Key topics in today’s conversation include:
The SaaS(ramp) Podcast explores how tech leaders scale from product adoption to enterprise success. Learn more at www.saasrampmedia.com.
Pete Thornton 0:06
Welcome back to The SaaS(ramp) Podcast. I’m your host, Podcast Pete. We’re coming not so live from Miami today. Because by the time you see it, I will not be in Miami anymore. But interesting one from Miami. And on today, a special guest, near and dear to myself, Sanjeev Sisodiya. VP, customer success at Postman. Welcome to the show, Sanjeev.
Sanjeev Sisodiya 0:28
Hey, Pete, good to get to see you in a different spot today, Miami. Usually, you’re in different locals. And I’m virtually in the UK.
Pete Thornton 0:38
Virtually in the UK. That’s right. Yeah, we had to say like, where’s your virtual location? So we get the right, we get the right pin dropping? Yeah, I love it. Yeah. Thanks for being on. Really, really appreciate it. So disclaimer to everybody, let’s probably just go ahead and let them know, we work together at postman very closely as it were. So some guests, I don’t know very well, some guests. I know extremely well, this is the ladder but we will pit like pretend that you don’t know yet about Postman. And so and so we won’t skip details. And we’ll give you full context. We’ll jump right in, though. So the question we’d like to go to, to kind of like get into the meat of the hypergrowth that SaaS(ramp) stands for is Sanjeev what is the biggest challenge you faced over the last six months.
Sanjeev Sisodiya 1:23
The biggest challenge is that we are scaling super quickly, the topic of the podcast. And so we’ve got lots of great new people who’ve joined postman. And so it really is that classic challenge of onboarding, how do you have you take all these wonderful people you’ve spent all this time hiring, and give them all of the context of this, of this business that they’ve joined. And given our pace of growth, we’re close to having almost more new people than original people. And so that that creates some set of challenges.
Pete Thornton 2:00
Yeah, it certainly does. Two things to unpack from that one. And one is like onboarding, with a couple of definitions for that one, because we’ve seen this before even work, you know, you use that term, and then people know it from the customer success angle with customers, and they’ll know it from being new hires. And then in the realm of that, if you would unpack both of those, what do you think of each of those? And then what is happening, context for growth at postman just so they can even understand kind of like what this looks like over here.
Sanjeev Sisodiya 2:31
Yeah, maybe that’s a good place to start. So I’ve been a postman for years. And in that period of time, we’ve gone from having 5 million active developers on the platform to 20 million now. So for x in four years, and that kind of trickles down to every metric in the organization. So not only are we scaling quickly, but the numbers are that we started with from we’re quite large, right? So it’s kind of that a large base, and then scaling on top of a large base problem. And also opportunity. It’s a rare opportunity to be in that context. So that’s the backdrop and we can talk more about specifically what Postman does in a minute. But even without the specifics, you know, dealing with scale, and then scaling the scale is kind of the challenges that we have. And if you take that and you bring new people into your organization, so new, we call them postman knots, then, you know, they, they need to have that context of the journey that postman has been on. And we kind of need to prepare them for the pace of growth. So that’s, I think, onboarding new employees into the context of Postman’s business, but also the pace of change. And that’s, that’s one context of onboarding. The other context of onboarding is for our customers. And that’s a particularly unique one, a postman because postman has been around for 10 years very, very popular tool in the API space. And so a lot of our customers that come to us think that they know the product completely because they’ve been using it for a long period of time. The challenges, postman, of course, has evolved from really what was more a developer, individual developer focused tool to now an API plan. And so many of our customers need to be on-boarded onto the concept of what is postman, even though they believe they already know. And that’s different than the traditional onboarding of let’s make sure that they’re using all of the parts of the product that they’ve signed up for and getting value that’s important, but we also have to kind of conceptually onboard them onto what is this product that they believe they already know?
