The Future of the Subscription Economy — An Interview with Zuora CEO Tien Tzuo – Futurum Tech Webcast Interview Series

On this episode of the Futurum Tech Podcast – Interview Series I am joined by Tien Tzuo, CEO of Zuora, a cloud-based subscription management platform. Zuora enables any company in any industry to be part of the subscription economy, which Tien believes is the future of the business world — and I have to agree.

Our discussion centered on how Zuora is furthering their vision of “The World Subscribed” by delivering software that is a central system of record architected for dynamic, recurring subscription business models. It was an excellent conversation and one you don’t want to miss.

The World Subscribed

My conversation with Tien also revolved around the following:

  • An exploration of the growth of the subscription economy in the last few years
  • How the growth of the subscription economy has helped Zuora grow including a quick recap of their recent earnings report
  • What potential changes B2B and B2C businesses might be facing as we emerge from the pandemic
  • What The End of Ownership trend means for businesses
  • Exciting developments Zuora has in the works

Consumer behavior is changing. People, and businesses too, want access to products and services instead of ownership. Tien anticipated this shift back in 2007 when Zuora was founded. I fully believe that it will continue to grow in the years to come. This episode is a must listen for anyone interested in how the subscription economy is changing the way we work and live.

Watch my interview with Tien here:

Or listen to my interview with Tien on your favorite streaming platform here:

Disclaimer: The Futurum Tech Podcast is for information and entertainment purposes only. Over the course of this podcast, we may talk about companies that are publicly traded and we may even reference that fact and their equity share price, but please do not take anything that we say as a recommendation about what you should do with your investment dollars. We are not investment advisors and we do not ask that you treat us as such.

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Daniel Newman: Welcome everybody, to the Futurum Tech Podcast. I’m your host, Daniel Newman, principal analyst, and founding partner at Futurum Research. Excited for today’s Futurum Tech Podcast Interview Series. We’re going to be talking to Tien Tzuo, the CEO of Zuora. Today’s show is going to focus on the subscription economy, consumption, SaaS and all the things that are going on in the marketplace that involve people subscribing and building better business practices around that behavior. We’re going to be talking about the access economy, where people are less likely to buy and more likely to subscribe. And we know this, we talk about this, whether it’s the Ubers we take, the cloud software that we’re going to use in our business. We love consuming everything. We would buy our food on subscription if we could. Oh yeah, we can. We do, every single day. Anyhow, excited about this show and I’m going to have Tien join us in just a moment.

Before I do, as always, quick disclaimer, this show is for information and entertainment purposes only. And while we might be talking about or to publicly traded companies, please do not take anything we say as investment advice. At the end of the show, I’m going to give you a little bit more information, some links and places to learn more about Tien and what’s going on at Zuora. But without further ado, I’m going to have him join me here on the show. Tein.

Tien Tzuo: Dan.

Daniel Newman: Futurum Tech Podcast Interview Series. Excited to have you here.

Tien Tzuo: Great to be here.

Daniel Newman: So I got you all warmed up, right? You were glowing, hearing me talk subscription economy consumption.

Tien Tzuo: I’m excited.

Daniel Newman: You have any of your food delivered yet?

Tien Tzuo: Oh, of course. I don’t think I left my house in a year. Everything’s delivered now. I reach for my phone for just about anything.

Daniel Newman: I love it. I love it. I think sometimes people don’t even realize what subscriber fiends we’ve become. I think a lot of us think of it in a few aspects, maybe your Netflix subscription, or maybe you think about it with your phone. But right now, as an economy, we’re kind of willing to subscribe to anything that gives us that convenience. I know my meals, I get Factor 75. I get my meals delivered every week now-

Tien Tzuo: That’s great.

Daniel Newman: I open the box, I throw them into the microwave. I get my subscribe and save with all my favorite staples. It’s been crazy how much we’ve just shifted our whole life. And obviously COVID, we’ll talk more about that.

Tien Tzuo: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, fitness, health, work, right? Entertainment. You name it, you can subscribe to it. That’s the new world.

