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[Escape Velocity] – Episode 38 – Michael Litt @ Vidyard

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CEOs have it tough.

It’s not enough to grow your company into healthy profit margins and then coast along “because it’s working”.

I know it’s tempting to kick back and pour the martinis, but comfort is a dangerous position to be in.

A great CEO knows this and doesn’t want to be comfortable. 

They’ll stay on the bow on the ship, in the storm, telescope in hand, watching the changes in the waves and looking out for even the slightest hint of an iceberg in the distance.

Today I want to introduce you to a great CEO and one of my good buddies, Michael Litt.

Michael isn’t just the CEO and co-founder of Vidyard, a video hosting platform for businesses… He’s also the co-founder of Garage Capital, a VC firm with over $40M invested in 80+ businesses.

A lot of SaaS businesses try to move upmarket over time to higher-paying enterprise customers.

Vidyard did almost the opposite, creating a freemium model with a $0 pricing tier and partnering with brands like Adobe, Marketo and Hubspot.

As a CEO, steering the ship into a freemium model is… scary. 

If it goes wrong, your customers downgrade and you’ve just donated your profit margins.

So sitting down with Michael, I wanted to unpack exactly how and why he did this. I’ve got to say… it was executed brilliantly.

I’ve known Michael now for nearly 10 years. Being good buds means as soon as I hit record, we got straight to the good stuff chatting about:

  • How Vidyard scaled rapidly as a startup
  • The value of TIME in a commoditized landscape
  • The freemium “land-and-expand” model
  • When to go freemium
  • Getting 2500 PQLs on launch day
  • Building a culture that attracts talent
  • Firing staff if they aren’t a cultural fit
  • The difference in being a founder vs a CEO

Leadership is discipline. 

The more you can hear from great leaders, the more I believe you’ll embody that discipline and become a great leader yourself.

As Jim Rohn said: “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”.

So get your headphones, tune in and spend some time hanging out with us.




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