The SaaS Podcast - SaaS, Startups, Growth Hacking & Entrepreneurship (general)
Geoff Atkinson is the founder and CEO of Huckabuy, a SaaS platform that takes SEO to the next level by automating the creation of structured data to help search engines better understand your website.

In 2015 Geoff started an affiliate website. It was a simple business model -- promote other companies' products and get commissions from the sales.

So his priority was to do a great job with search engine optimization and drive plenty of traffic to his website. And in order to do that, he needed to create lots of content. So he built a software tool to help him generate content.

He struggled wit that business for the next two years and he got nowhere. He knew that he had to either shutdown the business or pivot quickly.

And he had two interesting insights at this point:

1. Even though his affiliate business was a failure, he had several people asking him if they could license the software tool that he had built for himself.
2. After doing so much SEO, he realized how important structured data was becoming for Google and wondered if he could get ahead of the curve.

So based on those two factors, Geoff decided to pivot into a SaaS business. This was something that he knew nothing about.

And it became even more challenging when he had to try and sell his new product. Initially there was no user-interface, so he was going to sales meetings and trying to explain to prospects what his product would do for them but he had nothing to show them.

It was too much of a leap of faith for many prospects, but a few decided to give him a shot. And finally after three and a half years of working on his business, he started to get sales.

Today is business is almost $1.5 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR).

So in this interview, you're going to hear Geoff's story and how he went through three and a half years of lean times for his business, how he pivoted into a SaaS business, what he learned about sales and the importance of structured data and how it could help you with SEO.

I hope you enjoy it.


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Direct download: 219_-_Geoff_Atkinson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Derek O'Carroll, the CEO of Brightpearl, a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) product for retailers and wholesalers.

In 2016, a SaaS company founded in a small city in the UK was struggling with a business model that was unsustainable. After almost 10 years in business, the company was struggling to retain customers and was quickly running out of money.

That same year, Derek O'Carroll was hired as the new CEO to help turnaround the company. He spent a lot of time talking to employees, partners and customers to figure out the issues.

He started building a list of things that needed to get fixed. And the more conversations he had, the longer his list got. He quickly realized that he wouldn't be able to fix everything.

He needed to focus. So he eventually identified 3 key areas of improvement. And he decided to focus the majority of his time and his teams' time on solving those 3 things.

It looked like a good plan. But it wasn't smooth sailing. In fact, when they started executing on the plan, they actually made the customer churn problem even worse for a while as they lost a lot more customers very quickly.

But they stayed the course and kept executing the plan. And eventually it paid off.

In the last 3 years, revenue has more than doubled and is growing at almost 50% year over year. And they've significantly reduced their customer churn.

The key lesson here is that if your business is struggling, or you feel like revenue has flatlined, or you have high churn, sometimes it can be overwhelming.

Where do you start? What do you solve? You might have a super long list of things. But identify the top 2 or 3 things that you believe will make a difference and do a really great job to execute relentlessly in those areas.

I hope you enjoy the interview.


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Direct download: 218_Derek_OCarroll_Brightpearl_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Josh Ho is the founder and CEO of Referral Rock, a SaaS product that helps businesses to design, launch and manage a customer referral program.

You've got a great idea for a SaaS product, but no one else seems as excited about it. Does that mean it's a bad idea and you should move on to something else? Not necessarily.

In 2013, Josh was at a car dealership waiting for his car to be serviced. He overheard a conversation which got him curious about how brick and mortar companies like car dealerships got referrals and if there was a way to automate word of mouth referrals.

He did some research that evening and thought he'd found a gap in the market. He was excited about his idea but he didn't like what he heard when he interviewed prospective customers. No one seemed excited about his idea.

But being a bit stubborn, he decided to build an MVP anyway.

He kept things really simple and cobbled together a few different tools and technologies to quickly build an MVP. And he started getting the word out anyway and every way he could.

And slowly he started getting people signing up for his product. About 18 months later, he had around 500 users signed up.

But there was one big problem. Josh wasn't charging any money for his product. He had hundreds of users but no customers and no revenue.

One day, a close friend told Josh something that he needed to hear. He didn't have a real business until he was charging for his product and generating sales.

So reluctantly that weekend, he added a paid plan. And to his surprise, a week later he had his first customer paying him $59 a month.