Pete Thornton 4:55
Yeah, that is really, really interesting because it’s almost like this Postman is this paradox of all these wonderful things, because you have this massive user base, they have extremely high technical knowledge of the platform already. The growth is in two areas between self serve and sales serve. And then the things I’m sure you’ll tell us about as well, but, but with each of these things comes like a sideways challenge is maybe like how might term it so it’s almost like if everybody owns a house, so maybe everybody thinks they’re like a real estate investor or something like that. Like it’s like a, it’s like a slightly different sort of problem to have. Because they’re inside the platform. What’s the number of minutes per day? What’s the latest statistic on how long people are just kind of spinning inside the program?
Sanjeev Sisodiya 5:47
Most of our active users are in the platform for north of an hour per day. So you know, that’s an eighth of their day, they’re spending inside postman. And so that’s what breeds the familiarity. Right? So it’s very difficult to tell somebody who’s been in the product for an hour a day, hey, there’s actually a lot that we know about.
Pete Thornton 6:09
Yeah, so as far as quality time with my daughter, like true quality time with my daughter might be an hour a day. If somebody wants to come from the outside and outside, but like somebody else wants to show up and tell me a little bit of, you know, it’d be hard to absorb a little bit. That’s it’s a, that’s a very interesting paradigm. So onboarding a customer who’s already in a platform, perhaps a bit of an aside, but these are two forms of onboarding that are completely different things but have a lot of overlapping similarities. That’s kind of interesting, something maybe to come back to. I do a terrible job because I want to go deep on every topic. But let me suction back out. And let me try. He’s tried to work the plan, favorite leadership moment for you over the course of these four years, presumably, but could be from other experience altogether?
Sanjeev Sisodiya 6:59
Yeah, actually, this one I thought about a little bit. This was super clear to me after a bit. There was one earlier this year, we had our go-to-market organization, annual kickoff, we call Coco, the customer kickoff. And on awards night, the first night, you know, we’re giving out awards, all of those sorts of things. And then I realized, as I was sitting there that a few of the teams that I had helped start the original, each of the original members of those teams was still in the company, all of them had been here three plus years. And so I think the most rewarding thing is, you know, in a context like Postman, where we’re all working so hard, we’re all, you know, evolving our approach to the product, and the customer and our own understanding of what our roles are, to see people join an organization help start a team and continue to build that organization. It’s just incredibly rewarding. And ultimately, I think, you know, in many ways, it’s the people and what you do with them, both the people that you bring into the company and the customers that you work with. So that was particularly rewarding for me to see people that came into postman early. Continue to be on that journey with us.
Pete Thornton 8:14
Yeah, yeah. That’s wonderful. Yeah, that’s particularly nice. Starting to get a little bit more personal in this. Can you name three of those folks, by chance? Just like three of the early Postmanauts?
Sanjeev Sisodiya 8:14
Oh, yeah. Ryan Reynolds, Matt Ball, and Tres. So Tresa Oscar, so all three of them, you know, helped help start each of their respective teams and are still, you know, core contributors and growing with the organization.
Pete Thornton 8:46
Absolutely, yeah, that’s, that’s wonderful. So good to be able to meet majority of them at Coco as well. I know people don’t know what Coco at his is SK O for the entire go-to-market organization. Unfortunately, we did not deliver on the hot cocoa promise this year. But you know, these things come annually, so we’ll get around to it. Okay, one thing: there’s this book called The one thing and it’s something we’ve done in our smaller enablement organization because it gets so wild as it gets so loud and hypergrowth that you’re like, Okay, so what if only one thing had happened today, this week, this month, this has been something you brought up something you brought down from our CEO. And so it’s a good question for the show. And it always reminds me to think about it, what is one thing you have to get right in order for your organization, the customer success organization to grow or to deliver?
