Atlassian Offers a Masterclass in Growth; Senior Growth Product Manager Shows us How

Episode 51 July 07, 2021 00:49:49
Atlassian Offers a Masterclass in Growth; Senior Growth Product Manager Shows us How
The Breakout Growth Podcast
Atlassian Offers a Masterclass in Growth; Senior Growth Product Manager Shows us How

Jul 07 2021 | 00:49:49

/

Show Notes

Atlassian is the powerhouse behind popular productivity software brands including Jira, Confluence, Bitbucket, and Trello. Their solutions help more than 170,000 businesses, and in this episode of the Breakout Growth Podcast Sean Ellis and Ethan Garr are joined by Atlassian’s Senior Growth Product Manager, Andrea Ho. 

 

Today, Atlassian is one of the most respected and fast-growing companies in the world, but it took some time before the company was able to dial in growth. Andrea says she and many others in Australia have been attracted to this “homegrown unicorn” because the company is always innovating in its quest to create valuable, self-serve, low CAC, affordable enterprise software.  

 

Atlassian has done an artful job of capitalizing on its successes. Building and acquiring valuable products that help customers achieve their goals has helped create a strong brand and a powerful word-of-mouth engine. Andrea’s team is then tasked with the “expansion” part of the company’s “land and expand” growth approach.  They focus on getting clients to adopt Atlassian solutions across the full organization as well as on driving customers from one product within the Atlassian ecosystem to another.  

 

This approach has helped create the company’s enormous value. Atlassian currently has a market cap of over $62 billion and a team of over 5000 employees. But Andrea explains there is always more work to be done, and the team is constantly working to evolve its growth process.

 

So join us as we learn what’s driving Atlassian’s breakout growth success.



We discussed:

 

* What’s a growth product manager vs. a product manager? (4:01)



* Atlassian’s rise to global success (9:30)



* Why having a revenue goal has been a good challenge for Andrea (15:33)



* The “why” behind Atlassian’s new North Star Metric (17:25)



* Insights into the growth team structure (24:40)



* The “land and expand” growth engine (27:52)



And much, much, more . . .

