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SaaS Interviews with CEOs, Startups, Founders

What if you knew data behind the fastest growing SaaS companies today? Each morning join Nathan Latka as he spends 15 minutes interviewing SaaS founders. You'll learn how SaaS CEO's launched their startup and grew it into a business. SaaS Founders range from bootstrapped to funded, MVP to 10,000 customers, pre revenue to pre IPO.
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Now displaying: June, 2016
Jun 12, 2016

Michael Mogill, president of Crisp Video - a company that bridges the gap between video production and video marketing. Michael started the business on his own three years ago, and now has 15 employees and clients including Coca Cola and Red Bull. Listen as Nathan and Michael talk return on investment, finding a marketing edge, and focusing on progress.


Favorite Book? – Delivering Happiness
What CEO do you follow? — Gary Vaynerchuk
Favourite online tool? — Dropbox
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be?— To stop doubting myself, and not apologise for the standards I hold people to


Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:14 – Nathan’s introduction
01:35 – Welcoming Michael to the show
01:45 – Generate revenue from video production and implementation
02:10 – The clients Michael’s most proud of are the small businesses
02:48 – One attorney in Nebraska doubled his business by using marketing videos
03:45 – He went from an average case value of $1,000 to an average case value of $10,000
04:00 – Created a brand video for him, as well as a series of educational videos
04:25 – A brand video costs around $10,000, a series of 26 videos over a year costs around $4,000 per month
05:40 – The firm has trained cinematographers in every market in the US
06:10 – Business founded in 2012 - originally just by Michael
06:20 – First year revenue was $100k
06:40 – 2013 revenue was $200k
06:50 – Crisp Video now has 15 employees in Atlanta, plus around 25 contractors
07:10 – Total revenue in the last year exceeded 7 figures
07:40 – Current goal is around $5 million for the end of the year
08:25 – Michael reinvests profits in the business
09:10 – “You have to consider the time you’re putting in, versus the salary you’re taking out”
10:01 – “If you can get to the point where you have a team, then there’s a higher return on investment than in a salaried job”
10:50 – “It’s not about the money - it’s about the next goal”
11:00 – Connect with Peter on his site or on twitter
14:00 – The Famous Five


3 Key Points:
When you start a business, be prepared to go from a 40 hour week to a 100 hour week. Once you build a team, those numbers will improve.
Fulfilment doesn’t come from achievement - it comes from pursuing the next goal.
Don’t apologise for the standards you hold people to, or the accountability you demand.


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

Jun 12, 2016

Tim Ray, the founder and CEO of Carnivore Club, a speciality meat subscription business. Tim sold his first company, Foodscrooge, within 4 months of starting it. He’s currently the CEO of two companies and is hoping to double Carnivore Club’s profits this year. Listen as Nathan and Tim talk earning out and buying, bootstrapping a business, and how to get the most from podcast advertising.


Favorite Book? – 48 Laws of Power
What CEO do you follow? — Elon Musk
Favourite online tool? — None
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Almost
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be?— Swing for the fences. Be bold and swing big.


Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:01 – Nathan’s introduction
01:42 – Welcoming Tim to the show
01:58 – Tim started his first company, FoodScrooge, to allow consumers to buy bulk frozen food surplus
02:40 – Revenue in the first year was $150k - they were bought within 4 months
03:07 – Sold for $2.1 million on an earn-out scheme
03:45 – Tim acquired Broquet for $150,000
04:25 – Broquet’s a premium curated gifts company
05:30 – Carnivore Club has a subscription model, whereas Broquet is more traditional e-commerce
06:40 – Carnivore Club was launched via Indiegogo
07:10 – Crowdfunding raised $22,000
08:15 – First monthly order was 175 orders in the US and 250 in Canada
08:41 – The business is seasonal - in December 2015, they shipped around 8,000 boxes
08:51 – March 2016, sent just over 5,000 boxes
09:25 – Subscription is $55 per month - people often give gifts of a multi-month subscription
09:50 – Paid up-front and don’t have to ship for the next few months
10:40 – Around ⅔ of sales are fixed-term gifts - the other option is a rolling subscription
13:00 – In 2015, total revenue was $1.3 million
13:01 – Business was bootstrapped from an initial $100,000
13:24 – 35% average margin - currently investing all profits in the business
13:50 – 4 full time employees
14:15 – Currently focusing on podcast advertising
15:00 – The most successful podcast advertisement has been a 30-second midroll on Drinkin' Bros. Pay around $270 per episode.
17:34 – Connect with Tim on Linkedin
19:00 – The Famous Five


3 Key Points:
Your consumer base might not be who you originally expected. Accept them and see how you can understand and serve them best.
Think big. Timidity doesn’t serve anyone.
You’ll benefit from creating a payment model that gives you cash up front. Traditional e-commerce requires sunk costs in inventory and storage - try being more creative.


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

 

Jun 12, 2016

Michael Mogill, president of Crisp Video - a company that bridges the gap between video production and video marketing. Michael started the business on his own three years ago, and now has 15 employees and clients including Coca Cola and Red Bull. Listen as Nathan and Michael talk return on investment, finding a marketing edge, and focusing on progress.


Favorite Book? – Delivering Happiness
What CEO do you follow? — Gary Vaynerchuk
Favourite online tool? — Dropbox
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be?— To stop doubting myself, and not apologise for the standards I hold people to


Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:14 – Nathan’s introduction
01:35 – Welcoming Michael to the show
01:45 – Generate revenue from video production and implementation
02:10 – The clients Michael’s most proud of are the small businesses
02:48 – One attorney in Nebraska doubled his business by using marketing videos
03:45 – He went from an average case value of $1,000 to an average case value of $10,000
04:00 – Created a brand video for him, as well as a series of educational videos
04:25 – A brand video costs around $10,000, a series of 26 videos over a year costs around $4,000 per month
05:40 – The firm has trained cinematographers in every market in the US
06:10 – Business founded in 2012 - originally just by Michael
06:20 – First year revenue was $100k
06:40 – 2013 revenue was $200k
06:50 – Crisp Video now has 15 employees in Atlanta, plus around 25 contractors
07:10 – Total revenue in the last year exceeded 7 figures
07:40 – Current goal is around $5 million for the end of the year
08:25 – Michael reinvests profits in the business
09:10 – “You have to consider the time you’re putting in, versus the salary you’re taking out”
10:01 – “If you can get to the point where you have a team, then there’s a higher return on investment than in a salaried job”
10:50 – “It’s not about the money - it’s about the next goal”
11:00 – Connect with Peter on his site or on twitter
14:00 – The Famous Five


3 Key Points:
When you start a business, be prepared to go from a 40 hour week to a 100 hour week. Once you build a team, those numbers will improve.
Fulfilment doesn’t come from achievement - it comes from pursuing the next goal.
Don’t apologise for the standards you hold people to, or the accountability you demand.


