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Mind The Gap is brought to you by the team at Freshchat. We start conversations with experts and hustlers on growth, marketing, and customer experience to identify gaps in these domains and tips on how to close them. Visit the website at freshchat.com/mind-the-gap – Get a sneak peek into our upcoming episodes, record a question for the guest, and get featured on the show.
 
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Grit

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Grit

Joubin Mirzadegan

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Grit explores what it takes to create, build, and scale world-class organizations. It features weekly episodes highlighting the leaders who are pushing their companies to make a difference. This series is hosted by Joubin Mirzadegan, go to market operating partner at Kleiner Perkins, a venture capital firm investing in history-making founders.
 
As Marketers – B2B, B2C, Enterprise, SMB – we can’t help being somewhat overwhelmed by just how much is going on in MarTech! Make sense of Marketing Technology & Digital Marketing headlines with the Talking Stack experts - David Raab, Anand Thaker & handpicked Guests - and host Chitra Iyer. We promise practical connections between the Big News & your life as a marketer. It’s 20 minutes of honest, educative, thought-provoking - and often entertaining - discussion about all the latest in Digit ...
 
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Check out the detailed field guide here Topics discussed in this episode: Marketing effectively by being unconventional The roadmap to company-wide efficiency Obsessing over process Overcoming fears as an operator The two rules for disagreeable discussions This is a Paddle Recur production—the first media network dedicated entirely to the SaaS and …
 
Touch The Top CEO Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind person to summit Mount Everest, climbs hundreds of mountains every year. And he’s learned over the years that sometimes, the smartest thing to do in the face of adversity is stop, turn around, and go home; but in other situations, like an unexpectedly icy day climbing Mount Kenya, one only has to …
 
Check out the detailed field guide here Topics discussed in this episode: The role flexibility plays in feedback 4 pillars that drive ClickUp’s prioritization How to harvest leads from a wide marketing net ClickUp’s brand awareness strategy What most companies miss when going multi-product This is a Paddle Recur production—the first media network d…
 
After rescuing his first startup BigMachines from the brink of bankruptcy and building it to positive cash flow, Godard Abel thought the express lane of life was opening up to him. But after the board replaced him as CEO, Godard — now the CEO of B2B tech buying firm G2 — found himself on a rocky road for 10 years. He had all the money he could want…
 
Check out the detailed field guide here Topics discussed in this episode: Christian’s early SaaS origins Solving customer problems The roadmap to success Getting your customers to trust you What makes London perfect for SaaS This is a Paddle Recur production—the first media network dedicated entirely to the SaaS and subscription space.…
 
Mark Roberge’s first anxiety attack hit him six months after 9/11, and his second hit him in the middle of a big speech while he was an executive at HubSpot. And Roberge, who now lectures at Harvard Business School and co-founded the venture firm Stage 2 Capital, says it’s important to include that anxiety in his entrepreneurial story. “I talk abou…
 
Canva CMO Zach Kitschke was the company’s fifth employee, joining right before the product launched to the public — or, that was the plan anyway. Emerging technologies like HTML5 and negative feedback from early testers delayed the debut of the design startup, but in the 10 years since its launch Canva has become one of the most successful companie…
 
Girish Mathrubootham is the founder and CEO of Freshworks, the first Indian SaaS company to be listed in NASDAQ — and when he’s in his home country, he gets the celebrity treatment. Freshworks’ 2021 IPO was a milestone for the country’s tech sector, and Mathrubootham has also attracted a “take a selfie with me!” level of fame for trying to change t…
 
Riot Games CMO Jason Bunge knows you might roll your eyes when he says this, but he doesn’t care, because it’s the truth: Marketing doesn’t get enough respect. Although many companies have convinced themselves that they don’t need a traditional marketing division, they’re very wrong. “If you care about your brand [and] you care about your customer,…
 