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:08 Welcome to the breakout growth podcast, where Sean Ellis interviews, leaders from the world's fastest growing companies to get to the heart of what's really driving their growth. And now here's your host, Sean Ellis. Speaker 1 00:00:24 All right. And this week's episode of the breakout growth podcast, Ethan Gar and I chat with Andrea hoe senior growth product manager from Atlassian. So when I last checked it last year and was valued at more than $60 billion, serving more than 170,000 customers worldwide. So Ethan Atlassian has become a giant. What stood out to you about our conversation Speaker 2 00:00:45 With Andrea? Oh man, there were so many great things in this discussion, but I think probably what stood out the most was how Andrea and her team focused on the expand part of the company's land and expand approach to growth, learning how they look to drive customers, to adopt the product across their full organizations and then how they work to then drive those customers across the, the Atlassian products, JIRA confluence, Bitbucket, and Trello, and others. That to me was super interesting. Speaker 1 00:01:09 Yeah. In fact, um, I, you know, I think the model that they've really invented over the years is, is commonly known as the Atlassian model. And I've seen a lot of B2B businesses want to try to adopt that they, they essentially are able to onboard some really big companies with a no touch e-commerce model at a really low entry price point and, and have a low customer acquisition costs on what otherwise would probably be pretty expensive customers to acquire. And then just, as you said, being able to get those customers to adopt that initial product throughout the organization a lot more, and then working to cross promote other products that just builds on that ecosystem that becomes the Atlassian ecosystem in their company. Speaker 2 00:01:53 Yeah. When a business is that much of a powerhouse that, you know, people want to emulate their model, you know, they're doing the right things. Hey Sean, before we jump in, I wanted to let our audience know about our latest growth study on breakout growth.net. It's about UV box and you go Perera their chief growth officer. He joined you as a guest about a year ago on the podcast. And this company is on an absolute tear in the exciting world of electric vehicles. I think it's a great study that people really enjoy. Speaker 1 00:02:17 Oh, I agree. And this was probably one of my most favorite interviews of the last year. It's a really personable guy and super smart guy. Um, and I, I think that there's a ton of insights in the interview itself and we we'd really do our best to extract a lot of those powerful and actionable growth insights so that people can apply them in their business, whether they're in hardware or really any other type of business. Um, there's, there's just a lot to learn here. So this is definitely worth checking out. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:02:47 I think you guys, just one of those really great minds and growth, so I think there's a lot of insights whether regardless of what industry you're in, so yeah. Please visit breakout growth.net and check it out. Yep. Speaker 1 00:02:57 And in the meantime, let's get to the Atlassian conversation because given that so many people want to replicate the Atlassian model, let's go right to the source. Talk to Andrea she's, she's really at a key pivot point in driving adoption of the Atlassian ecosystem across companies. So let's get to it. Yup. Hi Andrew. Welcome to the breakout growth podcast. Speaker 3 00:03:26 Hey Sean. Thanks for having me. Yeah, Speaker 1 00:03:29 We're really excited to have you. I'm joined by my cohost Ethan GARS well welcome Ethan. Hey Andrew. Speaker 3 00:03:36 Hey Ethan. Great to meet you. Speaker 1 00:03:38 I'm glad you guys have, have a, a, a chance to connect here. And so Andrea and I actually did a, uh, uh, a great, um, kind of panel conversation with a UC Berkeley event a little while ago and, uh, uh, kind of clicked a bit from that. And I thought, gosh, you'd be an awesome guest on the podcast. So I was excited when she said yes for that. So, um, let's, let's kinda just jump right into it. Um, it looks like, uh, before you were at Atlassian, Andrea, you were in a more general product management roles, but now you're in a growth product management role. What is the difference? I, interestingly enough, my daughter just started a growth product management role today for an internship. And so, um, early in the conversation, she asked me that question. So I thought there might be some other people have that question as well. So what do you see as the difference in a growth product management role versus a general product management role? Speaker 3 00:04:31 Yeah, that's super cool for your daughter by the way. Um, but yeah, you know, it's funny I was thinking about this. I actually don't think there's that much difference. I mean, at the end of the day we're product managers and maybe there's some extra frameworks that we're using growth. Um, we, you know, we usually have goals that are directly attributable back to revenue. Um, but yeah, I, I think at heart where the same as, as other product managers. Speaker 1 00:04:58 Okay. And so when you made the switch to having growth in your title, when you, when you went to Atlassian, did I, did I read that right? Did you have growth before last season or this is the first time you've had growth in your title? Speaker 3 00:05:10 Um, it's the first time I've had growth at my title. Yep. Speaker 1 00:05:13 Yeah. So what, um, were, were you like nervous about bringing growth in, or, and you realize afterwards that it tends to be pretty similar or did you have that expectation going into it that they just call it a little different than maybe what you were previously? Speaker 3 00:05:27 I, I wasn't really sure what to expect, I guess, because it was my first role in growth and I thought it was going to be very different. And like, to be honest, I have learned a lot here, like that's, you know, on top of my previous product management skills, but I think a little, it just, it's just made me a better, better all around product manager. Speaker 1 00:05:48 Yeah. Well, I mean, imagine like, um, Atlassian is such a great company that, uh, there would be a lot of learning opportunities there, but, uh, Ethan, any, anything that's kind of on the tip of your tongue to ask Andrea? Yeah, I was just wondering, Speaker 2 00:06:03 I saw that, I think I read that last thing is now a $50 billion company for anyone not familiar with the company. Could you maybe tell us how you describe it and what, what is, what is it last year? Speaker 3 00:06:14 Yeah, sure. Uh, so, uh, last year, uh, last thing is all about teams. So all of our products are designed to help teams collaborate better. Um, so some people might've heard of products like Trello or JIRA, or maybe even confluence a bit bucket, but they're basically all like task work management or information management tools. Um, so yeah, that's, that's the last thing. And in, and in a nutshell, Speaker 2 00:06:38 And what area of the business do you focus on? Speaker 3 00:06:41 Um, so in growth, uh, you, you, I'm sure you've heard of the terms land and expand. Um, so I work in the expand part of growth. Um, so we actually have this growth cube, which I think MCB one of our founders drew up and we use it to describe how, like, how we do our growth strategy