Category Creation and Community Building with Sri Ganesan


Collin Stewart hosted the entrepreneurial mind of Sri Ganesan, the visionary behind Rocketlane. Our conversation revealed not just the thrilling early growth journey of Rocketlane but also Sri’s masterful play in category creation and sales strategy, reshaping how startups scale. 

Let’s unpack some of the game-changing insights from our chat.

Beyond the Product: Building a Market Presence

Rocketlane wasn’t just building a product; they were shaping an entire ecosystem around customer onboarding. 

The pre-launch phase created a content-rich environment, with podcasts, webinars, and LinkedIn posts that provided real value to their target audience. This wasn’t about driving traffic to a website but establishing Rocketlane as a thought leader and trusted resource in their domain.

Community First, Product Second

A critical move in Rocketlane’s playbook was launching a community long before the product was ready. This community served as a knowledge-sharing platform, bringing together experts and practitioners in customer onboarding. By the time Rocketlane was prepared to launch, this community had grown to 800 members, providing an eager audience to see what Rocketlane had to offer.

A Launch That Felt Years in the Making

When launch day came, anyone landing on Rocketlane’s website might have mistaken them for a company that had been around for years. A comprehensive podcast series, an active community, and a wealth of thought leadership content gave Rocketlane an air of maturity and credibility. This strategic positioning was crucial in making a solid first impression on potential customers and partners.

The Product Hunt Effect

Rocketlane’s launch strategy included a Product Hunt campaign that coincided with their funding announcement. This dual strategy created a buzz that propelled them to the top of Product Hunt for the day, driving significant traffic and interest. 

Over 300 signups came from this effort, with a substantial portion being severe prospects. This launch approach diverged from their initial plan but effectively generated early traction.

Interestingly, Rocketlane’s first sales didn’t come from the extensive list of prospects Srikanth had nurtured through customer development; they came from the visibility and excitement generated by the Product Hunt launch. This pivot from a planned outreach to leveraging an opportunistic launch platform demonstrates the fluidity and adaptability required in today’s dynamic startup environment.

Building a Platform, Not Just a Product

What sets Rocketlane apart is their refusal to settle for a minimum viable product (MVP) at launch. 

Recognizing the need to offer a comprehensive solution in a new category, they invested time in building a feature-rich platform that addressed the multifaceted needs of customer onboarding. This bold approach ensured that Rocketlane launched with a product and a solution ready to meet its target market’s complex demands.

Rocketlane’s journey from ideation to launch offers valuable lessons for startups navigating the challenges of creating a new market category. Their emphasis on community building, thought leadership, and strategic content creation, coupled with a launch strategy that maximized visibility, provides a blueprint for making a splash in a new domain. 

For founders and SDRs alike, Rocketlane’s playbook is a masterclass in introducing a revolutionary product and shaping the market around it.

Rocketlane’s Growth Playbook: Insights and Innovations

  • Unraveling Customer Needs: Rocketlane’s journey began with an in-depth exploration of their customer’s daily challenges. From complex spreadsheets to makeshift app integrations, they saw firsthand the hoops people jumped through. This wasn’t just about identifying tasks; it was about understanding the why behind each action and guiding their product development from the ground up.
  • Applying ‘Jobs to Be Done’: They leaned into the ‘Jobs to Be Done’ methodology, taking cues from successful implementations like Intercom’s. This approach helped them pinpoint the exact needs across various organizational roles, especially the urgency around converting closed ARR to live ARR efficiently. It provided a clear picture of what their product needed to tackle.
  • Feedback-Driven Development: Sharing early Figma mockups with potential users, they weren’t selling but listening. Their “wow moments” prioritized their feature, ensuring they built a deeply resonated product. Even without launching an MVP, they crafted a solution that felt comprehensive from the get-go.
  • From Observation to Implementation: Granting early access to a select few allowed them real-world insights into their product’s usability. This wasn’t just about showing off Rocketlane; it was a learning opportunity to refine and perfect the user experience based on direct observation.
  • Capitalizing on Inbound Interest: Their Product Hunt launch wasn’t just a reveal but a magnet for genuine interest. The momentum from inbound queries demonstrated the market’s readiness for Rocketlane. Engaging with these early enthusiasts proved crucial, turning initial interest into concrete sales opportunities faster than any cold outreach could.

Leveraging VC Networks for Early Wins

Sri’s strategy for amplifying Rocketlane’s launch and early customer acquisition hinges on a rather unorthodox yet brilliant approach to VC engagement.

Despite not being in an active fundraising phase after their seed funding announcement, Rocketlane welcomed conversations with interested VCs. These discussions were not just idle chatter but strategic moves to open doors to potential early adopters within the VCs’ portfolio companies.

The magic happened towards the end of these conversations. 

Armed with research and a clear vision of potential fits within the VC’s portfolio, Sri would request introductions to two or three specific companies. This wasn’t a shot in the dark but a calculated ask, aiming to validate Rocketlane’s solution against real-world pains and potentially convert these intros into early customers.

The Ripple Effect of a Single Ask

What’s striking here is the ripple effect of such a straightforward request. Some VC-introduced companies didn’t immediately sign up but circled back months later as their need for Rocketlane’s solution became more acute. This led to significant wins, including a milestone customer that propelled Rocketlane past the $1 million ARR mark within a year of launch.