Daniel Newman: It is. It’s great though. It’s very exciting. And I’m really excited to hear more about what you’re doing, so let’s start there. Just give me a quick introduction of yourself and your role at Zuora.

Tien Tzuo: Sure. Well, I founded Zuora and continue to run the company as a CEO. I started about 13 years ago. We’re a software company. We power a lot of the companies, the business that a lot of these companies, that are behind these fantastic services. And so HBO, Ford and a lot of business to business, right? Industrial solutions like Caterpillar. Lot of the software… The service companies like Zoom and Box. And so maybe the best way to understand this is, it’s 2007 and this is before the global financial crisis, right? I’m at Salesforce, my co-founders were at a company called WebEx and what we had seen… And it was still early, but we can see that it was simply inevitable that this was going to happen. That software was being transformed.

And when we started our respective companies back in 1999, software was sold as a CD, right? It was under a product sale where I would sell it to you and you would have to figure out what to do with it, right? You’d have to install it, run it on the databases, back it up, maintain it. And it was down, you’d have to call your IT department. And we said, look, there’s this thing called the internet. And what if we did away with all that stuff, right? What if we just use the internet? Well, we’ll manage it. We’ll manage it, you simply use it as a service, right? When you want to make a phone call, you don’t worry about switches or towers or satellite. You just pick up your phone and you’re using the service and you only pay based on how many gigabytes you consume, how many phone calls you make. And we said, software should really be like this.

And so fast forward to 2007, we thought the entire software sector was going to go this route. And we said to ourselves, is this just a software thing? Or could it happen to anything? And we looked at a company called Netflix, which at the time, they were putting Blockbuster out of business by mailing you DVDs, where you didn’t have to walk to the store. But more importantly, for $20 a month, you can get access to any movie ever made. And that was much better than buying, whatever it was, $30 just for one movie, right? And this is before streaming. Back then, the internet wasn’t even as popular as it is today. The iPhone had just come out, there was no app store, right? So this was fairly early on.

We looked at a company called Zipcar. There’s about a million people around the world that said, I don’t need to buy a car anymore. I’ll just get a Zipcar membership. I’ll walk up to one of their cars, swipe it and I’ll just drive it away. And I just pay based on how many hours or how many miles I drove. And so we said, this whole thing about subscribing to stuff, what if it wasn’t just software? What if this happened to everything, every single industry? And we said, let’s see. Let’s see. We think it’s going to happen. And if that happens, there’s going to be a new set of tools that are required to run these businesses. It can’t be SAP, can’t be Oracle, can’t be the traditional things. And that’s what we set out to do. We’ve been doing it for 13 years and today, we power some of the best brands in the world. Again, you and I are finding ourselves truly living in a subscription economy.

Daniel Newman: Yeah. I remember the first time I read a book called Consumption Economics, and it’s sort of… My head kind of blew up the first time I read it. And we’d all been talking about it in different aspects of our lives, but just starting to think about the way everybody purchases everything. We’re seeing it endlessly in areas like support from big tech companies. Do you remember the companies that would sell you a box? Here’s your network switch. Do you want to buy some support with it? And the first thing… Now the question is, do you even want to buy the box? I mean, no. I just want to use it. And cable got that right, fairly early on. We’re just going to… You just pay us a fee every month. We’ll own the equipment, we’ll handle the books, we’ll manage the assets and the appreciation, and we’ll upgrade you as you go. And we’ll keep upping the charges. And it’s a really beautiful business model.

But I love this story. By the way, every moment you kind of took me back in time, you just made me remember the first time I had an iPhone, I didn’t actually have an app store. And now it’s just part of our life. You need something but there was a time when we had an iPhone and we didn’t have an app store. Actually, I wanted to ask you, because I was going to ask you about the inspiration of the company, but you sort of laid that out there. But I do want to know, because with the group you have… So WebEx, something I’ve used a long time and we all know this story of Salesforce pretty well. Well, not all. Most of my tech community would say they do. We love software. Mark and the team, and you are number 11, I believe [crosstalk] Pretty cool. So was there a moment of inspiration though for you and your partners, that you said, this is where we’re going to go. We’re going to start a business to basically make consumption and subscription to power this?

