights here.

So I hope you enjoy it.


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: SaaS_183_Andrea_Waltz.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Oleg Rogynskyy is the founder and CEO for People.ai.

People.ai is a SaaS platform that uses artificial intelligence to helps sales teams to be more effective by automatically capturing all their sales activities and then giving them giving them clear and actionable insights.

People.ai was founded in 2016 and has raised around $7 million in funding.

But back in 2010, Oleg was doing the 9 to 5 at another company, when he had an idea for a startup. He realized there was a need for democratized, cloud-based text analysis. So he left his job to bootstrap a startup called Semantria.

It took Oleg and his co-founder George about 9 months to build the product and to land their first customer. And Oleg spent the majority of those 9 months talking to prospective customers using a consultative selling approach. He focused on two main things -- listening more than he was talking and providing his prospects with real value before even talking about his product.

And that approach paid off. The founders went from zero to $5 million ARR in just over 2.5 years. And then did no inbound marketing. They just focused on doing one thing -- outbound sales really well.

In this episode, you'll hear about Oleg's story and what he did to build both Sementria and People.ai. And you'll learn some awesome tactics and tips on using consultative selling with your own prospective customers.

I hope you enjoy it and get some actionable insights of your own.



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: SaaS-182-Oleg-Rogynskyy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00pm PDT

Andy Baldacci is the host of The Early Stage Founder podcast and a marketer at Groove.

Groove is a simple help desk SaaS product that's used by over 8000 companies. The business was founded in 2011 by Alex Turnbull. Alex bootstrapped the business and had grown it from zero to over $500,000 in monthly recurring revenue.

For 2 years, Alex and his team tried to make content marketing work for them. But they were getting nowhere. And at one point, he seriously considering shutting down their blog for good.

But after taking a step back, he decided to launch new blog. It was about a startup's journey and sharing everything they learned getting to $100,000 in monthly recurring revenue. At that point they were only making a few thousand dollars a month.

It was a unique approach at the time. And it was a big audacious goal. But they worked hard to publish high-quality, in-depth, transparent content every week. And it started to pay off.

And over the last 5 years, that blog has been the biggest driver of growth. It's helped them to go from a few thousand dollars a month to a $5 million business.

But recently, Alex and his team decided to shutdown the blog -- at least for a few months. Growth was slowing down and they realized that what got them here, wouldn't necessarily get them to their next big milestone of $10 million a year.

In this episode, Andy shares the story of how they used the blog to get to $500,000 in MRR, why they shut down the blog and what they're doing to reboot their content marketing efforts.


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: 181-andy-baldacci-groove.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00pm PDT

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.


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

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.


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: mike-taber-bluetick-179.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:51am PDT

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.


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: 178-Elizabeth-Yin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00pm PDT

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.


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: 177-Mikita-Mikado-PandaDoc.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00pm PDT

Oleg Campbell is the founder and CEO of Reply.io, a SaaS platform that puts your email outreach on autopilot while keeping it personal.

Oleg is a developer who grew his previous startup from zero to $150,000 a year. But sales flatlined after that and he couldn't figure out how to keep growing.

He believed that his lack of sales experience was a major factor. So he took a part time sales job where he basically worked for nothing - just commission.

And in the 6 months that he worked there, he didn't make a single sale. But he learned a lot about sales. And that experience helped him come up with the idea for Reply.

So he moved back to Ukraine, where he was able to cut his living expenses. That allowed him to hire a developer who could work with him on Reply.

And this is when his new found sales experience really helped him. Not only was he able to close more sales, but he was also able to understand his target customers (who were mainly sales people) much better.

In 4 years, he's gone from zero to $180,000 in monthly recurring revenue.

We talk about how he acquired his first customers and what he did to grow the business. And we discuss how he's grown a business doing over $2 million a year.

It's a great story with some great lessons. I hope you enjoy it.


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: 176-Oleg-Campbell-Reply.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00pm PDT

Max Armbruster is the founder and CEO of TalkPush, a SaaS recruitment platform that leverages the power of messaging and social media to help businesses that need to hire large numbers of employees.

Max used to interview hundreds of candidates on the phone every year. It took up a lot of his time and at the end of each day he felt drained. He desperately wanted to use technology to make hiring more productive, but he couldn't find anything that didn't create unnecessary barriers between him and the candidate. So he kept calling.

In 2014, he released the first prototype of TalkPush and sold it to a small call center. The product would call candidates and use an interactive voice response service to ask them screening questions.

One day during lunch with his team, someone mentioned that Facebook had launched a platform that enabled you to build and integrate chatbots with Facebook Messenger. Max hadn't heard about this before, but immediately he knew that this was what they needed. So before they finished lunch, Max had already told his team that they needed to stop what they were doing and start focusing on building a chatbot.

From its humble beginnings in 2014, Max has grown TalkPush into a business that's doing over $100,000 in monthly recurring revenue.

We talk about how he took a pain that he was personally experiencing and turned it into a business. And we have a great discussion on the ups and downs of building a million dollar SaaS business and the lessons he's learned along the way.

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: 175-Max-Armbruster-Talkpush.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00pm PDT

Sri Ganesan is the Director of FreshChat, a modern messaging software product that helps businesses to have marketing, sales and support conversations with customers.

FreshChat started out as Konotor, a startup which Sri founded with a couple of friends. The founders originally set out to build a Whatsapp competitor. But realized that building a platform like that required a lot of capital. So they pivoted and focused on a mobile user engagement platform for 2-way messaging inside your app.

Eventually that product was acquired by FreshDesk and became FreshChat.

In this interview you're going to hear that story and discover some interesting lessons.

Firstly, Sri wasn't happy about how the sales guy on his team was pitching the product to customers. Sri felt that the sales guy was under selling the product by pitching just one basic feature instead of communicating the full value of the product. But in hindsight that turned out to be a smart decision by sales guy and Sri shares what he learned from that experience.

Another great lesson Sri shares is how many customers kept asking them for a feature, but the founders didn't agree. They had a strong vision for their product and felt that this particular feature would move them away from that vision. So they never built it. But years later, after they were acquired, they did add that feature to their product which resulted in significant revenue growth. We talk about what that feature was and the lesson that Sri learned.

It's a great an interview. I hope you enjoy it.


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: 174-Sri-Ganesan-Freshchat.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Kyle Racki is the co-founder and CEO of Proposify, a SaaS product that helps you create proposal documents, collaborate with your team and streamline your sales process so you can close deals faster.

The company was founded in 2014 and is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Kyle and his co-founder Kevin came up with the idea for Proposify when they were running a design agency. But they didn't do anything with that idea for several years.

Eventually they decided that they wanted to get out of the agency business and went back to their idea. They built a prototype and got a lot of positive feedback.

But when they launched, the results were disappointing. They got to around $800 a month in MRR and flatlined there for almost a year and a half. Today, their business generates over $4.5 million in annual recurring revenue.

We talk about what kept them going when they were only making $800 MRR. And we deep dive into specific things they did that led to their hockey stick growth.


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: Kyle_Racki_Proposify.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:53am PDT

Hannah Chaplin is the co-founder and CEO of Receptive.io, a platform that helps SaaS companies to identify the highest impact things that their team should be working on right now.

The platform helps to gather feature requests and feedback from customers, internal customers and the market and turn that data into clear and actionable insights.

Receptive.io was founded in 2015 and is based in Sheffield, England.

The founders came with the idea for Receptive when they were running another business and struggling to manage feature requests and feedback from customers.

After building an MVP, they joined an accelerator in England and spent about 5 months just doing customer interviews. They learned that they were focusing on the wrong customers and needed to think bigger.