Today, Josh runs a 100% remote company with 12 full-time employees and he's generating $70,000 in monthly recurring revenue. And his business is totally bootstrapped.

At every step, he kept second guessing himself and questioning how big his business could become. But he kept executing, trying new things and taking action.

There was no magic bullet or hack that helped him grow. He kept doing small things to see what worked and if they did, they figured out how to scale them. And that's what he's still doing today.

It's a great story and Josh talks candidly about his successes and failures.

I hope you enjoy it.


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Direct download: 217_Josh_Ho_ReferralRock_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Shawn Finder is the co-founder and CEO of Autoklose, an all-in-one outbound sales automation platform.

Competing in a crowded market can be really tough. Having a great product and clear differentiation is super important, but sometimes that's not enough. You also need a great product launch that helps you stand out in the market and drive rapid product adoption.

In 2016, Shawn had an idea for a new SaaS product. He already had an existing business and realized that many of his customers were struggling with the same issue.

So he started thinking about how he could build a SaaS product to help them. After doing some research, he decided he was going to go all in' with this new SaaS business.

But there was one big problem. Shawn was building a sales automation product and so he was about to enter an extremely crowded and competitive market.

No matter how good his product was, he knew it was going to be a challenge to stand out in that market. So he knew that a successful launch was going to be critical for his new business.

In this interview you'll learn:

* How Shawn started promoting Autoklose 6 months before it launched and how he had 1000 demos booked when they launched the product.
* How Shawn worked with industry influencers and partners to help promote Autoklose and get in front of a much bigger audience.
* How Shawn used social selling on LinkedIn to position himself as an authority in the space and attract prospects.

As a result, the business has gone from zero to over a million dollars a year in about 18 months.

There are a lot of great lessons and insights in this interview. I hope you enjoy it.


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Direct download: 216_Shawn_Finder_Autoklose.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Cedric Savarese is the founder and CEO of FormAssembly, a SaaS platform that helps businesses to create web forms and collect data.

In 2002, Cedric moved from France to the USA. And he landed a job as a web developer at a higher education college in Indiana.

He found himself spending a lot of time building web forms to capture data. It was tedious and boring work. But he realized how important these forms were from a business perspective.

He started spending his evenings and weekends developing a form builder - an automated way for his end-users to create these web forms themselves. It was just a side-project.

He shared the project on Hacker News and people started signing up. After a while, he added a paid plan and before he knew it, he was earning coffee money from his side-project.

It was slow going, but Cedric kept working on his side-project. He listened to feedback he was getting and kept improving the product.

The cost of living in Indiana was pretty low compared to places like San Francisco. And after 2 years, he was making enough money to quit his job and focus on his product full-time.

But there was nothing unique about Cedric's product. There were already a number of similar form builders on the market and it seemed like new ones were being created every week.

So how big could his little side-project get? And how could he stand out from the crowd?

He kept listening to what his customers told him. And eventually he found one simple thing that helped him differentiate his product.

In this interview, you're going to learn what the one thing was. And you'll learn how he doubled down on that differentiator to bootstrap his little side-project into a profitable business with 65 employees.

It didn't happen overnight, it's taken Cedric 13 years to get here. But it's an inspiring story on how you can turn a simple idea into a successful SaaS business.

I hope you enjoy it.


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Direct download: 215_Cedric_Savarese_FormAssembly_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Aaron Zakowski is the founder of Zammo Digital, a marketing agency that specializes in using Facebook ads to help SaaS companies grow and scale their businesses. His clients include companies such as InVision, Digital Ocean and Treehouse.

Have you struggled to make Facebook ads work for your SaaS business?

Maybe you read every blog post you could about Facebook ads. You identified your target audience and put together great copy and images for your ads.

And then when everything looked good, you put the campaign live. Facebook quickly started eating up your advertising budget, but your investment didn't turn into many leads or sales.

If that's happened to you, then you're not alone. A lot of SaaS companies struggle to make Facebook ads work. And many B2B companies dismiss Facebook ads because it's a B2C platform.

But with the right knowledge, mindset and approach you can use Facebook ads to generate leads and sales for your SaaS business.

In this episode, you're going to learn about the SaaS Scaling Framework for Facebook Ads. After spending millions of dollars and generating nearly a million signups and leads for their SaaS clients, Zammo Digital developed this framework to help them consistently deliver the results that they're clients were looking for.

