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On Apr 26 2019 / by Wyoming Paul

Top ten take-aways from SaaStr 2018

This month the Software-as-a-service industry (SAAS) met for it’s annual get-together in San Francisco at the Saastr conference and Parkable was in attendance in the form of two of the Founders and a shareholder. The three-day event bills itself as “the largest collection of people who like enterprise software — on the planet”. We were taken there courtesy of Callaghan Innovation (‘thanks’ guys) who sponsored the attendance of some of New Zealand’s best SaaS start-ups and we learned a lot and were inspired by so much of what we saw.

Here are some of our top take-aways:

1. Product Management is the alignment of engineering, sales and marketing to a common company vision.

Des Traynor - Intercom

2. If you are building a feature to land a deal or support your biggest client it’s probably a product mistake.

Kimber Lockhart - One Medical

3. The best perk you can give your employees is meaningful work. The next best perk is amazing peers. Dharmesh Shah, Katie Burke, Jason Lemkin

4. Don't hire sales resource until there is a surplus of leads and opportunities . A good rule of thumb is when each salesperson has 3-4 customer meetings everyday.

Sam Blond - Rainforest

5. A good idea is to have a funnel optimisation meeting and put together a growth team that combines Sales, Marketing and Product people.

6. In an early stage start-up you need a ‘pathfinder’ salesperson who can create the playbook and identify target market segments.

David Skok - Matrix Partners

7. Avoid exponential product complexity. You could be supporting this feature for a long time so choose carefully!

Kimber Lockhart - One Medical

8. Don't ignore technical debt. Every time you have to sprint to hit a delivery deadline set some time aside afterwards to clean up the inevitable code smells.

Kimber Lockhart - One Medical

9. Awesome work that is not aligned with the company goals is actually bad for the company.

Des Traynor - Intercom

10. “Build what you sell, Sell what you build”

Des Traynor - Intercom

And finally, for anyone thirsty for more, here’s a great resource of 100 ‘annual learnings’ in video format

Brody and Toby

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