212 episodes

It takes 3 ingredients to build a software startup in today’s wild market: people, product and growth. Easier said than done. BUILD is here to help by featuring conversations between venture capitalist Blake Bartlett and the smartest folks in software. OpenView is a VC firm that invests in amazing companies like Datadog, Expensify and Calendly. Visit ov.vc for more details.

BUILD with Blake Bartlett OpenView Venture Partners

    • Business
    • 4.5 • 10 Ratings

It takes 3 ingredients to build a software startup in today’s wild market: people, product and growth. Easier said than done. BUILD is here to help by featuring conversations between venture capitalist Blake Bartlett and the smartest folks in software. OpenView is a VC firm that invests in amazing companies like Datadog, Expensify and Calendly. Visit ov.vc for more details.

    Alex MacCaw (Clearbit & Reflect): Everything I’ve Learned as Startup Founder

    Alex MacCaw (Clearbit & Reflect): Everything I’ve Learned as Startup Founder

    Alex MacCaw is the founder of Clearbit and Reflect, and his journey with each company has been wildly different. Clearbit took more of a “classic” startup approach—raising VC money, hiring hundreds of people, and working from an office in SF. 

    In 2020, he charted a new course by replacing himself as CEO at Clearbit, selling all his possessions and living full-time on a sailboat in the Atlantic.

    And now he’s building his new company Reflect in with a totally different approach —building a fully remote & asynchronous “lifestyle” company that decidedly eschews VC money and the other common hallmarks of a tech startup. 

    Alex shares everything he’s learned as a founder and why he believes building startups should not be one-size-fits-all.

    Blake and Alex talk through:
    (7:07) Pros/Cons of being asynchronous by design
    (09:01) Why Alex doesn’t believe in remote work for large companies
    (10:11) Remote work pitfalls
    (14:21) When to replace yourself as CEO
    (15:52) How to find your zone of genius
    (18:31) When do startups hire a CFO or COO?
    (21:14) #1 piece of advice for founders
    (24:14) Things to know before you found a startup (B2B vs. B2C)
    (27:27) Why not raise venture capital
    (28:28) When startups should (or shouldn’t) raise venture capital
    (29:40) How Reflect started crowdfunding
    (39:14) What AI and ChatGPT is good for
    (44:13) Best time to start a company
    (46:20) Not all startups need VC funding
    (47:16) Advice for VCs from a founder

    • 48 min
    Patrick Campbell (ProfitWell): Work-Life Balance for Founders

    Patrick Campbell (ProfitWell): Work-Life Balance for Founders

    Patrick says work-life balance is the wrong framework. It’s more about work-life fit and finding what suits you best. This is especially true for startup founders, where your work is often all-consuming.

    Episode Highlights
    [00:32 - 02:30] Thoughts on work/life balance
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Sign up for OpenView's weekly newsletter
    Connect with Patrick on LinkedIn
    Follow Patrick on Twitter
    Subscribe to Blake Bartlett on YouTube.
    Podcast produced by OpenView.
    View our blog for more context/inspiration.
    OpenView on Linkedin
    OpenView on Twitter
    OpenView on Instagram
    OpenView on Facebook

    • 2 min
    Patrick Campbell (ProfitWell): What’s the “Right” Culture for Your Company?

    Patrick Campbell (ProfitWell): What’s the “Right” Culture for Your Company?

    Culture at a startup is always tricky, but there’s one common mistake founders should avoid at all costs. It’s the desire to make everyone happy all the time. Patrick says this leads to a “culture of accommodation” which ultimately ends up not working for anyone. Hear Patrick’s journey as a founder to define the culture at ProfitWell, and how you can do the same at your startup.

    Episode Highlights
    [00:03 - 01:31] Episode intro: Patrick Campbell[01:59 - 04:04] What is the role and importance of company culture in today's market environment?[06:39 - 10:26] The culture of ProfitWell and the journey to get there[12:15 - 16:26] The most charitable interpretation[17:23 - 20:08] ProfitWell values and four principles[20:21 - 23:16] Speaking their mind, being human in the most charitable way[21:11 - 23:16] Values and principles must have trade-offs[23:16 - 25:41] Here's how we operate, transparency in hiring[25:46 - 32:10] Advice for making culture something more than theoretical, a real experience
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Sign up for OpenView's weekly newsletter
    Connect with Patrick on LinkedIn
    Follow Patrick on Twitter
    Subscribe to Blake Bartlett on YouTube.
    Podcast produced by OpenView.
    View our blog for more context/inspiration.
    OpenView on Linkedin
    OpenView on Twitter
    OpenView on Instagram
    OpenView on Facebook

    • 33 min
    Ryan Carlson (ex-Wiz, Okta): Category Creation is Overrated

    Ryan Carlson (ex-Wiz, Okta): Category Creation is Overrated

    Every startup wants to create a category. This is often a mistake. Or at least it’s prioritized too early by many founders and marketers. Ryan Carlson, longtime CMO at Okta, explains why this falls flat with customers and what to do instead.

