64 episodes

Join Ricky and Sean as they chat with phenomenal guests – the top SaaS Founders, Leaders, Investors, and Individual Contributors out there. Our mission? To share their stories, the rollercoaster journeys they've taken, and the invaluable lessons they've acquired. Tune in for an unfiltered and enlightening exploration of the world of SaaSy Talk!

SaaSy Talk Unfiltered Ricky and Sean

    • Technology

Join Ricky and Sean as they chat with phenomenal guests – the top SaaS Founders, Leaders, Investors, and Individual Contributors out there. Our mission? To share their stories, the rollercoaster journeys they've taken, and the invaluable lessons they've acquired. Tune in for an unfiltered and enlightening exploration of the world of SaaSy Talk!

    SaaSy Talk S02.14: Building and Scaling: Adam Clark’s Blueprint for Startup Success

    SaaSy Talk S02.14: Building and Scaling: Adam Clark’s Blueprint for Startup Success

    About The Guest(s): Adam Clark, one of NZ's leading tech entrepreneurs. He was co-founder and CEO of Groov, and of mobile banking software provider M-Com, which was acquired by Fiserv in 2011 and now serves over 3,000 banks globally. Since returning to New Zealand in 2012, Adam has played a key role in the establishment and growth of many of the country's most promising software companies, including two further exits via acquisition. He has also been deeply involved as an investor and board member in companies such as Tradify, Parrot Analytics, and UneeQ.

    Episode Summary: In this episode, Adam Clark shares his blueprint for startup success, drawing from his experience founding M-com and successfully exiting the company through acquisition by Fiserv. The conversation delves into the early days of M-com, navigating the dot-com bubble, expanding to the US market, and the challenges and triumphs of building a successful business. Adam emphasizes the importance of deliberate planning, the value of frugality, and the necessity of building high-quality products to succeed in the competitive startup landscape.

    Key Takeaways:


    Building a startup requires a high level of deliberateness, with a focus on planning and execution.


    Frugality and efficiency are key factors in the success of a startup, especially in a market with limited resources.


    Partnerships can be accelerants for growth but require careful consideration and deep investment to be successful.


    Learning from failures and adapting quickly is crucial for startup founders to thrive in a rapidly evolving environment.


    Founders should prioritize building a strong founding team with high intellect, energy, and a shared passion for solving problems.



    Notable Quotes:


    "You can't outsource the hard work. The hard work's going to be there." - Adam


    "The people are everything. Look for a founding team that is super focused, really smart, and high-energy." - Adam



    Chapters

    00:18 Founding mcom: The Early Days

    01:08 Navigating the Dot-Com Bubble

    02:30 Expanding to the US Market

    04:16 The Fiserv Acquisition Journey

    05:02 Challenges and Successes in the US

    14:11 Bootstrapping and Fundraising Insights

    19:50 The Evolution of the New Zealand Startup Ecosystem

    26:18 Challenges for New Zealand Startups

    26:39 Value of Experienced Board Members

    28:16 The Realities of Partnerships

    32:40 Investing in Startups: Lessons Learned

    41:49 Quick Fire Round: Fun Questions

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    • 46 min
    SaaSy Talk S02.13: The Future of LinkedIn Influencers & Revenue Acceleration

    SaaSy Talk S02.13: The Future of LinkedIn Influencers & Revenue Acceleration

    About The Guest(s): Aneesh is the Founder and CEO of The Wishly Group. With over 17+ years in sales, most recently at Pinterest, Aneesh works with emerging organizations to accelerate their revenue. He currently operates as a Fractional Revenue Accelerator by tapping into orgs' sales, marketing and community initiatives.

    Most recently, Aneesh has been coined as one of LinkedIn's first GTM Talent Agents, representing the likes of John Barrows, Kevin Dorsey, Morgan Ingram, Devin Reed and Jen Allen.Episode Summary: In this episode, Aneesh discusses the future of LinkedIn influencers and revenue acceleration. He shares his experience in the B2B space and how he has brought his media background to LinkedIn. Aneesh explains his role as a fractional revenue accelerator and talent manager for LinkedIn sales creators. He emphasizes the importance of integrating sales, marketing, and community to build a modern revenue engine. Aneesh also discusses the challenges and opportunities for LinkedIn creators, the impact of gamification and AI on the platform, and the need for quality control in content creation.

