Michel Feaster: Category Creation [Built in Seattle Ep. #6]
2 min read

Michel Feaster: Category Creation [Built in Seattle Ep. #6]

Michel Feaster, CEO & co-founder at Usermind, talks about running toward fear, 7-figure deals and the mechanics of category creation.

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Overcast

For extras, get my weekly email on Seattle startups.



Usermind has raised $50M, created a category, and closed 7-figure deals.

But, CEO Michel Feaster, didn't always think of herself as a founder. Hear how she ran toward her biggest fears to make the leap from executive to founder after 15 years, lessons from Apptio's success, and how creating a category lets you "set the price."

Michel shares her story on this episode of The Built in Seattle Podcast

Episode Highlights

  • Michel's learnings from her famous mentor, Ben Horowitz.
  • Mistakes and learnings in making the transition from operator to founder.
  • Michel's journey building enterprise software for 20 years at places like Mercury, HP, and Apptio.
  • Why "running toward fear" is now baked into Michel's philosophy.
  • How she sees the job of founder to build a learning machine and how she's learned to let go of fear and inner shaming to make that possible
  • The mechanics of category creation and why it's important to "set your price" in enterprise software.
  • Learnings from Apptio to Usermind - two category creation success stories.
  • The path from $15K deals to $1M+ deals at Usermind.

Michel Feaster Bio

Michel Feaster is the Co-Founder and CEO of usermind, responsible for company vision, strategic direction, planning and execution. Michelโ€™s enterprise software career spans almost 20 years with roles in sales, products, strategic marketing and general management. Before founding usermind, Michel was VP of Products at Apptio, where she drove product strategy, defined the category and discipline of Technology Business Management and helped grow the company from 30 to almost 400 employees. Michel led the acquisition of Opsware by HP Software for $1.6B, managed the combined Opsware, Radia and AppIq product teams and defined the Service Automation category. She also spent almost 8 years at Mercury Interactive learning how to build world class products like LoadRunner and QualityCenter which made customerโ€™s lives better. She aspires to do the same at usermind.