Staying Top of Mind with VCs

But Sri’s engagement with VCs didn’t stop at asking for intros. Rocketlane kept these potential future investors in the loop with regular updates via tools like Visible, sharing milestones, wins, and moments of need. 

A particularly creative touch was the “Rocketlane Product Resume” sent to around 400 investors, positioning Rocketlane not just as a potential investment. Still, as a solution, their portfolio companies might hire to enhance their teams’ efficiency.

This wasn’t your average cold email; it was a unique “resume” of Rocketlane, sent directly from Sri’s email via Cabal, maintaining a personal touch while leveraging automation for efficiency. This resume wasn’t just another attachment. It represented a clever tactic to stay on top of the minds of potential investors and, indirectly, their portfolio companies. 

The goal? To demonstrate Rocketlane’s value proposition memorably, ensuring that Rocketlane would be the first solution they thought of when a relevant pain point arose.

Building Brand Awareness

Sri acknowledges that the direct impact of these resumes on customer acquisition might not be immediately quantifiable, but the strategy played a crucial role in building brand awareness. By encouraging VCs to share Rocketlane’s “resume” with their networks, they stayed top of mind and sparked conversations about their innovative approach to customer onboarding.

In another unconventional move, Rocketlane celebrated their Series A funding with a rap song, not just any rap video but one that exuded class without the cringe factor, all on a $200 budget. This creative endeavor went viral, garnering 100,000 views on the first day and catching the attention of MTV and local TV networks. 

It buzzed through founder and marketing circles, posing, “Why haven’t we done this yet?”

This strategy wasn’t about direct sales but creating a buzz, raising brand awareness, and fostering an environment where Rocketlane became a recognized name, even if not everyone knew exactly what they did.

Engaging with Founders and Marketers

Through these bold and creative strategies, Rocketlane showcased its product and demonstrated a deep understanding of modern marketing tactics. They created a buzz, making a memorable impression on potential clients and partners alike.

Expanding the Playbook with Rocketlane TV

One of Rocketlane’s standout initiatives is the launch of Rocketlane TV, a Netflix-style video library. This innovative approach aims to give their audience an immersive, binge-worthy content experience. By collaborating with FastPix, initially a service for regional content platforms in India, Rocketlane ventured into transforming how educational and thought leadership content is consumed in the SaaS space.

Rocketlane TV mimics the Netflix experience, from its user interface to how content is organized and presented. This similarity extends to creating TV show or movie-style posters for each piece of content, which are shared on platforms like LinkedIn to garner attention and drive traffic to the site. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, with increasing numbers of users consuming content and even content creators aspiring to be featured on Rocketlane TV.

Scaling with Strategy

Rocketlane’s journey into scaling involves a sophisticated blend of inbound strategies, particularly for the SMB segment. Their top rating on G2 within their category speaks volumes about their product excellence and customer satisfaction. 

By encouraging happy customers to review on G2 and supplementing this with strategic Google Ads, Rocketlane ensures a steady stream of inbound traffic. Their active presence on social media and community engagement further solidify their market presence, demonstrating the compound effect of consistent, quality engagement with the audience.

The Event Playbook

From the get-go, they’ve positioned themselves as significant players, opting for prominent sponsorships at industry events to ensure visibility and leadership thought share. Their commitment to producing actionable thought leadership content every four months ensures that their event presentations are eagerly anticipated for the actionable insights they promise. This dedication to quality content draws attendees to their booth and cements Rocketlane’s reputation as an expert in their field.

Creative Swag and Engagement Strategies

Rocketlane’s swag strategy transcends conventional giveaways, opting instead for items that embed the brand into the daily lives of its recipients. The launch of their swag store is a testament to the popularity of their creatively designed merchandise, which ranges from laptop sleeves to desk mats. Rocketlane maintains its brand constantly in its audience’s workspace and conversations by focusing on utility and design.


Embracing Customer Collaboration

The platform empowers businesses to manage projects and initiatives with customers through a branded portal, bringing transparency and accountability to every interaction. This all-in-one solution streamlines project plans, documents, and communication and integrates customer satisfaction metrics, offering a holistic view of the customer journey.

They go beyond project management by providing native time tracking, resource planning, and financial insights. This feature set is particularly relevant as businesses navigate the fiscal challenges of 2023 and beyond, allowing them to assess the profitability of customer projects and make informed decisions to optimize margins.


From establishing a pre-launch community to engaging prospects through creative strategies like Rocketlane TV and strategic VC engagement, Rocketlane has set a new benchmark for startup growth and market entry.

Their approach underscores the importance of building a product and a brand that resonates with its audience. The emphasis on community building, customer-focused content, and strategic visibility through events demonstrates a holistic approach to achieving and sustaining product-market fit.

Rocketlane’s story is a compelling reminder that success stems from understanding your audience deeply, engaging them creatively, and continuously iterating on feedback in the dynamic startup landscape. Their playbook offers invaluable insights for startups aiming to carve their niche, proving that it’s possible to transform challenges into stepping stones for success with the right strategies.

Connect with Sri Ganesan and explore Rocketlane’s innovative platform. Reach out to or visit to book a demo today. 

Eager to elevate your sales strategy and unlock exponential growth for your startup? Contact Predictable Revenue for insights, strategies, and actionable tips that will redefine your sales process. 


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