at it last year. And it's because it goes out in three different dimensions. Um, so the first dimension is growing the number of users. So let's say you've got half of your dev teams using JIRA. So how do we get you to add the other 50%? Um, the second dimension is use cases. Um, so, okay. We've got some people in your marketing team using Trello for personal task management. How do we get them to use it for group, project management as well? Um, and then the third dimension is expanding to other products. So, okay. We know your dev team uses JIRA for like workflow management. How do we get them to also use confluence to manage their like project documentation as well? Um, and that third part there's called cross flow. That's where I work. Speaker 1 00:07:46 Obviously Atlassian is one of the hottest companies going in Australia and has been for quite a while. Um, people get attracted for different reasons. It might not just because it was such a, such a successful company. Was there anything in particular that really attracted you to Atlassian in the first place? Speaker 3 00:08:03 Uh, last thing just has this huge reputation in Australia, particularly cause it's like a homegrown Australian company for us. Um, just as being like the most successful Unicon startup for a, for an Australian company. Um, you know, they just completely changed the game when it came to like self-serve low CAC, um, you know, uh, affordable enterprise software. Um, and you know, so many startup founders are still trying to emulate them today. Um, so they're, they're just kind of like the dream company that most, a lot, like a lot of people want to work for in Australia. Um, yeah, there's just so much to be inspired by there. Speaker 1 00:08:43 Yeah. Just to, just to grab onto one of the things that you said there, I, uh, probably more than any company that I've, that I've heard of, uh, at LaSeon comes up in conversation of, oh yeah. We're trying to, we're trying to implement an Alaska and type, uh, growth and sales model. And so, um, you know, to be, to be kind of the poster child of a specific model that lots of other companies are trying to replicate as a, you must really be doing something right there. Speaker 3 00:09:13 Yeah, I think, um, yeah, they're definitely always pushing the boundaries, I think. Um, like even now they're still innovating, so yeah. It's an exciting place to be for sure. Speaker 1 00:09:22 Yeah. And then one of the things that I've, I've actually found interesting about Atlassian is that it's, it's definitely not like a growth model. That was an overnight success. I know that it, um, it was a private company for a long time. I think it didn't even take external funding for a long time, but yeah, Ethan mentioned the $50 billion valuation as a public company. It could be up a billion or down a billion day-to-day. So I'm not sure like the latest on where it is and by the time this comes out, it could be somewhere else. But, um, the most important part is that it's a hugely successful company now and it, and, and that the team took a long time to, to really dial it in, which I think is actually a good thing because over night successes tend to be overnight failures, maybe in the next breath. And so when you, when you've really built growth on a strong foundation, I think it tends to last a lot longer. And, and we're seeing that now with Atlassian and hopefully continue to see it. But if you could kind of hone into one thing that you feel like LaSeon has really done better than anyone else that, that, um, has, has powered that growth over time. Is there anything that really jumps out at you or maybe a couple of things? Speaker 3 00:10:30 Yeah. I was going to say one, one thing is pretty hard to put your finger on this. There's definitely a few, I think like it's kind of evolved over time. Right? Like as they, when they were a startup, they just saw this gap in the market of like overpriced enterprise tools, like prospects having to jump through hoops or salespeople. And so they just, they created this principle around like that, that transparent pricing and like self-serve, um, and you know, that that's kind of, that's been their like unique entry point today into the market of like, yeah, it's really hard to replicate that kind of pricing and that kind of self-serve model, um, in the market that we've already like established ourselves in. Um, and then, you know, with the success came like brand recognition and, you know, the branding has just helped drive a huge amount of referral business. Speaker 3 00:11:27 Like I think, I think a lot of our business these days is actually word of mouth and, and then like the last phase I heard about it. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Like, you know, I think, I think a lot of, um, business comes from, you know, someone has used our products at one company and then, then they moved to another company and then it's like, Hey, you're not using it last year. Like, get that, get that sorted. And it just spreads, what is this stuff you got here? Right, right. And, um, and just quickly, it just, the, the last one is acquisitions. I think, you know, as they became more successful and had more money, they just started to, um, you know, buy other companies to help build out the platform. And, you know, whether it's like feature parody or, um, just growing market share. Yeah. All those things have just kept boosting them up every year. Speaker 1 00:12:21 What is the biggest of the acquisitions? I know Trello was, was one that jumped out at me, but is there, has there been others that are even bigger than Speaker 3 00:12:28 Trello? I actually think Charlie probably is the biggest, um, today. Yeah. But, um, who knows? Speaker 1 00:12:38 And then I guess one, one other kind of, probably clarifying question on there. Um, when people talk about the Atlassian model, you've talked about self-service, but like, kind of in a nutshell, what, what do you, how would you maybe describe the Atlassian model in a sentence or two? Um, like, is it, is it only self-service do you have like some touch upsells or is it like customer success that drives that? Or is it, is it all kind of product led growth? Speaker 3 00:13:08 It's definitely a mix of things for different segments of the market. So I'd say like our, our main focus is definitely the self-serve or low touch, um, you know, SAS model, but you know, these days, obviously there are, there are big enterprise companies using our product. So they, they do often require sales help as well. