[Podcast] From a lemonade stand to SaaS's strongest community: A conversation with Alexander Theuma

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| Last Updated: December 30, 2016 |

Reading time: 34 minutes


There’s this Zen saying that goes something like this:

“In the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.”

So. The upside of not knowing everything at the start, is great. But most of us stall, because our beginnings, are as Brian Eno calls them, unpromising.

And these unpromising beginnings don’t have all the answers. Don’t have all the clues. Sometimes, a distant light at the end of the long tunnel. Sometimes, not even that.

It’s hard to plunge in. But the obstacles won’t budge on their own. And this belief in unpromising beginnings, and beginning, anyway, is important.

In today’s show, we have someone who has had the same belief and has started things, again and again, over a short span of time.

Today’s guest is Alex Theuma, the founder of SaaScribe, a close knit community of SaaS instigators. He also hosts The SaaS Revolution show. He has ran lemonade stands. He has made perfumes from flowers. And he has been a nightclub promoter.

Post college, he has spent 11 years in the sales world. And over the last 18 months or so, he has created one of the most flourishing communities in the tech world.

And he has done that with an aim to produce consistent value for the community, both online and offline. With podcasts and meetups. With blog posts and keynotes. And a lot of care.

In this episode, we talk about:

Alex’s first ever blog post and the origins of SaaScribe.

People who have inspired Alex in the SaaS world, and the football field.

Not comparing our “twisted up insides with other people’s blow dried outsides.”

Asking better questions.

How to think about building a community from scratch.

SaaS industry’s unkept secret.

Tune in. And then, start something unpromising.

And once you’ve heard the episode, if your eardrums have made answer, and would want more such conversations, you can subscribe to the show on SoundCloud.

Here’s a lightly edited transcript of this conversation.

Akash: Hello, Alex, welcome to the show.

Alex: Hi Akash, it’s a pleasure to be here. Really great to be invited to your podcast.

Akash: It’s a pleasure for us. It’s a pleasure for us to have someone who has seen the SaaS industry from such a close distance, over a short, really a rapid period of time, last 18 months, I think. So, February 2015 is when SaaScribe got its start, isn’t it?

Alex: Yeah, that’s right. I think, it was sort of early February, 2015. Probably, the first post that we published, I think it was the day after my first daughter was born. So, I think, I popped out of the hospital to finish the post. And found some wifi and got it live.

Akash: You remember the first post?

Alex: I think the first few weren’t that great. They’re probably hidden somewhere. I think, we’ve learned our craft a little bit.

Actually, the first post for SaaScribe was the first blog post that I’d ever written. It’s something I’d been meaning to do. I wasn’t a skilled content marketer. Content marketing was just something that I just learned by doing.

Akash: Perhaps a fitting place to start, would be an inquiry into the past.

I would just ask you to recall a few decisive, I don’t know if you’d call them decisive, but at least those instances, you know, when there was this intersection of obsessions and interests, and those how those instances have directly/indirectly led to the founding of SaaScribe, over the last few years, it’ll be great if you could talk about them.

Alex: Yeah, sure.

I mean, my background has been in sales. Ever since I graduated, and decided that I needed to get a job, I kind of fell into sales. And have been doing that for eleven years. Selling technology, you know, selling software.

In the last three-four years, selling, sort of, being in the sort of cloud computing space, the software-as-a-service space. And that’s where my passion and interest for SaaS really came about.

You know, the latter years of my sales career, as a sales exec. And I wanted to be great at my job, and I wanted to be a trusted advisor.

I was reading and devouring, not everything, but as much as I could, that was out there about SaaS. Started reading blogs like Jason Lemkin, and others, and from there I just decided that I’m going to start writing.

I’m going to create something. Whilst, I was still working, in my last job, I launched SaaScribe.

My, sort of rationale behind that was that there’s a lot of…Well, these days, there’s maybe too many blogs out there. Everybody is creating content. There’s so much content.

What I found that the content I was reading when I was interested in SaaS at that time, was either all being created by VCs, who had a particular agenda.

