Listen: Alexa Grabell on the Not Boring Podcast

Listen to Packy McCormick's podcast episode "Not Boring Founders"

Packy McCormick
December 14, 2021
Listen: Alexa Grabell on the Not Boring Podcast

Our CEO & Co-Founder Alexa Grabell recently sat down with Packy McCormick, for the Not Boring Podcast series "Not Boring Founders". If you don’t know Packy, you probably don’t spend enough time on the internet. He’s built an impressive 55,000+ strong community for Not Boring, a podcast and twice-weekly newsletter that is the most fun way to learn about what’s going on in business and the strategy behind the decisions companies make.

Listen to the episode (~38 mins)

Episode Summary:

1:02 What is Pocus?

2:16 How did Alexa get started?

6:11 Meeting and building the relationship with Pocus Co-Founder, Isaac

10:00 Sharing feedback as Co-Founders

12:00 Building the platform for Product-Led Sales (PLS)

17:51 How do you think about creating and owning a category?

20:00 What is a design partner? How do you get them early on?

23:38 How do you manage investors?

27:23 What has team Pocus been up to recently? What’s next?

30:43 About the Pocus product experience

34:36 Pocus 5 year vision

36:39 Biggest lesson in year 1 of starting a company 

Favorite quotes from the podcast:

Alexa on category creation…
“I've been very inspired by two leaders that have been category creators. Allison Pickens, she's the former COO of Gainsight and Bar Moses, she's the CEO of Monte Carlo. Alison really created the category of customer success and Bar, the category of data observability...One thing that they did, which I am emulating is they wanted to learn from the community. They didn't want to say this is the framework that is customer success, now everyone go implement it. Instead, they said, I want to learn best practices from you all and then help you to grow further.”


Packy on design partners…
“It’s such a great signal to see if you should actually start the company in the first place or not. If someone's willing to give you an hour a week on top of their job to help fix a problem, that must mean that it's a real problem that they're facing and they want someone to solve it for them.”


Packy’s favorite story on why Product-Led Sales is important…
“My favorite story is Jeff Lawson at Twilio who talks about the fact that they're an engineering company, they wanted to be PLG...They didn't want to have the sales team. They didn't want to talk to customers. And that was fine...until they had Uber as their biggest customer and they had nobody kind of touching Uber and realizing that they were unhappy and then Uber left. And that was a terrible thing for Twilio. That was their biggest customer...so then he was like, all right, fine. We need to add on a sales team to one, understand what our current customers are doing, and, two sell into our customers...There's been a big cultural change from engineering-heavy teams that don’t totally understand the value of adding sales.”


Alexa on managing investors…
“How do I actually extract their help and their expertise? What I realized is some investors will come to you and offer help. But a lot of the time you have to pull it from them. So I had this idea to have a group kickoff, to get all the investors on board and really excited about our vision and our mission... And it was really awesome because not only did it give everyone insight into what our priorities were for the next quarter or so, but it was almost like an internal networking session where people were just seeing old friends... it created a community...When you build a community, then people are more excited to help you.” 


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Packy McCormick
Founder, Not Boring
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