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:13:31 Yeah. So I think, I think for me, one of the things I find really attractive about the Atlassian model is I think because it is so dependent on the self-serve side. And so, like you said, maybe, maybe some of the larger enterprise there's some, some touch that goes on. I've been, I was on the board of directors of a company that when I joined the team, I think their average average sale was in the, yeah, it was a freemium business. So their average sale was probably well below a hundred dollars and, um, very much like a, uh, a high velocity, low touch model. And because there's so much money up market that they, over time, we're, we're doing these, these, you know, million dollar plus deals. And at the fourth year of my board, see, that was kind of like these guys really aren't, aren't leaning on anything that I, um, that, that I can bring a lot of value to anymore. Speaker 1 00:14:28 So they kind of outgrew me in terms of where I could add value. But I also learned through the process personally, I mean, some, some people really liked the, the enterprise model, but I learned through the process that there's a lot of challenges with the enterprise model that I didn't like, like, you know, when you start thinking about churn of sales reps and how long does it, how many months or years does it take for a sales rep become fully, fully a contributing sales rep at the same level as someone who's been around for a long time. And yeah, like you have, there's, there's a lot of scalability channel challenges that happened with a more traditional model. And so I think that that's always been the appeal to me on the Atlassian model was that I think it can scale to a company that is $50 billion plus without having sort of a dominating, dominating a kind of sales driven culture that, um, that often caps out at a certain part and becomes harder to grow that business over time. But Ethan I've been squeezing you out for Ohio here. Um, w um, I'm sure you've got a up question or two that I, uh, have have talked in the gaps. Speaker 2 00:15:34 No worries, Andrea. I was just curious, what kind of challenges you and your team have been facing and what what's interesting about your role? Speaker 3 00:15:42 Yeah, I think I'm probably one of the first challenges I had becoming like, you know, joining the growth team for the first time was, as I mentioned, like having a revenue goal, it was, it was something I'd actually always aspired to have because previously as a, as a product manager, you know, the only goals I had was like NPS and seaside and feature usage. And, you know, I should have mentioned this earlier, but like, part of the reason why I wanted to join growth was I really wanted to be able to like directly attribute this thing that I built back to the companies, a lot of liner, I wanted to know that I'd made an impact to the, to the company. Um, but yeah, when it, when I finally got my wish and I joined this team, they're like, great. You'll go is to get like X number of uses for this product. Speaker 3 00:16:27 I was like, sweet. And I went to my team and had my little presentation about this new opportunity. Are we going to go after this market? Are we going to get X number of users? And the first question the engineers asked was, but why like, what customer problem are we solving? I was like, oh crap. Uh, I, I should know this I'm the product manager, that's my job. But I it's, there's almost like a bit of like reverse engineering of like, okay, you start with your business goal, but you still have to connect it to a customer problem that you're solving you. Can't just, you know, that's, that's not a strategy. That's a, that's just a goal. So that's taken a little bit of mental adjustment, I think. Um, and it's something I still like get stuck on every now and again today as well of like, okay, what, how do I, how do I find a customer or, you know, which, which customer problems today, um, are actually going to like, help deliver this outcome, this business outcome that I'm trying to achieve. Right. Speaker 1 00:17:25 Yeah. And I, I think just along those lines, that if, if you focus on just revenue as a, as, as the, the only thing that matters you can, you, you can kind of back yourself into a wall because that revenue might not be sustainable. If, if you're not providing customer impact every step of the way, that's like proportionate to the growth in revenue. And so, yeah. And then the tracks back. So when you think about you, you know, when you looked beyond revenue, is there, is there like a key metric that you primarily focus on or is there a few, few metrics? How, how do you, how do you gauge success in your day to day activities? Speaker 3 00:18:05 Um, so we, we have like our north star growth metric, um, which actually recently just changed. It used to be paid enabled users. Um, cause we're all about revenue. Um, we've recently switched to match the company north star metric, which is Mel. And so that's, I guess the, like that's our OKR for the year that we focus on the day-to-day is, is a little bit different. Cause I guess okay. Results from the different experiments that we run might be a lot more granular. Um, so, you know, we're looking for things that might drive Mao and, and that might be about adopting a new product and then being retained. Um, so, so for instance, for a normal experiment, it might be like adoption of a second or third product. And then we have another metric called week two. Wow. So like, are they steep? Are they still weekly active users in the second week or the fourth week? Um, to make sure that, you know, they're not just discovering a product and then chatting straight away. Um, so yeah, there's a whole bunch of different sort of primary, secondary, and God RA metrics that we're always thinking about Speaker 2 00:19:19 What drove that shift from paid enabled users to the, the company-wide, uh, monthly active users metric. Was it, was it you or someone or someone else? Speaker 3 00:19:29 Yeah. Good question. It wasn't, it wasn't me directly. I think it was actually more a combination. Like I think all the product managers in the growth team had been feeling this for a little while. And the leadership team was saying that sometimes a direct revenue metric can drive the wrong behavior. So, you know, we were, I think over-indexing at times on the purchase conversion monetization side of things and not enough on the like retention and activation side. So they kind of saw Mao as, as a better goal to, you know, force us to think about both short-term and long-term. Um, and also that was, that had been our sort of company goal for, for a long time. It's like, oh, I'll be hag. I'll be carry audacious goal of a hundred million now. Speaker 2 00:20:18 That's awesome. Direct revenue metrics, you know, um, Sean, I often will talk about how direct revenue is not necessarily a great north star metric. Do you have, did you have examples in what, in your testing and experimentation where that actually led to issues for you? Or was that just generally throughout the organization, you were feeling that, Speaker 3 00:20:36 Uh, for me, yeah, that there were times when like I'd, I'd run an experiment where my goal was, was to get paid users and then maybe I do get those paid users, but they didn't stick around. And so it was like, I hit my, I hit my goal, but I didn't actually really hit my goal. So, um, yeah, that, that, those were sort of the turning points of like, yeah, something needs to change. Speaker 1 00:21:00 So instead of like focusing on who really needs this, how do I get the value on the, on the cross promotion? Or how did they get value on the cross promotion and then revenue being more of a lagging indicator? Um, just, just kind of going straight and maybe, maybe getting them to purchase something that maybe it wasn't quite right for them. And then, and then you end up having turned there and some of the other issues that lead to less healthy business. Speaker 3 00:21:27 Yeah, exactly. I just not thinking through like the whole customer experience enough. Speaker 1 00:21:31 Right, right. So when you, when you think about some of these lessons, I, I, uh, as most of your work been in larger businesses or some, some smaller businesses, like earlier stage startups and how, how has that kind of changed your thinking around, you know, how, uh, how a startup should be organized so that it can, it can somewhat stay organized that way