SaaStr Annual 2022: lots to look forward to – and some quick tips for first-timers.
Coined by Zoom’s CEO Eric Yuan as the “Super Bowl moment” for SaaS companies, SaaStr Annual is here next week. The Parallo team is headed to San Francisco to attend the three-day conference jam-packed with 100s of workshops and 1,000s of mentoring sessions – all to help SaaS companies scale faster.
Learning from the experts
With an insane line-up of 250+ speakers from the best SaaS companies across the world, we’re ready to jump in head first and soak up as much as we can.
There are so many sessions we’re looking forward to, and while we can’t mention them all, here’s a couple we know will kick our brains into high gear.
1. Your Real Valuation: How Focusing on Delivering Customer Value Generates Business Value
Tuesday, 13 September – Josh Reeves, Gusto CEO and Co-Founder
The foremost topic on every founder's mind right now is how to weather the ups-and-downs of an unpredictable economy.
Gusto has managed to duck every economic curveball since its founding 10 years ago. But through it all, it has defined valuation differently—the value it provides to its customers versus the value it extracts.
In this talk, Josh will share insights into how Gusto has weathered the economic ups-and-downs—and why aligned success models (what's good for the customer = what's good for society = what's good for your business) are so important, especially now.
2. Being a Rebel and Building a Movement – Non-Traditional Approaches to Scale
Thursday, 14 September – Joshua Browder, DoNotPay CEO
In a crowded and distracted world, it can be hard to break through with customers, the media, recruiting and investors. Capturing the zeitgeist is more important than ever for making you stand out.
In this session, Joshua will share his story of building DoNotPay, the non-traditional lessons he’s learned and how building a movement has given the company a sharp competitive advantage.
3. How SaaS Companies Can Build Efficiency into a High-Growth Model (and Why They Should)
Wednesday, 14 September – Liz Armbruester, SVP, Global Compliance and Denis Gulsen, SVP, Engineering for Avalara
Because growth is the prime directive for most SaaS companies, investments in efficiency often come later in a company’s journey. For many, this approach makes sense — it did for Avalara when the company started 18 years ago. However, SaaS companies today have more options than ever for building efficiency into their high-growth models. If they are adopted and implemented correctly, being intentional about efficiency early on can support dynamic growth in the long term.
In this session, Liz and Denis will detail how SaaS companies can think about building efficiency into their businesses, as well as the tools and best practices that exist today to do that, including:
- How the market landscape has evolved to demand efficiency from SaaS companies
- How the benefits of efficiency extend beyond the business into the customer experience
- What tools, partnerships, methodologies, processes and outsourcing options exist today for driving automation and efficiency to fuel growth
Some advice for SaaStr newbies
Admittedly it’s been a couple of years since we’ve attended SaaStr (thanks to a little thing called COVID). But, based on our past experiences, there are a few things we’d recommend to any new CEOs and founders making the trip.
1. Be strategic about which sessions you attend
While it might be instinct to load up your itinerary with sessions that fit in your wheelhouse, look for ones that will help expand your knowledge and give you a more holistic view of your SaaS business.
For example, if you’re in sales, consider adding customer experience/success or product management sessions rather than just attending sales presentations.
2. Wear comfortable shoes
We highly recommend leaving the business suit and tie in your hotel room and dressing for comfort, particularly shoes. SaaStr is based outside, festival-style, so there’ll be lots of walking between stages.
3. Get networking prior to the event
SaaStr is all about community, so there are endless opportunities to make new connections, share insights and experiences, and learn from your peers from every role, function, industry and company size – you name it! We’re also big advocates of networking beforehand, so you can jump straight into learning and collaborating right from the start. You’ve got three days, so you want to make the most of them. If you or any of your team will be there, please reach out and let us know - it would be great to connect.
As you’ll know, the SaaS industry moves at lightning speed, so it’s important for us to be part of these events to stay ahead of the SaaS game. We’re looking forward to sharing our learnings with our team and customers when we get back.