Well 2020 was certainly an interesting year for SaaStr. Things start off looking bleak, with SaaStr Annual 2020 the first big tech event to be postponed due to Covid. And then we all plunged into what looked like a big tech recession — at first.
But that lasted just a few weeks, really. The Cloud picked itself up, and accelerated 6+ years into the future. And after resisting doing digital events since the beginning, we decided we at least had one good idea. A full day on “Bridging the Gap” in April to help founders get through these tough times. The CEOs and COOs of Slack, Zuora, Twilio, Cloudflare, and more joined us:
Well, 17,000 of you signed up for Bridging the Gap in just 2 weeks (1) so we decided to do more, with 4 major digital events in 2020.
Next up, we brought together some of the top VCs in Cloud to share with us how investing has changed in 2020, from Aileen Lee of Cowboy Ventures to David Sacks of Craft Ventures and many more. Over 40,000 watched the various sessions of New New in Venture:
Next up, we had 70,000 (!) tune into SaaStr Enterprise, with an incredible line up sharing how to sell and scale with larger customers. We had the CEOs of Box, Coupa, Pagerduty, Front, Algolia and more along with the CPO of Adobe and CCOs of New Relics and the SVP of Shopify Plus (their enterprise offering) and more share the tricks to scaling in the enterprise:
Then came time for SaaStr Annual 2020 — this time, at Home. Now the engine was running, with over 250,000+ tuning in across our various channels, and another 500,000+ listening to many of the sessions later on our pocast.
We took advantage of being digital to add 100+ workshops and roundtables (which were epic), and brought in the CEOs of Mailchimp, Zoominfo and others from outside SF who are tougher to get to the Bay Area for an IRL Annual. It was awesome, take a watch:
We squeezed one last major digital event into 2020, the 2nd SaaStr Scale, an event focused on selling and marketing faster. We again had almost 100 roundtables and workshops, and had the CEOs of Okta and Airtable join dozens of CROs, CMOs, CCOs and more. Take a watch at many of the sessions here:
Phew! That’s a lot. You can fill up your whole holiday break watching the A+ sessions above.
We’ll be doing more in 2021, starting with a big mega event on building better Cloud products, SaaStrBuild.com. We already have the CEOs and CXOs of Twilio, Notion, Monday, Snowflake, Gitblab and more confirmed!! Sign up HERE to join us for FREE.
Ok now, what were the most 10 most popular sessions? Brands were a big pull as you can see, so don’t limit yourself to just watching these 10 sessions … but they were great ones.
Let’s take a look:
#1: “5 Insights for Consumerization of the Enterprise With Scott Belsky, CPO of Adobe”. Folks just loved, loved, loved this session.
#2: “The Future of the Customer with the CEO of Algolia, the CEO of Gainsight, the CCO of New Relic”. I was surprised this one made it all the way to #2, but it’s a great session on how to be more customer-centric … and drive up your NRR … in 2021:
#3: “State of the Cloud 2020: The COVID Beneficiaries Edition with Bessemer Venture Partners’ Byron Deeter and Elliot Robinson”. For the 5th edition of SaaStr+BVP’s State of the Cloud, Byron and Elliot took advantage of the digital format to make it more interactive. Learn about where they see the Cloud going in 2021 and beyond.
#4: “10x Organizations: High Performance Isn’t Just for Engineers with Todd McKinnon, CEO of Okta.” A real honest and thoughtful discussion between me and Todd, CEO and co-founder of $30B+ identity and security leader Okta. If anyone ever told you your idea was too small or unimportant in the early days, you will love this session.
#5: “Which D&I Initiatives Really Work: The metrics you should be tracking with Notion Capital”. I was happy to see this session ended up being so popular. Actionable advice on how to do better on inclusion now, this month, this year is one of our most demanded topics around culture and people.
#6: “Automation: The Digital Transformation Accelerator with Jennifer Tejada, CEO of Pagerduty”. We reached out to Jennifer to speak at SaaStr 2017 or so the day she took the helm as CEO of Pagerduty, and she’s brought amazing learnings and content to SaaStr ever since. Here’s her take on how Covid has accelerated the Cloud:
#7: “Learning from the Lows: How Mailchimp Navigated Economic Uncertainty wtih CEO Ben Chestnut”. I was so delighted when Ben was finally able to join us at a SaaStr event. There are so many great leanings in our discussion here, but maybe my biggest take-away is just how the Paranoid Survive. Even at $1B+ in ARR, Ben is still worried about failure, about existential events and Black Swan events, and on making sure he stays ahead of key changes in technology. A great and honest sharing of the founder journey:
#8: “From $0 to $400+M: 10 Mistakes Made on The Journey to IPO with Henry Schuck, CEO of ZoomInfo”. This session ended up being just great. Henry offered to put together brand new content for Annual, reflecting on his Top 10 biggest mistakes. They are honest, direct and heart-felt. And if you just don’t make a few yourself, you’ll do even better!
#9: “Bridging the Gap with Slack: Taking Care Of Your Team and Your Customers with Stewart Butterfield, CEO of Slack”. The session at Bridging the Gap was right after Covid hit, when none of us really knew what was going on. I told Stewart we were doing our first digital event, focused on helping founders navigate these crazy times. When he heard that was the agenda — he agreed to speak right away. It’s a great, honest session on what it was like to be Slack’s CEO right before their mega-acquisition by Salesforce:
#10: “Making Trade-Offs In Marketing: What To Do, What to Pause with Meagen Eisenberg, CMO of Tripactions”. Another great one just after Covid hit. I asked one of our most highly rated speakers to come in and share her real-time learnings about what to do when you have to cut the budget in marketing. Folks were riveted, and the Q+A stretched the session to 1:16. It’s great: