This year Paddle has acquired Profitwell, the recurring revenue growth platform, and raised $200 million in funding (bringing the company’s total valuation above $1.4 billion). As CMO, Andrew intends to continue driving aggressive growth by adapting a playbook he has developed in a career that includes serving as VP of Corporate Marketing at Optimizely and as co-founder of the “demand orchestration” platform, Idio.
Andrew is particularly honest about the challenges that companies face at this stage in their journey. He explains that “scale breaks systems” so it becomes really important to work towards a culture that is not super-prescriptive, but instead looks to “teach people the rules of the game, and then get them to play it themselves.”
Our conversation dives into everything from team leadership challenges, to what the CMO role is and how it creates impact in a fast-scaling organization. Ultimately, Andrew feels that Paddle’s success will be a product of its own ability to help customers drive growth in their own businesses. So jump in and hear how he intends to ensure that Paddle is well-positioned to drive that outcome.
* Andrew’s Journey to CMO, including Idio co-founder and Paddle advisor (06:39)
* Why more complex approaches must replace original, more simple tactics (11:17)
* The Profitwell acquisition and the challenges of taming the chaos (16:08)
* Why leadership cannot be top-down when scaling up (26:15)
* “Tracking is always messed up” – so now what? (29.10)
* The massive shift Andrew sees in B2B marketing (44:05)
And much, much, more . . .
Announcer 00:00:08 Welcome to the Breakout Growth Podcast where Sean Ellis and Ethan Garr interview leaders from the world’s fastest-growing companies to get to the heart of what’s really driving their growth. And now here are your hosts, Sean Ellis and Ethan Garr
Sean Ellis 00:00:26 In this week’s episode of the Breakout Growth Podcast, Ethan Garr and I chat with Andrew Davies, chief marketing officer at Paddle. So Paddle provides a complete payment infrastructure for businesses in a single stack. And Andrew says it’s particularly valuable for product led businesses with experience that expands everything from co-founding his own startup to leading corporate marketing. And Optimizly, we were excited to find out how Andrew is approaching his CMO role and working to drive growth at Paddle. So Ethan, what stood out to you as, as being particularly interesting from this conversation?
Ethan Garr 00:01:00 Well, I think both of us kind of picked up on Andrew has this kind of error of common thoughtfulness to him. And I think it just, it really serves him well, it’s always easy for leaders to speak at like conferences or get on a podcast like this and just tell you all the great things that are happening in the business and just gloss over all the chaos and that’s really happening underneath. But when we hear the honest truth and sort of the obvious notion that fast growth is almost never gonna be purely smooth sailing, it brings with a, I think, you know, this place from which you can really get honest advice on how to actually manage through it. So I think that calm confidence of Andrew’s just made the discussion around these challenges that he was facing. Just feel a lot more actionable.
Sean Ellis 00:01:37 Yeah. I agree. You know, even though Andrew has been engaged with Paddle for a while, or had been engaged with Paddle for a while before he joined a CMO, he’s, he’s relatively new in the role. So what seemed to be working for him in the early stages is that he has a pretty solid playbook for driving growth that he’s adapting into this position as he works to really understand the unique business dynamics at Paddle. But yeah, I love when you asked him about metrics and he was like, let’s face it tracking is always messed up. And yeah, I would say that’s been our experience in most cases and no one ever really wants to admit it, but, but you know, it’s, it’s kind of normal for tracking to be a bit screwed up and, and that you need to, you need to dig in there and fix it before you can be really effective.
Ethan Garr 00:02:19 Yeah. And I, so I think that’s what it was, you know, I think you and I both genuinely just enjoyed like the authentic authenticity of the discussion, but it was really nice to, you know, from that, from that kind of stage of authentic, genuine conversation to then dig into the specific areas of the business and really better understand Andrew’s role as CMO and where he sees his own personal ability and his team’s ability to really drive impact in the business.
Sean Ellis 00:02:42 Yeah, for sure. You know, Paddle recently bought, uh, ProfitWell for, I think it was $200 million and it’s interesting to hear about the challenges and opportunities of bringing those two organizations together. You know, I think Paddle already had about 3000 customers on their roster. And so he’s continuing to expand that business and how he’s doing that is gonna be really exciting, particularly with the challenges of, of integrating a, a new business into that. And so, uh, I think, uh, UN until now they have grown successfully with some, uh, just really solid, but probably simple tactics, but they recognize that they need to probably move into a more complex set of tactics if they wanna unlock new opportunities and, and keep that acceleration curve on track.
Ethan Garr 00:03:29 Yeah. I mean, he’s definitely gonna have his hands full. Um, but you know, I think, I think anyone who listens to this episode is probably gonna leave with kind of two thoughts and, you know, the first one is like, wow, they got the right guy to do this. Andrew’s got the right plan to keep that pedal down on growth and, and really drive the, the next chapter for Paddle. And secondly, I think most people who listen to this are gonna go, wow. I learned a few things here that I can probably put into practice in my own business. So, uh, yeah, I thought it was a really good conversation. One of my, you know, one another, I always say it’s like one of my favorites, but, um, it really was Andrews great. It really is. <laugh> this time. I really mean it. Um, but yeah, so let’s jump in and learn more about Paddle and Andrew’s role is CMO.
Sean Ellis 00:04:04 Yep. Hi Andrew. Welcome to the Breakout Growth Podcast.
Andrew Davies 00:04:16 Thanks so much for having me. It’s great to be here.
Sean Ellis 00:04:18 Yeah, we are excited to have you also joined by my co-host Ethan, Gar. Hey Ethan. Hey
Ethan Garr 00:04:23 Sean. Hey Andrew. Good to have you.
Sean Ellis 00:04:25 Um, so we’re gonna be talking about Paddle today and, uh, I’m, I’m assuming some of our audience are familiar with Paddle, but for anyone who’s not familiar with it, uh, can you give us a, a, a quick introduction to what it’s all about?
Andrew Davies 00:04:38 Yeah, of course. So we describe ourselves as the complete payment infrastructure for software companies. So when you start a software business, you’ve gotta do a whole load of stuff, particularly if you’re a PLG to sell globally. Um, so product led growth PLG. So that would mean things like subscription management and taking multiple currencies and multiple payment acceptance methods and dealing with fraud, dealing with chargebacks, dealing with sales tax compliance and every territory. And we put all of that into one stack, one tool, one fee, so you can scale anywhere in the world from the launch.
Sean Ellis 00:05:08 Very cool. And so, uh, is it, is it similar to Stripe? Does it compete with Stripe? Does it integrate with Stripe? How does, how do they work together or not? <laugh> yeah.
Andrew Davies 00:05:19 Great question stripes. Part of our stack. Um, we’re a very large customer of Stripe. Okay. And really, you know, if you wanna start with Stripe, many people do, um, it’s fantastic for so, so many different things, but then it’s just one piece of the entire payments infrastructure. And so if you start with Stripe, you have to build out the rest of it on top of it. Whereas if you come to Paddle, it’s part, we use the best of Stripe and it’s part of our infrastructure, but we layer on all of those other pieces as standard as default. Uh, and so for example, you know, Stripe will be really good in certain territories like the us, but when you go into a different territory, we’ll use a different payment acceptance method, uh, in order to make sure that things are flowing super fast and super cheaply.
