New Advisor Guillaume Vives
Inside 360

Guillaume Vives Created a New Market Category With Zuora’s Subscription Economy–Now, He’s Helping Us Do the Same

At 360Learning, we’re enabling L&D teams to chart a new course with Collaborative Learning. We know learning should be an ongoing dialogue between teams, experts, and individuals, rather than just a one-off box-ticking exercise. Transforming the status quo is a big task, and it takes the right vision.

That’s why I’m so thrilled to announce the arrival of Guillaume Vives, former Chief Product & Marketing Officer at Zuora, as an Advisor to the 360Learning team! 

Guillaume will work closely with our leadership, product, and marketing teams. He built the Subscription Economy space that drove Zuora to fame and success, and will guide the 360Learning team as we do the same with Collaborative Learning. 

A proven track record of driving market shifts

Guillaume has an impressive track record of creating new categories for startups, notably for the subscription-based software outfit Zuora. He helped drive the wider market shift from a focus on products to customer relationships: the Subscription Economy. 

Zuora is well-known for being the first company with a go-to-market strategy built on the concept of the Subscription Economy, rather than a software category like Billing Management or CRM. Guillaume was instrumental in building a powerful strategic narrative around this concept.

This isn’t about creating a new software category for the sake of it. Guillaume helped business leaders understand the shift from traditional pay-per-product business models to emerging subscription-based customer relationships, and the impact it would have on their bottom line if they were an early adopter. This was a key step in focusing attention on the promise of the Subscription Economy, and changing how startups perceive their relationship with customers.

Zuora’s Subscription Economy playbook won acclaim throughout the startup scene via Andy Raskin’s viral blog post, The Greatest Sales Deck I’ve Ever Seen. Now, this playbook has become one of the most revered go-to-market playbooks for hyper-growth startups like Gong and Drift. It has also won Zuora an impressive number of leading brand logos. As a product marketer, I return to Zuora’s deck as a North Star for my own work.

Guillaume joined Zuora as a Vice President of Customer Success in 2011. The company had just 40 employees and $8M in Annual Recurring Revenue. Nine months later he took responsibility for the product team and then the marketing team as Zuora’s Chief Product Marketing Officer. Zuora went on to IPO in 2018 at a $1.44B valuation.

In leading the charge for Zuora’s playbook, it’s no exaggeration to say Guillaume changed the way startups think about the Subscription Economy and strategic narratives more broadly.

Changing the way startups think about the Subscription Economy

Driving this change didn’t just happen overnight. From 2012 to 2016, Guillaume and Tien Tzuo, Zuora’s CEO, focused on building the subscription space slowly and surely. 

At first, nobody seemed to care or understand how subscription models could transform B2B businesses. But Guillaume and Tien’s marketing efforts really started to take off from 2014 onwards, when big names like Audi started selling subscriptions to their fleets, or when Michelin started selling tires by the kilometer. 

In these cases, these companies used Zuora not only as their billing platform, but as a source of business model inspiration. They needed a way to prepare for a future in which customers expect goods and services to be delivered via a subscription model. Zuora delivered. 

We’re excited to see how Guillaume will apply his spirit of invention to the learning space.

Related: Why Collaborative Learning is the Next Phase of LMS eLearning

‘Screaming for a reinvention’: why the learning space needs new ideas

Our CEO Nick Hernandez first met Guillaume Vives through 360Learning investor XAnge and Stephan Dietrich in 2020. Since then, they’ve been working closely together on new ways to reinvent the learning space. As Guillaume points out, there’s plenty of room for bold new thinking.

“The learning space is screaming for a reinvention,” he says. “And with its unique vision for Collaborative Learning, 360Learning is on point. I’m really excited to be working with the great leadership team that 360Learning has put together to refine their go-to-market. As they are already experiencing tremendous growth in the US market, we’re clearly in the process of building the next global leader.” 

And as Guillaume says, this growth isn’t just about pure numbers–we know there’s a better way to learn together. We want to show organizations how.

“It’s not only an opportunity to create billions of dollars of valuation, but also to make a difference with the three pillars of Collaborative Learning: how effectively people can learn from each other, how fast companies can re-train their workforce to adapt to a new business context, and how we can help these companies empower their distributed workforce.”

Welcome on board, Guillaume! We can’t wait to see what you have in store for us.