They’re providing really resourceful information, you know, sort of, underneath that there’s a promotion of their portfolio companies, or of them as a VC.

There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s all part of what content marketing is all about. And likewise the other great blogs that are out there, like your blog, Chargebee’s blog, SaaS Dispatch, you know, Price Intelligently, too many to name, and Intercom and so on. These are vendors that are creating incredibly useful, great content.

But also, not particularly unbiased.

I just kind of thought, maybe there’s a bit of a gap there. For somebody to start creating a blog, and even grow that into kind of a community, which is non-vendor, non-biased, you know, kind of a neutral voice. And that was the initial kind of objective.

I think, we’ve done that.

Very much, SaaScribe is community driven. It’s very SaaS startup sort of focus, we get a lot of content that’s created by those that are out there in the trenches.

I’m not a SaaS founder, so, very difficult for me to write about how to scale a SaaS business to a million ARR. I’ve not done it, how can I write about it.

I’m getting people that have done that, to tell their story. I think that’s what’s interesting. And perhaps, is what’s different about us.

Akash: There’s something profoundly provocative about this. The idea that, you are talking about a beginning, and unpromising beginning at that so, you did have a background in sales, and software, I would still consider the background that you come with, as, somewhat of an outsider.

You’ve been able to come in, and build this community around the idea of change the software world is witnessing, and as you said, a lot of companies are trying to be in the business of content.

Trying to be media companies in their own right. To talk about ideas and thoughts that they find interesting.

Still, getting heard is tough. You’ve seen this, very close. So, I have two questions. One is, who are your heroes, because what you’re doing here is, I think it’s a bit of a…

The way Rory Sutherland described himself in a podcast, I think it was Freakonomics Radio. They were talking about behavioral economics. He said “I am an impresario, my job is to make sure that it’s easier for people to have conversation around the subject of behavioral economics.”

And you do that a lot around SaaS. The idea that you want those conversations to happen offline as well, especially in Europe, where most of these conferences are not happening at all. Where does that initiative comes from? Who are your heroes?

Alex: Yeah. Interesting question. And actually, I mean one that I don’t think, I necessarily, sort of being asked before. Although, I’ve heard it being asked many times, just generally. But yeah, I mean, within the field that we work in. I guess, I’d perhaps have two examples.

Within the field that we work, I’ve got a lot of respect for the likes of Jason Lemkin, and I think I also mentioned people like Mark Roberge, those that have within SaaS, created great companies, created, well, gotten their companies to an exit point, and then, not rested on their laurels, got onto do something else, and excel at that.

For instance, Jason Lemkin has founded two SaaS companies. Had successful acquisitions of those companies.

Then, invented himself as a VC, but also as an immensely great content marketer. Who is, perhaps, one of the best VC content marketers that are out there, who is doing some great stuff with SaaStr. Writing on Quora, sort of, every day.

Mark Roberge, he was employee number four, I think, at Hubspot. And has helped them sort of grow into a unicorn, taken them to be a public company, built out their sales team, without having a traditional sales background. I think, he was an engineer.

His education was an engineer at MIT, or something like that.

And he’s come in, and really kind of excelled at building out a sales team with a different look at things, that was not necessarily, sort of traditional. Has gone on to write books about it. And is now teaching at Harvard.

Guys like that, I have a lot of respect for. I’d say, within SaaS, those are two, off the top of my head. I’ve had a lot of respect for people like Stewart Butterfield, and Aaron Levie. But I know the podcast is finite in terms of time, so, we can’t talk about everybody.

You know, outside of that, interesting, I mean, people like the manager of my football team. Arsene Wenger, who is the manager of Arsenal. I guess, he’s kind of a hero of mine. He’s taken, I would say, sort of, a non-traditional approach to, when he joined Arsenal in the premier league and really kind of elevated them to become a top team again.

He’s been at Arsenal for almost 20 years. Despite the bad times that his approach and philosophy, he has always stuck to that, despite calls for change. He’s always, has kind of produced, a level of success, which based on the finances that he has had at his disposal, has been excellent.

