The SaaS (Software as a Service) Business Podcast helps entrepreneurs start and grow their SaaS businesses. By interviewing people who have accomplished what you want to do, this podcast will provide you with resources and inspiration to grab a piece of this expanding market.
019: A Campaign Against Email Attachments with Dave Koslow
In this episode of the SaaS Business Podcast, Ron Gaver’s guest is Dave Koslow, co-founder of DocSend. Dave and Ron discuss how Dave and his co-founders discovered the problem that led to the creation of DocSend, a document sharing and monitoring tool. Dave details the various ways DocSend provides users with seamless, real-time feedback, listing its advantages over tools like email attachments and screen-sharing programs. This, in turn, opens a conversation about promoting asynchronous communication for business success and how businesses can use DocSend to bridge the communication divide separating them from their clients.
Along the way, Dave discusses opportunities and pitfalls for early-phase startups doing product research and design.
The full show notes contain a thorough listing of all resources mentioned in the episode and a full transcript of the entire episode.
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Episode Outline Click any timestamp on the website to start listening at the noted time.
[00:00] Intro [02:24] Attachments and the Failure of Transparent Communication [05:15] Purpose-Built Platform for Data Sharing [06:11] External Communication Beyond Shared Content [08:39] Using DocSend to Study the Effectiveness of Pitch Deck Slides [09:08] Using DocSend with Your Existing Documents [10:11] Raising Funds with DocSend [11:53] Investors Value a Solid Startup Team [12:43] DocSend’s Study of Sequoia Capital’s Recommended Pitch Deck Slides [13:19] Using DocSend for Lead Capture [14:55] Using Lead Capture for Organizational Mapping and Networking [16:35] What Happens to Your Documents after You Hit Send? [17:36] How Are Attachments Performing? [18:17] Using DocSend to Evaluate Page Engagement [19:16] The Importance of Asynchronous Communication to Business Success [21:20] Getting User Feedback from DocSend [21:57] What Feedback Are You Missing with Email Attachments? [23:40] DocSend’s Feedback Is Easier Than PDFs [24:24] Using DocSend for Remote Live Presentations [25:55] DocSend’s Live Present Advantages over Screen Sharing Apps [27:35] DocSend’s Highlighting and Cursor Tools [28:00] DocSend’s Advantages over WebEx [28:42] DocSend’s Origin Story [29:33] How DocSend’s Team of Founders Met [31:55] How DocSend’s Founders Entered the Industry [34:20] The Character of DocSend’s CEO – Russ Heddleston [35:20] The “Perfect Co-Founding Team” According to Dave McClure [35:48] Brainstorming the Idea of DocSend [36:14] Finding the Need [37:06] The Need-Finding Hustle [39:16] DocSend’s Dachshund Delivery Service Marketing Campaign [40:28] Building with Heroku [41:07] Scaling with Heroku [42:25] Real-Time Messaging with Off-the-Shelf Components [43:09] DocSend and User Privacy [43:40] DocSend’s Experience Working with Ruby on Rails [44:30] DocSend’s Experience Creating a Website with Bootstrap [44:57] Funding: Seed Round and Series A [45:42] The Future of DocSend – Upcoming Developments [46:36] DocSend’s First Conference Experience [47:19] Dave Koslow’s Personal Influences [51:18] Conclusion
018: Learn About Content Marketing for Startups with Nick Raithel
In this episode of the SaaS Business Podcast, Ron Gaver’s guest is Nick Raithel of Content Corps. Nick and Ron discuss the unique requirements startups have for content marketing.
Nick points out some of the “dos” and “don’ts” of content marketing stressing the need to begin by building relationships with clients before trying to market their products or services. He describes road-mapping, a tool used by Content Corps to plot a client’s marketing course, delve into competitors’ tactics, and define success in advance. He discusses how road-mapping can save you time and money.
He discusses the various types of content and channels for content marketing. One of his favorite types of content is email courses. When done correctly, email courses can help you win your customers’ loyalty. When done incorrectly, they may turn customers away because they are perceived as marketing. With email courses and content marketing in general, the idea is to lead with value and avoid creating content that is nothing more than a thinly concealed sales pitch. He examines the various ways entrepreneurs can use social media to amplify their content by building relationships and increasing audience exposure. He then points out that published books are often overlooked as a marketing tool to build personal authority and set you apart from your competitors.