Sanjeev Sisodiya 9:40
This is a really good timely question. It’s a simple one, it’s focus. And, you know, we, there’s so much happening in any fast-growing organization. And, you know, and in postman in particular, where we’re helping define this mark. Get up the API platform, right? And so we’re creating this vision we’re bringing our customers along, our customers are guiding us on this vision as well. So there are lots of different moving parts. But that can sometimes lead to us getting distracted. And saying, you know, I need to do all of these 17 different things. And I’m as guilty of this as anyone. And so really figuring out from those 17 things, right? What are the one or two things that really are the primary drivers of future success? And how do you have the discipline? To say no to everything else? Right. So focus, slash saying no, is something that I’m working on. And I think, you know, for every fast-growing startup, you have to pick for a period of time, whether it’s six months or 12 months, here’s the thing that I’m going to do as a leader. And here’s that clarity that I’m going to give to my team. So they know what to focus on, because everybody’s gonna get pulled in a lot of different directions.
Pete Thornton 11:07
Yeah, that is the reason for that exercise. It is, and just what you just mentioned, there are so many things going on, you said the number 17, and kind of cracks me up like 17 wasn’t familiar. I think there were 17, like, not exactly departments, but sub-roles. Not eating them sub-roles. I’m saying like, if you took the components of customer success team, you could break it out into maybe six of those. And then you bet you take the other number of maybe product advocates. And anyway, you’ve had I think 17 teams rolling up to you. So that number 17 is probably not out of thin air either. But trying to boil that down into one thing to focus on. How do you choose that? Do you choose that based on a certain business metric that you’re trying to impact? Do you choose it based on the one thing that you as a leader can only you can do it’s the unique value proposition of yourself within the organization can’t be delegated, can’t be outsourced? Like how do you come up with the thing that you are going to focus on?
Sanjeev Sisodiya 12:06
Yeah, I do think it has to be aligned to that business outcome, right, that you agreed to as a leadership team for each function, that that that’s going to be what that function is going to deliver to the overall organization’s journey. I think it’s dangerous to tie it to your unique skill set. Right? Because that’s, you know, that that then means you’re, you’re the, you’re the weak link in the chain, anything happens. So, yeah, very much has to be tied to, to what? And I think this force is clarity, from an organizational strategy perspective, right? What is the one or two things that we are asking each team to deliver on? You know, that’s a conversation that his leadership team we have to have. And once we get that clarity, then it’s, it’s much easier for every team to align and focus.
Pete Thornton 13:02
Okay, yeah. Yeah. Great. I understand on that one. Okay, I have to, and I’ll out, I’d like to go a little, you have a very interesting background, I’d love to go into it. Because not everybody just you didn’t go to college to become the VP of Customer Success in a hypergrowth organization. I don’t think that like Courseload was offered. But you do have an interesting educational background and geographical background, every bit of it. And it does all play a part in this journey. So would you kind of tell us, what led you here kind of personal and professional experiences?
Sanjeev Sisodiya 13:38
Yeah, it depends how far back you want to go.
Pete Thornton 13:45
Yeah, let’s hit all the major countries. Don’t forget West Texas at some point. And a couple of jobs along the way. This one is so diverse.
Sanjeev Sisodiya 13:57
Yeah, so the background, you know, I was born in England, spent my early childhood there, finished high school in India where my family’s from, and then came out to West Texas for undergrad did an undergrad degree in computer science. out in West Texas, in San Angelo, Texas, if anyone’s heard of that.
Pete Thornton 14:23
By the way, people who have heard of it are always like you were, you know that they repeat it like you were there. And like the people who do know like I’m saying.
