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The Orbit Shift Podcast

Business & Economics Podcasts

Practical insights from founders, investors, and experts to help scale your startup. Powered by Freshworks for Startups.

Practical insights from founders, investors, and experts to help scale your startup. Powered by Freshworks for Startups.




Practical insights from founders, investors, and experts to help scale your startup. Powered by Freshworks for Startups.




S02E43: Carson Drake, VP of Sales and BD at on building modern sales teams for product and app-based startups

With experience across multiple geographies including India and the US; and with experience across some of the biggest startups in the world including Uber and Airbnb, Carson Drake knows what it takes to build modern sales teams that grow revenue across different markets. In this episode we talk to Carson about his journey, launching Uber Eats in India, building trust with partner vendors, and how he has acquired over 7000 customers with, a startup that helps you set up your...


S02E42: Rebekah Bastian, CEO & Co-Founder of OwnTrail on building diversity and inclusion in startups

Today companies not only want to focus on profitability but also create a positive social impact. With consumers identifying strongly with brands that are committed to the greater good, profitability and positive social impact have become intertwined. In this episode, we speak to Rebekah Bastian, CEO, and Co-Founder of OwnTrail and an award-winning writer, who is a strong advocate of such an approach to company building. We talk about: 🚀Rebekah’s journey from Product Manager to VP of...


S02E41: How Iddo Gino, Founder of RapidAPI, built the world’s largest API hub

When he was 18 years old, Iddo Gino founded RapidAPI, a platform that allowed users to find, connect and manage APIs. Today the platform is the largest API hub in the world, where almost 3 million developers can discover, test, and connect to thousands of APIs. In this episode, we sit down with Iddo to talk about his journey into the world of programming, the importance of building a community, how he approaches VCs and manages relationships with them, and his thoughts on the developer...


S02E40: The product marketing framework every startup needs: Kevin Murray, VP, Product Marketing at Freshworks

Pitch, plays, proof, and plans are the four Ps of product marketing that Kevin Murray, VP of Product Marketing at Freshworks uses to elevate a brand’s marketing. In this episode of The Orbit Shift Podcast Kevin walks us through each of these four Ps and how companies can leverage them. He talks about how companies can perfect their pitch with the right messaging, how to set up plays with repeatable sales motions, how to build analyst relations and get proof in the marketplace and how to...


S02E39: Sara Varni, CMO of Twilio on the four horsemen that drive startup growth

Sara Varni has spent more than a decade scaling marketing organizations for various enterprise SaaS companies. Currently, as the chief marketing officer of cloud communications platform Twilio, she looks after all of marketing including growth, brand, and product marketing, public relations, developer relations, and events. In this episode of The Orbit Shift Podcast, she talks to us about the four horsemen of a marketing org - Inbound, outbound, sales reps, and partner organizations and how...


S02E38: How founders can set up and lead sales teams with Jen Abel, Co-Founder Jjellyfish

As Co-Founder and Partner at Jjellyfish, a sales consultancy with experience guiding 120+ early-stage startups, Jen Abel has seen how early-stage sales teams can fail. In this episode of The Orbit Shift Podcast Jen talks about why the onus lies with founders to make the early sales and get direct feedback from their customers about their product. She talks about the difference between a buyer and a user, how founders can hit the $1 million revenue mark, how to set up a sales team post the...


S02E37: Peter Johnston, Founder of Polywork on building the world's most powerful people search engine

A founder is often someone who recognizes a gap in the market and looks to address this gap. Our latest guest is one such founder who has spotted a gap in professional social media networks and is looking to provide a solution to it. As the founder of Polywork, Peter Johnston is looking to change the way professional social media networks operate. In this episode of The Orbit Shift Podcast, he talks to us about the problem with professional social media channels, how the idea of Polywork...


S02E36: Sales plays for high-growth teams with Joe Manuele, SVP Corporate and Business Development, Dialpad

If you’re a founder and are wondering how to really get sales right, or if you’re a sales leader and want to figure out how to hire people, help them level up and really propel your company into the next orbit, you must listen to Joe Manuele, the SVP of Corporate and Business Development at cloud communications company Dialpad. For several years now, Joe has had a ringside view of the transformation in the selling process. In this episode of The Orbit Shift Podcast, we talk to him about his...


S02E35: The sales road map for early-stage startups with Ken Lundin, Founder of Ken Lundin & Associates

Launch, Lift, Locate, and Level Flight. These are the four stages that Ken Lundin, Founder of sales consultation group Ken Lundin & Associates, prescribes to early-stage startups to attain high growth. On this episode of The Orbit Shift Podcast, we caught up with the sales leader to talk about 🚀How the selling process, sales teams, and sales talent need to pivot during the pandemic and beyond 🚀Breaking down the sales alpha roadmap and the four stages of Launch, Lift, Locate, and Level...


S02E34: Marketing trends, ABM, and product-led growth for startups with Heather Zynczak, Board Member of DemandBase

Marketing has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. Today data empowers marketers to understand where their dollars are going and what their return on investment is. Heather Zynczak, a board member at DemandBase and ex-CMO of Pluralsight, has had a firsthand view of this change in the field. In this episode, she talks to us about the changes in marketing trends and how startups need to react to them. Why she thinks the way Account-Based Management is defined is problematic and how...