Nick closes out the show with the four most damaging content marketing mistakes aspiring entrepreneurs make and offers an exclusive bonus to listeners of the SaaS Business Podcast in the form of free course tools.
See SaaSBusinessPodcast.com/018 for transcript.
Please see Disclosure* (below transcript) concerning affiliate links on this page.
#AskGaryVee – Nick Raithel used #AskGaryVee (Gary Vaynerchuk) as an example of repurposing content. See the separate entry for Gary in this list for more information about him and what he does. Listen or read at 36:30. Audible* – I’m a podcaster. I like audio. I can listen while I do other things. Audible is now part of Amazon.com. In this episode, Nick Raithel recommends Audible to those of us with busy lives as a way to educate ourselves on the go. New users receive a 30-day free trial, as well as one free story when they register. Listen or read at 40:53. AWeber* – I am an AWeber customer and affiliate. AWeber is email marketing software. I find it to be an affordable solution satisfying my current needs. AWeber employees and (and as far as I know disinterested) third parties have told me that messages sent by AWeber end up in the Spam folder less often than some of their competitors’ messages because of their conservative approach. Erik Harbison, the Chief Marketing Officer for AWeber, will be discussing the marketing stack for a SaaS company in an upcoming episode (it is in post-production now). The episode is about the various marketing tools he has used for SaaS companies more than it is about AWeber. This is in alignment with what Nick Raithel says in this episode. Listen or read at 22:53. Buffer – I am a Buffer user. Buffer is SaaS for social media automation. Buffer currently provides queues, schedules, and analytics for Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Integrations with the browser and smartphones make buffering a post easy. Reposting (at least on the basic plan) turns into a manual process, which has driven me to another app for reposting and may eventually lead to me discontinuing Buffer. Buffer analyzes engagements with your posts and can suggest an optimized schedule based on maximum engagement. Buffer can monitor Instagram for engagement but does not provide the capability to post to Instagram. Listen or read at 19:11. Buzzsumo – According to the site, Buzzsumo allows you to analyze “what content performs best for any topic or competitor,” and to “find the key influencers to promote your content.”
017: Ocean, The Tech Accelerator
I interviewed Tim Sinclair in Episode 015. During the interview, Tim mentioned that he had gone through the inaugural class of the Ocean Accelerator. He also mentioned that Ocean is a faith-based tech accelerator. I had never even considered the intersection of faith-based organizations and tech accelerators and was immediately intrigued. I asked Tim if he could put me in touch with Ocean, which he did. Scott Weiss is the CEO of Ocean and James Clair is the Marketing Manager.
UPDATE: Ocean came out with important news for potential applicants just before the podcast release. They have increased their seed funding for companies accepted into their 2017 class from $35,000 to $50,000. Everything was already in place for the episode release when the news came out, and it would have been difficult to alter the audio to make the change.
Contents Episode Outline Resources Mentioned in Episode Episode Transcript Disclosure concerning affiliate links Episode Outline Click [Website] to go to the corresponding website location. Once on the website, you may listen to the episode starting at any timestamp [mm:ss].