We're going to talk about how to test, optimize and scale your Facebook ads. We'll look at how to identify your target audience, how to clarify your message, how to optimize and automate your ad campaigns and how to scale your SaaS business faster.

I hope you enjoy it.


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Direct download: 214_Aaron_Zakowski_-_Zammo_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Tope Awotona is the founder and CEO of Calendly, a simple and beautiful scheduling tool that helps you schedule meetings without all the back and forth emails.

Tope grew up in Nigeria and and moved to the US when he was a teenager. After graduating from the University of Georgia, he landed a job at IBM as a sales rep.

He spent the next seven years working in sales, but deep down he always wanted to become a successful entrepreneur. So he spent his evenings and weekends trying to build a business.

First he decided to build a dating site after reading an article about PlentyofFish.com. But he quickly realized he didn't have the resources or skills, so he never launched the business.

His second startup was an e-commerce site selling projectors. But he didn't sell many and the margins were terrible. He also had no interest in projectors.

His third startup was another e-commerce site selling grills. But he found himself dealing with the same problems. And he just had no passion for that business either.

Tope realized that he was just focused on ways to make money. He told himself that he wasn't going to succeed unless he focused on a problem that he was passionate about solving.

It took another year before he found that problem. He'd spent a day wasting a lot of time going back and forth over email to schedule meetings. So he started searching for a scheduling tool.

But all the products he found were slow and clunky. After months of research, he decided to go all in with this idea. He put every single dollar he had made into this new business.

This time, his bet paid off. Today, Tope's company does around $30 million in annual revenue.

In this interview you're going to learn how he took that idea, overcame the challenges of 3 failed startups and successfully grew a SaaS business that has over 4 million users.

I hope you enjoy it.


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Direct download: 213_-_Tope_Awatona_Calendly_-_SaaS_Failures.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

In this episode, I talk to Dennis Mortensen, the founder and CEO of x.ai, an artificial intelligence driven personal assistant that schedules meetings for you.

Dennis had just sold his company and now had plenty of time on his hands.

When we have more time than we know what to do with, we sometimes do silly things. And that was no different for Dennis.

As he sat in front of his computer, he opened up his calendar and started counting the number of meetings he'd had in the last year. He counted a total of 1,019 meetings.

But what really shocked him was that 65% of the meetings he'd setup, had to be rescheduled.

So that got him thinking about a solution. But there were already lots of SaaS products that helped people to schedule and reschedule meetings.

He knew how easily he fell in love with new business ideas. So instead of trying to validate his idea, he spent the next few months trying to convince himself not to work on it.

When he couldn't talk himself out of working on the idea, he decided to move to the next step.

He validated his idea by building a concierge MVP' which turned out to be really smart. And we cover what exactly he did to test his idea without writing a single line of code.

And that's how x.ai was born. Today, the company has raised over $44 million.

Dennis is a serial entrepreneur who's already had 3 successful exits and one failed startup. He shares some fascinating insights in this interview.

I think you'll really enjoy it.


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Direct download: 212_-_Dennis_Mortensen_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

BJ Lackland is CEO of Lighter Capital, a Seattle based company that specializes in providing financial capital to early stage SaaS companies.

Let's say your SaaS company is generating revenue...

Your business is still in the early stages and you want to raise money to help you grow faster.
But you know that raising angel or VC funding is going to take a lot of time and effort.

You're already busy enough working on your business, product and marketing. You know you need to raise money but how are you going to find the time to fundraising?

Well, there's another way to finance your startup that you might not have considered.

It's called revenue-based financing and it allows you to quickly and easily raise funding without giving up equity or providing personal guarantees.

In this episode, we help you understand what exactly revenue-based financing is and why it's emerging as a leading alternative to equity financing for startups.

We talk about how Lighter Capital works with SaaS companies, what they've done to streamline the fundraising process and how you can raise money without ever doing a pitch.

I hope you enjoy it.


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Direct download: 211_-_BJ_Lackland_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Kyle Poyar is the of VP Marketing Strategy at OpenView, an expansion stage venture capital firm that helps build software companies into market leaders.

Your SaaS pricing strategy can make or break your business.

But getting your pricing right is really hard. And many companies struggle to understand what they're worth to their customers and how to clearly communicate that.

In this episode, we talk about 5 common pricing mistakes that SaaS companies make. And we provide recommendations to help you avoid making the same mistakes.