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

 

Jun 12, 2016

Kenny Hawk, the CEO of Mojio. Kenny made millions from iGo, a company he started in his dorm room in the 1990s. He’s now turning his expertise in wireless technology to good use at Mojio - a company backed by Amazon and Deutsche Telecom that uses cloud-based tech to link your car to the internet. Listen in to hear lessons from the dotcom boom, how Mojio can slash your garage fees, and why Kenny’s expecting to sell almost 2 million units in the next 2 years.

Famous 5:

Favorite Book? – Built to Last
What CEO do you follow? — Larry Ellison
Favourite online tool? — Evernote
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — The most important choice in life is the people you choose to be around you

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:09 – Nathan’s introduction
01:37 – Welcoming Kenny to the show
01:45 – iGo was Kenny’s first CEO gig - he started the business in his dorm room before graduation
02:30 – iGo created universal charging adaptors for mobile devices
02:50 – Started in 1993 and bootstrapped, followed by angel investment and VC rounds
03:30 – Raised $10 million and went public in 1999
03:50 – Acquired 3 companies and were then acquired themselves
04:40 – Moved from Silicon Valley to northern Nevada
05:20 – Top market cap was almost $1 billion
05:40 – Market cap was below $100 million - but they came out on the right side of the bubble
06:25 – Revenue was around $80 million when they sold
07:15 – Gross margin was around 30-40%
07:20 – iGo was profitable when it started, but VC investors were focused on growth rather than profit
08:30 – People who came in late in the dotcom boom tended to suffer
09:30 – Kenny did well out of his company sale
10:00 – People went bankrupt by paying tax on optioned gain - then losing everything
11:00 – The people who lost the most were the public market
11:26 – Mojio was launched in 2012 in Vancouver, backed by Amazon and Deutsche Telecom
11:50 – Kenny started in late 2015
12:05 – Mojio provides a cloud service to connect cars to the internet - track drivers and know where a shared car is at any time
12:53 – “When you’re not in your car, your cellphone’s not in your car”
13:23 – The device connects through the onboard diagnostic port - meaning that you know exactly what’s gone wrong
14:10 – Work on a revenue-share basis. Sell units and store data.
15:08 – Hoping to join the autonomous car ecosystem once it takes off
15:30 – Under 30 full-time employees
16:10 – Sales will be within the millions of units in the next 2-3 years
16:35 – Why did Kenny come on board instead of starting a new business?
17:12 – Kenny grew up in Detroit and loves cars - he also knew and respected the VC investors
17:55 – Deutsche Telecom has been a fantastic strategic partner
11:13 – Connect with Kenny through the Mojio website
20:22 – The Famous Five


3 Key Points:
Surround yourself with the right people. The most important choice in building a successful life and business is who you join forces with.
Find a strategic investor who brings more than just money to your business.
Growth is not everything. The dotcom boom happened when growth outstripped profit - it’s important to know that your business can work.
Resources Mentioned:
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

 

Jun 11, 2016

Peter Himler, the man who set up the New York Times’ paywall. Peter’s an experienced PR and media consultant, and the founder of Flatiron Communications. Listen as Nathan and Peter talk subscription vs. native advertising, the growth of content marketing, and the importance of influencers.

Favorite Book? – The End of Big
What CEO do you follow? — Elon Musk
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— I absolutely do
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be?— How to be more assertive with my boss


Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:10 – Nathan’s introduction
01:30 – Welcoming Peter to the show
01:55 – Peter helped the New York Times launch their first paywall
02:45 – What can agencies do to make sure they retain talent?
03:00 – Large agencies have invested in digital strategies
04:00 – Flatiron create content marketing for their clients
04:35 – Content sites with a paywall are a growing trend
04:50 – How did you execute the NY Times paywall?
05:10 – The first paywall was unsuccessful - ‘Times Select’ in 2005
05:50 – “It was premature” - focused on driving advertising revenue
06:20 – When they fully embraced the paywall model it became more successful
07:45 – “The Times is a very strong brand in a sea of online content”
08:10 – “The voices of true journalism are fewer and further between”
09:40 – Do content paywalls cannibalise revenue from native advertising?
10:35 – Some paid subscriber sites provide a very targeted market for advertisers
11:40 – Are paywalls feasible for people who aren’t big brands yet?
12:41 – A trend of hiring influencers to create branded content
13:31 – A company called Niche matches brands with influencers - bought by Twitter for $20 million
14:24 – Flatiron has a team of 4 people
15:30 – Charges retainers of around $7500-12,500 per month
16:10 – Connect with Peter on his site or on twitter
17:55 – The Famous Five


3 Key Points:
Subscription models can coexist with targeted advertising: be creative about how you’re generating revenue from your content.
Be prepared to create a lot of free content in order to build your brand.
Be assertive...and once you know what you’re doing, be prepared to strike out on your own.


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

 

Jun 11, 2016

Khalid Saleh, co-author of the bestselling book Conversion Optimisation. Khalid’s an expert on conversion whose company, Invesp, has grown companies from tiny startups to giant powerhouses. Listen as Khalid and Nathan talk leaving a salaried job, turning a consulting business into an SaaS giant, and running a global fundraising round.


Favorite Book? – The Lean Startup
What CEO do you follow? — Alex Turnbull
What is your favorite online tool?— Evernote
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Hell, no!
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be?— That I need to be laser-focused. There’s opportunity everywhere - you just have to focus on it.


Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:20 – Nathan’s introduction
02:20 – Welcoming Khalid to the show
02:35 – Invesp makes money by consulting on conversion optimisation
03:00 – Companies pay a monthly retainer for ongoing optimisation services
03:45 – Charge a minimum of $8,000 per month
04:00 – Companies stay 15-24 months on average
04:25 – Invesp was founded in 2006
04:35 – Made around $15-20k in their first year
05:00 – Khaleed was 31 when he left his salaried job to launch Invesp
05:20 – “An amazing employee but difficult to manage”
05:40 – While working for Motorola, Khalid noticed the problem of conversion rates
05:52 – Gave up a $200k salary as one of the top software architects in America
06:30 – Khalid’s wife is one of his business partner
07:00 – 4 partners in the company
07:35 – Moving into providing a SaaS platform for conversion optimisation
08:30 – Made close to $700k in 2014 - the year they decided to take fewer projects
09:15 – “It’s been a gamble to focus on software development”
09:30 – Initially wanted to make an AB testing platform...but decided to move into other products
10:35 – Several companies are interested in funding - but many are asking for more equity than they want to give up
11:01 – A VC in Russia was willing to give $1.5 million for 45% equity
11:20 – “He said I could probably get the same offer for 25% in San Francisco...but it’s a different market in each country”
11:55 – The SaaS business will be a product that’s offered by Invesp
12:40 – Connect with Khaleed at the Invesp Blog or on twitter
15:30 – The Famous Five


3 Key Points:
If you want to expand, be willing to move sideways and think creatively about where your business can go. Consulting doesn’t scale the way SaaS can.
Think very carefully about how much equity you’re willing to give up in a fundraising round.
Interest means nothing without conversion. Optimising conversion rates for your business can boost your growth enormously.


