Xero Developer podcast

Love tech? Want a peek behind the scenes at some of the world’s top global software platforms? Join Nick Houldsworth and Dan Young from the Xero API team as they talk platforms with leaders from the SaaS industry to hear their insights on driving innovation through APIs, growing developer communities and creating a marketplace customers love. We’ll also be sharing some of our war stories and practical tips, as we embark on building an even greater apps ecosystem for Xero.

Xero developer podcast

Building a SaaS flywheel

A Xero Developer podcast series from 2018

Hosted by Nick Houldsworth & Dan Young

8 episodes | 2018

Episode 8: The definitive ‘how-to SaaS’ guide

This is the final episode in our 'Building a SaaS flywheel' series. Nick and Dan host an episode aimed at tying together all the parts of the season, unpacking the three major three themes:

  • the consumerisation of the enterprise and the impact this has on brand
  • how collaboration drives innovation
  • ways a platform strategy can drive growth

and with that, deliver a series of actionable insights for anyone looking to start a SaaS company.

Episode 7: Supersizing sales via platforms, with Receipt Bank

Sophie Hossack, who was strategic partner manager at Receipt Bank, talks to Nick (from a rather strange location) and Dan about the huge success of Receipt Bank, how to keep supernormal growth and what a successful rebrand looks like.

Sophie, one of the early team members of Receipt Bank, talks about how they have been through acquisition and the early days when Receipt Bank was finding product market fit.

Most companies might grow at 100% a year for two to three years in the early days. Receipt Bank has managed to keep its growth levels at 100% year on year for nearly 10 years. Nick and Dan find out what is allowing Receipt Bank to keep up this thrilling pace.

This episode has it all, so listen now.

Episode 6: Delighting developers and users, with Slack

Bear Douglas (@beardigsit), developer advocacy lead, and Paige Paquette (@paigepaquette) who was senior developer marketing manager at Slack join Nick and Dan on the Xero Developer podcast this week. Check it out to hear them discuss how to attract developers, keep them and delight them.

As part of the apps and integration team, Bear and Paige cover off some of the most interesting parts of the developer strategies at Slack and how they keep working to move the needle.

The ‘consumerisation of the enterprise stack’ helps Slack grow and maintain such a loyal developer and user base. Focusing on tone of voice and a transparent style of communication has built their ecosystem into a powerhouse of over 1500 public apps in only five years.

So listen in as Bear and Paige share their ecosystem insights from one of the fastest growing apps ever.

Episode 5: Making ecosystems not suck, with Expensify

Expensify is one of the more well known B2B SaaS products in the world, and for a team of 130 people it punches well above its weight. T.J. Ferriss, business development and strategic partnerships at Expensify takes Nick and Dan through how he got into the SaaS world and why he’s loving it at Expensify.

The podcast focuses on the key way that you can make partner benchmarks work for you when integrating with partners. And T.J. talks exclusive boutique events, offshoring and SaaS company culture – making Dan wonder how to get in on an invite to the exclusive Bora Bora conference

Episode 4: Scaling ecommerce via an ecosystem, with Shopify

Atlee Clark (@atleeclark), director of app & partner platform at Shopify joins Nick and Dan to discuss building an ecosystem that works across integrators, affiliates and consultants with the goal of end customers growing and succeeding.

From a small API that serviced 100s of developers to a full marketplace with over 2,500 apps, Shopify’s ecosystem allows retailers to have great online and POS journeys. Find out how Shopify has evolved to deal with that growth, and how the ecosystem is stronger because of it.

Atlee talks about the key to creating a frictionless ecosystem, how to prioritise while scaling and Nick and Dan unveil our exciting new segment.

Episode 3: Going big with Salesforce AppExchange

This week, Nick and Dan chat with Ludovic Ulrich (@ludoulrich), who was head of Salesforce+Start, about building an ecosystem that entices developers, the problems of not having an ecosystem and the opportunities developers have in growing ecosystems.

In this episode, you'll hear tips for startups that are building their own platforms and ways to create flourishing ecosystems including:

  • growth through Foo Fighters: how big events and having fun at them, in turn, can drive the growth of the ecosystem
  • creating gravity in the ecosystem, making people work with the platform but also with each other
  • enablement through self-service courses to enable developers at scale

Learn how Salesforce increased innovation by building a successful incubator around their API, and hear why showing some business value can be stronger than hackathons when bringing on new devs.

So tune in to this episode of the Xero Developer podcast to hear a stunned Nick and Dan listen as Ludo breaks down the AppExchange story by the (big) numbers.

Episode 2: Growing a partner-friendly ecosystem with Hubspot

This week on the Xero Developer podcast, Dan and Nick chat with Scott Brinker (@chiefmartec), VP of platform ecosystem at Hubspot about scaling partner programmes, building a great ecosystem and the potential for t-shirt cannons.

The team find out how a SaaS marketing company and a SaaS accounting software see platforms as a large part of their future – and what the current efforts of both companies have led to, from tiered partner programmes to the importance of defining white space and grey space in the ecosystem.

They discuss that having a platform adoption partner to train end users, also helps with long-term app adoption and is an essential part of a healthy ecosystem. And just how hard is it to stand out in the SaaS market? Listen now to find out all this and more!

Episode 1: How Zapier integrated with 1000 apps

Meet Cody Jones (@codyjayjones), head of partnerships at Zapier. Cody’s learnt some pretty interesting lessons, as Zapier grew to 1000-plus integrations, over a million customers, and became a favourite with developers.

Zapier connects the apps their customers use every day, allowing information to flow between the apps automatically, enabling their customers to be more productive. But they found out early on that it wasn’t sustainable to continue building their own integrations and Cody shares what they learned moving to a model where almost every integration is now built by their partners.

But when you’re releasing one or two integrations every business day, how do you ensure you’re continuing to build an ecosystem your community loves? In this episode of the Xero Developer podcast, Cody talks life at Zapier and how the team has maintained a personal touch at scale, how they successfully certify a growing number of apps, and build a brand their community loves working with.

Plus, find out what a game of API chicken is and hear Cody blows Nick’s mind at the start of the episode!