[00:00] Intro [Website] [03:12] Accelerator Defined [Website] [04:54] Accelerator Capital and Convertible Notes [Website] [07:28] Ocean’s Founders [Website] [08:07] Accelerators Versus Incubators [Website] [09:05] Ocean’s Unique Spiritual Component [Website] [11:39] Focusing on the Founder [Website] [12:27] Non-Business Relationships and Stakeholders [Website] [13:17] Ocean’s Message [Website] [13:49] Ocean’s Five Capitals [Website] [15:24] Maintaining Balance during a Business Venture [Website] [16:35] Marketplace Success [Website] [17:41] Ocean’s Work Ethic [Website] [19:18] Ocean’s Program Overview [Website] [19:48] Demo Day and Business Curriculum [Website] [21:16] Keynote Speakers – Day One [Website] [23:23] Keynote Speaker Discussion – Day Two and Beyond [Website] [24:53] Ocean’s 2017 Program Plans [Website] [25:20] Ocean’s Policy on Faith [Website] [26:12] Faith as a Component of Business [Website] [27:32] Ocean’s Program [Website] [27:45] Weekly Program – Speakers and Workshops [Website] [30:20] Syncing Program Behavior with Business Life [Website] [31:47] Ocean’s Field Day – The Importance of Customer Dialogue [Website] [32:39] Relocating as a Founder with Family [Website] [35:27] Ocean’s Ideal Company and Founder [Website] [37:29] Ocean Capital [Website] [38:07] Ocean’s Origins at Crossroads [Website] [40:48] Ocean’s Mentors [Website] [41:29] Role of the Mentor [Website] [42:36] Mentor Demographics [Website] [44:49] Partners [Website] [45:51] Brand Identity Kit [Website] [46:23] Design Style Guide [Website] [46:44] A Creative Space to Build Relationships [Website] [48:20] Cincinnati as a Hotspot for Entrepreneurs [Website] [48:51] Cincinnati’s Community Spirit [Website] [50:02] Cincinnati as an Ideal Region for Startups [Website] [51:23] Appropriateness of Cincinnati for Founders with Families [Website] [52:37] Ocean’s Schedule for Applications [Website] [53:19] Benefits of Demo Day [Website] [54:42] Post-Demo Day Activities [Website] [57:08] Universal Message of God’s Interest in Enterprises [Website] [58:39] Conclusion [Website] [Website Contents]
Resources Mentioned in Episode Please see Disclosure* (below transcript) concerning affiliate links on this page.
805 Creative – According to the website, 805 Creative is an “Ohio-based creative agency dedicated to empowering our business partners with compelling ways to communicate their stories.” Listen or read at [44:49]. Business Canvas Map – Also known as the Business Model Canvas. A strategic management template for visualizing a business’s partnerships, resources, revenue, and customers. Ocean’s program provides mentoring through the canvas creation process, focusing specifically on planning, the busin
016: Customer Success with Lincoln Murphy
Lincoln Murphy’s focus is customer success. He’s currently the growth architect at Winning by Design, where he creates blueprints and playbooks for customer success managers and leaders. In the past, he founded Sixteen Ventures and led customer success at Gainsight. Using customer success to drive growth across the entire customer lifecycle, he has helped over four hundred SaaS and enterprise software companies accelerate growth and retain valuable customers.
Contents On the website, click any timestamp to start listening to the episode at the noted location.
Resources Mentioned in Episode Episode Transcript [00:00] Intro [Read] [02:27] Pre-SaaS Career in Supply Chain Management [Read] [04:14] Early SaaS Company for Mail Center Management [Read] [07:55] Early Days of SaaS [Read] [11:12] Before SaaS Was SaaS [Read] [12:56] Resistance to SaaS Adoption [Read] [14:08] Role of Corporate IT in SaaS Adoption [Read] [15:18] SaaS Business Model [Read] [16:27] Business Architecture [Read] [17:18] SaaS as a Business Architecture and SaaS Revenue Models [Read] [19:13] Recent Career [Read] [20:27] Sixteen Ventures [Read] [21:44] “The SaaS Guy” [Read] [22:16] Contrarian Views [Read] [23:57] Freemium in SaaS [Read] [25:10] Thought Leadership (or Getting Things Out of Your Head and Moving On)[Read] [26:06] Facts and the Contrarian Point-of-View [Read] [27:48] Customer Success Management [Read] [28:37] Customer’s Desired Outcome [Read] [29:01] Customer’s Required Outcome [Read] [30:06] Customer’s Appropriate Experience [Read] [31:39] Appropriate SaaS Experience [Read] [33:26] Solve for Success Not Happiness [Read] [33:59] Successful Customers Advocate But Want More [Read] [34:49] Happy Customers May Not Be Getting Value and Then Churn [Read] [35:15] The Appropriate Success Vector [Read] [36:21] Customer Success and Company Valuation [Read] [37:15] Churn [Read] [37:50] Customers to Save and Customers to Let Go [Read] [39:41] When Churn Becomes a Non-Issue [Read] [42:03] Individual Contributions to the Customer’s Desired Outcome [Read] [45:05] Personal Recommendations [Read] [46:34] Make Your Customers Powerful [Read] [47:20] Operationalize Customers Making you Powerful [Read] [48:16] Proactively Convert on Success Milestones [Read] [49:31] Customer Lifecycle Success [Read] [50:07] Tools to Monitor Customer Progress [Read] [51:01] Understand Desired Outcome Before You Operationalize [Read] [51:31] Start with the Customers and Tools Will Become Apparent [Read] [52:22] Saas Networking Recommendations [Read] Disclosure concerning affiliate links [Contents]
Resources Mentioned in Episode Please see Disclosure* (below transcript) concerning affiliate links on this page.
