321 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 • 14 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.

    Max Fischer, CEO of Deltia  - on building for business scale.

    Max Fischer, CEO of Deltia  - on building for business scale.

    This podcast interview focuses on the entrepreneurial journey to solve the most challenging productivity challenge in Manufacturing: human action. My guest is Max Fischer, Founder and CEO of Deltia.
    Max is a mechanical engineer. In 2014 he was a founding member of HackZurich, the largest hackathon Switzerland has ever seen. 
    In 2015 he co-founded Actyx and digitized 40+ factories. In this startup, he led product management, sales, and marketing teams. 
    Meanwhile he has established himself as a thought leader in the space of digital transformation for the factory floor.
    In November 2022, Max founded Deltia, a startup focused on helping factory operators track, analyze and improve efficiency by identifying the best possible processes and assisting workers with digital tools.
    Their mission: to make human work in manufacturing more productive and less error-prone by taking out the guesswork. 
    And this inspired me, and hence I invited Max to my podcast. We explore what's broken in identifying productivity opportunities in manufacturing. Max explains how for the first time ever - this is possible. He shares some of his big lessons on building the company, especially when it comes to foundational questions like "who's it for" and 'what's it for' - and how that helped them remain highly focused. 
    He elaborates on his first principes for building the platform - and how that helps them stay resilient and offer scalable solutions. .

    Here's one of his quotes
    There are a lot of decisions that you take both on the technical level and what customers you're serving. Who is the user that you're trying to focus on? We decided quite early on to not specifically target the Toyota's of this world. The automotive OEMs are basically the best-run manufacturing companies in the world. There are use cases, obviously, also for technology, no doubt about that. But I think a big opportunity is to help the 98% of other factories to come to a similar level to where Toyota of Volkswagen are today.

    During this interview, you will learn four things:

    Why functionality is important - but not as important as system design 

    How to go about building for business scalability rather than just technical scalability of your solution.

    Why the dream is not to help Toyota or Volkswagen - but companies much smaller and weaker than those brands.

    What they are doing differently to accelerate stakeholder buy-in from IT, legal, and Unions.



    For more information about the guest from this week:

    Max Fischer

    Website: Deltia




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    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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    • 42 min
    Ruban Phukan, CEO Goodgist - on creating business resilience

    Ruban Phukan, CEO Goodgist - on creating business resilience

    This podcast interview focuses on the entrepreneurial journey to redefine the way we learn and solve the growing skills gap. My guest is Ruban Phukan, CEO of Goodgist.

    Ruban is a serial entrepreneur with more than two decades of experience building technology products that solve real-world problems. He's written books about AI and holds several patents in this field. 
    He was part of Yahoo's first data scientist team, collaborating closely with co-founder David Filo to use data to address complex business problems. 

    In 2005, he co-founded Bixee.com, India's first vertical search engine employing patented technology. This company then merged with market leader MakeMyTrip and DataRPM, a pioneering Enterprise AI platform for industrial IoT, which was then acquired by Progress Software in 2017.

    He 2019 he co-founded GoodTrade.AI, an asset management and investment analysis platform centred around Generative AI.
    Most recently he co-founded GoodGist, an AI startup for upskilling and research that tackles the challenges of scaling corporate skill development. 

    Their mission: To organize the world's knowledge and make it universally accessible, conversational, and digestible in bite-sized chunks on demand.

    Their belief is that this creates a significant moat for their clients against competitors in today's fast-paced landscape,

    And this inspired me, and hence I invited Ruban to my podcast. We explore the challenges of continuous learning in today's fast-paced technological environment. 
    He explains his first principles for making his strategic bets and why he opts to take a platform approach rather than a point solution approach. Last but not least, he explains his lessons from niching down and verticalizing his GTM approach around the platform. 

    Here's one of his quotes
    We don't try to build a custom solution for a custom problem. We try to look at the problem and say, 'Okay, so we are not trying to only solve for a gas turbine failure, how do we build that technology, so that now instead of just only solving for data coming out of gas turbines, it can also look at data coming out of smart cars? How can it also handle data coming out of smart televisions? So, the focus has always been in trying to understand the problem and try to generalize, so that it can solve more business use cases, without having to recreate something new every single time.


