83 episodes

Sean Ellis and Ethan Garr interview CEOs and product, growth and marketing leaders from the world's fastest-growing companies so that you can learn from them how to take your growth to the next level. Sean and Ethan draw on decades of experience growing breakout success companies and products including Dropbox, Robokiller, LogMeIn, Eventbrite, Lookout and Uproar to ask the right questions.

The Breakout Growth Podcast Sean Ellis and Ethan Garr

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 25 Ratings

Sean Ellis and Ethan Garr interview CEOs and product, growth and marketing leaders from the world's fastest-growing companies so that you can learn from them how to take your growth to the next level. Sean and Ethan draw on decades of experience growing breakout success companies and products including Dropbox, Robokiller, LogMeIn, Eventbrite, Lookout and Uproar to ask the right questions.

    The Role of IT in Growth: Accuray’s CIO Explains Connection

    The Role of IT in Growth: Accuray’s CIO Explains Connection

    In this week’s episode of The Breakout Growth Podcast, brought to you by SAP, Sean Ellis and Ethan Garr speak with GS Jha, who serves as both Global Chief Information Officer and Chief Information Security Officer at Accuray, a manufacturer of radiotherapy technologies.
     
    When you hear GS’s story it’s evident where his passion for life sciences comes from. As a child growing up in India, GS saw firsthand the impacts of poor access to medicine on his community. 
     
    And while he thought that his contributions to world health might be as a doctor, ultimately his path led to a place where infrastructure and business converged. That intersection is a key reason why GS feels he can be a catalyst for growth at Accuray in his role as CIO.
     
    From GS’s perspective, success depends on aligning the systems he manages with the goals of both the company and the individuals who drive it forward. And what connects these things together is creating value for customers. 
     
    So we think you will enjoy this discussion as you hear why even as CIO, GS sees engaging with oncologists directly as an important part of his role, and why everything from his hiring approach to his considerations for systems and infrastructure is informed by a larger mission to save lives. 
     
    Before you jump in, learn more about SAP's cloud solutions for mid-size enterprises at sap.com/sme. If you have ambitious goals, SAP is the technology partner you need to scale and drive innovation. Instead of relying on stitched-together solutions to manage business finances, operations, HR, suppliers, and customer relationships, leverage the flexibility of SAP's cloud-based ERP solution to gain the insights that will help drive your breakout growth success.
     
    Achieve breakout growth success now with SAP at bit.ly/3UUPDxJ
     
    Thanks for listening to the Breakout Growth Podcast, and don’t forget, to watch us and subscribe on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-K_CY4-IrZ_auEIs0j97zA/featured

    We discussed:

    * On a mission to deliver lifesaving technologies (04:21)

    * CIO vs. CTO, what are the differences (07:33)

    * How IT functions to unlock a business’ potential (11:31)

    * The challenges and importance of driving alignment (27:19)

    * Hiring technology people to drive growth (33:11)

    * Learning from customers, directly (33:56)

    And much, much, more . . .

    • 53 min
    Lessons From Chameleon’s Big Pivot from Product-Led to Sales-Led Growth

    Lessons From Chameleon’s Big Pivot from Product-Led to Sales-Led Growth

    Product-Led Growth is all the rage, but it wasn’t working
     
    Today, things are looking good for Chameleon and its CEO, Pulkit Agrawal. Since we recorded this week’s episode of The Breakout Growth Podcast with him, Chameleon announced a successful Series A. But in 2015 the company was heading towards the startup scrap heap.
     
    That’s where co-hosts Sean Ellis and Ethan Garr pick up this conversation. Pulkit and his co-founders had built a product that offered simple tools to personalize customer experiences with product tours and tooltips. They were following the Product-Led playbook that was driving success for other startups in similar categories all around them. 
     
    The problem was they were running out of money. The business was not taking off even with an easy-to-use self-serve interface and low prices. 
     
     
    Pivoting to a Sales-Led Go-to-Market Strategy 
     
    If you listened to our previous conversation with the CEO of Fireflies, Krish Ramanelli, you will hear a story where PLG was exactly the right strategy. So why wasn’t it right for Pulkit and his team? And how did he figure it out?
     
    Jump in and hear how focusing on the must-have experience helped Pulkit and his team regroup and reframe the business, why he doesn’t see the world as either Sales-Led or Product-Led and how the tough early journey informed his team’s growth approach.  
     
    The Breakout Growth Podcast is also on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-K_CY4-IrZ_auEIs0j97zA/featured

    We discussed:

    * Building a business to solve a personal pain point (03:59)

    * Realizing the team had over-indexed on a self-serve model (06:08)

    * Learning that intuition isn’t fact (12:48)

    * Sales-Led & Product-Led; different learnings, different value (18:30)

    * Thinking through customer motivations to drive growth (24:55)

    * Building the culture to support Sales-Led growth (43:29)

    And much, much, more . . . 

