314 episodes

Welcome to the Tech Entrepreneur on a Mission podcast.

My name is Ton Dobbe. I am the founder of Value Inspiration and the author of ‘The Remarkable Effect’.
I envision a world where every B2B SaaS business succeeds because they're creating software their customers would miss if were gone

𝗛𝗲𝗿𝗲'𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝘆: 
Research consistently shows 90% of all startups fail. That's bad. 
What's worse however is that +75% of SaaS Scaleups fail - companies that are supposed to have product-market-fit.

Far too few Scaleups create the traction they aspire for and fail for the wrong reasons

I believe this should stop - and hence I started my business and this podcast

The goal I have with this podcast is two-fold:

to inspire new forms of value creation by sharing compelling ideas and stories about the potential we can unlock when technology and people blend in the right way.

Share experiences from tech entrepreneurs like you about what it requires to create a remarkable software business and how to overcome the roadblocks to do so.

Tech Entrepreneur on a Mission Podcast Evergreen Podcasts

    • Technology
    • 5.0 • 13 Ratings

Welcome to the Tech Entrepreneur on a Mission podcast.

My name is Ton Dobbe. I am the founder of Value Inspiration and the author of ‘The Remarkable Effect’.
I envision a world where every B2B SaaS business succeeds because they're creating software their customers would miss if were gone

𝗛𝗲𝗿𝗲'𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝘆: 
Research consistently shows 90% of all startups fail. That's bad. 
What's worse however is that +75% of SaaS Scaleups fail - companies that are supposed to have product-market-fit.

Far too few Scaleups create the traction they aspire for and fail for the wrong reasons

I believe this should stop - and hence I started my business and this podcast

The goal I have with this podcast is two-fold:

to inspire new forms of value creation by sharing compelling ideas and stories about the potential we can unlock when technology and people blend in the right way.

Share experiences from tech entrepreneurs like you about what it requires to create a remarkable software business and how to overcome the roadblocks to do so.

    Jon Gillham, CEO, Originality AI - on solving a global trust problem

    Jon Gillham, CEO, Originality AI - on solving a global trust problem

    This podcast interview focuses on the entrepreneurial journey to win the global content plagiarism battle. My guest is Jon Gillham, CEO of Originality AI. 
    Jon Gillham is a tech entrepreneur on a mission. Before he started his SaaS business, he ran a content marketing agency. 
    Having been one of the earliest adopters of generative AI through his agency, he understood the wave of plagiarism problems that was coming, even before Chat GPT and GPT-4 were released.
    That became the founding idea behind Originality AI - a company he founded in November 2022.
    Their mission: help Web Publishers be sure they are producing Original Content and can hit publish with integrity.
    This means: publishing unique, Human-Created content ... the kind Google and we, the readers wants!
    And this inspired me, and hence I invited Jon to my podcast. We explore the growing challenge of AI-generated content -and how this impacts trust. Jon shares the challenges he's faced on his journey to solve the problem. He also explains why he decided to focus on a very specific niche and not education, while he was offered contracts with brand names as big as Harvard and Purdue. Lastly, he elaborates how they are able to build extremely competitive products with just 1 simple organizational tweak.

    Here's one of his quotes
    We built and ended up launching the weekend before Chat GPT launched. And when Chat GPT launched it kind of blew things up. We had people coming from all different parts of the world. Academia was coming our way. User-generated sites were coming our way to say - this is now a problem that we need to wrestle with.

    During this interview, you will learn four things:

    What to do / not to do when you want to create defensible differentiation with your product.

    Why he turned away very big sales opportunities - and why that was a critical, but right choice.

    How he maintained a good work-life balance (and what he learned from that in hind-sight).

    How to outperform all your competitors on review sites.



    For more information about the guest from this week:

    Jon Gillham

    Website: Originality AI




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    Get my free, 1 min daily reflection on shaping a B2B SaaS business no one can ignore. Subscribe here
    Yes, it’s actually daily. And yes, people actually stay subscribed
    (Just see what peer B2B SaaS CEOs say)
    My promise: It’s short. To the point. Inspiring. And valuable.