I hope you enjoy it.


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Direct download: 210_-_Kyle_Poyar.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Chris Ronzio is the founder and CEO of Trainual, a SaaS product that helps companies to onboard employees, automate training, systemize processes, and put everything about your business in one place.

Paid advertising doesn't work. That's what I often hear from founders of SaaS companies.

They tell me that they tried Facebook and Google ads, but it was too expensive to acquire customers and so they focused on other growth strategies like content marketing instead.

And when we hear things like that, it's easy to dismiss a growth channel and do what everyone else is doing. But sometimes, we find success by doing what everyone else is not doing.

Chris Ronzio was running a consulting business in Arizona. He realized that many of his clients were struggling with the same issue. So one day he hired a developer to build a simple tool for him. And he started using that tool to help his clients run their businesses better.

Some years later, Chris decided that he'd had enough of consulting. He really wanted to build a product business. And he realized that the simple in-house tool he'd been using with his clients all those years could actually be turned into a SaaS product.

He decided to go all in with this new business. And he quickly got to a few thousand dollars in monthly recurring revenue by selling his product to his consulting clients.

But finding more customers beyond his consulting clients wasn't so easy. He tried a bunch of things that either didn't work or had disappointing results. But he kept looking and trying different things and eventually he found a way to get customers - by using Facebook ads.

Initially, it was expensive to acquire customers using Facebook ads. But Chris kept at it and eventually he figured out how to get customers profitably. He knew how much a customer was worth and how much he could spend to acquire a new customer.

And once he had that working, he took a calculated risk. He started spending as much as he could on Facebook ads. At one point, he had over $300,000 worth of credit card debt. But it enabled him to grow the business much faster.

He went from zero to over $2 million in annual recurring revenue in less than 18 months.

In this interview we talk about the ups and downs that Chris experienced. We explore some of the mistakes he made and what he learned from those mistakes. And we dig into exactly what he did with this Facebook advertising campaigns to acquire those customers.

I hope you enjoy it.


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Direct download: SaaS_Growth_Marketing_-_Chris_Ronzio_209.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Max Kolysh is the co-founder of Zinc.io, an ecommerce lab that builds products to help Amazon and eBay sellers.

Every SaaS founder knows that finding product market fit is really tough.

You might have to pivot your SaaS business multiple times before you find the right product for the right market. So what can we learn from SaaS founders who failed repeatedly before they found success?

When Max and Doug were students at MIT, they talked about building a software product to help eBay sellers. And eventually, they both dropped out of college to start their business.

They got accepted into YC, but pretty soon realized that their idea wasn't that great after all. So they pivoted and built a product that saved people money when buying on Amazon.

They got some good traction and it looked like they were on their way to finding product market fit. But that all changed when they received a cease and desist letter from Amazon.

So they were back to square one again. They needed another idea.

One day they received an email out of the blue from an ex-customer who told them that he wanted to use an API but wasn't technical. He asked if they could help him out.

That email led to Max and Doug pivoting again and creating a new product. But this time it wasn't just an idea they'd come up themselves -- it was something a real customer needed.

And the product resonated with the market and helped them get traction.

Today, their company generates over $5 million in annual recurring revenue.

It's a great story about persistence, flexibility, listening to your customers and how to successfully pivot your SaaS business.

I hope you enjoy it.


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Direct download: 208_-_Successfully_Pivoting_a_SaaS_Business_-_Max_Kolysh.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Tyler Tringas is a General Partner at Earnest Capital which provides early stage funding for bootstrappers.

You want to start a SaaS company. People keep asking you how big the market opportunity is and if your idea will scale.

But maybe you don't want to build a huge business. Maybe you just want to create a sustainable and profitable business that gives you more freedom.

In 2011, Tyler quit his job to start a venture backed software startup called SolarList. He was a first time founder and non-technical. So he also started learning how to code.

Getting his startup to take-off was slow going, so he started doing some freelance work. Several of his clients wanted a way to add store locator functionality to their websites.

So on a 30-hour flight from San Francisco to Buenos Aires, Tyler built a store locator SaaS app as a side-project. When he landed, he deployed the code and launched the product.

He emailed some of this clients and within 24 hours he had a handful of people paying him $5 a month. The product was terrible and had a lot of missing functionality, but it did the basic job.

