Let me paste an internal memo:
How do you build a successful company? The mantra of Y Combinator, the famed startup accelerator, has always been: make something people want. In other words, make something useful, and people will beat a path to your door.
Perhaps that was true a decade ago, but look around and you will see companies with great products that are struggling - why is that?
It turns out there has been a shift in the fundamental requirements for success, especially in the B2B SAAS world. In the past, having a great product was enough. Today it's table-stakes. It has become easier and easier to build a great product thanks to AWS, new development frameworks, and open source libraries that save us years of development time. Because of the low interest rates and an abundance of capital, it’s never been an easier time to start a business. All of this has led to an explosion of SaaS companies (over 8000 in the Martech space alone).
What this means, is that it’s no longer enough to build the best product. Today, companies have to excel at both product and go-to-market (sales & marketing) in order to succeed.
The companies that are succeeding are taking a product-like mindset to their go-to-market motions. They've automated marketing processes, built experiment frameworks for testing, and quickly iterated to optimize the most out of their funnels. In other words, they've built growth engines.
Look around you at the technology companies killing it right now: Segment, Slack, Stripe, Zendesk. They all treat growth like a product, building scalable growth engines that are fuelling their incredible success.
At Clearbit, we've been right in the thick of this. One of the reasons we've been so successful over the last five years is that we've been selling shovels in a gold-rush. Our data is the fuel used to power our customers’ growth engines. We've noticed something interesting though.
Firstly, building these home-grown growth engines are very expensive. A growth engine requires unified access to all of the data you have, both first and third party, a tricky undertaking. It requires engineers to pipe it all together at near real-time speeds. And it requires hiring domain experts who understand the cutting edge of sales and marketing tech.
Secondly, these home-grown growth engines more or less look the same. They all have three characteristics: a way of creating demand (e.g. ads), understanding when people show intent to buy, and converting that intent.
So we asked ourselves a simple question: What would it take to build a growth engine that worked out of the box? That's why we built Clearbit X.
At Clearbit, we're already domain experts in the latest go-to-market tech. We also have the underlying backbone of data necessary. We can leverage all of that to build a world class universal growth engine, saving our customers the trouble of reinventing the wheel.
X is a ground-breaking technology that marries our customer's own database with ours. With X, you can:
Identify and reach your entire total addressable market (i.e. ads)
Increase conversion to intent by providing target accounts with a custom experience using Reveal & Personalization
Convert accounts that show intent by ensuring your sales team reaches out at the exact right moment (sales alerts)
Hope that answers the question!
This question is part of an AMA with Alex MacCaw.View entire AMA with Alex MacCaw.
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