My guest today is Peter Reinhardt, co-founder and CEO of Segment, the market-leading data customer data platform that was acquired by Twilio last year. In our conversation, we cover the fascinating journey of Segment from an education feedback tool to the business it is today, Peter’s sales philosophy on meeting the customer where they are and not where you think they should be, and why revenue operations, or RevOps, is underrated for any business. This was an incredibly honest conversation on company building that any builder can learn a lot from. Please enjoy my conversation with Peter Reinhardt.
For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
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[00:02:47] - [First question] - What Segment currently does for its customers
[00:03:37] - How this industry looked before Segment came along
[00:04:30] - Overview of a simple data flow and the utility of capturing user data
[00:05:55] - Insights that lead to developing the structure for a central data pipeline
[00:07:52] - Why other companies don’t just build their own data collection API
[00:10:04] - Early days of building the company and finding success outside their initial idea
[00:12:29] - Pivoting from classroom software to providing software the world needed
[00:16:17] - What Technology Wants
[00:17:06] - Sign that validated becoming a B to B software company
[00:19:49] - Challenging moments trying to scale Segment after bootstrapping the startup
[00:24:58] - Getting customers to articulate your value proposition helps grow your sales
[00:26:42] - Deciding what would be sold and what would remain open source
[00:28:05] - Structuring and developing an enterprise sales team and sales model
[00:30:23] - Overview of a 2 million dollar per sales person contract and how it’s allocated
[00:31:38] - How it feels to be participant in the SaaS industry
[00:34:02] - Lessons learned about revenue operations and how underappreciated it is
[00:36:39] - Backwards efficiency and companies who use products to bootstrap scale economics
[00:38:51] - Focusing on customer acquisition cost to maximize scale efficiency
[00:40:52] - Potential disruptors to economies of scale
[00:42:21] - Lessons learned from achieving massive scale and being acquired by Twilio
[00:45:40] - Behind the curtain view of current data use trends
[00:48:49] - His perspectives on the data privacy landscape and their implications writ large
[00:51:48] - Legitimate businesses that will be hurt by changes in data privacy standards
[00:53:11] - How data privacy standards may affect everyday merchants
[00:54:03] - The worst advice he’s heard given to new entrepreneurs
[00:56:20] - Impactful advice received along the way when growing Segment
[00:56:47] - What has him most excited about the future
[00:57:13] - Lessons learned about leadership from Jeff Lawson and his own experience
[00:58:51] - The hardest changes he’s had to make as a leader
[01:00:20] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him