BUILD
Listen to Season 3

BUILD is back with all new episodes! (You can catch up on season 2 here.) For season 3, we’re chatting with growth leaders from the likes of Slack, HubSpot, Typeform and ZipRecruiter to find out why they think product led growth is the future 🔮

What’s product led growth (PLG) you ask? PLG is a go-to-market strategy utilized by some of today’s fastest growing software businesses. These companies rely on product usage as the primary driver of user acquisition, retention, and expansion and can therefore forgo spending large sums of money on traditional marketing and sales activities. Instead, they rely on the product itself to supply a pipeline of satisfied users and ‘hand raisers’, which they can then turn into paying customers.

While every startup wants to grow as rapidly as possible, the key is smart, not reckless growth. That’s where product led growth comes in.

BUILD Season 3 features a killer lineup of leaders from top performing PLG software companies. They’ve all successfully scaled their businesses using this model. We’re excited to share with you their stories of rapid, not reckless, growth. Happy listening 🎧


New This Week

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Featured This Week

Typeform leaders knew it was important to invest in customer success during the early stages of the business. David Apple, VP of CS, breaks down the team structure that has helped scale the business to over 3M users. Learn where to draw the line when it comes to segmenting customers who warrant a dedicated CS resource vs. purely self-service experience and the leading indicators associated with the success of the team. For more content like this, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter at openviewpartners.com/newsletter.

Upcoming Guests
Who's on BUILD

These operators have been where you are and know what you need to do to build a successful team, business model, pricing structure, office culture…you name it. Hear from key leaders in SaaS every week as they walk you through some of their most trying times in business and how they managed to not only make it to the other side – but to truly thrive.

Episode Guide

Scott Maxwell

Founder, OpenView

Kevin Gaither

SVP Sales, ZipRecruiter

Kieran Flanagan

VP, Marketing & Growth, HubSpot

Eric Siu

CEO, Single Grain

Fareed Mosavat

Group Product Manager, Lifycycle, Slack

Robert Sherwin

Head of North America Marketing, Wayfair

Lynn Tsoflias

Head of Midmarket & Enterprise Customers - Sales Solutions (former), LinkedIn

David Apple

General Manager U.S. & VP, Customer Success, Typeform

Shaun Clowes

VP, Product Management, Metromile

Darius Contractor

Engineering Manager, Growth, Dropbox

Steli Efti

Founder & CEO, Close.io

Kyle Poyar

Senior Director of Market Strategy, OpenView

Episode Guide
BUILD: Episode 20
BUILD: Episode 21
BUILD: Episode 22
BUILD: Episode 23
BUILD: Episode 24
BUILD: Episode 25
BUILD: Episode 26
BUILD: Episode 27
BUILD: Episode 28
BUILD: Episode 29
BUILD: Episode 30
Meet the host
Scott Maxwell

What VCs Look for in Product Led Companies

What the heck is product led growth? We sit down with OpenView Founder & Managing Partner Scott Maxwell to find out. In this first episode of BUILD Season 3, we define product led growth and find out what makes a PLG company unique. Scott also discusses the metrics investors look for in product led growth companies and the future of this go-to-market approach.


Kieran Flanagan

HubSpot's Journey from MQLs to PQLs

Kieran Flanagan, HubSpot's VP of Marketing, is no stranger to driving growth through product. In this episode of BUILD, hear how and why the business transitioned from filling a funnel with marketing qualified leads (MQLs) to product qualified leads (PQLs) and how that change positively impacted the billion dollar company.


Kevin Gaither

How ZipRecruiter Grew to 7M Active Job Seekers Each Month

Building a sales team is a major point of contention in a product led organization. Where is the line drawn where the product serves the customer versus when sales is brought in? Kevin Gaither, SVP of Sales at ZipRecruiter, answers this question and explains their decision to build out a sales team of over 300 employees to accelerate their growth.


