It’s no secret that B2B marketing has been running on gated content and lead forms for the better part of the past decade.

And in early 2016 when David called Dave to suggest that we take down all our forms, Dave’s initial reaction was terror. Back then, lead forms were our go-to lead gen tactic after all.

How the hell else are we going to get leads? was the one question that was spinning around in Dave’s mind.

But before Dave even got a chance to disagree, DC had already launched into an explanation:

“I think marketing has kind of lost its way a little bit,” he said.

“We’ve lost the importance of a great story and truly connecting with people. We live in this world where it’s all about content, content and more content. And SEO. And ranking for this keyword and that keyword. And algorithms and conversion rate optimization. Pieces of that stuff are still important to marketing, but overall, I think we’ve lost our way. Marketing today has become more about gaming the system and get rich quick schemes.”

And that’s when Dave realized something: Successful SaaS brands like Slack and MailChimp had never made people jump through hoops in exchange for value.

In fact, he couldn’t remember ever filling out a form on either of those brands’ websites apart from when he’d signed up for their products.

And here’s why: Slack isn’t winning because they were able to get more people to fill out lead forms than HipChat. MailChimp isn’t winning because they were better at lead nurturing than Constant Contact.

They are winning because they have built amazing brands that people actually want to work with — and amazing products that people want to share with their friends and colleagues.

And if we wanted to win, we knew that we needed to stop asking people to jump through hoops.

Right then and there we realized that we needed to take marketing back to its roots and kill all our lengthy lead forms for good.

We decided to build a billion-dollar business by creating things that people actually want — not by tricking people into filling out forms just so we can email them to tears until they either buy something or unsubscribe forever.

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