As Flow 2018 fast approaches, our Speaker Spotlights continue to help you find out more about the C-level leaders appearing at our global leadership summit. Next up is Jason M. Lemkin.
SaaStr’s Trusted Advisor, Jason. M. Lemkin will host a panel session at Flow 2018 to share the best learnings, insights, and practices around the building and scaling of SaaS businesses. We caught up with Jason to hear his thoughts on workplace transformation and the human capital process.
The SaaStr story
SaaStr is the SaaS industry’s support network. It plays host to the world’s largest community of software enterprises, helping executives, founders and entrepreneurs extend their potential.
And it started from nothing. SaaStr began in 2012 as a few thoughts on a simple WordPress blog, where Jason Lemkin shared stories about going from $0 to $100m Annual Recurring Revenue at EchoSign.
Today SaaStr appears in the Forbes Top 100 Blogs list and has expanded its offering to include global events and an investment fund. And Jason is the serial tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist at the helm.
With natural enthusiasm and instinctive business skills, Jason talks SaaS and the human capital process behind the industry.
Remove the blockers
“If you want to be a trillion dollar business, you start by removing impediments for employees,” says Jason. “If you don’t, then things will begin to break. You have to hire people that scale further or they will break too.”
“If you want to be a trillion dollar business, you start by removing impediments for employees”
But for startup enterprises, a big budget approach isn’t always needed. A thoughtful approach to employee support can make a huge difference: “Your company’s culture needs to support the human process – you need the capital infrastructure to support.
It can even be a small gesture like free Kind bars – you can’t laugh at those if for $2 they make people happy.”
Mentor the leaders
And it’s not only cash that keeps employees loyal. Time is an investment and thoughtful leadership unlocks business progression. “Mentorship is a thing that often happens by accident in small companies,” says Jason.
“But when the stakes get higher, you need to scale – it can’t be an accident then. You need to consider career progression for the fresh 21-year-olds, or they’ll leave.”
“Your managers need to be centers of excellence for your employees”
Getting to know your employees and helping them along their career path, is not just a workplace nicety – especially in the startup arena. “Plot career paths for your employees as much as you can,” recalls Jason.
“Great leaders know that not everyone is ambitious. People have different motivations – your managers need to be centers of excellence for your employees.”
“An electric leader can recruit anyone they want. Anyone who’s experienced a fast growth startup knows that’s the secret”
Recruit the best
So what’s the billion-dollar secret? What separates the good startups from the great? “Identify the magnets in your team and know what to do with those that aren’t,” says Jason.
“An electric leader can recruit anyone they want. Anyone who’s experienced a fast growth startup knows that’s the secret. Recruit the best.”
What is Flow?
Flow is Workplace’s global leadership summit, taking place on Tuesday, October 9th, 2018 at Hotel Nia, Menlo Park, CA.
Together with customers and best of breed partners such as Walmart, Vodafone, Box, and Okta, we’ll discuss the ways businesses can connect people to their organization’s purpose, unlock their true potential, and empower them to do their best work.