I’ve got respect from his well. I’m not sure if I’d certainly put any one person, on a sort of pedestal, and say, they’re my hero. Too busy for that at the moment.

Akash: Of course, you’ve been busy. Going back to the idea that you started, and you’ve not founded a SaaS company, is this your first venture ever?

Alex: It’s not, let’s say, my first startup.

It’s my first proper sort of venture. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial gene. You know, and yearning. Even, it’s very sort of cliche. When I was a kid, I did have a lemonade stand. I was making, of all things, perfumes out of flowers, and trying to sell that, at school, I had an illegal tuck shop.

We’d get my dad to take me to the sweet shop on the weekend. I would pile the sweet and sell them illegally. Got in trouble on that. Made some money before I got in trouble. Had some newspaper rounds.

And then, when I was a teenager, I started producing at club nights. I thought, actually, I’m not going to continue with my further education and I am going to become this night club promoter.

But actually, on the third club night that I produced, we lost a lot of money, and I didn’t pursue that path. I think, and then, you know, I went to university. I went traveling. I came back, and then, I came back, and went into the corporate world.

Went into my sort of sales career. Working for a number of different US vendors or technology vendors. Other startups. Worked for a bunch of startups. But, you know, as an employee, as an exec.

And then, sort of, had my yearning come back, to say, actually, look, I have ideas, I’ve missed out on not executing on ideas, not doing anything. And now, I really want to do something. And that’s when I launched SaaScribe whilst I was still working. But still trying to see, that wasn’t monetized.

I don’t think there was the big idea to monetize that when we launched, this was more of a passion project. I wanted to create this blog, and start writing content, and then just from their discussions, my sort of interest within the field led to… I really feel that there’s this need for a conference in Europe, which is SaaStock.

And did my customer development for a number of months, before we actually launched that. And therefore, it got me into this sort of position, where I was 100 %, convinced, that this is going to work.

Quit my job, and went full time, and went all in. From that perspective, as a grown-up, that has been or is my first startup venture. Because, I didn’t pay taxes for my lemonade stand or perfumes.

Akash: That’s a glimpse into the mind of a serial entrepreneur. And there’s this idea, I think I heard it in a commencement speech that said “don’t compare your twisted insides, to other people’s blow-dried outsides.” And this messiness of thought, is around in most beginnings. It’s not always perfectly graspable.

Did you have these thoughts at all, when you were starting out? What was it like?

Alex: Not necessarily.

With the thoughts that I had when I was starting out, I wasn’t necessarily thinking too much about other people. Sort of, what’s going on outside. It was just really, head down, I really need to do this.

I really need to start writing, and see where that goes. From the launch of SaaScribe, there wasn’t, you know, too much, sort of overthinking about what else is happening out there. And that sort of focus, that I had, without being distracted by all the noise that was out there.

I think, that kind of helped, enable us, to really find our voice. Sort of quickly. And grow, and take it from there. And also, with the conference, with SaaStock. When I, I think it was like maybe four-five months after we launched SaaScribe that I had this idea, initially.

I spoke to a few people that were working with me on SaaScribe at the time, because we didn’t have a background in events. A background in conferences.

Then, there was a little bit of a stock put on the idea, by the people I was seeking counsel from, and looking to work on this with me.

My single-mindedness, I think, helped. Not sort of willing to listen to the fact that, actually, we didn’t have the requisite sort of experience.

Akash: Yeah.

Alex: It was proven out. It was proven right.

Because, I actually, ignored those voices. And said, I believe there’s something here. And then, did the customer development, from that. I think, it has sort of proven to be the right decision.

I don’t necessarily listen to too much of what’s happening, outside, unless, I feel, it’s validation that we really need to get going.

Akash: True that is true. It’s beneficial to make sure that the dogma is always kept aside. Of course, the fears are there. But, there’s a way to get around them, that’s true.