Tien Tzuo: Well, it was actually a meeting. So my co-founder was with one of the founders of WebEx and the founder of WebEx came over and wanted to talk to Mark, Mark Benioff, right? CEO, founder of Salesforce, about some idea. And so I think I was… My desk was outside of Mark’s office. Mark came and said, “Hey, you want to join the meeting?” I said, “Sure.” And so KB, my co-founder was there and we found, instead of talking about… And I don’t even remember what the subject was, right? It was another startup idea. We spent about 40 minutes, basically kvetching about our billing systems. And we just felt like these systems were holding us back. There’s all these things that we wanted to do with subscription business models. We wanted to go international. We wanted to do consumption-based billing. We can see all this growth that we can have, but our systems, the internal homegrown systems, just wouldn’t let us do it.

And so KB said, look, if two of the biggest, at the time, SaaS companies in the world are having the same problem, there must be an opportunity. And that’s where I said, “Hey, KB. Look, I could totally see how the software sector is going to need this. And that’s a pretty big sector. What if all companies need it?” And now we’re talking about something that’s a really, really big idea. And so we set out to do it. I think the first few years, right, there was definitely other software as a service companies that we worked with. But then we started seeing it happen. And I’ll tell you, a few years ago, we started seeing manufacturing companies really starting to call us and saying, “Look, we need some help.” And at first we were like, well, why would the manufacturing company need us, right?It’s a physical product. And some of these companies like Caterpillar, they’re selling gigantic, expensive, heavy physical equipment. And are they trying to rent, right? Letting people rent these excavators and such. And it wasn’t. It was really this thing called the internet of things.

And what we find now is, you could buy a washing machine, you could buy a car, you could buy a million dollar medical scanner, right? Say you’re a hospital. And every one of these things is now collecting all this information and connect to the internet, right? If you put in a water boiler today, you could probably pick up your phone and actually check how hot it is, right? If you buy a vacuum cleaner, you can see what’s going on. If you buy a Sub-Zero fridge, it’s connect to the internet. And so these companies are going through the same exact revolution that software companies are going through.

The same reason that drove software companies to say, we need to offer this as a service. These hardware companies are doing the same thing. And so when you think about it that way, when you think about the whole physical world, is about to go digital, right? Physical plus digital, you can see how big this idea is. And we truly believe… And I’ll call it the end of ownership. This idea that we don’t really have to own things anymore, right? I know it sounds strange because we grew up owning things, but you don’t have to. Why own things and why deal with the hassle and the burden of ownership, if you can get what you need simply from the service that you subscribe to.

Daniel Newman: Yeah. And we’re going to talk a little more about that here. And we’ve actually been sort of changing ourselves over the years, unknowingly. You mentioned the Netflix transformation. Well for years, we weren’t buying movies. We were renting them. We were sort of… These habits were being created in little pockets of our lives. We started leasing vehicles because we wanted new vehicles all the time. We didn’t want to deal with maintenance and ownership [crosstalk] We were renting. And you can use a different term, but even the upcoming generation of millennials, millennials, a lot of them aren’t buying real estate, which I could make a number of arguments from a net worth wealth standpoint of why they maybe should think differently. But it’s all, in the experience economy, it’s the dollar. What dollar gets me the furthest? Owning is more dollars. I’m paying principal. Let me just pay the rent. I’ll take those principles dollars, I’ll use them for other things. Maybe I’ll go on Robin Hood and I’ll buy some stocks and I’ll try to get really rich, real quick. I don’t know what you’re doing.

But the point is, people have slowly over the ages, become a little bit of these access economy figures without even necessarily knowing it. We’ve been sort of training and breeding this for a long, long time. So quickly, you had earnings last week, you’re talking about a market that’s growing fast. Zuora is a publicly traded company, clearly gaining some momentum. You wouldn’t be around still if you didn’t. You wouldn’t have probably had the opportunity to go public. But how has all this momentum that we’ve been talking about, translating for your business and your growth?