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

 

Jun 11, 2016

Rob Biederman, founder of HourlyNerd - a platform that bypasses traditional consultancies to help companies hire just the experts they need. HourlyNerd serves more than 4,500 companies, including GE, Microsoft and American Apparel. Listen as Rob and Nathan talk about spotting a market gap, dividing equity, and why you should have studied computer science.

Favorite Book? – Only the Paranoid Survive
What CEO do you follow? — Jeff Immelt
What is your favorite online tool?— Slack
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be?— Take some computer science papers


Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:15 – Nathan’s introduction
01:40 – Welcoming Graham to the show
01:56 – “Companies use us when they have a pressing need for a solution that can’t be provided by their current workforce”
02:00 – HourlyNerd makes money by taking a small percentage of transactions
02:30 – Example: connected GE to a robotics professor who could educate them about commercial robotics
03:30 – Around 80-85% goes to the consultant, the rest goes to HourlyNerd
04:00 – Rob worked in private equity before starting his business
04:34 – Had the idea of bypassing traditional consulting to connect people to talent directly
04:58 – Rob started in private equity aged 21, and founded the company aged 26
05:40 – He gave up a $400-600k salary
06:40 – “I’d saved a tremendous amount...I could mitigate the risk”
07:20 – How did Rob and his founders divide equity?
07:30 – They used a vesting schedule to accommodate any changes
09:15 – Worked with 5,000 customers in 2015 and had 21,000 nerds
09:31 – Nerds actively making money would be “in the low single-digit thousands”
09:50 – “We work with clients from GE down to a woman called Jenny in Massachusetts”
10:40 – Founded in 2013
10:51 – Total revenue in the first year was $150k
11:00 – Total revenue in 2015 was above $5 million
11:20 – Have raised about $10 million in capital
11:25 – “Nobody on our founding team could code...we needed to pay a development firm”
12:40 – Gave up around 20% of equity via convertible note to fundraise
13:30 – Auditioned for Shark Tank: dropped out but ended up with Mark Cuban as an investor
14:40 – Connect with Rob at HourlyNerd or on Twitter

3 Key Points:
Be wary of how much equity you’re giving up in the early stages of your company. Make choices that minimise dead equity.
Don’t be afraid to give up a salary to follow your ideas
Learn some computer skills as soon as you can


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

 

Jun 11, 2016

Preston Lee, the founder of Millo. He’s making $8,000 per month from a website and newsletter that started as a side project. Millo is a business resource and newsletter for creative entrepreneurs. Preston’s built an incredibly engaged community and a list that actually thanks him for sending out sponsored emails. Listen in to hear how to make sponsorship deals that your audience love, how to build revenue from a side project, and why it’s important to think like a business from the start.

Famous 5:

Favorite Book? – The $100 Startup
What CEO do you follow? — Ben Chestnut
Favourite online tool? — Trello
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — How to think more like a business

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:07 – Nathan’s introduction
01:40 – Welcoming Preston to the show
01:43 – Millo is a blog and a newsletter for people who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs, freelancers, or creators
02:30 – Email list of about 30k, and a high level of engagement
03:10 – In 2009, Millo started as a graphic design blog, Graphic Design Blender
03:35 – In the first few years, made less than $500 per month
04:00 – In the last few years, pivoted to become a sponsor-based business that makes around $8k per month
04:50 – Highly tailored sponsorship packages
05:05 – Between 3 and 7 sponsors per month
05:24 – Design Cuts is a long-term sponsor
06:08 – Send out dedicated emails advertising Design Cuts bundles
06:33 – Millo is a side project for Preston and he’s happy with that
07:11 – “Right now it’s a very exciting side project”
07:35 – Lowest sponsorship package is $400 per month; highest is $1850
08:55 – If Nathan wanted to work with Preston, what could he do?
09:51 – The Freelance Report is a side project in the Millo newsletter
10:51 – Preston’s full-time job is content marketing for a magazine website
11:13 – Connect with Preston on Twitter
12:52 – The Famous Five


3 Key Points:
Start side projects and things that you love. You never know what opportunities content will lead to.
Once you’ve built an audience, you can build a business.
Think like a business. Focus will connect you to opportunities.
Resources Mentioned:
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

 

Jun 10, 2016

Graham Williams, one of the creators of Fun Fun Fun festival and head of Transmission Events. The festival’s first year had only 3,000 attendees...now it lasts 3 days and welcomes 20,000 people. Listen as Nathan and Graham talk about building up an event, the economics of festivals, and why you should start building your dream sooner.

Favorite Book? – I’ve never read a business book… 1984
What CEO do you follow? — None
What is your favorite online tool?— Gmail
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be?— I think I made the right decisions for the most part...I wish I’d started my company a little earlier.


Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:15 – Nathan’s introduction
01:40 – Welcoming Graham to the show
02:10 – Started Fun Fun Fun festival in 2006 with the head of Alamo Drafthouse
02:45 – Cost around $100k to produce and sold around 3000 tickets in the first year
03:15 – Left Emo's to start Transmission Events, a booking and promotions company
03:20 – How did you get 3000 people to an event that had just launched?
03:40 – “A lot of flyering and street-team work”
04:07 – Now a 3-day festival with 20,000 attendees
04:24 – Now costs $4-5 million to produce
05:50 – Currently run by a local manager
05:10 – What’s driven the growth of the festival?
05:40 – “You find your audience and respect that audience”
06:22 – Ticket sales are the bulk of revenue - then sponsorship and bar sales
06:55 – A weekend pass costs a little over $200
07:22 – Around half the total revenue is in ticket sales
08:30 - Sponsors pay more per head because of the opportunity to target an audience
11:00 – The festival feeds into Graham’s year-round business
11:20 – Find Graham at Transmission Events or Fun Fun Fun Fest
12:35 – It’s aimed at licensing information obtained from defunct websites

3 Key Points:
Learn all you can - but you need to put that learning into action.
Find your audience and respect them. Cater to their needs. Build your niche.
Start sooner. Whatever you’re thinking about doing...do it.


