You’re a huge consumer of information, in many forms. Can you share your menu?
Well, let’s see… It’s varied, for sure! A many courses meal. For non-human information, the best source would be in the first place books. They have the best ratio between what you read and what you learn and also the amount you can retain, which is very important when you’re consuming information. Podcasts on the go are good for bookmarking things that you want to dig a bit deeper.
A couple of books: Sales Acceleration Formula, by Mark Roberge, is a great book. The Blueprints For A SaaS Sales Organization (by Jacco vanderKooij, Fernando Pizarro), it’s probably the best book I’ve ever read around SaaS, they really give you such a good framework to think about this new sales world. I think Predictable Revenue (by Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler), being the most famous SaaS sales book in the market, I think it is a bit outdated, but it is a good framework to start with. On startups there are way too many to count, really, but I would start with classics, just getting to know the taxonomy of the startup world.
That would be a good breakfast?
Ok, so what about lunch?
So, if I’m having lunch on the go, podcasts would work. There are so many… From the industry, there are a couple of people that write about sales a lot, like Anthony Iannarino, who has a podcast called In the Arena, a daily podcast that’s about 10 minutes, and very interesting to give you things to think and then read more about it. Then, of course, we have SaaStr, doing great podcasts. SaaStock, which is a European brand, also does a lot of interviews in the SaaS space. One that is a bit more obscure than those – the Bowery Capital – which is a BC Company, and a very good podcast. The majority I listen to are not from the industry so…
So, what do you listen to?
Science Vs, from Gimlet Media, Rationally Speaking, by Julia Galef – I’m a super fan of that too… There’re a couple sci-fi ones: Imaginary Worlds, a Geek’s guide to the galaxy… Lots of really good ones. I’ve started listening to podcasts from Vox – they’re good, super high-quality in content, Recode Decode with Kara Swisher, more political ones like the Ezra Klein Show, which I also like… way too many to consume!
What about the afternoon snack?
Afternoon snack… that would be videos, I’d say. Many of the podcasts we were talking about are starting to move to video. The majority went from blogs to audio to video, sometimes to video and now to podcast… People are going multi format anyway.
Conferences, probably, are the ones I’d start with, for example the ones from Recode and SaaStr always have great content. I focus a lot on finding companies that are on the same stage as we are, and that’s where we can probably learn the most. If we’re talking about a company like Zenefits, or something like that, that is super huge, we’re not gonna learn a lot. Also Slack, for example. They’re a huge company, their lessons learned are not going to be applicable for us.
But someone that works in the SaaS space and is making a million dollars a year, now that’s something we can learn from. So, I try to find the conferences where those speakers are and consume the videos – or go to the events, when I can, as well.
What about a dinner, or a dinner-date?
That has to involve other people, to be a dinner date. So… with some startup friends. That’s a source of information that is more informal, we’re discussing ideas with the team and other founders that are roughly on the same stage. We may have some specific topics we want to discuss, like strategies for fundraising for examples, and just share experiences. I think that’s very valuable: nobody says “this is what you should do”, they usually say “this is what happened to me” and it’s up to you to do whatever you want out of that. They say “This is what we’ve tried and this is why it didn’t work for us”. I think that would be a good dinner date.