I recently asked on Twitter when folks knew their startup had something … great.
Because as a SaaS founder especially, it can be hard to know. Hard to see when you can’t be killed. Hard to see when your brand is coming into its own. I asked Todd McKinnon, founder-CEO of Okta when he really knew he had something that couldn’t be stopped, and he said $30m-$40m ARR!
I really only knew as we approached $10m ARR. But looking back, really, I should have known much earlier. I should have known in fact when I spoke at an event with 4 leading tech companies … and all 4 talked about how they used Adobe Sign / EchoSign. I didn’t know then, but I should have.
What was the moment when you knew your startup was really doing something great?
— Jason ✨BeKind✨ Lemkin ⚫️ (@jasonlk) February 6, 2021
So let’s look at what 80 founders and CEOs shared! Some of my favorites:
“When a customer sent a note that said, I know it’s free, but I think what your doing is amazing and I want to support you guys, so she paid us anyway.” — Jason Riedel, founder/CTO of Aspireship
“When on New Year’s Eve, customers kept sending us signed contracts.” — Sanjay Singh, co-Founder GlobalLogic, co-Founder CEO hCentive
“When we had 1 in 5 people using our products across cafes. 20% conversion.” — Safia Qureshi, Founder & CEO of CupClub
“When we got invited to a customers wedding in Germany because they said our happiness course changed their life and saved their relationship….or maybe a note from another lady who said the only way we could be better was to serve her free wine & chocolate with the course” — Chris Rawlinson, Founder 42 Courses
“When people started landing their first tech jobs. Genuinely life-changing” — Helen Huang, GitHub
“The moment (3) healthcare execs left jobs paying them $300-$500K salaries…” — Aron Shea Placenica, founder, Superhuman.health
“When a professional athlete inquired about a partnership” — David Goldberg, founder, Freshneck
“When customers get back $100k’s in minutes and want to pay us more” — Kanat Bekt, founder/CTO, SupplyPike
“When a Microsoft Gold Partner told us to white label our product during the demonstration.” — Albery Anthony, Founder, Loves.Cloud
“When my first meeting with a major college athletic department scheduled for 30 minutes went on for 2.5 hours with additional people invited to brainstorm various uses.” — Drew Naugher
“When the big customer reaches out to you before you reach out to them.” — Marty Ringlein, Brex
“Apple wanted to talk to us” — SF Nocode – Lowcode
“A customer who tested the product and did a glowing user interview… then called me back to give more feedback” — Jason Weingarten, CEO/founder Yello
“When an enterprise customer told us that after using our platform he has 4 people that are free to do other things because we automated their day today!” — Lonny Szneiberg, Olachau
“When we were invited to the White House.” — Ran Korber, Founder, Breezometer
“When an enterprise customer told us that after using our platform he has 4 people that are free to do other things because we automated their day to day!” — Lonny Szneiberg, founder Investing.com
“When I had a celebrity customer and got approached by BritishVogue” — Zibeauty
“When my dream investor, agreed to join the ride. :)” — Cedic Bollag, Founder, GlobalTechBox
“When (in bootstrap mode), our prediction algorithm for music outperformed the algorithm that won Netflix’s $1m prize for movie predictions.” — Ryan O’Leary, ListenUpBeat
1.Received 6 unsolicited angel investment offers from ordinary people. Without them even seeing our deck!
2.I was doing my product talks at the hospital & the nurse asked for a few min to pray. Patients were having none of it!: we want your numbers now!prayers can wait! pic.twitter.com/Bh7kF11yf5
— Zanele Abraham Matome (@zanele_matome) February 7, 2021