Meet the Guru of SaaS & Leadership (Recruit Rockstars 429)

If you lead a SaaS company, you likely know Dan Martell, as the Founder & CEO of SaaS Academy.

But even if you’re in a different industry, Dan has a ton to teach about how to scale your business. Fast.

Because he’s built & exited 5 companies.

Most noteworthy, Dan was Founder & CEO of which connects business leaders with experts in any field (I’m a customer). It was successfully acquired by

Now, Dan is Founder & CEO of SaaS Academy.

He coaches & teaches over 1,000 Founders to become high-performance leaders (…although much of what he teaches is relevant to any business.)

Dan began his career as a software developer. But his passion (and gift) is leadership, strategy, culture, and communications.

Plus as a native of British Columbia, Canada, he’s just nice as heck.

In this 20-minute conversation, Dan reveals how he’s scaled his companies and how he teaches other leaders to do the same.

CEO with 4 Startups & 3 Exits. How he hires (Recruit Rockstars 428)

Joseph Ansanelli makes leadership look deceptively easy.

Perhaps it’s because he’s done it more times than most. Or because he brings the humility to know that it’s a lifelong journey.

Based in SF Bay Area, he’s CEO & Co-Founder of Gladly, the company he incubated during his time at Greylock Partners.

Joseph is fond of saying “People first. Strategy second.” He believes that one of the keys to effective leadership is ensuring that teams have the right tools to succeed.

With his team of 150 employees, Gladly empowers customer service agents with a SaaS platform that turns them into heroes.

And he’s onto something big…

His investors include New Enterprise Associates, GGV Capital, SV Angel, Future Fund, and Glynn Capital Management.

Prior, he was Co-Founder & CEO of Connectify which was acquired by Kana, one of the first digital customer service platforms which he helped take public.

He was also Co-Founder & CEO of Vontu, the leader in data loss prevention, which was acquired by Symantec.

During college, he & a few friends created Trio Development, which was acquired by Apple and their product became Claris Organizer.

Joseph serves on the Boards of Directors of Sumo Logic and Trifacta. He also hosts one of my favorite podcasts Radically Personal

In this 20-minute conversation, Joseph reveals where he developed his passion for hiring & leading teams. And how he does it every day at Gladly.

The Inc5000 CEO Behind The Swag (Recruit Rockstars 427)

These days, if you’re not sending swag to your candidates & new hires, you’re missing out.

I’ve been doing it for years… Books. Wine glasses. Electronics. Shirts.

Anything to tip the scales in my favor – when they’re signing a job offer. But it’s been a logistical nightmare.

…Until now.

Meet Michael Martocci, CEO & Founder of SwagUp.

This 26-year-old has built an Inc5000 company, one of the nation’s fastest-growing. I’m a customer & a raving fan.

SwagUp is an API-first platform that streamlines the creation & distribution of quality swag globally. They’re reinventing this $30B market by digitizing the supply chain and making it available through beautiful interfaces and APIs.

Even more impressive, Michael’s bootstrapped the company.

They’re completely customer-funded and now work with over 2,000 companies to help them integrate quality swag into their workflows to make community a top priority and win back time.

I wanted to find out how he’s scaled the team that’s scaled the Swag.

In this 20-minute conversation, he reveals all.

How He Predicts if Your Candidate Will Bomb (Recruit Rockstars 426)

If you’re like most leaders who hire, you’ve experimented with using online assessments to see if your candidates have the right stuff.

You’ve probably also wondered how accurate they are & whether you’re using them the right way.

Let’s find out.

The Predictive Index is considered the industry leader. This talent optimization company uses behavioral, cognitive, and job assessments to make hiring & managing people more effective.

Clients include AstraZeneca, Blue Cross Blue Shield, TD Bank, DocuSign, LVMH, and Omni Hotels.

Mike Zani is PI’s CEO.

He’s also Co-Founder of Phoenix Strategy Investments, a private investment fund. An avid sailor, he was a coach of the 1996 US Olympic Team.

Mike recently published ‘The Science of Dream Teams: How Talent Optimization Can Drive Engagement, Productivity, and Happiness’

In this 20-minute conversation, Mike reveals everything you should know about using (or misusing) candidate assessments.

How She Leads 200 People… Remotely (Recruit Rockstars 425)

Tracy Tobin is Chief People Officer of Denver-based Adswerve, the leading Google Marketing Analytics & Cloud Partner.

Following a 13-year career leading HR at The Integer Group, she was ready for something new.

Enter Adswerve.

Adswerve is a team of media & analytics veterans who believe that smart marketing is built on data discovery. The firm helps thousands of digital marketers, data analysts, and agencies make stronger connections with their customers through data-driven strategies.

The company has 200 people, in a distributed model.

In this 20-minute conversation, Tracy reveals how she’s building a vibrant culture… despite the team not being located in the same office.

How She Built a Culture of Authenticity (Recruit Rockstars 424)

Ten years ago, Jilliene Helman was working in Union Bank’s wealth management group. She couldn’t help but notice that the bank’s wealthiest clients earned their fortunes in real estate.

