The Secret To Building A Truly Successful Freemium Product and more, with Guy Podjarny

Simon Maple
December 19, 2018 | in Product
| By Simon Maple

Snyk CEO, Guy Podjarny, spent some time recently talking with Jason Lemkin and Harry Stebbings on the SaaStr podcast to talk about a vast number of topics including some of the core decisions that were made in Snyk’s recent history from being a small startup a few years ago to the fast-growing distributed company it is today! The SaaStr podcast provides the latest and greatest from the world of Saastr, interviewing the most prominent operators and investors to discover their tips, tactics and strategies to attain success in the fiercely competitive world of SaaS.

Here’s some background about Guy, in case you didn’t know how involved he has been in security over recent decades:

Guy Podjarny is the Founder & CEO @ Snyk, the developer-first solution that automates finding and fixing vulnerabilities in your dependencies. To date, Guy has raised over $32m in VC funding from Snyk from some of the great of venture including Accel, GV, our friends at Boldstart and Canaan Partners, just to name a few. As for Guy, prior to Snyk, he was the CTO of Akamai’s Web Performance Business following their acquisition of his startup, Blaze.io. Before founding Blaze, Guy built Web Application Security products, including the first Web App Firewall (AppShield), Dynamic Application Security Testing tool (AppScan) and Static Application Security Testing tool (AppScan Dev Edition). Fun fact on Guy, he is the holder of 18 patents related to security and performance.

Here’s the episode for you to listen to in full, including the show notes below.

Show notes

How Guy made his way into the world of SaaS and came to found one of the hottest open source companies of our day in the form of Snyk?

How does Guy navigate between the difficult balance of going wide on market and shallow on product or narrow in market and deep in product? What is the decision-making process? What does Guy advise founders on feature prioritization in the early days? Does Guy agree if you are not embarrassed by V1, you have shipped too late? How does support provide a feedback loop on what to build next?  

Why does Guy believe that “successful freemium requires giving away your secret sauce”? How can one give away enough secret sauce in freemium without giving away too many people don’t buy? How does freemium fundamentally alter your relationship to revenue? Where does Guy see many going wrong when pursuing the freemium model?  

How does Guy think about the problem of agency with developers using the product but having to sell to CIOs? What 2 things can be done to make this sell easier? What does Guy believe is the right framework to think about pricing through? Why is transparency in enterprise pricing not always optimal?

What does Guy believe is required to have strong and seamless communication across functions and locations? How has Guy seen this change over time and with increased locations? Where does Guy see many going wrong when trying to scale team across location?   

Guy’s 60 Second SaaStr

  1. How does Guy know when is the right time to hire your first salesperson?
  2. How did Guy learn to let go and trust his team?
  3. What does Guy know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?