as it becomes large? Or is that, is that like a, not, not a realistic goal and you've got to probably kind of reorganize it every, every new phase of the business, but have you, have you thought back to maybe how, how you might think about startups differently now that you've seen it think things at big scale? Speaker 3 00:22:10 Yeah. Yeah, definitely. I mean, I did start my tech career in a startup in a four person company. Um, and so I've sort of been through that kind of high growth phase, uh, for a little bit. It's, it's a hard one though. I mean, I don't know that there's any right answer. I think, like you said, it's probably going to keep evolving over time. I mean, the startup itself evolves so quickly in those first few years of like, you know, trying to, you know, first goal is product market fit. So you're not really thinking about growth yet. You're just thinking about how do I get those early adopters? And then, you know, as you, as you start to get traction, that's when you start to think about growth. Um, but yeah, I don't know. I don't know if I'd recommend necessarily having a separate growth team yet at that stage, even like, you'll probably, you're still focused on trying to become profitable, I assume, um, or, you know, uh, get enough market. Speaker 3 00:23:06 So, you know, you're, you're building features and you're thinking about growth at the same time and you probably don't have enough resources to just, you know, have a team that's just focused on growth. Maybe you do. But, um, yeah, I think it, it does seem to be something that comes a bit later. Like I know where that last scene hang out. Growth team was only formed like six or seven years ago. You know, it's like a, I think it's like a 15, 16 year old company now. So it was, it was kind of later in the game. I think there were, there were definitely people doing growth beforehand, but, um, yeah, it wasn't an official growth team till much later. Speaker 1 00:23:40 Yeah. That's interesting. Now you have, have a lot of, uh, a lot of people from that are pretty well-known growth. People like yourself that, that people sort of look to as, uh, as thought leaders in Greece. That's funny to think that, that the business got to a pretty successful stage without necessarily a separately defined growth team. But like, I, like you were saying, I, I think, uh, I think a lot of companies have maybe a growth culture and people are, people are really studying the day. I, I look at my, um, log me in days where we never called it a growth team, but knowing that yeah, majority of people who sign up never used the product, that's not really marketing, that's not really product that's that new customer onboarding. We're going to have to fix that if we want to grow sustainably, a growth team would probably latch onto that quickly, but you hope that, uh, a more, uh, traditionally organized company can, can spot those things that are really holding back growth and at least address those problems. Speaker 3 00:24:37 Yeah, definitely. Yep. Speaker 2 00:24:39 So now today at last name with that relatively newly formed growth team, does that live under product or is it a completely separate organization? Speaker 3 00:24:49 It is actually a totally separate organization, um, at the moment I think it's, yeah, it was built that way from the beginning and it's just kind of grown. I'm not sure if it'll change or not in the future, but yeah. Speaker 2 00:25:03 Yeah, because Sean and I have definitely seen a lot, uh, there's a trend towards growth and product being combined, and it's always interesting to see how companies are structuring for growth. It's obviously not a piece of the Atlassian story today, but do you see that as a trend that you think will continue to grow? Speaker 3 00:25:20 Uh, it's hard to say I I'd actually not really heard of that too much before. I mean, I think, I think it depends on the, like the life stage of the company and what their goal is at that point in time. Like if, if they're all about growth, then you're like, maybe it makes sense for them to have a combined growth and product team together under the same leadership. Um, you know, if they're trying to have rapid growth to IPO, then, then that makes sense. But not, not every company is, is all about growth, so yeah, but it's, it's an interesting idea for sure. Speaker 2 00:25:51 I think depending on, as you said, the stage sort of matters quite a bit in weather where you, how you should structure for growth, but I think also teams that teams that have really good cross-functional collaboration and communicate well, uh, sometimes it's less important how it's structured, uh, as long as the mechanisms for driving that communication across teams is really set up well. Speaker 3 00:26:14 Yeah, definitely, definitely. And just the culture, the product culture and the growth culture of the company. Speaker 1 00:26:21 Yeah. And I think even like this, this idea of a move to more combined, uh, growth in product roles, um, is, is probably more of a function. Like I think traditionally marketing would be looked at as who who's driving growth in the company kind of in a scalable way. Sales for a lot of companies plays, plays an important role too, but, or product is more about, yeah, how do we, how do we keep refining products so that it, uh, addresses the need of a bigger market that we can maybe scale into? Um, but I do, I do think that there are so many growth levers that sit within product and marketers are often not trusted with those levers. And so, um, but, but at the same time, while we talk about that, that maybe it's moving in that direction, every company seems to be experimenting all the time with what is the right combination of how, how you kind of delineate between departments. Speaker 1 00:27:13 And it's not just, it's not just a snapshot that there's an exact right way as we've covered here that, um, you know, what works today, if you double the team size, usually that, that brings about more specialization, which then can lead to sometimes more siloed behavior and less thinking about big picture. And so there's, there's kind of, there's there's problems that emerged sort of with, with every solution. And so that's why it's probably less surprising that there's the people continue to iterate to try to figure out what is, what is the best way to structure and organize and break down different responsibilities. But, uh, I would say personally that whatever the heck Atlassian is doing seems to, seems to be working well. So, um, Speaker 3 00:27:53 We're definitely still evolving how we do growth at our last season as well. I mean, now our priorities change each year, depending on the company goal. And we often restructure our teams to, to meet that as well. So, you know, just because one team might be focused on, on onboarding, you know, one quarter they could switch and do something totally different than next quarter, if, if that's, you know, where the priorities are. So I think we just try and, you know, keep up with the times K-pop with the priorities and, and don't try not to get stuck in silos too often. Speaker 1 00:28:24 Yeah. I mean, at the end of the day, it's really, it's really like often a single juror, a single sort of user journey path. I know in your case, it's collaboration software. So it's a, it's a group of users path, but it goes from someone yeah. Bringing out Lassie in a, an Atlassian product into their business and somehow they discover it and, and eventually delivering on the needs