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If you’re trying to build a SaaS, you’re wasting your time. You should be building a TEAM. A team of talented developers, marketers, customer success agents and salespeople… Then that team will build your SaaS. It’s a huge paradigm shift, but it’s damn important. Elon Musk didn’t hand-build Tesla cars himself, Richard Branson never piloted a Virgin…
 
Paid ads… or publicity? Choose. For a bootstrapped startup with little-to-no cash in the bank trying to find their first thousand customers, this question should be a no-brainer. Publicity. PR doesn’t cost. There’s no PPC or ad spend behind good PR. Every dollar returned is profit and the only upfront cost is time. Yet a good PR campaign can explod…
 
I have an exclusive interview for you... No matter how far I looked, I haven’t been able to find ANY other interviews anywhere with my latest Escape Velocity guest, Justin Shimoon. He just… doesn’t do them. But for me, he generously opened up about the massive success of his company, AffinityClick. ...And how he grew them to be one of the biggest p…
 
Freemium? Free trial with a credit card? Or premium only? If you’re asking these questions about your pricing model, then - according to Wes Bush - you’d already be on the wrong path. Wes Bush is the founder and CEO of ProductLed and the bestselling author of Product-Led Growth: How To Build a Product That Sells Itself. Product-led growth is a meth…
 
Don’t let anyone tell you it’s too late to change your direction. Emily Walsh went from being a ballet dancer… to a lead investor at Georgian, a VC firm that has raised $1.2B across 4 funds and recently added another $850M in early 2020. Georgian focuses on investing in software and fin-tech. According to Emily, Georgian typically invests $20M - $4…
 
“How many mermaid tails do you think are sold every year globally?” It wasn’t a question I expected to be asked by a SaaS founder. I guessed 50 million. But I was short… by 450 million. Liam Martin, one of my SaaS Academy coaching clients, asked me this question in the latest episode of Escape Velocity. Liam is the co-founder of both Time Doctor, t…
 
When I launched my company Clarity.fm in 2010, I gave a live demo to an audience showing how the service works. It was my Steve Jobs moment. From stage, I demonstrated how Clarity enabled me to call high-profile, successful entrepreneurs and get business advice from them over the phone instantly. For the live demo, I had to call someone notable… so…
 
“Talent is everywhere, opportunity is not”. This is a quote from my latest Escape Velocity Podcast guest, Marvin Liao, formerly a partner at 500 Startups. 500 Startups is a venture capital fund that runs an accelerator in San Francisco and invests in seed rounds for tech startups. At the time of recording this interview, they backed a lot more than…
 
Your website is polished. Facebook ads retargeting, Google ads pushing your domain to the top of the results page. Traffic trickles through… starting with a sign-up for a free trial. All your PPC ad spend is balancing on a knife’s edge. But here’s the question: Will the prospect convert from a free trial to a paid customer? If yes, you can wipe awa…
 
Back in 2012, when I raised $1.6M in funding for Clarity.fm, I insisted on squeezing more out of my investors. When I put together the final cap table, I made it clear that I also wanted introductions with other investors and businesses on their portfolio. They told me, “Dan, you’re asking a lot here…” But I put my foot down. I knew you couldn’t pu…
 
If you want consistent, predictable revenue for your SaaS then there’s one thing you’re going to need to build: A killer sales team. Don’t roll your eyes yet… Let me set the record straight. In 2008, when I moved to silicon valley, sales teams were considered evil. Tech companies pursued the unicorn: A product that would “sell itself”. (Yes, I’m us…
 
Here’s a word that either makes you cringe… or sigh with relief: “Networking”. If you’ve had a bad experience of it, you’ll get that icky feeling of trying to schmooze through fake smiles for business. But if you’ve had a great experience, you’ll think of life-long friends sharing war stories about their businesses and helping each other out. Netwo…
 
CEOs have it tough. It’s not enough to grow your company into healthy profit margins and then coast along “because it’s working”. I know it’s tempting to kick back and pour the martinis, but comfort is a dangerous position to be in. A great CEO knows this and doesn’t want to be comfortable. They’ll stay on the bow on the ship, in the storm, telesco…
 
In 2011, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal, Peter Thiel, started giving $100k to young entrepreneurs under 22. …but only if they would drop out of college. $100k paid to 20 applicants per year without taking any equity at all. There was nothing in it for him. So why did he do it? Thiel believed talented young minds were choosing college instead …
 
