Jon Gelsey on Auth0’s Developer-centric Go-to-Market

Jon Gelsey Headshot

Jon Gelsey, former CEO of Auth0 and, frames a bottom up go-to-market (GTM) strategy with three principles: you can inform developers but you can’t sell to them, you have to make your product so easy that developers can try it in 10-15 minutes, and you’ve to figure out how to have them talking about it with their friends. Once this dynamic gets going, it generates very fast and very inexpensive growth. You can bootstrap the dynamic with content marketing that creates the breadcrumbs for practitioners to learn about your work and find your product when they’re looking for a solution. And don’t forget to align your pricing strategy with your GTM plan!

Episode Notes

Our guest today is Jon Gelsey, former CEO of Auth0, an identity and authentication platform founded by Eugenio Pace and Matias Woloski in 2013. Jon is also the former CEO of, a Seattle-based company that optimized deep learning on low power devices and was acquired by Apple in January.

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Show Notes

(1:06) – Introduction

(1:56) – Framing the key pieces of the playbook

(6:02) – Founding of Auth0

(7:40) – What was important early on?

(8:47) – ‘Time to Wow’

(11:35) – Parallels with consumer products

(16:27) – Content marketing to accelerate awareness and discovery

(20:45) – Importance of free trials

(23:35) – Pricing for software-as-a-service

(24:35) – Growing word of mouth (aka ‘make heroes at work’!)