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

 

Jun 10, 2016

Jason Greenspan, the founder and CEO of Whoosh!, a screen-cleaning product that’s on track to make over $5 million in sales this year. Listen as Jason and Nathan talk about creating a start-up with a physical product, what good margins look like, and how to convince people they have a problem.


Famous 5
Favorite Book? – Purple Cow
What CEO do you follow? — Kevin Plank
What is your favorite online tool? — Pipedrive
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Definitely not
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — To start a business then! It’s much easier before you have responsibilities.

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:20 – Nathan’s introduction
01:44 – Welcoming Jason to the show
01:54 – Whoosh! is a best-selling screen-cleaning spray and wipe
03:05 – Was on the Canadian version of Dragon’s Den
03:40 – Founded in 2009
03:50 – Pivoted in 2012 from making car-cleaning products
04:05 – Knocked a cleaning product onto his iPad by mistake
04:30 – Filled one-ounce bottles and handed them out at CES - never looked back
04:55 – Entirely self-funded and currently profitable
05:10 – Looking to raise $5 million this spring to fund growth
05:30 – Wiped over 1.5 million screens over the last year
06:30 – Total revenue in 2012 just under $1 million
06:39 – Total revenue in 2016 will be $5-10 million
07:00 – The formula is proprietary - they manage a supply chain
07:40 – The Whoosh! Go sells for $10 - what are the margins on that?
07:55 – Retailer takes a 25-50% gross margin
08:20 – A good gross margin on a physical product is 40-50%
09:02 – A good net margin is around 5%
09:35 – Spending very little on acquisitions
10:00 – We’re building through the wholesale channel - probably 90% of sales
10:24 – 10 full-time employees
10:40 – How do you value a product company?
10:50 – Valuation is on topline revenue and growth
12:30 – Whoosh! is a sticky product once people try it
13:20 – Biggest growth opportunity is convincing the market that there’s a problem
15:40 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:
Grab opportunities when you see them. Whoosh! was founded by capitalising on an accident.
Start your business now. Waiting longer isn’t going to make it easier.
If you’re dealing with physical products, you should be making better than 5% margins.


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

 

Jun 10, 2016

Ben Williamson. Ben went from teaching himself to code, to working with Steve Jobs. After 10 years at Apple, Ben’s building Yoshirt - a custom apparel tool that’s priced at $5 million after just two years. Listen as Ben and Nathan talk through fundraising, insecurities, and building an incredibly successful startup.


Famous 5
Favorite Book? – The Way of the SEAL
What CEO do you follow? — Nathan Latka
What is your favorite online tool? — Periscope
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Recently, no
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — You don’t need anyone else’s permission.

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:30 – Nathan’s introduction
02:17 – Welcoming Ben to the show
02:25 – Ben’s second time on the show - he was here in episode 23
02:53 – Yoshirt was founded in 2014
03:00 – “Custom, on-demand apparel from your iOS device”
03:08 – Last year ran an over-subscribed fundraising round that closed at $1.1 million
03:30 – Priced round at a post-money valuation of $5 million
04:10 – 13 full-time employees
04:25 – They make money from the physical product - $36 per shirt
05:30 – Cost of goods is $15-18; gross margin of 50%
06:12 – Unique point: Yoshirt prints image on a single piece of fabric before they cut and sew
07:02 – Running Facebook ads and retargeting current customers
07:30 – Over 3 million people have downloaded the app
07:43 – Over 100k paying customers
08:30 – Focus on delivering fantastic customer experience
08:50 – “We make garments so unique that no one can walk by without saying something”
09:20 – Topline revenue was $3 million in 2015
09:25 – Shooting for $10 million in 2016
09:55 – Working with bands to generate growth - partnered with Fall Out Boy
11:00 – Sold over 1,000 units from the Fall Out Boy activation
11:30 – The goal is to see how far they can push the idea
12:00 – “We really look at ourselves as a technology company”
12:50 – Wouldn’t sell Yoshirt for $10 million in cash today
13:30 – People are looking for attention: we’re building a company around that
14:00 – Connect with Ben through email, Linkedin and Twitter
17:55 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:
Satisfied customers are your best growth tool. Deliver a fantastic product and people will return and refer.
Deal with your own insecurities. You don’t need to seek permission or validation from the people around you.
Get the best data you possibly can. Successful entrepreneurs need facts, not stories.


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

 

Jun 10, 2016

Laurie Lane-Zucker, founder and CEO of the Impact Entrepreneur Centre. Laurie’s created a network of 10,000 entrepreneurs who are chasing the triple bottom line: making a positive social and environmental impact as well as a profit. Listen in to hear how Laurie funds his dream to make a difference; why you need to expand your bottom-line thinking, and how to get started as an impact entrepreneur.

Famous 5:

Favorite Book? – The Way of the Wizard
What CEO do you follow? — Elon Musk
Favourite online tool? — Linkedin
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Yes
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be?— I wish I knew about entrepreneurship earlier. I wish I had the opportunities that millennials have now to pursue their own goals.

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:10 – Nathan’s introduction
01:53 – Welcoming Laurie to the show
02:07 – An ‘Impact Entrepreneur’ is someone who wants to create companies that do good in the world, and to nurture a network and ecosystem that support these values
03:10 – Website is Impact Alchemist
03:40 – A ‘triple bottom line’ that considers social and environmental impact
04:21 – Over 10k members in the network right now
04:40 – Laurie makes money from consulting. He’s recently worked with water purification companies, nutrition research companies, and companies making biofuel from landfill
06:00 – “I gravitate to companies that are working on the UN development goals”
07:15 – Laurie often match-makes between companies and impact investors
08:05 – Takes a ‘success fee’ when they secure funding
09:20 – Currently creating an incubation and acceleration hub in the Berkshires
10:25 – Laurie generates revenue through speaking, consulting, and taking fees on securing funding
11:20 – “Look at the sustainable development goals of the United Nations - and see what strikes a chord with you”
12:20 – Connect with Laurie on Linkedin
13:52 – The Famous Five


3 Key Points:
Chase the triple bottom line. You aren’t really adding value to the world unless you’re looking at your environmental and social impact as well as finances.
There’s a lot to do in the world. Look at the UN’s sustainable development goals and see what strikes a chord with you.
Make the most of all your opportunities
Resources Mentioned:
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

 

Jun 9, 2016

Troy Sultan, founder and CEO of Resource, a company that’s trying to automate the recruitment process. Troy was the first recruitment officer at Grooveshark, and later left Google to return to his passion: startups. Listen as Troy and Nathan talk about Troy’s career path, managing co-founders, and why you shouldn’t rely on venture capital.