7 Ways Customer Success Drives Company Valuation – This blog post by Lincoln Murphy on Sixteen Ventures discusses how Customer Success can impact the valuation of your company. Listen or read at [36:21]. ClientSuccess –Customer success management app mentioned by Lincoln Murphy as an alternative to Gainsight to measure customer success milestones. Listen or read at[50:18]. Customer Success: How Innovative Companies are Reducing Churn and Growing Recurring Revenue* – Book by Nick Mehta, Dan Steinman, and Lincoln Murphy. Lincoln did not mention the book during the interview. I recommend you digest the information in this podcast episode, read Lincoln’s Customer Success: The Definitive Guide, and then read the book. The book is broken down into three parts: (1) Customer Success: The History, Organization, and Imperative; (2) The Ten Laws of Customer Success; and (3) Chief Customer Officer, Technology, and Future. Each of the Ten Laws is covered in a chapter. Customer Success: The Definitive Guide – This is a 2016 update to Lincoln’s original post The Definitive Guide to Customer Success. A PDF of the guide is available fro
015: An Uncommon Startup Experience with Tim Sinclair
Tim Sinclair is founder and CEO of RingR. Before founding RingR, Tim had an established career in broadcast radio. The idea for RingR grew out of Tim’s frustrations with trying to get high-quality recorded audio for interviews conducted electronically using the telephone or Skype. For such interviews, the host can produce a high-quality recording on one end, but if the guests do not have good recording equipment on their end, the audio quality for the guests’ recording is often low. If the host records the guests from the telephone, audio quality is generally low. If the host records the guests from Skype, internet artifacts such as warble and drop out often occur. Tim conceived RingR as a way to get high-quality, recorded audio for all parties by recording each person’s audio locally on a smartphone, transmitting the data to a server, and syncing the audio files together. In the end, host and guest sound as good as the local recording. RingR has come out of beta, and I wanted to get the story from Tim of how he developed the product and stood the company up.
On the website, click any timestamp to start listening to the episode at the noted location. Please see Disclosure* (below transcript) concerning affiliate links on this page. Full episode transcript follows Resources Mentioned. Resources Mentioned in Episode
Amazon Web Services (AWS) – According to the website: “Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a secure cloud services platform, offering compute power, database storage, content delivery and other functionality to help businesses scale and grow.” Tim Sinclair discusses RingR’s positive experience with AWS starting at [30:00]. AWS has a free tier that may not be exactly what Tim describes in the episode [31:46] but seems like a reasonable option to explore. Apple EarPods* – EarPods are my favorite in-ear listening and speaking device for iPhone. EarPods do not close the ear canal and allow you to listen to your surrounding environment while talking and listening. I do not know if they work with Andriod phones since the jack has four bands (left ear, right ear, microphone, and common). EarPods are mentioned in this episode as a good interface for recording on an iPhone using RingR. Listen at [04:50] for discussion. Love Does* – This book by Bob Goff is about showing love in remarkable ways. It was mentioned by Tim Sinclair in this episode. Tim takes inspiration from this book about how to interact with his customers. Listen to the discussion starting at [43:06]. Ocean Accelerator – Tim Sinclair is a graduate of the inaugural class of the Ocean Accelerator. Ocean is a faith-based accelerator providing seed funding, mentors, legal assistance, a well-attended demo day, a 5-month curriculum focused on founders first and business second, and more. For Tim’s story with Ocean in this episode, begin listening at [19:10]. Ocean will be featured in an upcoming episode (tentatively 017). RingR* – RingR is an app for recording high-quality audio from geographically separated speakers and synching the audio files into one high-quality recording. Typical uses are for podcasts and broadcast, but the app has been used for remote medical consultation, legal deposition, and employment interviews. Participants may record on an iPhone, Android phone, or desktop computer. The creation of RingR is the subject of this episode. For a technical description, begin listening at [04:50] RingR on Twitter @RingR_US [42:07] RingR on Facebook @RingRApp [42:29] Serra Ventures – According to their website: “Serra Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm investing in technology companies in emerging Midwest technology centers and selected other geographies. Sectors we focus on include information technology, devices/instrumentation and agricultural technologies.” In this episode, Tim Sinclair discusses obtainin
014: The Mind of a Disruptor with Jay Samit
Jay Samit is a serial disruptor, a change agent, an innovator, an educator, and the author of the international best-seller Disrupt You!: Master Personal Transformation, Seize Opportunity, and Thrive in the Era of Endless Innovation. For over three decades, he has been at the forefront of global trends. He has pioneered breakthrough advancements in mobile video, Internet advertising, e-commerce, social networks, eBooks, and digital music used by billions of consumers every day.