A year later, SolarList still wasn't getting traction and had be to shutdown. And Tyler was left with over $50,000 of credit card debt and uncertainty about his future.

He had to dig himself out of a financial hole. So he started doing more freelance work and putting more time into his StoreMapper side-project which was now doing around $1000 MRR.

By being able to spend more time on StoreMapper, Tyler was able to grow it over $5000 MRR in about 9 months. And eventually got it to over $40,000 MRR a few years later.

But he built it as a sustainable and profitable micro' SaaS company. It helped him to pay down his credit card debt, travel the world and spend more time on projects he found interesting.

And if building that type of business appeals to you, then you'll love this episode.

I hope you enjoy it.


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Direct download: Tyler_Tringas_Micro_SaaS_-_207.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Rob Fitzpatrick is a tech entrepreneur and author. He ran various tech startups for about 10 years, has raised funding in the US and UK and is a YC alum.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you enjoy it.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you enjoy it.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you enjoy it.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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SaaS Club Plus


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

John Stojka is the co-founder and co-CEO of Sertifi, a SaaS product that enables companies to electronically sign contracts and collect payments quickly and easily.

You've got a great SaaS product, so why aren't more people buying it? Well, it might be because you're targeting a market that's too broad. Maybe you need to narrow your focus.

But how exactly do you narrow down a market without going too small?

In 2008, two brothers in Chicago (John and Nick) had the idea of building a SaaS product to let companies electronically sign contracts. They did some research, built a prototype and quickly landed their first customer.

Things were looking good for their business, until one day when they turned up to work and were served papers for patent infringement. They were being sued by a big competitor. Many people would have given up at that point, but the brothers decided to fight the lawsuit.

And they eventually won, but they had to work on it almost full time for 8 months and it cost them close to $150,000.

It was a huge distraction and in those 8 months they did very little to improve the product. The market started slipping away from. Their product was quickly becoming obsolete while their competitors kept innovating and raising lots of money.

They knew that something had to change. Eventually they decided to narrow down the market and focus on a really small segment. Instead of competing in a market with millions of prospects, they chose a market with about 300 potential customers.

It helped them to get super-clear about their target customers and exactly what problems they had. And that bet paid off.

Today, their company generates over $10 million in annual recurring revenue and has 60 employees. And their business is totally bootstrapped.

It's a great story with a ton of ups and downs and great insights.


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Direct download: SaaS-202-John-Stojka.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Thomas Smale is the founder of FE International, an M&A firm that helps business owners to sell their SaaS, e-commerce and content businesses.

FE International offers comprehensive exit planning services, as well as direct access to an established network of pre-qualified international investors. And Thomas has consulted with hundreds of internet entrepreneurs on exit strategy, growth and business development.

You're hoping to sell your SaaS business in the next year or two. But you're not sure where to begin and how to put yourself and your company in the best position for a sale.

In this episode, we're going to teach you how to make your SaaS company more sellable, so you can get the possible outcome from a future sale.

You'll learn what the overall sales process looks like. And then we'll look at the typical mistakes that SaaS founders make and share some key lessons with you.

By the end of this interview, you should have some great insights and know exactly what you need to do to build a SaaS business that you can sell.


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Direct download: SaaS-Podcast-Thomas-Smale-201.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:46pm PDT

This is a special episode and I have three guests on the show today!

We're going to teach you something that I believe is so important to building a successful SaaS business, yet very few people talk about it.

When you're asking for a sale from a potential customer (whether in person or on your website) you need to present an attractive offer. You need to tell them about your product, how it will help them and what you'd like in return.

It sounds simple. But most of us know that it's not.

When you're struggling to make sales, a poor offer can often be the cause. And many businesses have dramatically improved sales by simply creating a better offer (without actually changing their product).

And a strong (or power) guarantee makes your offer even more attractive and helps close more sales.

So in this episode, I'm joined by two direct response marketing experts and copywriters who are going to show us how to create an offer and power guarantee that your prospects can't refuse.

And then we're going to look at a real-life example with one of my SaaS Club Plus members and how he's developing an offer and power guarantee for his SaaS business.


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Direct download: 200-how-to-create-a-saas-offer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Christian Owens is founder and CEO of Paddle. Paddle is a SaaS product that helps other software companies sell their products. It provides checkout, subscriptions, taxes, licensing, and insights in one unified platform.

