A Conversation with Quick Base and Golub Capital
Rick Willett
Rick Willett
Quick Base, Chief Executive Officer
Rick Willett is CEO of Quick Base and serves as chairman of the board. He brings more than 15 years of experience leading private-equity sponsored companies and serves as senior operating executive for Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe. Prior to that, Rick served as CEO of Ascend Learning, CEO of NewPage and COO of Teleglobe. Additionally, he had a 12-year career at General Electric. Rick serves as chairman for GetWell Network and on boards for U.S. Acute Care Solutions and Spear Education. He earned an M.B.A. from the Lally School of Management and Technology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a B.S. in chemical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Rick Willett is CEO of Quick Base and serves as chairman of the board. He brings more than 15 years of experience leading private-equity sponsored companies and serves as senior operating executive for Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe. Prior to that, Rick served as CEO of Ascend Learning, CEO of NewPage and COO of Teleglobe. Additionally, he had a 12-year career at General Electric. Rick serves as chairman for GetWell Network and on boards for U.S. Acute Care Solutions and Spear Education. He earned an M.B.A. from the Lally School of Management and Technology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a B.S. in chemical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Quick Base is the platform that businesses use to quickly turn ideas about better ways to work into apps that make them more efficient, informed and productive. Quick Base is used by more than 6,000 customers, including half of the Fortune 100, across a variety of industries and use cases.

For this edition, Golub Capital's Peter Fair interviewed Rick Willett, Chief Executive Officer of Quick Base.
Peter: 
How do you maintain a leading edge in the Platform as a Service (PaaS) business?
Rick: 

Quick Base was an early innovator in the PaaS space as a cloud-based solution that enables the people closest to the work to solve almost any automation problem. We have been on the leading edge of this market for a very long time—more than 19 years. The key to our long-term market leadership is simple: we have a relentless focus on customers’ success. If our customers are successful, we are successful.

Peter: 
What are the biggest challenges your industry faces?
Rick: 

The no-code and low-code industry is about disrupting the status quo of app development. Historically, the IT development cycle was all based on ‘waterfall.’ You would develop a spec, build it out, test it and release the spec—all before getting user feedback.

This approach was extremely expensive and painfully slow. More recently, the concept of agile development improved the development cycle for software apps, but there’s still more to be done to reduce the cost and time of app development. We are investing heavily in no-code to further accelerate the development process. We also help users quickly and inexpensively update and change apps as their needs evolve.

Peter: 
How do you drive increased adoption?
Rick: 

We focus on ensuring every app is successful so that our users become champions for Quick Base within their organizations. Once you have that first great app, expansion can happen. We also find that the organizations with the greatest success overall are the ones that encourage users to become builders. Eighty percent of new Quick Base builders were users first. Our goal is to make that evolution easier for them.

Peter: 
Say you were talking to a group of midsized and small software company CEOs. Where would you tell them to focus?
Rick: 

First, you must have a relentless focus on ensuring customers are successful with your product. To drive recurring revenue and renewals, you must make sure customers never want to downgrade and never want to cancel. Second, you must achieve efficiency. Far too many midsized and small software companies can’t figure out how to become profitable. You must learn to operate efficiently and also to grow efficiently.

Peter: 
Where do you see Quick Base in ten years?
Rick: 

At a high level, our vision is to continue to lead the revolution of agility through business automation. We will continue to ensure the folks closest to the work are empowered to solve their automation problems and improve their business processes. We believe this empowerment helps make their companies more successful. Our experience suggests that Quick Base clients grow faster and earn better returns for shareholders than the average U.S. business. We want our continued growth and success to power our clients’ continued growth and success. Additionally, we see ourselves serving an even broader market. Right now, 90 percent of our clients are in the U.S. In ten years, we will be international, so we can help even more people solve more business problems with Quick Base every day.

Golub Capital would like to thank Rick Willett and Quick Base for participating in this edition of SaaS Talk.
Golub Capital is not responsible for the information or views communicated by representatives of other companies. This material is not indicative of the past or future performance of any Golub Capital product and should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation by Golub Capital of any particular security, strategy or investment product. Golub Capital has distributed this material for informational purposes only.