Written by Roman Stanek |
While attending SaaStr last week, SD Times reporter Alex Handy, interviewed me on stage in a Q&A session focusing on my experiences founding multiple tech companies. After our discussion, I took the time to check out other booths and presentations at the event. I was pleasantly surprised to see just how much the show has grown over the past few years; it has truly become a global show and could quite possibly be the best show for SaaS in the world.
As I explored the rest of the show after my own presentation, I noticed a few key themes emerging. First, the idea of growth was a recurring topic of conversation in many other presentations and in my conversations with attendees. Many companies were looking to see what strategies they could deploy to help them expand and further develop their offering, and it was wonderful to see such an engaged, interested group of attendees from companies of every size.
The importance of people and culture was also a popular theme across the sessions I attended. From CEOs discussing selecting board members to heads of product talking about building diverse teams with complementary skill sets, this emphasis on cultivating a company culture and finding employees who are the right cultural fit really resonated with me. At GoodData and my previous companies, I’ve worked hard to prioritize people over pedigree, and our team includes people from all different educational and professional backgrounds. The important thing is that they fit in at GoodData and use their different experiences to bring new ideas to the table.
I also saw a number of presentations on the importance of users and adoption, with the CEOs of Grammarly and UserIQ discussing the wide-reaching impacts adoption has had on their companies. As users adopt your product, they can experience and truly understand the value it provides far better than they would have just by hearing about it, which—relating back to that first theme—helps companies as they focus on growth. The CEO of Grammarly mentioned another key point: the importance of adoption extends beyond just getting your product to more users. It also helps to improve the product. More widespread adoption yields more data to feed into machine learning models, resulting in a product that’s better, more effective, and more likely to lead to further adoption. Finding the right ways to enhance a product’s capabilities is a critical part of this process.
As SaaS moves to the forefront of technology conversations, it’s exciting to see that there is now such a highly regarded SaaS-specific event where companies and individuals can share ideas, thoughts on best practices, and innovative new strategies. I look forward to next year’s event and to the many developments that will happen between now and then.
Written by Roman Stanek |