Ethan Garr 00:05:53 So with that, one of the things I I’ve seen, like looking around like Paddle’s website and just in general, is you, um, you often describe yourself as a merchant of record. Um, is that a good distinction here? And can you tell us, can you tell our listeners kind of what that means and why that’s important for them?
Andrew Davies 00:06:08 Yeah, that’s a bit of a clunky phrase that’s been around for, you know, probably 20 years now. And what that actually means is we’re technically we’re flash reselling the software from our customers. And so, because we take legal ownership of it for that millisecond, as it goes between the, uh, the, the, the, the software company and the customer, we are the ones who have to deal with all the sales tax. We’re the ones that have to deal with all the remittance to all the tax authorities. And so that’s why we’re able to take that complete ownership of that problem because we’re operating in that legal way.
Ethan Garr 00:06:39 Oh, interesting. So it sounds like you joined as CMO, not too, too long ago. Do you wanna tell us a little bit about your journey that took you to Paddle and what led you here?
Andrew Davies 00:06:49 Yeah, of course. Um, I, co-founded a personalization software company called idio, and we built that through many trials and tribulations, um, to a business that we exited in, uh, November, 2019. It was bought by insight venture partners. And it was put into their largest wholly owned asset, which was epic server, big.net CMS. And we were the kind of personalization and analytics bit, the sexy bit on the front. And, um, I ended up running their global corporate marketing and we then went on an acquisition spree and we bought five other businesses of the next two years. And so my last two years or so have been first selling in and then buying multiple assets, the biggest of which was Optimizly. And so then I led the rebrand of that entire group to Optimizly. Um, and after we’d done that, um, I was looking around for coming a bit more early stage for, for a new fund journey and, uh, Paddle came along and I just, just loved the business and loved the team.
Ethan Garr 00:07:38 So, uh, it’s interesting, cuz uh, just before we were, we were chatting about, uh, a recent acquisition that Paddle made of a company that Sean and I are both fans of called profit. Well mm-hmm <affirmative> um, so just, uh, years ago, just a quick anecdote. Uh, my, uh, colleague Nate Captan came up to me one day. He said, you have to watch this video from this guy, Patrick Campbell it’ll change your life. And this is when that company was called price, uh, intelligently and watched this video and it changed our lives. It, we, we, we realized so much about how pricing was so important to the business and, uh, we learned a lot. So, um, it’s interesting that, uh, it’s, I think that that acquisition was fairly recently recent. So was one of the, the things that interested you in coming over to Paddle the fact that you’ve done a lot of acquisitions and obviously they’re in a, in a mindset to do acquisitions.
Andrew Davies 00:08:26 Yeah, that was one of the reasons, I mean, if we boil it down to the principles, I just saw a team and a founder in, in, in CEO, in Christian, um, who were massively aspirational, had big dreams for this business. Um, but also a business that had very strong unit economics and therefore would be able to go and attract the capital to achieve those ambitions. And part of that was in organic growth. Um, the profit, well acquisition kind of wasn’t on the cards when I joined, but it was certainly something that, you know, I, I knew being acquisitive was, was a piece of the journey. And I think also my background in that was interesting to them having been part of several previously. And I mean, this is a huge acquisition for us, 200,000,085 staff. They’ve built a absolutely killer company and we’re delighted to have them on board.
Ethan Garr 00:09:06 So, uh, sorry, Sean. I know you wanna jump in, but uh, go ahead. <laugh> you’re usually the one telling me, I know you wanna jump in, but, um, I’m just so curious. Uh, uh, so the, your role as chief marketing officer, what’s the scope of that here at, at, at Paddle?
Andrew Davies 00:09:23 So I think about it as three concentric circles in the center, there’s product marketing. So customer insight, personas, positioning, who are we listening to the customer? So that includes customer marketing, traditional product marketing, and also our web team. So building out a great web product, um, so our.com, so that’s product marketing around that is then demand gen. Um, so that includes all of our BDR teams. Um, it includes ads, email, et cetera. Then outside of that is our brand team, which includes comms and creative and audience development. So it’s the full gamut of marketing. Um, and you know, the acquisition of Profitwell has kind of increased and improved all three of those circles, uh, particularly that brand play cuz you know, one of the things that Profitwell did. So, so well, and Patrick does so, so well is give back to the SaaS community, to the software community, through content, you know, pricing page, tear down and protect the hustle and all of those shows they produce. And so that team, that media teams come on board as part of our, our brand organization.
Sean Ellis 00:10:16 Very cool. And uh, and how long ago did you start in the CMO role?
Andrew Davies 00:10:21 So I technically joined on the 1st of January, but I had been doing, uh, I’d been peeking under the hood for several months prior. Um, one of the, uh, things I negotiated when I was an acquired founder was the ability to, you know, whenever I wanted to jump into, you know, role advisory roles, you know, part-time um, to look at other businesses and I did that with 10 or 15 SAS businesses and Paddle was one of those, um, before, before Christmas and fall last year.
Sean Ellis 00:10:45 Very cool. And then, uh, and had they previously had a CMO when you, when you came in, were, were you the first one?
Andrew Davies 00:10:51 Yeah. Yep. They, they had a C CMO who they parted ways with. Um, I think back in February or March, I seem to recollect lovely guy called Dave rich know him well and um, and yeah, it’s it’s, they went without one for a little while. Um, and it, it was an interesting situation to walk back into a team that had been kind of leaderless for several months, um, and really build confidence in that team again and make sure that everyone knew that there was a direction we could charge into.
Sean Ellis 00:11:17 And I I’ve been in that situation where, uh, where, especially when, when someone’s moved on and, and, and you know, it, it creates kind of instability for, for team members and other things to where they’re kind of like, gosh, are you here? Are you here temporarily? And, and, uh, so what do you kind of how, when, when you started, was it, and as you said, you, you had some, some advisory upfront work, so you didn’t, you didn’t just kind of come right in on the, on the CMR role, but what, what, what did you really focus on in the beginning? Was it, was it kind of getting buyin from the team kind of presenting a plan learning? Like what, what, what would kind of be those first few weeks?
Andrew Davies 00:11:56 Yeah, that’s a great question. So, um, actually the peak under the hood was focused on DemandGen. It was focused on thinking through the tactics and channels and the performance, uh, engine of the business. Um, and you know, I think it would be fair to say that, you know, Paddle had grown extremely fast on a pretty simple tactic mix. Um, and you know, let’s just use, you know, sample numbers, but, you know, yielding really efficiently 10 million of pipe or quarter is a virtue until your Target’s 40 million. And then suddenly efficiently yielding tell 10 is a curse. Right. And, uh, I think they got to that point where they needed to build out more tactics, more channels. And so that’s the bit I looked at first, but I mean, entering the business, you know, I’m, I’m always coming from the principal that I’m the dumbest person in the room and that’s absolutely true here at Paddle.