Christian learned to build websites when he was 12 years old. He started walking into local businesses and asking them if they wanted a website. Some business owners just laughed at him, but others hired him to do the job.

At the age of 15, Christian built an invoicing application for Mac. But he had no idea how to sell software and no money to spend on marketing. So he started contacting other people with Mac products and persuaded them to do a special 2-week promotion where they'd combine all their products into a heavily discounted bundle and promote that to all their existing customers.

The promotion was a huge success and they made over $400,000 in sales in 2 weeks. At the age of 16, Christian dropped out of school and focused 100% on this business and kept running these bundle promotions. By the time he was 18, he had already made his first million dollars.

In 2012, Christian founded Paddle with his co-founder Harrison. They wanted to make it easier for software companies to sell their products. But they quickly realized that they had a big problem and it seemed like no one wanted their product.

Things weren't looking good, but they kept at it. And one day they had a surprising insight about their product. They realized that most of their customers only cared about one feature. They didn't want everything else.

And that insight led to the founders throwing away 90% of the product and focusing on that one feature.

Today Paddle generates over $10 million in annual recurring revenue. And Christian at the age of 24 has become CEO of a company with over 140 employees.

In this interview you'll learn exactly what the co-founders did to take a business that looked like it was going to fail and turn it into 8-figure SaaS business.

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


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Direct download: SaaS_-_Christian_Owens.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Dave Rogenmoser is the co-founder and CEO of Proof, a SaaS product that helps build social proof and increase conversion rates by displaying recent customer activity on your website.

Dave started as an entrepreneur about 5 years ago. He paid a developer on Upwork $10,000 to build a software product, but he didn't know how to get customers and so the business quickly failed.

He started learning as much as he could about marketing. And as he developed those skills, he was able help local businesses get more customers. So he started an agency. But he quickly realized how much he hated the agency life.

Next he and his co-founders launched an information publishing business and sold courses and coaching. But deep down, he still longed to have a software business with recurring revenue.

One weekend, Dave and his co-founders built a widget for their website to help them sell more courses. The widget showed you names of people who had just purchased the course. It was social proof and it doubled their sales almost overnight.

Dave started testing this widget on his friends websites. And they all reported back positive results and improved sales conversion rates. And that's how Proof was born.

In this episode we talk about how Dave and his co-founders turned that widget which they built in a weekend, into a SaaS business doing $250K in monthly recurring revenue.

We talk about how they've grown, how they've dealt with competitors and some of the biggest mistakes they've made along the way and what they learned from them.


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Direct download: 198-dave-rogenmoser-saas.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:40pm PDT

Olof Mathe is the co-founder and CEO of MixMax, a productivity tool for Gmail. MixMax lets you track emails, set up meetings, save time with email templates, and schedule emails to be sent later.

You've got a great idea for a SaaS product. But there's just one problem - your target market is dominated by a well funded and highly profitable 800 pound gorilla. How can you possibly compete in that market?

In 2011, Chanpory Rith was a UX designer working at Google. His job was to make the Gmail iOS app better. He proposed adding features like scheduling and email tracking to make Gmail more useful for businesses. But those features just weren't a priority for Gmail's broader user base.

Chanpory loved his job but hated the killer 2-hour commute. Eventually he left Google and joined a local startup. That's where he met two guys who would later become his co-founders. Olof Mathe was a product manager and Brad Vogel was an engineer.

All three considered themselves communication geeks'. They would often talk about how difficult some of their tools were and brainstormed how to make better communication tools. And that's when Chanpory told them about the idea he'd had years ago to make email for work' better.

There was just one BIG problem. The email market was dominated by Gmail. And Google already had a consumer and business version of Gmail. How could they possibly compete with Google?

They realized that the answer wasn't to compete with Google, but to build a product that would make Gmail better. And that's what they set out to do with MixMax.

And their strategy paid off. In 5 years since they launched, they've grown MixMax to over 10,000 customers and generate around $5 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR).


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Direct download: SaaS_-_Olaf_Mathe.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:29am PDT

Bart Lorang is the co-founder and CEO of FullContact, a SaaS product that helps you manage your contacts and relationships better. It transforms partial contact information into complete profiles and more useful customer data.

Bart came up with the idea for his business when he looked at how well his wife organized her contacts in Outlook. And he started thinking how great it would be if he could build software to enrich his own contacts data.