Tien Tzuo: Well, I’ll tell you. We had a great quarter and we exceeded all our target metrics, and a few quarters in a row that we’ve done that. But I would say the big picture for us, when you look at what happened in the quarter, is something happened in 2020. And we kind of all know this, right? We kind of all know that somehow we entered a new world and you hear the stats out there. Digital acceleration. What used to take seven years, right, to do, now takes seven months to do. Companies have to really, really start to move fast. And I would say this, I would say, we started the show talking about how we’re all at home now, accessing services. And so if you’re a company that depends on physical infrastructure, people come to your restaurant, come to your stores. You don’t have a digital relationship with your customers. You found it really hard to move, right?

I was reading an article about how Starbucks, how people can’t go to the stores, but because they have the Starbucks app and they already had the infrastructure to have a digital relationship with the customers, they actually did okay through this pandemic. And so I think all companies are waking up to a few things. One, is that they have to know who their customers are. They have to have a digital relationship.

Two, there’s something about the power of recurring revenue. And the way I like to tell this story is, right? Pick your sport. Let’s say we’re playing American football. And if you have a product, those companies that have a traditional transactional revenue model, they sell movie tickets, they sell cars, they sell laptops. Every quarter, in order to make their number, they’re starting way back at their 20 yard line. But if you have a recurring revenue model like Netflix or like Spotify or Salesforce, what you do is, you start yards away from the end zone. And because you have that power of predictable recurring revenue, the loyalty of your customers is translated to predictability. And so you’re able to surge.

And so what we found, our statistics showed… We do this report we call the subscription economy index. We’ve done it for a long time. And our report showed that over half the companies that we track, subscription businesses, really didn’t get impacted by the pandemic. There’s a whole set of them that surged. Companies like Zoom, right? Companies like Fender that said, we have a digital experience that, our customers really need what we do. But even the companies on the other side that were affected, they were affected moderately at best, right? They didn’t see the 50, 60, 70% drop in revenues. There’s a resiliency to the model. So companies are saying, gosh, our customer’s preferences are changing. If I don’t change with them, somebody’s going to come in and I’m going to get Ubered, if you will, right? At the same time, there’s all this growth that I can have in the stability of recurring revenue. So companies are starting to accelerate their shift, their investment in digital relationships, digital transformation. They’re moving as fast as they can, to this new business model.

Daniel Newman: Yeah. I love that. I’m going to get Ubered, Netflixed. I wrote a book all about this called Futureproof, and we spent a lot of time focusing on that exact topic. And I do a keynote and we always start off talking about, there was never a last day that the taxi stand woke up and realized that their business was coming to an end. I mean, it’s not over, but like you said, their business model versus Uber’s.

Anybody in their right mind would rather even order their taxi or black car through Uber, as opposed to get it the traditional way. No one wants to go out in the street and hail a cab or go to the taxi stand and get shut down. You want the convenience, the app economy.
So you have the app economy, subscription economy. You want your credit cards tied to things, you want your small incremental charges to just hit your account. You don’t want to whip out your cash. Who wants to carry cash? I mean, maybe Bitcoins, you want to whip them out and pay people with them. Everybody out there that can’t see me, I’m joking. But it’s actually great that you went down that path, by the way Tien, because I was going to ask you about COVID. You kind of jumped ahead of me.

I think you’re kind of thinking for me and you’re getting questions almost before I even ask them. I was going to mention to you, COVID-19 had to be a massive accelerator. I even had interesting companies. I talked about Oracle recently. 74% of their business was recurring revenue. So when you look at companies that even you would think were more a CapEx, they massively overhauled their businesses over the last decade or so, to create more subscription. And if you actually look at the left to right of the whole tech industry, the big OEMs and legacy tech companies that were heavily CapEx, have struggled the most to have strong quarters, returned to growth because they were so dependent upon these sort of one-time, large implementations.