    Key Takeaways:
    [00:31 - 01:53]  A noted skeptic on category creation[01:54 - 02:15] Everybody wants to be a category creator[02:16 - 03:19] Focus on how they're better than the alternative
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Sign up for OpenView's weekly newsletter
    Ryan Carlson, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at Wiz
    LinkedIn
    Twitter
    Subscribe to Blake Bartlett on YouTube.
    Podcast produced by OpenView.
    View our blog for more context/inspiration.
    OpenView on Linkedin
    OpenView on Twitter
    OpenView on Instagram
    OpenView on Facebook

    • 3 min
    Ryan Carlson (ex-Wiz, Okta): Company Values = Marketing Message

    Ryan Carlson (ex-Wiz, Okta): Company Values = Marketing Message

    Okta’s CMO for 5+ years, Ryan Carlson, says marketing’s guiding light should be the company mission and values. Marketing’s job is to tell the story of the company, not to merely promote the product or drive leads into the top of a funnel. Authentic marketing is rooted in the BIG questions. Why does this company exist? Who should care about that and why?Today’s episode will help you:
    Understand this strategic approach to marketingSee the impact strategic marketing has on your audienceHow to hire mission/values-aligned marketersLeverage Ryan’s playbook for company storytelling by working directly with customers
    Key Takeaways:
    [00:19 - 03:37] Introduction to Ryan Carlson, and thoughts on company culture in the world of marketing[03:44 - 06:53] What should define culture is the mission, values, and vision[06:54 - 10:00] Imparting importance, and showing why culture mattered at Okta[10:02 - 13:32] Authenticity, avoiding hyperbole and marketing BS[13:43 - 16:10] Who do you hire to marketing leadership to operate more authentically?[16:13 - 18:18] Hiring true believers, and avoiding a "customer's wrong" mentality with product market fit[19:26 - 22:45] Understanding why people like the product and the people behind it[22:48 - 25:40] Combining pen to paper with mission, values, and vision[25:42 - 28:27] Storytelling and presentations, how they impact retention[28:30 - 32:26] Story and history of your company is different[32:32 - 35:37] Figuring out if a company operates by its values as a candidate
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Sign up for OpenView's weekly newsletter
    Ryan Carlson, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at Wiz
    LinkedIn
    Twitter
    Subscribe to Blake Bartlett on YouTube.
    Podcast produced by OpenView.
    View our blog for more context/inspiration.
    OpenView on Linkedin
    OpenView on Twitter
    OpenView on Instagram
    OpenView on Facebook

    • 36 min
    Raj Sarkar (ex-1Password, Atlassian): PLG Data Infrastructure

    Raj Sarkar (ex-1Password, Atlassian): PLG Data Infrastructure

    Raj says that most of the PLG advice out there today is missing a key foundational point: data. Many PLG companies still rely on traditional sales & marketing software that keeps data in silos. The key to winning in PLG starts with your data infrastructure, and wiring it up early helps you scale later.

    Mentioned in this episode:
    Sign up for OpenView's weekly newsletter
    Raj Sarkar, CMO & Advisor
    LinkedIn
    Twitter
    Subscribe to Blake Bartlett on YouTube.
    Podcast produced by OpenView.
    View our blog for more context/inspiration.
    OpenView on Linkedin
    OpenView on Twitter
    OpenView on Instagram
    OpenView on Facebook

    • 3 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
10 Ratings

10 Ratings

aydinreviews ,

Great diverse functional leaders

Love that there are leaders from all the functions in a company - very broad learnings for CEOs of PLG companies

Tomas645 ,

Insightful and underrated

I cannot BELIEVE this only has a few reviews. The content is incredible! Amazing resource for anybody interested in SaaS, pricing, startups, etc.

Thanks so much OV for producing it!

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