Andrew Davies 00:12:40 We’ve got some super sharp people. And so it was all about learning and understanding. And then as we just mentioned, it’s then about building confidence in the team that are already on the ground. Cause there’s some fantastic people who’d been here a couple of years, who’d been here through kind of a few, you know, different team changes and it was about making sure they understood that they had a real part to play in this next phase of the journey. Um, and a lot of the instincts were absolutely correct. We just needed to build a framework around it.
Sean Ellis 00:13:03 Yeah. So, um, one question and I, I apologize Ethan, if this ends up throwing us off, if this is, uh, <laugh> something you were planning to ask a little bit later, but I I’m, I’m just, you know, the one thing that I have found, uh, more and more over time that that kind of product market fit I think is, is the biggest determinant on, on growth, like right product, right market fill, filling that void. Um, without it you’re gonna, you’re gonna struggle for growth and, and with it, um, that that’s gonna be gonna be pulling you, uh, in, in the right direction really well. Um, but then the second thing is, is that growth, um, growth does tend to be very cross-functional um, in terms of, in terms of, you know, like if, if you’re doing demand gen and you, you, you bring the customer in, but then the handoff is, is a bad handoff and, and people can’t on the product side, can’t really get them into an experience where they stick around. Um, how in, in a, so as you described your scope, it didn’t, it didn’t sound like product fits within that scope. How do you, how do you integrate with a product team to make sure that, that the ball isn’t being dropped on that handoff mm-hmm
Andrew Davies 00:14:15 <affirmative>? So I guess I’d say a couple of things here. The first thing is that, you know, I walked into a business that had already 3000 customers. Um, it clearly had, you know, product market fit in certain segments. And, and obviously PMF is something that emerges over time. Cause you’ve gotta go. If we for use the kind of crossing the chasm, the old, old kind of metaphors, they were going from a beachhead through to a county, through to a country, through to a continent and PMF changes as you go through. So we had some semblance of product market fit. And so it was trying to dig in and understand with the product managers, what was working and then building a product marketing team alongside them. The other piece of this is, is really interesting though, because we are initially a sales led business, but we now have a product led motion as well.
Andrew Davies 00:14:54 And so you can come and, and build, build Paddle into your stack without ever talking to a sales rep. You can come and experience that you get into the sandbox. And when you pass our, our risk checks, KYB, KYC, et C, you can start transacting. Um, and over the last few months we’ve had, you know, hundreds of companies come and do that. And so that means we have to be even closer and tighter to your point with the product team, particularly that funnel of, you know, people coming in using getting nudges, understanding what the value is and then actually transacting
Sean Ellis 00:15:21 Mm-hmm <affirmative>. But it, so the one thing that I, that I, one of the things I pulled out of that was that your, your kind of, uh, product marketing people do, do sit alongside the, the product team and, and hopefully help to help, help to ensure that, that it’s not just a, uh, you know, a finish line for what marketing does and a, and a takeover on the product, but they, they kind of help to bridge that gap. Is that, is that the right interpretation there? Yeah,
Andrew Davies 00:15:49 Absolutely. So this product marketers are sitting alongside product managers, they’re understanding what’s coming, they’re understanding what’s working. Um, they’re talking to customers to find out, you know, what the reactions are. They’re talking to the overall market to see where we should be going competitive Intel. So that’s absolutely that kind of lynchpin role of the PMM.
Ethan Garr 00:16:08 What what’s been the biggest challenge for you in these, in this early stage, getting, you know, what’s been, what’s been tough and what are you still working on?
Andrew Davies 00:16:15 Um, I mean, boy, we are still working on everything. Nothing’s, uh, nothing nothing’s finished. Nothing’s done. Um, I think some of the tough challenges here, you know, any acquisition just yields a huge amount of chaos. And so, you know, walked into seat, we raised a, a big series D we then, you know, did the acquisition. And now for the last few months we’ve been settling those teams kind of bringing them together. And, you know, there’s a whole bunch of challenges you’ve gotta think through there. So you’ve the integration of the technologies and the processes, but often more complex is the integrations of the teams and the ways of working. And in the first, you know, instances, people start to refer themselves as profit, well, Profitwellers and Paddlers. Um, it’s a nice little shorthand, but then after a a month or so, that starts to become divisive and not useful.
Andrew Davies 00:16:57 And so the culture and people thing I think is, is, is, is just something we’ve gotta keep working on as a business. I’ve seen it several times before in acquisitions, it’s, there’s always similarities, but it’s always some different shaped problems. Um, so that will be one. And then I, I think a challenge that every business faces that has scaled as fast as this one is its data infrastructure. It feels like we’re always completely having to reinvent our core stack and making sure we’ve got, getting better dashboards that are accurate so that we can run and grow our business effectively. So those would be two. Um, and you know, I think going back to your point, Sean, on, on product market fit, one thing for me in all the businesses I’ve operated in a deep understanding of market and market segmentation is, is the first thing I believe all marketing is built off and this business has grown through multiple market segments.
Andrew Davies 00:17:43 It started off selling max software, downloadable, max software. So not subscription one off payments picked up a huge portion of that, that market. Then it went into subscription as well, and then not just B2C, but also B2B. Uh, and it’s growing now into larger B2B customers. We’ve signed, you know, a whole bunch of interesting enterprise B2B recently. So we’ve gotta evolve our product to match the needs of those emerging segments. Um, and we’ve gotta map where those segments are, the size and shape of them to understand which ones we should go after. Cause we’ve got lots of choice right now. You know, for example, we only serve software at a portion of software. We don’t serve digital media or gaming or some of these director, you know, D to C type, um, type type products. There’s lots of opportunity there, but we’ve gotta make those bets based on data. And so digging into kind of, you know, what, what are the size and shapes of all of those emerging segments is, is also a real challenge.
Sean Ellis 00:18:31 So how, how do you actually figure that out?
Andrew Davies 00:18:34 <laugh> in this business a couple of years ago they had some super smart data scientists. So we’re doing all kinds of models and predictions. And I think that really worked to a level and, and right now, like I’m a simple guy, we are back manually eyeballing line after line thousands of, of, of companies mm-hmm, <affirmative> looking at, you know, their technographics, their firmographics, their, you know, will they match our risk profile, et cetera, um, in order to build an understanding of it, which then we will build some automations and tools around as well. Um, so I like to go back to basics on this, put some smart humans against it, and then you can build data models on it in the, in the end.
Sean Ellis 00:19:07 Yeah. So I it’s one of the I’m I’m working with a company on this challenge right now and it, and it’s, and it’s interesting, uh, you know, as I, as I kind of look through it, I, they use a lot of kind of NPS data, but it feels like it’s, it feels like it’s sort of, uh, third party generated N NPS data that doesn’t necessarily provide a whole lot of, uh, a whole lot of, kind of insight into, you know, ultimately for me, I think on the product market fit side. And I like the way that you describe kind of more the crossing, the chasm where it’s, you know, product market fit kind of one segment at a time, one product at a time. But, but ultimately to really validate that it feels like you need to, you need to find the most passionate customers that, that really say this is a must have within that segment.
