#294 - Sharekh Shaikh, CEO of CleverX - on breaking 30 years of Status Quo

A story about solving a $55 Billion trust issue in the research industry.

This podcast interview focuses on the entrepreneurial journey to change the status quo of an industry that hasn’t changed in 3 decades. My guest is Sharekh Shaikh, CEO of CleverX.

Sharekh ShaikhSharekh is a 2X founder in the human capital and the future of workspace. He has successfully created businesses that have generated $ multi-million in sales.

Sharekh’s story is about an immigrant’s Silicon Valley dream. He has lived and worked in 4 different countries and traveled to over 35 countries. He spends most of his time understanding how people collaborate and share knowledge in different contexts of work.

Before becoming a tech entrepreneur, Sharekh worked with Gartner. He helped them build programs so technology leaders across industries could collaborate with each other in a trusted space.

The challenges he had to overcome in that period inspired him to found CleverX In January 2020.

Their mission: To make human knowledge accessible to all and be your trusted place to build real relationships and get work done.

This inspired me, and hence I invited Sharekh to my podcast. We explore the journey of building a solution for the broken B2B market in commercial research. Sharek digs into the critical choices he made early on and explains his first principles for creating a SaaS business that people find worth making a remark about. He shares his views on avoiding dependence on venture capital and getting pricing right from the start. Last but not least, he shares what it takes to navigate various company phases successfully.


Here’s one of his quotes

Finding a specific set of customers is really really valuable rather than trying to go after five different people. Because your product can serve five people. It’s not like won’t. But where does it really solve a pain where people are excited and ready to give you the money right away? That is what you should be looking for.


During this interview, you will learn four things:

  1. Why he doesn’t believe in Minimum Viable Product and what he did instead to drive success early in the process.
  2. Why he’d explore more verticals at the same time – if he’d ever get the chance.
  3. How he’s testing whether he’s on the right track with his product fit and strategy.
  4. What he’s doing differently to get feedback that translates directly into his development choices.


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.