Amanda Sabreah, Founder of Staat
Tune in to today's episode of Version One, a podcast about the product development journey from the makers behind some of the web's most talked about tools and resources with host, Maurice Cherry.
Today's guest is Amanda Sabreah, CEO and Cofounder of Staat, an analytics tool which helps software teams track the progress of product life cycles. It connects with GitHub and Jira Cloud to present information in an automated and real time dashboard. Companies such as Twilio, Etsy and Honey can now get the information they need to see in one easy to understand place.
The episode opens with Maurice providing some background on Amanda. He takes us back to the year 2011, when Amanda was finishing up her film degree at the Savannah College of Art and Design. She speaks fondly of her time in art school, and credits SCAD for her ability to work creatively and strategically today. Realizing she didn't much enjoy being on film sets, her advisor recommended she look into product development.
Amanda's first big project was with the well-known advertising agency JWT, working to create a product for Sprite. The campaign, Sprite P.O.U.R., was a mesh of Instagram, Black Enterprise and a soda brand. During this time, she recalls speaking to hundreds of artists and creators and realizing many of them didn't have the tools to manage their own solopreneur career.
She continued working as a product manager for JWT before moving to a smaller company, Irban Group. Here, she wore many hats including marketing, product developer and creative director. Now, she recommends that everyone who is just finishing school find a job working with a small company. It was after over four years with Irban Group that Amanda left the company to launch Partnr, a platform which would allow for business to monitor various responsibilities in one app. Though Partnr has some success, Amanda struggled raising money and managing the engineer team which ultimately failed.
Partnr was on the decline, but Amanda was determined to turn this setback into a comeback. With her experience, she started Thought Factory with a new understanding of how to grow a company. Her love for tech pushed her in the direction of creating a tool to make people's workflows more seamless.
Amanda and her team asked over 100 business managers about their biggest challenges, to which the majority mentioned the lack of visibility as work is being completed. Many signals made it obvious the problem Staat was looking to tackle was universally relevant. The goal of Staat isn't just to aid managers, but for developers, managers and directors alike.
In closing, Amanda's advice for early-stage founders is to start small, niche and focused. Additionally, be very clear on the problem, rather than the idea, you want to solve.
- 00:14 - Host Maurice Cherry introduces the show
- 00:31 - Maurice provides background on Staat
- 01:55 - A look into Amanda's background
- 02:37 - Amanda's work with JWT
- 04:15 - Amanda's time with Irban Group
- 05:20 - The story of Partnr
- 10:45 - What Amanda learned from Partnr's failure
- 13:40 - How Staat came to fruition
- 14:25 - Staat's success
- 16:17 - Amanda's advice