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    • 41 min
    Theo Saville, CEO CloudNC - on creating leverage in SaaS Sales & Marketing 

    Theo Saville, CEO CloudNC - on creating leverage in SaaS Sales & Marketing 

    This podcast interview focuses on the entrepreneurial journey to tackle a very challenging industry problem and scale impact. My guest is Theo Saville, Co-founder and CEO of CloudNC
    Theo is a Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineer (M.Eng, University of Warwick), with a background in defense, laser-based metals 3D printing research at Warwick Manufacturing Group, and sales. 
    He entered metals 3D printing expecting to be able to harness a technology ready to disrupt manufacturing but gradually became disillusioned with the state and future applicability of the technology.
    When he was exposed to CNC machining, he quickly realized its disruptive potential if it could be automated to the same degree as plastic 3D printing. 
    And that led him to co-found CloudNC in 2015.
    Their mission: to make single-click manufacture a reality.
    And this inspired me, and hence I invited Theo to my podcast. We explore what's broken in today's manufacturing world and how that's growing to a $400 billion industry. Theo shares his journey of solving a complex problem in a very unusual - but effective way. He elaborates how they're looking for leverage in everything - and how that's led to using video marketing to get over 10M+ impressions a month - showcasing software to automate machines. Last but not least, he stresses the importance of setting clear objectives - especially as your startup scales. 

    Here's one of his quotes
    The idea was to first build software that makes it automatic to program these machines. And we raised our seed rounds on the basis of that. We realized after, I think, two or three years that it would take 10 years to actually build software that was capable enough to be saleable to any factory with these machines, there's just too much variation from factory to factory. So we went, I know, let's reduce the complexity of the problem. Let's build our own factory, make it really simple and standardized, and then copy and paste factories, and in that way, disrupt the industry. 

    During this interview, you will learn four things:

    How they pivoted from selling a new platform to individual manufacturers to a model where they simply plug in what they already use.  

    What made them decide to move from a product-led sales approach to an eco-system-led sales approach?

    How they created defensible differentiation and a unique value proposition in the very crowded market for manufacturing software.

    What unusual opportunities niching down has provided them.


    For more information about the guest from this week:

    Theo Saville

    Website: CloudNC




    Subscribe to the Daily SaaS Reflection
    Get my free, 1 min daily reflection on shaping a B2B SaaS business no one can ignore. Subscribe here
    Yes, it’s actually daily. And yes, people actually stay subscribed
    (Just see what peer B2B SaaS CEOs say)
    My promise: It’s short. To the point. Inspiring. And valuable.

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 42 min
    Harpreet Singh, Co-CEO Launchable - on avoiding Red-Ocean markets

    Harpreet Singh, Co-CEO Launchable - on avoiding Red-Ocean markets

    This podcast interview focuses on the entrepreneurial journey to solve the non-trivial testing problems of some companies that we all blindly rely on . My guest is Harpreet Singh, Co-CEO of Launchable.
    Harpreet is an entrepreneur, innovator, developer, creative product leader, and seasoned DevOps leader who has dedicated his life to building new solutions for software teams. He's got extensive product marketing & Product management experience at Sun Microsystems.  Then helped CloudBees find product market fit and create a business based on OSS that scaled to multi-millions in ARR. Then moved to Atlassian where be became the GM for Atlassian Bitbucket, where he helped set the blueprint of what became the strategy at Atlassian to embrace DevOps tools in the market.
    In September 2019 he co-founded Launchable and shares the CEO role.  
    Their mission: Help dev teams launch fearlessly. Their point of view: 80% of software tests are pointless. We’ll help you see the 20% that matters most.

    And this inspired me, and hence I invited Harpreet to my podcast. We explore what's broken around software testing these days. Harpreet provides his vision of how to address this. He elaborates on the journey of building an AI-powered software delivery platform and shares his most valuable go-to-market lessons - particularly why he didn't opt for a product-led growth motion and how he avoided getting stuck in red oceans. Last but not least, he shares his advice to peer SaaS CEOs on scaling their businesses while staying true to their core mission.

    Here's one of his quotes
    I spent a year and a half at Atlassian. They are the Gurus of product lead growth. So I got to see that close enough. And I came in and said we should probably do this. And I came to the realization that it's not one size fits all. Different teams have different needs, and the kinds we are serving have very different needs, then this product led growth.

    During this interview, you will learn four things:

    His lessons on how to simplify customer communication so it resonates optimally. 

    His advise on how to go beyond the obvious and find the biggest possible problem to solve for your ideal customers.

    How to choose your Go-to-Market model and what specifics to look for 

    How he landed BMW as one of his early customers and what that taught him.