Sean Ellis 00:19:59 And, and I’m not sure that your kind of your typical NPS approach necessarily help helps to uncover that. Um, and so I’m, I’m, I’m curious if, if, if you agree with, with what I’m saying there, and, and maybe I’m saying the same thing that you are kind of in a, in slightly different way, but, um, but you know, does it, does it come down to individual customers or can you, can you parse that through the, through the data or, um, you know, ultimately how do you know that a, that a segment you’re getting enough traction in a segment that it’s, it’s worth continuing to invest a lot into it?
Andrew Davies 00:20:32 I think those are great questions. Um, if I roll back to IEO, this was a, a B2B personalization engine. We stopped. This was about a year and a half before acquisition, and we stopped and we counted up how many customer types we were selling in our product in order to generate types of value, um, uh, in order to kind of deliver you to certain types of teams. So with those triples, we found, we were serving as a 50 person company serving 15 customer segments. And we went into a darkened room, took all the data on the value. We were driving, how big those markets were, the NPS, the excitement of the customers. And we deleted 14 of those segments and we betted the house on enterprise tech B2B. But the interesting thing was, I think we only had one valid customer in that segment at that time. And it was the most difficult segment to go and win, but we knew it was where the biggest value was for our PMF. And we bettered the house on that. And that led to us signing Salesforce, signing, um, Intel signing, IBM signing a huge number of people who are perfect fit, um, for, for what we did. And the exit of the business was built on that. That really kind of, you know, swing for the fences. We’re gonna bet the house on going after one, rather than spreading across 15. So,
Sean Ellis 00:21:40 So you found that really passionate customer. And even though, even though the, the traction initially was small, you knew that it was a really deep market segment where you could build a great business. Yeah,
Andrew Davies 00:21:50 You can, you can trade off all of those things. Right? So this was, we had a little bit of validation that they were excited, but we also knew it was something that we could, it was a segment we could mine for years to come. Cause it was big enough. And it was, it had a much defen because it was difficult to had enough defense around it, cause other people wouldn’t attack it. Um, and that proved true. It could have proved wrong, but I do think you’ve gotta trade off all of those different things. You know, how close are you to it? You know, is it something you’re getting massive excitement from how deep does it go? And we had, after that decision, we had sales reps leave quit. We had product leaders who weren’t happy and quit because they were betting on other different segments. But what it does is it, it means your product strategy becomes easy. Cause you’re building for one customer type. Yeah. It means you that’s,
Sean Ellis 00:22:29 You totally preempted what my follow on question was gonna be, which was if you’re going after four or five segments at the same time and they, and they’re focused on different benefits, how does that affect positioning? But, but the fact that you, that you kind of ended up narrowing it down to, to one deep, more singular segment, then, then it keeps that positioning pretty tight.
Andrew Davies 00:22:49 Yeah, totally. And you know, there’s that phrase flip the funnel, you know, instead of the traditional marketing, your old marketing, you throw out lots of stuff. And then you, you, you, you go through the process of qualification, qualification, qualification, then you deeply understand the customer. We wanna be in a situation where we’re deeply understanding the customer and they’re betting every bit of our budget ongoing and finding more of them and a Paddle. You know, it’s a bit of a different challenge cause we’ve got a much wider scope than I had at IDEO. Um, but at the same time, there are some, you know, very, very clear characteristics of those businesses. You know, internationalization would be one. So, you know, businesses that wanna sell everywhere, they have these detailed challenges over sales tax compliance that are really complicated to solve. So whether they’re small or large or in different sectors, if you’re, internationalizing, that’s one of those things that are true amongst all of our customer base.
Ethan Garr 00:23:35 So I think this ties in, uh, this question will tie into that set of questions as well. But you mentioned earlier that when you joined, there’s sort of like a simple tactic that was sort of driving the business and, and demand generation and it was working really well, but now your targets are getting bigger and you have to, you have to employ more complex tactics to do that. You mentioned as you’re joining, you’re thinking about culture, you’re thinking about data, how much like you, you have a working, something that’s working, your team understands how to work, build around this. How do you come in and bring that into the organization without it just getting so chaotic and so complex, especially you’re doing acquisitions and other things at the same time. How did you, like, just from a, a cultural perspective, like how did you personally try to lead that, that transformation without it just take, you know, just taking the wind out of the sales for the individuals who are trying to just keep the wheels on the bus turning. Yeah,
Andrew Davies 00:24:31 That’s a great question. Um, firstly making sure that at the top of all of the chaos, there’s a couple of, you know, normally I choose three simple priorities for the quarter or the half of the year that everything ladders up to. And so even if people get lost in complexity, they can come back to that one slide. There’s three bullet points that talk about, you know, what are the things we are trying to go at for this next six months. Um, and also it’s about setting the expectation that it should be chaotic where we are right now. And now that’s normal. I think often it’s a mismatch of expectations rather than anything else. You know, my, my view of startups, my experience of growth stage companies is that there’s massive cognitive dissonance because there’s some things that are working and look massively fantastic and engaging and should be on the front of tech crunch. And then there’s all this other stuff that’s, you know, horrific and broken and doesn’t work and is dragging us down is like an anchor behind us. And part of the job of a leader in a company like this is to remind people that that’s normal and that’s not something you’ve gotta kind of win or lose an argument on. That’s a tension you’ve gotta manage. Cause there’s always gonna be that cognitive dissonance as you walk forwards.
Ethan Garr 00:25:33 Yeah. I think that’s a, a great point and probably something our listeners should probably, you know, our, our audience is looking for what are the secrets behind breakout growth success? And I think one of the secrets is it’s not gonna get less chaotic. I mean, you’re trying to manage the chaos and you’re trying to figure out what things to focus on, but you’re not gonna eliminate the chaos if you’re growing quickly. And I think it, it becomes, I think if you set expectations for people that that is what, you know, that’s what you’re gonna be walking into. First of all, it can be a lot of fun, but then it also becomes less daunting. And I think it also gives people more of that head space to say, I can make mistakes here. I like, it’s gonna be chaotic. Things are gonna go wrong, but we can, you know, we’re a team and we’ll figure them out together.
Ethan Garr 00:26:15 So, uh, so really, it seems like a really interesting time to be part of Paddle. So I think Paddles, um, what about, I think about nine or 10 years old? Is that, is that right? And, um, uh, you know, I think as companies get to that, you know, to that stage and especially where you are, where you’re really trying to explode even further, um, managing people and I think you’re three or 400 person team now as well, like managing the people and the processes, all of that starts to really, really come into focus, but good point that it’s, uh, it’s probably not gonna get less chaotic in the process.
