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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: 2016
Dec 6, 2016

Matthieu Jost, who founded his first company when he was 17 and exited it when he was 21. Most recently, he started Misterb&b in 2015 and has become the world’s largest gay hotel brand in the world. Listen as Matthieu shares how he managed his first business at an early age and how Misterb&b grew exponentially in less than 4 years.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – N/A
  • What CEO do you follow? – Brian Chesky
  • Favorite online tool? — RJ Metrics
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Being less naïve maybe”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:31 – Nathan introduces Matthieu to the show
  • 02:00 – Matthieu’s first company that posted TV series was sold to PlanetSeries (French equivalent of IMDB) for about $1 million
    • 02:33 – The team composed of 4 people
    • 02:53 – The company sold series’ merchandise
    • 03:18 – Matthieu built the company
    • 03:38 – Matthieu studied Computer Science for two years to work in a radio station
  • 04:38 – Matthieu shares how Misterb&b is different from Airbnb
  • 05:00 – Misterb&b is a marketplace
  • 05:25 – The sellers are the homeowners
  • 05:36 – “It’s not only for gay men, we are open to everyone in the LGBT community”
    • 05:45 – There are straight women using Misterb&b because they find it cool and much safer
  • 06:10 – Misterb&b is taking 4% from the host and 12% from the traveler
  • 06:27 – Average booking for 3 nights is $300
  • 06:40 – Misterb&b was founded at the last quarter of 2014
  • 06:50 – Misterb&b was bootstrapped for 6 months and went on raising capital
    • 07:02 – Total funds raised was $5 million
  • 07:10 – Team size is 22
  • 07:44 – Currently, there are 80,000 hosts in Misterb&b in over 135 countries
  • 08:00 – Misterb&b has an average of 80,000 bookings per month
  • 08:22 – Most of the travelers are solo travelers
  • 09:16 – First year total transaction volume is 300K
  • 09:35 – Total transaction volume for 2015 is $3M and 2016 total transaction volume goal is $7M
  • 09:58 – Misterb&b is seasonal
  • 11:00 – Misterb&b’s 2015 average revenue is $480,000
  • 11:12 – Misterb&b’s 2016 revenue aim is $1.3 million
  • 11:24 – Misterb&b is working on different types of ads
  • 12:05 – There are around 300K people on Misterb&b’s email list
  • 12:12 – Average opening click-thru rate is 14%
    • 12:50 – People are paying Misterb&b a flat-rate and they are getting 15,000 clicks
    • 13:00 – Misterb&b also works with non-media companies
  • 13:46 – 40% of Misterb&b’s travelers are repeaters
  • 14:28 – Follow Matthieu’s company on Facebook and visit the website
  • 16:33 – The Famous Five
    • 17:16 – RJ Metrics was at The Top Episode 233

 

3 Key Points:

  • It is always advantageous to start your business as EARLY as possible.
  • Life is about making a choice; don’t be afraid to step out and make that decision.   
  • Misterb&b is about building a worldwide community that promotes safe travel without discrimination. 

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel
  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible.
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • The Top Inbox  – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens and follow-up with email sequences
  • Facebook – Matthieu’s business Facebook account
  • Misterbandb.com – Matthieu’s business website
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Dec 5, 2016

Sunil Patro, founder of SignEasy, a technologist, product thinker and entrepreneur. He has a decade of experience as a member of multiple early stage product team at Microsoft, Juniper Networks and Tokbox. Putting enterprise communication apps to carrier great routing system to consumer focused video conferencing software. After facing many problems to sign an important job offer while traveling in Mexico, he was inspired to build a product that could solve this hindrance. Since bootstrapping SignEasy in 2010, he led SignEasy to a growing and profitable company that putting 3M downloads with a 5-star rating in over 150 countries, ranked 1 of the top 15 apps and in top 100 downloaded apps for business including Apple’s Best New Apps and Editor Choice Picks.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Crucial Conversations
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Jason Fried
  • Favorite online tool? — Slack
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Not everyday
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Just focus on being part of a great team and focus on learning things rapidly and just have an experience. Find the things you enjoy the most at work”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:32 – Nathan introduces Sunil to the show
  • 02:33 – SignEasy is a cloud-based easy to use app
    • 02:50 – SignEasy allows users to be completely paperless
  • 03:00 – SignEasy is a SaaS model and has a free trial for 14 days
    • 03:12 – Pay-as-you-go is also available
    • 03:17 – Businesses can subscribe to pro and premium plans
  • 03:34 – Sunil started coding SignEasy in early 2010 and launched around July 2010
  • 03:35 – First year revenue
  • 04:02 – Current number of customers in 2016
    • 04:20 – 40-45% are on subscriptions and the rest are on one-time payment
  • 04:33 – Average monthly RPU is $ 4 – 5 for pro and 80-90% are pro subscriptions
  • 05:09 – Average monthly recurring revenue for SignEasy
    • 05:58 – The difference of their payment plans before and now and how it affects their MRR
  • 06:41 – SignEasy has grown high double digit over the last few years
  • 07:07 – SignEasy is totally bootstrapped
  • 07:25 – Team size
  • 08:00 – Sunil is based in the bay area
  • 08:52 – Gross monthly customer churn
  • 09:02 – SignEasy is focused on SMB
  • 09:45 – Customers can only pay SignEasy annually
  • 10:35 – Lifetime value
  • 10:46 – SignEasy hasn’t done paid user acquisition yet
  • 10:55 – Almost 100% of SignEasy users are inbound based or app store driven
  • 11:57 – Sunil shares how they are reaching high number of downloads in app store
    • 12:10 – SignEasy has been in the app store for 6 years
    • 12:30 – There are many factors that  app store considers
    • 12:43 – SignEasy has been using keywords for app store
  • 14:10 – SignEasy gets 60K downloads a month from app store
    • 14:35 – In iOS, the conversion from free to paid users is 5-6%
    • 14:44 – In Android, the conversion from free to paid users is half of the iOS
  • 14:50 – The free trial is either 14 days or limited to 3 documents
    • 15:15 – SignEasy’s paid features
  • 15:39 – SignEasy just launched a new feature wherein a user can send a document to sign to multiple people remotely and they can establish a work flow
  • 16:00 – Sunil’s philosophy
  • 17:10 – Nathan made a mock offer of $ 15M and Sunil is open to it
  • 17:47 – Find Sunil on Twitter and send him an email
  • 19:27 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Build something that people want.
  • Follow your passion and do what you drives your passion.
  • Focus on being part of a great team and focus on learning things rapidly.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel
  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible.
  • 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
Dec 4, 2016

Andy Rachleff, president and CEO of Wealthfront. He served as a member of the board of trustees and vice chairman of the Endowment Investment Committee for the University of Pennsylvania and as a member of the faculty for Stanford Graduate School of Business where he teaches course on Technology Entrepreneurship. Prior to Wealthfront, Andy co-founded and was general partner of Benchmark Capital, where he was responsible for investing number of successful companies. He has also spent 10 years as a general partner for Merrill, Pickard, Anderson & Eyre - MPAE. Andy earned his S from University of Pennsylvania and his MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Innovator’s Dilemma
  • What CEO do you follow? –  N/A
  • Favorite online tool? — N/A
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Associating myself with great people”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:41 – Nathan introduces Andy to the show
  • 03:03 – Andy is retired for his Venture Capital business so he wants to give back
  • 04:07 – David Swensen has been an investor on Andy’s 2 venture capital firms
  • 04:37 – The way Wealthfront generates investment mix is the same method David Swensen uses
  • 05:09 - Wealthfront manages a diversified of portfolio of low-cost index funds in behalf of their client
    • 05:20 – Minimum is $ 500 to open an account
  • 05:55 – “If you like Vanguard, you’re going to love Wealthfront”
    • 06:00 – Wealthfront can minimize taxes using a software that Vanguard can’t do
  • 07:59 – Software works 24/7 so you can monitor your losses daily
  • 08:36 – Wealthfront has been managing around $ 4.4B assets
  • 08:53 – Wealthfront’s asset management worth is much smaller than Vanguard
  • 09:25 – “With every new technology that succeeds, it gets adopted at a faster rate”
    • 09:47 – Automated Investment Services has been adapted at a faster rate than ETF
    • 10:09 – Automated Investment Services are actually managing more assets than ETF
  • 10:21 – Volume of individual metrics
  • 10:54 – Wealthfront manages the first $ 10,000 for free and charges a quarter of a percent on a amount managed excessing $ 10,000
    • 11:10 – Sample model is Dropbox
  • 12:00 – “It is more of the client’s satisfaction of our service”
  • 12:25 – Percentage of sent invites by users
  • 13:01 – The number of people actually invested in Wealthfront
  • 13:51 – Average MRR
  • 14:04 – Overtime, Wealthfront will introduce new services
  • 14:51 – Wealthfront is a hybrid of old model and also new channels in the software
    • 15:28 – “We want to build services that benefit our clients
  • 16:03 – Wealthfront  was launched in Dec 2011
  • 16:12 – Team size is about 140
  • 16:15 – Total capital raised is $ 130M
  • 17:15 – “I’m willing to sacrifice some growth for a far more sustainable model”
  • 17:55 – Connect with Andy through his email and Twitter
  • 16:10 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • With every new technology that succeeds, it gets adopted at a faster rate.
  • Sacrifice some growth for a far more sustainable model.
  • Associate yourself with great people.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel
  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books
  • The Top Inbox  – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens and follow-up with email sequences
  • Andy@Wealthfront.com – Andy’s email address
  • @Arachleff – Andy’s Twitter handle
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Dec 3, 2016