This is a question about questions. Almost, fifty interviews, that you’ve done at SaaScribe. I’m sure you must have asked 100s of them, by now. I also know there are no operating principles of questions that are written somewhere. You get better with them over time. By asking. And paying attention to them.

And, they act as these doors of curiosity, so, how do you think about asking better questions?

Alex: Definitely. Now, 50 plus sort of episodes in. Questions, I think, are getting better than they were in the early days. Certainly always putting a lot of effort into the podcast, and reaching out to the likes of Mark Roberge, and Eoghan McCabe, and Jason Lemkin.

All these people that we’ve sort of had on the show. The SaaS revolution show. I’ve ensured that I’ve done my sort of homework. And yeah. Watch videos. Read ton of their blog posts.

From that, I would, in the beginning, just sort of draw questions that I just personally would think, might be interesting for the audience.

But actually, in the early days of the podcast, I never really… Because of my inexperience. Once, again, I’d never done a podcast. You’ve never done it. Until, you do it. The first few, you know it’s tough.

You do get nervous. The questions aren’t always going to be sort of perfect.

One thing, I didn’t have in the early days. I don’t know in how many podcasts, sort of, got there. Really kind of picking a theme, or identifying an angle, before I went in with the questions.

Now, something that I do apply to the podcasts - that I find works - is, I will speak with the guests beforehand, even try to collaborate with them. To see, what would be a good angle for this show. And see if that’s something that’s not necessarily being done before.

It’s not always the case. There’s so much content out there. There’s going to be an overlap, I think, whether that’s a podcast or a piece of written content.

But we try to find an angle which looks interesting, and from there I work backwards on the questions. And certainly, that process has, I think, helped made the podcast better.

But also, I just think, naturally, I’ve just got a little bit better at finding questions to ask. It takes me less time to come up with the ten questions than it did, when I first sort of started out.

I think, just through practice, with anything, you know, the more you do it, the theory is that you get better.

I certainly find that I’m improving. The podcasts are improving. The numbers are going up. I think, you know, that the proof is in the pudding there.

All that I have to say, in the first podcast, we were lucky to get Mark Roberge on, it has still proven to be one of the most popular podcasts episodes that we’ve done. But yeah. Definitely, through experience and practice, we’ve just got better, at asking questions.

Akash: That was the first episode that I heard as well. And the impression that I had of SaaScribe was that it’s being run by an experienced journalist who is very good at questions, and who can pierce through the overwhelm that can come in, when you’re talking to new people, people you’ve never spoken with.

And that’s what I thought, of course, I learned later about your actual beginning, you wrote about it, you spoke it. First impression was just that we’re listening to a veteran journalist, just going through the questions, one at a time.

Alex: You’re too kind.

I feel very humbled and flattered. But yeah, totally opposite. No experience whatsoever. I did with that particular episode, Mark Roberge, he had just launched his book, I think the Sales Acceleration machine, I did read the book, cover to cover.

Because, I was, probably, so nervous, I had spent a couple of days on preparation for that particular episode. I don’t spend couple of days anymore. I spend a couple of hours at best. So, I think, I was very well prepared.

I think, even Mark Roberge, he sort of commented at the end, when we were offline, that he was sort of impressed on how well prepared, and the research I had done. I’d taken the time to read his book. I think it was a little bit of nerves made me, super prepared for that.

I just don’t have four days now to prepare for each podcast.

But yeah, totally, inexperienced, that’s the first one I had ever done. I really enjoy doing them. I’ve gone to the cadence of one a week. I had initially, I think, we were doing, I was recording a couple a week.

I think just with everything else, with running SaaScribe, with running a conference, with doing the podcast, sometimes it can become a bit overwhelming, so scheduling needs to be, sort of, very important. Scheduling two podcasts on the same day, I found, doesn’t work for me.

And scheduling podcasts at 9 PM on a Friday night, which I was having to do, quite often. Also are not at my my optimum performance, at that time. But, yeah, now I do, one a week. Roughly. Just seems to be much more natural. In terms of preparation and running the whole podcast itself.