When our government passed the 2012 JOBS Act (intended to encourage funding of small businesses by easing securities regulations), Jilliene saw an opportunity.

So she quit the bank. And created RealtyMogul.

Her new way of investing in real estate has caught on. To put it mildly.

Her firm has done over 300 deals, with a real estate value of $4 Billion. And lets everyday people access institutional-quality investments.

Investors can participate in a deal at a time or invest in one of their REIT pooled vehicles with a diversified group of deals.

Clearly, she’s onto something.

Top investors Canaan Partners and Sorenson Capital have backed her vision.

In this 20-minute conversation, Jilliene reveals how she’s built her 70-person team to shake up the real estate investment field.

VC Brad Feld Gets Philosophical (Recruit Rockstars 423)

Brad Feld is one of the nation’s most prolific Venture Capital investors & business authors.

He’s been investing in early-stage companies since 1995, with dozens of successes to his credit. Based in Boulder, Brad is Co-Founder of both Foundry Group and Techstars.

Foundry’s portfolio companies include Whoop, Suzy, Ordermark, Glowforge, and Drip.

When he’s not investing, Brad is writing. He’s got 8 books on entrepreneurship to his credit.

And now, he’s got a new one “The Entrepreneur’s Weekly Nietzsche: A Book for Disruptors” co-authored with serial entrepreneur Dave Jilk with a forward by Reid Hoffman

It turns out that Friedrich Nietzsche, the late 1800’s philosopher, wrote countless lessons that could be easily applied to entrepreneurship.

In the book, each quick, digestible chapter expands on a quote from Nietzsche to stimulate your thinking about a vital aspect of entrepreneurship, with stories from real-life entrepreneurs help make the ideas concrete.

The book is fascinating, as is Brad.

In this 20-minute conversation, he reveals the lonely struggles that entrepreneurs face & how to keep your wits about you, no matter what role you play in scaling a company.

How This CEO Built a Unicorn Team (Recruit Rockstars 422)

Nothing lights me up more than a meaty conversation with a successful entrepreneur.

I just bagged the elephant (You can thank me later.)

Godard Abel is one of the most successful SaaS entrepreneurs you’ll meet. And G2 is his Unicorn baby.

After wrapping his studies at Stanford MBA and MIT Engineering, Godard was Co-Founder & CEO of BigMachines, a pioneer of the Configure, Price, Quote software category. He scaled the business from scratch to $50M revenues & 300 people, before its acquisition by Oracle.

As CEO of SteelBrick, the leading Quote-to-Cash software platform, he built the team from 5 to 200 people, before its acquisition by Salesforce.

And currently, Godard is Co-Founder & CEO of G2, which makes B2B tech buying easy by connecting buyers to vendors. It’s “Yelp for Business Software & Services” with 1 million customer reviews & real-time ratings. 5 million tech buyers visit each month.

And he’s onto something big…

G2 has raised over $200M from top investors: Accel, Chicago Ventures, Emergence, High Alpha, Hyde Park Venture Partners, IVP, Permira, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Salesforce Ventures, HubSpot Ventures.

I was curious to understand how Godard makes it look so easy (It’s not.) He attributes not some… but ALL… of his success to “hiring & nurturing incredible people.”

In this 20-minute conversation, he reveals step-by-step how to build your Unicorn team.

How P.E. Investors Really Hire (Recruit Rockstars 421)

Private Equity is so mysterious to so many people.

But it doesn’t have to be.

With billions of capital sitting on the sidelines, P.E. funds are making investments & recruiting talent like never before.

I wanted to find a P.E. investor to show us how it’s done, and pull no punches.

Paul Stansik is Principal at Chicago-based ParkerGale Capital. The P.E. firm leads buyouts of profitable B2B software companies with $10M+ revenue.

ParkerGale’s portfolio companies include Contelligent, Profisee, and Source Intelligence.

Following a successful career with Bain & Company in its Leadership & Talent group, Paul moved to P.E. He holds an MBA from The Wharton School.

In this 20-minute conversation, Paul reveals how the best P.E. investors put a Rockstar in every seat of every portfolio company.

How He Went From VC to CEO (Recruit Rockstars 420)

Few people make the transition from being a Venture Capitalist to running an operating company.

Even fewer do it successfully.

I just met one of them. His name is David Wald, CEO & Co-Founder of Aclaimant.

After years at Bain & Company and dough, he was a successful venture investor at Lightbank.

Now, his fast-growing Chicago-based SaaS platform helps companies manage their risks. Specifically, tracking the processes around people who get hurt & property that gets damaged.

With over 50 distributed employees, David & his team have weathered the pandemic with strength.

Clearly, he’s onto something big… Aclaimant investors include Royal Street Ventures, Mercury Fund, KEC Ventures, Next Coast Ventures, Aspen Capital Group, RRE Ventures, EBSCO Capital, Moderne Ventures.

In this 20-minute, David reveals how he puts a Rockstar in every seat of the business.

Wait! Would you like a free copy of our bestselling book Recruit Rockstars?

“Jeff has recruited Rockstars and built winning cultures for 25 years. Finally, he shows us how!” —Brad Feld, Managing Director, Foundry Group Venture Capital