Sanjeev Sisodiya 14:35
Yeah, and it’s funny, thanks to story about this. It’s almost on every map of the United States that you see because there’s nothing for miles and miles in any direction from there. The finished undergrad in Texas. I had a great time there. I really enjoyed the time there. Went to the Midwest for grad school, became a Buckeye kind of ironically grew with my love of, of American football in Ohio, more than Texas, which, if there are two states that were vying for, you know, passionate about football, those would be on the top of the list. And then, and then kind of made it out to Silicon Valley in the late 90s, when it was, like the show, and oh, my gosh, yeah. And I’ve been in the Bay Area ever since. And, you know, I think that background of, of these diverse cultures really helped kind of set my future course of having a lot of different interests in different parts of the business lifecycle, really. But for the first 15 years of my career, I was a developer. My last role was CTO of a series, a startup that sort of ran out of money, like many do, right, and at the end of that I actually got the opportunity to, to kind of transition into technology sales, I was made an offer by somebody I’d gotten to know really well, you know, with the famous kind of intro line of oh, you should try this out for a year, how bad could it be, and I didn’t really have any plans after that startup wrapped up. So as I go, You know what, let’s give this a try. And up until that point, I was one of those developers, like, you know, maybe a bit of a stereotype. But I was one of the developers who just thought, well, the development work is the heart. And everybody else is just kind of collecting the money, right, like, and I learned very quickly that that’s not the case. The sales world turned out to be fascinating because you’re dealing with a different class of problems you’re dealing with. Humans on the other side, who are unpredictable, have different motivations. You’re dealing there in organizations that have different goals and constraints. So I found I’ve really, really enjoyed it. And I’m very glad that that kind of accidental turd in the journey happened. And then, you know, after doing sales for four years, sort of this was when customer success was emerging as a function. And I kind of liked the spot that it put me in where it was in between still being very customer-facing. But also maybe being able to build longer-term relationships with customers. versus, you know, a little bit more of that shorter-term focus that sometimes happens on the sales side. So I started off there and customer success. And then, once I left that organization, I was looking for my next role, and kind of Matt Arb, the co-founder of Postman at a meetup that I used to co-host for Customer Success leaders, where he was looking for CS leader. And I think my background of being a developer, being in customer success, and Postman’s position of being developer-focused and very community driven and customer-oriented that all lined up really well. And I’ve been here ever since. And it’s just been an amazing journey. So that’s maybe a little longer than you were expecting feet. But that’s the short version.
Pete Thornton 18:20
No, I know some of the blurbs in between as well. And so you could have colored it even more if you start getting into anything that happens to be patented, or something like that. I know that we’ve probably taken it off our theme, but very interesting all the time. Okay, so I guess that journey, like, you know, sometimes it’s just like, finding the next step is like stone as you kind of cross a river and things like that, you know, you move to one place you think that’s gonna be the journey. And then somebody like you said, like, try this for a year, how bad could it be. And it’s another fascinating point, and it does all merge together. Or as like Steve Jobs famously said, like the dots a line looking backward. So there could be nothing you’d change. But then if you could give yourself a tip from 10 years ago, like now you have that you have the 2020 hindsight vision and everything.
Sanjeev Sisodiya 19:10
Yeah, I think it would be to seek out mentors much earlier in my career. And, you know, I think, especially, I don’t know if there’s a way to generalize this. But yeah, I thought, Well, I’m a smart guy, I can figure all this stuff out. This is a little bit of that kind of mentality. I think most people you could, but I think it’s actually a lot better if you’ve got somebody, you know, not necessarily showing you every step, but who’s available to guide you for you to ask questions. I think it’s fair to say like the world of work in the world, in general, can be pretty overwhelming. And it’s really, I think, good to have people along the way who you can kind of bounce ideas off and discuss I would say, that’s probably the, you know, the if you want to put it in the category of regret or something that I would do, sitter is not seeking out mentors, you know, all the way along my career and sort of, you know. So yeah, that’s a regret and a piece of advice for everyone listening as well.
Pete Thornton 20:19
That’s a great piece of advice. You and I both know somebody who does extremely well, I just leave it. I don’t know if he wanted air. So I just won’t say it because he does this extremely well. And I’ve noticed he is surrounded by amazing people. It’s almost part of his job title, though. So like, maybe that’s just a skill set actually is like seeking them out and, and understanding how to develop those relationships. But I’m curious because I’m curious for myself, would you? If you did have that tip, and you knew that 10 years ago, coming from yourself, would you have to know what direction you were headed to find the right mentor? Like, how much of that is happenstance? Could you action, that tip from 10 years ago not knowing you’d end up in a customer-facing role one day as a leader?