Elie Khoury, co-founder and CEO of Woopra – a customer intelligence platform that helps businesses essentialize customer engagement across all channels. He studied Computer Science in Lebanese American University where he booked the first generation of Woopra in 2007. In addition to Woopra, he co-founded YallaStartup, a non-government organization establish to proper entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Hard Thing About Hard Things
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Steve Jobs
  • 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? – “I won’t change a thing”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:32 – Nathan introduces to Elie the show
  • 02:09 – Woopra is designed for businesses to help them consolidate their customer activities across channels
  • 02:22 – Woopra is a SaaS model and has monthly subscription
  • 02:34 – Woopra is self-funded but they raised an Angel round few years ago
    • 02:43 – Raised about a million dollars in the Angel round
    • 02:48 – It was an equity round
  • 02:58 – There are 12 people in the team
    • 03:08 – All are based in SF
  • 03:18 – Woopra mainly focused on SaaS businesses but they cater to wide-range of businesses
  • 03:39 – Woopra has around 1000 customers at the moment
  • 03:50 – Woopra has 100,000 active projects and 1000 of that are paying customers
  • 04:10 – Average RPU is around $30,000 a year for enterprise and $ 3000 a year for SMB
  • 04:30 – Woopra introduced their enterprise edition a couple of years ago
  • 05:05 – Average MRR
  • 05:27 – Gross customers monthly churn is lower on enterprise than SMB
  • 06:15 – CAC is $ 1-2,000 on enterprise
  • 06:35 – Lifetime value
    • 07:39 – Average monthly lifetime value
  • 07:53 – Woopra has a sales team that engages with enterprise customers
  • 08:08 – Woopra was launched in 2008
    • 08:25 – Woopra has 15,000 active projects that are running for free
  • 09:25 – 2015 total revenue around $ 1.5 million
  • 09:50 – Woopra is in a good place at the moment
  • 10:02 – “Raising funding is always an option. We are just waiting for the right fit and the right time”
  • 10:13 – Woopra has to scale in a faster pace and identify the perfect marketing tool
  • 10:44 – Connect with Elie through their blog and his email
  • 12:20 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Raising fund is always an option. Just wait for the right fit and the right time.
  • There is time to polish things out. Take things slowly.
  • Embrace your ignorance.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel
  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible.
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • Elie@Woopra.com – Elie’s email address
  • Woopra.com/Blog – Elie’s business blog
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Dec 2, 2016

Camilo Acosta, CEO of Pay By Group, which is based out of San Francisco. Their team is working with global brands to make it easier for people to minimize the cost of any purchase at the online checkout.  One of their customers expresses their gratitude for the company by saying that their “family reunion [wouldn’t] happen without Pay By Group.” Listen as Camilo shares how Pay By Group’s revenue grew from zero in 2011 to nearly $30 million in 2016.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – High Output Management
  • What CEO do you follow? –  N/A
  • Favorite online tool? —Hubspot Sales
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— “Now, I do”
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “I wish I moved to San Francisco earlier”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:36 – Nathan introduces Camilo to the show
  • 02:05 – Pay By Group is a worldwide payment solution that allows families and friends to split the cost of their online purchases
    • 02:20 – Pay By Group is plugged-in directly to online merchants
  • 02:33 – Pay By Group is a checkout option
  • 02:47 – Pay By Group charges the business and consumers
  • 03:07 – Camilo gives an example on how to use Pay By Group using Walmart’s website
  • 03:44 – Pay By Group makes more money on the consumer charges
  • 03:50 – Pay By Group is active on vacation rental sites like CaboVillas
    • 04:19 – The organizer is free but every invite will be charged 2.9%
  • 05:17 – Pay By Group is a pay-as-you-go model
  • 05:34 – Pay By Group was founded in 2011
  • 05:38 – Team size is 20
  • 05:41 – Pay By Group raised $3.4 million in the second round
  • 05:56 – The first round of raised capital
  • 06:28 – Average order value:
    • 06:46 – There’s no one number because it depends on the merchants
  • 06:56 – Vacation rentals is Pay By Group’s current “bread and butter”
  • 07:08 – Number of merchants currently using Pay By Group is over 300
  • 07:20 – Pay By Group tracks the number of groups/families that have used their system
  • 07:52 – Pay By Group had tens of millions of transactions
  • 08:11 – 2011 total transaction volume number is zero
  • 08:25 – Pay By Group was in 500 startups in 2012
    • 08:58 – Pay By Group’s first merchant was Rent Like A Champion
    • 10:04 – 2012 total transaction volume number is less than a hundred thousand
  • 10:30 – 2013 total transaction volume number is around $3 million
  • 10:45 – Goal transaction volume number in 2016 is $30 million
  • 10:57 – Pay By Group is seasonal
  • 11:33 – The Top: Ep. 489 is the episode where Rent Like A Champion’s CEO was featured
  • 12:38 – Pay By Group’s team is based in San Francisco
  • 12:56 – Camilo’s goal for Pay By Group
  • 13:40 – Connect with Camilo through LinkedIn and his website
  • 16:20 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Enjoy WHAT you do and WHO you work with—learn from them.
  • The secret is simplicity; less is always more. 
  • Dream it and do your best to achieve it.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the 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.
  • Assistant.to – The site Nathan uses to book meetings with one email.
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel.
  • LinkedIn – Camilo’s LinkedIn account
  • PayByGroup.com – Camilo’s business website
  • CaboVillas – One of Pay By Group’s vacation rental merchant
  • Rent Like A Champion Pay By Group’s first merchant
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Dec 1, 2016

Gary Guseinov, an investor, operator, and advisor in various technology companies including Business Hangouts, InCast, Playsino and Revenue.com. During his career, he has over $100 million in growth capital and structured complex financial transactions. He’s also acquired over 300 million users for global technology product and services.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Power the Mind
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Mark Zuckerberg
  • Favorite online tool? — Calendly
  • 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 knew how to start a business with very little capital”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:26 – Nathan introduces Gary to the show
  • 02:08 – Business Hangouts is a web-conferencing and webinar platform
    • 02:17 – It is specifically designed for Google apps
  • 02:47 – Gary has raised capital for USTechSupport in 2003
    • 03:07 – Private from 2003 to 2007
    • 03:15 – From September 2007 to 2012, it became public in Nasdaq
    • 03:22 – It was bought out by a big marketing company in LA
    • 03:29 – Gary was the co-founder and left the company because he needed a break
  • 04:24 – “It takes a lot of processes when it comes to legal and accounting when you shift from private to public”
    • 05:05 – SDC reviews the applications and processes
  • 05:20 – Gary was in his mid-thirties when he started USTechSupport and didn’t have any experience running a company
    • 05:29 – Gary is now 46
  • 05:40 – Gary acquired Business Hangouts from the previous owner
    • 05:51 – Business Hangouts had 1.7 million enterprise users when it was acquired
    • 06:02 – Over 700,000 registered users and 70,000 enterprise users
    • 06:40 – Number of paying users
  • 07:10 – Business Hangouts’ competitors usually separate web conferencing and webinar leading to 2 different subscriptions
    • 07:48 – Consumers wouldn’t know what their monthly expenses were going to be
  • 07:54 – Business Hangouts is not as complicated as their competitors
    • 08:10 – “Our pricing model is very simple”
  • 09:07 – Average monthly RPU is $70
  • 10:40 – Business Hangouts is currently getting offers from investors
  • 11:45 – “We try to build a business based on purely economics”
  • 12:06 – “We think that we are a strong contender to multi-million dollar entities”
  • 12:54 – Gary does not wish to disclose their MRR because they are not looking for capital at the moment as they are still a small company
  • 13:57 – Gary’s goal is to stay “at the radar”
    • 14:18 – “You want to be good at what you’re doing and you want the market to recognize that”
  • 14:55 – Churn is less than 10% yearly
  • 15:32 – Gary acquired the company for less than $10 million
  • 17:00 – Gary can afford to put inside sales representatives in the demo
  • 17:36 – Business Hangouts is completely bootstrapped
  • 18:15 – Current CAC is zero
  • 18:55 – Team size is less than 10
  • 19:16 – Connect with Gray through LinkedIn
  • 20:42 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Choose a business that is viable in the marketplace. 
  • Stayingat the radar” while doing an excellent job at what you do will help you become recognized by the marketplace. 
  • You CAN start a business without raising capital.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the 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.
  • Assistant.to – The site Nathan uses to book meetings with one email.
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel.
  • LinkedIn – Gary’s LinkedIn account
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Nov 30, 2016

