Episode 12: How to Build Community in a New Category, with Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight

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Repeat CEO Nick Mehta joined Gainsight in its Series A and has since grown the company into the customer success management category leader. In this episode Nick shares what it takes to build an industry leading company in a previously non-existent category, how to use customer conferences as a way to build community, and how to attract a roster of all-star VCs.

Prior to Gainsight, Nick was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Accel Partners where he focused on developing opportunities in the enterprise application and infrastructure markets. Prior to Accel, Nick served as Chief Executive Officer of LiveOffice, where he led the company’s profitable growth to $25 MM in revenue and successful sale to Symantec. During college in the mid 1990s, Nick co-founded his first business, a venture-funded online golf retailer called Chipshot.com that became one of the top 20 online retailers of its time. Nick holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Harvard University.

Highlights from the episode:

4:00 As a CEO, what are the things you focus on early in building the company?
5:07 How do you grow a new market? How do you build awareness?
7:03 Tell us more about customer conferences as a way to sell enterprise software
8:50 How did you grow the community around your product?
12:05 How do you measure if your community building efforts are successful?
13:19 How do you sell to large enterprises? Tell us about your go-to-market strategy
15:38 How do you identify key stakeholders and who you should be selling to?
18:24 How do you price your enterprise product?
19:05 Have you lost a customer and how do you deal with it?
22:33 How do you resuscitate a customer to win them back?
21:08 How do you maintain that your company feels personable as you scale your customer base and grow the company?
23:25 How do you think about competition?
26:25 How do you think about culture and how did you pick your company’s values?
29:24 How do you approach diversity and inclusion?
31:05 As a repeat CEO, how did you do things differently this time around? What advice would you give to first time CEOs?
34:20 How do you attract great VCs?
37:18 Tell us about a book you recommend to other founders and leaders?
39:09 What’s your favorite interview question?
38:49 What’s something you believe that most people don’t?

GGV Capital is a global venture capital firm that invests in local founders. As a multi-stage, sector-focused firm, GGV focuses on seed-to-growth stage investments across Consumer/New Retail, Social/Digital & Internet, Enterprise/Cloud and Frontier Tech sectors. The firm was founded in 2000 and manages $6.2 billion in capital across 13 funds. Past and present portfolio companies include Affirm, Airbnb, Alibaba, Bitsight, ByteDance (Toutiao), Ctrip, Didi Chuxing, Grab, Gladly, Hello Chuxing, HashiCorp, Houzz, Keep, LingoChamp, Namely, Niu, Nozomi Networks, Opendoor, Peloton, Poshmark, Slack, Square, Wish, Xauto, Xiaohongshu, Yellow, YY, Zhaoyou and more. The firm has offices in Beijing, San Francisco, Shanghai and Silicon Valley. Learn more at ggvc.com, @GGVCapital or GGVCapital on WeChat.