Sanjeev Sisodiya 21:07
Yeah, I think so. I don’t think it necessarily needs to be tied. One way could be to tie it to the direction that you want to take your career. And I think maybe a different way to think about it is, you know, I think we all come across people in every role that we’re in, whether they’re in our specific part of the organization, or different parts of the organization, that are just really, really good at what they do. And I think there’s something to learn from that. And so it’s really about what skills you want to pick up, necessarily more so than maybe what direction you want to take in your career. There are some people that manage difficult conversations really well. And there are some people that manage high-pressure situations and competing priorities really well. And so I think it’s a question of sometimes, you know, like, is there a skill that you want to pick up? And then if you notice that in somebody, you know, how can you learn that skill from them? And sometimes, you know, it’ll just end up being a compliment because they’re like, Oh, I didn’t realize I did that. I’m happy to help share how I do it.
Pete Thornton 22:15
Totally, yeah. There’s that one, you know, when one teaches to learn, type of aspect, and I get what you’re saying because it’s competencies, you’re saying you can pick up competencies and, and things that you might not even know you would end up getting, and they might benefit, as well. I was thinking along the lines of— Yeah.
Sanjeev Sisodiya 22:36
Actually, just one thing I wanted to throw in there. So I think a fundamental skill for everybody, regardless of kind of what career you’re in, almost, is the ability to tell a story, right? Because I think, and this is something I am continuously trying to work on, is, you know, all of us have lots of data. And very often, you know, when we’re asked about something, we present the data. And that’s one way to do it, of course, and that’s maybe a little bit the simpler way to do it, which is I’m just gonna say everything I know, the more the trickier thing, and this applies, whether it’s in sales, or customer success, or lots of different customer-facing functions, is how do you take that same data, but then wrap it up into telling a story that is more powerful than just the data itself? Right. And I think that is an absolutely critical skill. And there, you know, I, in retrospect, there are people that I worked with, who are just incredible at that. And, you know, the one thing would have been to just study them a little bit more, the second would have been to maybe even ask them, Hey, how do you actually do that? Right. So I think that’s an example of, of a skill that I, I wish I had, I had been practicing for my entire career rather than maybe just like, last five years.
Pete Thornton 24:01
Yeah, yeah, that would be super valuable. I get that. What about postman maybe a little bit more like we understood API? I mean, we mentioned about APIs, people use it to build API’s probably would be good to know a little bit more about that. And then, what’s the context for hypergrowth? Like, how is it that this company is just booming the way it is? How is it that we’re going to use that little rocket ship emoji after every single line about Postman over the previous certainly four years.
Sanjeev Sisodiya 24:35
So first, to comment on that rocket ship kind of model. I think a lot of people talk about rocket ships. This is rocket, this is following this. This either straight line art, in my experience, it’s never a straight line. It’s the more apt analogy, I think, is if you take a balloon, and you blow it up, and then you’re holding the end of the balloon and then let go, and it’s just wiggling everywhere. At the jet. orbit that the rocket ship is enough of you to kind of align the direction of the balloon. So it’s mostly going up into the right. I think that’s a better analogy. It doesn’t sound as good. But it’s the balloons like flying all over the place. Now that said, I think postman. So postman is, first and foremost, a tool for developers to make it easier for developers to work with APIs, whether they’re building them, they’re consuming them, they’re documenting them learning about them, they’re testing them, all of these sorts of things. And so the kind of the underlying arc that that is driving, Postman I think, is two things. One, APIs are just fundamentally becoming more central to software development. Right? Now APIs have been around as a technical construct for a long time. But they’re also now becoming have become a system architecture construct. How do you design large, scalable systems? How do you actually think about what value your business exposes? Through a through APIs? How do you determine what’s core versus context? What can you build yourselves? And what should you use from other places? All of those things happen through APIs. So we’re very fortunate to be writing, what is really a fundamental wave in software development, right, is that APIs are fundamentally changing the nature of how software is being built from being actually built most of the time from the ground up to now more being composed, right through internal APIs and external APIs. So that’s the backdrop that we’re operating in. And that gives us, you know, a really fantastic wave to ride, that I think what postman does really well, on top of that, to kind of further accelerate that is, first and foremost, we’re focused on the developer experience. So we have a really strong center of gravity of knowing who our customer is. At the end of the day, our customer is that individual developer. Now, of course, we need to make sure as we evolve the platform, that we also deliver value and capability for the enterprises that these developers work in. But if you ask for a primary focus is making that developers life better, it’s giving them a great developer experience. That’s one core aspect. And then I think the other thing that is it took me, actually, you know, more than a year of being a Postman to kind of truly have that light bulb go off of the other thing that Postman is other than an API platform, is it’s a collaboration platform. And I think that’s really, really important. Because the way that collaboration works, it has network effects, right? If you have two people doing something together, and a third person joins, there’s more than 50% more value that’s gotten added. And as the size of that network grows, the value grows exponentially. And so we have, we’re kind of riding these two waves have the wave of APIs becoming central to software, and the wave of collaboration being the way to build things at scale. Right. And so those are the kind of the two, I would say, thrusters under this rocket ship. And so we want to keep both of those things in mind as we scale and it’s exciting.