Take everything you think you know about sales teams… And get ready to throw it out the window. I mean it. Sales, as a concept, is still dragging a lot of dead weight from old-school sales gurus chanting “ABC – Always Be Closing!” The SaaS business model is being polluted by these old ideas that just don’t work. For decades, we’ve needed a fresh ne…
 
When you first came up with a price for your SaaS product, I bet you did one of 3 things: 1. Picked a low number because “you’re just starting out”2. Matched (or beat) a competitor’s price 3. Chose a number based on what you would spend How would you feel if I told you to take that price… and double it? Nervous, right? Pricing strategy is where man…
 
How fast can you scale a software business? 0 – 150 employees in 12 months…? How would you even manage that?! For Elias Torres, the CTO and co-founder of Drift, and my latest guest on the Escape Velocity podcast… it was easy. Elias is the stuff of legends. He’s a machine. He’s been either the founder, CTO or VP of engineering at: Hubspot Performabl…
 
How do you sell your SaaS? I mean… how does that process actually look, end to end, from meeting a buyer to pocketing a 7+ figure paycheck? Buying and selling a business isn’t like walking into a store, picking an item off the shelf and approaching the counter. There are valuations, due diligence, escrow accounts, handover processes, and more… befo…
 
Being a venture funded SaaS founder is like walking into a casino to bet all of your employees’ salaries… every single day. Your decision to make one choice over another – bet on red or black – can cost your company millions. A few wrong bets can dry up your finances and run your company into the ground. But a few consecutive right bets can leave y…
 
Years ago the so-called “secret” to B2B company growth was getting leads. If you got enough email addresses or phone numbers that you could give to your sales team, you were going to make BANK. Not any more. Everyone is on LinkedIn, social media accounts are 1-click away, and business emails get scraped and sold daily. It sucks… but it’s true. The …
 
If I could take all of the BS about “success” and cram it into the single most actionable statement ever, it would be this: The key to success is consistency. I don’t care how cheesy it is… It’s the truth. Print it on a T-shirt. Crochet it on a wall hanging. Hashtag it on Instagram. Just don’t forget it. If you want to be successful at anything BE …
 
My latest guest is controversial. If you google ‘Nathan Latka’, you’ll see headlines that call him inspirational… and others that call him a con-man (or use more colorful language). Most CEOs or software founders would fear that kind of negative press. But not Nathan. In fact… he encourages it. He wants people to either love him or hate him as long…
 
Pop quiz: Does a Freemium business model really convert to a growing SaaS? Sure, you get widespread access to potential customers… But are they just there because it’s free? Or do they end up paying? In the latest episode of the Escape Velocity Podcast, I sat down with Matthew Bellows, the founder of Yesware and BodesWell to talk about this. Yeswar…
 
I nearly screamed at my lawyer… “You’ve got to be kidding me!” Years ago, I was finishing up a real estate deal when my lawyer told me that I had to notarize a document. No signature, no deal. But that signature had to be from a notary, someone that’s earned the authority of the state to approve that I actually was who I said I was. It’s an archaic…
 
I want you to meet someone who I have huge respect for: Natalie Nagele. Not only has Natalie been working in the SaaS and software space since her late teens, but she’s been courageous enough to experiment with optimizing her team. …even if it means asking them to work less. She is the CEO of WildBit, a tech company with 3 big products: Beanstalk: …
 
You know what gives me an instant explosive headache? Telemarketers. It takes me about 2 seconds before I can tell they’re reading from a script. “Are you happy with your… BLAH BLAH”. I’ve worked closely with many sales teams so I empathize with the job they have to do, but I simply cannot tolerate inauthentic selling. There’s no excuse. Just train…
 
If everything in your business fell apart, and you had to rebuild from scratch… what would you do differently? This is usually a hypothetical question. But not necessarily nowadays… and definitely not for Ben Jabbawy a few years back. Ben is the founder and CEO of Privy, marketing automation software for e-commerce stores. In 2013, they raised a se…
 
Back when SaaS was still a new word (circa 2006), Jon Miller started Marketo, a software product that gave businesses an end-to-end view of their customer’s journey. The technology was revolutionary. No longer was a marketing team just collecting leads to give to the sales team… …but businesses were able to track and optimize every touchpoint. From…
 
Want to learn what it’s like to compete against Amazon and win? I first met Tobi the Co-founder & CEO of Shopify.com 10 years ago in San Francisco while they were fundraising for their series A… … most investors said “No”. (We dig into this during my interview… specifically, what those investors missed!) Fast forward to today and they have more tha…
 