Tien Tzuo: It’s that football analogy, right? They’ve got to traverse the whole field, where you’re at the finish line.

Daniel Newman: Yeah. And so these companies that had 60, 70, 80% recurring. And you made a really important point. This isn’t only companies that are in software and tech. These are companies, even in media, that have huge subscription or recurring revenues. I mean, even the Facebooks of the world have advertisers with very predictable revenue models [crosstalk] Other than maybe the government, that can have a known amount of revenue but can’t figure out how to manage the business. Any company that does have a guaranteed recurring base, can really be strategic. It gives them a jet powered fueling to go forward. I can predict 73%, 85%, 61% of my revenue will be here this year. You know your attrition rates, you know your net dollar growth rates and where you’re going to get new subscription. You know that stuff, you can plan really, really successfully.

I want to touch on, since you kind of hit me on the COVID stuff, I was going to talk to you about, but you already did a great job. Let’s talk about access and ownership just a little bit more. In the wake of COVID, it seems logical to me, that access is only going to become a bigger theme. That we’re only going to want more flexibility. We’re not going to want to tie ourselves down more. And I’m guessing, at least for the short period that all this mobility and time that’s been lost, people are going to be even less interested in sort of these big CapEx and more interested in finding flexible, accessible, consumption stuff, whether that’s product services or software. Do you think this model, this COVID acceleration in your world, is going to be a multi-year accelerator?

Tien Tzuo: Oh, absolutely. You can already feel it today. I mean, I’ll tell you. Before COVID, I looked at the whole Marie Kondo trend, right? I don’t know if you’ve been tracking that, right?

Daniel Newman: Throw it away.

Tien Tzuo: Throw it all away. Just go to your closet, throw it all away. And at first I thought it was just fad. And I was like, well, what’s going on there? Is it just some kind of fad? It really is this whole idea of an end of ownership. I think people are waking up. When everything’s going digital, you don’t need to own these things anymore. Maybe you’ve got all these phones in your drawer, they’re all just obsolete. And so why would you want that?

And so I think we are really seeing the end of ownership, because if you can access what you need, right, in a service that somebody else takes care of, then why would you want to own it, right? Because you have the flexibility, you have the ability to dial it up, dial it down, switch the type of cards, right? You always get the latest technology. It’s the worst feeling in the world where you buy something. And then six months later, it’s obsolete. If you step into a car now that that has not been updated, like the Teslas are, in the last three to four years, you feel like you’re in an ancient piece of technology. Everything’s moving so fast that it doesn’t make any sense to own things anymore. And so you’re just going to continue see the decline of ownership. When I look at it that way, when you talk about access, some people think that this whole idea of subscriptions, is just to let people pay over time, right?

You talk about the first-generation leases and whatnot. The best subscription economy companies, they’re not just doing that. They’re actually understanding what their customers are actually doing and that’s the magic, is if you can understand… The customer is really just trying to learn to be a musician, right? They want to be a musician. They didn’t buy a guitar to own a guitar, they bought a guitar to be a musician. They bought a washing machine because they want clean clothes. They bought a car because they need to commute every day to get from point A to point B. They bought some software because they want to be productive at work. And if you can actually understand what it is that they’re truly doing and then using digital technologies to see what they’re doing, and actually create a better service, of course people are going to flock to it.

That was our big insight of Salesforce. It’s 1999, we push the software out, right? And so this is the dark ages of the internet. We didn’t even have wifi. Most people didn’t have wifi at home and you didn’t have wifi in hotels because the first generation of customers, of users that we had at Salesforce, were traveling salespeople. They would unplug the phone cord in their phone, plug it into your laptop, you would hear the dial up modem, right? And that’s how our customers used our software back then. And so it’s really early. We pushed the first release of Salesforce out and then we realized, you know what? We can actually see how our customers are using our products, right? What percent logged in, what percent created a contact, what percent ran report. And this is mind blowing because people that used to ship software, you would never know how your customers are using your software.