    • 52 min
    Harry’s CTO Explains How Their “Go-To-Market” Disrupts Traditional Brands

    Harry’s CTO Explains How Their “Go-To-Market” Disrupts Traditional Brands

    In this week’s episode of The Breakout Growth Podcast, brought to you by SAP, Sean Ellis, and Ethan Garr talk with Sandeep Chouksey, Chief Technical Officer of Harry's, the company that manufactures and sells men's personal care products via online and retail channels. 
     
    It turns out Harry’s has a superpower!  They can spin up a direct-to-consumer brand in just a matter of weeks, and then–if the brand’s potential is validated–roll into an omnichannel marketing strategy almost as quickly.
     
    Unilever, Proctor & Gamble, and other giants of the consumer packaged goods industry are surely taking notice as Harry’s approach threatens to disrupt a variety of established players across markets. And men’s razors are just the beginning. The company, now valued at more than $1.7 Billion, has four brands in six countries . . . One of them is a cat food brand!
     
    What gives Harry’s the confidence to try to make entrances into new and disparate categories? And why are they able to move so quickly? Sandeep explains that it starts with people; Harry’s is very intentional in how it hires people who are ready to “embrace the mammoth” and try new things. 
     
    In fact, Sandeep himself embodies this mindset and in our discussion, he doesn’t sound at all like a prototypical CTO.  He views his role as one of aligning technical resources around their impact on growth, and “figuring out how to be omnichannel”. It’s an approach that seems to be working well for him and Harry’s, a fast-growing company changing the world of CPG.
     
    Before you jump in, learn more about SAP's cloud solutions for mid-size enterprises at sap.com/sme. If you have ambitious goals, SAP is the technology partner you need to scale and drive innovation. Instead of relying on stitched-together solutions to manage business finances, operations, HR, suppliers, and customer relationships, leverage the flexibility of SAP's cloud-based ERP solution to gain the insights that will help drive your breakout growth success.
     
    Achieve breakout growth success now with SAP at bit.ly/3UUPDxJ
     
    Thanks for listening to the Breakout Growth Podcast, and don’t forget, to watch us and subscribe on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-K_CY4-IrZ_auEIs0j97zA/featured

    We discussed:

    * From razors to cat food; leveraging digital capabilities (05:47)

    * New speed in CPG; from DTC to omnichannel in a flash (07:19)

    • 50 min
    Tech Meets Sports & Entertainment: San Jose Sharks Growth Story

    Tech Meets Sports & Entertainment: San Jose Sharks Growth Story

    In this week’s episode of The Breakout Growth Podcast, brought to you by SAP, Sean Ellis, and Ethan Garr talk with Jonathan Becher, President of Sharks Sports & Entertainment. If you are a hockey fan you probably know the San Jose Sharks, the flagship brand of Jonathan’s organization, but in this discussion, we quickly learned that when it comes to growth, the sports team itself is just one component of an exciting and complex ecosystem.
     
    With its huge media presence, four buildings (arenas and skating facilities), and fans with varying interest levels and unique backgrounds, Jonathan has a variety of tools and resources he and his team can tap into to create meaningful experiences to attract and retain audiences. But it is not without its challenges.
     
    Professional sports are typically steeped in tradition and slow to embrace change, but sports teams can’t afford to ignore the world around them. The Sharks literally live in the heart of Silicon Valley, and the world around them is becoming more digitized every day.  Jonathan sees his job as one of “pioneering the future of sports entertainment,” so growth is then about embracing traditions while at the same time building new, engaging, and interconnected digital experiences for the future. 
     
    A hockey fan at his core, Jonathan believes his staff is up to the task, and he brings a wealth of experience that includes everything from working as a developer to building startups, to even serving as CMO of SAP, to inform his approach. We learned quickly that Jonathan is a growth hacker at heart; working to understand the must-have experiences powering growth, and using data and experimentation to meet the needs of diverse audiences.
     
    Before you jump in, learn more about SAP's cloud solutions for mid-size enterprises at sap.com/sme. If you have ambitious goals, SAP is the technology partner you need to scale and drive innovation. Instead of relying on stitched-together solutions to manage business finances, operations, HR, suppliers, and customer relationships, leverage the flexibility of SAP's cloud-based ERP solution to gain the insights that will help drive your breakout growth success.
     