Akash: Right. And for anyone who is uncertain, who say, is thinking about starting their own show, as a podcast, or using any other medium, is essentially looking at having the right kind of conversations.

As conversations aren’t hard to get wrong, because when done right, you could have an auditory portrait, you might have a story that tells you how they think, how they approach their work.

So, I’ve picked your brain on the dos and how you’ve done things at your end. Also, do you think there are things that you don’t do anymore, that you did in the first few, if you could talk about them.

Alex: I mean, what I don’t do anymore, I think I mentioned earlier, in the beginning there was no real direction, no angle, on the podcast, it was a kind of series of ten questions that were not necessarily, interrelated, maybe some of the questions were not necessarily sort of resourceful, or helpful for those listening at home.

That wasn’t always the case.

But, in some of the podcasts, the early ones that is evident. So, a don’t now, is that I don’t go into it, without having this theme or this angle. It’s more like a do.

I have a clear picture as to what the angle is going to be. What the output is going to be for the audience. What the value is that they’re going to get from this particular episode.

That’s something. I think podcast is a great medium, you know, to be providing content, you know, I think that writing blog posts, we still need to do it, right?

It’s so saturated, right now. There’s so much noise. I find even myself, definitely a lot busier now, than I was a year ago. Though, I was pretty busy, one year ago. But now, I find so little time to read anything.

And there’s so much out there.

That, it’s like, “what do you read?” You know, podcast is, I guess, is a medium, not necessarily everybody has tried. It’s getting more popular. I think, if you can find your niche, on a podcast.

And apply many of the principles, just generally to content marketing, then stick with it for the long haul. It can really be something that will differentiate you, perhaps from your competition.

Akash: Yeah. You’ve had a firm grip on that part at least. If you, look at how the podcast starts, the audio at the beginning, and also the colors you’ve stuck with for the site, that’s been coherent. And I’ve been tuned, I’m a fan.

Do you follow a ton of podcasts, and sort of, make sure the learnings trickle through, or this is again an area, that is new for you as a listener as well, as was it last year. Do you look at them as resources?

Alex: I don’t look at them as resources.

I did before I started doing the SaaS revolution show. I was listening to podcasts through or for enjoyment. And also, for learning.

Name check. I mean, I listen to the Hubspot Growth Show, you know, Startup Grind, those are two.

The Andreessen Horowitz podcast every now and then. I listen to the Slack Variety Pack also, it’s a little learning, and enjoyment. If I’m at an airport, I might just put on a podcast, sort of listen to that, to kind of kill thirty minutes or so. I learn something from it, before I’m driving.

I might want to listen to a podcast and learn something rather than listen to the radio. And I find actually, because right now, in life and at work, I’m super busy.

I’ve started listening to podcasts less. It’s something I want to get back to doing. I might start doing it a bit more on the commute to work.

But I think, right now, sort of I just haven’t had the time. You know, to listen to podcasts, as much as I did, when I first started the SaaS revolution show. I don’t look too many of them as an influence for what I’m doing.

But I have to say, I mean, Slack Variety pack for instance, that’s a fantastic podcast. Totally whacky. Not what I expected it to be. They’ve got very high production on that. Versus, my own, sort of low end production. We’re two worlds apart. Both very different podcasts. But yeah, they’ve done a great job.

Akash: Yeah. That’s more like Radiolab + Business. They’ve got that storytelling, plus they plug in how things sort of work in the business world, as well. They’re doing a pretty good job. And I hope this is a good transition.

So, it’s the written word and the spoken word. That’s how you’ve talked about your ideas, that’s how you’ve helped others with their ideas as well, that’s how you’ve connected with a lot of people over these months, and have built a community. This is community is something that is special.

You spoke about Jason Lemkin. Starting on Quora and becoming a top writer there. Then, doing that with his blog. I think they’re doing a podcast as well. They’re everywhere. He’s trying to build a different audience again, because the intent is different. And you’re trying to build something else.

The idea of calling the audience, an audience, a community, a community, it also reflects what is it that we intend to draw from them, what is it that we intend to facilitate, and what is it that you’ve been working at, I would love to know if there is a way of thinking that you’ve developed about this.