Famous 5
Favorite Book? – The War of Art
What CEO do you follow? — Gary Swart
What is your favorite online tool? — Mixmax
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — Slow down to speed up. And think about what you’re really good at.

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:10 – Nathan’s introduction
01:30 – Welcoming Troy to the show
01:47 – Troy founded a startup out of college, then joined early Grooveshark
02:10 – Grooveshark got sued for $17 billion
02:40 – Troy went into hiring at Google in 2013
03:00 – Built a startup in the last year of college - “we made every mistake”
04:00 – Decided to work with Grooveshark to learn about startup success
04:30 – Google was the next stage: seeing how a big company worked
05:00 – Lessons from Google? - “A lot of delegation is happening”
05:13 – The quality of your experience at a big company depends on your manager
05:26 – Troy then started Resource
05:54 – Part of the 500 Startups accelerator
06:06 – 5% equity; $125k investment
06:20 – 3 team members
06:33 – Trying to split equity equally, but people came on at different stages
07:00 – If everyone’s going to provide equal value, try to keep it equal
07:30 – “I don’t want to co-found a company with someone who’s not picking up where I’m weak”
08:05 – Charge a monthly flat rate of $5-8.5k for services. Month-by-month opt-in model
08:38 – Doing tens of thousands in revenue per month
09:10 – Customers “in the low double digits”
09:30 – Creating a hiring solution that’s part-human, part-software
09:54 – Most acquisitions are coming through social credibility
10:20 – No spending on marketing at the moment
10:40 – Not a SaaS company - they’re not looking at churn
11:00 – MRR varies depending on when people are hiring
11:50 – “If we do a good job, we get rid of customers...but hopefully they come back”
12:25 – Troy’s trying to hack his way to the next checkpoint
12:50 – In a good month Resource makes $50k in revenue
13:00 – Operating profitably - margins are good
13:30 – “We don’t want to rely on venture capital early on”
13:50 – Connect with Troy on Twitter or through his blog
15:20 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:
Slow down to speed up. It can be worth putting your short-term goals on hold to go corporate for a while and learn from the masters
Be certain that your business can make a profit on its own terms. If you rely on venture capital early on, you can go a long way with a bad idea.
Choose your co-founders carefully. If they’re not going to bring serious value, they’re probably not who you want to start a company with.
Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

 

Jun 9, 2016

Zander Adell, co-founder and CEO of Doorman. Zander’s aiming to solve the frustrating problem of finding a note on your door, instead of your Amazon or FedEx package. He left his job as technical director at Pixar to go to business school, and wound up solving one of the stickiest problems in e-commerce. Listen as Zander and Nathan talk logistics, changing a business ecosystem, and dreaming big.

Famous 5
Favorite Book? – Good to Great
What CEO do you follow? — Jeff Bezos
What is your favorite online tool? — Slack
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Yes
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — To focus on the big dream, not the little pieces along the way

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:26 – Nathan’s introduction
02:00 – Welcoming Zander to the show
02:20 – Zander left Pixar in his early 30s to go to business school
02:50 – He wanted to understand how to get a business off the ground
03:10 – Fascinated by the logistics element of apps
03:40 – Worked in the gaming industry briefly before starting Doorman
04:10 – Doorman aims to solve the e-commerce problem of getting your stuff delivered
04:40 – It lets customers schedule when a package will come to their house
05:10 – We’re still in a transitional period between shopping in person and online
05:30 – The existing logistics infrastructure isn’t ready to interact with consumers
06:00 – Revenue comes from both retail partnerships and consumer customers
06:40 – Items are delivered to Doorman’s warehouse; customers then choose a delivery time
07:10 – Warehouses in San Francisco, Chicago and New York
07:20 – Working with retailers is currently more profitable
07:50 – Launched in 2014
08:00 – One co-founder and a team of 10 people
08:15 – Raised a little over $3 million through 500 Startups
09:00 – Around 10-20% growth of users per month
10:40 – Delivered over 100,000 packages
11:10 – “We’ll deliver pretty much anything” - anything under 45lb is a normal package
12:00 – Furniture etc. costs a little more
12:40 – Doorman is currently trying to build economies of scale
14:15 – A big win in 2016 would be hooking up with a large retailer
15:00 – Don’t consider themselves a SaaS business - but use SaaS measures
16:00 – Logistics margins are tight - they can get down to 5% in big companies
16:50 – “We can scale without really owning anything”
17:10 – Delivering 15-20 packages on average for top-quartile customers
18:25 – People’s buying doubled when they started using Doorman
21:20 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:
Logistics companies can learn from the pared-down model of SaaS. It’s possible to grow without owning bricks-and-mortar infrastructure, or fleets of lorries.
Assess whether what you’re doing right now is serving your long-term goals. If it isn’t: change what you’re doing.
When you solve a problem in an ecosystem, you change people’s behaviour. Simply providing an effective solution can make a market develop.


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

 

Jun 9, 2016

Holly Cardew, a member of the Forbes 30 under 30 list and the founder of Pixc - an online image optimization service. Holly dropped out of college to grow an image editing empire that’s making just short of $1 million in revenue each year. Listen as Holly and Nathan talk about Pixc’s bootstrapping ethic, the importance of revenue over investment, and how to get the most from an affiliate program.

Famous 5
Favorite Book? – The Lean Startup
What CEO do you follow? — Ben Chestnut, though he’s kind of hard to track
What is your favorite online tool? — Intercom
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — I wish my parents had told me to go to Silicon Valley. I should have learnt how to code.