    Key Takeaways:


    The B2B space is experiencing the influence of marketing seen on platforms like TikTok and Instagram.


    Aneesh's role as a fractional revenue accelerator involves integrating sales, marketing, and community to build a modern revenue engine.


    LinkedIn creators need to focus on creating content that solves problems, provides valuable assets, sells transformation, and engages socially.


    Brands should look for consistency, engagement rates, and brand alignment when partnering with LinkedIn creators.


    The future of LinkedIn influencers lies in strategic partnerships, speaking engagements, and multi-channel presence.



    Notable Quotes:


     B2B space is getting the influence of marketing that you would have seen on TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat." - Aneesh


    "You need to be able to come up with ideas and concepts that drive people down the purchase funnel." - Aneesh


    "Quality control is so important because who you choose to align with, are they financially motivated or do they actually care about your brand?" - Aneesh



    Chapters

    00:43 Current Ventures and Business Model

    01:53 Revenue Accelerator Explained

    03:25 LinkedIn as a Platform for Influencers

    07:50 Challenges and Opportunities for LinkedIn Creators

    12:20 Navigating Personal Branding and Employment

    17:42 Technical Difficulties and Connection Issues

    17:55 The 4S Method for Content Creation

    20:27 Future of Content Creation and AI

    21:27 Quality Control in Content Creation

    23:59 Strategic Partnerships and Brand Alignment

    28:12 Quick Fire Round: Personal Favorites

    31:17 Conclusion and Final Thoughts



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    Visit our Website: 

    https://saasytalkunfiltered.transistor.fm/ 

     

    Follow Ricky Sevta on Linkedin: 

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/rickysevta/

     

    Follow Sean Diljore on Linkedin: 

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/seandiljore/ 

    • 31 min
    SaaSy Talk S02.12: Nick’s Startup Playbook

    SaaSy Talk S02.12: Nick’s Startup Playbook

    About The Guest(s): Nick Houldsworth is Co-founder of Prosaic, which uses open banking and generative AI to automatically find tax deductions for sole traders and small business owners from personal bank, card and loan accounts, to share with their accountant or post to Xero or HNRY. He is also a beachheads advisor with NZTE. Previously he was Exec GM of Product at Xero, leading the developer API and app store, and before that CMO of retail software startup Vend. In the early 2000s he briefly played mandolin in Scotland's second most popular country band.

    Episode Summary: Join us in this episode as we sit down with Nick Houldsworth, he shares valuable insights into his tech journey, from his unconventional entry into the industry to his experiences at Vend and Xero. He discusses the importance of being scrappy in the early stages of a startup, highlighting the necessity of understanding customer needs and staying adaptable. Nick elaborates on the lessons learned at Vend that remain relevant as he navigates the challenges of scaling his new startup, Prosaic. Through a thoughtful reflection on his past experiences, Nick provides strategic advice on prioritisation, hiring, and cultivating a vibrant company culture.

    Key Takeaways:


    Embrace the hustle in the early stages of a startup and be prepared to do whatever it takes to move the business forward.


    Focus on understanding customer needs and solving common problems to drive the growth of your startup.


    Prioritise hiring based on the vision of where the company will be in the future, aligning talent with the evolving needs of the organisation.


    Setting clear expectations with hires and fostering a culture that values action and problem-solving can shape the company's identity and trajectory.


    Stay intentional about the company's culture by hiring diverse talent that embodies shared values while bringing fresh perspectives to the table.