Before Peter Reinhardt started his current company, Charm Industrial, he was the CEO and co-founder of the customer data platform Segment, which almost died in its first year. Why? He was afraid to ask customers to pay more than $10 per month for it. A savvy sales advisor pressured him to raise the price by 1000x, which worked wonders. By early 202…
 
Clari CEO Andy Byrne says he never wants to look back and see that he put more into his work than his family. But that doesn’t mean he can’t learn a thing or two from running a 600-person multi-billion dollar business: Inspired by business books, he and his wife Julie set goals, methods and OKRs for their family, and even asked their kids to grade …
 
In the early days of Okta, co-founder Frederic Kerrest was courting a 3,000-person company in Louisiana, which was considering Okta and one other vendor. When he learned who he was up against, he said, “We love competing with them ‘cause we beat them every time.” That arrogant boast lost him the deal, and taught him a humbling lesson: Your confiden…
 
In April, a young girl was kidnapped and sexually assaulted in Yakima, Wash., and later told police she was picked up by a stranger in a car. The case might have gone cold there, if Yakima hadn’t just installed Flock Safety cameras: The cameras were able to pinpoint a car matching the girl’s description, and picked up the alleged abductor outside a…
 
Leyla Seka has a clear idea of “what makes me great” as the COO of Ironclad: She’s incredibly direct with her team. Although many people are not comfortable with getting direct feedback, she says, “I can’t do my job if I can’t tell you what I’m seeing.” And in the end, she sees her job as one of seeking out the truth, to make her business better. I…
 
When Alex Norstrom started working at Spotify in 2011, CEO Daniel Ek told him there were three goals: Growth, growth, and growth. But Alex — now the Chief Freemium Business Officer — argued that his team would be better motivated by an “impossible goal,” something like reaching 100 million users. To which Daniel replied: “Let’s do it. Your goal is …
 
Thrive CEO Arianna Huffington is best known for the pioneering online publication she founded, the Huffington Post, which she left in 2016. The experience of running the site awakened her to the most important problem she would tackle in her career: The intersecting crises of stress, burnout, poor sleep, and lack of focus, which Thrive teaches busi…
 
Archana Agrawal started her job as CMO of Airtable on March 18, 2020 — the same week that the US began to “shelter in place” as cases of the novel coronavirus rapidly rose. With kids who would be staying home from school and Airtable’s San Francisco office closed, everything was changing at once, so she switched into what she calls “problem-solving…
 
As the CMO for Square, Lauren Weinberg spends a lot of her time talking to new and inexperienced small business owners — and she knows that each of them has wisdom that the others could benefit from. So, Lauren and her former colleague Jackie Reses wrote a book pooling all that wisdom into one place, Self-Made Boss: Advice, Hacks, and Lessons From …
 
Handshake CEO and co-founder Garrett Lord was amazed when he first learned that Silicon Valley firms like Google recruited on college campuses ... just not his, Michigan Technical University. But after excelling in the competitive Palantir internship program, he started asking himself, “How come they can’t reach us?” That question led him to found …
 
ThoughtSpot CMO Scott Holden spent eight years at Salesforce, putting in the time every year behind the scenes at Dreamforce watching the company reach 20,000 employees. And he probably could have thrown his hat into the ring to be CMO there — but he didn’t want that. Instead, he says, “I had the hunger to go back and build something” with a strong…
 
Every year, ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck writes a memo to his executive team, which is made to look like a letter to the board of directors. Even though he founded DiscoverOrg — the company that bought and became ZoomInfo in 2019 — Henry pretends in the memo to be a new CEO who has just been hired to clean up the old guy’s mess. The reason, he explain…
 
Jaimie Buss, CRO of the e-learning platform Articulate, had an epiphany several years ago. While trying to simultaneously give her toddler a bath and catch up on work emails, some water splashed on her computer. After initially snapping at her son, she realized the importance of being “unapologetically present” with not only her family at home but …
 
