Cover art for podcast The Official SaaStr Podcast: SaaS | Founders | Investors

The Official SaaStr Podcast: SaaS | Founders | Investors

469 EpisodesProduced by SaaStrWebsite

he Official SaaStr Podcast is 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. On the side of the operators, we center around getting f… read more


SaaStr 188: Why The Best CEOs Are Inspirational Assholes, How To Optimise Decision-Making within Your Organisation & The Benefits of Being Old In SaaS with Fouad ElNaggar, Founder & CEO @ Sapho

Fouad ElNaggar is the Founder & CEO @ Sapho, the only employee experience portal designed for the digital workforce. To date, Ray has raised over $27m in funding with Sapho from some real favourites of ours including Ray @ Caffeinated, Felicis, Uncork, Bloomberg Beta, Clark Landry and Howard Lindzon @ Social Leverage, just to name a few. Prior to founding Sapho, Fouad was the Chief Strategy Officer at CBS Interactive overseeing strategy, operations, partnerships, and M&A. At CBSi, Fouad structured deals with partners such as Yahoo, IAC, and Twitch and acquired premium brands such as TV Guide and Giant Bomb. Prior to CBSi, Fouad was a VC at Redpoint Ventures overseeing the firm’s LA office and helping establish a dedicated fund in Brazil. Fouad has previously founded three venture-backed companies – Marketing Technology Solutions (acquired), Liquid Light (acquired), and Hark.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Fouad made his way from the world of VC to the world of CBS and media to founding SaaS companies being a serial SaaS founder with his 4th company, Sapho?
  • What does Fouad mean when he says the role of the CEO is to be an “inspirational asshole”? Why is this role so crucial and how is it embodied both in the approach to inspiring a team and driving goals and decision-making? How does Fouad think about structuring decision-making internally? Where do so many go wrong in implementing a decision-making process?
  • Why is Fouad a believer that “it is about coaching and promoting rather than signal hiring”? What does Fouad really interpret as signal hiring? When does signal hiring work well? How does Fouad determine when a stretch VP is a stretch too far? What are the leading indicators? Does Fouad agree with Mariam Naficy that rotation of function is key to internal upscaling?
  • What does Fouad believe are the 2 fundamental benefits of “being old” in SaaS? How would Fouad respond to the suggestion that the rate of decay on experience has never been greater with Moore’s law effect on technology? Applied to hiring, how does Fouad think about the decision to hire a jack of all trades vs a specialist? When is the time to make the transition?  

Fouad’s 60 Second SaaStr

  1. What does Fouad know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?
  2. A moment in Fouad’s business life that changed the way he thinks?
  3. What would Fouad most like to change in the world of SaaS today?

Read the full transcript on our blog.

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented, you can follow us on Twitter here:

Jason Lemkin

Harry Stebbings


Fouad ElNaggar

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