    Notable Quotes:


    We've got something to hook on to - let's see how we can optimise that and grow that part of it while we start to think about what's next." - Nick


    "Let's be intentional about the next hires, focusing on roles that align with our future growth and set clear expectations with new team members." - Nick



    Chapters

    01:01 Introduction and Greetings

    01:11 Nick's Journey into Tech

    01:43 From Music to IT

    02:15 Early Career in Tech

    03:41 Joining Vend and Xero

    05:51 Lessons from Vend

    08:39 Starting Prosaic

    11:32 Early Stage Strategies

    21:59 Prioritization and Hiring

    27:37 Forecasting the Future of SaaS

    28:20 The Importance of Culture in Scaling

    29:10 Advising Early-Stage Startups

    30:20 Intentional Hiring and Setting Expectations

    34:09 Leveraging Past Connections for Talent

    39:02 Social Media Strategy for Startups

    43:34 Reflecting on Achievements and Future Goals

    46:05 Quick Fire Round: Fun and Favorites



    Subscribe on Spotify: 

    https://open.spotify.com/show/3ZVkJ12FIqD39oqgj7Kcjq 

    Subscribe on Apple: 

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    Subscribe to our Newsletter:

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    Visit our Website: 

    https://saasytalkunfiltered.transistor.fm/ 

    Follow Ricky Sevta on Linkedin: 

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/rickysevta/

    Follow Sean Diljore on Linkedin: 

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/seandiljore/ 

    Follow Nick Houldsworth on LinkedIn

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/nickhouldsworth/

    Follow Prosaic on LinkedIn

    https://www.linkedin.com/company/prosaic/

    Visit Prosaic Website

    https://www.prosaic.works/

    • 48 min
    SaaSy Talk S02.11: Ozan's Odyssey: The Birth of Edge Delta and Beyond

    SaaSy Talk S02.11: Ozan's Odyssey: The Birth of Edge Delta and Beyond

    About The Guest(s): Ozan Unlu is the CEO and Founder of Edge Delta. As a researcher, engineer, technologist, and business leader, he spent many years of his life in Turkey and has additionally resided in Portland, Seattle, and San Francisco. After years working as a software developer automating monitoring technologies server side at Microsoft, Unlu was part of the early team that built cloud computing platform Azure and subsequently the security team that handled all zero-day vulnerabilities across all Microsoft services. Though successful in the early years of his career at Microsoft, Unlu took the opportunity to join Silicon Valley Tech startup Sumo Logic as the first solution architect at corporate HQ. Helping grow Sumo Logic's ARR from $3M to $150M and stepping into a sales management role, Unlu contributed to the company's future successful IPO.

    While serving as a trusted advisor to hundreds of companies, including some of the largest in tech, travel, finance, retail, and gaming, Unlu's unique experience and perspective on monitoring and observability led him to identify critical gaps in the market. Accelerating data growth requires a next-gen observability solution able to scale to petabytes and Unlu founded Edge Delta to meet these needs. Today, Edge Delta is Series B, has raised $82M, and is a leader in observability with a focus on data pipelines and continuous AI.

    Episode Summary: In this episode, Ozan, founder and CEO of Edge Delta, joins the show to discuss his journey in the tech industry and the birth of Edge Delta. Ozan shares his background in engineering and his experience working at major tech companies before starting his own startup. He explains how Edge Delta is revolutionizing data observability in a world where data volumes are growing exponentially. Ozan also discusses the challenges of transitioning from a technical role to a founder and the importance of building the right team.

    Key Takeaways:


    Edge Delta is a startup focused on data observability, addressing the challenges of managing and analyzing massive volumes of data in a rapidly evolving technological landscape.


    The data volumes being generated by organizations have grown exponentially in recent years, and traditional observability solutions are struggling to keep up. Edge Delta offers a new architecture and approach to handle the increasing data volumes.


    Ozan emphasizes the importance of having a strong team and the need to fill skill gaps when building a startup. It's crucial to have a diverse set of skills and expertise to tackle the challenges that arise.


    Founders need to be prepared for the ups and downs of the startup journey. It requires resilience, determination, and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances.


    Ozan highlights the importance of celebrating milestones and reflecting on the progress made. It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day challenges, but taking time to acknowledge achievements can boost morale and motivation.



