Okay, so we’ve just launched the 2021 SaaS influencer report. Featuring amongst the 25 names was David Skok, a legendary SaaS presence who works with Matrix Partners.
David was kind enough to spend time answering our questions about his career and approach to working life in SaaS.
We asked him about his daily motivations, his achievements, and what his advice is for emerging talents in the industry. Don’t miss his answers! 👇
Q: What keeps you motivated day in, day out?
A: I am highly motivated by the enjoyment that I get from helping other entrepreneurs. The people you meet are great, smart, enthusiastic, and fun to work with.
The problems you get to tackle are constantly changing and interesting. And you are always learning.
And by now I have seen many patterns for how startups evolve, and the mistakes that get made along the way.
I enjoy using those experiences to help entrepreneurs avoid the common pitfalls and to accelerate their journeys.
Q: What would you say is your biggest achievement in SaaS so far?
A: Having had the good luck to have been involved with SaaS in the early days, and participated in the growth of companies like HubSpot and Zendesk.
Q: What’s the best career lesson you’ve learned?
A: So many lessons. It’s hard to choose the best. But if I had to pick one, it would be the importance of building first-class management teams.
Get that right, and so many other things will take care of themselves. This is where I put most of my effort when I am working with portfolio companies.
Q: Who do you find inspiring in SaaS?
A: Brain Halligan, CEO of HubSpot is one of my heroes. I love how this guy has grown and grown, and keeps growing over time. He’s a wonderful leader.
Q: What would you say are the most important skills in your area of SaaS?
A: There are three key skills to build a successful SaaS business: building a great product that customers really need and will love; building a repeatable, scalable and profitable go-to-market engine; and recruiting the very best talent in your space.
Q: How would you describe your day job to friends and family?
A: Helping technology founders realize their dreams and build great companies that can change the world in positive ways.
Q: What’s the #1 tip for SaaS business success?
A: Recognize that there are different stages in your startup journey, and that while it is tempting to try to skip stages to get to the scalable growth faster, you cannot skip steps.
For the full 9 step roadmap to get to Repeatable, Scalable and Profitable growth engine, refer to this slide deck: B2B Startup Roadmap.
Q: What’s your advice for those starting out in SaaS?
A: Watch the full set of videos in this series. It goes over all the mistakes that I made doing my own startups (five in total) and acting as a board member watching many portfolio companies making the same mistakes over and over again.
Q: What’s your favourite thing about the world of SaaS?
A: The business model is one of the very best business models that the world has ever known. It combines recurring revenue with extremely high gross margins.
It only works when the business is keeping it’s customers happy, which makes sure that management teams focus on delivering real value to their customers.
Looking for more SaaS advice?
Want to see what David and the 24 other influencers had to say? Don’t miss out on your free download. 👇
You can also sign up to the FoSaaS membership plan. There you’ll find exclusive content, such as frameworks, templates, and OnDemand videos.
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