Eric Siu

SingleGrain's Eric Siu on Growth Hacking in the Era of Product Led SaaS

SingleGrain's CEO, Eric Siu, is no stranger to the term "growth hacking." His performance marketing agency has helped scale high growth companies like UBER and Amazon. In this episode of BUILD find out how a product first mentality impacts growth marketing and how to increase brand awareness while staying cost efficient. For even more content, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter at openviewpartners.com/newsletter.


Steli Efti

Close.io's Steli Efti on Learning to Say No

Steli Efti, serial entrepreneur and current CEO of Close.io, is no stranger to success. But in 2017, when his company focused all departments on understanding their customers better, they quickly realized they'd approach the problem from the wrong angle. Doing so derailed their product roadmap, led to lots of unhappy customers and increased churn. When they shifted focus, Close.io got their business back on track. Learn from Close.io on when saying no to your customers might just be the right move. For more content like this, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter at openviewpartners.com/newsletter.


Kyle Poyar
Sean Fanning
Gail Axelrod

OpenView's 2018 Expansion SaaS Benchmarks

Our 2018 Expansion SaaS Benchmarks are live! This year we surveyed over 400 companies, ranging from pre-revenue to $50M+ ARR with 40% of respondents coming from outside the US. Our massive data set gives you insights into trends around how fast startups are growing, the emergence of SaaS companies all around the world and the progress on hiring diverse candidates. Follow along at www.saasbenchmarks.com.


Shaun Clowes

How Atlassian Built a Growth Function from the Ground Up

User activation is an important part of any growth function, but many startups fail to focus on this area. Shaun Clowes, former Head of Growth and Model at Atlassian and current Chief Product Officer at MetroMile, was tasked with building the growth function from the ground up for Atlassian's Jira product. He discusses the primary activation metrics they used and how those metrics shifted as the business scaled. Learn how to define your own activation metrics and how to create an onboarding flow that will keep users coming back to your product in this episode of BUILD.


Lynn Tsoflias

How to Create Successful User Onboarding Experiences

Lynn Tsoflias has held leadership roles across Sales and Customer Success at startups like Insightly to large tech companies including Microsoft and Linkedin. In this episode of BUILD, she discusses her guiding principles to developing effective user onboarding to drive adoption. Learn the best way to structure your team to tackle onboarding and retention as your business expands. For even more content, make sure you subscribe to our newsletter at openviewpartners.com/newsletter.


Darius Contractor

How Dropbox Became the Fastest SaaS Company to Reach $1 Billion

Dropbox is a poster child for product led growth - they successfully became the fastest SaaS business to reach $1B. Darius Contractor, Growth Engineering Lead, explains how they went about building virality into their product, the importance of visibility into key metrics and what the future of product led growth looks like. For even more content, make sure you subscribe to our newsletter at openviewpartners.com/newsletter.


Bob Sherwin

Wayfair: From Startup to $5 Billion

Balancing fast growth while building for scale is no easy task. Wayfair's story started with hundreds of individual microsites and eventually turned into one of North America’s largest online retailers. Wayfair's VP of Marketing, Bob Sherwin, has been with the business through its explosive growth and has assisted in developing a best in class efficient marketing engine. Learn what happened behind the scenes as the business scaled, including how they expanded into the B2B market.


David Apple

How Typeform Leveraged Customer Success to Scale to Over 3M Users

Typeform leaders knew it was important to invest in customer success during the early stages of the business. David Apple, VP of CS, breaks down the team structure that has helped scale the business to over 3M users. Learn where to draw the line when it comes to segmenting customers who warrant a dedicated CS resource vs. purely self-service experience and the leading indicators associated with the success of the team. For more content like this, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter at openviewpartners.com/newsletter.


Ashley Minogue

Ashley is the Director of Growth on the Go-To-Market team. She helps OpenView’s portfolio companies achieve repeatable scale via marketing, sales and pricing strategy optimization. Most frequently, she partners with the portfolio on projects related to improving lead funnel conversion, customer segmentation, sales process, pricing and demand gen.

Connect with Ashley on Twitter @AshMino.

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