“How do you maximize your revenue?” It’s the question that everyone wishes there was an easy answer too. No, I don’t mean that as a thought-provoking chin-stroking question to ponder from the armchair. I mean how do you actually do it? How do big businesses know the right steps – backed with data – that are going to blast them to their revenue goal…
 
I can’t believe this… One of the guys on my marketing team told me he Googled my name and you know what came up as a suggested search term? “Dan Martell Wife”. Google only suggests popular searches, so… Does that mean people are Googling who my wife is?! Oh man that makes me laugh. I’ve got a better idea — How about you meet her? In this episode of…
 
Where does your entrepreneurial spirit come from? Is it in your blood? For whatever reason that I still haven’t figured out, I’m in a family of business owners. So for this week’s episode of Escape Velocity, I wanted to try something a little different. I sat down and interviewed Pierre Martell, the CEO of Martell Custom Homes. Yes… I interviewed m…
 
Here’s a hypothetical for you: If your business suddenly took off – I mean like accidentally monopolizing your market and seeing exponential growth overnight – would you be able to handle it? Or would you crumble into a stressful wreck? I always found it odd when people spoke of a “fear of success” until I was face-to-face with it in my own life. T…
 
Have you asked anyone working a normal job about their workflow? If you get in the details of their processes, you’ll immediately see the optimization opportunities. Just think of all the excel sheet management that goes on in the professional world… This is one of the main reasons why there can never be enough SaaS businesses. There are just count…
 
Building a tech startup and pricing it right can feel like being lost in a jungle. You don’t know where to turn, what path is gonna get you out, and all you do is wake up in survival mode. Don’t worry, I’m here to help. I’ve personally gone through every pricing and product pivot you can imagine. Going freemium. Selling to Enterprise. Even trying h…
 
Another episode of Escape Velocity, and another opportunity to level up your game as an entrepreneur! We are jumping right into a topic of major importance for your business – POSITIONING! Getting your positioning super tight and specific can be the holy grail of growth… and many of the major players in the SaaS space are proof of that! It all come…
 
Imagine this scenario… You’ve launched a great SaaS product and things are starting to look up… GREAT! Now you are doing marketing, sales, dealing with clients, upgrading the product, doing everything you can to stack up your MRR. The more you grow, the more you have to delegate and rely on your team members. There comes a point where you have to d…
 
How do you deal with having a powerful new idea that inspires you to change the direction of your business? Many times on the journey you will find yourself shifting priorities and jumping on new opportunities. That one meeting, conversation or feedback from a client makes you realize that there is a niche to be filled and you can take things to a …
 
You’re a cash-starved startup owner. You go hard after one of your big enterprise clients and they pay for a whole year of your service in advance… Just like this, without any additional questions or arrangements. This is what happened to Vivek Sharma back in the day, when his now $50+ mil ARR company MovableInk was struggling to score its first fe…
 
What’s the first thing you need to do when starting a business? (A lot of entrepreneurs get this part wrong.) Now, I know… everything starts with “there’s a problem that needs solving and I can solve it.” Then, if things go right, you reach a point where you have 25+ people… and all of a sudden, they’re making decisions against the values your busi…
 
Do you know what it takes to buy a private jet? Have you thought about why you would want a private jet? These are questions that pop in the minds of a lot of business owners and for good reason, because they symbolize a form and level of success. Not only that… the private jet allows you to buy back time. Well, it takes a lot of time and effort… O…
 
Imagine a 12-year-old high-schooler who just came to the US, all the way from Pakistan. He barely speaks English and spends most of his time in the library. Basically, he’s a total geek… all he wants to do is play computer games, but the library computers have their proxies blocked (because school’s not meant to be fun!). So what does he do? He cre…
 
One small step for a startup founder… one giant leap for his business… As a SaaS entrepreneur you deal with tons of doubts, fears and worries. And sometimes you feel like YOU are just not capable of doing it all. How do you overcome the struggle? Well… you become the Alter Ego who can take on these challenges. And how does that work exactly? Basica…
 
May I have your attention, please? Will the real startup founders please watch this video? We’re gonna have a podcast here! Today is a special day! We’re announcing my NEW show, it’s called Escape Velocity. It’s a video podcast show where I interview the world’s top SaaS CEO’s to deconstruct and learn what it took for them to succeed and grow. So l…
 
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