Boris Shakhnovich, president of PDF Filler. He manages the daily operation and marketing campaigns but he is also responsible for the mission and vision of the company. Prior to his work at PDF Filler, Boris earned a PhD in Bioinformatics and he’s a Bioinformatics Professor at Boston University. He later moved to Harvard University to work with Systems Biology.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Guerilla Marketing
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Marc Benioff
  • Favorite online tool? — Google Analytics
  • 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 doing is more important than knowing”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:40 – Nathan introduces Boris to the show
  • 02:30 – Boris is the president and co-founder
  • 02:47 – PDF Filler is a document management platform
    • 02:51 – It allows people to do end-to-end document generation
  • 03:40 – PDF Filler is a SaaS business model and they charge per month
    • 03:46 – 3 tiers: professional, non-professional, and business
    • 03:50 – Business is the most expensive at $15 a month
  • 03:58 – Average customer pays per month
  • 04:10 – In 2008, the founder started the business and ran it by himself until the end of 2011
  • 04:25 – Boris joined the company 5 years ago and applied marketing technology to it
  • 04:39 – PDF Filler has now close to 200,000 customers
  • 04:58 – Monthly RPU
  • 05:16 – PDF Filler was needed when it launched so it grew organically
  • 05:30 – Gross customer churn per month is low
  • 06:28 – PDF Filler works with the government institutions
  • 06:58 – PDF Filler’s digital marketing platform
    • 07:08 - PDF Filler runs 60 million keywords on top of SEO and other SEM platforms
      • 07:19 – Brings 4 million website views monthly
    • 07:30 – Internal CRM with A/B Testing
  • 08:22 – “We have a marketing technology that allows us to find sites that would be interested in collaborating with us and we have that as a partnership program”
    • 09:00 – It is part-human and part-code
    • 09:36 – Semantic search technology
    • 10:06 – They write every code in house
  • 10:50 – They have one of the largest SEM platforms and account in Google
  • 11:44 – PDF Filler makes money on the first payment of their customers
  • 12:20 – There are 160 team members divided across Boston
  • 12:52 – PDF Filler is completely bootstrapped
  • 13:14 – First year revenue was about $20,000
  • 13:36 – 2015 total revenue is double digit millions
  • 13:55 – Future plans with the business:
    • 14:17 – Doing a lot of partnerships with private and government companies
    • 14:43 – PDF Filler is a zero salespeople company
  • 15:45 – Do you have an appetite for acquisition? Have you done it before?
    • 15:50 – Absolutely, but we haven’t done it before and are in the process of doing that now
    • 16:05 – “Looking for companies that are complimentary to us and we can add value”
    • 16:40 – “We would buy a competitor of a part of the business, not the whole business”
    • 17:28 – They are currently looking into mail merge space, CRM space, and signature space
  • 17:56 – Connect with Boris through his LinkedIn and website
  • 20:28 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • If you can, strive to have a partnership with BOTH private and government agencies.
  • A GREAT marketing technology will create TONS of organic website visits.
  • DOING is extremely more important than knowing.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the 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.
  • Assistant.to – The site Nathan uses to book meetings with one email.
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel.
  • PDFfiller.com – Boris’ business website
  • LinkedIn – Boris’ LinkedIn account
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Nov 29, 2016

Chris Devor, founder of DocHub and other extensions. DocHub allows you to view, edit, and sign PDFs online for free to streamline the exchange of documents.  Listen as Chris shares how DocHub is different from their competitors and why he won’t easily jump into offers for a share of his company.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – N/A
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Elon Musk
  • Favorite online tool? — New Relic
  • 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 would have taken Computer Science and it would probably make my life easier”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:40 – Nathan introduces Chris to the show
  • 02:16 – Chris started DocHub 3 years ago
  • 02:57 – DocHub integrates with different providers
    • 03:17 – DocHub can be opened directly from Gmail
    • 03:30 – The signature looks real
  • 03:48 – Number of users is 15.4 million and 52.2 documents
  • 04:18 – What does 15 million users mean?
    • 04:29 – For every one document opened up equates to one user
  • 05:08 – The monthly recurring expense led Chris to having a paywall
  • 06:57 – Chris runs several of the operations
  • 07:16 – Number of paying users in October is around 5,000
  • 08:00 – MRR in October is about $95,000
  • 09:30 – Chris owns 100% of DocHub
  • 09:43 – Team size
  • 11:00 – In the last 30 days, DocHub had 1600 new subscriptions and 650 new cancellations
  • 11:21 – DocHub has 30-day free trial
  • 11:40 – DocHub’s revenue churn is 75%
  • 12:23 – When can an investor invest or buy DocHub?
    • 12:40 – It is still too early and Chris hasn’t tried new features
    • 13:38 – Chris is finding a good valuation for their company
  • 15:40 – Nathan shows Chris a $200,000 check asking how much equity Chris is willing to give
    • 16:25 – “It’s too complex”
  • 17:10 – Would you consider an offer for $5 million?
    • 17:13 – “I will think about it”
  • 18:50 – Connect with Chris through his website
  • 20:19 – The Famous Five

 

  • Key Points:
  • A free trial is an EXCELLENT way to attract new customers—including a paywall helps, too.
  • Always continue to BUILD and EXPAND your company.
  • Choose a type of degree or diploma that will give you MORE opportunities in the future.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the 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.
  • Assistant.to – The site Nathan uses to book meetings with one email.
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel.
  • DocHub.com – Chris’s business website
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Nov 28, 2016

Randall Nachman of DocuFirst, who has over 15 years of experience in mortgage lending and software development with a strong focus on business processes, work-flow, operation, sales and marketing. He founded a mortgage brokerage company in 2003 which grew from 2 loan officers to 135 loan officers and ranked 2nd in the region for total loan closings and volume. He then founded ATLOS, a document management in 2008 which is used by lenders and borrowers.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Trump: The Art of the Deal
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Elon Musk
  • Favorite 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? – “Pay attention in class”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:34 – Nathan introduces to the show
  • 02:31 – DocuFirst focuses on 3 core functions within software
  • 03:12 – DocuFirst also focuses on document storage and management
    • 03:39 – The files are stored securely that they can access anytime
  • 03:44 – ATLOS and DocuFirst was launched in 2015
  • 04:13 – First year for DocuFirst was close to $100,000
  • 04:21 – DocuFirst’s is a SaaS model and is subscription-based
  • 04:58 – Average monthly RPU is $150
  • 05:35 – ATLOS is for mortgage space but DocuFirst handles any type of forms
  • 06:40 – DocuFirst is currently serving 80 unique companies
    • 06:54 – Each company has an average of 6-7 users
  • 07:06 – ATLOS has 4 companies they’re serving
    • 07:18 – ATLOS markets directly to the mortgage lending space
  • 07:38 – DocuFirst’s monthly revenue is $12,000
  • 08:07 – Randall started in the document space because he wanted to automate his own business
  • 08:43 – Why create a new brand if they are both running on the same software?
    • 08:45 – ATLOS stands for Automated Tracking Loan Origination Software which is dedicated in the real estate space
  • 09:18 – Team size for DocuFirst is 16
  • 10:11 – DocuFirst’s churn rate is low
  • 10:33 – Average CAC is less than $100
  • 11:00 – Randall has raised capital for both brands
  • 11:31 – Randall raised capital because he wants to speed up the way they develop
  • 12:08 – Randall and his team are based in Louisiana
  • 12:51 – Randall considered spinning out DocuFirst as a separate entity
  • 13:46 – DocuFirst’s valuation
  • 15:03 – Randall will not sell the business or get an offer
  • 15:28 – Randall has been focus on developing DocuFirst
  • 16:03 – DocuFirst is adding at least 10 customers a month
  • 16:19 – Connect with Randall through DocuFirst and ATLOS
  • 19:02 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • You can create a business with SIMILAR software, but DIFFERENT target market.
  • Always work to develop and improve your business MORE.
  • Education can lead you somewhere, so pay attention in class!

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the 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.
  • Assistant.to – The site Nathan uses to book meetings with one email.
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel.
  • DocuFirst.com – Randall’s second business website
  • ATLOS.com – Randall’s first business website
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Nov 27, 2016