He and his co-founders developed a simple tool called Rainmaker that would automatically update your Google contacts with data from social networks. They launched it in Google's Marketplace and it didn't take too long to find a few customers.

But then they did what many of us have done - they had another product idea that they were excited about, so they started working on that instead. And for many months, they pretty much ignored Rainmaker other than fixing a bug or two.

After a few months working on that second product, they had another idea for a third product. So they started working on that. Now they basically had 3 products and very little focus on what exactly they were trying to achieve.

And then one day they had a conversation that changed everything. It was when they realized that with all 3 products they were trying to solve the same problem but in different ways - they were taking partial contacts and turning them into full contacts.

And that's when they finally committed to focusing on one product. Today their company generates 7-figures in monthly recurring revenue and has raised over $55 million in funding.

It's a great story and I'm sure you'll get a ton of great insights from this interview.


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Direct download: SaaS_-_Bart_Lorang.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:18am PDT

Jason VandeBoom is the founder and CEO of ActiveCampaign, an email marketing, marketing automation and sales CRM platform.

Jason was doing consulting work as a developer. He decided to move to Chicago and study fine arts at college. So he started looking for a way to do less consulting work so he had more time for college.

At the time he'd been building email marketing solutions for a number of clients. He decided to package up at work as an email marketing product that he could sell. This was an on-premise product (not SaaS) so clients had to install this software on their own computers.

He continued with the on-premise software model. Growth was slow. After 10 years working on the business, he had a team of 8 people. But he was generating a couple of million dollars in revenue and was profitable.

And then decided to bite the bullet and switch to a SaaS model. He was potentially risking all the revenue he was currently generating. But looking back, he wishes that he'd done it sooner and didn't overthink things so much.

The real growth for ActiveCampaign has happened in the last 2 years -- after 13 years of building the product and company. The company now has over 60,000 customers and generates over $50 million a year in revenue. And it employs over 300 people.

Jason raised $20M in 2016, but bootstrapped and self-funded the business for the first 13 years. And so far, he hasn't used any of the money he raised. And he's a single founder who's built this business slowly.

You've probably heard things like -- you can't succeed unless you find a co-founder or jump into working on your business full-time from day one.

Well in this episode we dispel those myths and show you how a single founder who started his business part-time still won't on to build a SaaS business that generates over $4 million in monthly recurring revenue.

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


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Direct download: Jason-VandeBoom-AC.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:51pm PDT

Rick Perreault is the co-founder and CEO of Unbounce, a SaaS product that makes it easier to build custom landing pages, improve conversion rates and drive more leads & sales.

The company was founded in 2009 and went from zero to over $7 million dollars in annual revenue within 5 years. Rick was an early guest on this podcast (on episode 25 back in 2014) where he shared what happened in those 5 years.

Since then, Unbounce has continued to grow and is now a $20 million dollar business.

In this episode we talk about:
* The growth challenges the company has faced in the last 4 years and how they've overcome them to get to over $20 million annual run rate.
* How the marketing channels that helped them grow in the first few years have become less effective and we discuss new marketing channels they're using.
* The lessons Rick has learned as the company grows about communication, transparency, hiring and firing.


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Direct download: Rick-Perreault-Unbounce-2018.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Allan Dib is a serial entrepreneur, marketer and author of the book The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money and Stand Out from the Crowd.

To build a successful SaaS business, you need to stop doing random marketing' and instead follow a reliable plan for rapid business growth. But creating a marketing plan can often be a difficult and time consuming task for early stage SaaS founders.

Allan wrote the book with direct response marketing in mind. However, in this interview I talk to him about how to take the best of his 1-page marketing plan concept and make it work for SaaS businesses.

So in this episode, you'll learn a simple step-by-step process for creating your own SaaS marketing plan - that's literally one page. Allan starts with the big idea and then walks us through each stage of creating a marketing plan.

And he makes the entire process simple and fast.

So if you've been struggling to create a great marketing plan for your SaaS business or want to go back and refresh your marketing, then this episode is for you.

I hope you enjoy it!


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Direct download: The-1-Page-SaaS-Marketing-Plan-Allan-Dib.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Hampus Jackobsson is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor and venture capitalist.

He's currently a venture partner at BlueYard Capital, a VC firm based in Europe and an angel who's invested in over 80 companies.

In 2002, Hampus co-founded TAT a company that developed and licensed mobile user interface software to companies such as Motorola, Samsung and Nokia. TAT was acquired by Blackberry in 2010 for $150 million.