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:15 – Nathan’s introduction
01:56 – Welcoming Holly to the show
02:03 – Holly took a corporate job in London after university
02:20 – Tried multiple online businesses before Pixc
02:40 – Pixc is an online image optimization service
02:50 – Sells credit image packages
03:05 – Launched a landing page in 2013; started properly in 2014
03:20 – Largely self-funded; raised $150k in capital
03:55 – ‘At the end of the day, you need to have a business - not just capital’
04:15 – 16 team members
04:30 – Revenue in the range of $200k - $1 million per year
05:10 – What are the running costs?
05:20 – Semi-automated process with some human input
05:35 – Currently breaking even and re-investing in the business
05:50 – Holly is 28; she dropped out of college to start her business
06:20 – Working with over 7,000 clients
06:40 – Acquisitions through referrals, integration, content marketing and affiliates
07:10 – Affiliate program is very effective. One article brought in 70+ customers in 3 weeks
09:20 – Affiliates make 20% commission on referrals
10:40 – What’s the competition? Largely freelancers.
11:03 – What’s Pixc’s growth strategy?
11:40 – Planning to expand the affiliate program and build partnerships
11:50 – Thinking about what other services they can offer in this niche
12:20 – Connect with Holly on Linkedin, Twitter and at her blog
14:58 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:
Focus on revenue, not on investment. You have to know that your idea can make money.
Learn how to code - it’s a basic skill that will pay you back a hundred times over.
If you’re looking at expanding, consider what other services fit in your niche. What else do your customers need that you can provide?


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

 

Jun 9, 2016

Lance Mysyrowicz, the founder of Boost&Co. Lance is an investment fund manager who specialises in European startups. He currently manages over $150 million in assets. Listen in to hear about Lance’s latest investment, the details of early investment in tech startups, and what interest rates you could expect for your startup.


Famous 5
Favorite Book? – Behind the Cloud
What CEO do you follow? — Elon Musk
What is your favorite online tool? — Evernote
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? —I wish I knew what makes me happy today - spending time with people I love, and the things I love doing

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:08 – Nathan’s introduction
01:36 – Welcoming Lance to the show
01:50 – Boost&Co lends money to companies earlier in the process than banks
02:20 – They sit in between VC and banking as an investor
02:55 – Have loaned $120 million to over 100 business
03:43 – Last company was a SaaS firm called Idio that lets people track what’s being read on a web page
04:50 – Have invested around $1.75 million in Idio
05:00 – Make money in three different ways: a 1-2% fee; an 8-12% interest rate on outstanding capital; and a warrant - a right to buy shares at a specific price
05:50 – The warrant includes a negotiated strike price
07:05 – What happens on a $1 million deal?
08:00 – A management fee comes from the investment fund - it’s 2% of the assets they manage
09:12 – Why charge a fee?
10:31 – Interest rates are determined by the revenue and size of a company
11:25 – Interest is paid every month and a small amount of capital is repaid
13:15 – “I would always prefer to do a smaller deal and have a smaller risk exposure”
13:48 – Is this the same as mezzanine finance?
14:06 – Connect with Lance on Linkedin
16:10 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:
There are multiple pathways to getting a loan as a startup - through VCs, banks, or a halfway step like Boost&Co
Expect to pay a fee, interest, and to offer a warrant to buy shares
As an investment fund manager, Lance tries to limit his exposure to risk as much as possible.
Resources Mentioned:
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

 

Jun 8, 2016

Steve Sims, the colorful legend behind The Bluefish. Steve’s the founder of a luxury concierge company that can arrange anything from singing with Journey to getting married in the Vatican. Listen as Steve and Nathan talk about the secrets of engaging people and making impossible things happen.

Famous 5
Favorite Book? – The Cat in the Hat
What CEO do you follow? — Tony Hsieh
What is your favorite online tool? — I actually use a pad and pen
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No!
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — Everything will be all right. Just keep on going, and keep your word.
Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:30 – Nathan’s introduction
02:13 – Welcoming Steve to the show
03:20 – Steve got into the concierge business after being a club doorman
03:50 – “I don’t lie...like me or don’t like me”
04:15 – 99% of Steve’s clients are entrepreneurs
04:50 – “I psychoanalyse the shit out of them”
05:40 – One guy wanted to meet Journey: we got him onstage singing with them
06:20 – I always know someone who’s got a contact
06:50 – A ‘chain of credibility’
08:20 – “When I went in based on money, I made bad decisions”
09:00 – I always pay people: a favour is expensive in the long run
09:30 – Journey event raised money for Autism Speaks
10:10 – People never want to think they’ve been sold
10:50 – What engages people is stories and emotions
11:20 – The business-entertainment conference that Nathan’s planning
13:00 – Connect with Steve at Ugly Sims
17:11 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:
Keep your promises. If you say you can get something done, you’d better get it done.
Be yourself. People will like you or they won’t - don’t bother trying to bullshit them.
Think creatively about what motivates people. Money isn’t always the answer. Stories, emotions, connections, contacts...there are a lot of ways to make things happen.


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

 

Jun 8, 2016

Matt Shook, founder of Juiceland: an organic juice business that’s taking over Austin. Listen to Matt and Nathan for insight into a bricks-and-mortar startup that’s becoming wildly successful.

Famous 5
Favorite Book? – Prometheus Rising
What CEO do you follow? — Tim League
What is your favorite online tool? — Gmail
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Yes
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? —Don’t be so afraid of what other people think
Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:20 – Nathan’s introduction
01:36 – Welcoming Matt to the show
01:55 – Founded Juiceland in 2011, after making juice for 8 years
02:33 – New location on 4th street sold 2000 drinks in one day
03:30 – Frost Tower downtown store has triple the sales of anywhere else
05:15 – In 2015, 275 employees at 16 locations
05:40 – Net margin of 5% across the company
06:40 – Makes about 40 cents on a $10 drink
08:20 – Business is all bootstrapped
05:25 – Retainer of $50-75k per month
08:30 – First shop was opened for $15k with a friend
08:55 – ‘I’ve never once looked at demographics’
09:20 – Hoping to have 20 stores by the end of the year
09:50 – Marketing through creating excellent product
11:25 – Connect with Matt on facebook and instagram
12:20 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:
Focus on creating a fantastic product. It’s the best and most lasting way to get customers.
Don’t worry about what other people think. Focus on yourself and what you’re doing.
Keep an open mind and connect with the people around you.


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

 

Jun 8, 2016

Prem Bhatia, CEO and co-founder of Cooleaf. Cooleaf’s a B2B platform that helps companies organise, coordinate and track their engagement efforts. Listen as Prem and Nathan talk about breaking out of the corporate world, getting startup funding, and acquiring customers at no cost.

Famous 5
Favorite Book? – The Alliance
What CEO do you follow? — Dharmesh Shah
What is your favorite online tool? — LinkedIn
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? —Do it sooner. You’ll learn on the job.


Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:10 – Nathan’s introduction
02:10 – Welcoming Prem to the show
02:40 – Prem left the corporate world aged 35 to begin a startup
03:20 – Gave up a salary supporting his family
04:40 – Cooleaf is a SaaS platform designed to help businesses with engagement efforts
05:30 – Currently has 25 active customers
06:05 – Average annual contract of $25-30k
06:20 – Acquiring customers through inside sales - personal outreach; a blog
07:05 – Not spending any money on acquisitions
07:30 – Have raised about $800k in funding - in part from 500 Startups
08:10 – Funding is largely in equity
08:30 – Founded 4-5 years ago, but pivoted later into B2B
09:05 – Team of 11
10:30 – Annual churn of around 10% - a little unclear right now
11:30 – Average LTV is around $100k
11:45 – Model right now is to ‘nail it and scale it’ - tighten up what they’re doing
12:50 – Made less than $500k in 2015
13:20 – Aiming to make $88k per month this year
13:30 – Connect with Prem on Twitter
15:45 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:
Startups don’t come with guarantees. To be an entrepreneur, you have to be prepared to give something up.
If you’re working with a small number of high-value clients, you shouldn’t have to spend money on acquisitions. Reach out through your networks first.
Learn on the job. No one ever feels ready to start something - accept that you aren’t, and jump in anyway.


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

 

Jun 8, 2016

Qin En Looi, the CEO and CMO of Glints. Before he turned 20, Qin En had published 20 behavioural science research papers in international journals. He’s put his expertise in psychology and growth hacking to good use...He’s now focused on creating the best possible platform to help graduates find jobs they love. Listen in to hear how Qin En’s growing his talent pool by 15% each month with almost no spending; why word of mouth is the best possible marketing tool, and why you should take care with your first seed capital.


Famous 5
Favorite Book? – Influence
What CEO do you follow? — Elon Musk
What is your favorite online tool? — Google Calendar
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? —To spend more prudently. Don’t waste your money.

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:13 – Nathan’s introduction
02:17 – Glints aims to help young people discover what they love to do
03:00 – “5 years ago I would never have expected to have built a company”
03:28 – Glints makes money through recruitment and development
03:58 – They prepare talent to be ready for jobs: offer training and development
04:34 – Founded in 2013
04:50 – First-year revenue was $7k
05:00 – This year’s revenue was $500k
05:21 – Team of 12 people based in Singapore
05:33 – Raised a seed investment round of $500k in 2014
06:12 – Have placed over 2500 graduates into new jobs - minimum reported number
07:01 – 800 employers have recruited graduates
07:40 – Employers pay Glints for a recruitment plan
08:15 – They charge a flat fee: the average fee is $1000
08:48 – It’s free for students to be listed
09:06 – How are you growing the business?
09:22 – Work directly with students and campuses to bring more students onto the platform
10:04 – Have placed 300 students into jobs in March 2016
10:30 – Talent base is growing by 15% each month and spending less than $1000 each month
11:11 – “Word of mouth has been the most powerful driver for us”
11:40 – Connect with Qin En Looi via email or Twitter [links provided via Skype]
16:28 – Connect to Danielle on Twitter
13:30 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:
Be open to unexpected experiences. Qin En never expected to build his own company - and now he’s making $500k a year.
Word of mouth is your best marketing tool. Create a product that makes people refer you.
Spend prudently once you’ve raised money.
Resources Mentioned:
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

 

Jun 7, 2016

Andrew Howlett, Chief Digital Officer at Rain, and a board member at the Society of Digital Agencies. Andrew started a million-dollar cleaning products business online at 26, before moving into marketing consultancy. Listen as Nathan and Andrew talk marketing, strategy, and how to get out of finance.

Famous 5
Favorite Book? – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
What CEO do you follow? — Maurice Levy
What is your favorite online tool? — Pipedrive
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Yes
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? —That finance wasn’t the direction I wanted to go - it would have been great to understand computer science more

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:20 – Nathan’s introduction
01:40 – Welcoming Andrew to the show
02:00 – At 26, started a website that sold cleaning supplies
02:35 – At 29, started Rain
02:40 – uClean had total revenues of $200k in its first year; almost $1 million the next year
03:30 – Clear around $200k each year from uClean
04:05 – Rain’s latest client is BeachBody
04:40 – Rain is helping them re-imagine their products
05:00 – Revenue model is generally either a monthly retainer or T&M
05:25 – Retainer of $50-75k per month
05:55 – Works largely with 7 major clients
06:30 – First-ever Superbowl ad this year - Campbells Chunky Soup
06:55 – Wanted to focus on online placement
08:10 – 90% of placement is hustle
08:30 – They use People Pattern as a helpful piece of software
09:10 – Ended up with 3.5 million views in 2 weeks
10:00 – Made 3 videos for the Facebook 10-year anniversary
11:10 – Margin on video can be tricky to handle
11:56 – Total revenue in 2015 was $14 million
12:30 – Vision is to keep strategy, design, development and building in-house
14:20 – Happy with the current size of the company - no plans to grow dramatically
14:30 – Connect with Andrew on Twitter or LinkedIn
16:10 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:
The majority of marketing is hustle. Automation helps, but to some extent you need to have real people pushing things along.
There are benefits to limiting growth. Having a core team that’s small enough to be in the same room at the start of a project is fantastic.
You need to understand how technology works. Even if you’re never going to be a developer, educate yourself in the basics. It will pay off.


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

 

Jun 7, 2016

Anand Kulkarni, co-founder of LeadGenius. Anand left his job as a researcher and teacher at Berkeley to develop a tool that uses automation technology to find effective sales leads. Listen as Nathan and Anand talk over starting an SaaS business and exactly how to run an effective fundraising round.

Famous 5
Favorite Book? – Only The Paranoid Survive
What CEO do you follow? — Elon Musk
What is your favorite online tool? — Gmail
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Yes
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? —I wish I had known how much fun it is to start a company - I would have started sooner!
Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:22 – Nathan’s introduction
01:54 – Welcoming Anand to the show
02:10 – LeadGenius is AI for sales - ‘top of the funnel automation’
02:45 – One client is using it to map out every IT director in every Brazilian telecom company, and obtain their contact details
03:30 – Charges between $2k and $1 million a month
03:50 – Started in 2011
03:55 – Total revenue in 2015 was $8 million
04:20 – Worked with 200 customers in February 2015
04:37 – Annual revenue of $40k per user
05:00 – LTV to CAC ratio of about 10
06:00 – Spending about $15k to acquire a customer
06:30 – Some salary costs associated with accessing certain kinds of data
07:30 – Currently have net negative churn
07:40 – That means that growth from existing accounts offsets any loss of customers
08:45 – About to release a new email product
09:05 – Total MRR in February was about $700k
09:30 – 50 team members locally, plus 500 outsourced
10:00 – Raised $8 million total; the last round was a series A of $6 million
11:10 – How do you make the decision about when to raise another round?
12:50 – Pre-money valuation in the last round was in the tens of millions
13:35 – ‘A good partner pays for themselves’ - think about partners, not valuation
15:34 – Connect with Anand on twitter
18:00 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:
If you’re deciding whether to run an investment round, look hard at the milestones for your business. Is investment right now going to make significant progress toward those goals?
Don’t just look at valuations when you’re choosing partners. They should bring something significant to the business beyond investment
Whatever you’re planning to do, or dreaming you can do: start. It’ll be fun.