Combining innovation with commercial success, Jay is a dealmaker. He has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for startups. His list of partners and associates includes Apple, Bill Gates, Coca-Cola, Facebook, McDonald’s, Microsoft, Paul Allen, Reid Hoffman, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Steven Spielberg, United Airlines, the Vatican, Verizon, and the White House.
He has held senior management roles at Sony, Universal Studios, and SeaChange International, a leading global multiscreen-video-software company.
Jay is a trend spotter. His predictions of the future tend to be accurate because he is constantly working with those creating it.
Please see Disclosure* (below) concerning affiliate links on this page.
Click any timestamp to start listening at the noted location.
[00:17] “I got into this field and was amazed when you wake up one day, and dozens of your friends have become billionaires, and it’s not like anybody went to special schools or had special this or that, but 70% of the world’s richest billionaires were all self-made. They have the same 24 hours in a day that you and I do, so there must be something different that they’re doing with their time. What is it? How can I learn to do that? How can I emulate it, and how can I do it no matter what continent, what country, what city, [or] what education I have? Most of these people didn’t go to top universities. Many didn’t even go to college. Sir Richard Branson, [who] started 12 companies now that have market caps over a billion dollars, didn’t even go to school. What is he doing [that’s] different? Can I do that? That’s what Disrupt You!, disrupting yourself, is all about.” [04:05] Jay’s book is split into three parts: (1) self-disruption, the internal process of disrupting your personal value chain; (2) business-disruption, the process of disrupting the value chain of a business or industry; and (3) world-disruption, the process of using the principles of disruption to solve big, non-business, world problems (like climate change, education, and healthcare). Jay says Disrupt You! is a new paradigm with predictive and repeatable methodologies for breaking the patterns that limit personal success and growth that anyone can use to become a disruptor. [04:46] Jay says that the need to disrupt starts out in our childhood. Parents, teachers, and others who mean well constantly reinforce and tell us what we can’t do, what we won’t be, and what we’re not good at. We grow up and begin to believe that we have a certain type of personality, that we’re not good at math or public speaking. “We put blinders on and then society gives us shackles. In fact, you are completely malleable, and once you realize you can change your preconceived limitations, it then makes it easier to look at the world as having the same flexibility, the same porousness, the same [potential] for you to disrupt. And so when you look at the self-made billionaire in their 20’s, that’s what they’re doing, and they have the advantage that they don’t have the preconceived ways of doing things that we have developed into habits.” [05:40] Changing yourself into a disruptor is a matter of introspection. Jay likes to say, “It’s akin to major surgery, but you’re holding the scalpel.” Becoming a disruptor is a state of mind; it’s about becoming a silver-lining person. Wh
Extremely good, diverse content relating to SaaS.
Neil Patel - Inspiring!
I tuned in for the first time this evening. Neil Patel's interview is inspiring. He offers great insights into SaaS business from his successes and failures. His simple approach worked for him, and I bet it will work for others. Thank you for sharing his story and insights. I really enjoyed your podcast.
Great Podcast About SaaS featuring Solid Experts
This is a great podcast, I just discovered it this week but I'm already subscribed and find the information extremely valuable. The legal info in episode 9 is fantastic.