As you’ve been at it, in different mediums, both offline and online. It is thriving. And it’s leading up to a conference now. When you say something is thriving, in this particular case, this community, how does one get there?

Alex: Yeah. Building a community is really interesting. I think, If I had just launched SaaScribe, and it was just the blog, that wouldn’t in itself be a community, or if I had just done the podcast, that wouldn’t in itself be a community.

For me it was really, doing stuff both online, and offline. Providing value in everything that I do. Really getting the engagement, from whether it’s the audience, you know, or the people I’m interviewing on the podcast, and really getting them, the audience or the community members, sort of, connected together.

Really, I just got to see myself, as the facilitator, the editor, the person that’s kind of putting everything together to just enable these community members. And who are the community members, these are the people within the SaaS startup space.

The founders, the execs, the team members. And through the various things that I’ve been doing online and offline. That’s facilitated that. For example, no one was really doing SaaS meet-ups in the UK, and even you know, across Europe.

Europe is a pretty big place, but also very fragmented. I started, I thought, no one’s doing it in the UK, so I started doing it. Did the first SaaS meetup. I think, close to a hundred people turned up.

And it was great.

Then, we did one in Dublin, again, close to a hundred people turned up. Since, then, I’ve done 8 SaaS meetups, each time it’s been super interesting, sort of valuable, we’ve had some great content.

The kind of primary aim was to get people within the SaaS community in the various cities, in Dublin, in London, in Berlin, together, to meetup and connect. I sort of facilitated that, just through initiative.

And that’s sort of one example. We’ve got a slack channel. There are a lot of communities on Slack channels. Some work. Some don’t work. I started one called the SaaS Founders Club.

We’ve got just shy of 200 B2B SaaS founders on there that are coming on every day, that are having discussions in channels about pricing, about products, about hiring.

Yeah, once again, it was just an initiative that I thought “would this be useful to people?” and if so “Shall I do it?” I think, the last two years, it’s all been about just doing it, right?

Just thinking about the ideas that I’ve had, they all come together, of course, these are not disparate ideas.

It’s just sort of saying, “Okay, I think this is going to be useful to people, so I’m going to do it”

SaaScribe, you know, it’s free content. The podcast, it’s free content. SaaS founders club is a free community. SaaS meetups are free to attend. The only thing that I sort of monetized, or, that is a revenue channel, is SaaStock, which is the conference.

And that’s because it costs a hell of a lot, to put on, right? I need to pay the bills. I can’t do everything for free. But yeah, I think, it was some long-winded sort of way of saying that both building community, it’s important to do it both online and offline.

To meet people, face to face. To connect people, face to face. As well as, realizing that actually a lot of people are just sitting at their desks during the day. So, they are spending probably more time online. You need to find some ways to provide value and community them, online and offline.

Akash: You’ve done a phenomenal job around the connection of the offline and the online world. I think what people have come to decry about a lot of conferences is the sheer number of people that turn up, and the quality of the conversations that occur.

I think, you’re really forming this close-knit group of people obsessed about all things SaaS, and that is what is going to get amplified in the conference.

Alex: And I think, to that point, you mentioned this close-knit group of people.

The existed. And do exist. Without SaaScribe. Without the podcast. They were there. Already. These people that are, like yourself, like myself, who are passionate about SaaS.

The community exists. And I’m just providing, you know, forums and sort of facilitating that people should come together, in a better way.

They weren’t doing before. Because nobody was doing SaaS meetups. You know, in the UK, and then Europe. I knew, these people existed, but nobody was really doing anything about it, bringing them together in Europe. They were doing that in the US.

They weren’t doing it here. So, that’s what I’ve been doing. Just trying to help people, come together, and learn from each other. I think, that’s something fantastic that I’ve seen in the SaaS meetups.

These founders, SaaS companies, the people that’re attending SaaS meetups, they’re so open, they want to share their experiences, what they’ve learned, what they’ve failed.

Even with competitors.