Rob Nelson, founder and CEO of Grow – a business intelligence platform. Nathan came across Rob when he was doing research in the intelligence space and Grow provided a lot of good feedback. Rob is a listener of The Top and happily accepted Nathan’s invitation to be a guest on The Top.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The ONE Thing
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Aaron Skonnard
  • Favorite online tool? — Calendly
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Don’t ever quit”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:25 – Nathan introduces Rob to the show
  • 02:00 – Grow is a powerful business intelligence platform and made specifically for SMBs
  • 02:13 – Rob founded Grow in 2014
  • 02:25 – Rob had a software company which was bootstrapped
    • 02:34 – Rob struggled pulling up data from different platforms
    • 03:29 – Rob sold the company and had a great exit
  • 04:10 – Grow is a SaaS model and has subscription based pricing
  • 04:20 – Grow doesn’t charge based on the number of users
  • 05:10 – Grow charges based on the number of metrics used
  • 05:20 – Grow’s RPU is $600 a month
  • 05:30 – Users pay monthly but there’s a 12-month commitment
    • 06:06 – “If we can’t get them hooked with the product in the first 3 days, they can walk away”
    • 06:18 – 75% of the people continue after the 30-day trial period
  • 07:05 – Rob doesn’t know their exact churn
  • 07:29 – Grow’s usage stats
    • 07:44 – Half of their customers log-in everyday
    • 07:50 – 92% of the customers are logging in at least twice a month
  • 08:00 – Grow is currently serving 600 customers
  • 08:08 – Rob started with the concept in January 2014
  • 08:30 – Rob hired a technical co-founder and gave him 20% of the business
  • 09:00 – Rob and his team are based in Utah
  • 09:45 – Team size is 70
  • 09:58 – Grow raised a series A round and seed round
    • 10:12 – Total amount raised was $13 million
    • 10:14 – Total of $9 million was raised in series A
    • 10:25 – Both are priced equity round
  • 10:44 – Rob is a huge fan of bootstrapping during his first venture
  • 11:28 – Rob decided to raise for Grow because bootstrapping just wouldn’t work
  • 11:50 – Total 2014 revenue is about $80
  • 12:20 – 2015 revenue is $150,000
  • 13:00 – Goal for 2016 revenue 
  • 13:33 – Rob closed the series A in July
  • 14:03 – Fully-weighted CAC is about $3,500
  • 15:00 – Why do you think Dasher didn’t work out?
    • 15:20 – “It’s hard to build a company on $20 or $30 a month”
  • 16:35 – Connect with Rob through his website
  • 18:05 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • USE your experience to IMPROVE your business.
  • Explore other options—if bootstrapped worked first, that doesn’t mean it will work again.
  • Don’t EVER quit.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the 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.
  • Assistant.to – The site Nathan uses to book meetings with one email.
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel.
  • Grow.com – Rob’s business website
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Nov 26, 2016

Tommy Sowers, who worked for McKinsey & Company and was the youngest senate confirmed assistant secretary in the Obama administration. On top of this, he is the founder of GoldenKey.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Getting Things Done
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Yvon Chouinard
  • Favorite online tool? — Evernote
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— I try to
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “There is no risk and don’t wait for it to be easy”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:40 – Nathan introduces Tommy to the show
  • 02:01 – GoldenKey is a no-commission real estate network
  • 02:30 – Tommy didn’t want to commission a real estate agent 2 years ago
  • 02:50 – “People hack real estate agents in a lot of different ways”
  • 03:49 – GoldenKey’s revenue model is a marketplace
    • 03:55 – Consumers pay on the services that they need
    • 04:22 – “When you buy or sell your home, the commission rebate will go to you”
  • 04:44 – In GoldenKey’s platform, the supply are agents
    • 04:50 – Agents offer unbundled services
    • 04:56 – From zero, GoldenKey managed to have 1798 agents in 47 states, much higher than Red Fin
  • 05:25 – The consumers are the home buyers or sellers
    • 05:30 – GoldenKey currently has 1/3 buyers and 2/3 sellers
    • 05:39 – Average of 1900 buyers and sellers
    • 05:44 – GoldenKey has currently executed over 900 service transactions
    • 06:11 – GoldenKey has saved consumers over $100,000 of commission
  • 06:25 – GoldenKey doesn’t share the number of monthly transactions publicly
  • 07:30 – They get different fees for different types of services
    • 07:45 – “This is not a do-it-yourself real estate and you actually have an agent with you”
  • 08:25 – If I buy a property for $500,000, how much would go to GoldenKey?
    • 08:30 – For search services, it is $50 which goes to the agent
    • 08:50 – On average the consumers pay $2000 to have agents represent them through the transactions
    • 09:07 – “The entire agent commission will be rebated back to you, which is usually 3% of the total transaction”
  • 09:30 – Agents choose GoldenKey because they get something rather than nothing at all
    • 09:40 – Agents can still do the traditional real estate commissioning
  • 09:58 – “There are a lot of consumers in the USA who don’t want to pay commission but need an agent’s help”
  • 10:31 – There are millions of real estate agents but they won’t always have a client
  • 11:51 – GoldenKey was founded in April 2015
  • 11:58 – 18 full-time employees
  • 12:00 – GoldenKey raised $3.4 million in venture capital
  • 13:13 – GoldenKey is not a brokerage and CAC is zero
  • 13:59 – GoldenKey is not a big technology company so they need money for the appropriate platform
  • 14:33 – The product design team is based in San Francisco
    • 14:54 – Others are distributed to other states
  • 15:13 – “Rule of thumb is when you don’t need to ask for money when you need money”
  • 15:35 – GoldenKey spends around $100,000 a month
  • 16:14 – GoldenKey joined NFX guild which is for companies building network and network effects
  • 17:01 – Connect with Tommy on Twitter and his website
  • 19:25 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Rule of thumb is you don’t need to ask for money when you need money.
  • A LOT of consumers in the USA want an agent’s help, but DO NOT want to pay commision.
  • There is NO risk. Don’t wait for it to be easy—just jump right in!

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the 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.
  • Assistant.to – The site Nathan uses to book meetings with one email.
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel.
  • @Sowers – Tommy’s Twitter handle
  • GoldenKey.com – Tommy’s business website
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Nov 25, 2016

Mike Doyle, CEO of Rent Like A Champion, a vacation rental platform for sporting events. He has hosted 50 thousand travelers and made over $12 million in sales. Mike is a Shark Tank survivor who received an investment from Mark Cuban and Chris Sacca and both Mark and Chris are still very involved in the business.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Hard Thing About Hard Things
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Elon Musk
  • Favorite online tool? — Trello
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Not now
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Start earlier and take advantages of those resources”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:30 – Nathan introduces Mike to the show
  • 02:00 – Mike took a total of $200,000 from Mike and Chris for 10% of the company’s equity
  • 02:10 – Shark Tank was their first round of funding
    • 02:27 – Mike wanted to get the deal and the exposure
  • 02:38 – Rent Like A Champion’s valuation during Shark Tank
  • 02:52 – Rent Like A Champion is currently in the market for raising
  • 02:59 – Rent Like A Champion’s episode was filmed in June 2013
  • 03:18 – In Rent Like A Champion’s platform, the sellers are the homeowners who own properties around stadiums
    • 03:29 – Buyers are the sports fans who are travelling to watch the games
  • 03:33 – Rent Like A Champion is focused on non-urban destinations
    • 03:33 – The focus is smaller towns where there are not enough hotels for fans to stay
  • 03:46 – Rent Like A Champion was founded in 2012
  • 04:07 – Since 2012, Rent Like A Champion has hosted under 60,000 fans
  • 04:18 – Total booked destinations: 7500 different places to rent
    • 04:24 – An average of 8 fans per rental
  • 04:28 – Rent Like A Champion’s market is families and groups
  • 04:46 – Rent Like A Champion has over 3000 homes
    • 04:51 – Rent Like A Champion has properties in over 100 towns in the USA
    • 04:56 – About 25 towns are considered their core market
  • 05:16 – 2012 total bookings equated to $630,000 and Rent Like A Champion kept 22%
  • 05:29 – Rent Like A Champion is about to reach $4.5 million this year
  • 05:58 – In 2015, Rent Like A Champion made under $3.3 million and kept $720,000
  • 06:15 – Rent Like A Champion is getting a fee both from the seller and buyer
    • 06:25 – 15% from the seller and 9% from the  buyer
  • 06:47 – Rent Like A Champion is seasonal
    • 06:54 – Most of the bookings come from college football
    • 07:05 – Rent Like A Champion is now partnering with 6 PGA tournament events
    • 07:15 – Rent Like A Champion is also partnering with NASCAR races
  • 07:55 – Most bookings come 68 weeks in advance
  • 08:23 – In September, total of 750 groups booked
    • 08:39 – Gross sales for September is about $1.35 million
  • 09:05 – Average order value:
    • 09:08 – $1600-2000 for a 2-night rental
  • 09:36 – Team size is 5 full-timers and 5 part-timers
  • 09:57 – Total transaction volume since 2012 is a little over $12 million
  • 10:13 – How do you beat Airbnb?
    • 10:17 – Rent Like A Champion considers non-hotel destinations
    • 10:52 – “On the demand side, we’re able to be so targeted with our advertising towards sports fans”
  • 11:13 – If Sacca didn’t miss out on the Airbnb deal, do you think you are going to be as aggressive as you are on Shark Tank?
    • 11:28 – The night before Mike is going to film the episode, they still didn’t think that Sacca was going to be one of the sharks
  • 12:00 – Did we accurately see everything that went down on Shark Tank?
    • 12:05 – “It’s super condensed on what you see on TV”
    • 13:03 – Schedule suddenly changes
  • 13:14 – Average reorder rate is 50%
    • 13:53 – Buyers book once a year
  • 15:10 – How do you expand market shares after the sporting events?
    • 15:14 – There’s a ton of green space around college football
    • 15:20 – Graduation is already big for Rent Like A Champion but they’re still pushing it more
    • 15:30 - Rent Like A Champion is starting to working with wedding planners for reunion weekends
  • 16:08 – Rent Like A Champion is doing instant booking where list houses can put the availability of their houses depending on a scheduled game
    • 16:53 – The pricing depends on the homeowners
    • 17:08 – Rent Like A Champion can give homeowners guidelines in pricing
  • 17:20 – Depending on the game, the amount of buyers vary
  • 18:00 – What is it like working with Chris Sacca?
    • 18:30 – “Chris and Mark have been incredibly involved and been receiving weekly updates”
    • 18:45 – Chris and Mark are very responsive and prompt in replies
    • 19:00 – Mike threw a big marketing event and Chris and Mark came to talk about an update segment in Shark Tank
  • 19:39 – Connect with Mike through his business’ website, Twitter and Facebook
  • 21:15 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Your business will being to DEFINE itself as you keep moving forward.
  • EXPAND your niche. Don’t stay seasonal—continue to think bigger. 
  • Start as EARLY as you can and take advantage of those resources.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the 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.
  • Assistant.to – The site Nathan uses to book meetings with one email.
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel.
  • @RentLikeAChamp – Mike’s business Twitter handle
  • RentLikeAChampion.com – Mike’s business website
  • Facebook – Mike’s business Facebook account
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Nov 24, 2016