But once they'd built the product, they also had a hard time selling to these big customers because they didn't lack sales experience and know how.

In this episode, we talk about how they overcame those challenges, what they did to grow the business and what they've learned from making many mistakes along the way.

It's a great interview. I really enjoyed chatting with Hannah and I hope you'll enjoy this interview too.


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: SaaS_172_-_Hannah_Chaplin_-_Receptive.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Kelsey Recht the founder and CEO of VenueBook, a booking platform that connects event planners with venue managers. VenueBook helps venues to manage their leads and bookings, and market their space. And it helps event planners to easily find and book the right venue for their event.

VenueBook was founded in 2010 and is based in New York. The company has raised over $9 million in funding.
Kelsey is a first time entrepreneur who came up with the idea for this business after experiencing the pain of finding venues and booking events herself. And one of the smart things that she did in the early days wasn't to start building a software product right away, but going and talking to prospective customers and talking about their pains. In fact that's how she found her first few customers and her first developer.

We also talk about raising money. Although, Kelsey's raised over $9 million, it hasn't been as easy as it may sound. She started with a small family and friends round to get the business started, but raising a seed round was seriously hard work. In fact, she had to go out and talk to over 100 investors before she was able to get her seed round. So we talk about the lessons she's learned there, as a SaaS entrepreneur, as a first time founder and as a female entrepreneur.

So 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: SaaS_-_Kelsey_Recht_-_Venuebook.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Mike Carson is the founder of Park.io, a service which helps you to backorder expiring domain names.

Mike is a developer who for many years struggled to find business success. He was working hard on multiple projects. But none of them were working out.

And it was a painful time for him. He couldn't understand why he kept failing. And he'd often wonder if he wasn't working hard enough or just doing thing the wrong way.

One day he just decided to let go of all that frustration and work on a project that he was curious and passionate about. He wasn't even thinking of it as a business.

And ironically, that project turned into Park.io.

Mike is currently doing over a million dollars a year in revenue. And he's a one person company. He has no employees and continues to run the business by himself.

Mike says that he just got lucky with Park.io. And there's some truth to that. We all need some luck from time to time with our business.

But I don't think it was all just down to luck. And in this interview, I deep-dive into what exactly he did to build that business, how he's dealt with major problems and competitors and how exactly he's able to run a one-person million dollar company.

It's a great an interview with a ton of valuable insights and lessons.

So I hope you enjoy it.


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: Mike_Carson_-_ParkIo.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Mike Muhney is the founder and CEO of VIP Orbit, a software company focused on building great contact management products.

He launched their flagship product VIP Orbit in 2010 and they raised $6.5 million. Recently Mike had to shut down the business because he ran out of money and wasn't getting the traction that he'd hoped for.

So in this episode, he joins me to talk about the lessons that he's learned from a failed startup. We have a very open and candid conversation about what he thinks led to that failure. We explore the different factors, why he got into that situation, what are some of the lessons he's learned from that, and what he'd do differently now.

He was in a similar situation in the 1980s when he co-founded a startup which eventually failed. He'd raised $100,000 from an angel investor. He ended up with $15,000 of that money left and needed to give the money back or come up with another idea.

And they did come up with another idea which was ACT! Contact Management Software, which they went onto sell for $47 million.

So Mike is a seasoned and experienced entrepreneur who's seen the highs and lows of entrepreneurship. And in this episode, he's willing to talk about the tough parts of being an entrepreneur.

If you listen to this podcast, you'll know that the majority of times we're talking about people's successes. And I try to get as much as I can out of them about what didn't go well, what failed and what they learned from that.

But this episode is different because the entire interview is about failure. A whole business that failed and what lessons were learned from that.

So I hope you find it useful. I certainly did. Mike's a great guy and there are a lot of useful lessons here.


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: Mike_Muhney_-_MikeMuhney.com.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Jon Ferrara is the founder and CEO of Nimble CRM. Jon is a serial entrepreneur, who started his first company in 1989 with just $5000 and went on to sell it for $125 million.

Around 2001, a year after selling this startup, he was diagnosed with tumor in his head. Life and his priorities quickly changed for him.

Thankfully he made a full recovery and went on to launch another startup in 2009. He set out to build a social sales and marketing CRM product in very crowded market.

He had the vision of creating a product that you would live in for your email, social media and other communication. But that plan didn't work out, so he had to pivot.

He also built great integration with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. But after a while LinkedIn cut off their API access and Facebook severely restricted theirs. So he had to do a mini-pivot again.

In other words, even though he had a very successful exit with his first startup, it hasn't made it any easier for him to build his second company. And he's faced a lot of challenges, like any of us would face or are dealing with right now.

But he's kept going. And recently after years of trying, has built a partnership with Microsoft which could be massive for his business in the next couple of years.

He was one of the very first guests on this show in 2014. And I'm delighted to have had him back and given me the chance to catch up on the ups/downs of his business over the last 3 years.


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: Jon_Ferrara_-_Nimble.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Krish Subramanian the co-founder and CEO of Chargebee, a platform that automates subscription management and billing for SaaS and e-commerce businesses.

Chargebee was founded in 2011 and is based in Chennai, India. To date, the founders have raised $6 million in funding but bootstrapped the business for the first year and a half.

We talk about the challenges faced by SaaS businesses in managing subscriptions and recurring billing scenarios. And we explore how Chargebee is solving those problems and helping SaaS businesses to reduce customer churn.

The founders knew that they wanted together, but it took them 10 years to save enough money and have the courage to finally take the leap and quit their jobs.

And then it took them over a year to launch their MVP because they tried to build too many features. We talk about the lessons they learned from this experience and how they'd do things differently now.

We also explore what it's like to build a SaaS business in India. You don't have the benefits of being in Silicon Valley and you're trying to convince SaaS and e-commerce businesses around the world to manage their revenue with your platform. And they faced a lot of resistance and challenges along the way.

We talk about how they overcame those challenges and what they've done to get over 6000 companies around using their platform.


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


Need help building your SaaS business? Join SaaS Club. Learn more..

Direct download: Krish_Subramanian_-_Chargebee.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:02am PDT

Nathan Kontny is the CEO of Highrise, the SaaS CRM app that was originally developed by the 37Signals team, the makers of Basecamp.

Nathan is the co-founder of two YC companies - Inkling and Cityposh. One of them is still in business. The other one failed and had to be shutdown. We talk about the lessons he learned from both those experiences and what he'd do differently now.

Nathan is also the creator of the online writing app Draft. He built that product and business as a solo founder. And he used blogging as a way to build an audience and get customers. That's a lot to do for any founder. And we have a great discussion on how he managed to keep so many plates spinning and get things done without going crazy.

A few years ago, Nathan became the CEO of Highrise. We talk about how he met Jason Fried, the co-founder and CEO of Basecamp and how that led to a job offer. And we discuss the big challenges he's facing in turning things around at Highrise.

Nathan is an experienced serial entrepreneur. He's very transparent and shares a ton of valuable insights and advice with me. And is a great guy who I've really enjoyed getting to know better. I think you'll enjoy this interview and get a ton of value from it.


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


Need help building your SaaS business? Join SaaS Club. Learn more..
Direct download: Nathan_Kontny_-_Draft_Highrise.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Luke Swanek is the co-founder of GrowSumo, a marketplace that connects B2B SaaS companies with resellers. The GrowSumo platform provides its customers with the tools they need to build and scale reseller programs. And it enables the resellers to earn revenue from selling those products.

GrowSumo is a YC backed startup. But the founders had to apply three times before they were finally accepted into YC. So that alone, is a great lesson in being persistent.

One of the biggest challenges for building a marketplace is that you've got a chicken and egg' situation. You don't have buyers and you don't have sellers when you start. And it can be hard to get the flywheel spinning and build a marketplace that actually works.

