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 today’s episode of The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten talk about how business equipment and tools can help or hinder your business. They define the difference between when a start-up needs to upgrade to new or more professional software or when what they are using is good enough. They also discuss the pitfalls that founders can avoid as they try to set up their business.

A key success point, for all businesses, is to make sure that you have the right equipment. As your company grows, you will need to find solutions to support the running of your business, with a focus on maximum efficiency and success. So it is essential to make sure that you pick the right tools, but when the market is flooded with solutions how can you be sure that you have found the perfect equipment and tools to continue steady growth.

Tune into this week’s episode of The Startup Chat to explore what role software and mindset play in the success of a Startup and why upgrading to the industry standard isn’t always going to aid in the companies success. Steli and Hiten, challenge the idea that there is a "one shoe that fits all" approach and look at alternatives ideas for how you can handle software within your company.  

Time Stamped Show Notes:

01:25 - The start-up case study.

02:05 - An example of bad advice.

03:04 - The disadvantages of investing in the wrong equipment.

05:23 - The issue with investing in complex software.

08:07 - Why experience in buying the right software matters.

08:23 - The advice bias and being well informed.

09:24 - There’s a time for everything, keep it simple.

10:19 - Face the reality of what you need, not what you think you need.

12:22 - Being resourceful will save you money.

12:57 - Free advice for founders.

3 Key Points:

If the start-up is too young and they take on these tools, which are meant for larger companies, they will fail.

Remember a spreadsheet is often good enough and most of the time the tool that isn't the high-end tool, will be best for your business early on.

Invest your time in solving problems as they exist in your business now and not in solving potential problems for the future.


Steli Efti: Hey, everybody. This is Steli Efti.



Hiten Shah: And this is Hiten Shah. Today, on The Startup Chat, I'm supposed to just go with it, and I'm going to follow Steli off this cliff that he's going to take us on. So, I hope all of you are ready. What do we got, Steli?



Steli Efti: So, I don't even know what this episode will turn into, but hear me out. I get this question fairly frequently, and it's funny. So, people come to me and they ask me what CRM they should buy, right? Not surprising since I'm in the CRM space and I'm writing a lot about sales. Somewhat surprising to me at times because I'm like, "You know that I have my own CRM system. Wouldn't you think that I'm biased? How did you come to me with advice?" But, I'm always flattered because I just assume, or my hypothesis is, that people believe that I'm honest enough that I'll tell them the truth. But, recently, I heard this once and I really just didn't pay it too much attention, and then I heard it recently again and it really pissed me off. So, I wanted to talk to you about this. I have this founder, and they're a tiny team. They're like four people. They have not raised a ton of money yet. They are in the early stages of getting some "early customers", maybe customers that are paying very little money to test out the first version of their product. This founder was talking to an investor, and was talking about their sales process and how they are trying to get these customers and all that, and then the VC asked, or the investor asked that founder, "Hey, what CRM are you guys going to be using or are you using right now?" And the founder was like,

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