In 2012, Hampus co-founded Brisk, a SaaS product designed to make sales teams more productive. That startup failed and was folded 4 years later in 2016.

In this interview we talk about how Hampus and his co-founders built TAT and sold it 8 years later for $150 million. We also discuss the lessons Hampus learned from the failure of Brisk and what he wishes he'd done differently.

And we talk about life as an angel investor and VC. And Hampus shares what types of companies and founders he likes to invest in.

I really enjoyed my conversation with Hampus and I hope you enjoy listening to this interview.


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Direct download: Hampus_Jakobsson_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Delamon Rego is, the COO of TOMIS Tech, the first AI powered marketing intelligence platform for tour operators. He's also the founder of SaaS Ops Factory and the creator of The Win Rates Bible, an online resource that helps SaaS companies to improve their sales win rates.

When Delamon was working as director of sales for a previous company, he was having a hard time figuring out how to close more sales.

So he decided to take a step back, identify all the reasons why they weren't closing more sales and then come up with a comprehensive list of things they could do to improve sales win rate. And then he started testing all those ideas.

And it worked -- in the space of a year, his close rate increased from 20% to 45%.

He took everything he learned about improving rates and created The Win Rates Bible.

In this episode, I asked Delamon to show us how SaaS companies can generate more leads using email. We talk about how to build an email list, how to clean that list, how to validate contact information, how to qualify leads and how best to do outreach.

There's a ton of information in here, so be ready to take some notes!

I hope you enjoy it.


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Direct download: Delamon-Rego-TOMIS-WinRates.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Lindy Ledohowski is the co-founder and CEO of EssayJack, a SaaS product that makes it easier for students to write essays and get better grades. It helps to reduce writing anxiety, procrastination and plagiarism.

Lindy is a former teacher and research professor. Before launching EssayJack she'd never run a company before, let alone a software business. And when she started out, she had zero technical skills - she didn't even know how to register a website domain.

She founded the company with her husband Rueban, who's a law professor. So neither of the founders had a tech or software background.

Yet, they've gone on to build a software product that's now used by over 12,000 students and their business is generating around $500,000 in annual revenue. It's a great story.

In this episode you'll learn:

* How Lindy overcame her lack of technical skills and experience to turn her idea into a product that she could get into the hands of students.
* How the two co-founders used a surprisingly simple approach to growing their business and how it's helped them get to 12,000 active users.
* How Lindy started selling the product before their website could even handle payments and how they've grown to $500,000 a year.

If you've felt like you're being held back or don't have all the skills you need to build and grow SaaS business, then this story might give you a little inspiration.

I hope you enjoy it.


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Direct download: Lindy-Ledohowski-EssayJack_190.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Nick Macario is the co-founder and CEO of Dock.io, a service that lets you control your information across the web.

Dock gives you ownership of your data and connects your online accounts using blockchain technology.

In this episode:
* You'll learn how Dock is leveraging blockchain technology to help people take back control of their personal information.
* You'll also learn the simple and repeatable formula that Nick has used to quickly grow Dock and several previous B2C startups to millions of users.
* And you'll hear how one of Nick's previous startup taught him an invaluable lesson on the importance of user and customer retention.

I hope you enjoy it.


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Direct download: Nick-Macario-Dockio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30pm PDT

Martin Gontovnikas is the VP of marketing and growth at Auth0. Auth0 is a platform that makes it easier for developers to implement authentication and authorization for web and mobile products.

Martin or Gonto' as he's more commonly known, started coding at the age of 12. He was a software engineer most of his career, but then a few years ago decided to move into a marketing role.

At Auth0 he developed a 6-step engineering approach to marketing. Using that framework, Auth0 has grown from $200,000 a year in revenue to an 8-figure business in less than 5 years.

In this episode, Gonto shares that 6-step engineering framework with me. We discuss each step in detail and walk through a real-life case study from Auth0.

It's a great interview with a ton of really useful insights. If you're looking for a more methodical way to do your marketing, then this episode is for you.

I hope you enjoy it.


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Direct download: 188_Martin_Gontovnikas_-_Auth0.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

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.



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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.



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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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...


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.



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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.

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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.


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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.

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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.



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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.

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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.


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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.

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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.


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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.

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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.


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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.

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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.


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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.

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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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