We recently hosted the first of several SaaStock Barcelona meet ups and it was a blast. We actually considered it more of a mini conference because we had such an amazing line-up of speakers, that the content was just off the hook amazing.
Over 100+ founders attended and from the feedback, it sounded like it was time well spent.
Here are our Top Takes for the evening!
First of all, why did we decide to bring SaaStock back to Barcelona?
Ranked fourth in European cities with the most funding rounds, Barcelona is quickly becoming the most compelling SaaS and startup hub in Europe and we at Cledara are eager to build a strong community of startup founders.
That’s why SaaStock chose Cledara to run the Barcelona chapter of the events brand that has brought together more than 30,000 SaaS founders, executives and investors since 2016.
100+ startups attended
We were happy to see a standing-room only attendance because we knew we had an amazing speaker line up that was ready to deliver. We were lucky to have SaaS leaders from the UK and US including Nathan Latka, Matt Lerner, Nigel Verdon and representing the local community, Joaquim Lecha, CEO of Typeform, which raised their Series C just the week before the event.
They talked about founder’s metric of success, hiring in fast-growing companies and about the evolving role of the CEO, from zero to unicorn, with the goal of giving actionable tips for all founders to take home and apply to their startups.
Our learnings on founder’s SaaS metrics of success, with Nathan Latka
Nathan Latka is a force of nature. A bestselling WSJ author, a podcast host with 15M+ downloads and the founder and CEO of Founderpath, Nathan lit up the room with a gripping session on his top three founder’s metrics:
- Capital Efficiency - ARR/funding is what Nathan looks for to compare how efficient companies are in terms of capital. A great metric to reduce the noise in funding rounds.
- Upsell Matrix - All about giving your customers as many reasons as possible to upgrade. Analyze your pricing tiers and ensure you have clear, no-brainer thresholds of value that will drive your NRR
- Wealth multiple - exit price/raised funding is what Nathan tries to maximise when looking at founder payout. He likes to remind the audience that more funding doesn’t necessarily mean more payout.
So much more…Want the slides? Email email@example.com with the subject line “Barcelona”.
Hiring for growth, with Matt Lerner
Matt Lerner has worked in Silicon Valley for 16 years, including on the early growth team at Paypal and is now a London-based founder and VC. We asked Matt to focus on hiring as it’s such an important topic for all founders as they build a great team. Matt broke it down as follows:
- Hire playbook writers - Hire people with fast learning cycles, willing to screw it up, talk about mistakes and align everyone around figuring it out.
- Cast a wide net - Matt was keen to eliminate unnecessary filters. “The best way to get great candidates is to get lots of candidates”
- Screen smart - Matt shared a ton on screening, but he summed it up as focusing less on what they’ve done, more on what they have the potential to achieve and the evidence of a growth mindset.
Want the slides? Download them at startupcorestentghs.com
Founder’s panel, with Nigel Verdon and Joaquim Lecha
Nigel Verdon is a two-time unicorn SaaS founder and CEO at Railsbank, and together with Joaquim Lecha, CEO at Typeform and moderator Brad van Leeuwen, COO and co-founder at Cledara, engaged in a founder’s panel to close the night. Highlights:
- Nigel was very keen on trust at the time of leadership: “give people direction on where we're going, trust the team and make them own their decisions”.
- On the topic of taking decisions, Nigel also argued about moving forward: “don’t worrry about making wrong decisions - just make decisions. It’s about going forward.”
- When discussing the CEO career, Joaquim said loud and clear; “as a CEO, you need to find what truly motivates you and you need to work with people who give you energy. Getting up every morning becomes so much easier.”
Themes of the Evening
Reflecting on the three sessions, it was interesting to see the common themes that most resonated:
- Nathan encouraged founders to trust their intentions and not give away too much of their company early on.
- Nigel drove home the imperative for leaders to have the courage to trust their teams to make decisions as the only way to scale as a leader.
- Joaquim spoke about the often overlooked Imposter Syndrome and how leaders need to trust their ability to show vulnerability and seek coaching as they scale in their responsibility.
Forward is the only path. It’s that simple. Founders need to constantly keep moving forward, learn and calibrate. Decisions need to be made often and mistakes cleaned up quickly to pave the path of progress.
- Matt quipped that when at PayPal the team made TONS of mistakes constantly as they looked for the path of success.
- Matt also shared a chart of Airbnb that showed incremental growth from 2007-2011 as they figured out what worked. There was no playbook so they “just tried stuff that didn’t work”
- Joaquim stressed that as teams find their way, initiatives success and fail, the common thread remains the company strategy that will act as a guide to daylight.
The 100+ attendees all shared one thing in common: Ambition. This drives their passion to inspire their teams. grow their businesses, serve their customers and yes, attend an event on a rainy Wednesday evening to connect and learn from each other.
Hungry for more?
We’re planning several events this year and we look forward to bringing more startup founders together again in June - see you there!