S02E33: Dave Kellogg on the two essential SaaS metrics for a SaaS startup

Dave Kellogg, known as the ‘Yoda of SaaS metrics,’ is our latest guest on The Orbit Shift Podcast. We talk to the SaaS veteran about 🚀The two essential SaaS metrics - ARR and ARR growth 🚀The importance of picking a big enough TAM 🚀Importance of measuring NDR 🚀CAC vs NDR, when to use what 🚀The limitations of an NPS 🚀Why startups shouldn’t become metric slaves This episode was recorded live at SaasBoomi’s annual event. Get $10,000 free credits to use Freshworks products...


S02E32: Marketing and metrics that matter with Melissa Sargeant, CMO of Litmus

With Melissa Sargeant, the chief marketing officer of email marketing company Litmus, we explore the role of a chief marketing officer, how they’re hired, why they last the least in the c-suite, and e-mail marketing, one of the most powerful channels for marketers. Get $10,000 free credits to use Freshworks products (including the brand new Freshworks CRM packed with AI-based lead scoring, phone, email, and activity capture) by joining the Freshworks for Startups program. Click here to...


S02E31: Decoding Value SaaS with Prasanna, Partner at Upekkha

When you sell subscriptions to a SaaS product that needs to be renewed frequently, it is necessary to prove the value of your product to customers every day. This not only prevents them from churning but also eventually makes them evangelists for your product. This is the essence of value SaaS. In our latest episode of The Orbit Shift Podcast, we talk to Prasanna Krishnamoorthy, the Managing Partner at SaaS accelerator Upekkha about value SaaS. We discuss how founders, can cut through the...


S02E30 The founders guide to navigating a boardroom with Cindy Padnos, Illuminate Ventures

Founders are often in the trenches when it comes to fund-raising, making new hires, and driving their company’s growth. What often goes under the radar however is how founders can navigate their way through a board room. In this episode of The Orbit Shift Podcast, we talk to Cindy Padnos, a VC with 25 years of experience in the tech industry who sits on the board of six companies. We talk about 🚀What is the profile of an ideal chairperson 🚀When should founders get an independent board...


S02E29: How to nail your product positioning with April Dunford, Author of Obviously Awesome

In this episode of The Orbit Shift Podcast, we look at how to position a product or brand in a market. We’re joined by April Dunford, a leader in the field of positioning. April has positioned and launched 16 products across her 25 years in marketing. April talks to us about how what we think as positioning is actually what we do after we have identified positioning, how to identify bad positioning, the power of setting context, and how to layer trends on your positioning to supercharge...


S02E28: Scaling your startup’s people function for high-growth with Andrew Bartlow, Author and Founder, Series B Consulting

With 25 years of Human Resources and Talent Management experience, Andrew Bartlow is a veteran people officer. In his latest avatar as an author, he attempts to distill his 25 years of experience into his latest book ‘Scaling for Success: People Priorities for High-Growth Organizations’. We caught up with the founder to talk about 🚀Blitz-scaling and its drawbacks 🚀The two types of founders; the mule-drivers and the prophets 🚀Hiring new leaders and how to attract talent to an...


S02E27: IPO Special: Decoding the Indian IPO boom

More than half a dozen Indian tech companies, including Zomato, Paytm, Flipkart, InMobi, Nykaa, and PolicyBazaar, have said they are likely to go public this year. This is obviously a big milestone for India's tech ecosystem, which has seen very few public offerings in the past. What has changed, and why are Indian companies talking about going for an IPO now? In this special, we pick up a hot topic from the world of startups and help you parse it with the help of top experts. In today's...


S02E26: Stacey Epstein, CMO of Freshworks on building an outbound engine for a product-led-growth startup

Several top companies today are product-led companies. This includes the likes of Atlassian, Slack, Zoom, and Freshworks. What does it really mean to be a product-led company? Does product-led growth work for all startups? How do you design your outbound sales motion if you started with a product-led, inbound growth strategy? In today's episode of The Orbit Shift Podcast, Stacey Epstein, the Chief Marketing Officer of Freshworks Inc. answers all these questions and more. Stacey joined...


S02E25: Starting up and fundraising in MENA with Hasan Haider, Co-Founder and Managing Partner +VC

On this episode of The Orbit Shift Podcast, we zoom in on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with Hasan Haider, Founder and Managing Partner of (Plus)+VC. MENA is a region with one of the fastest-growing startup ecosystems in the world today, and with blockbuster deals like Careem’s exit to Uber, the region is poised for a take-off. We speak to Hasan on the evolution of the startup ecosystem in the region, the sectors lacking in the region today, what he looks for in founders as...


S02E24: Inside Duolingo’s growth engine with Gina Gotthilf

With over 500 million registered learners, 40 million active users, and $190 million in revenues (2020), Duolingo is one of the most successful consumer apps out there. The app, which helps millions of users learn new languages, did all this in just under 10 years. From being one of the first apps to use gamification, and entering popular culture through its quirky notification copy, Duolingo is an app that has carved a unique voice for itself. Gina Gotthilf, who led international growth...