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🔑 Key Takeaways

  1. Jaleh Rezaei's playbook emphasizes the importance of focusing on the entire flow to maximize company impact and revenue, especially during times of scarce capital.
  2. Prioritizing profitability and sustainability is causing companies to shift focus from top-line growth to efficiency. Companies must rewrite their growth playbook and prioritize conversion optimization, as Gusto did, to become more efficient.
  3. A dedicated engineering and data science team can customize the website and onboarding process, identify blockages in the funnel, and measure results, ultimately leading to increased customer acquisition and reduced acquisition costs.
  4. Focus on converting more people and favorably treating them by increasing organic conversions through SEO, reinvesting extra money, and reducing dependency on engineering and data science departments. Calculate program-level CAC regularly to optimize spending.
  5. Before launching a new program, set clear goals for the first few months and measure the cost. Focus on achieving impact goals instead of just CAC. Start by understanding the problem and craft a solution.
  6. Follow your passions and retain a clear understanding of the problems you want to solve. Join small teams with a scrappy culture to turn your ideas into reality.
  7. Jaleh’s data-driven startup, Mutiny, was carefully thought out to ensure scalability across different platforms, leading to powerful customization, increased revenue, and the acquisition of paying customers like Amplitude or Brex.
  8. Collaborating with early customers to solve specific problems can improve conversion rates and save time. Automating decision-making, similar to Google and Facebook ad buying tools, is a valuable lesson for marketers.
  9. Focus on metrics like revenue and conversion rate, as well as gut instincts, to achieve product/market fit. Improve onboarding and CX to boost activation rates. Use uncomfortable metrics to make valuable improvements.
  10. Jaleh's immigrant experience, her mother's emphasis on economic independence, and financial constraints taught her to persevere, adapt, and stand up for what she believes in to become a successful Silicon Valley startup founder.
  11. Don't be afraid to pursue your own passions, even if they don't fit traditional expectations. Seek out role models and embrace community values to guide your journey towards success.
  12. Remote work at Mutiny offers opportunities to explore new cultures and pursue professional goals, while emphasizing the importance of people and shared experiences to create a supportive and engaging work community.
  13. Embrace your instincts and business acumen as a key to success, and consider periodic off-site retreats to promote comfort and play for your team. Connect with Jaleh on LinkedIn and Twitter.

📝 Podcast Summary

Productizing Learnings for B2B Profitable Growth

Jaleh Rezaei, the founder of Mutiny, has productized her learnings from working in Gusto and created a B2B profitable growth playbook. In her playbook, Jaleh explains how the history of marketing and growth shifted from offline to online channels, with the rise of Google and Facebook. However, despite advanced technology, 19 out of every $20 that companies spend on advertising and demand spending goes to waste. To tackle this problem, Jaleh believes that growth teams need to focus on the entire flow and make sure that all spend turns into customers, revenue, and impact for the company. Her insights are useful for founders and investors, especially during current weather conditions when capital is scarce.

Why Companies Need to Rewrite their Growth Playbook for Efficiency

Investors are now prioritizing profitability and sustainability, causing companies to shift focus from top-line growth to efficiency. Many companies have built ad-centric growth engines, making it difficult to simply cut expenses to achieve efficiency. Instead, companies need to completely rewrite their growth playbook to become more efficient. Gusto's unique situation of selling to small businesses required them to build a very efficient engine from the beginning. The reason for the focus on top-of-funnel growth is due to the game companies are told to play and the accessibility of technology for advertising. However, conversion optimization is equally important but often overlooked. Gusto solved their conversion problem by building a dedicated growth engineering and data science team separate from product engineering.

The Importance of Investing in an Engineering and Data Science Team for Conversion Optimization

Investing in a dedicated engineering and data science team to optimize conversion can have a huge impact on a company's growth and efficiency. By customizing the website and onboarding process for different audiences, identifying blockages in the funnel, brainstorming solutions, and measuring the results, companies can significantly increase their customer acquisition and reduce customer acquisition costs. This can lead to a more efficient loop between demand and conversion, allowing companies to bid more aggressively on advertising platforms and outbid competitors, even if their customer lifetime value is lower.

Improving Unit Economics and Conversions with Mutiny's No-Code Solution

In order to achieve profitable growth, it is important to focus on converting more people and favorably treating them, which improves overall unit economics. This can be achieved by increasing organic conversions through SEO and reinvesting extra money back into the funnel to outbid competitors. However, marketing teams often face frustration due to dependency on engineering and data science departments to hit their goals. Mutiny's solution of a no-code architecture becomes the world's growth team, helping everyone drive conversion without needing to build their own independent engineering team for this. It is also crucial for marketing teams to understand program-level CAC and calculate it at least quarterly for less expensive programs and weekly for expensive ones to optimize their spending and cut the rotten apples from their portfolio.