    For more information about the guest from this week:

    Harpreet Singh

    Website: Launchable



    Subscribe to the Daily SaaS Reflection
    Get my free, 1 min daily reflection on shaping a B2B SaaS business no one can ignore. Subscribe here
    Yes, it’s actually daily. And yes, people actually stay subscribed
    (Just see what peer B2B SaaS CEOs say)
    My promise: It’s short. To the point. Inspiring. And valuable.

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 50 min
    Oscar Rundqvist, CEO of eComID - on cross-industry collaboration.

    Oscar Rundqvist, CEO of eComID - on cross-industry collaboration.

    This podcast interview focuses on the entrepreneurial journey to create meaningful global change by making problem creators responsible for solving it together through technology. My guest is Oscar Rundqvist, CEO of eComID. 
    Oscar is a tech entrepreneur on a mission. A massive mission. He's founded and led multiple companies since 2010 - and has also gained experience as an investment analyst and head of growth and digital experience in online retail. 
    In September 2023 he co-founded eComID - based on negative trend he saw developing after COVID in online retail: A rapidly growing global returns problem.
    Their mission: To help the fashion industry reduce online product returns, shrink the environmental footprint, and guide shoppers to discover and buy products they'll truly love.
    This inspired me, and hence, I invited Oscar to my podcast. We explore how online shopping is broken and created a massive global retail returns problem - both in cost, waste and emissions. Oscar explains his vision of how to solve this with technology and by getting an entire industry to work together in new ways. He then shares his first principles for building a lean SaaS business that moves the needle impact-wise. Lastly, he elaborates on his lessons learned to stay nimble and avoid making fatal mistakes.

    Here's one of his quotes
    Coming from the industry, we managed to take the right decisions often. But we did it by taking a lot of bad decisions, but we found them really fast. So, what we do is that we explore a lot of different things. When we have something, for example, a feature idea, let's imagine that we explore 50 different ideas at the same time, but then we always keep the retailers very close. So we have weekly meetings with all of the retailers that we work with right now to always validate and align the need. 

    During this interview, you will learn four things:

    How to get an entire industry to collaborate on solving the same problem. 

    Why he doesn't fear competition, and is actually cheering them to take on the opportunity.

    His first principle on keeping the focus on moving the needle in the leanest possible way.

    Different ways to build trust with organizations that are 1000+ times the size of your startup.


    For more information about the guest from this week:

    Oscar Rundqvist

    Website: eComID





    Subscribe to the Daily SaaS Reflection
    Get my free, 1 min daily reflection on shaping a B2B SaaS business no one can ignore. Subscribe here
    Yes, it’s actually daily. And yes, people actually stay subscribed
    (Just see what peer B2B SaaS CEOs say)
    My promise: It’s short. To the point. Inspiring. And valuable.

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 44 min
    JB Daguené, CEO Evergrowth - on the future of account-based sales

    JB Daguené, CEO Evergrowth - on the future of account-based sales

    This podcast interview focuses on the entrepreneurial journey to use AI in a way that makes salespeople more human again. My guest is JB Daguené, Founder and CEO of Evergrowth.
    JB is tech-entrepreneur on a mission. He's had an impressive career in B2B SaaS Sales and has advised multiple tech companies for well over a decade. 
    He's addicted to endurance sports and has finished multiple marathons, ultra-running, ultra-cycling, and IRONMAN races. He also knows what it is to stand out from the crowd. His LinkedIn profile is testimony to that: He eats SaaS for breakfast, B2B Sales for lunch, and AI+Data for dinner. And he likes his food spicy!
    In that spirit, he founded Evergrowth in December 2015. It started as a consulting business and turned into a B2B SaaS business, pioneering the Future of Account-Based Sales.
    Their mission: To elevate the sales profession by empowering businesses with AI-driven strategies that are as human as they are smart.
    And this inspired me, and hence I invited JB to my podcast. We explore how the B2B sales process is deteriorating and what needs to be done to fix it. We explore the big lessons learned from turning a consulting into a SaaS business. JB shares how his first principles as a consultancy helped them create defensible differentiation - and use AI to further expand that. He also explains how he's positioning his business to attract the right deals - and why everything in his business is designed around one customer success template.