of the company to the point where people love it so much that when they go to their next company, they're strong advocates saying, why are we not using JIRA? Or why are we not using Trello or whatever, whatever different, uh, Atlassian products that we're used to using in the past. And so, um, it would be interesting, I think to maybe think less organizationally about how do you bring someone through that journey, but just like what that journey looks like. So maybe, maybe we start with, um, just how I think you've, you've touched on probably each of these through this conversation, but how, um, people generally discover an Atlassian product and then in your role, is it, is it only that cross promotion or do you have enough like transparency into how, how they discover a product in the first place before they get into that ecosystem? Speaker 3 00:29:38 Yeah. So my team specifically is like, after they've already got their first product and discovering the second product, so yeah, there's, there's a whole separate part of growth that looks after brand new user acquisition. Um, but you know, I, I do think about acquisition, but it's different. I'm thinking I'm, I'm looking at the people who are using JIRA for instance, and I'm segmenting them down. I'm trying to find out who's the right type of persona to target and what kind of messaging is going to work for them. And, um, and then finding places for them to discover, say confluence or Trello. Um, but yeah, there's, there's a lot of work that goes into the marketing side of things for the, for the new users. Definitely. I just, I can't talk too much about that from my investments. Speaker 1 00:30:23 No I'm with you, but I think the way that you're looking at it, I think it's pretty cool because it's suddenly like you have this, this exclusive media property that you can promote in, and it's, it's a media property where there's already some level of trust and an understanding of, of needs where you can now bring some context to why they might want this other thing. And, uh, so like in some senses, it kind of sounds like it's almost like a, uh, a marketer's dream to have that like exclusive access to, um, reaching people and trying to convert them in that way. But, um, it's yeah, I'm, I'm sure I'm sure that it comes with plenty of challenges as well. Uh, Ethan, any, any, uh, any challenges that come to mind that you, you would want to ask about? I was just curious Speaker 2 00:31:16 From there, uh, you know, you, you explained that you, you sit on the expense side of the land and expand sort of journey. Um, I would imagine that activation plays a pretty important role there, and I was curious how, how you look at activation and how, how you're optimizing it today. Speaker 3 00:31:33 Yeah. I think this is, there's a few, I guess, key principles that we think of around activation. Uh, just the, the journey into this new product has to be like seamless has to be easy enough. It has to flow that like, you know, they're the no-brainer things. Um, but I think where we try and bring, I guess, like delight into the, into the journey is like, we already know a fair bit about you because you're using one of our products. So, you know, that should, that should automatically translate into your next product. Um, things should be automatically set up and configured for you where we can. Um, and you know, like we talk about that aha moment. I think all of those things help get you to the aha moment. So, you know, because you can, you can make the journey smoother, more intuitive by, by personalizing it with things they know about them. Um, but yeah, it's, it's, it's the, the general principle exam. Speaker 1 00:32:33 It's a collaboration product that probably like the aha moment often for collaboration products requires multiple people to reach it in, in a way kind of together to get the full flavor of it. And the fact that you're, you, you, you could probably kind of as a group move people into that. It's not just about having their, their information already, so they can maybe skip the sign up, but it's, you, you can probably target a group a lot easier. Speaker 3 00:32:57 Yeah, yeah, definitely. And also making sure that when they get into that product, they're not there alone. Like we try and get them to bring their team along with them because they're always going to get more value when they use it together as a team. Speaker 1 00:33:09 Yeah. That's, that's one of the things that I I've been really impressed that clubhouse has done, and I'm not sure how, how, how well clubhouse is going to do kind of long-term, but this idea of like, you have a contact who comes in and joins, and then they like prompt you to like, go welcome them and show them around. Like, there's it, it can save you a lot on that onboarding when, when someone else is already there to kind of show you the ropes, I trusted friend. And, and I've got to assume that they probably even look to a company like yours for probably some of the inspiration on, on that mechanism. Speaker 3 00:33:41 Yeah. Yeah, definitely. I mean, I think it's, um, it just, yeah, it, it builds trust a whole lot faster and I think just gets you to that value moment a whole lot faster as well. Speaker 1 00:33:52 Yeah. And then at what point, like, I, I gotta assume there's like a balancing act to that. If, uh, if you have cross promoted a team to one product, you have that opportunity to cross promote them to now a, even like a third product. At what point do you, how do you, how do you keep from just like stepping on your own toes to like, do you wait until they've developed a habit before you introduced the others? Do you, do you kind of simultaneously introduced them to a couple of things, hoping that like, at least one of them, what sort of, where does the scope of your responsibility end and how coordinated are you with maybe the activation team that's already on that other product? Speaker 3 00:34:34 Yeah, to be honest, I don't know that we've like fully mastered this part yet. I think there's definitely still room for improvement here. I think, uh, we, we try and only target one product at a time because it's, it's kind of an unknown marketing principle that if you, if you try and market multiple products to a person, that's there a lot less likely to buy it than if you just focus on one. Um, but, uh, you know, we, we try and I don't want to say pigeonhole, but like, you know, we, we segment users into different kinds of groups and think about what does this group of users need, and maybe they do need a couple of products. Um, so, you know, if it's, you know, there are dev team, we think, um, bit bucket and confluence and JIRA are a good combination. We might, we might be promoting a couple of products, but we're promoting, like we're promoting them together. It's like, this is how they all work together. Um, and that kind of group experience helps onboard them and like, oh, okay. So this is where this fits in. And that fits in. And it's not like apples and oranges, uh, different things at different times. Speaker 1 00:35:42 Do you think, like there's some learnings that go back and forth between say a company that has, um, a product that maybe has like five features within a product. And, and do you, you know, D D is it, is it better to promote kind of all of the features as they're coming in or to kind of sequence the promotion of, of features based on the needs of customers and, and, you know, in, in a sense of the, what you're doing, kind of like