George Felix, now the CMO of Tinder, was marketing Old Spice body wash at a time when the brand was circling the drain. His team at Procter & Gamble almost let their big break slip away when initially passing on the “Hello ladies” campaign - an ad that would later go viral on Facebook and YouTube. George recalls how the agency pitching the idea sto…
 
Topics discussed in this episode: Innovation in customer success Establishing a retention focal point Optimizing retention What most companies miss with retention Who owns churn and expansion revenue. This is a ProfitWell Recur production—the first media network dedicated entirely to the SaaS and subscription space.…
 
Global Sales VP at Hopin Javier Ortega Estrada’s father is a counter-terrorism official in the Spanish army — teaching him at a young age that having a bigger purpose can drive you to do great things. And over the course of his entrepreneurial career, Javi has found his own special purposes, helping companies like Dropbox and, now, the buzzy experi…
 
Topics discussed in this episode: Innovating a Product with Real Demand Understanding How People Work Differently Establishing a Consistent Market Fit Hard Lessons of a Dynamic Business Environment Working Toward Common Goals with Differing Values This is a ProfitWell Recur production—the first media network dedicated entirely to the SaaS and subsc…
 
When Confluent’s President of Field Ops Erica Schultz was 23, she was working at Oracle and cold-emailed the manager of the Argentina office, asking to work for him. This experience would open the door to opportunities in Buenos Aires and Miami, a time in Erica’s life she does not take for granted. As a leader today, she hopes to pass on this senti…
 
Ryan Azus, CRO of Zoom, has been selling all his life, from baseball cards as a kid to ads in the school newspaper to — crucially — books every summer in college. Every year, he and and thousands of other young people would be dispersed around the country to sell books door-to-door as part of an entrepreneurial program called Southwestern Advantage…
 
Instabase’s Ozge Ozcan believes that many women have been fed a false story about motherhood: That it can be seen as a “decelerator” to one’s career. Instead, she’s found that raising two daughters has made her more competent in the chaotic, fast-paced world of early-stage startups. Through this experience, she’s had to learn how to be an “amazing …
 
Sarah Patterson, CMO of Samsara, doesn’t believe in keeping your armor up around your coworkers: “You’ve got something else on your mind, it’s going to come through,” she says. While working at Salesforce, she worked with a career coach and discovered that opening up about her personal and professional struggles brought her team closer. And that ha…
 
Topics discussed in this episode: Integrating sales, marketing, and customer success Being easy, fast, and affordable The 5 major prongs of segment marketing Instilling empathy in your marketing The questions to ask to uncover needs This is a ProfitWell Recur production—the first media network dedicated entirely to the SaaS and subscription space.…
 
Kate Ahlering might be the perfect guest for this podcast. She eventually worked her way up to Chief Sales Officer of Glassdoor, but when she joined in 2013, she helped define the company’s leadership framework as GRIT: Growth, Results, Integrity, and Team. Glassdoor has continued using those values since her departure in 2020, and now as the CRO o…
 
TAM, technology, team, and timing. There are the four ‘Ts’ that Ankit Sarwahi, Managing Director of Middle East Venture Partners looks for in a startup when investing in them. In our latest episode, we catch up with Ankit the MD of MEVP, one of the biggest venture capital firms in the MENA region whose portfolio companies include Anghami, Rain, and…
 
Topics discussed in this episode: End-to-End Ownership of a Problem Having a Marketing-Led Sales Motion How to Nail Your Content Distribution Plan Applying TLC to Every Aspect of Customer Experience Identifying a Consultative Advisory Driven Salesperson This is a ProfitWell Recur production—the first media network dedicated entirely to the SaaS and…
 
When Rippling CEO Parker Conrad was raising a massive $250 million round last year, he didn’t start by presenting his deck to venture capitalists in person. Instead, he sent a 39-minute demo of his product, recorded on the video app Loom. And, Loom’s CEO Joe Thomas says, “That was the most pleasant surprise.” In this episode, Joe and Joubin discuss…
 