Adam Robinson, CEO and co-founder of Hireology where’s he’s on a mission to help business owners make better hiring decisions using data and processes. He’s known in the recruiting industry, an expert speaker, and author with over 20 years of experience in the field of hiring and selection management.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Crossing the Chasm
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Phil Knight
  • 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? – “Take more risks”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:35 – Nathan introduces Adam to the show
  • 02:03 – Hireology is a talent technology platform built specifically for owner/operators
    • 02:14 – Hireology helps the owner with the technology they need in their hiring and employment process
    • 02:30 – Hireology has a monthly subscription plan
    • 02:36 – Hireology is a SaaS business model
  • 02:46 – Hireology is different from Toptal and Upwork
  • 03:03 – Hireology was founded mid 2010 and the product was launched in January 2012
  • 03:13 – Adam had a recruitment and outsource business before Hireology
    • 03:28 – Adam learned from this business that their clients had terrible interviewing skills
    • 03:32 – Adam created an interviewing system and clients started asking to buy it
    • 03:44 – Adam sold the business
  • 04:13 – Hireology first customers were from Adam’s personal and professional network
  • 04:40 – Hireology is currently working with under 4000 individually owned businesses in USA
    • 04:50 – Around 100 brands
  • 06:20 – How Adam sees Hireology’s future
  • 07:15 – Adam had a client who was responsible for 40% of their revenue for 3 years
    • 07:35 – Hireology ended up doing 4000 hires for the company
  • 08:00 – Average RPU per month is $300 per location
  • 08:14 – Kickers Hireology is using to increase RPU
    • 08:18 – Based on employee count per location
    • 08:39 – Hireology doesn’t increase the price of modules but increases its numbers
  • 08:50 – Most of Hireology’s system is proprietary technology
  • 09:15 – Hireology has 7 close partners that they white-label and sell through their platform
  • 09:30 – Average MRR is $1.2 million
  • 09:47 – Gross monthly customer churn
  • 10:35 – Hireology is an all-inside sales operation for up-selling
  • 11:05 – Team size is about 100
    • 11:11 – Based in Chicago
  • 11:27 – CAC
    • 11:40 – Between $7-10 depending on the client’s industry
  • 12:22 – Lifetime value
  • 12:45 – Adam wants a business whose name is on a sign and whose personal balance sheets are invested in the business
  • 13:15 – “There are 7 million employers in the USA that nobody is talking to and that’s the market we want to be in”
  • 13:27 – Find Adam in Twitter, LinkedIn and his website. Shoot him an email at arobinson@hireology.com
  • 16:00 – Hireology was bootstrapped for the first 2 years and did an institutional raise in 2014
    • 16:12 – Raised $26 million in 2 round from 2014-16
  • 16:45 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Find your target market and tap into that market.
  • Don’t rely on a client to stay with you forever—the sooner you accept that it’s part of the business, the better. 
  • You need to TAKE more risks!

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the 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.
  • Assistant.to – The site Nathan uses to book meetings with one email.
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel.
  • @Adrobins – Adam’s Twitter handle
  • Hireology.com – Adam’s business website
  • LinkedIn – Adam’s LinkedIn account
  • ARobinson@Hireology.com – Adam’s email address
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Nov 23, 2016

Dan Golden, a veteran digital marketing executive and speaker who still spends time diving into analytics and making strategic recommendations for his clients. He has spent a lot of time on the client side with large agencies. Dan co-founded the digital agency “Be Found Online (BFO)” and has led the BFO team from his roots as a paid search agency to a full service performance digital marketing agency. Listen as Dan talks about how he turned his side project, BFO, to a now, successful agency, making a 6-figure revenue.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Great Game of Business
  • What CEO do you follow? –  N/A
  • Favorite online tool? — Nudge
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Enjoy the journey”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:28 – Nathan introduces Dan to the show
  • 02:30 – Be Found Online is a digital marketing agency
    • 02:36 – BFO’s focus is to drive traffic and help their clients make money through that traffic
    • 02:45 – BFO’s processes have evolved over time
  • 03:15 – BFO was a side project for Dan and was called Be Found Local
  • 03:26 – Dan and his co-founder merged their businesses and started in January 2009
  • 03:40 – First year revenue for BFO was $200,000
  • 03:51 – 2015 revenue: $7 million
  • 04:15 – Dan shifted their goal from profitability to finding the right clients that fit BFO
  • 04:50 – Dan aims for 12% net revenue
  • 05:35 – Team size:
    • 05:37 – 50 full-timers in the USA
    • 05:43 – Total of 70 employees
    • 06:02 – The BFO army has grown considerably
  • 06:40 – BFO spends $50,000 a month on their software
  • 07:10 – “A lot of technology we do is client-specific”
  • 07:45 – “Many of the largest SaaS companies came from an agency model because an agency sees all the client-specific tools being used in the agency” – Nathan
  • 08:43 – “I don’t want to build something that is slightly a better version of something out there” – Dan
  • 09:50 – BFO has 60-80 active clients
  • 10:00 – BFO has served over 100 clients since they started
  • 10:14 – BFO has a big project yearly called “Perfect Client”
    • 10:20 – BFO is doing research and client analysis for every client they’ve worked on to figure out where they can do their best work, which client is the best to work with, and where to add value
    • 10:29 – BFO has turned down a lot of clients
    • 10:45 – “I don’t want to double our client base, I want to find the right types of clients.”
    • 11:02 – BFO wants to focus on enterprise clients
  • 11:10 – Average that the customer is paying BFO
    • 11:15 - $10,000 – $15,000 a month in fees
  • 11:50 – How do you calculate lifetime value?
    • 12:13 – Clients stay with BFO for a minimum of 12 months
  • 12:48 – BFO is making a minimum of $600,000 a month
  • 13:11 – Get in touch with Dan through Twitter, LinkedIn and BFO blog
  • 15:50 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • GREAT things can turn out unexpectedly.
  • Business goals can change from time to time—be OPEN and FLEXIBLE for these changes.
  • Make sure to ENJOY the journey.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the 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.
  • Assistant.to – The site Nathan uses to book meetings with one email.
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel.
  • @TheGoldenDan – Dan’s Twitter handle
  • LinkedIn – Dan’s LinkedIn account
  • BFO blog – Dan’s business blog
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Nov 22, 2016

Ali Salman who heads Rapid Boost Marketing where they exclusively work with professional service providers. Rapid Boost has grown to over $2 million in annual sales over the last 2 years with a goal of $25 million by 2020. They have generated over 120,000 ideal client inquiries for service firms and practices in the last 12 months.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Elon Musk and Nathan Latka
  • Favorite online tool? — Ninja Outreach
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Sometimes more than that
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Get out of school faster”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:38 – Nathan introduces the show
  • 02:09 – Rapid Boost Marketing is an agency
  • 02:17 – Average contract size is anywhere between from $1500 to $6000 and majority of the contracts are from $2000 - $3000
  • 02:28 – Rapid Boost Marketing has a big lead generation
  • 02:53 – The revenue for 2015 is $800,000 and end of 2016 is more than $2 million
  • 03:10 – Average monthly retainer is $2000 - $3000 and the average contract is from 18-24 months
  • 03:30 – Average RPU
  • 03:53 – Currently, Rapid Boost Marketing is working with 72 customers
  • 04:45 – Rapid Boost Marketing can help a lawyer increase his revenue but it will also depend on the area and how salable the lawyer is
  • 06:09 – Rapid Boost Marketing has 4 packages and it includes the paid media
    • 06:15 – 30% of the packages goes to paid media
    • 06:36 – They are focused on content and search engine optimization
  • 06:50 – Team size
    • 07:13 – Monthly headcount expenses equate to about 50% of their revenue
  • 07:36 – Revenue in September 2016 is $857,000
  • 08:22 – January, February, and March are their down months
    • 08:29 – Average revenue for 3 months is $80,000 - $90,000
  • 09:05 – Rapid Boost Marketing’s clients are described
  • 10:17 – How Ali priced his own salary
  • 10:50 – Connect with Ali through his Twitter and LinkedIn
  • 13:16 – Ali founded the company in 2012
  • 13:33 – First year revenue in 2013 is a little over $130,000
  • 13:46 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Start AS EARLY as possible in business.
  • Know your niche client and market WELL so you can grow quickly.
  • Your people--both your employees and your clients--contribute to your company’s success, without them, there is no success.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the 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.
  • Assistant.to – The site Nathan uses to book meetings with one email.
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel.
  • @CanadianLMPro – Ali’s Twitter handle
  • LinkedIn – Ali’s LinkedIn account
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Nov 21, 2016