So we talk about how they built that marketplace and how they landed customers like Evernote. And we explore some of the tough lessons the founders have learned along the way such as what happens when your product is not ready for a big customer or how you can lose customers when you try to build a scalable product too soon.

I hope you enjoy this interview.


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


Need help building your SaaS business? Join SaaS Club. Learn more..
Direct download: Luke_Swankek_-_GrowSumo.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Josh Haynam is the co-founder of Interact, a SaaS platform that makes it easier for businesses to create online quizzes. You can create a quiz to engage with your online audience or generate new sales leads.

I originally interviewed Josh a couple of years ago, where we discussed how he and his co-founders bootstrapped their company from zero to $15,000 in monthly recurring revenue in under 10 months. And they did that with zero outbound sales. It was all through content marketing. You can listen to the original interview on episodes 57 & 58.

Since then, the co-founders have grown the business to over $40,000 in monthly recurring revenue. That's almost half a million dollars a year. So it seemed like a great time to invite him back and find out what they've been doing to keep growing.

And the interesting thing is that the content marketing that worked so well for them when I interviewed Josh last time, dried up. And they had to find another way to generate traffic because content marketing just wasn't working for them anymore.

I hope you enjoy this interview.



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


Need help building your SaaS business? Join SaaS Club. Learn more..
Direct download: 164-Josh-Haynam-Interact2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Dan Faggella is the founder and CEO of TechEmergence, an artificial intelligence market research firm. TechEmergence helps companies to gain insights on the application and implications of AI and machine learning technologies.

Prior to launching TechEmergence, Dan founded Science of Skill, an ecommerce business which he grew from zero to over $2 million in annual revenue in 4 years. He went on to sell that business for 7-figures.

Dan is a very interesting guy. He's actually a former martial artist and MMA fighter who has been training other fighters. And Science of Skill initially started as a blog where we could teach more people.

So what does this have to do with SaaS?

Firstly, there are some valuable lessons that Dan shares on how he built a recurring revenue business. Those lessons will be useful for anyone focused on SaaS recurring revenue.

Secondly, he talks about how he generated traffic for Science of Skill and a systematic approach he took to convert as many leads as possible into customers. So if you're struggling to find customers, you might get some useful tips.

And thirdly, I think it's crucial that he think outside of the box and learn from people in different industries and types of businesses. I think that's how we can find more creative solutions to problems in our own space.

So I hope you enjoy the interview.

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


Need help building your SaaS business? Join SaaS Club. Learn more..

Direct download: Dan_Faggella_-_Tech_Emergence.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:53am PDT

Erik Christiansen is the co-founder and CEO of Justuno, a SaaS conversion optimization platform which helps businesses to build their email list, drive more sales and reduce shopping cart abandonment.

The company was founded in 2010, has been self-funded since launch and is profitable. Justuno is based in San Francisco and Austin, Texas.

Prior to launching Justuno, Erik worked at SierraSnowboard.com where he managed the growth of sales from $0 at launch to $24 million.

In 2010, Erik and his co-founder Travis built a widget to make it easier for ecommerce businesses to use coupons on their sites. It was a simple widget that took less than a month to build. And they were able to get some ecommerce sites to be early adopters.

But it wasn't all smooth sailing from there. The co-founders were actually working on 3 companies at the same time. They didn't know which business idea would work, so they were trying to hedge their bets.

We'll talk about how Erik and Travis had their aha' moment, which led to them finally going all in' with Justuno. And you'll learn how they've built a profitable SaaS business doing over 2 million dollars a year, with a zero marketing budget.


Enjoy the show? Get more by joining SaaS Club. Learn more..

Direct download: Erik_Christiansen_-_Justuno.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Jim Brown is a sales coach, founder of Sales Tuners and the host of the Sales Tuners podcast. He's spent the last 10 years helping lead two companies from $1M to more than $10M in annual revenue. And has a founder he took another company from $1M in funding to zero.

Today, he coaches tech companies and salespeople through his Skeptical Selling Method. And on his weekly podcast, he talks with great sales leaders and high performing individual salespeople about the behaviors, attitudes ,and techniques that have lead to their success.

----------

This interview is a story about a sales guy who spent 10 years helping to lead two companies to over $10M in annual revenue. Then as founder, he took another company from $1M in funding to zero. Yup, you heard that right.

He shares with me some important but tough lessons he learned from that experience. And we talk about how losing other people's money was one of the hardest challenges that he has faced in his career.

There are a lot of stories about how a founder went from zero to a multi-million business. And those stories are great because we can learn from those entrepreneurs and their successes.

But it's equally important to learn from business failures. And I'm fortunate enough to have a guest today, who's willing to sharing it all.

My guest also shares his sales expertise and takes me through a simple but powerful 4 step process to help you achieve the sales goals for your SaaS business this year.

We do a deep-dive into that process so you might want to be ready to take some notes.



Enjoy the show? Get more by joining SaaS Club. Learn more..
Direct download: Jim_Brown_-_Sales_Tuners.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Steve Benson is the co-founder and CEO of Badger Maps, a sales routing software that helps salespeople be more successful.

The product enables sales reps to map their CRM customer data, integrate with their calendar, plan routes and find nearby leads. Badger Maps is a SaaS product and mobile app.

Badger Maps was founded in 2012. The company is based in San Francisco and to date has raised just about $1M in funding.

Prior to founding Badger Maps, Steve worked in sales for companies like IBM, Autonomy and Google. In 2009, he was named Google Enterprise's Top Performing Salesperson in the World.

------------

This episode is a story about a sales guy who had an idea for a SaaS startup. He realized that there was a lot of time being wasted as sales people drive from one customer's location to another. And he figured he could make them more efficient.

So he started with a really simple idea -- take all those customers that a salesperson has to see each day and map them as points on Google Maps.

That simple idea has grown into a SaaS business with over 6000 customers today.

In this episode we talk about how he came up with the idea, what he did to build his business and some sales lessons that have helped him grow his business.


Enjoy the show? Get more by joining SaaS Club. Learn more..
Direct download: Steve_Benson_-_Badger_Maps.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Nick Francis is the co-founder and CEO of Help Scout, a simple help desk product designed for small and medium sized businesses. Help Scout was founded in April 2011 and now powers over 8,000 support teams in over 140 countries.

Its customers include companies such as Basecamp, Trello and Grubhub. Help Scout has raised just under $13 million in funding. The company has offices in Boston & Boulder, but most of its employees work remotely in 40 cities across the world.

-----

This is a story about a three guys who started a small consulting company in 2006. They were building websites for their clients. And on the side, they were building small products for fun.

One of these products, a tool to manage your RSS feeds, got a little traction. It grew to over 200,000 users, but it was free and made no money. But it did generate a lot of support and feature requests.

And the founders realized that trying to use a shared Gmail inbox for support didn't work too well. They needed a helpdesk solution. But they couldn't find exactly what they were looking for.

And this wasn't an overnight thing. My guest spent about 2 years on this problem. He spent time thinking about the ideal solution. And he also tried out a number different support tools during that time.

My guest realized that he wanted a helpdesk that didn't feel like a helpdesk. He wanted people to be able to send an email and get a reply, without the need for a support portal, ticket numbers etc.

And that's how the idea for their business was born.

Today, they have a multi-million dollar business. They have over 8000 business customers in 140 countries. And they've raised $13 million in VC funding to date.

But for the first 4 years of their business, they survived on a seed round of a few hundred thousand dollars. They put a lot of focus into becoming self-funded and building an efficient business. And when they did raise money, it was the 'rocket fuel' they needed to help them grow faster.