    During this interview, you will learn four things:

    How he's accelerating traction by packaging his horizontal platform around highly valuable & business-critical problems.

    How he goes about successfully serving the mid-market and large enterprise companies in their own unique ways.

    His approach to identifying new value possibilities in the market that are worth building solutions for.

    How he makes decisions on what to invest in, and what not. 


    For more information about the guest from this week:

    Ruban Phukan

    Website: Goodgist




    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

    • 43 min
    Ryan Letzeiser, CEO of Obie Insurance - on the courage to pivot.

    Ryan Letzeiser, CEO of Obie Insurance - on the courage to pivot.

    This podcast interview focuses on the entrepreneurial journey that required a 180-degree pivot to find strong product market fit. My guest is Ryan Leitzeiser, Co-founder and CEO of Obie Insurance.
    Ryan has over 10 years of experience in an executive role in technology and commercial real estate (CRE) investment and development.
    Having worked at Hudson Capital Investments and as an Investment Analyst at Ram Real Estate, he has a strong background in CRE valuation, underwriting, asset management, and private equity. 
    In July 2018, he co-founded Obie, a Y Combinator-backed startup that's set out to make some waves in insurance technology.
    Their mission: To provide a simple, affordable, and transparent insurance experience for landlords and real estate investors.
    This inspired me, and hence, I invited Ryan to my podcast. We explore what's broken in the world of insurance, particularly when it relates to Real Estate. He shares his experiences and big lessons learned from having to pivot the business. He elaborates on what he did wrong, and the courage it took to correct course - the then turn that into a growth engine that is hard to stop. Last but not least he talks about some of the essential traits to develop to build a business that lasts.

    Here's one of his quotes
    Insurance is an admin nightmare for them [Lenders] during the closing process. We provide them with technology and tools as it relates to insurance for their consumers so that mistakes are not made. And ultimately, for a lender, this help that we provide them ultimately unlocks a ton of customers for us. In fact, we have lenders that will charge their customer base a fee, if they don't use us.

    During this interview, you will learn four things:

    What traits to look for in employees if you want to attract people who can solve customer problems and provide great experiences.

    What to do differently if you want your customers to make your solution mandatory for anyone they do business with. 

    His learnings on growing confidence and commitment from others.

    What he's learned to be critical behaviors to adhere to in a company if you want to build a business that lasts. 


    For more information about the guest from this week:

    Ryan Letzeiser

    Website: Obie Insurance




    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

    • 36 min
    Ed Bradley, CEO Virtualstock - on transforming retail.

    Ed Bradley, CEO Virtualstock - on transforming retail.

    This podcast interview focuses on the entrepreneurial journey to build a lean organization that has the power to win the biggest brands in the retail market. My guest is Ed Bradley, CEO of Virtualstock.
    Ed started his career in wholesale distribution and has extensive international experience in Supply Chain across Australia, Singapore, United States, and Canada. 
    In 2004, he co-founded VirtualStock. During this period, the company pioneered new ways for retailers’ to expand their product range, increase transparency with suppliers, and provide detailed order information for customers. 
    It made the product evolve into a global drop shipping and marketplace SaaS platform
    Today, the company has 20 years of experience in logistics, supply chains and e-commerce, as well as an extensive roster of blue-chip clients. 
    Their mission: Sell more products online, without the risk
    This inspired me, and hence, I invited Ed to my podcast. We explore the 20-year journey of building a lasting SaaS business. Ed shares what worked and what didn't, how he managed to grow the business without external capital, and how working with the largest retailers in the UK enabled this. He elaborates on why he's keeping the organization lean, and how that helped to create meaningful and durable differentiation, survive major setbacks, and win the bulk of the UK retail market as a customer. 

    Here's one of his quotes
    People will always buy from people. And so it's all got to do with understanding the customer. In our world, that means two things: our customer is the retailer, but we need to understand their customer, who is the consumer. And so if you get those two things right, if you really have that knowledge, and you care about their business, and you care about their customer, then the rest will follow. 

    During this interview, you will learn four things:

    How one customer can accelerate the trajectory of your business. 

    Why he'd opt for bootstrapping the business again if he ever got the choice. 

    How to keep your organization lean - and why that helps to grow defensible differentiation. 

    How he survived a major crisis in the business, and how this made them come out stronger. 