Andrew Davies 00:26:48 <laugh> yeah. And I think in the middle of managing that chaos, I think one of the things that’s really dear to my heart is that as you scale, you just can’t be super prescriptive and super top down about everything because my head would explode. Um, I like diving into the detail, but you, you can’t do that. And so, you know, the way I phrase it is that it’s really, really important to teach people the rules of the game so they can play it themselves. And so the challenge here is what are the rules of the game? What’s our customer acquisition cost? What are the, what are the targets we’re going after? What are the constraints we have to operate within? And then if we can teach our whole marketing team, those rules of the game, then we get 30, 40, 50 people who are waking up every day able to play the game themselves rather than be told exactly what they should be doing for that next eight hours. And I think that’s part of that moment of unlocking an organization,
Sean Ellis 00:27:32 Right? Yeah. So I, I, uh, in, in, uh, I recently have been doing more, uh, kind interim growth leadership roles. And so a lot of times the, you know, the, the, the chaos is just pulling you into it. Like, you know, we, we have the, like, come, come and solve all these problems. And, and that does that, that causes you to kind of take the, the eye off of, of the, the big picture levers in the business. And so you, but as you said, you don’t, you don’t want to, you don’t wanna minimize the importance of some of the, the problems that need solving, but you wanna empower teams to solve those problems. Um, when, when you kind of, uh, when you kind of think about not necessarily just at Paddle, but, but at, at, at any business, like the kind of, what, what are the, the big picture things that you’re trying to, trying to get working so that every everything else kind of, uh, kind of works a bit better?
Andrew Davies 00:28:27 Yeah. I, I break every company I walk into, um, when I’m looking at their marketing function, I break it down into four fundamentals. So do we have a detailed understanding of our target market, you know, has to be, you know, big enough to really matter to us, but small enough to go and win. Um, second thing, do we have an understanding of how we measure that? What is our operational framework for how much we can spend, how much we have to get back, how we, you know, what the key metrics are? Um, do we have a message that matters third, third piece? Is there something we are saying that’s genuinely resonating with the audience? And honestly, I find that to be the least optimized piece of most marketing engines. Um, and, and then, and then finally, like the set of tactics and engagement, uh, plans in order to match that message to that target audience. And so it’s trying to break it down into those full fundamentals and, and measure and improve them.
Sean Ellis 00:29:10 Yeah. And so take the measurement one, for example, because there’s so many different ways to measure now, like, uh, you know, there’s off the shelf. Things like, uh, like an amplitude that are gonna make sense in some environments, not in others, there’s, there’s, you know, just database with, with, uh, queries that you can run on top of that. And, and, uh, and, and so when you do, do you typically go in and find that, um, that the, that the, that the tracking systems are where you want them, or is that, is there some heavy lifting there to initially understand the business? Hey, have,
Andrew Davies 00:29:44 Have either of you ever seen a tracky system you’re happy with a full funnel tracking system? You’re happy with trying to
Sean Ellis 00:29:50 See if I’m the, and always being frustrated with that. Oh yeah.
Andrew Davies 00:29:56 I think that’s a multibillion market
Ethan Garr 00:29:58 Opportunity. No, but I <laugh>. No, but I’m still hopeful every time I start working with a company <laugh>
Andrew Davies 00:30:03 Yeah, absolutely. No, not yet. We’ll
Ethan Garr 00:30:06 Get there always optimistic, often. Disappointed. Yeah.
Sean Ellis 00:30:08 <laugh> so, so when, when trying to fix kind of the, the, the holes in the tracking, how, how do you, do you, do you normally kind of think about like, sort of holistically what the, what the tools for the tracking need to be, or do you, do you approach it more from, these are the key questions that I need very accurate answers to, and, uh, and let’s, let’s get a solution in place as quickly as possible that will give me those insights so that we can guide our efforts better.
Andrew Davies 00:30:37 Yeah. I mean, if we think about the, the two timeframes of a marketer, the two timeframes of a CMO, you know, our first job is to build in quarter next quarter demand. Uh, and the second job is to look two years out and build a position and an audience that we can then sell into that’s 10 X the size in a couple of years time. And so most of the measurement is gonna be around that first piece in quarter, next quarter demand. And so, yeah, for me, this, you know, I love the SDR or BDR team sitting in marketing. I know sometimes people wanna sit it in other, other functions, sales, um, but it sits within marketing here and that’s how I’ve usually run it. Um, which gives you just a real sharp focus on all of your marketing activity. Cause I want everyone in marketing, whether they’re creating a, a killer media show, whether they’re writing press releases, whether they’re, you know, running blog posts to know that at the end of the day, we are responsible to generate quality meetings for our sales reps to go and smash. Um, and so yeah, building the metrics around that as the, as the kind of lagging indicator and then the leading indicators in front of that would be things like, you know, what are our response rates for our various channels? You know, do we have a well understood target market with contact data that we can go into? Um, you know, and all of those other things that then sit beyond that.
Sean Ellis 00:31:44 Yeah. And I think you were saying that you’ve, you’ve moved more from a kind of pure sales led model to one that’s that’s a hybrid with product led mm-hmm <affirmative>. How does, how does the kind of SDR function, I mean, and maybe a quick definition on even SDR for people who may not know the initials for everything
Andrew Davies 00:32:02 <laugh> yeah, no, sorry. I’m uh, I’m I’m acronym heavy. Um, so we, we call <laugh>, we call ’em business development reps. And so their job is, you know, the outreach process via multiple channels into some of our target accounts to book quality meetings that are then handed over to our sales teams. Um, and the interface with product led, I mean, this is a super hot topic right now. Um, we’ve got a lot of product led growth businesses, you know, businesses that have founded like Monday and asanas and things that do a lot of PLG that now have strong enterprise sales teams, um, and a whole bunch of tools now that are starting to bring the deals. And the leads through that product led adoption into an enterprise sales setting. We also have businesses doing the other way. So, you know, a client of ours is service.
Andrew Davies 00:32:42 Now they are very sales led and they’re now launching product led motions. And so they need ways of, of, of running that much more efficiently. Um, and so firstly, it’s almost always gonna be a hybrid, whether you start product led, whether you start sales assisted, there’s probably gonna be a blend cuz of the massive efficiency that product led adoption gets you. And in our scenario, that’s what we’re finding. Um, and what we’ve done is created a revenue cutoff that if you’re smaller than a certain revenue band and you try and talk to our sales reps, we’ll just say, look, we love you. You’re gonna be awesome for Paddle. We’re gonna make, you know, a real great partnership together, but here’s our self serve approach now, you know, I don’t think that’s good enough yet. I want it to be the case where if you still wanna talk to someone, we’ll be able to do that.
Andrew Davies 00:33:22 Um, but at the moment, that’s the way we cut it off. Um, and then the opposite. If we find larger companies within that self-serve motion right now, we don’t go and talk to them cause they’ve chosen to be self-serve. And again, in the future, I think there’s much more nuance around that. That actually there’s some of those that that might be accidental or it might be unintentional and we really should reach out and present ourselves. So I think there’s a very brutish revenue cutoff right now. Um, and you know, this is something that’s pretty emergent for us. We’re transacting huge volumes through it, but there’s not a great infrastructure around it. And we will, we will be spending a lot on, on investing in that over the next couple of quarters.