There are a lot of great lessons here. I hope you enjoy it.


Enjoy the show? Get more by joining SaaS Club. Learn more..

Direct download: Nick_Francis_-_HelpScout.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Janna Bastow is the co-founder and CEO of ProdPad, a product management tool for product managers. ProdPad helps you to build product roadmaps, uncover the best product ideas to work on next and build what matters most to your customers.

ProdPad was founded in 2012 and its customers include companies such as Disney, Automattic and Ebay. The company has been bootstrapped since day one and is based in the United Kingdom.

Janna is also the co-founder of Mind the Product, an international product community which has grown to consist of 50,000 members and sold out events in 100 cities around the world.

---------

This is a story about two product managers, who were looking for software that would help them do their jobs.

When they couldn't find what they needed, they decided to build a tool themselves. It started with some very simple functionality.

After two years, they had an insight. They realized that there were other product managers who would pay to use their tool.

So they finally had the guts to quit their jobs and work on this idea full-time. They had no customers and had raised no money. They figured they could bootstrap the business for 6 to 12 months.

They had their first customer in about 6 months. And from there, they kept improving the product and getting more customers.

It took a lot time and hard work to grow their business to around $30,000 in monthly recurring revenue (MRR).

Things were looking good, until they lost focus.

They ended up wasting a year trying to do too many things, instead of doubling down on what was already working.

At the end of the year, they started thinking about raising money. It wasn't something they wanted to do, but felt they had to.

It was around that time that they had another 'aha' moment. They identified ONE metric that could make all the difference for them.

They decided to have everyone on their team focus on improving that ONE metric. And that's all they did for the next 3 months.

And amazing things started to happen once they focused. And they also did a number counter intuitive things to get more customers.


Enjoy the show? Get more by joining SaaS Club. Learn more..
Direct download: Janna-Bastow-ProdPad.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Greg Mercer is the founder and CEO of Jungle Scout, a product that helps sellers on Amazon to research and find profitable product ideas and market niches.

My guest launched Jungle Scout in 2015 as a tool to help him find product ideas to sell on Amazon. With just $1000 and no coding skills, he's grown it into a business doing multiple 7-figures in annual revenue and a fully remote team of over 30 people.

He and his wife, quit their corporate jobs once the business took off and sold their home. Today, they live in different Airbnb's around the world and manage the business from anywhere and everywhere in the world.

------

This week's episode is a story about a guy who was working as a civil engineer, but wanted to become an entrepreneur.

But he didn't have a business idea and no business experience.

One day he heard about people who were selling products on Amazon. And he decided that he was going to do the same.

Over the next year, he built a decent business as an Amazon seller. But he realized that he was wasting a lot of time doing research on what types of products to sell on Amazon.

So he hired a developer to build a Chrome extension for him. He figured that this would same him time and if he was lucky, he might be able to sell it to another Amazon sellers too.

A few weeks later, he built a one-page WordPress website with a PayPal button. And he had his first sale within a month.

He had a modest goal of making 1 or 2 sales a day.

Today, he's running a multi-million dollar SaaS business. And it's taken him 3 years from the day he had the Chrome extension idea.

He wasn't technical and he didn't have business experience. But he knew the value of starting small and making daily progress.

It's a great story which I hope will inspire you. And there are some great lessons that you may be able to apply yourself.


Enjoy the show? Get more by joining SaaS Club. Learn more..
Direct download: Greg-Mercer-Jungle_Scout.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Tukan Das is the co-founder and CEO of LeadSift, a platform that mines publicly available social media data to help B2B businesses generate qualified leads.

LeadSift was founded in 2012 and to date has raised $1.8 million in funding. The company is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada.

-----------

This is a story about a couple of 'data nerds' who were playing around with the Twitter and FourSquare APIs one day.

They discovered that there was a lot of social media data about people who were looking to buy something. So they decided to build a product and sell these 'signals' to automotive brands.

It seemed like a winning idea. But they soon realized that it wasn't.

First, they weren't solving a customer problem. They were trying to find a market for a 'cool idea'. And that is never easy to do.

Second, they didn't understand how automotive brands work. Ford isn't going to have a salesperson call you because of your tweet.

After a year of getting no where, they pivoted. They started selling data to help consumer brands run better advertising campaigns.

They started to get customers and revenue. But their product wasn't sticky so revenue was unpredictable and customer churn high.

After two more years they decided to pivot again. But this time they interviewed many customers and kept searching for a real problem.

They didn't write a single line of code until they were confident that they'd found the right problem. And that approach paid off.

Today, they have a business that generates recurring revenue. And they are very close to hitting a million dollars a year.

This is a great story about persistence. And there are some valuable lessons on the importance of understanding your market.


Enjoy the show? Get more by joining SaaS Club. Learn more..

Direct download: 156-Tukan-Das-LeadSift.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Randy Rayess is the co-founder of Outgrow, a platform that lets marketers build and launch interactive calculators and viral quizzes that help engage your website visitors and generate more leads.

Outgrow was founded in May 2016 and is based in New York. The company has over 3000 paying customers and has been bootstrapped from day one.

Previously, Randy worked in venture capital, private equity and at startups in financial services, transaction processing and machine learning.

------------

How do you market and sell a SaaS product that your prospective customers don't even know they need?

These customers aren't searching for your product or any product like it. But if they knew that your product existed, they'd buy it.

This week's episode is a story about two guys who were in that situation. They were running a services business and helping their clients with software projects.

And they kept hearing the same question from their prospective customers i.e. "how much does it cost to build an app?"

It was taking their sales team a lot of time to answer this question. So they built an interactive tool and put it on their website.

Then they started customizing the tool, so their clients could use it on their websites. And that's how a new SaaS business was born.

But marketing the SaaS product beyond their clients proved to be challenging. No one was looking for a solution like this.

So they had to figure out how to reach new customers and help them understand that they needed this product.

There are some great lessons here on customer development. And we explore how to market a product that no one is looking for.

Enjoy the show? Get more by joining SaaS Club. Learn more..
Direct download: Randy-Reyess-Outgrow2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

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.

------------

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.

Enjoy the show? Get more by joining SaaS Club. Learn more..
Direct download: 154-Fred-Stutzman-Freedom.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

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.

--------

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 PDT

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.

--------

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 PDT

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.

----

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 PDT

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.

----

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 PDT

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 PDT

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.

-----

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 PDT

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).

----

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

James Gill is the co-founder and CEO of GoSquared, an all-in-one platform for SaaS businesses. GoSquared combines analytics, CRM, live chat, and marketing automation in one seamless platform.

The three co-founders started the company when they were 14 years old. They set to build an online advertising business inspired by watching the TV show 'Mad Men'. But nothing worked. As James told me, they couldn't even pay for lunch; and that was school lunch!

However, as part of their advertising business, they also built a tool with a beautiful design which gave people insights about their web traffic. And people seemed more interested in this tool, than in their advertising business.

So they turned the tool into a product and started selling that. And over time, they added live chat and CRM capabilities. Now, 10 years later, they've built a business with over 1000 paying customers and 10 employees.

This isn't a story about rapid growth and raising millions of dollars. But it is a great story about persisting through failures, following your passions, listening to your customers and solving problems you discover along the way and most importantly building a great product.


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

Direct download: 144-James-Gill-GoSquared.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:15pm PDT

Natalie Nagele guest is the co-founder and CEO of Wildbit, a bootstrapped software company that builds web apps to help software developers collaborate better.

The company was founded in 1999 as a web development consultancy and it launched its first web app in 2005. Since then the company has launched and grown a number of products such as Beanstalk, Deploybot and Postmark which are used by over 100,000 companies.

