Recapping with Recapped
Jan 25, 2024

Recapping with Recapped: Chili Piper's Alina Vandenberghe

Mark Fershteyn
CEO & Co-founder

How Chili Piper's Co-founder Cared for Customers, Reached Profitability, AND Kept it Spicy in 2023

The SaaS party ground to a halt in 2023. Between cautious buyers, mass layoffs, and startup carnage, growth vanished overnight for many companies.

Yet Inbound Lead Conversion and Scheduling app, Chili Piper still found momentum. Revenue climbed. Profitability hit. And their tribe of passionate users expanded.

So how’d they thrive and keep it spicy?

I sat down with founder and Co-CEO Alina Vandenberghe to get the inside scoop on powering through the economic chill.

Today's Revenue/GTM Leader Speaker:

Double Down on Customer Love 💙💙

For Chili Piper, customer word-of-mouth remained the number one driver of new business in 2023. How? Alina centers customer happiness above all else.

Whether it's gifting dog treats thanks to overhearing pets during a call, or problem-solving broader revenue challenges beyond the product, her team looks for every chance to help.

It started with Alina personally onboarding clients and noticing extra ways to ease their day. Now she encourages that mindset company-wide.

As Alina said, "People are people, and if you care for them beyond just the tool, the likelihood of them remembering and sticking with you is high."

Chili Piper's unreasonable hospitality earns unreasonable loyalty in return.

Stay Authentic and Imperfect

In the age of fake news and AI-spawned fluff content, Alina says authenticity will be more critical than ever. She shares Chili Piper's journey - highs and lows - transparently online.

Rather than pretending to have everything figured out, it's about having the courage to say: "Here's what we tried and where we failed." No masks allowed.

Alina has no social media calendar, publishing reflections spontaneously. By showing the messy reality of building a business, she hopes to help other entrepreneurs feel less alone.

And as consumers grow weary of synthetic content, this genuine transparency builds trust.

The more founders drop truth bombs like this, the more brands can foster understanding communities rooted in shared struggles.

Growth Can Wait, Profitability Can't

As a bootstrapped company, Chili Piper historically gunned for hyper-growth every year. But Alina learned the hard way that ambitious growth targets need to flex.

When those projections slipped in 2023 amid the economic downturn, she had to retrain herself mentally. After years of rapid expansion, it was tough to celebrate slower but steady gains.

Still, focusing on the progress made toward profitability brought incredible peace. The stability of positive cash flow lets Chili Piper play offense again in 2024 with growth goals.

Rather than beat herself up over the chill in hockey stick graphs, Alina shifted to find zen via efficient metrics like month-over-month consistency.

Takeaway from Recapping with Chili Piper’s Alina

Chili Piper demonstrates exactly how startups can find rays of light even in the darkest storms.

Deliver unreasonable love to users. Get comfortable being vulnerable and imperfect. Celebrate small wins on the long journey towards big goals.

With that spiritual foundation rooted in authenticity and compassion, SaaS businesses can survive anything 2024 throws their way.

Giving Back to the Community

What Alina Vandenberghe can do for you

Alina is giving back to others through posting on LinkedIn about her learnings and experiments.

What you can do for Alina

Create a brand for yourself and help others!


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About Recapping with Recapped

Recapped CEO Mark Fershteyn interviews and unpacks the critical lessons learned by top revenue and GTM leaders in 2023. This series dives deep into their insights, strategies, and hidden tactics, offering you the blueprint to dominate 2024.

Recapped believes in the power of knowledge sharing. We're passionate about amplifying the voices of these industry leaders and helping their insights reach a wider audience. Learned something? Share this page with others, you're not just gaining valuable knowledge – you're becoming part of a community dedicated to pushing the boundaries of revenue excellence.

Apply to interview for our Recapping with Recapped series by emailing

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