    Achieve breakout growth success now with SAP at bit.ly/3UUPDxJ
     
    Thanks for listening to the Breakout Growth Podcast, and don’t forget, to watch us and subscribe on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-K_CY4-IrZ_auEIs0j97zA/featured

    We discussed:

    * Much more than just a hockey team; Sharks Sports & Entertainment  (05:40)

    * A future built on content and connected experiences (28:18)

    * Tattoos for die-hard fans &n

    • 1 hr 2 min
    How Startups Should Think About SEO from Shopify's Former Director

    How Startups Should Think About SEO from Shopify's Former Director

    In this week’s episode of The Breakout Growth Podcast Sean Ellis and Ethan Garr chat with Kevin Indig, who at the time of the interview was the Director of SEO at Shopify. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be an important growth driver for startups, but it is an easy channel to misunderstand and get wrong.  We wanted to talk to someone who is best-in-class in this field to separate truth from fiction and find out how growth leaders can support, leverage, and embrace SEO in their businesses. 
     
    Fortunately, Kevin brought his “A” game to the conversation and did a great job of demystifying SEO for our listeners. He explains why SEO is a must-have for some companies, but just a nice-to-have for others.  Then he describes why, when SEO is a necessary channel for growth, companies should invest early and heavily to maximize their potential. 
     
    In the past, SEO could feel very “hacky” and there were definitely a lot of bad actors in the space.  Kevin shows us why today’s SEO is won with a deep focus on delivering value, why it needs to be validated like any other channel, and why elements like backlinks continue to be important. 
     
    While you shouldn’t expect to leave this conversation as an SEO expert, you will very likely be in a much better place to support, guide, and set up your organization for SEO success after you hear Kevin share his knowledge and experience.  This is one of our more directly practical discussions and one we really enjoyed.  
     
    So click that play button and jump in with Sean and Ethan as we look to better understand how to drive growth through Search Engine Optimization with Kevin Indig. 
     
    The Breakout Growth Podcast is also on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-K_CY4-IrZ_auEIs0j97zA/featured

    We discussed:

    * The two dimensions of SEO at Shopify (04:09)

    * Who wins with SEO: Aggregators versus Integrators (07:05)

    * Misconceptions and constants in a murky world (18:49)

    * Practical implementation; how to get started in SEO (34:39)

    * Building SEO into a growing organization (36:26)

    * Differentiation; why this is a channel that requires specific effort (50:20)

    And much, much, more . . .

    • 55 min
    Setting Expectations Around Chaos: Paddle’s CMO on Leading for Growth

    Setting Expectations Around Chaos: Paddle’s CMO on Leading for Growth

    In this week’s episode of The Breakout Growth Podcast Sean Ellis and Ethan Garr chat with Andrew Davies, Chief Marketing Officer at Paddle. Offering a complete payment infrastructure for businesses in a single stack, Paddle is particularly valuable for PLG businesses, and helps more than 3000 customers in 200 markets set up and sell their SaaS offerings.  
     
    This year Paddle has acquired Profitwell, the recurring revenue growth platform, and raised $200 million in funding (bringing the company’s total valuation above $1.4 billion). As CMO, Andrew intends to continue driving aggressive growth by adapting a playbook he has developed in a career that includes serving as VP of Corporate Marketing at Optimizely and as co-founder of the “demand orchestration” platform, Idio.
     
    Andrew is particularly honest about the challenges that companies face at this stage in their journey. He explains that “scale breaks systems” so it becomes really important to work towards a culture that is not super-prescriptive, but instead looks to “teach people the rules of the game, and then get them to play it themselves.”
     
    Our conversation dives into everything from team leadership challenges, to what the CMO role is and how it creates impact in a fast-scaling organization. Ultimately, Andrew feels that Paddle’s success will be a product of its own ability to help customers drive growth in their own businesses. So jump in and hear how he intends to ensure that Paddle is well-positioned to drive that outcome.
     
    Thanks for listening to the Breakout Growth Podcast, and don’t forget, to watch us and subscribe on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-K_CY4-IrZ_auEIs0j97zA/featured

    We discussed:

    * Andrew’s Journey to CMO, including Idio co-founder and Paddle advisor (06:39)

    * Why more complex approaches must replace original, more simple tactics (11:17)

    * The Profitwell acquisition and the challenges of taming the chaos (16:08)

    * Why leadership cannot be top-down when scaling up (26:15)

    * “Tracking is always messed up” – so now what? (29.10)

    * The massive shift Andrew sees in B2B marketing (44:05)

    And much, much, more . . . 

    • 55 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
25 Ratings

25 Ratings

Mike H12345 ,

Great insights

Followed Sean for years starting when we were both in Silicon Valley. My go to for understanding the latest in marketing and applying lessons learned to my specific field.

Heysyb ,

Clear and concise

Ethan and Sean provide great insights to help anyone looking to drive growth in their business. If you’re looking for a fun way to get inspiration for driving growth while hearing from leaders who have been successful in far surpassing goals when it comes to growth, this is your podcast. This is your go-to team.

KidFlush ,

Actionable insight in every episode

I have been listening to the podcast regularly for the past year. I get at least one great actionable takeaway from every single episode. As a startup founder this podcast is invaluable to me. Thank you to Sean and Ethan for the great conversations, questions, and metric breakdowns!

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