Half of the Wildbit team works out Philadelphia, with the rest spread out around the world. And the company's culture, communication and process are specifically tailored around a remote team.

This week's interview is a story about a bootstrapped software company that generates multi-million dollars in revenue, is profitable and most of the time, its employees work no more than 40 hours a week.

The company was founded by a husband and wife team, who started out with a consulting business and eventually turned it into a product business that now has 3 successful software products and a team of 26 people across the world.

The founders do a lot of things that go against the conventional wisdom that we so often hear these days. From private offices for every employee, to a standard 40 hour work week, they've shown that you can build a profitable and successful business.

A big part of their company culture was inspired by 37Signals (the makers of Basecamp) and the book Getting Real.

My guest is a wonderful woman, who has an inspiring story to share and I love how both she and her husband, have built a people first' company culture. It's easy to talk about something like that, it's much harder to actually do it.

I'm sure you'll walk away with at least one great idea from this interview and maybe you'll be inspired to a think a little differently about your business.

Direct download: 143-Natalie-Nagele-Wildbit.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:58pm PDT

Laura Roeder is the founder of Meet Edgar, a social media scheduling & automation SaaS product. She started her entrepreneurial journey at the age of 22 by launching a web design business and then a social media consulting and training business. And in 2014, she decided to launch Meet Edgar, her first SaaS business. Today, the company generates over $4 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR) and has been self-funded from day one.

This week's interview is a story about a first time SaaS entrepreneur. She didn't have any experience with software and didn't the first thing about coding.

But she was already building a following in the social media space and realized that the way that most people handle social media isn't sustainable for small businesses. She thought there was a better solution and decided to build a software product.

And she's done a lot of things that many startup founders would consider counter intuitive. For example, her product's homepage is optimized for email list building and not getting people to immediately sign up for a trial.

And her approach to Facebook advertising was deceptively simple. And it went against the advice that most Facebook experts would give you. But it worked.

And she's kept her company laser focused on small businesses. She could have easily started adding more features and higher level plans for teams and agencies. But she has been very deliberate about not doing that.

In fact, her product doesn't even offer multiple plans. There's one plan, one price if you pay monthly and one price if you have annually. That's it.

And that approach has paid of her. The business is now doing over $4 million in annual recurring revenue and is continue to grow quickly.

There are some great lessons here and I hope you enjoy the interview.

Do you want to learn how to build, launch and grow your SaaS product? Get Our Free Learning Guides.
Direct download: 142-Laura-Roeder-Edgar.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Grant Miller is the co-founder of Replicated, a service that solves the problem for companies who want to install and deploy a SaaS application behind their own firewall in a corporate data center or private cloud.

Previously, he was the co-founder of Look IO, a mobile live-chat problem that was acquired by LivePerson just 9 months after launch for several million dollars.

He and his co-founder, Marc Campbell, have already raised $6.5 million dollars for Replicated. And they're been making solid progress in growing this new business.

In this episode, we talk about what Grant has been up to since I last interviewed him a couple of years ago. We discuss lessons he's learned from this first startup and what he's doing differently this time.

And we talk about a new project that he's been working on called EnterpriseReady.io which has become a great resource for any SaaS business that wants to sell their product to enterprise customers.

When you deal with enterprise and corporate customers, you have a bunch of technical challenges to deal with. And your product needs to have enterprise grade features such Single Sign On (SSO), Role Based Access Control, Product Security and more.

So we talk about how EnterpriseReady.io (a free resource) has been developed to make it easier for any SaaS business to create an enterprise-ready product. And we look at some case studies on how some more established SaaS businesses have designed and built these features into their products.

And even if you have no intention to sell to enterprise customers, you will learn a lot in this episode about how to build a better and more robust SaaS product.


Do you want to learn how to build, launch and grow your SaaS product? Get Our Free Learning Guides.
Direct download: 141-Grant_Miller-Replicated.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Bruno Didier is the founder and CEO of Y-Combinator startup Trackin.

The company provides a software solution to help restaurants get better control of their deliveries by connecting managers, drivers and customers. Trackin offers an online ordering system for customers, a dashboard for managers, an app for drivers and a real-time tracking solution for deliveries.

The company was founded in 2014, has raised $400K to date and is based in San Francisco.

This is a story about a guy who ordered dinner from a restaurant for himself and a few friends through an online delivery service. After waiting for hours and not getting his food, he went and bought a pizza from a local grocery store. He decided that he was never going to order a delivery from a restaurant again.

He kept thinking that there had to be a better delivery solution for restaurants that tracked deliveries and helped customers know exactly where their order was and when they were going to get the delivery. He wished that someone would come up with a solution for this.

Eventually, he realized that he was the guy who had to solve this problem. He's a solo founder who decided to move away from San Francisco to start his business. In 4 years he's gone from zero to over $2 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR).

He also got accepted in Y-Combinator, which helped him to think bigger and grow his business faster. And if it wasn't for a dinner he had with a stranger in France, he would never have even considered applying to YC because it seemed to big of a goal.

Do you want to learn how to build, launch and grow your SaaS product? Get Our Free Learning Guides.
Direct download: 140-Bruno-Didier-Trackin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Russ Perry is the founder of Design Pickle, a productized service that offers unlimited graphic design support for your day-to-day business needs for a flat monthly fee.

Design Pickle launched in January 2015. And in just two years its grown it into a business with 45 full-time staff and $160K on monthly recurring revenue (MRR).

Russ was running a creative agency but wasn't entirely happy with what he was doing. He thought that the agency business model was dysfunctional and he wanted to run a more predictable business. But he didn't have a clue what that business was going to be.

He made a list of what he wanted in his life, both personally and professionally. And he also started to get clear about what type of business he didn't want to build. And then he sat back and waited for inspiration, while he did consulting on the side to help pay the bills.

And a few weeks later, he had his 'aha' moment. And it was a very simple idea. He decided to launch a design agency and used a 'productized consulting' model -- very similar to how pricing for a SaaS product works.

In 2 years, he's gone from zero to $160,000 in monthly recurring revenue (MRR). That's almost $2M annual run rate (ARR). And he now has a team of 45 full-time employees.

It's an inspiring story, and he's an energetic and entertaining guy. I hope you enjoy this interview.

Do you want to learn how to build, launch and grow your SaaS product? Get Our Free Learning Guides.
Direct download: 139-Russ-Perry-DesignPickle.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Matt Ekstrom is the co-founder of Prospectify, a B2B prospecting platform that helps you to automate your lead generation process. Prospectify uses data search, data enrichment, and verification systems to help you build highly targeted prospect lists.

The company was founded in January 2016 and was self-funded for the first year, and then raised $1 million in funding.

Do you want to learn how to build, launch and grow your SaaS product? Get Our Free Learning Guides.
Direct download: 138-Matt-Ekstrom-Prospectify.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Claudiu Murariu is the founder and CEO of InnerTrends, a growth analytics platform for SaaS and web products. InnerTrends uses data science technologies to help you understand every aspect of your user onboarding process and convert more first-time users into customers. The company was founded in 2015 and is based in Romania.

Do you want to learn how to build, launch and grow your SaaS product? Get Our Free Learning Guides.
Direct download: 137-Claudiu-Murariu-InnerTrends.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Antonio Carlos Soares is the co-founder and CEO of RunRun.it, a SaaS product that helps teams to manage tasks, projects, performance and corporate communication.

The company was founded in 2012, is based in Sao Paolo, Brazil and to date has raised $4.4 million in funding. RunRun.it has more than 1000 paying customers and generates over $2 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR).