Dr. Dan Margolin, a practicing Podiatrist with over 27 years of experience and a practice that ranks from the top 3% in the country. Dan’s second and current practice is widely successful compared to his first. Listen as Dan talks about podiatry and his new business which he co-founded, Effective Management.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The 10x Rule
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Tony Hsieh
  • Favorite online tool? — Testing Academy
  • 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 to look for mentors a little bit more”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:35 – Nathan introduces Dan to the show
  • 02:15 – A podiatrist deals with health issues concerning the feet including sprains
  • 02:32 – Dan generates revenue from his patients and sometimes, from insurance companies
  • 02:39 – Dan’s ultimate goal is for the patients to be well
  • 02:51 – In the long-term, Effective Management will be the bigger stream of revenue
  • 03:10 – A podiatrist earns $ 300,000 to $ 500,000 a year
  • 03:26 – The Podiatry Survival Blueprint  a video of Dan’s job description
  • 03:47 – Dan generated $2.4 million in podiatry in 2015
  • 03:55 – Effective Management earned $300,000 in its first year
  • 04:14 – Dan loves helping people so he launched the Effective Management program
  • 04:50 – Expenses hindered Dan to just give away the program
  • 05:25 – Team size
  • 05:43 – Go to BasicStaffTraining.com to find Dan’s info product
    • 06:41 – He provides 4 different products
    • 07:27 – There is an initial fee and monthly recurring fee
    • 08:04 – 2016 revenue is a bit over $400,000
    • 08:12 – There are 300 different companies in their system
  • 08:30 – The Podiatry Survival Blueprint is sold at $6500
  • 09:15 – Dan uses Schoox to run the membership page
  • 09:44 – Current MRR
  • 09:58 – Dan contacted his own patients as prospective clients
  • 10:35 – Connect with Dan through his website and get a free copy of his book Fast Tracking Your Prosperity
  • 12:15 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • There are TONS of ways to help people, be it in your field or not.
  • Find people who will help you run the business, ESPECIALLY in the areas where you struggle.
  • Have a mentor and be involved. Be a sponge and absorb everything.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the 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.
  • Assistant.to – The site Nathan uses to book meetings with one email.
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel.
  • DrDanSpeaks.com – Dan’s website
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Nov 20, 2016

Ron Miller, CEO of StartEngine,who was in Episode 40 of The Top and Chad Newell, CEO and founder of Snapwire. Listen as Ron and Chad explain how the new rule of SEC in equity crowdfunding helped their companies. 

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Ron: The E-Myth 
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Chad: Sean Malarkey
  • Favorite online tool? — Ron:  Internal Email / Chad: Google Sheet
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Ron: No
  • If you could let your 20-year old self know one thing, what would it be? – “It’s all about confidence.” – Ron Miller

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:40 – Nathan introduces Ron and Chad to the show
  • 02:30 – StartEngine is the nation’s leading platform that allows entrepreneurs to directly connect with potential investors to raise capital
  • 02:45 – The new law opened up the possibility for everyone to become an investor
    • 03:11 – It allows companies to advertise broadly
  • 03:24 – StartEngine was launched in June 2015
  • 03:30 – Total amount invested is $20 million
    • 03:42 – 60,000 unique users have joined their community
  • 04:00 – StartEngine charged 5% of the total capital from the proceeds raised
  • 04:20 – Entrepreneur can raise up to $50 million a year in the online public offering and StartEngine charges $50 per investor
  • 05:10 – “We are currently focusing on the US market and there’s no SaaS in there”
  • 05:30 – What made Chad decide to use StartEngine
  • 06:40 – Why StartEngine is ground-breaking
  • 07:00 – The congress’ limitation on investing in a company
  • 07:31 – “Real wealth is made by being an early investor”
  • 07:54 – The new law is a radical shift
  • 08:51 – Nathan believes that the best investors are customers
  • 09:10 – Snapwire has 300,000 photographers in the platform
    • 09:22 – Buyer ratio is much smaller than the photographers
  • 09:45 – Snapwire has pay-as-you-go and a SaaS model
  • 10:08 – Snapwire’s revenue is 50% from pay-as-you-go and 50% from SaaS
  • 10:20 – 9,000 images have been bought in Snapwire since their launch
    • 10:30 – Snapwire was founded in 2014
  • 10:34 – Snapwire has raised $2.8 million
  • 11:15 – Snapwire raising in StartEngine opened up a lot of opportunities
  • 11:45 – Can you use StartEngine after a price round?
  • 11:52 – The main advantage is that companies can set their terms
    • 12:03 – Some companies have to essentially create a second priced or non-priced round
  • 12:58 – The good thing about equity crowdfunding is you have to disclose everything
    • 13:08 – Disclosure statement is clear
  • 13:41 – Lawsuits and CAP table
    • 14:10 – There’s a disclosure and subscription agreement that investors sign
    • 14:30 – “I think there’s an immersion of risk”
  • 16:14 – There are limits to investments and to returns
  • 16:28 – During crowdfunding, there’s also a limit on the amount of investment that a company will accept
  • 17:00 – “As far as information rights, you can be very clear in the disclosure”
  • 18:00 – It is not allowed to give out public information even if it is unintentional
  • 18:15 – Upon investing, you will get a shareholder report that is in compliance with security exchange commission requirements
  • 18:40 – “Competition can’t reverse engineer your strategy in execution”
  • 19:06 – StartEngine has 12,000 – 14,000 investors
  • 19:20 – Total of 15-18 companies have raised in StartEngine
  • 19:30 – 14 team size in StartEngine
  • 19:36 – StartEngine raised capital through seed round and Series A
    • 19:47 – Total of $7.7 million raised
    • 19:54  - Ron didn’t use their platform to raise
  • 20:25 – Average value of an investment is $1400
  • 20:40 – StartEngine’s biggest competitors are Seed Invest, Next Seed, WeFunder and Flash Funder
  • 21:11 – What should people look for in the marketplace?
    • 21:23 – If certain companies are establishing themselves in a specific niche area
    • 21:43 – Success rate of the companies
    • 21:57 – Support the companies can provide to entrepreneurs
  • 22:13 – Connect with Ron through his email
  • 22:34 – Contact Chad at Chad@Snapwi.re
  • 24:53 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Real wealth is made by being an early investor.
  • The good thing about equity crowdfunding is the disclosure.
  • Be confident in yourself.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the 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.
  • Assistant.to – The site Nathan uses to book meetings with one email.
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel.
  • Ron@StartEngine.com – Ron’s email address
  • Chad@Snapwi.re – Chad’s email address
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Nov 19, 2016

Timo Rein, CEO and co-founder of Pipedrive, a provider of sales CRM software that gives sales teams control over their selling processes. After spending $15,000 on a CRM for his own business that ended up being a total waste of money, Timo brought together a few engineering friends to create a better CRM solution for his own needs. This was the genesis of Pipe Tribe, which now has over 30,000 small business users worldwide and has reached $13.4 million in VC funding.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Turning Pro
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Stephen Curry and Gregg Popovich
  • Favorite online tool? — Slack and Viber
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— “No, still trying.”
  • If you could let your 20-year old self know one thing, what would it be? – “Take action. It is important to work hard first. Discover who I am and know where my energy flows.”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:47 – Nathan introduces Timo to the show
  • 02:31 – It was in 2002 when Timo spent $15,000 on a business
    • 02:41 – It turned out that the business wouldn’t have much return
  • 02:56 – Pipe Tribe helps small businesses around the world control their complex processes
  • 03:23 – Pipe Tribe was founded in June 2010 and the product came out March 2011
  • 03:30 – Current team size
  • 03:48 – They have an office in Estonia and Manhattan
  • 04:28 – Timo is based in California
  • 04:50 – In 2010, revenue is zero
  • 05:30 – 2015: total revenue
  • 06:16 – Current ARR
  • 06:30 – They are doing about a million dollars per month
  • 06:48 – They have 30,000 paying customers
  • 07:00 – Pipe Tribe’s pricing
    • 07:07 – They have 3 plans at the moment
  • 07:25 – Average customers’ pay per month
  • 08:21 – They are doing cohort tracking
  • 08:30 – Monthly customer churn
    • 08:37 – Churn tends to be quite high
    • 09:32 – The churn depends on the tool and business size
  • 10:45 – CAC will depend on the company’s growth
  • 12:00 – 25% of new sign-ups are paying annually
  • 12:28 – How do you drive the company?
    • 12:45 – Timo and his co-founders built the company from the ground up
    • 13:22 – They have an internal goal
  • 13:33 – They raised $9 million from Series A
  • 13:53 – Some of the money they raised was from seed investors
  • 14:13 – Timo won’t sell his business for $90 million or even $150 million
  • 14:49 – Timo sees the company as a work undone
  • 15:11 – “When you build a startup, it seems like you’re building an airplane while you are on air”
  • 16:22 – They have a revenue goal and customer goal
  • 16:45 – Connect with Timo through his LinkedIn
  • 18:25 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • The world around us changes—the economy goes up and down.
  • When you build a startup, it seems like you’re building an airplane while you are on air.
  • Take action. It is important to work hard first. Discover who you are and know where your energy flows.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the 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.
  • Assistant.to – The site Nathan uses to book meetings with one email.
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel.
  • LinkedIn – Timo’s LinkedIn account
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Nov 18, 2016