    Notable Quotes:


    "I think the biggest learning experience I had early, and maybe this is just founder conviction, founder, what do you, whatever you want to call it, overconfidence. The realization of how interconnected every single small part of the business is." - Ozan Unlu



    Chapters

    00:07 Journey into Tech: From Intel to Edge Delta

    00:57 Exploring Edge Delta: Revolutionizing Data Observability

    02:53 The Startup Leap: Challenges and Mindset Shifts

    05:53 From Developer to Founder: Navigating the Startup World

    08:58 Scaling a Tech Startup: Sales, Growth, and Innovation

    19:10 Reflecting on Progress and Navigating Challenges

    21:54 Navigating Startup Funding: Insights and Strategies

    22:20 The Reality of Startup Success and the Importance of Commitment

    23:12 Pitch Deck Essentials: Putting Your Team First

    25:41 Choosing the Right VC Partner: A Two-Way Street

    27:24 Building Your First Leadership Team: What to Look For

    29:49 Defining Success and Future Ambitions for

    • 38 min
    SaaSy Talk S02.10: Transforming Companies through Culture Driven Sales: The Kelly Breslin Wright Effect

    SaaSy Talk S02.10: Transforming Companies through Culture Driven Sales: The Kelly Breslin Wright Effect

    About The Guest(s): Kelly Breslin Wright has over 30 years of experience in leadership, sales, operations, and strategy. Kelly has served in multiple executive roles, including as President and Chief Operating Officer at Gong and as Executive Vice President (CRO) at Tableau Software. Kelly is currently Founder and CEO of her own thought leadership platform Culture Driven Sales.

    Additionally, Kelly has been a Board Director at public and private companies, including Fastly (NYSE:FSLY), Plum (NASDAQ: PLUMIU), Gong, Lucid, Even, and Amperity. She has advised many technology companies, including Dropbox and Asana. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.Earlier in her career, Kelly spent time at Bain & Company, McKinsey & Company, Bank of America, Dale Carnegie Training, and AtHoc. She earned her BA from Stanford University and MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

    Episode Summary: In this episode, Kelly Breslin Wright shares her remarkable journey from selling books door-to-door to becoming a key figure at Tableau Software, guiding the company from its inception through to a successful IPO and beyond. With a focus on the critical role of culture in sales and business success, Kelly discusses her transition into board roles and teaching, emphasizing the importance of mission, vision, and alignment in creating effective teams and compelling sales strategies. Highlights include her insights on building a board for startups, prioritizing people in businesses, and her unique perspective on sales as a deeply human and culturally driven process.

    Key Takeaways:


    Kelly's early experiences in sales and entrepreneurship shaped her passion for helping people and running her own business.


    The importance of aligning sales with the overall company strategy and having a clear mission and vision.


    The role of culture in driving sales and creating a positive work environment.


    The need for companies to rate people and culture as top priorities.


    The challenges and considerations in building an effective board and assessing team dynamics during company growth.



    Notable Quotes:


    “Culture ties back to the overall essence of the company”  - Kelly Breslin Wright


    "Every single person in the company is a guardian of the culture." - Kelly Breslin Wright


    "The best salespeople have high empathy, are good communicators, and can emotionally connect with others." - Kelly Breslin Wright


    “I have always had the same priorities…#1 People, #2 People, #3 People.” - Kelly Breslin Wright