Do you want to learn how to build, launch and grow your SaaS product? Get Our Free Learning Guides.
Direct download: 136-Antonio-Carlos-Soares-RunRunIt.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Stuart McKeown is the co-founder of Gleam, a growth platform that helps businesses to drive more engagement with customers. Gleam provides a suite of marketing apps focused on giveaways, rewards, and user feedback.

Stuart's background is in search engine marketing. He's originally from the UK and moved to Melbourne, Australia in 2005. Gleam was founded in 2013 and has over 400,000 users and 5000 customers including companies such as Hubspot and Shopify.

Do you want to learn how to build, launch and grow your SaaS product? Get Our Free Learning Guides.
Direct download: 135-Stuart-Mckeown-Gleam.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Patrick Campbell is the co-founder and CEO for Price Intelligently, a Boston based startup that helps SaaS businesses to come up with the right pricing strategy.

The company gathers data from multiple industry sources and uses its proprietary algorithms to help SaaS businesses figure out how much customers are willing to pay for each feature and how to optimize their overall pricing plans.

Price Intelligently employs about 30 people and their customers include companies such as Wistia, Big Commerce, Optimizely, Zapier and more.

The company was founded in 2012 and has been bootstrapped from day one.

Do you want to learn how to build, launch and grow your SaaS product? Get Our Free Learning Guides.
Direct download: 134-Patrick-Campbell-Price-Intelligently.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Gregg Pollack is a software developer and serial entrepreneur. In 2011, he founded Code School, an online learning platform that teaches you programming and web design skills. And 5 years later, he sold that business for $36 million.

He's also the founder of Envy Labs (a web consultancy) which he launched in 2009 and he's also the founder of Starter Studio, a business accelerator that combines mentorship with educational events to help startups in Orlando, Florida.

I first came across him, years ago when I watched his Rails for Zombies tutorial to learn Ruby on Rails. And I'm glad to finally have him as a guest on this show.

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

Direct download: 133-Gregg-Pollack-Starter-Studio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:11am PDT

Aaron Dallek is a serial entrepreneur who started his first business at the age of 14. He's currently the co-founder and CEO of Opternative, an online service that gives you a convenient way to get a prescription for glasses or contacts. With Opternative you complete an eye exam on your computer or tablet and get a prescription signed by a doctor without ever having to go to a doctor's office. The company was founded in 2012 and to date has raised $9.5 million in funding.

Do you want to learn how to build, launch and grow your SaaS product? Get Our Free Learning Guides.
Direct download: 132-Aaron-Dallek-Opternative.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

Pini Yakuel is the co-founder and CEO of Optimove, a SaaS product that uses its predictive customer modeling technology to helps marketers understand customers and create personalized marketing campaigns.

The company was founded in 2009. It initially started out as a consulting business. And the co-founders used the consulting revenue to fund the SaaS business.

In 2012, they were offered $1.5 million in VC funding and turned it down. They continued self-funding the business until this year, when they raised $20 million in their first round.

Optimove is based in Tel Aviv and has offices in New York and London.

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

Direct download: 131-Pini-Yakuel-Optimove.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:07pm PDT

Garrett Moon is the CEO and a Co-Founder of CoSchedule, a content marketing and social media publishing calendar for small businesses and marketing teams. CoSchedule helps over 7,000 customers organize their content marketing and social media publishing in more than 100 countries around the world. CoSchedule was founded in 2013 and to date has raised around $500K in funding.

Do you want to learn how to build, launch and grow your SaaS product? Get Our Free Learning Guides.
Direct download: 130-Garrett-Moon-CoSchedule.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

Do you ever feel like there's not enough time in the day to get everything done? Do you start feeling overwhelmed as soon you think about everything on your plate?

If you're an entrepreneur, you probably know this feeling well. You're running on all cylinders trying to build your business. You have a long to-do list that seems to grow longer every day. You just don't have enough hours in the day. Which makes you start to feel seriously overwhelmed.

Feeling overwhelmed can result in negative emotions such as anxiety, worry or irritability. And it can increase your stress levels, which could lead to even more serious issues with your mental or physical health.

While you can't add more hours to your day, there are a number of strategies you can use to help you stop feeling overwhelmed and get yourself in the right physical and mental state.

And I'm going to share 7 of those mental hacks today which are relatively easy to implement and could potentially make a huge difference to your health as well as you ability to get things done.

Do you want to learn how to build, launch and grow your SaaS product? Get Our Free Learning Guides.
Direct download: 129_-_7_Mental_Hacks_to_Help_You_Stop_Feeling_Overwhelmed.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

Ryan O'Donnell is the co-founder of SellHack, an online platform for sales people that helps them find targeted prospects, build email lists and verify email addresses. He started his career on Wall Street as a broker making 500 calls a day prospecting for new clients. He decided to follow his passion for tech and joined Right Media, which as later acquired by Yahoo. After spending 3 years at Yahoo, he left and began his startup journey. SellHack was founded in 2014 and is based in Cleveland, Ohio.

Do you want to learn how to build, launch and grow your SaaS product? Get Our Free Learning Guides.
Direct download: 128-Ryan-ODonnell-SellHack.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

Matthew Bellows is the co-founder & CEO of Yesware, a platform that helps sales people connect with prospects, track engagement and close more deals. Yesware serves more than 750,000 salespeople at companies like Adroll, Groupon, Salesforce, Twilio and Yelp. The company was founded in 2011 and is based in Boston, Massachusetts. To date the company has raised over $35 million in funding.

Do you want to learn how to build, launch and grow your SaaS product? Get Our Free Learning Guides.
Direct download: 127-Matthew-Bellows-Yesware.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

Luke Kervin is the founder and co-CEO of PatientPop, an all-in-one marketing automation platform for healthcare providers. The company was founded in 2014 and has raised around $24 million to date. Prior to launching PatientPop, my guest co-founded two companies that both had successful exits and were acquired.

Do you want to learn how to build, launch and grow your SaaS product? Get Our Free Learning Guides.
Direct download: 126-Luke-Kervin-PatientPop.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

Aseem Badshah is the co-founder and CEO of Socedo, a platform for sales teams that helps them generate relevant leads based on social media data. The company was founded in 2012 and has raised $1.5 million to date. Before launching Socedo, my guest founded and ran Uptown Treehouse, a digital marketing agency for Fortune 500 brands that focused on social media.

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

Direct download: 125-Aseem-Badshah-Socedo.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:28pm PDT

Pulkit Agrawal is the co-founder and CEO of Chameleon, a platform that helps companies create better user onboarding. With Chameleon you can quickly build, test & deploy product tutorials and tooltips without writing any code. And it collects analytics to help you learn what your new users are doing and how you can improve the onboarding experience. The company was founded in 2015 and to date has raised $1.9 million in funding.

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

Direct download: Pulkit-Agrawal-Chameleon_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:57pm PDT

Pulkit Agrawal is the co-founder and CEO of Chameleon, a platform that helps companies create better user onboarding. With Chameleon you can quickly build, test & deploy product tutorials and tooltips without writing any code. And it collects analytics to help you learn what your new users are doing and how you can improve the onboarding experience. The company was founded in 2015 and to date has raised $1.9 million in funding.

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

Direct download: Pulkit-Agrawal-Chameleon_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:33pm PDT

Pulkit Agrawal is the co-founder and CEO of Chameleon, a platform that helps companies create better user onboarding. With Chameleon you can quickly build, test & deploy product tutorials and tooltips without writing any code. And it collects analytics to help you learn what your new users are doing and how you can improve the onboarding experience. The company was founded in 2015 and to date has raised $1.9 million in funding.

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

Direct download: 122-Pulkit-Agrawal-Chameleon-Part1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:53pm PDT

Shane Melaugh is the co-founder and CEO of Thrive Themes, a company that creates conversion focused WordPress tools such as Thrive Content Builder and the Thrive Leads plugin.