features of the Atlassian ecosystem, or is it, is it like really kind of standalone products more and there's, there's not much kind of learning to be done in, in how you cross-promote features versus cross-promoting products? Speaker 3 00:36:24 Oh, I think, I think it is quite similar to the features like metaphor you gave, I think they, they each play their own role and there they are standalone products, but what we do try and help users discover is like this, what we call like a better together, um, you know, a feeling of like, yeah, JIRA is great and compliments is great, but when you use them together, like it's even more powerful. And so it's, it's about, you know, like using those integrations between them to have like a, you know, one plus one equals three kind of experience. You don't want to overwhelm them at the same time. Uh, you know, not too many things at once, obviously Speaker 1 00:37:05 Without, without taking the metaphor to the full extreme, but it just, it was a weird kind of aha moment for me when, um, my partner on the, uh, on the go practice program, uh, Ola, Jacobian, cough, and it presented this concept to me that like, you know, apps on, on the iPhone are really just features of the iPhone and that, um, when you kind of think of it that way, that, um, each app, if someone's going to try it and keep using it, it needs to have some level of product market fit. And if you think about your product as somewhat being like, okay, each feature within the product, you kind of merchandise a feature. And if someone likes that feature, they keep using it. So you kind of get like product market fit on a feature level. And I see that kind of Atlassian ecosystem probably has a combination of both there's the features within a product, and then there's products within that ecosystem. Speaker 1 00:37:57 And that I've got to assume that when you have a customer with multiple Atlassian products, their stickiness in the overall Atlassian ecosystem becomes stronger. And so, so it, it really is kind of probably the same thing that we saw at Dropbox, that if somebody, you know, originally came into Dropbox and they use just file sharing, but then you, you show them that they can set up a collaboration folder and they can start to synchronize their data across their devices. That, you know, if you, if you push too much of that, that complexity scares them away. But if you can sequence that and they end up kind of understanding and embracing the full product, the retention rate was like forever. And so, um, yeah, it's interesting to kind of, sorry, maybe overly pick apart the, the aspects of your job, but it suddenly makes it feel like it's more than just, Hey, how do I cross promote sell a little bit more product, but it's actually creating a lot more value for those customers and hopefully making them much better longterm lasting and customers. Speaker 3 00:39:00 Yeah, absolutely. Speaker 2 00:39:02 Yeah. I actually wanted to pick it apart a little further. Uh, uh, I know companies like slack, they know exactly what number of messages need to be sent to sort of drive like a retained organization. I was wondering if, as you think about cross promoting other products, if you're looking at, if, if there's data that you can look at in terms of how people are engaging with one product to know what other products might serve them well, or is that more of a learning through, you know, qualitative sort of analysis? Speaker 3 00:39:33 Yeah. I, we, we definitely try and look for data if it exists. I think it's, it's different for every product, like every use case is different. Um, so, you know, we're always thinking about a team and what type of tools does this particular team need? The, you know, there's indicators that they're a dev team or they're a marketing team or an HR team. And, you know, we look for those signals to say like, okay, like how are they using our products today? Um, you know, what, what can we see about them to identify that, like, this is actually the use case for this team and therefore this product would be useful for them. Um, but yeah, it takes, it takes a lot of, uh, data science to get to the root of that and, and a lot of testing of different models and things to, to make sure we've, we've got it. Right. Speaker 1 00:40:24 Sorry. And then, um, you know, one of the things that, uh, we've, we've touched on a little bit, um, is this concept of referrals and, um, I know it's kind of outside the scope, but just as we're, as we're talking here, my, my thinking of like, okay, we have, one of the things we've talked about is somebody goes to a new company and they, and they, um, they say, gosh, why aren't they using Trello? Or why aren't they using just one, one of the, one of the things that maybe they personally loved a lot and they go into that next company that's not there. Um, but when you, when you kind of think, okay, if you think of that, that dynamic is working and you, um, and then you take it to where, um, okay, if they're using three Atlassian products and they go into that company, they're much more likely to say one of those Atlassian products has to be used by that company. Once you have that foot in the door, then your ability to land and expand just grows even more. So it just feels like there's maybe a dynamic of the, of the land and expand in one organization that actually would play into more landing and other organizations just because yeah, those, those rabid fans are going to help bringing it in. Are you, have you, have you noticed any patterns like that or is that, uh, is, is it something that you've even looked for? Speaker 3 00:41:46 I I've heard other teams talking about it. I guess it's not something my particular team has focused on. Um, but I do hear it like qualitatively through customer interviews. Um, when we asked them like, how did you get started with our products? And they're like, oh, well, you know, I, I used it at my last company and when I got here, I couldn't believe they weren't using it yet. And, you know, I, I, I spent a long time petitioning to get it used. So, you know, I hear, I hear these like little anecdotal stories. Um, yeah. Speaker 1 00:42:15 And then do you think the propensity to have that happen goes up if you've been able to cross promote multiple products into an organization that ended up sticking, like when someone from that organization goes to a new job, then they're more likely to have at least one where they say, so anyway, it's an angle to explore to maybe it's like, it just adds that much more of like, here's why, what we're doing is really important. And, uh, you know, it could be that much more motivating to the rest of the team to, to keep, keep kicking butt with it. Cause I, that could be a really important part of the dynamics of, of how the business grows. Speaker 3 00:42:51 Yeah. That's an interesting one. I'll be, I'll be thinking about that more, I think later today. Speaker 1 00:42:57 Yeah. I it's, um, it's, it's interesting. Cause, cause to me, to me, like every business I've ever worked on that became really valuable referral ends up being the most important channel. And everyone, when I bring up referral kind of thinks about like, oh, is there a viral mechanism in the product? But yeah, to me, I feel like the most powerful is really happy customers who tell other people because they are truly trying to help someone and say, this is the solution to what your problem is. And yeah. So if, if that, if there's truth in what I just said, then it's