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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: 2017
May 21, 2017

Jonathan Epstein. He’s the current senior VP for international at Sentient Technologies, the maker of Sentient Ascend, the first conversion optimization solution that is powered by evolutionary artificial intelligence. Epstein has been in many companies at the forefront of technology and media including GameSpot, which he’s the founding CEO, and Omek which was sold to Intel and GameSpy which was eventually sold to IGN.  

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Hire With Your Head
  • What CEO do you follow? – Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos
  • Favorite online tool? — BuiltWith and SimilarWeb
  • How many hours of sleep do you get? — 5-6
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “I wished I had stepped on entrepreneurship early”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:22 – Nathan introduces Jon to the show
  • 02:18 – Jon’s good exit range is from tens of millions to the hundreds of million dollars
  • 02:39 – Jon helped the founding CEO of Gamespot turn it around
  • 03:18 – Jon has worked in an actual gaming company
  • 03:29 – Jon started at IDG as magazine publisher
  • 03:49 – GameSpot was the first professional online review site for games
  • 03:56 – GameSpy had an editorial element and Jon published some of its software
  • 04:35 – GameSpot was launched in 1995
  • 04:45 – Jon launched the magazine Digital News and Multimedia World
    • 04:53 – Jon was working for IDG when he launched the magazines under their brand
  • 05:28 – Jon had great partners when he started GameSpot
    • 05:55 – The initial idea came from the 2 co-founders
    • 06:20 – It was clear that the internet thing was happening
    • 06:30 – The problem, then, was that the release of the magazine came out way too late for newly released game reviews
    • 06:55 – Having the magazine online is a better way to update the gamers
    • 07:13 – GameSpot took in external investors
    • 07:34 – GameSpot was sold for stock in ZDNet
  • 08:09 – Jon had an international role and wanted to gain experience in dealing with other countries
    • 08:16 – ZDNet had joint ventures and Jon had been with them for a while
  • 08:34 – Jon had invested from ZDNet to GameSpy
  • 09:04 – Jon had 8% of GameSpy
  • 09:28 – Jon joined GameSpy in September 2001
    • 09:32 – GameSpy was sold in March 2004
    • 10:01 – Jon made around $61M cash from GameSpy’s exit
  • 10:21 – Jon stayed with IGN after the exit and stayed there for a while
  • 10:30 – Jon joined Double Fusion, which is a venture-backed startup
  • 10:55 – Sentient had been around for 9 years and was one of the best funded companies
  • 11:21 – Jon fell in love with Sentient because of their goals
  • 11:29 – Sentient was built with a powerful AI platform
    • 11:34 – It focuses on AI at scale and is able to run AI problems across millions of GPUs
  • 11:58 – Sentient does multiple types of AI
    • 12:00 – One is deep learning or neuron-network which is used for handwriting, voice recognition and image analysis
    • 12:12 – Another product of Sentient is the evolutionary computation which is an AI that mimics natural selection
  • 12:38 – Sentient ran a hedge fund using their products
    • 12:51 – The fund size is growing rapidly
  • 13:14 – Big investors invest to hedge funds in order to achieve stable, good returns
  • 14:16 – Sentient is a SaaS business disrupting the world of AB testing
    • 14:48 – Using the evolutionary AI approach speeds up AB testing
  • 15:41 – Sentient currently has 25 paying customers
    • 15:52 – Average contract price is $3K-30K a month
  • 16:12 – Zero customer churn
  • 16:24 – CAC
    • 16:52 – Sentient is also doing paid advertising
    • 16:56 – Sentient attends conversion conferences where they spend $5K-10K for sponsorship
  • 17:40 – Sentient has raised a total of $143M
  • 17:52 – Sentient has around 110 employees
    • 17:58 – There are still 15-20 open positions
  • 18:24 – Sentient was founded in 2007
  • 18:57 – “We think it’s too early to sell”
  • 19:15 – Mark Cuban said that the first trillionaires will come from AI
  • 20:35 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Never be scared about exits – it just means new doors are opening for you.
  2. Be in a company that you’re really interested in—where you can align yourself with their goals.
  3. Start as early as you can when it comes to entrepreneurship.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • 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
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