Thrive Themes was founded in 2013. It currently has over 35,000 customers around the world and generates over a million dollars in annual revenue.

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

Direct download: 121-Shane-Melaugh-Thrive-Themes-Part3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:15pm PDT

Shane Melaugh is the co-founder and CEO of Thrive Themes, a company that creates conversion focused WordPress tools such as Thrive Content Builder and the Thrive Leads plugin.

Thrive Themes was founded in 2013. It currently has over 35,000 customers around the world and generates over a million dollars in annual revenue.

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

Direct download: 120-Shane-Melaugh-Thrive-Themes-Part2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

Shane Melaugh is the co-founder and CEO of Thrive Themes, a company that creates conversion focused WordPress tools such as Thrive Content Builder and the Thrive Leads plugin.

Thrive Themes was founded in 2013. It currently has over 35,000 customers around the world and generates over a million dollars in annual revenue.

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

Direct download: 119-Shane-Melaugh-Thrive-Themes-Part1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

Ian Harris is the author of the book 'Hooked on You - The Genius Way to Make Anybody Read Anything'. He's the associate director of Gatehouse, a UK based communication agency. And regularly speaks about how to build an audience and use story telling to capture people's attention.

In his book, he explains why storytelling matters in the business world. And how you can use storytelling to gets people's attention and eventually turn them into your customers. Whether you're writing emails, blog posts or landing page copy, you'll discover how storytelling can help you be more effective at getting customers.

It seems that we're all getting more and more overwhelmed with content these days. More blog posts are being published, more emails are being sent, there are more tweets, shares and likes. And it's no different for our customers.

They're overwhelmed with information and if you want to grab their attention, then storytelling is a perfect way to do that.

We're going to talk about what exactly storytelling, how all of us have stories that we can tell, we'll share some hacks on how you can find stories, and we'll go through a step-by-step process for using those stories to grab people's attention and get more customers.

Do you want to learn how to build, launch and grow your SaaS product? Learn more.

Direct download: 118-Ian-Harris-Hooked-on-You.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:32pm PDT

Jay Gibb is the co-founder and CEO of CloudSponge, a product that helps businesses to acquire more users via their email referral forms.

Most referral forms ask you to type in your friend's email addresses. With CloudSponge it's possible to give users access to their contacts directly from your website.

The company was founded in 2010, is self-funded and its customers include companies such as Lyft, Yelp and AirBnB.

We discuss how Jay started out with $100,000 and a small team to build the 'ideal' product. The blew most of that money and still didn't have a product in market. So they knew that they either had to quit or pivot. They needed a 'plan B'.

So they took ONE feature from the product they were building and turned it into a standalone product. They had a crappy website up in less than a week and started charging right away. Today, that startup has an annual run rate of over $500,000 and is profitable.

Do you want to learn how to build, launch and grow your SaaS product? Learn more.
Direct download: 117-Jay-Gibb-CloudSponge.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

Zvi Band is the co-founder and CEO of Contactually, a CRM tool which helps you turn relationships into results.

He's a software developer and entrepreneur who founded Contactually in 2011. And he's grown it into a multi-million dollar business with over 70 employees. The company is based in Washington DC and to date has raised over $12 million in funding.

It all started in 2010 when Zvi fired up Evernote and wrote down an idea for a new product. He had no plan on what he was going to do with that idea. What he didn't realize at the time was that he had just planted a seed for a new business that he was going to build.

For the next few months, he played with the idea, hacked together a prototype over a weekend but didn't see it any more than a side project.

Today, after 5 years that idea in Evernote has grown into a business that's generating several million dollars in revenue with over 70 employees.

It's a great story and we'll share what Zvi did to turn that idea into product and business. We talk about the ONE thing that he wished he'd done differently -- which is great advice for anyone in the early days of building their product. And we talk about what he still struggles with today (despite the success that he's had).

Do you want to learn how to build, launch and grow your SaaS product? Learn more.
Direct download: 116-Zvi-Band-Contactually.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

Kreg Peeler is the founder and CEO of SpinGo, an integrated solution that helps event makers list, manage and promote events.

SpinGo's event platform combines content from 100,000 sources to produce a robust local event search engine. Its API powers 5,500 entertainment apps, delivering event content to almost 200 million viewers per month. And it's Event Management product helps customers manage all aspects of event planning.

In 2012, Kreg had a media website which included a local events section. His wife was curating the web, finding events and then manually entering this information into the website.

One day, they discovered a surprising website metric that gave Kreg the idea for a new startup. It turned out to be a pretty good idea. Since then, they've grown SpinGo into a community of 200,000 event organizers and raised over $7 million in funding.

In this episode, we talk about the journey that led Kreg to discovering that idea. And we explore how he's transforming SpinGo from a media into a SaaS business.

Do you want to learn how to build, launch and grow your SaaS product? Learn more.

Direct download: 115-Kreg-Peeler-SpinGo.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

Zal Dastur is the co-founder of Lucep, a sales acceleration tool that helps companies increase their lead conversion rate and boosts revenues by providing faster access to interested leads. Lucep's customers include companies such as Starwood Hotels, Jaguar Land Rover and Citibank. The company was founded in 2014 and is based in Singapore. The co-founders actually worked together on a previous startup which failed. But they learned some valuable lessons from that experience and when the time was right, they decided to launch their second startup together. There are some great lessons here which this co-founder learned the hard way, so hopefully you wont have to make some of those same mistakes.
Direct download: 114-Zal-Dastur-Lucep.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

Daniel Ha is the co-founder and CEO of the blog commenting platform Disqus. He and his co-founder founded the company in 2007 while they were undergraduates at the University of California, and then shortly after dropped out to work on the business full-time. Not only was Disqus my guests first business, it was also his first job. 9 years later, Disqus is used by millions of websites. It reaches over a billion unique visitors and handles over 50 million comments a day. The company generates 8-figures in annual revenue. It has raised over $20 million in funding and is based in San Francisco. We talk about how they came up with the idea, what they did to get early traction and how they've successfully grown the business to where it is today.
Direct download: 113-Daniel-Ha-Disqus.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

Jerrod Bailey is a Partner and VP of Business Development at Tallwave, an Arizona-based business design and innovation agency focused on helping companies build great products and take them to market successfully. Jerrod is a revenue growth specialist focused on getting to that first dollar of revenue and beyond. He helps startups and growth companies to develop their business model, their go-to-market, and launch plans and then structure their company to reach a lot of customers very efficiently, whether they have a hundred sales reps or none. For 12 years prior to Tallwave, Jerrod served as an operator in three venture-backed startups, all having exits between $77M and $2 billion. In this episode, we talk about how you can build a scalable outbound sales system without adding another body or sales person to your team. Well talk about some critical elements you need to have in place before you start building a scalable outbound or inbound system. And we deep dive into how you can leverage LinkedIn to start prospecting with B2B customers at scale. Well talk about what a good system looks like, how you can automate it, what tools you can use for prospecting and how you can do all of this efficiently so it doesnt take up all your time.
Direct download: 112-Jerrod-Bailey-Tallwave.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

Jeremy Reeves is sales funnel expert. He specializes in building strategic & automated online sales funnels that help his clients generate more revenue. He's created millions of dollars in additional profits for this clients. He's worked with some of the world's leading entrepreneurs as well SaaS companies like CrazyEgg and ClickTale. And in this episode, he's going to share his expertise on how you can build a better sales funnel for your SaaS business. You can be getting a ton of traffic to your website and you may have a great product. But if you don't have a sales or marketing funnel, then you will never be effective at converting all of that traffic into customers. Jeremy helps us understand exactly what sales funnel is. And then we deep dive into a step by step process for designing and implementing your own funnel. There's lots of practical information in this episode that you could start implementing today.
Direct download: 111-Jeremy-Reeves-Sales-Funnel-Specialist.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00pm PDT