Michael Cheng, co-founder of Sniply, an innovative new marketing tool that helps companies caption the value of content sharing in social media. Sniply links has generated over 150 million clicks and is used by notable brands such as IBM, Salesforce and Greenpeace.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Steve Jobs Biography
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Steve Jobs
  • Favorite online tool? — Google Translate
  • 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 rush it”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:39 – Nathan introduces Michael to the show
  • 02:09 – Sniply is a content marketing platform
    • 02:11 – It allows people to generate ROI from the links they share
    • 02:30 – It is a SaaS subscription model
      • 02:32 – Premium has a customized ability on call to action and other features
  • 02:49 – Sniply was launched in 2014
  • 02:59 – Sniply generates money from the subscription
    • 03:20 – Price range is $39 per month to $3000 per month
  • 03:29 – Monthly RPU is $70-80
  • 03:45 – Most of the users are the social media team of a company
    • 03:51 – Dropbox, Outbrain and Autodesk use Sniply
  • 04:42 – The “Name your Price” option on Sniply’s website
    • 05:03 – The “Name your Price” option allows Sniply to gauge the customers’ needs and price range
    • 05:20 – It also allows Sniply to make an exception for non-profit groups that can’t afford the price
    • 05:33 – It gives them a better idea of how to fill in the gaps when they release a new feature
    • 05:48 – “People are very reasonable when naming their own price”
    • 06:25 – Sniply can still reject customized requests
    • 06:50 – It’s difficult to measure the downside
    • 07:06 – There’s a dedicated page for Enterprise
  • 08:33 – Sniply is currently hitting 12,000 to 30,000 registered users
    • 08:44 – Revenue is $600,000 and about $50,000 a month
    • 09:00 – One thousand paying customers
  • 09:12 – Sniply is bootstrapped
  • 09:50 – Team size
    • 10:48 – A small team helps Michael to prioritize and be more flexible
    • 11:10 – Some startups invest in wrong features and wrong people
    • 11:30 – They are based in Vancouver, Canada
  • 11:37 – Gross customer churn per month is 5%
  • 11:45 – Customer acquisition cost on average
    • 11:53 – Michael doesn’t do ads
    • 12:00 – Cultivate relationships with bloggers
    • 12:26 – Most of the bloggers are also marketers
  • 12:40 – Total customer growth per month is 5%
  • 13:46 – Connect with Michael on Twitter or email
  • 16:08 – Total 2015 revenue is $400,000 and aiming for $600,000 this year
  • 16:23 – Michael is now investing on a new platform that automatically converts blog posts to videos
  • 17:07 – Not currently looking at acquisition
  • 17:20 – Michael owns 33% of the business; there are two other founders
  • 17:40 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • A small team size has a lot of advantages.
  • Business takes time—don’t rush it.
  • Having a “Name your Price” option gives a company a better idea of the needs and desires of customers together with their preferred price.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the 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.
  • Assistant.to – The site Nathan uses to book meetings with one email.
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel.
  • @Michaelhsc – Michael’s Twitter handle
  • Mike@Snip.ly – Michael’s email address
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Nov 17, 2016

Nathan interviews Tanner Larsson, co-founder of 80/20 Media, CEO of e-commerce brand incubator BuildGrowsSale.com. He’s also the founder and facilitator of an exclusive e-commerce syndicate called Black Label – composed of the best and brightest marketers, CEOs, and entrepreneurs in the e-commerce space. He recently published his first book called Ecommerce Evolved which offers readers a box view of how successful e-commerce brands build, grow, and scale.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Rocket Fuel
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Ed O’Keefe
  • Favorite online tool? —FastStone Capture
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Not even close
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “You don’t have to fund everything out of your own pocket, there are other options available”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:27 – Nathan introduces Tanner to the show
  • 02:15 – Tanner’s ecommerce world started in 2001
    • 02:20 – Started in eBay and Tanner became a powerseller
      • 02:31 – Tanner was doing $ 50,000 - $ 100,000 a month in eBay
  • 03:00 – “There’s no reason not to sell a physical product”
  • 03:25 – Tanner and his team have a number of e-commerce brands
    • 03:36 – 2 main brands have done $6.5 million in a year
  • 03:48 – They had a problem in production
    • 04:06 – “We’ve had different bottlenecks that prevented us from growing at the rate we could have grown”
  • 04:30 – The flashlight market
    • 04:38 – Tanner doesn’t want to sell what everybody is selling
    • 04:47 – The gap they saw is between the lower price entry level flashlight and high-end flashlight
    • 05:03 – Tanner and his team develop their own flashlight and a kit
    • 05:17 – Truegunner.com
    • 05:25 – The flashlight is in a sales funnel
      • 05:34 – The funnel path
  • 06:02 – The bestseller flashlight is the M600 tactical utility flashlight
    • 06:07 - $22 manufactured price from China
    • 06:32 – They had a much higher per unit cost and much lower profit margin on the first order
      • 06:43  - First order was at a minimum which is a thousand
      • 07:03 – Total is $30,000 tied up which equals to $3 per unit price
    • 07:52 – It took 7 months before the first order started production
    • 07:58 – The back and forth from the manufacturing county took time
      • 08:05 – Shipping takes a week which includes the revises that needed on the product
    • 08:30 – “If you’re building your product from the ground, there’s a whole back and forth with the manufacturer”
    • 09:00 – Started selling on November 2015
      • 09:05 – Sold about 4400 units for 12 months
      • 09:21 – Total money in from this product is around $ 150,000 - $ 160, 000
    • 09:50 – 99% of the funds came from Tanner
    • 10:12 – The downside is some raw materials are specialized
      • 10:27 – They have to buy raw materials in advance to prevent going out of stock
  • 11:28 – Most of their sales are funnel driven
  • 11:43 – They were using ultracart but shifted back to infusionsoft
  • 12:09 – They are also using Hotjar records visitor interaction. Like heat mapping
  • 12:43 – They spend $13 per user acquisition on the front end
    • 13:03 – They breakeven in the funnel
  • 13:30 – They also have subscription plans
  • 14:01 – They have 7000 paying user
  • 14:36 – They also have drop-off rates
  • 16:00 – Connect with Tanner through his website
  • 18:30 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Look for alternative funding. Don’t shoulder everything.
  • If you don’t know something, that doesn’t mean you can’t explore.
  • Sourcing from manufacturers abroad takes patience and a lot of research.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the 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.
  • Assistant.to – The site Nathan uses to book meetings with one email.
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel.
  • BuildGrowScale.com – Tanner’s website
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Nov 16, 2016

Rey Grainger, founder and CEO of Mavenlink, where he’s leading a mission to re-invent the way businesses do work. Ray brings over 25 years of experience in software and technology consulting to Mavenlink. He also invests in several technology companies through Accenture technology ventures including enterprise knowledge manager vendor InQuira.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Good to Great
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Marc Benioff
  • Favorite online tool? — Evernote
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?—  I don’t
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “That I would actually end up achieving what I have setup to do”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:24 – Nathan introduces Ray to the show
  • 02:28 – Ray likes corporate world more
  • 03:00 – How Accenture invested in AI Technology
  • 03:20 – Ray left Accenture in 2005 when InQuira started to get into the market
  • 03:48 – Ray already had an idea for Mavenlink
  • 04:45 – Mavenlink is SaaS business management solution
  • 05:09 – Mavenlink is a subscription based business model
  • 05:50 – First year revenue is zero
  • 06:08 – Product development was in February 2009
    • 06:25 – Began monetizing at the beginning of 2010
  • 06:40 – Mavenlink was bootstrapped
  • 07:05 – Before starting Mavenlink, Ray sold some of his stocks of Accenture
  • 07:40 – Before they were able to monetize, Ray and his team already spent almost a million dollar
  • 08:03 – Mavenlink has a broad customer base in over a 100 countries
    • 08:13 – From SMB to large public companies
  • 08:55 – Mavenlink has an inside sales team for each deal
  • 09:30 – Mavenlink partnered with Google
    • 09:38 – Google promoted Mavenlink in their marketplace
  • 10:45 – “The amount of money you have in your bank account influences you”
  • 11:16 – Ray had to look for creative ways to acquire customers
  • 11:41 – Mavenlink sponsored 2 technology conferences
  • 12:35 – It is difficult to say  how much one is willing to spend to acquire a business
    • 13:30 – “You have to manage it by channel and see what you’re going to get for the payback”
  • 13:48 – Gross monthly customer churn
  • 13:52 – “We offer a solution that directly impacts the profitability of the company”
  • 14:18 – Clients who stay with Mavenlink continues to grow
  • 15:41 – The upsell part of Mavenlink
  • 16:06 – Mavenlink target seat price
  • 16:29 – Mavenlink has taken a substantial amount of venture capital starting in 2011
  • 16:52 – Team size
  • 17:18 – Follow Ray on Twitter and LinkedIn
  • 18:56 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • The amount of money you have in your bank account influences you.
  • Corporate life can hone great entrepreneurs.
  • Achieve what you have set up to do and aim for the big one.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the 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.
  • Assistant.to – The site Nathan uses to book meetings with one email.
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel.
  • @mavenlink – Ray’s Twitter handle
  • LinkedIn – Ray’s business LinkedIn account
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Nov 16, 2016