    Here's one of his quotes
    Salespeople never had a good reputation. And I think it didn't get better because of the noise that was created by all the tools-driven approaches. So they need to acknowledge this and understand that in order now to have meaningful conversations and create meaningful pipelines, they need to understand how to speak their customer's language better than their competitors and better than their customers themselves. I'm super biased on having that opinion, but that's really the only way to win in 2024.

    During this interview, you will learn four things:

    How JB managed to create defensible differentiation - and how he's using AI to grow it.

    How to avoid your SaaS business ends up in the graveyard of the market.

    How to turn engineering, marketing, sales, business operations, and customer success into an unbeatable engine for your business.

    How endurance training helps you become a high-performing leader that doesn't break down.


    For more information about the guest from this week:

    JB Daguené

    Website: Evergrowth




    Subscribe to the Daily SaaS Reflection
    Get my free, 1 min daily reflection on shaping a B2B SaaS business no one can ignore. Subscribe here
    Yes, it’s actually daily. And yes, people actually stay subscribed
    (Just see what peer B2B SaaS CEOs say)
    My promise: It’s short. To the point. Inspiring. And valuable.

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 49 min
    Masha Petrova Ph.D., CEO Nullspace  - on go-to-market execution for highly technical products.

    Masha Petrova Ph.D., CEO Nullspace  - on go-to-market execution for highly technical products.

    This podcast interview focuses on the entrepreneurial journey to turn a Defense Contractor product spin-off into a scalable SaaS business. My guest is Masha Petrova Ph.D., Co-founder and CEO of Nullspace
    After receiving her PhD in aerospace engineering, Dr. Petrova spent 15+ years in the engineering simulation and design software industry, including holding global marketing executive roles at Ansys, Altium LLC, and  IncMSC Software. She also worked at three simulation software start-ups, all of which were acquired by Ansys Inc. in the last 10 years.
    In January 2023 she co-founded Nullspace - a spin-off from a Defense contractor business. Their mission: To solve the fast-worsening shortage of electromagnetic engineers needed to meet today’s radiofrequency technology demands.
    And this inspired me, and hence I invited Masha to my podcast. We explore the lessons learned from spinning off a software product from a Defense Contractor business and to build a SaaS business. Masha emphasizes the importance of co-founder chemistry, and shares the unexpected lessons learned from her fund-raising process. She shares her insights on how to adapt sales and marketing strategies for the conservative engineering fields. Last but not least she elaborates why solving a highly valuable problem through product innovation alone is not enough to succeed. 

    Here's one of her quotes
    Sure we could have grown by sales only, or by raising angel funding. But what we really want is, because we know that our solution is viable and Product Market Fit has already been tested, we really want to push the button on sales and marketing. 
    And right now this space is very hot. There's been a whole bunch of unprecedented acquisitions and engineering software that happened recently. There is a company that just announced coming out of stealth with 115 million in VC funding. Not series A or Series B, out of stealth …. in this engineering software space that no one usually talks about unless you're an engineer.

    During this interview, you will learn four things:

    How to navigate Fundraising successfully by embracing some valuable lessons in communication and resilience.

    How to win over conservative, facts-oriented engineers when marketing your SaaS product and optimally enable your team.

    How to use pricing as a key element of differentiation for your SaaS offering.

    How to avoid having to pivot at the moment of launching your SaaS product because of missing some technical details.


    For more information about the guest from this week:

    Masha Petrova Ph.D.

    Website: Nullspace





    Subscribe to the Daily SaaS Reflection
    Get my free, 1 min daily reflection on shaping a B2B SaaS business no one can ignore. Subscribe here
    Yes, it’s actually daily. And yes, people actually stay subscribed
    (Just see what peer B2B SaaS CEOs say)
    My promise: It’s short. To the point. Inspiring. And valuable.

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
13 Ratings

13 Ratings

Shsjkandisk ,

Amazing podcast and host!

Huge fan of Ton and what he’s doing with this podcast.

jetraine ,

Great Podcast!

Wonderful podcast for entrepreneurs in the SaaS community. I find it more inspirational than the “How I Built This” podcast. Great job, Ton!

ASobering ,

Such a wealth of knowledge! 🧠

This show is a masterclass on how to succeed as a B2B SaaS founder! Ton and his amazing guests share so much valuable insight, tons of actionable tips, and plenty of relevant advice, and there’s something to be gained from each and every episode. Truly valuable - I can’t recommend this show enough!

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