Stephanie Wong (@swongful) and Carter Morgan (@carterthecomic) are back with a new episode of How I Launched This. This week, we talk with Pendo CEO and Co-Founder Todd Olson. With a passion for helping teams build and adapt digital products, Todd and his co-founders from Google, RedHat, and Cisco created Pendo to help companies analyze how their product offerings are used to optimize performance for customers.
Pendo offers analytical tools, messaging features inside products, feedback polls, and customer feedback roadmaps to allow users to impact product development and companies to adjust products to fit real-life user needs. With situations like the global pandemic, this has become especially useful as users adjust to a new way of working with products. Pendo helps them navigate the products in these new ways and provides feedback to companies so they are able to adjust if necessary to ensure user satisfaction
Todd is no stranger to startups, having launched many himself starting from a very young age. With Pendo, he wanted to focus on what users really want, what they really need, and how they're actually using products that digital engineers build. He tells us the process of Pendo's creation, starting with the initial ideas and partnering with like minded individuals. Todd feels it's important and quite honestly, more fun, to have co-founders to help support the mission and bring complimentary skills to a project.
Later, we hear more about Todd's journey through entrepreneurship, from his first company to Pendo. We talk about how a lifetime of entrepreneurialism has changed him, and he tells us lessons he's learned, giving insight into the process of building a company, realizing it's potential, then moving to the next project. He details the evolution of Pendo from inception to edited iterations, to the useful service it is today. We talk about tradeoffs entrepreneurs and their startups invariably have to make and how to make the tough choices.
We dig into the technology behind Pendo later in the show as Todd outlines the tools they use and why. Todd also takes the time to talk about his new book on product-led businesses. The show wraps up with a discussion of how product-led businesses can adjust for the future and embrace the changes that come with it. We end with Todd's thoughts on the future of SaaS companies.