Sean Ellis 00:33:53 And, and are you able to use any signals, uh, in, in kind of interaction on even the, the kind of self-serve motion that, that, that end up saying this is a big opportunity and bring the sales in, but, or as you just said, if they’ve chosen, self-serve you leave them alone? What’s the, how how’s that fit
Andrew Davies 00:34:13 In? Right, right now, if they choose self-serve, we leave them alone to okay. Interesting. In a couple quarters time that won’t be good enough, cuz right now there’s a couple of CU customers we saw come through and start transacting and are, you know, transacting in very significant volume. So we’re seeing the revenue run into the business and are thinking, uh, scratching our heads, who are these people. We need to go and look for our data to find out. Um, so it’s a good problem to have, but when we need to get much better at solving
Sean Ellis 00:34:34 And, and in the organization, sorry, Ethan. I know I just in the organization who, who runs the, the, the sales led end of things, is, do you have like a chief revenue officer, a VP sales?
Andrew Davies 00:34:47 Yeah, absolutely. So we’ve got sales leadership. So, um, you know, Christian is the, the founder and CEO and then there’s a, a gentle called Jimmy Fitzgerald, um, who came in actually with, was ex-service now he is a very seasoned, uh, industry operator. He’s our COO and president he’s who I report up to. And then several sales leaders also report to him. So we’ve got sales leadership on that side. Uh, and then the product led motion is a partnership between the product team and the marketing team.
Sean Ellis 00:35:11 Okay. Yeah. I mean, I think particularly if you start sales led a lot of times, it’s really, it’s really hard for, uh, sales leadership to want to, to want to, uh, kind of step out of some of those product led. So I won’t go into the, into the, the question there, but anyone who, unless you feel like, uh, giving some context there, but I think anyone who’s kind of moving in that direction. Some of the things that you’re talking about in my own experience, I think would be really hard in certain companies when it’s a, when it’s a highly qualified prospect, who’s, who’s super active and they’ve chosen to go the self-service route. I don’t know that I’ve ever worked with a head of sales that would say, yeah, we’ll leave those guys alone.
Andrew Davies 00:35:52 Totally. I mean, let’s, let’s name the element in the room here, right? We’ve got sales reps who have got commissions ahead of them. And suddenly there’s a portion of the business that is cannibalizing the market they can go after. Um, and that’s extremely painful for any sales rep. Who’s got a, got a big target on its head. So, um, totally understand as a big challenge, but the thing is we can also all look at that as, you know, options hold us in the business and, and fans of the business and participants in the success that if we can start to do this and this motion can work and we can get correct territory assignments for our sales reps, then the business itself becomes way more efficient and way higher growth. And so it’s about making sure we’re all, all in front of that north staff of the company and that, that we do work out things for the benefit of, of those sales territories as we go.
Ethan Garr 00:36:35 So along those lines, is there a core metric, uh, north star metric that really helps you as a you and the business kind of stay focused on how to, on continuing to deliver
Sean Ellis 00:36:45 Value and keeping all those people on the same page? <laugh>
Andrew Davies 00:36:49 Yeah, yeah. I mean, you know, our main metric is, is what we call gross transaction volume. So it’s the volume that’s flowing through our platform that we are taking, um, our cut off. So our cut is, is usually about 5% and 50 cents a transaction. Um, and so we’re taking that off all the businesses that are using our platform. Um, it might be slightly less on that if they’re very high volume of negotiated something separate. And so that’s our ki key metric on a daily basis. What’s the GTV. Uh, but now it’s actually getting much more interesting because we’ve with the acquisition of profit. Well, we’ve got multiple, you know, north star metrics that we’ve gotta rationalize. So, um, as you probably well know profit, well had the largest has the largest SaaS metrics platform, you know, blew the other competitors out of the water. We track something like 26 billion of ARR through that platform.
Andrew Davies 00:37:34 It’s the most accurate, it’s the most adopted, it’s the market leader it’s free. And so we’ve now got a, a gross, uh, gross monthly volume, kind of the, or gross merchandisable volume, the GMV, which is everything that’s flowing through, something that Paddles. Um, but we’re not actually taking anything, any cut of that. Then we’ve got a portion of that. That’s flowing through Paddle that we are taking cut off. Um, but we want both of those numbers to grow. And then there are other pieces of the profit, well business, like price intelligently and like their retention product, which is, which is a more normally priced product.
Ethan Garr 00:38:04 So I think Sean and I always look at the north star metric as having, it has value for multiple reasons, but one of the key ones there is just alignment throughout the organization. So you’re making a good point that when you have an acquisition and you may, um, that can change, like what the, what the alignment is around. Um, do you feel like, uh, do you feel like that’s coming into focus now, what the, what the combined north star metric is so that the Profitwellers and the Paddlers are all aligned or, uh, is that gonna take some time? Yeah,
Andrew Davies 00:38:35 I think that that gross transaction volume is that is the primary north star metric. It’s what we all get paid from. That’s the thing. And if we had a massive free base, but weren’t able to monetize it, then it would still be a valuable company, but it wouldn’t be the same type of value metric. So I think we are all aligned about that. What we’ve got though is a derivative metric and we wanna be a business, you know, we’ve, we’ve got two strategies we could choose here. We could either be, you know, a kind of business that wants to own everything of a smaller portion of the industry or that we wanna serve as much of the industry as possible with a piece of what we do. And we’ve taken that second approach. And so we do wanna measure things like the GMV. So we want metrics to keep growing as a product cause we wanna be helpful to the SaaS industry, to this prescription industry and make sure that we are measuring that impact by the volume of transactions that are flowing through our platforms, even if we’re not monetizing them.
Sean Ellis 00:39:21 Right. And, and so, um, I think the, uh, that the in, in kind of bringing it all together, do you, um, what, what sort of it taking a snapshot of kind of where you are right now? I think you’ve, you’ve, uh, you’ve, you’ve clearly, I’m sure it’s evolved quite a bit from your, your day one there. Um, but what, what are the, what, what are the challenges that you are, are focused on solving kind of over the next six months mm-hmm <affirmative>
Andrew Davies 00:39:51 So if we just kind of take the, the, the problem statements that fall out of those metrics, um, and I think helping our customers win is a, is a really key one. If our customers grow faster, because we take a transaction or we take a percentage of their transactions, then we grow fast to, so that net revenue retention number is, is really, really important. Um, and then also that second piece of the metrics is how we can serve non-customers as well as we serve customers. Now that’s a challenge in the business and we we’ve, we’ve stated we wanna be the most helpful brand in SAS. And that includes our shows that includes benchmarking and reports and research and a free metrics product. We wanna do more things there to help non-customers as much as we help our customers. So there’s a few things there, but, you know, sitting behind of that, I guess, is this, you know, the concept of the flywheel now, you know, I love, you know, how Amazon have managed to build year on year, quarter on quarter growth, by understanding that customers want things cheaper and they want things faster. And all of their investments within that core business unit are about delivering things cheaper and faster. And so I think we’ve got a bit of a way to go to deeply understand what are those fundamental problems that we are solving for our customers so that we can place all of our emphasis and investment on making sure those things are delivered so that we can create that flywheel of growth by serving a big audience, um, with lots of little things and then a smaller audience with something that’s genuinely impacting their business.