You know, “we did this growth hacking, this worked” I have never experienced throughout my career, where at this moment, people are sharing so openly. So, the SaaS community as always is a fantastic place.

Akash: I agree. I agree. The value, in a way, it articulates itself because of the openness that is around. I remember reading a blog comment, from Rand Fishkin, who recommended a few SEO tools, okay you could do this particular thing in Moz, you could also checkout Ahrefs, that did the thing in question.

That’s the way he went about this. For people, who’ve read about competition, this turns out to be a revelation, the way people think about information in the SaaS community, is that, alone it isn’t enough.

You have to bring your beliefs, you have to bring in your care for your customers. And people in your community. And if you merge information with all the essentials, that’s how you come up with something different. That’s how they go about it.

So, just to wrap things up, I have two questions for you.

The first one is, when you wake up in the morning, how do you face the world, with what idea in mind?

Alex: These days when I wake up in the morning, it’s pretty tough, because just had baby number two, I feel absolutely destroyed in the morning. Certainly, I’ve found, now i’m running my own business.

Which I’ve been doing on a full time basis for less than a year. I’m getting up in the morning, earlier. Fresher. Because I’m thinking, you know, five different things at the same time. While also, lying in bed, you know, 6 AM.

I’m thinking about the day ahead. And planning. Then, I get up, I do, I walk the dog. I’m thinking about working, almost, kind of a meditative state, which is very good for my own mindfulness.

But then, when I sit down at 8:30, I know what the day’s to dos are, and I’ve already had several conversations with myself about what I need to say to people. I don’t know, if that’s strange or not.

But I quite often have work out conversations in my head, before I actually have calls with colleagues. So, I have a very active mind in the morning, when I’m not being sleep-deprived, and that kind of really helps with productivity.

Whilst, I may not actually be at my computer and answering emails, I typically won’t answer emails, until after 8:30 in the morning. But my mind is working, from, whatever, 6 in the morning.

Until, you know, 8:30. I’m kind of all geared up, and ready to go. Pumped up. Just so, you know, hit the keyboard for the running for the day. I’ve put a lot of thought into stuff, in the early morning.

That’s where, I’m normally at my peak.

But when you have a newborn, normally for the first few months, the peak hours are not so peak. If you know, what I’m saying.

Akash: That’s coming from a father. For the next question. The final question. This is for anyone in the trenches, who is trying to figure out, the start or the uncertainties of a start. If all you had were 30 seconds, what is it that you would tell somebody, about getting started?

Alex: I would tell them, if they believed in what they were doing, then, they should do it. What they would need to do, is talk to people, to see if it’s a good idea. Do the validation in the right way. Don’t just ask people, “is it a good idea?” because people would just say yes it is.

I think, customer development has been valuable for me. I think there’s a book out there, called The Mom Test, which talked about customer development, and the way to ask the right questions.

I would say to people, really just, go with your dreams, do it, but speak to people about it. Get validation. And, I think, that’s what we’ve done. And it’s worked for us. And hopefully, it would work for other people.

Akash: Indeed. Indeed. Thanks, Alex. I wish you all the luck for the conference, that’s due in September. And I just hope that you go one with the mission of making the community stronger and making it easier for people to share ideas, and discuss important subjects, and equipping this community with the right voices they’ll always need. Thanks.

Alex: Yeah. Thanks very much.

It was a real pleasure to be invited on to the podcast, and you know, I’m really sort of made up, that you’ve been listening to the podcast, reading SaaScribe since the early days.

Have stayed with us. We’re going to continue. I’m really sort of pleased that you’re a reader and a listener. And a member of the community as well.

Akash: Thank you! Thanks for taking the time out again. I know you’ve been busy. An hour wouldn’t have been easy at all. Thanks for doing this. And you and your team, keep putting out good work, I’m looking forward to it. Thanks.

Alex: No, it’s been great, Akash. Thank you so much.

Author of the post

Akash Sharma

Product Marketer at Chargebee. An Avid Reader, Seeking Cerebral Turbulence

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