SaaStr Annual 2018 Recap

“Making decisions with passion for the customers helps you solve people problems in a way that truly cares for those people. The impact of every decision should be thought through for your customer.” – Mike Cannon-Brookes, Atlassian CEO, SaaStr Annual 2018

Equality and diversity, B2B versus B2C, founders and VCs—SaaStr Annual 2018 was packed with amazing content and an excellent sponsor hall. As a Gold Sponsor, Concord was thrilled to have an inside view into this great event.

We had an amazing experience seeing what innovative problems companies are solving in the SaaS space. Dynamic speakers painted a vision of the future of service-based technology. As Mike Cannon-Brookes, Atlassian CEO mentioned and was echoed by many other founders, the reason these problems are currently being explored is because people care about helping their customers work faster, smarter, and better. Whether through operational efficiency or enhancing a customer experience, companies all around the globe showcased how they are able to connect with their customers and bring them into a new and improved world where solutions are unified and processes are simplified. Bringing humanity back into business and focusing on the customer was a huge theme throughout the conference.

Here were our top 3 takeaways:

1. Put customers first to ensure sustainable growth.

Companies have the power to use their technology to positively impact the future of business. As SaaStr, it was all about working faster, smarter, and more effectively through the amazing innovations that have been created in recent years. Listening to customer needs and learning how they use the tools is key to maintaining a useful product and building a strong relationship.

Michael Pryer, CEO and Head of Product at Trello and Atlassian, pointed out how decisions made with passion were vital—sitting back and fading away was the worst thing to do as a CEO, or as any contributor in a company. He saw the acquisition with Atlassian as a strategic move to expand and better serve his current customers. He encouraged the audience to think about how their decisions could continue to grow customer loyalty by always being a step ahead of emerging technology needs.

2. High-growth companies are looking for ways to build repeatable, scalable, and profitable growth processes.

How is this accomplished? Technology. In a session on the key stages of a business and how to scale, David Skok pointed out how finding and leveraging the right technologies help teams work more effectively and creatively. Unified platforms bring teams together and streamline processes so they are able to scale alongside an organization as it grows.

3. Collaboration is key—both with people and technologies.

New ideas were buzzing at SaaStr, from conversations in the coffee line or between two strangers who sat next to each other at lunch. Each of these interactions brought the theme of the conference back—collaborating with other people is key as businesses build more integrations, companies are acquired, and relationships are made throughout the industry. In a session on building profitable events, having effective integrations was a huge theme. Making products more unified and seamless, and ultimately better able to measure success, helps teams work smarter.

We were inspired by the stories of combining creativity and technology to change the way people work, and thrilled to join the exciting lineup of organizations who are a part of that movement. We can’t wait to see everyone again next year!