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

 

Jun 7, 2016

Gil Allouche, the co-founder of Metadata. Gil’s an expert in digital marketing and AI who worked as a marketing consultant for big-name companies before quitting to co-found a startup. Listen as Gil and Nathan talk digital marketing, growth hacking, and how to work with your co-founders.

 

Famous 5
Favorite Book? – Enders Game
What CEO do you follow? — Brian Halligan
What is your favorite online tool? — Hubspot
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? —That everything is achievable, and that I should set my goals much higher


Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:10 – Nathan’s introduction
01:35 – Welcoming Gil to the show
02:10 – Before Metadata, Gil was a marketing consultant for B2B companies
03:00 – Gil’s focus in college was on AI and robotics
03:10 – He followed this with an MBA and focused on digital marketing
03:35 – In February 2016, Metadata had MRR of $35k
04:10 – Currently raising around $2 million in equity in a seed round
04:50 – Would be happy with a $5 million pre-money valuation
05:30 – Metadata amplifies the impact of content marketing
06:30 – Takes initial audience and reverse engineers a profile
07:15 – Targets lookalike audiences on multiple platforms
08:10 – Starts at $10k for a 3-month pilot
08:50 – Takes over landing page, enrichment and targeting
09:15 – A startup: still figuring out a pricing model
10:00 – 3 founders; 8 team members
10:35 – How do you talk to co-founders about splitting equity?
11:10 – Just over 12 customers
11:42 – Churn rate: to date, only one customer has left
12:15 – Launched in May 2015
12:40 – Willing to spend $2-3k to acquire a customer
14:00 – Connect with Gil by email
15:20 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:
Aim high. Everything is achievable with the right method.
Half of content marketing is marketing. The best content in the world won’t help you if no one reads it.
If your startup has co-founders, have a serious conversation about splitting equity. It’s too important to not get right.


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

 

Jun 7, 2016

Danielle Morrill, the technology exec who left Twilio to found Mattermark, a SaaS business that’s aiming to make almost $5 million this year. Danielle’s an ambitious CEO who can’t stand to be bored. Listen in to hear why you should never split equity evenly, why focusing on churn rate will make you lose customers, and the one crucial thing you should think about before you sell your business.


Famous 5
Favorite Book? – The Pyramid Principle
What CEO do you follow? — Elon Musk
What is your favorite online tool? — Slack
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? —It was all going to be okay. She should stop angsting and just keep doing what she’s doing.

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:08 – Nathan’s introduction
01:46 – Mattermark is a SaaS firm that lets customers research private companies
02:20 – Helps people who are looking to sell, buy, or invest in companies
02:41 – Launched in 2013
02:50 – First year revenue was around $200k
03:07 – Left Twilio to start a different startup - an affiliate marketing program
03:43 – Shut down the company completely and started again with the same investors
04:18 – Three co-founders. Danielle is the CEO, her husband codes, and her friend runs sales
05:21 – “We don’t have a 1:1:1 split - because things aren’t ever even.”
06:04 – “I think it’s the CEO’s job to offer equity portions that are fair and make sense”
07:30 – “It’s intellectually lazy to not discuss the equity portions”
08:01 – Topline revenue in 2015 was $2.4 million
08:20 – Monthly recurring revenue is around $260k
08:50 – Around 500 customers
09:07 – Annual customer revenue is around $10k
09:50 – Annual churn is less than 10%
10:11 – “Not everyone has turned over on a year yet - around 80% of customers came on board in the last 11 months”
10:34 – What other metrics measure customer engagement?
10:40 – “By the time they churn, it’s too late”
11:30 – “We think lifetime value will be in the $50k range”
12:10 – Started up an in-house marketing team 8 weeks ago
13:40 – What’s Danielle’s goal with the business?
13:55 – “My goal is to work on interesting things my entire life. If I sold the company for $100 million today, what would I do?”
16:02 – Danielle would be delighted if this year’s revenue hit $4.8 million
16:28 – Connect to Danielle on Twitter
18:08 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:
Discuss equity portions with your co-founders. All an equal split proves is that you don’t know how to have difficult conversations
By the time customers have churned, it’s too late. Look at other engagement metrics to catch them before they leave.
Think about your personal goals. Why are you running the business you are? What do you really want out of it?
Resources Mentioned:
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

Jun 6, 2016

Aditya Singhal, an education technology entrepreneur who’s hoping to fully automate tutoring in the next five years. Aditya believes in low-cost, high-quality education for all. Tune in as he and Nathan talk automated education, subscription models, and why Silicon Valley is overrated.

Famous 5
Favorite Book? – Growth Hacker Marketing
What CEO do you follow? — Elon Musk
What is your favorite online tool? — Twitter
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? —I wish I knew how to hack growth faster


Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:25 – Nathan’s introduction
01:45 – Welcoming Aditya to the show
02:10 – There are 21 million college students in the states, looking for help
02:30 – Created TransTutors - an AI teaching assistant
02:50 – Subscription model: $20 each month, 30k customers
03:10 – Not a typical SaaS business model - uses humans assisted by code
04:05 – Revenue is $60-80k per month
04:20 – Business founded August 2014
04:30 – Revenue is 2015 around $1 million
04:50 – Initially self-funded; now raising investment from 500 Startups
05:00 – Hoping to raise $2.5 million by convertible note
05:30 – Making a trade-off: wants to learn from Silicon Valley
06:10 – Are tech hubs overrated?
06:30 – About 40% of customers (12k) are paying monthly
07:30 – In February 2016 had 3k active paying customers
08:05 – Users typically stay 4-6 months (one semester)
08:40 – Team of 10 people, including 8 in India
09:00 – A young engineer in India earns around $30k per year
10:00 – Aditya’s goal is to have a fully automated teaching system
10:20 – Would be happy to sell once he’s achieved his goal
10:50 – Equity split 50/50 between Aditya and his partner
11:30 – Connect with Aditya by email or twitter
14:50 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:
Create the solution your market are looking for - even if they don’t know it yet
Be clear about your business vision
Focus on finding social marketing methods to grow your business explosively


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

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