Marcelino Alvarez is the co-founder and CEO of Uncorked Studios, a rapidly growing design and engineering firm that builds connected products for both the digital & physical world - ranging from an app/website to a wearable device or smart home technology. The company also has a history of developing social impact projects e.g. in 2011 my guest and his team developed an open data initiative to help residents of Japan report and understand the levels of radiation following the earthquake and nuclear disaster. The company was founded in 2010 and is based in Portland, Oregon. Its clients include companies such as Google, adidas, Intel and Lego. Here are 3 reasons why you should listen to this episode: 1. There are some great lessons in this episode on how to build a successful services business. Many of you are currently running a services business, while trying to build your product business. You will get some good insights on how you can get more clients. 2. We talk about innovation and creating a culture where innovation is encouraged. And Marcelino has some great examples of what he has done to create that type of culture in his company and how that has resulted in some amazing new ideas and products. 3. I always believe that looking outside of our own world views, we can find inspiration, new ideas and better ways of doing business. So although this isn't a conversation about SaaS or a software product, it will give you some 'out of the box' thinking for your SaaS business.
Direct download: 110-Marcelino-Alvarez-Uncorked-Studios.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00pm PDT

Mogens Møller is the co-founder and CEO of Sleeknote. A SaaS product that helps ecommerce sites get more email opt-ins, without affecting bounce rate and sales. The company was founded in 2013 and is based in Aarhus, Denmark. Sleeknote currently has around 700 customers and generates $55,000 in monthly recurring revenue. And the business has been bootstrapped from day one. In this episode we talk about: * How the founders came up with the idea for the SaaS product while doing freelancing work for a client * How the first version of the minimum viable product was developed and shipped in under 7 days * A major mistake they made by trying to focus on too broad a market for almost a year * How they got traction and achieved success by niching down and focusing on a segment with the market * What they did to get traction and go from zero to $55,000 per month

Direct download: 109-Mogen_Moller_-_Sleeknote.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00pm PDT

Ryan McKay-Fleming is the co-founder and CTO of Chalk.com, a SaaS product that helps teachers with lesson planning, grading, assessment and attendance. Over 100,000 teachers worldwide are using Chalk.com. The company is based in Toronto, Canada. It was founded in 2012 and to date has raised $500K in its initial seed round. This is a story about two college friends from the University of Waterloo in Canada, who decided to build a startup. They had an idea for a product that would make teachers more productive. They didnt do an validation or talk to teachers, they just went ahead and built the product on a hunch. As you can imagine, things didnt go quite to plan when they launched. And we talk about the lessons they learned and how got over 100,000 teachers worldwide using their product and also raised $500,000 in their initial seed round. We also talk about how they were discouraged because nobody was buying their product. And then one phone call changed all that and created that AHA moment, where they figured out how to get teachers (who dont have a lot of money) using their product and still create a business model where they can make money. There are some interesting lessons in this episode and I think youll get value whatever industry youre in.
Direct download: 108-Ryan-McKay-Fleming-Chalk.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

Judy Robinett is the author of the book How to Be a Power Connector: The 5+50+100 Rule for Turning Your Business Network into Profits. In her 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur and corporate leader, shes served as the CEO of both public and private companies. Shes been on the advisory board of several venture capital firms and she was the managing director of Golden Seeds Angel Network (one of the largest angel investment groups in the US). Shes been profiled in Fast Company, Forbes, Venture Beat, Huffington Post and Bloomberg Businessweek as an example of a new breed of power connectors. The Business Model Generation Book (Preview) http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com/downloads/businessmodelgeneration_preview.pdf The Business Model Canvas http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com/downloads/business_model_canvas_poster.pdf

Direct download: 107-Judy-Robinett-How-to-be-a-Power-Connector.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

Alexandra Keating is the co-founder and CEO of DWNLD, a mobile app platform that enables media companies, brands, and influencers to easily and affordably create beautiful, native mobile apps. The platform can transform any website or web medium (social media channels, photos, GIFs, videos, etc.) into a fully-functional app in a matter of minutes. The company has raised $14M to date and is based in New York. Previously, Alexandra sold her first tech company, a charity platform that she started in Australia at the age of 19. And if that wasn't impressive enough, she's also the daughter of former Australian Prime Minister, Paul Keating.
Direct download: 105-Alexandra-Keating-DWNLD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

Alex Berman is the head of growth for InspireBeats, a company that does fully managed sales and lead generation for startups and agencies. One of the most common challenges I hear from SaaS entrepreneurs is that they're struggling to generate leads. And many of you may have tried sending cold emails and wished that you hadn't even wasted your time. In this episode were going to deep-dive into lead generation and email outreach. Youll hear about some interesting insights from my guest, including:

  • What they learned sending over 1,000,000 cold emails
  • Prospecting: how to find the perfect B2B lead
  • What to use instead of a sales script
  • Why conferences are a hugely overlooked lead gen spot
  • And more

If you've been struggling to generate leads, this episode might just be what you've been hoping for.

Direct download: 105-Alex-Berman-InspireBeats.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:03pm PDT

Brandon Pearce is the founder of Music Teachers Helper, a SaaS application thats helping thousands of music teachers around the world manage their studio. It lets them handle everything from billing and lesson schedules, to automatic reminders and even tax reports. I first came across my Brandon in 2012 when I read his story in a book called the The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau. He started the business with almost no money in 2004 and within a few years the business was generating almost $30,000 in MRR. So he decided to sell his home and belongings in Utah and moved with his wife and 2 young daughters to Costa Rica (where his third daughter was born). And in the past 6 years, theyve visited over 30 countries, while still building his business.

Direct download: 104-Brandon-Pearce-MTH.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:24pm PDT

B Byrne is the co-founder and CEO of Clef, a service that provides secure two-factor authentication without passwords or tokens. You just hold up your phone in front of any computer in the world and Clef will instantly log you in. The company is based in Oakland, California. It was founded in 2013 and to date has raised over $2M in funding.

Direct download: 103-Brennen-Byrne-Clef.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:34pm PDT

Aaron Fulkerson is the co-founder and CEO of MindTouch, a social knowledge base product that powers help centers to improve customer engagement and success. Its clients include companies such as Zenefits, Docker & Paypal - Accenture, Charles Schwabb. Mindtouch was founded in 2004, is a multi-million dollar business, profitable and has been bootstrapped from day one. Aaron previously worked at Microsoft in the Advanced Strategies & Policies group. He has helped informed national education policy at the White. And hes been a contributing writer at CNN, Fortune and Forbes Magazine.

Direct download: 101-Aaron-Fulkerson-MindTouch.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Each entrepreneur was asked a simple question – “what’s the best piece of business advice that you ever received?”. In this episode we discuss why these made our ‘top 10 list’ and how the advice might just help you get the breakthrough that you’ve been looking for with your business.

Direct download: 100-Omer-Khan-ConversionAid.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Joshua Parkinson is the Founder & CEO of PostPlanner, a Facebook tool that makes it easy for people to find and post amazing content to increase their social media engagement. Joshua founded the company in 2011 and to date Post Planner has over 25,000 monthly active users.

Direct download: 052-Joshua-Parkinson-Post-Planner.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Martin Novak is the co-founder of Visidom, a SaaS tool that records your website visitors interactions and creates custom heatmaps, so you can see exactly how people are interacting with your website.

 

Direct download: 029_Martin_Novak_-_Visidom.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00pm PDT

1