Escape Velocity
Jul 31, 2019

How to Learn and Adapt As a Non-technical Founder With Darren Chait from Hugo


We had Dan Martell in another recent issue so, if you’re not a fan, sorry!

Escape Velocity is Dan’s new(ish) podcast that I discovered last week.

He interviews Darren Chait from Hugo (connected meeting notes software) about the trigger for them to pivot and early stage growth.

3 lessons…

  • Is there something you do internally in your business that would be valuable to other companies? Hugo pivoted because of a clever way they solved an internal problem. Is there untapped potential under your nose?
  • When you’re new, get involved with other early stage startups. Being featured as a partner or getting case studies and blog posts written about you can be good free press.
  • Speaking at conferences is a great way to score free tickets to the conference. But you’ll need to work your way up to the big stages. Start with the small local ones and build your conference resumé. Film the talks – even if small unknown conference, it’s still content to use in marketing.

How do you deal with having a powerful new idea that inspires you to change the direction of your business? Many times on the journey  you will find yourself shifting priorities and jumping on new opportunities. That one meeting, conversation or feedback from a client makes you realize that there is a niche to be filled and you can take things to a whole new next level. Being flexible and creative is awesome, but it is not easy to get everyone else along for the ride…  Having a cast of amazing people in your company is step one… but activating their maximum potential is a whole other ball game. So how do we do that? Trust and communication! Well, that has been an old drum to beat on, BUT technology and innovation provide us with fresh new ways to rise above the cliche and achieve exponential results. Give your team the chance to fully see your thought process and to share ideas among themselves! In this episode of Escape Velocity, I sit down with Darren Chait, co-founder and COO of Hugo – a meeting note platform that enables fast-moving teams to make meeting insights shareable and actionable in their existing tools. We jump right into this exciting topic and Darren shares his valuable experience. Some of the other topics covered in our conversation: - Hugo – a real-time feed of insights - What the tools you use to say about the attitude in your company - An accessible way for sales and marketing teams to use Jira - Taking part in conferences/events and making the best of it - Moving to San Francisco and why it matters - Growing into the role of a founder and becoming a good leader - Dealing with the highs and lows - How to learn and adapt as a non-technical founder - What is the future of SaaS tools in the B2B environment So, now I want to talk to you about an exciting takeaway I got from my time with Darren. Around the 28 minute mark we touch on his evolution as leader and founder of a SaaS company. He shares that now is an awesome time for non-technical or “no code” founders. Darren isn’t afraid to learn anything on the go and take advantage of the vast knowledge base online. When I asked him about learning new skills, his answer was simply “I just try”… Trivial or easy as it may sound, this is what often makes or breaks a successful entrepreneur! “Just trying” is what opens the door to your own potential and no amount of thinking or reading can prepare you better than problem-solving on the job. Does that mean that every “try” will be a success? Absolutely NOT!  But that is not the point… you are playing the long game. And the way to be truly unstoppable is to learn how to jump into the arena every single time with no hesitation, KNOWING that there are no guarantees. In our conversation, Darren shared many of his strategies which allow him to keep this super   mindset, like the “high-low meeting”, his walk-and-talk sessions with his co-founder and how to run a marketing driven company. Catch the full episode for all the details and let me know what you think in the comments. -- Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale.He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and You should follow him on twitter @danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome. + Instagram (behind the scenes): + Facebook (live trainings + Q&A): + Twitter (what I'm reading):