Ethan Garr 00:41:11 Can you like, sort of make that sort of into like, uh, Tang, like tangibly connect that to like a, a, like, can you describe a company like, or a person who, you know, they’re a, non-customer where Paddle can serve them and then bring them into the ecosystem, then make them a customer and then make, and then bring them continued value. Can you explain, can you kind of make that sort of human
Andrew Davies 00:41:35 In that path? Yeah. So, um, you might be a listener to pricing page teardown, um, which is now done, I think seven or eight seasons. They break down pricing pages. Patrick does it with some other co-hosts, um, and that might just be, you’re a member of our audience. And so you are getting value. Every one of those episodes gives you incredible value. It gives you, you know, detailed philosophy on why should be doing things strategy on how you should price. So that’s just, you know, the audience then you might say, okay, well, I’m using another billing platform and I’m not using Paddle, but now I want to get the benefit of the metrics dashboard. And so I’m now gonna sync up my Stripe or my Zoro, or my charge B into metrics. So I get this killer metrics dashboard. So up until that point, we are not taking a single penny from you, and hopefully we’re delivering a huge amount of value. Now there’s some things we’re building outta metrics over the, in the future, which are around benchmarking. Now we’ve got the biggest data set in subscriptions. And so we can help you understand norm in terms of all your, your, your metrics and understand within your segments, what norm is. So there’s a huge amount of value we can deliver from that in the future again, before we ever charge you. And so those are some of the steps you might wanna walk through.
Sean Ellis 00:42:36 So I, I really like the, uh, that, that path and I, and I’m, I’m, I, I think a lot of, uh, marketers could, could learn from, from that, that, uh, you know, traditionally, I think it’s kind of like, you know, you, you put ads out there, you try to generate some leads and maybe those leads are good enough to convert. Maybe they’re not, you improve your processes, but, um, as you start to kind of stack almost funnels on top of each other, where you have, uh, a podcast, like you said, and then that podcast is leading to a, to a, to a free tool that provides a lot of value. You, you increasingly move people into a world where you, you, um, have a relationship with them and earn trust with them where you, where you ultimately, uh, you can remarket to them for a long time and try to bring them into, into that kind of lead gen type state to where, where ultimately, and, and maybe even beyond the lead gen with the product led growth, where it’s, you’re actually driving the trial of it. But do you, do you think, um, do, do you think most, most marketers kind of, kind of grasp that as a, as, as a, as a better way to, to drive kind of, uh, customer acquisition. Um, and, and if not like, what’s, what’s a good way for them to, to start to, to get started with, with benefiting from that type of approach ver versus a more traditional approach.
Andrew Davies 00:44:05 So I am seeing a massive shift in B2B marketing of people, understanding that providing value is the best way of building relationships. And so I do think that we are seeing a turn where people are now not hiding value behind gated, you know, gated assets and big form fills. Uh, they’re not locking those things away in the hope of generating an extra 5% of MQL they’re giving that away for free. And I think there’s a few trends that are sitting behind that. The first one is that, um, I think buyer behavior is continuing to change. People demand much more. I don’t, I, I wanna go and try something. I don’t wanna be, you know, interrogated for a 15 minute discovery call from a sales rep on his diary or her diary before he ever get to see pricing or get to see what the interface looks like.
Andrew Davies 00:44:44 Uh, so there’s a buyer behavior that’s going on. There’s a competitive landscape where it’s easier than ever before to start a SAS business. And it’s harder than ever before to break through into the mainstream, by acquiring customers. And so people are giving more and more value away. So if you’re a competitive set and you’re not saying you’re pricing and not showing your interfaces, others are gonna win and get on the shortlist in front of you. Um, and so I think there’s just, you know, whether you look at, you know, people who do this early, like HubSpot’s website greater, um, whether you look at some of the PLG, there’s a few PLG businesses now that allowing you to experience the full value of the product without even taking an email address. And it’s only once you’ve you wanna save something or share something they’re actually collecting that data. So I do think we’re on this kind of inexorable trend of giving value away for free, in the hope of earning that relationship.
Sean Ellis 00:45:27 And I, I think HubSpot is such an interesting example there where they, they started with that website greater, which was brilliant at the time. But the fact that they take took that really bold move to say, we’re gonna have a fully featured free product for everything that we do. And just, just totally embraced product led growth to where, to where it’s, uh, you know, they’ve, they’ve got the upsell past the cross sell paths between everything and, and clearly they’ve, they’ve built a, a super valuable business in the process. And, uh, but it’s, I, I think there’s, there’s a lot to be learned. Obviously they, they are aiming at, at a smaller kind of customer that, uh, is more of that kind of self-service customer. I think they’re probably going a bit upmarket now, but, uh, traditionally they were, they were, they were pretty, uh, kind of very S SMB or even small business focused and, um, where, where would lend itself more to a, to a, to a no touch self-service model. Um, but it, yeah, it’ll be interesting to see how, how much that does push into enterprise businesses. And, uh, I think you guys will be a good bellwether for, for how well that works.
Andrew Davies 00:46:35 I, I think so. And, and also one thing that’s, you know, peculiar or interesting about Paddle. And certainly I saw this in the numbers when I came in is, um, our sales team talk about how we’ve got extremely strong second of third time win rates. And so we’ll see a deal. We’ll go through the whole process of mapping the value, doing an assessment of how much we can drive in terms of, you know, their growth, their cost reduced, et cetera. Um, and we’ll get a no, and then six months or nine months later, that deal will be closed in three days because now they’ve come back and they’ve tried something else to tried another approach. You know, we, we’re starting to see that second time founders choose Paddle because there’s a whole load of complexity that we need to get better at explaining what it is.
Andrew Davies 00:47:09 But it’s really hard to understand how complex it is up front until you’ve gone through a few phases of that, or, you know, trying to build, trying to break it, trying to optimize it, trying to maintain it. And then you look for a simpler solution. And so I think the relationship approach is also really valuable because we know that once you come to Paddle and use it, you almost never leave. Like we have extremely low churn once you’ve got a ticket to that party, you’ll stay there all night. But the challenge is actually allowing a longer term relationship rather than just a quick pitch to allow someone to understand that, go on that journey and say, well, we said these things would happen now you can see they’re happening. So we’re, we’re really open for that conversation whenever you’re ready.