Setting Clear Goals for a Successful Program Launch

When starting a new program, set clear goals for what you want to achieve in the next one to three months, and measure what it will cost you. Assessing CAC is important, but it shouldn't be the main focus at the start. Ensure that the program is achieving its other impact goals, which will depend on the type of program you are running. For example, driving customers is often tied to expensive programs, so goals would be set around creating opportunities or conversion metrics. Starting a company is a combination of believing in something and understanding the problem well. Jaleh's upbringing in a household of engineers instilled a love of problem-solving in her, as well as a desire to blaze her own trail.

The Journey of Jaleh Bisharat: Pursuing Passion, Simplifying Tech, and Embracing a Scrappy Culture

Jaleh's entrepreneurial spirit was evident from the beginning, and she pursued her passions and values without giving up. She recognized the potential of AI in transformative marketing and talked about the need to simplify the tech stack of companies. She was inspired by Sequoia entrepreneurs who had a nuanced understanding of the problems they were trying to solve. She went on to join ZenPayroll, which later became Gusto, to work on solving problems that resonated with her. Jaleh's journey highlights the importance of pursuing one's passion and values, having a clear understanding of the problems one wants to solve, and being part of small teams that embrace a scrappy culture.

Jaleh’s data-driven startup journey with Mutiny

Jaleh's decision to start Mutiny was driven by her conviction to solve a problem that she couldn't stop thinking about. She chose Y Combinator for its ability to simplify and speed up the startup process. Mutiny's long-term architecture was carefully thought out before writing code to enable scalability across different platforms. Web was decided as the entry point as it is the best place to collect data. Mutiny combines various data sources to get over 70% coverage of a website's visitors, leading to powerful customization and increased revenue. Amplitude or Brex were Mutiny's first paying customers.

How Mutiny's Customer-Centric Approach Built a Powerful Personalization Platform

Mutiny's success in building a powerful personalization platform stemmed from their customer-centric approach of seeking design partnerships. By collaborating with early customers to solve specific problems, they were able to build a platform that not only addressed unique problems but also automated previously manual processes. This methodology allowed them to identify blockers for their customers and create automation features like segment creation, that improved conversion rates and saved time. Mutiny's ability to automate decision-making, similar to Google and Facebook ad buying tools, is a valuable lesson for marketers. Mutiny's product experience evolved from a no-code workflow to a highly AI-powered platform that offers personalized suggestions and selections based on benchmarking data.

How Mutiny Improved Their AI-Powered Copywriting Software

Mutiny used their own training dataset layered on top of GPT-3 data to boost quality in their AI-powered copywriting software. To achieve product/market fit, they looked at metrics such as revenue, conversion rate, and NPS of companies that had already achieved it at their series A, as well as their own gut instincts about what needed improvement. They focused on improving activation rates by revamping onboarding and CX, and iterating on their AI engine until it was easy enough for users to launch experiences within an hour. Even if it's uncomfortable, focusing on the metrics that make you feel embarrassed can lead to valuable improvements.

How Jaleh's Immigrant Experience Shaped Her Startup Journey

Jaleh's immigrant experience and her mother's emphasis on economic independence and building something for oneself instilled in her the passion and ambition necessary to become a successful Silicon Valley startup founder. Moving to the States and having family here helped her family build a community and her education to open up many opportunities. Financial constraints were a challenge, and Jaleh had to learn to adapt and work within her means. Her mother's advice to her friend, to stand up for what she believes in and not marry for money, showed Jaleh the importance of taking control of one's life. These early life experiences were pivotal moments that shaped Jaleh's perseverance and inspired her to create Mutiny.

Choosing Your Own Values: Jaleh's Story of Breaking Cultural Norms and Finding Success in Tech.

Jaleh's experience of working in a Subway store despite familial pressures and cultural norms served as an inflection point where she began to choose her own values and find her unique approach. Role models played an important part in guiding her towards a passion for math and science, which led her to find her way into technology. Her upbringing in a culture that values community influenced her approach to creating a cohesive company culture at Mutiny. Jaleh's story highlights the importance of pursuing one's own path, even if it goes against conventional norms, and the role of community and role models in shaping one's journey.

Living Life to the Fullest Through Remote Work at Mutiny

Remote work provides many opportunities to live life to the fullest while achieving professional goals. Mutiny has embraced remote work while creating a cohesive and connected community through experience-based work. The company wants every individual to live their full life, making Mutiny a remarkable part of their journey. Remote work enables people to explore different countries, experience new cultures and enjoy life while pursuing career goals. Mutiny's learned that remote work is not just about technology, but about putting people back into focus and paying attention to their experiences. By embracing this concept, they were able to redesign their operating rhythm, bring the whole team together on off-sites, and create an atmosphere that boosts morale.

Creating a Value-Based Work Culture with Off-Site Retreats and Trusting Your Gut

To create a work culture that aligns with its values, Mutiny takes its team off-site once in every quarter to destinations that offer cost-effective and enjoyable experiences. Mutiny selects locations that promote comfort and a feeling of play. Jaleh recommends trusting one's gut as a founder and lean into it to achieve business success. Gathering inputs from people can be valuable, but at the end of the day, relying on one's instincts and business acumen is the key to success. Jaleh can be found on LinkedIn and Twitter with the handle @jalehr.