like the happier customers are the more referral you're going to get. And, and then, you know, and if you take it to that one extra step, that if they're happy with multiple solutions, then there's going to be even more times where they see someone struggling with a problem where one of your products is a, is a good foot in the door to, to hopefully bring the Atlassian ecosystem in the door. The challenge with all of that is becomes really hard to track. And so I think part of it is you get, you gotta, you gotta just take a bunch of disparate pieces of information and build a model. That's, that's a lot of times based on qualitative. Um, but, uh, but I think there's that there's some kind of formula and a lot of businesses that, that that's part of that growth formula that sits outside the really trackable data. Speaker 3 00:44:18 Yeah. I mean, w we do know that there is this what we call like an Atlassian champion persona and that, you know, they are, they are the person who champions getting more and more of our products used in their company. Um, so it's, uh, and they're usually an admin role that, you know, so we, we can somewhat identify who they are. So, yeah, it's definitely something we think about not just in the growth team, I think, you know, across the whole company, the whole platform. Speaker 2 00:44:44 So Andrea, just one question before we wrap up, and it's a question we'd like to ask of all our guests, what do you feel like you understand about growth now that maybe you didn't understand as well? A couple of years ago? Speaker 3 00:44:55 Uh, everything I think, um, you know, I, I, I guess I used to think growth was like essentially data science. Um, you know, it's, it's all about running an experiment and, you know, should we make this button blue or green? Um, you know, that was, that was what I thought growth was, but, you know, I've since learned that there's, there's a fair bit of art to the science, you know, you, you, you have to think about delighting customers and, you know, creating, um, you know, beautiful experiences and solving customer problems. That's, it's yeah. A lot more of it is rooted in just pure product management than, than I thought, which is, which has been a good discovery, I think. Speaker 1 00:45:38 Awesome. So, yeah, I like to kind of, just in addition to the, your biggest learning, which makes a ton of sense. Um, I like to just some of the key takeaways from the conversation, um, I, I went into the conversation thinking, okay, that's, that's a cool role. It's a good opportunity to really be thinking about how do you, how do you help customers get more value? And, and, you know, to that, where I said that you sort of have a, uh, uh, monopolistic access to attention of people in a high context way. But I think what I gained appreciation for a lot more through this conversation was just like, how much, how much you potentially you and your team potentially play the role in adding so much value that you create so much more stickiness in organizations. And the more people understand that Atlassian ecosystem and the benefits of the different point solutions of that LaSeon ecosystem, the more that they can really help get the word out and spread it into additional organizations. Speaker 1 00:46:39 And when you take kind of all of that with the bottoms up approach it, um, it just, it has the ability to scale so quickly that, um, it's not surprising that it may be like kind of a slow burn initially, and that might've been why at LaSeon took a while to kind of get to the point where, where it was on people's radars. Um, but that, it just feels like such a powerful organic machine that you're, you're really playing a critical role in, in connecting customers to a lot more value that just feeds that flywheel so much more. So it's really, it's really cool, uh, talking with you about that and just understanding, understanding that role. And, uh, it would be interesting to know if, uh, if other companies have, uh, have teams that are, that are focused, like, like your team on, on, on not just cross promotion, but just like cross value propagation to some degree. Um, do you, Ethan, do you have any other like, takeaways that jumped out at you? Speaker 2 00:47:37 Yeah. I just think along with that, it, the thought about how important it is for those seamless experiences throughout the whole Atlassian ecosystem really struck me because I think assess, especially where you're relying heavily on a self-service model, that really is going to be the difference between people getting it and moving from product to product or not. Um, and as you said, you know, it would be easy to think that's all data science, it's all testing one thing versus the other, but I think it comes down to the more you delight, the end-user, the more you make that experience, just perfect and seamless, the more, um, the more human it's going to feel and the more effective it's going to be. So it's really fascinating. Speaker 1 00:48:19 So thank you, Andrea. Speaker 3 00:48:21 Thank you. Yeah, it's been awesome speaking to you, and you've both given me some food for thought as well, thinking about, you know, the, the adoption of multiple products, um, by our team champions and that sort of promoting growth even further in other, in other companies. Speaker 1 00:48:36 Yeah, I think it's a, yeah. Timmy, to me, that's one of the most fascinating parts of, of these conversations each week is just being able to being able to explore how growth works, because it really is a complicated beast. That's a bit different between each company, but then there's, there's definitely some similar similarities. And so that's just one of the big inspiration for Ethan and I to, to, to keep the learning going each week. So that's cool that, uh, that we through, through the questioning, have you, have you thinking some, some other angles to, to explore in your, in your day to day? So that's, that's awesome. So thank you so much for taking the time to share your story and help us all understand that Lassie in a bit better. Speaker 3 00:49:16 Oh yes. So welcome. And yeah, it was so much fun. Thanks so much for having me. Thanks. Excellent. Speaker 1 00:49:21 Well, T to everyone listening, thank you also for tuning in, and we look forward to, uh, putting out another episode soon. Speaker 0 00:49:33 Thanks for listening to the breakout growth podcast. Please take a moment to leave us a review on your favorite podcast platform and while you're at it subscribe. So you never miss a show until next week.

Other Episodes

Episode 49

June 07, 2021 01:02:24
Episode Cover

Experimenting with TV? Tatari and Vuori Show Why TV is No Longer a Crazy Growth Gamble

Television advertising used to be the domain of large, Fortune 500-type companies with deep pockets who could afford to invest in channels with low...

Listen

Episode 5

November 14, 2019 00:44:57
Episode Cover

Explosive marketplace growth: GenM CEO, Moe Abbas, shares how they built a rapidly expanding two-sided marketplace that connects apprentices to real-world job experiences

In this episode of The Breakout Growth Podcast, Sean Ellis interviews Moe Abbas, CEO of GenM, a marketplace for digital marketing apprenticeships that has...

Listen

Episode 39

January 06, 2021 01:05:27
Episode Cover

From Fear in 2020 to Hope in 2021, Sean and Ethan Discuss the Transition Over Coffee

In this week’s episode of The Breakout Growth Podcast, we (Sean and Ethan) invite you into our virtual living rooms for a cup of...

Listen