    For more information about the guest from this week:

    Ed Bradley

    Website: Virtualstock




    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
    Ryan Janssen, CEO of Zenlytic- on successfully pioneering Generative AI.

    Ryan Janssen, CEO of Zenlytic- on successfully pioneering Generative AI.

    This podcast interview focuses on the entrepreneurial journey to change the way we think and use about Business Intelligence. My guest is Ryan Janssen, Co-founder and CEO of Zenlytic.
    Ryan is a serial entrepreneur and visionary leader in data analytics and AI. He brings experience from previous roles at Ernst & Young, McKinsey, Private Equity and venture Capital funds, and Ex Quanta: AI Studio, giving him a strong background in AI and data analytics. 
    His time in the VC world likely gave him valuable insights into what investors look for, how to pitch effectively, and how to strategically scale a business.
    All his hands-on experience let him to co-found Zenlytic in July 2020. It's a BI tool for commerce brands and DTC businesses. 
    Their mission: making data insights accessible and actionable for everyone.

    And this inspired me, and hence I invited Ryan to my podcast. We explore what's still broken in enabling non-data scientists to create unique insights to compete with the largest brands in the world. Ryan shares his big lessons learned in building a company that pioneered the promise of generative AI. He elaborates on his first principles around value creation and what he's doing differently to stay lean while delivering high performance as a business. Last but not least he shares his tips on being able to prioritize long-term thinking as the company grows and create a business that lasts.
    Here's one of his quotes
    I think the real winners will be the people that are building nimbly. The people that are applying creative uses of this tech and finding creative new ways to deliver value that doesn't look very much like the generation of software that preceded them.

    During this interview, you will learn four things:

    What you can do differently to ensure faster development and better quality with a lean team.

    Why you should break predictability to find new growth opportunities.

    How you can outcompete much larger big companies on their own strength.

    When you have lots of leads the challenge is not how to close them - but how you qualify them 


    For more information about the guest from this week:

    Ryan Janssen

    Website: Zenlytic




    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

    • 51 min
    Zach Barney, CEO Mobly - on taking on a forgotten market in sales automation.

    Zach Barney, CEO Mobly - on taking on a forgotten market in sales automation.

    This podcast interview focuses on the entrepreneurial journey to solve a global challenge: helping field sales sell more and faster. My guest is Zach Barney, Co-founder and CEO of Mobly.
    Zach Barney is an experienced SaaS sales leader and entrepreneur. He has been building and leading SaaS sales teams since 2010 at companies like Vehlo, Nearmap, Teem, and HireVue. Over his career, he has personally closed over $4 million in ARR, and his teams have closed over $40 million. 
    In 2023, he co-founded Mobly to reduce the high percentage (+25%) of sales activity that never gets logged into CRM systems.
    Their mission: To redefine lead capture and qualification for event marketers.
    And this inspired me, and hence I invited Zach to my podcast. We explore what's broken in the lead generation process at in-person events. Zach explains his journey with Mobly to solve this problem - and elaborates how this fits in a much broader vision. He elaborates on the big lessons he learned around gaining traction and using pricing as a lever for growth. Lastly, he elaborates on how he's building a moat around his product.

    Here's one of his quotes
    We learned that we needed to change our pricing model. Our first handful of customers we were grossly under-charging them and it was largely due to the fact that we were pricing based on the number of seats. Somebody would openly tell us 'Yeah, well this person can share the license with this person.' So, we realized 'I guess we made a mistake on how we price this because this should be like a $20,000 contract and you're telling me that you're gonna pay 2000…'

    During this interview, you will learn four things:

    How he and his co-founder managed to get very comfortable doubling down on building a product without hardly spending anything.

    What he changed to his pricing strategy to increase average deal-size AND make grow each customer account from there onwards.

    What strategic choices he made around phasing his product strategy to ensure they got traction as early as possible - and keep growing it.

    Why he's decided to build defensible differentiation around data and not features. 



    For more information about the guest from this week:

    Zach Barney

    Website: Mobly




    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

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

VerushkaBuonaffina ,

Great show!

This podcast is filled with very thoughtful interviews and incredible personalities. Ton, makes sure to keep the conversation engaging and follows in a ways that leaves the audience well informed, entertained and educated. Great job!

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!

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