Pete Thornton 28:24
It’s super exciting. That’s really that point about the two waves that are being written simultaneously. Very interesting, like collaboration, the network effect of collaboration within a platform. And then kind of this, you know, we term it for those who kind of know an API first mentality that’s growing over the course of time. That’s interesting. We had a podcast, a gentleman named Boris Harveys, CEO at census, and he spoke about if you can find even one wave, and he gave examples, and in this case, you’ve mentioned two and two massive waves. So that helps as far as context for hypergrowth. You’ve already spoken to at some, but any other points around the challenges of scale. It’s a central theme here. So sometimes it’s redundant. We hear the same things from leaders, but I think it’s powerful to hear that from, you know, from different leaders who are all in, you know, smaller sub 1,000 employee companies, but who are, you know, doubling headcount doubling revenue. Sometimes tripling, triple, triple, double, double, seems to be this pattern everybody wants to follow, but when you’re in it, what are some of the challenges there that we’ve maybe haven’t discussed yet?
Sanjeev Sisodiya 29:37
Yeah, I think one for me that stood out is things, just sort of dealing with that shifting frame so quickly. When I started, I think Postman was less than 50 people. And so, if you needed to make a decision or you needed to transmit knowledge Ah, to a function, you could get those people into a room or ones who can call. Right. And you could have a conversation and that was it. Context was transmitted, everybody was aligned, off you go. I think the so I think, you know, one of the big, big challenges is, how do you maintain that alignment, while continuing to move fast, I think you can maintain alignment by slowing down, right, and just slowing everything down and saying, okay, at the end of every X period, or before every release, everybody’s gonna get onboarded, and we’re going to cross every T, and dot every I, but then you just lose all momentum, right? Or the other thing is, you know, we’re just going to keep running, you know, a million miles an hour. And it’s, it’s the responsibility of everybody in the org to kind of keep up, right? And so neither of the ends of that spectrum work really well. And so it’s how do you walk that path in between? And also, I think, how do you let people in the organization know that this is kind of going to be the least uncomfortable, uncomfortable spot that we’re going to write it, right, which is like it this, this hypergrowth is uncomfortable, right? So you just got to find that groove that works well enough. And that can be difficult because if you’re coming from a much larger organization, and like, you think, Oh, this will get better in six months, and then we’ll be and that point never comes where everything’s better. And so you have to be comfortable being in that zone, so to speak.
Pete Thornton 31:43
Right. It is interesting to because we’re new hire, ramp onboarding, like when people come through, and you see the various environments that they come from, sometimes you see it from a product standpoint, there’ll be very familiar with the, you know, in the API realm, perhaps and sometimes it’s not necessarily, but there’s another one that’s just process-oriented, like what size of a company where they previously add, or are most experienced. And it is interesting to see that different dynamic. Sometimes there is a, let’s wait six months and see when the answer arrives. I’ve been here about two years. I don’t know if you know, because that hill keeps growing and climbing. So when you lined out alignment on one side and speed on the other, that’s a pretty good, that’s a pretty good visual. And it might almost be helpful in a hypergrowth organization. I’m sure there are hypergrowth counselors out there that just come in, they say, where are you on here? Do you think we’re at a three? And there’s alignment over here? And then, you know, or is it more like a seven because we’re in the speed zone? And just like have everybody almost just like get a sense of what they feel it is right now, that can be very emotionally beneficial. Anybody out there who knows anything about this technology.
