The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten on Smash Notes

The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten podcast.

Unfiltered insights and actionable advice straight from the trenches of startup and business life. The show hosts, Steli Efti and Hiten Shah, are both serial entrepreneurs who have founded multi-million dollar SaaS startups. Being busy CEOs of fast-growing companies, they know the value of your time and make sure you get the most out of each 22 minute episode. Tune in for new episodes every Tuesday and Friday.

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In this episode, Steli and Hiten answer the questions they received from the readers of their ebook From 0 to 1,000 Customers and Beyond. Steli and Hiten give practical advice about marketing, engagement, and how to prioritize feedback from your customers. They also provide you the links to the podcasts their ebook was inspired by and you can connect with them personally to receive the ebook. Jump in on this discussion of how to grow your customer base!

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:04 – Today’s episode is about answering questions from those who read the ebook, From 0 to 1,000 Customers and Beyond

00:34 – Send an email to Steli to receive the ebook

00:48 – The ebook was based on four podcasts on how to increase the number of your customers

02:05 – What do we do when we have a product that can be sold to individual consumers and to businesses?

02:56 – Hiten suggests you pick one you can easily monetize

04:26 – Steli shares it is rare for a company to do both successfully, at the same time

05:27 – What are the some of the best practices to move free trial customers to fully paid accounts?

05:55 – Get your customers engaged during the trial period

08:03 – Where would you place your marketing bet if you have limited funds?

08:25 – Steli is critical of the mindset of people wanting to launch big, but only have limited funds

08:46 – It is not necessary to launch big, what is important is that you reach out to people and give them what they need

09:50 – Hiten advises how to use the money more effectively

10:30 – What feedback do you prioritize for a tool that you developed? What is a good sample size?

11:20 – 15 might be enough for a sample if the feedback is positive and there is a pattern in what they are saying

11:28 – Find the commonalities in their feedback and implement that

11:47 – If the feedback is different, listen to those who will pay you the most money

12:40 – Steli suggests looking at those who are actually using the tool

13:54 – Money in business is the strongest source of validation

14:26 – When should you start the marketing campaign?

15:00 – Hiten says it depends on whether you are ready for more customers or not

15:26 – Hiten’s personal preference is when the product is ready and people are ready to actually use it

15:52 – Retention is more important than acquisition

16:22 – The product launch and marketing launch do not have to be the same thing

17:20 – Steli says there will be a second episode as there are a lot of questions

17:33 – Steli suggests people to listen to the four episodes regarding customer acquisition:

030: How to Get Your First 10 Customers

048: How to Get from 10 to 100 Customers for your Startup

156: How to Grow From 100 to 1000 B2B Customers

088: Beyond 1000 Customers – How to Expand in New Industries and Countries

17:59 – E-mail Steli or Hiten for a copy of the book or for any questions

3 Key Points:

Customer engagement is a vital part of your marketing strategy.

Money is the strongest source of validation in business.

Retention is more important than acquisition.

Steli Efti: Hello everybody, this is Steli Efti.


Hiten Shah: And this is Hiten Shah.


Steli Efti: In today's episode of the Start Up Chat we're going to talk about the questions that you guys had after you read our newest e-book which is the going From 0 to 1,000 Customers & Beyond. For those of you out there that didn't get a chance to read the book or get their hands on it, just shoot me an email:, and I’ll send you the e-book, and you can take a look at it. It basically was based on four episodes of the podcast that we had recorded. The first one was How to Get Your First Customer,

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