SM: Were they willing to fill out the spreadsheet you sent over? LD: Most people are like, “this is insane … what are you, a root canal?”
This is just how I do business. They don’t have the data.
Everyone in this company knows this. I finish every single all-hands meeting committing everyone to outstanding performance. It is an unbelievable rush; there is so much passion it feels like we are in the NFL. I ask, “Are you passionate about what we are doing? Are you committed to working harder than you ever did in your life? If not you should get the fuck out the company because I don’t want to work with you. If you are a slacker, find the government or some other startup because we are the real deal.”
Getting that kind of commitment from people means you can routinely ask for data like the one I just talked about and they give it to you.
We go to other companies they are like, “Huh? What?” If they are asked about the pipeline by the board, they say, “It’s up.” What does that mean? It is very easy to get leads. You can send out a web campaign and get people to respond. An offer for a free iPod will get you 10,000 leads, but it can be a local farmer, not something that will help your business.
SM: I am going to ask one last question, which is more a macro question about the segment and how Wall Street is just learning to understand these SaaS companies. What is your experience with that? LD: My experience is that they are doing exactly what you just said. They are learning. There are a bunch of them that get it.
Look at us. In recognized revenue we are at $32M last year. You can say Taleo and Kenexa don’t do what we do, but if you consider them an HCM, they are both $100M and $200M companies respectively, and they are only valued the same as we are. Somehow, they must have realized, that even though technically they look bigger, (Taleo isn’t anymore since we just announced the $100M in sales and they are only growing 25% so we are going to just fly by them), I think they are recognizing some of the potential we have, since we are receiving the same exact valuation of $500M. I think if you look at Ominture, it has really been valued richly.
SM: Concur has been valued richly also. LD: I think you are right. They are trying to get it but they are very confused. Companies like Kenexa don’t really help them. When Kenexa tells them they are an on-demand company and then they miss a quarter by 20%, it’s obvious they are not.
SM: I don’t know if you saw my Forbes article, but I wrote about that. A true SaaS company should not be missing quarters. LD: I read that article; I did not know that was you! I loved that article. I showed that to my whole company because it was nice that somebody finally freaking gets it!
SM: It has been a pleasure Lars. LD: I thought your energy was fabulous which was why I got so engaged here today. You are a lot of fun to talk to and obviously know what you are doing. We like to be around people who try hard, and we obviously do.