Sanjeev Sisodiya 32:53
We aren’t going to get to a comfortable spot.
Pete Thornton 32:58
Yeah, that that would be known like it’s it. And if you come from too much education, I come from too much education myself, I got a master’s degree. And then I taught for a long time was in my 30s, before I even made a transition to technology. And so sometimes you’re like, Well, is it A, B, C? or D? Like there is a right answer. And there is a, you know, a place to find it. So, yeah, I’m recovering as far as that goes already. All right, I always do this, and I take us way too long. Because that’s the little rabbit holes that when you find something interesting, as this has been, and I want to wrap up with two questions, and one is just based on a little bit of gratitude, since you never quite make it to the top of the hill on this hill keeps on growing, are there two to three people that you would like to thank for just the journey to this point in your entire life, like we can go back to, hey, it’s my mom. Or we can come all the way through to, like you made mention of some a few people from the organization a few minutes ago, and I’ve added this recently cuz I’m like, I’m gonna have to stop and thank somebody along the way. Because if you’re never gonna get there, then you just got to be grateful for each day. So yeah, anything on that front?
Sanjeev Sisodiya 34:03
Yeah. So that’s a great question. I think, you know, I’ll, I’ll say, the first, you know, the, I think I’m sure the answer that everyone gives, but it’s, it’s family. And, you know, there are different definitions are different, not different systems, different components of what makes up family over time. And I think, you know, we all work really, really hard. And, you know, it’s, it very often comes at the degree of kind of sacrifice for time with family. So, I would say, you know, especially the last eight or 10 years, it’s been my wife and kids and just being patient with All of the intensity and excitement and everything and being along for the ride. So I think that’s, that’s, that’s definitely front on the list. I think from a work perspective, you know, I’ll say, all the three co-founders of postman just continue to kind of blow me away with how they’ve evolved with the company, and I continue to learn things from all of them. About, you know, being a, talking about this hypergrowth, being able to, to deal with this hypergrowth, and continue to stay grounded, and, you know, just good human beings. Right. So I think that’s, that’s, that’s super important. And then, you know, I think finally, there’s— I’m avoiding naming specific people because then I start going on on a really long list. But I also think, you know, every who’s kind of given me the latitude to experiment and fail, that my last CEO who kind of made me that offer to say, hey, you know, try your hand to sales for years see how, how hard that, how bad could that be? Right, and sort of having the vision to give somebody that opportunity is something I hope to pay for as we get down the road.
Pete Thornton 36:24
Those are great ones. I like that a lot. Yeah, the family bid, everybody feels, I understand what you’re saying on that the three co-founders, like their ability to become new leaders, every six months as this as a new company, it feels like every six months, and then, and then of course, those people in your life who say, give us a shot that kind of believe in you. That’s cool. Okay, then the sign-off question was called SaaS(ramp). So it’ll be easy an app for you, I believe in the realm that you live in and breathe in day and night. What the “SaaS(ramp)” mean to you?
Sanjeev Sisodiya 37:02
I think with the right attitude and beings, a lot of fun. But I think it’s, you know, when you’re in hypergrowth, when you’re scaling an organization, I think you do have to bring a healthy, healthy, what is the flexibility to when you join an organization that’s ramping and scaling. And if you bring that flexibility, then I think you have the opportunity to have a lot of fun. That’s been my experience. My first job was, you know, it wasn’t a SaaS(ramp)ing organization but was a rapidly ramping organization. And it was just, it was so exciting. It was just every day was just, you know, a different kind of shot of energy. And postman’s been the same way. But so I think you just have to come into it with allowing kind of that energy to flow through you, you know, but yeah, so that’s, that’s what it means to be is, is a lot of energy. And you have to it’s, it’s like the thing they tell you when you’re learning to kind of stand up in the waves, right? You can’t stiffen your body because it just knocks you over. You gotta float along with it. And then you get to ride the wave. So, yeah, I learned that when I was trying to overcome my fear of open water swimming, and it’d be standing on the beach, it’d be like, not an adult, don’t be stiff. Go with it.
