#284 - Josh Haynam, CEO Interact- on building a SaaS business that customers love.

A story about bootstrapping a successful SaaS business that nobody believed in.


This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to increase your business visibility and tap into viral possibilities. My guest is Josh Haynam, Co-founder and CEO of Interact.

Josh Haynam is a life-long entrepreneur, having started his first company at the age of 15 and never held a full-time job outside of entrepreneurship.

In June 2014 he and his co-founder started Interact a company that’s all about connecting brands and customers at a human level

They bootstrapped the company up to this point, and have helped more than 150,000 customers generate over 21 million leads and counting for their businesses.

Their mission: to empower digital entrepreneurs, creators, and brands to grow their business through empathetic listening, deeper understanding, and true connection.

And this inspired me, and hence I invited Josh to my podcast. We explore his bootstrapped journey and the critical choices he and his co-founder had to make along the journey. Josh explains how he’s been able to create defensible differentiation from the start. He shares his big lessons learned to accelerate profitability. Last but not least, he explains how COVID led to a big spike in revenue, that quickly became the worst thing that could ever happen to his company – and the counterintuitive thing he’s done to come out stronger.

Here’s one of his quotes

There’s always this difficulty around like, we could go faster, or we could build more or we could compete better if we were to have funding or if we would just be able to hire these people. 

What I always end up remembering is: There are no shortcuts. We’re seeing now a lot of our competition shedding users, because they acquired them in a way that wasn’t profitable. And so now they have to get rid of them. And that’s just like doubly wasting money because it costs money to acquire that user. And then they’re also going to be a detractor for your business. It doesn’t actually work. It’s just really tempting.

 

During this interview, you will learn four things:

  1. What to stay true to when you want to build a SaaS business that lasts.
  2. The power of credibly detracting customers you don’t want.
  3. What to do when you’re overwhelmed by a flood of better-funded competitors.
  4. His tips about the best way to build marketing that works

 

For more information about the guest from this week:

 

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My promise: It’s short. To the point. Inspiring. And valuable.

 

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About the author

Sales Pitch

Ton Dobbe is a former B2B software product marketer who's on a mission to save mission-driven SaaS CEOs from the stress of 'not enough' traction. He's the author of The Remarkable Effect, the host of the Tech-Entrepreneur on a Mission podcast, and writes a daily newsletter on the secrets to mastering predictable traction.