Sean Ellis 00:47:43 And, and I’m assuming that Profitwell is a, a major, a, a major transition point in the business to, to really embrace kind of that freemium. You know, it sounds like just, I, I haven’t actually experienced their free product. I’ve, I’ve experienced a lot of their content, um, but not, not their kind of, uh, SAS analytics side of things, but, um, that, that just, just really feels like it, it, it feels the, the, uh, a gap that almost almost as embracing of freemium, that, that, uh, uh, HubSpot went through. And, and by the way, when HubSpot went through that path, I, I reached out to DME. Sean’s like, I love what you guys are doing. I just invested, uh, you know, back, I had been a, a, you know, pre pre IPO, uh, shareholder through, through an acquisition that they had made, but I was like, I just got back in. I love what you guys are doing. And I think they, they, uh, over the next couple of years went up about a thousand percent. So it was a good, good investment on that. But, uh, but yeah, it’s, uh, yeah, it’s a, um, do you feel like that’s a, a big transition point to embracing premium for you guys? It
Andrew Davies 00:48:51 It’s absolutely huge. Um, the other, the other kind of facet or vector of, of the, the change we’re embracing is also the integration into the ecosystem. So historically Paddle has been a bit standalone and we have to talk people through that full rip and replace cuz we are, you know, it’s open heart surgery. If you’re a scaling business to put Paddle in and it will solve loads of problems. Um, but you’ve gotta be committed to going and doing that. Whereas now with metrics and with retain both from profit, well, they’re already integrated into lots and lots of other billing stacks, some of which are directly competitive to portions of what Paddle does. And we are not diminishing that. We are gonna increase those investments and build out those integrations and make sure that as many pieces of our ecosystem as possible are integrated into the tools other people use. So I do think it’s about Freeman. I also think it’s about open integration,
Sean Ellis 00:49:37 But I, but I assume that they can still use, uh, you guys in a, in a pretty isolated way, if you want, if they wanted to have you serve all their needs, but the, but then you can also integrate on top of other products. Um, cuz I, if, if it feels like usually such a choice, you, you know, either I’m gonna build in someone else’s ecosystem or gonna create my own ecosystem, but, uh, this, this seems like one of the, the few times where I see that you’re, you’re kind of doing both, am I, am I misinterpreting that? Or is that actually what you’re doing? Yeah.
Andrew Davies 00:50:08 So you can effectively, if you’re choosing to build your own payments infrastructure, using multiple different vendors and metrics might be one of those vendors retain might be one of those vendors. Um, and what Paddle core is trying to do is replace all of those vendors with one single single stack. And so it’s going from piecemeal to platform because if we can do that, we can optimize it and keep it maintained and make it scale globally. Um, and so there’s pieces of our product, absolutely. That you can, you can, you can integrate in the, the bits from profit. Well, and then hopefully an increasing portion of the market will choose to make that full replacement, uh, and go to Paddle core over time.
Ethan Garr 00:50:41 So, Andrew, I know, uh, we’re getting a little bit short on time and you told us that you, uh, you have to run in a few minutes to take your team out for drinks, which automatically makes you a great leader. Um, but, uh, as just bef uh, before we wrap up, uh, it sounds like, you know, Paddle’s an incredibly fast growing company. You’re doing some exciting things. Are there any key growth roles that you’re trying to fill now that you’re in this, uh, in your new position here and, uh, anything you’d like to share,
Andrew Davies 00:51:06 We’re gonna be continuing to hire in marketing ops, into demand, gen product marketers with payments experience, um, on the creative side, as we go into 2023, we’re gonna be building up our creative team, you know, the team from profit. Well, they’re, you know, most of them are from art school. They’re not from SaaS backgrounds, they’re storytellers, they’re video producers. We’re gonna be hiring more people of that. I, um, so there’s a whole bunch of open roles there. And then on our customer side as well, a whole bunch of account managers, customer success.
Ethan Garr 00:51:35 So, uh, for our listeners, if they wanna find out about those positions or get in touch what’s, uh, you have any recommendations.
Andrew Davies 00:51:40 Yeah. Just come to Paddle.com and hit the careers button and it’s all should be listed there or, you know, grab me on LinkedIn or on Twitter. Be more than happy to chat to anyone who’s interested.
Sean Ellis 00:51:48 Great. So yeah. Before, before we wrap up Andrew, is there anything else you wanna share? I mean, any like last, maybe one, one question we do like to, to end with is, uh, any, anything you’ve learned about growth in the re in the last couple of years that maybe you didn’t quite understand before, uh, or, or anything else you feel like sharing before we wrap up?
Andrew Davies 00:52:08 I think one thing that, you know, having built a business to exit, but at a small scale, we were 60 staff. Things were very simple still when we sold and then being part of a roll up that went from 400 people to 1500 people over two years, mostly through inorganic growth. And then coming back at Paddle and seeing, you know, um, an acquisition happen is that, you know, scale breaks systems. Um, and the, the thing that I think I’ve learned over the last few years is that as you scale, and as the complexity gets bigger, it’s just about doing the simple things, excellent excellently and repeatedly. Um, and I think, you know, sometimes as marketers, we think it’s rocket science and we like to pretend it’s rocket science. Um, and maybe for some people who are cleverer than I, than it is than, um, than I it is. Um, but for me, it’s about those simple things as fundamentals we’ve talked about, do we understand the market? Do we understand the message? Do we understand the measurement framework? And, and can we go and deliver that message to the market? And so I think for myself, I’m constantly trying to make sure I come back to those fundamentals rather than get caught in the chaos.
Sean Ellis 00:53:06 That’s so funny. I, I had a conversation, uh, about a week ago, uh, over a beer where, uh, where a guy, you know, quite a bit younger than me. Um, but you know, hard charging do doing, doing great in, in growth. And marketing said to me, you know, how do you, how do you avoid becoming a dinosaur as all these new things are coming up? And my answer was almost exactly what you said is that, you know, all these things have changed. The fundamentals don’t change. You know, you need to, you need to service a need better than anything else that’s out there. You need to understand fears and motivations and deliver value. And you know, that those, those frameworks don’t change and, and the, uh, the, the tools to do it change. But, you know, the don’t, don’t lose sight of the, the, the basics <laugh>.
Ethan Garr 00:53:53 Yeah. And I, I love just, you know, earlier on you, you said something, I wrote it down just cuz it really ties back into that. Like cuz I think, you know, it is chaotic, the organization’s growing fast, all of these things are challenges and it comes down to keep it simple, keep it straightforward. But you said teach people the rules of the game and get them to play it themselves. I think that, you know, that’s such an important piece of this, right? If you, if you’re growing fast, ultimately decision making is going to get, it’s going to get harder to do. And it can’t just be the domain of one person or two people. So I think having that mindset of we’re gonna get everybody involved in the organization, figuring out what’s right. All pointing in the same direction. It just, uh, it definitely resonates with me and I’m sure with our listeners.
Sean Ellis 00:54:37 Absolutely. So, uh, thank, thank you Andrew so much for, for sharing with us, how you’re approaching growth at Paddle and uh, we’re really excited to see where you take it from here and hopefully some of our listeners will, uh, will jump on the opportunity to, to join the uh, the, the Paddle, uh, Paddle adventure there. Yeah. It’s kind of a Paddle adventure actually sounds like a good way to describe it, but uh, um, for, for everyone tuning in. Thank you for listening. Thank you so much, Sean. Thanks Ethan.
Ethan Garr 00:55:03 Thank you.
Announcer 00:55:09 Thanks for listening to the Breakout Growth Podcast. Please take a moment to leave us a review on your favorite podcast platform and while you’re at it subscribe. So you never miss a show until next week.The State of Growth Survey 2022