Pete Thornton 38:29
This is one thing that that I was like, I wonder if you just brought it up. It’s a great, great analogy. Would you share your open water swimming story? Is that too much for this weekend? We can wrap it right up right now.
Sanjeev Sisodiya 38:47
It’s my big personal accomplishment for the year. So I’ll take two minutes I moved to California first. was a lot younger. I wanted to be somewhat athletic. So a friend of ours is a triathlete. He’s done Ironman, multiple Ironman triathlons, and so he kind of edged me towards this. I tried my first triathlon. This was in Pleasanton, in the Bay Area. It was called try for fun, right? It was very, very beginner basic. And I trained a little bit and got ready for the swim. It was a little lake and, you know, jumped in. It was not, I had practice in a pool, jumped in and absolutely freaked out. Like I was arms everywhere. The water was murky. And I realized I was just deathly afraid of being out, not in a pool where I couldn’t see the bottom and so I waved over to the canoe, they pulled me out. They kind of allowed me to save a little bit of my ego and finished, finished the rest of the triathlon. But so and then I’ve been meaning for years and years to kind of get back over that hump and we even signed up for another triathlon a few years ago in Lake Tahoe make it out to Lake Tahoe. And there’s this big wildfire. There’s smoke everywhere. So the day of the startup triathlon, they, they shut it down saying, you know, the air quality is too bad. Anyway, so finally my daughter this year, she’s already a triathlete multiple times over now. She kind of said, Hey, there’s this triathlon coming up. It’s on your birthday, we should do it. And this was one of those times where I was sitting here working, I looked over at her and I just kind of was distracted. I said, Oh, yeah, sure, we’ll do that, which she signed me off. Anyway, long story short, I, I then actually practiced, got a wetsuit looked silly, swimming in a wetsuit in a pool. So I could acclimatized myself with in a heated pool. So I could acclimatized myself with what have felt like to be out there and, and float without, you know, having to swim. All of that. And so, March of this year, I did my first triathlon, I made it to the end. And, and it took it took, putting myself in that situation, and just getting comfortable. That was the learning from that whole thing was that the biggest thing was, how do I get into that environment? And let myself just get comfortable in that environment and get past the fear. And yeah, it’s maybe a great analogy for we’re in a rocket ship, right, it’s like you have to get, give yourself a little bit of time to acclimatized. And then go with it.
Pete Thornton 41:38
It’s such a metaphor. And then it’s a visual to because like, there are only two things I’m afraid of with my daughter. And it’s, it’s cars and water. I was a science teacher. So I have two hard science degrees. My wife is afraid of like ghosts entering her room at night she was an art teacher. So different personas, right? But those are two like statistically very bad things that I just had an innate fear of. And so it’s just like part of the human experience, like being around water and not being a fish. And so you can kind of totally picture it. West Coast, water is so cold. I’ve been in the Pacific many times now. But it’s not like East Coast. And, and then and then to just go and kind of, you know, get comfortable that piece of comfort and put yourself in the environment. I like that, you know, we teeter-totter in between, like this conversation about business in these in these companies and the growth and any kind of messaging and things that come up. And it always kind of almost comes back to like personal development. And this one just swings the line. It kind of feels to be one in the same. So that it’s a great story. I really do appreciate that. Thank you so much. I did not even try to interview let you like this one time during the whole podcast. I’m proud of myself in my makeshift hotel arrangement. And I appreciate it. And then we’ll do it again in six months because it’ll just be a new company and there’ll be only things to talk about. Alright, thanks so much.
Sanjeev Sisodiya 43:00
Pete Thornton 43:01
Cheers, and talk soon.