Mostly metrics
Run the Numbers
Legendary CFO Jim Kelliher (PTC, LogMeIn, Drift): Why PE Needs a Course Correction

Legendary CFO Jim Kelliher (PTC, LogMeIn, Drift): Why PE Needs a Course Correction

Jim Kelliher, the former CFO of PTC, LogMeIn, and Drift, and general CFO legend in Boston, joins CJ to discuss the secrets behind the success of these companies and the lessons he’s learned in his 35-year career. From the importance of product investment to how to navigate IPOs during economic downturns, Jim shares profound insights into how CFOs can drive growth rather than just manage budgets. He explains the importance of investing in product, how to vet budget requests, and how to build a winning team spirit. He also talks about venture capital versus later-stage private equity buyouts and how the growing trend towards the latter is doing what Jim believes to be a disservice to the startup communities they operate within. 

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@cjgustafson222 (CJ)


(00:00) Preview and Intro

(02:27) Sponsor - Mercury | Maxio

(05:11) The Six Things That Made PTC Software, LogMeIn, and Drift Succeed

(12:38) The Importance of Investing in Product

(17:28) Sponsor - NetSuite

(18:59) Questions to Ask to Vet Budget Requests

(20:31) Inspiring People to Spend Company Money Like It Was Their Own

(21:51) The Difference Between Being Frugal and Being Cheap

(25:26) How to Learn Negotiation

(27:10) The Importance of Adding High-Caliber People to Your Team

(28:56) Advice for CFOs Mentoring Future CFOs

(30:47) Jim’s Proudest Career Achievement

(32:08) Building a Winning Team Spirit

(38:19) VC Versus PE Buyouts

(45:19) Advice to CEOs or CFOs Vetting Private Equity Sponsors

(51:16) Tips for Timing Your IPO

(55:12) Two of Jim’s Biggest Career Mistakes

(56:38) The Craziest Thing Jim Saw Someone Try to Expense

(58:01) Wrap

Mostly metrics
Run the Numbers
Run the Numbers is a twice-weekly podcast about financial metrics and business models, designed for ambitious people operating tech startups. It's a collection of things host CJ Gustafson (CFO at Partstech and writer of Mostly Metrics) has learned and thought about in the trenches as a tech CFO.
This show is meant to serve as a playbook of sorts for the stuff CJ wishes he knew earlier in his career, both from experience and from copying people smarter than himself.
Topics frequently touch upon Startup SaaS Metrics, Annual Budgeting, Financial Forecasting, Headcount, Equity, Dilution, and Fundraising – and how all of these drive business performance and growth.