Want to learn the best business insights from remarkable speakers at Slush 2023, but don’t have the time to watch the full speeches on YouTube?
You’ve come to the right place. Below is a summary of a speech by ICONIQ Growth’s Seth Pierrepont, Tope Awotona of Calendly.
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<p class="h1-rich">🤏 TL;DR</p>
Calendly, a scheduling platform used by millions of people worldwide, shared their founding story and bootstrapping strategies, as well as their growth and sales-led motion, during a meeting with Iconiq, a global growth fund. They also discussed the challenges in serving enterprise customers and their plans for fostering a culture of innovation and AI integration, with a goal of becoming an orchestrator of all important actions and tasks in the meeting life cycle. Action items include developing AI prototypes, focusing on humanizing the scheduling process and nurturing relationships with customers, expanding product offerings, and continuing to innovate.
<p class="h1-rich">✨ Summary</p>
- Speaker 1 introduces themselves as a partner at Iconiq, a global growth fund, and mentions the successful software companies they have invested in.
- Speaker 2 introduces themselves as the founder and CEO of Calendly, a scheduling platform used by millions of people worldwide.
Founding Story and Bootstrapping
- Speaker 2 shares that they started Calendly out of frustration with scheduling meetings and saw the opportunity to solve a massive problem.
- They explain that they initially bootstrapped the company using personal savings and loans before receiving an investment from an entrepreneur in Atlanta.
- Bootstrapping forced them to focus on winning with customers and monetizing early, which led to a strong product-market fit.
Growth and Sales-led Motion
- Speaker 2 talks about the initial viral product-led growth of Calendly and how they introduced a sales team to serve larger enterprise customers.
- They emphasize the importance of understanding different customer cohorts and prioritizing those with higher lifetime value.
- Calendly's sales team focuses on providing a medium-touch experience to customers who require more assistance and consultation.
Challenges in Serving Enterprise Customers
- Speaker 1 mentions that Calendly has a large number of Fortune 500 companies as customers and asks about the challenges in serving larger enterprises.
- Speaker 2 explains that they had to address security, compliance, purchasing flexibility, and other concerns specific to enterprise customers.
- Calendly expanded its product capabilities, redlined agreements, and conducted security reviews to meet the needs of enterprise customers.
Culture of Innovation and AI Integration
- Speaker 1 asks about fostering a culture of innovation within Calendly's product teams.
- Speaker 2 acknowledges the competitive market and customer feedback as drivers for continuous innovation.
- They mention that AI plays a significant role in making Calendly more accessible and improving meeting productivity.
Meeting Life Cycle Management and Future Plans
- Speaker 2 discusses Calendly's goal of becoming an orchestrator of all important actions and tasks in the meeting life cycle.
- They mention ongoing work on AI prototypes and upcoming features that will make Calendly more people-centric and focused on nurturing relationships.