And so we realized at that point, we can use data to actually deliver what the customer truly bought the software for, right? Or used the software for. And so that’s how we moved to more of a usership model in our mindset. So now you imagine car engineers, washing machine designers, right? People creating medical scanners. Why aren’t you doing the scan? Why are you putting too much soap in the washing machine, right? Oh, that’s how you really drive my car. You’re driving a lot faster than I thought you did, or a lot slower. How come you’re not changing the clock, right? It’s daylight savings time. Well, I just don’t know how to do it. Well, we should just do it for you. And so this whole revolution that you’ve seen… Software is just so much better now than it was 15 years ago or 20 years ago. You’re going to see the same thing happen in the physical world. And these products are going to become smarter, they’re going to know who you are and you simply access them to get what you want. This is the way the world is going.

Daniel Newman: Well, is it fair if I just say, I want them to draw the line on intelligent vehicles? I like going fast. I’m a combustion engine. I like to hear that thing roar, and I do not want my insurance company to know how I drive my cars. But all joking aside, I realize that is the world we’re going towards. The computer knows everything. I mean, we’re going to hear about Tiger Woods. We’re going to know everything about that accident and what happened, without ever having to do any sort of real physical investigation because that computer is going to tell when they actually release that. That’s how intelligent these machines have become. I mean, it’s an unfortunate… That was a horrible, unfortunate circumstance. But the point is, that computers now really do know.

You see those new commercials from, I think it’s Progressive, where the guy’s sitting in the car, driving around, evaluating her, and then she finds out there’s an app. And all she had to do is have that app on her phone and the phone could have tracked her. I mean, it’s amazing. It’s not even in the car. It’s the little tiny pocket computer that we’re carrying around, has the full computer network storage and connectivity capabilities to monitor behavior, track, provide analytics and they can price your insurance by just simply being in the car with you, which everybody has their phone. I might forget my wallet. I might forget my bag on the way to the airport, but I won’t forget my phone. I’ll never forget my phone.

Tien Tzuo: It’s fair, right? How much you pay for insurance should be dependent on how well you drive or how much you drive.

Daniel Newman: Absolutely. Listen, I’m being funny. I mean, I’m just saying, you have a fun car, I mean, how are you going to sell Teslas with ludicrous mode when they’re going to know immediately that you went zero to 60 in one and a half seconds and you’re blowing to 100 in three. Well, you’ve already broken pretty much every law and committed at least one misdemeanor, should they continue to insure you? It makes me think of total recall, when you’d start speeding and the ticket would just come right out the dash. You get the speeding. Remember that movie or?

Tien Tzuo: I think it’s always going to be a cat and mouse game. I think smart people will find ways to still have some fun, so.

Daniel Newman: Oh, I’m sure. I’m sure. I’m sure they will. So listen, I’ve only got a couple minutes left. I’ve really enjoyed this conversation and thanks a lot Tien, for being here, for representing Zuora. Really interesting to hear all about the company, where it’s heading. Speaking of where it’s heading, what are the next waves of technology that you’re going to implement? I mean, I’m reading a little bit but I’m going to force that. I have to mention AI and ML is high on your list, as a way to further optimize. A lot of other things we even just talked about are sort of enhanced by some sort of advanced analytics, advanced machine learning, algorithms. People mistake AI a lot of times for other things than what it actually is. But I have to imagine that all of that stuff, you’re all over it.

 Well, absolutely. I appreciate you asking the question. We got some product announcements that we’re pretty excited about, but just to put some context. We wrote this book and I actually have a copy of it right here. You mentioned a couple of books. We wrote this book called Subscribe a few years ago, and it documented where we saw the world was going. The first half of the book talked about different industries in transformation. The second half of the book talked about inside of a department, the marketing department, the engineering department, the sales department. Here’s how things are changing and here’s the new rules, right? You have to always think of beta products, always be in beta, if you will.