Brandon Foo, co-founder and CEO of Polymail (YC S16) – an email platform making businesses and companies more productive. Previously, he co-founded CTRL LA Collective, a co-working space in LA. He graduated from UCLA where he co-founded Bruin Entrepreneurs which is now the biggest entrepreneurship organization at UCLA. Listens as Brandon shares how he built Polymail and why entrepreneurs prefer it over Gmail.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – N/A
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Aaron Levie
  • Favorite online tool? — Asana
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— 7-8
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Spend more time with side projects and less on school work”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:35 – Nathan introduces Brandon to the show
  • 02:08 – Polymail is a super-powerful email platform designed for business users
    • 02:18 – With just 1 app, you can do a lot with your email
    • 02:37 – It is a complete stand-alone email client
  • 03:15 – How are you convincing people to make the switch?
    • 03:20 – Polymail supports multiple accounts
    • 03:52 – People are looking for a complete product experience and Polymail has that
  • 04:31 – A lot of features of Polymail are not in the regular Gmail
  • 04:54 – Polymail started in 2015
    • 05:02 – Launched a Mac prototype in December 2015
    • 05:12 – There’s a tremendous traction
  • 05:38 – Brandon built a small community of people who were invited to try the app
    • 05:48 – They have a Slack group so Brandon can get feedback on a daily basis
    • 06:10 – When they officially launched Polymail, these people downloaded the app and left reviews
  • 07:12 – Polymail is a free app at the moment
    • 07:20 – Polymail pro is in the works but you can sign-up for it now
    • 07:41 – Polymail pro has much more advanced features
  • 08:00 – Over 20,000 daily active users of Polymail
  • 08:12 – 150,000 total downloads and people who signed up
  • 08:27 – Every time Polymail will release a new feature, they will email the whole list of people who signed up to get them engaged in using Polymail
  • 08:52 – Brandon had raised around a million dollars
    • 09:12 – Brandon used a convertible equity
  • 09:24 – Team size of 5
  • 09:48 – The goal for Polymail is to build the platform for external communication on top of email
  • 10:08 – “Email is a critical product for business people so we saw the opportunity there”
  • 11:23 – Polymail is not for a short-term outcome
  • 12:00 – They just wrapped up their seed round
    • 12:30 – They wrapped it up in September 2016
  • 12:48 – Target people
    • 12:56 – A lot of the users are solo entrepreneurs
  • 13:45 – There’s no significant changes with Gmail for the past 10 years
    • 14:09 – Maybe because they make money from ad revenue and let Gmail be a generic email platform
  • 14:40 – Find Brandon on Twiter
  • 16:44 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • An update on a product can make non-active users use the product again.
  • Consistent feedback from a group of customers can significantly improve the product.
  • Spend more time with side projects and less on school work.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the 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.
  • Assistant.to – The site Nathan uses to book meetings with one email.
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel.
  • @Foolywk – Brandon’s Twitter handles
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Nov 14, 2016

Ben Dobyns, CEO and founder of Zombie Orpheus Entertainment. He’s started giving the company’s films away for free ever when he started the company—a tradition he’s proud to continue today.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Art of Game Design
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Jamie Wilkinson
  • 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? – “Take the time to pursue the dream. Shortcuts will disempower you and empower other people” 

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:33 – Nathan introduces Ben to the show
  • 01:57 – Ben had a terrible experience with Hollywood distribution in 2008
    • 02:10 – Ben didn’t get paid for the film they made
    • 02:18 – The company owed Ben $ 30,000
  • 03:23 – “Independent films will lose your money if you invest in them”
  • 03:34 – Ben launched his new company in 2010 and paid their investors back after a year
  • 03:47 – Zombie Orpheus Entertainment was launched in 2010
  • 03:59 – “We’re going to give people free films and share them”
  • 04:10 – Ben had a realization that each film will be a form of advertising
  • 04:33 – At the end of every episode, there’s a message that will lead viewers to give Zombie Orpheus Entertainment money
  • 05:08 – Journey Quest series on Youtube
    • 05:45 – Ben will let the viewers choose if they want to continue watching or not
    • 06:04 – Based purely on fan contribution, Ben and his team are able to continue the show
    • 06:16 – They made $ 30,000 for season 1 and from Kickstarter is $ 112,000 which funded season 2
    • 06:28 – Zombie Orpheus Entertainment is now out of the investment cycle
  • 07:07 – Zombie Orpheus Entertainment built a fan base on Facebook and Youtube
  • 07:36 – Zombie Orpheus Entertainment had 1,117 unique backers for Journey Quest 
    • 07:57 – On Kickstarter, average contribution is $ 97 per backer
  • 08:33 – The fan base is big for Zombie Orpheus Entertainment
  • 09:01 – Ben done 3 Kickstarters this year
    • 09:18 – Attack in the Darkness – raised $ 25,000
    • 09:28 – The Gamers – raised $ 174,000
  • 09:49 – Raised $575,000 for the 3 seasons of Journey Quest
  • 10:04 – Ben setup a pre-funding page with public metrics for journey Quest
    • 10:14 – 4,200 people added their names in the email list
    • 10:29 – They launched with 4,600 names in their list on day 1
    • 10:45 – Kickstarter attracted more people
    • 11:06 – RenewJourneyQuest.com is the pre-funding page
  • 12:00 – Ben has one of the best Kickstarter planning sheet
    • 12:20 – The sheet is not currently for public use
  • 12:36 – With Journey quest, the needed budget was $ 325,000 for the production
    • 12:55 – Ben didn’t aim for profit for this Kickstarter
  • 13:10 – Season 3 of Journey Quest will be moved to BackerKit for pledge management
  • 13:55 – Ben isn’t looking for an exit or an IPO
  • 15:00 – What Ben is doing is similar to a SaaS business model
  • 15:50 – Ben has been offered venture capital but he won’t accept it
  • 16:55 – Ben is going to release their world bible and their intellectual property to allow their commercial derivatives
  • 17:45 – Ben uses Kickstarter to have a merchandise fusion with a reward program
  • 17:55 – Ben is really picky with merchandise quality
  • 18:25 – Keep Zombie Orpheus Entertainment’s shows alive by dropping a dollar or $ 5 at Patreon
  • 21:07 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Use bad experiences as education and motivation.
  • Venture capital is not always an option.
  • Take the time to pursue the dream. Shortcuts will disempower you and empower other people.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the 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.
  • Assistant.to – The site Nathan uses to book meetings with one email.
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel.
  • Patreon – Ben’s pledge page
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Nov 13, 2016

Debbie Johnston, recognized as Entrepreneur of Richmond and the founder of Care Advantage – a dynamic and compassionate care company that is devoted in giving back to the community. She’s the author of The School of Heart Knocks. Listen as Debbie shares her inspiration in starting Care Advantage and her experience in Secret Millionaire.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Think and Grow Rich
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Steve Jobs
  • Favorite online tool? — Facebook
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Never
  • If you could let your 20-year old self know one thing, what would it be? – “Start your business earlier, you know more than you think.”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:54 – Nathan introduces Debbie to the show
  • 03:10 – Adoption is close to Debbie’s heart
  • 03:28 – Care Advantage is a full service care company
    • 03:54 – Care Advantage has a special care division
  • 04:30 – Care Advantage is all over the country
  • 04:50 – Payment for the services is by the hour
  • 05:12 – Care Advantage reimbursed in the state they’re in
  • 05:44 – Care Advantage doesn’t do a lot of Obamacare
  • 06:40 – Debbie started years ago
    • 06:47 – Debbie was running out-patients in a hospital
    • 07:34 – Debbie first used Care Advantage to his brother-in-law and parents
  • 09:05 – “We can’t put a price on a peace of mind”
  • 09:50 – Care Advantage has different price for each service
  • 10:30 – Each office has 3-5 people
  • 11:40 – Number of people Care Advantage has served is over 10,000
  • 12:30 – The need of an RN will depend on the patient
    • 12:49 – Some people want 24 hours of an RN a day
  • 13:38 – Secret Millionaire picked Debbie
    • 13:56 – Debbie likes the producer so she said yes
    • 14:14 – “It was one of the hardest things I have done in my life”
    • 14:40 – Debbie was proud after it was aired
    • 14:51 – Debbie has worked with charities like Reach International
  • 16:28 – “It’s what we do that makes me happy, giving someone peace of mind makes me happy”
  • 16:55 – Connect with Debbie through her Facebook and website
  • 18:55 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Giving someone peace of mind can be a source of happiness.
  • You can’t put a price tag on perfect health care.
  • Starting your business earlier could make more differences in the future.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the 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.
  • Assistant.to – The site Nathan uses to book meetings with one email.
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel.
  • DebbieJohnston.com – Debbie’s website
  • Facebook – Debbie’s Facebook account
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
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