    Chapters

    00:21 From Selling Books to Executive Roles: Kelly's Career Path

    04:50 Teaching the Art of Sales: Kelly's University Course

    11:14 The Essence of Company Culture and Its Impact on Sales

    14:21 Guardians of Culture: Every Employee's Role

    16:27 Balancing Data-Driven Decisions and Maintaining Culture

    20:24 Core Values and Operating Principles: The Foundation of Culture

    26:25 Mission, Vision, and Values: More Than Just Words

    28:24 Navigating Business Challenges and Priorities

    28:50 The Three Pillars of Success: People, PIML, and Culture

    29:33 The Importance of the Right Team for Growth

    31:48 Evaluating Leadership and Team Dynamics for Expansion

    34:11 Cultural Fit vs. Experience in Hiring Decisions

    39:44 Culture-Driven Sales: Connecting on a Deeper Level

    42:46 Effective Board Composition and Its Impact

    46:30 Legacy and Personal Reflections

    48:25 Quick Fire Round



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    Follow Sean Diljore o

    • 52 min
    SaaSy Talk S02.09: Beyond the Glassdoor

    SaaSy Talk S02.09: Beyond the Glassdoor

    About The Guest(s): Stephanie Jenkins is the VP of Global Sales at PandaDoc. Prior to PandaDoc Stephanie served as the CRO at rapidly growing Series C startups, and at Glassdoor as the VP of Sales where she scaled the company from an unknown, small-scale start-up to a SaaS recruiting giant (8M →400M ARR). In 2018, she led the team through a successful exit event, an acquisition from Recruit Holdings for 1.2B. Stephanie’s strengths are adaptability, agility, building systems and processes for scale, and creating mission-driven teams. 

    Episode Summary: In this episode, Stephanie shares her journey into the tech industry, starting from her desire to move to California and work in the tech industry. She discusses her experience at Glassdoor and the lessons she learned during the company's rapid growth. Stephanie also talks about the importance of work-life balance and how she prioritizes her family while still achieving success in her career. She provides insights into adapting and innovating sales strategies, the impact of her career decisions on her personal life, and her leadership philosophy in motivating her team. Stephanie also discusses the future of Pandadoc and her excitement about AI and its potential in the tech industry.

    Key Takeaways:


    Stephanie's journey into the tech industry started with her desire to move to California and work in the tech industry, which led her to join Glassdoor and eventually become the Global VP of Sales at Pandadoc.


    Glassdoor's growth taught Stephanie the importance of adaptability and experimentation in sales strategies, such as bundling products together and running effective proof of concepts.


    Stephanie prioritizes work-life balance and believes in creating a system of regular review of metrics to deliver the right performance while still being present for her family.


    As a leader, Stephanie focuses on understanding her team's goals and helping them achieve success both in their careers and personal lives.


    Stephanie is excited about the future of Pandadoc, particularly in the areas of AI, contract lifecycle management, and configure price quote solutions.



    Notable Quotes:


    "It's not the strongest or fastest species that survives, but the ones that can adapt the fastest." - Stephanie


    "You have to find the thing that makes you love what you do, that you get up excited to do every day." - Stephanie


    "You have to think about who you're working for, what are we doing, how are we helping people, and then how am I helping this company and helping further that mission." - Stephanie



    Chapters

    00:25 Stephanie's Journey into Tech

    03:31 From Sales Beginnings to Global VP

    05:17 Lessons from Glassdoor's Growth

    07:23 Adapting and Innovating in Sales Strategies

    10:56 Exploring Work-Life Balance and Career Choices

    14:59 Work-Life Balance in the Tech World

    20:28 The Impact of Career Decisions on Personal Life

    21:59 Leadership Philosophy and Team Motivation

    24:01 Implementing Work-Life Balance in Sales Teams

    27:07 The Freedom and Responsibility Model in Sales

    30:31 A Week in the Life of a Sales Leader

    33:00 Future Aspirations and the Impact of AI

    34:09 Legacy and Personal Reflections

    35:09 Quick Fire Round: Favorites and Preferences



    Subscribe on Spotify: 

    https://open.spotify.com/show/3ZVkJ12FIqD39oqgj7Kcjq 

    Subscribe on Apple: 

    https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/saasy-talk-unfiltered/id1709426070

    Subscribe on YouTube: 

    https://www.youtube.com/@SaaSyTalkUnfiltered

    Subscribe on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/saasy-talk-unfiltered

    Subscribe to our Newsletter:

    https://substack.com/@saasytalkunfiltered

    Visit our Website: 

    https://saasytalkunfiltered.transistor.fm/ 

    Follow Ricky Sevta on Linkedin: 

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/rickysevta/

    Follow Sean Diljore on Linkedin: 

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/seandiljore/

    • 39 min

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