And so we got tons, this book has sold close to 200,000 copies, of companies come to us and saying, we want you to go deeper. These concepts are really, really good to help us figure out how to build these subscription businesses. So for the last few years we’ve been mining our data, right? We anonymize it, we use it to publish a subscription economy index. We use it to create best practices, benchmarks. And so we started seeing, okay, there’s a lot of things about this data [inaudible] really, really unique for us. And of course the natural next step, given where technology is, that we’re starting to do is, how do we apply machine learning to that data to actually… Like you said, ultimately, it’s about creating better outcomes for the customer. So it turns out, one big area is payments, right? Payments is a shifting economy, is big and complex. When you order something from Amazon and they need to ship it, they’ll hit your credit card. And if it works, they ship the product.

Well, if it’s a subscription service, every month, they’ve got to go figure out how to collect that, right. Either through a PO or a wire chancer or credit card, direct debit. And so it turns out that, upwards of five, seven, 10% of payments fail every single month for a company. And if you can figure that out, we can generate millions and millions of dollars more for the customer, for our companies. And so we have a new product that we’re launching called collect AI. That’s going to take machine learning and actually understand your collections process, make recommendations of when to charge a credit card, how much to retry it, right? When to basically suspend the service. And just create a much, much better experience, both for the company and the customers.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, that’s a great concept. And of course, there’s the two sides of it. Naturally, the benefit to the subscription company of optimizing and getting paid. I mean, that’s the key. That flow of cash consistently coming in. But there’s a very human element to that too. It’s being sensitive to people’s abilities to continue to pay, especially in this economy where people are subscribed to 20 and 30 services now, and there’s been quite a sprawl. And again, for the economy itself, it’s great. It’s great to help all these companies grow. For a lot of individuals, they subscribe to things and it goes back to the old gym subscription, right? To where you’d subscribe, you’d go for three months and then you’d get bored and you stop going but you forget to cancel, see that they charge. Well, now we have 20 of those.

I’m pretty sure I still have an Adobe subscription for a bunch of tools that I wanted to toy with on a weekend. I never unsubscribed. I’m pretty sure every month… But I’m saying, a lot of people have that. So you’re seeing technologies to manage that and your technology is helping people pay when it’s most within their abilities to do so, so that’s super interesting. Tien, I would love to talk to you. I could talk to you longer. Typically, the show only runs 20, 22 minutes. Beauty of having my own show is, I get to make the decision of when I stop.

Tien Tzuo: That’s great.

Daniel Newman: And I was happy to keep going because you were interesting and I was really enjoying the conversation. But at this point, I want to just say, thanks for joining me. Thanks for sharing the story, the backdrop. It’s great to get Zuora on the radar. Hope everybody out there listening has made a note, paying attention, especially if this business is something that you’re in. It sounds like it’s going to be a name where you either need to know now, or you’re going to need to know a lot more in the future. But for now, I’m going to say goodbye to you Tien. But let’s have you back.

Tien Tzuo: Thank Dan. It was fun. It was good to be here.

Daniel Newman: All right, everybody. There you have it. Tien from the CEO of Zuora. What an interesting conversation it was. Great backstory. Number 11 employee at Salesforce. So clearly early on and got the subscription economy early built this company, who’s growing… Who’s growing. It growing at a breakneck speed in an economy that continues to grow. And as the demand for subscriptions goes up, Zuora is going to be clearly a beneficiary. For more on the study that Tien talked about, I’m going to put that in the show notes for more on the company. I’ll also put some more information on the company in the show notes as well. If you’re not a subscriber, hit that subscribe button. We’d love to have you hear. Lots more podcasts, executive conversations like these, as well as internal and analysis with the team at Futurum research. For this episode though, it’s time to say goodbye. We’ll see you later.



Author Information

Daniel is the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise.

From the leading edge of AI to global technology policy, Daniel makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology investments. Daniel is a top 5 globally ranked industry analyst and his ideas are regularly cited or shared in television appearances by CNBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and hundreds of other sites around the world.

A 7x Best-Selling Author including his most recent book “Human/Machine.” Daniel is also a Forbes and MarketWatch (Dow Jones) contributor.

An MBA and Former Graduate Adjunct Faculty, Daniel is an Austin Texas transplant after 40 years in Chicago. His speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.


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