My first day at Zuora felt like the first day of high school when freshmen walk into the cafeteria and all the seniors gawk. I was feeling a mix of excitement, anticipation, and nerves. I never would have guessed it was the day before the company’s biggest event of the year. Everyone was friendly and welcoming, showing no signs of stress despite the chaos. I was introduced to many employees throughout the day, most of which chuckled when I told them it was my first day. They knew what I was in for. By Wednesday night I understood why one employee described my first week as baptism by fire.
I prepared myself as best I could by reading past blog posts, reviewing my schedule, and familiarizing myself with Zuora jargon. But if you asked me to define the subscription economy in my own words or explain what it means to say that ownership is dying and usership is rising, I probably couldn’t have done it. In hindsight, my understanding of Zuora’s products and goals was very superficial.
In my mind the extent of the subscription economy was companies like Netflix and Spotify, but in reality, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I realized this about ten minutes into Tien Tzuo’s introduction when he explained that the subscription economy drives every area of consumption, from the cars we drive to the shoes we wear. This made sense to me, but once he started talk about churn, CAC, and B2B I was lost again. Eventually I learned not to fixate on the details and instead focus on the broader message.
In almost every session, speakers said that they started using Zuora’s software to improve customers’ satisfaction with their product and maximize efficiency. As Rachel Kaplan from eMoney put it, using Zuora’s billing platform allowed her team to be proactive instead of reactive when things went wrong so that the responsibility was no longer on the client to find a solution.
Zuora is a company that not only seeks to revolutionize consumers’ experiences, but also to build community between those who use its products for the benefit of everyone. As such, it seems fitting that Julie Rice was chosen as one of the guest keynotes. She ensured her customers enjoyed their experience at SoulCycle by first focusing on her employees’ satisfaction, which ultimately allowed them to deliver their best performance.
Zuora would not have been able to foster connections between their users without first incorporating the value of community into the company itself. I experienced this right off the bat. I felt immediately supported and welcomed by the Zuora team, and as a result I already feel a personal commitment to helping Zuora achieve its vision.
Want to join the Zuora community yourself and become our next ZEO? We’re hiring!