Topics discussed in this episode: The One Rule that Makes a Good Email Mapping Out an Email Journey Getting from Value Realized to Value Achieved Moments How to Deal with Non-Responsive Readers Keeping Readers Focused on Your Message This is a ProfitWell Recur production—the first media network dedicated entirely to the SaaS and subscription space.…
 
When Andy Kofoid was growing up in the working-class town of Joliet, Illinois, he dreamed of getting to college and — like a lot of his relatives — worked in construction. Today, Andy is laying digital foundations at Databricks, a data analytics and AI company that works with enterprise brands including Adobe, NBCUniversal, and Starbucks. Previousl…
 
Doug Merritt joins this episode on the tail end of his impressive run as Splunk’s CEO. With decades of leadership in what can be described as an “exploratory career,” Doug breaks down his professional roadmap and provides insight on how he was able to transform companies and the cultures that hold them together. In this episode, Doug shares his per…
 
Stord, a Kleiner portfolio company, and its co-founder/CEO, Sean Henry, are defying a multitude of limits. While Sean is ranked as the youngest unicorn founder, he refuses to let his age define him. Demonstrating an entrepreneurial spirit from a very young age, he’s always angling for the advantage. Sean has undoubtedly found a crucial advantage wi…
 
Tom Mendoza, former President at NetApp, knows that there is a way to do business while bringing out the good in it. Tom has embedded this throughout his career and continues to make it a philosophical and practical focus. While Tom’s incredible journey may speak for itself, we take a deeper look at his core leadership values, how it has inspired h…
 
Jim Steele, President of Global Strategic Customers at Salesforce, is the man, the myth, and the legend who helped increase Salesforce’s revenue from $22 million to over $5 billion. Working since he was 10 years old to support his family, Jim’s drive and ambition are still just as strong today as he views new challenges and opportunities with a “be…
 
B2B marketing powerhouse, Sara Varni joins this episode on her final day at Twilio to discuss her journey and what lies ahead as she steps into her new role as Chief Marketing Officer at Attentive. Sara demonstrates a stellar track record of marketing know-how and creativity and has a refreshing take on the ever-changing marketing landscape. In thi…
 
Many people run from uncomfortable situations. Heidi Andersen, CRO at Nextdoor, isn’t like most, as she embraces new challenges and makes mental toughness a centrality to her approach. From the very beginning of her story, Heidi has been rooted in hard work and the personal gratification of earning her success. Known as a corporate athlete, Heidi s…
 
Topics covered in this episode There is no perfect formula for building a business Hardships and how to navigate them Examples from the ProfitWell Crew Using operational redundancies Building the right team Getting through hardship by doing what you love This is a ProfitWell Recur production—the first media network dedicated entirely to the SaaS an…
 
Sometimes social media works and sometimes it doesn’t. For Matt Epstein, Chief Marketing Officer at Rippling, it is a little bit of both. In 2011, Matt went viral after uploading a Youtube video detailing why Google should hire him. It was also accompanied by a propeller plane with his URL attached, flying over the Google campus. Apparently, Google…
 
In this episode we talk to Charlie Locke, sales leadership expert and Co-Founder of the SDR community, SDR Nation. We explore the key skills that SDRs need to succeed. When founders should hire SDRs, and how they can incentivize them to retain their top sales talent, and the ways in which the industry is changing. Charlie also breaks down the eight…
 
Topics covered in this episode The experience of purchasing software has drastically changed: it's broken Timing is everything especially if the market catches up How to handle fierce competition Can you brute force change in a market? Gutting Hubspot's product team and rebuilding 90% of the software Discovering customer centricity and getting as c…
 
There is a litany of analogies for marketing. An art, a technique, a skill. Yet few strive to combine a multitude of approaches. For Meagen Eisenberg, Chief Marketing Officer at TripActions, she synthesizes a combination of art, science, and the essential ingredient–joy–to form a unique marketing strategy. Meagen is a no BS go-getter who demonstrat…
 
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