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 276: Airtable's VP of Customer Engagement Liat Bycel on Why "Hands Off Leadership" Does Not Work, How To Align The Ambitions Of An Individual With The Objectives of The Company & Unpacking The Dilemma of Whether To Go Horizontal Or Vertical When It

Liat Bycel is VP of Customer Engagement @ Airtable, the startup that works like a spreadsheet but gives you the power to organise anything. To date, Airtable has raised over $170m in funding from some of the best in the business including Thrive, Coatue, Founder Collective, CRV and individuals like Patrick Collison, Ashton Kutcher and Raymond Tonsing to name a few. As for Liat, prior to Airtable, she was the Chief Revenue Officer @ Assist. Before Assist, Liat spent 6 years at Twitter where she first hand saw their hyper-growth, managing a team of 40 across New York and SF and also Liat achieved 102% to quota on average every year. Finally before Twitter, Liat was VP of Sales @ Revolution Prep where she led and managed 7 offices. 

 In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Liat made her way into the world of SaaS and came to be VP of Customer Engagement at one of Silicon Valley’s hottest startups in Airtable? 
  • What were Liat’s biggest lessons from Twitter on how to hire successfully? What were some of the key takeaways from that experience on how, why and when to fire? Is there ever a right way to do it? How does Liat think about aligning both the personal ambitions of the person with the wider objectives of the company? Why does Liat reject the notion of “hands off leadership?”  
  • Companies often worry about whether to go horizontal or vertical, how does Liat personally think about this choice? What does she advise founders as a result? What are the core questions they should ask to determine their strategy? What are the biggest challenges of having such a vertical product? How does it impact messaging and brand? Product roadmap? Pricing?
  • How does Liat think about challenging the traditional sales model? How does that challenge the structure of the conventional AE and SDR structure? How does Liat think Airtable is pushing up against the traditional customer success model? How has having children impacted how Liat thinks about operating today? What changes with children? 

Liat’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Liat know now that she wishes she had known at the beginning of her time with Airtable?
  2. What are Liat’s biggest strengths and weaknesses?
  3. What are the challenges of prioritization?

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


Liat Bycel

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