#255 - Rutger Teunissen, Former CEO 24Sessions - on building a resilient SaaS business

A story about what it takes to not only survive but come out stronger when adversity hits your software business


This podcast interview focuses on the resilience lessons learned in building 24Sessions between 2015 and 2022. My guest is Rutger Teunissen, founder and former CEO 24Sessions.

Rutger is a serial entrepreneur and ex-strategy consultant. He founded 24sessions in March 2015 after realizing that it would never work to completely hand off customer communication to tech. Sometimes, you need a personal advisor to help you out. 

Rutger painfully experienced that when he needed a mortgage for his new home. Finding the right advisor, making an appointment, and meeting the mortgage advisor in person was still a long, offline, and frustrating process.

He decided to solve this global problem – and embarked on a mission to reinvent the way businesses engage with customers.

He successfully sold his business in March 2021, and eventually stepped out in November 2022.

The reason why I invited Ruther is to explore the big lessons learned on his journey. Rutger talks about how the initial idea to build a marketplace became a complete failure and what he learned from that. He then explained the pivot and what was required to make that a success. Why COVID was a double-edged sword for the business, what critical lessons this taught them, and how they were able to not only survive but come out stronger altogether. 

Here’s one of his quotes

Almost until the last day, everybody in the company knew how much money we had in the bank accounts. It really helped, it made so many things easier if people have almost the same amount of knowledge as you have on the state of the business, on the stuff that scares you, on the stuff that you feel we’re great at. That transparency really helps.

During this interview, you will learn four things:

  1. Why very often we do strategic validation wrong – and how to avoid that.
  2. How to win a customer for life, even if they say your chances are 1%
  3. Why you should let everyone in your company know how much money is in the bank
  4. What’s the golden combination to building belonging around your business and employees who are 100% committed  

For more information about the guest from this week:

 

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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.