May 20, 2017

Joe Koufman. He’s responsible for introducing at least 3 married couples in countless contacts to establish business relationships. In early 2014, he parlayed his passion for connecting people and founded a company called AgencySparks, which is essentially a dating service for brands and marketing agencies.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Challenger Sale
  • What CEO do you follow? – Jeff Hilimire
  • Favorite online tool? — Lucky Orange
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— “I try to get 7”
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “I would have invested even more in relationships. They will absolutely pay off down the road”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:36 – Nathan introduces Joe to the show
  • 02:29 – AgencySparks focuses on making connections for brands and agencies
  • 02:34 – AgencySparks is paid by the agencies to help them with their business development and outreach to potential clients
  • 02:50 – In many cases, AgencySparks can help subvert the RFP and the client will hire the agency directly
  • 03:15 – One of AgencySparks’ clients tells them about Coca-cola’s water sustainability efforts and that they need the story to be everywhere
    • 03:46 – AgencySparks was able to make a connection with one of their agencies that focuses on public relations and they made a deal
  • 04:13 – AgencySparks is shifting their model now
  • 04:20 – AgencySparks is traditionally paid by agencies to get them through a thorough, upfront, vetting process
    • 04:27 – AgencySparks is getting paid through monthly retainers and a percentage of the deal
    • 04:34 – The monthly retainer is $5K per agency, which is 12-month deal
  • 04:50 – AgencySparks was launched in early 2014
  • 04:58 – Joe spent years with KnowledgeStorm which was acquired by TechTarget
    • 05:05 – TechTarget went public and bought KnowledgeStorm for $58M
    • 05:26 – Joe spent 6 years building marketing and business development in Engauge
    • 05:31 – Engauge was then acquired by Publicis
    • 05:56 – When Joe left Engauge, he had job offers from 6 different agencies and that’s when he had the idea of AgencySparks
    • 06:21 – Joe’s highest offer from one of the agencies was $400K and he said “no”
  • 06:55 – AgencySparks is Joe’s first entrepreneurship stint
  • 07:11 – Joe didn’t have any equity in KnowledgeStorm
  • 07:45 – Joe made a big transition while he was at KnowledgeStorm
    • 07:47 – Joe started as an account manager in 2000
    • 08:05 – Joe moved to sales and realized that he was just going to have the same exact salary
    • 08:23 – Joe did well in sales and had grown big accounts
    • 08:50 – Joe’s last salary was $210K, in 2007
    • 09:20 – By the time Joe left, he was making around $300K in 2013
  • 09:43 – When Joe started AgencySparks, he knew that we wouldn't have much revenue, at first
  • 09:52 – First year revenue was $270K
    • 10:03 – Year 2 was $370K and Year 3: $430K
  • 10:13 – 2017’s goal is to double
  • 10:25 – To achieve their goal, they have to change their model a bit
    • 10:45 – The client is asking AgencySparks for different options
    • 10:59 – They want to have multiple agencies in one category
  • 11:27 – AgencySparks currently has 11 clients
  • 11:40 – AgencySparks has other revenue streams
    • 11:48 – The commission percentage is 10%
    • 12:10 – AgencySparks offers other services like info-product
  • 12:40 – March 2017 revenue
  • 13:00 – Team size is 4 and all are in Atlanta
  • 13:18 – Greg Crabtree’s labor efficiency ratio is the idea of hovering between 2 and to 3.5, so for every dollar spent on payroll, you should be bringing in $2.50 - $3.50, in terms of revenue
    • 13:47 – As a CEO of a company, if you’re not pulling out the salary that you would be making as a hired CEO, then your business isn’t profitable
  • 14:00 – Nathan’s computation within The Top’s 600 interviews done with SaaS companies
  • 15:04 – AgencySparks’ net margin
  • 15:27 – Joe is the guy who would re-invest his money into the business
  • 15:33 – Joe isn’t a family business guy
  • 15:44 – Joe is looking into 5 years, then selling his business
  • 15:52 – AgencySparks already has interesting offers
  • 16:14 – AgencySparks has a method that is a repeatable and sustainable as a business development process—which is part of what they’re teaching
  • 16:57 – “The challenge is that this is a very relationship-focused business”
  • 18:28 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. As a CEO of a company, if you’re not pulling out the salary that you would be making as a hired CEO, then your business is NOT profitable.
  2. Continue to grow your business as much as you can, but be mindful of the interesting offers that come along the way.
  3. Invest in relationships.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • 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
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

May 19, 2017

Ryan Stewart. He’s a digital marketing expert with over 8 years of client facing experience. He currently owns and operates Webris, a Miami-based digital marketing agency specializing in SEO and content marketing.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Attached
  • What CEO do you follow? – N/A
  • Favorite online tool? — SEMrush
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 8
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Just self-awareness things about who am I as a person, where I want to go and how I want to live my life”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:17 – Nathan introduces Ryan to the show
  • 01:39 – Webris is an SEO agency which does a lot of digital marketing and link building
    • 01:48 – They specialize in generating organic growth for any sort of clients
  • 02:00 – Webris has a retainer model of 5K-6K a month depending on the work
    • 02:15 – They require a minimum of 6 months
  • 02:22 – Webris currently has 22 clients
  • 02:30 – Webris is doing $100K minimum MRR
  • 02:38 – Webris was launched March, 2016
  • 02:52 – In Webris’ first year, they earned 750K
  • 03:00 – Webris also has a training program
    • 03:11 – Ryan is doing concept marketing for himself
    • 03:32 – Ryan had link building training where he taught how to build links at scale
    • 03:44 – Ryan also did blogger outreach PR stuff
  • 04:18 – Ryan didn’t do any advertising on Youtube, but he has a good content
    • 04:30 – He has a good email list and a Facebook group with 10K people, a Facebook page and Twitter page
    • 04:42 – Ryan uses concept promotion on the videos with more views
  • 05:30 – Ryan uses automation in Google Drive Suite
    • 06:14 – Ryan launched a video regarding using Google Suite for automation
  • 06:50 – Ryan thinks that YouTube is more powerful than the blog
    • 07:09 – YouTube is much easier to use for engagement purposes
  • 07:22 – Ryan also does mini-checklist processes for their clients
  • 07:26 – If you have an email list and you can get 100 engaged views on your videos, it is more than enough to set you on the right direction
  • 07:37 – Ryan’s email list is 10K with 30% open rate
    • 07:49 – Ryan would get 500 views in 12 hours after sending his content out to his email list
  • 08:02 – Ryan uses SEO for his YouTube video titles
    • 08:22 – They’ll go after the keywords on their blog
    • 08:31 – “People aren’t really using the same keywords on YouTube”
    • 08:37 – For YouTube, you need to grab attention from the titles
  • 09:07 – Team size is 7, in Miami and some are remote
  • 09:30 – Webris is doing a lot of content creation and they pay per article
  • 09:57 – Webris can also negotiate with other people for content
    • 10:06 – They pay $100-200 depending on the client niche
    • 10:20 – Ryan posts job ads on Upwork and on the Facebook group Cult of Copy which is run by a copywriter, Collin Theriot
    • 11:01 – Webris has an in-depth content generation process
    • 11:12 – Webris mitigates the process with the research upfront and by building a really good outline for the writer
    • 11:35 – Webris will also just google for bloggers in a specific niche and pay them around $500 to write
    • 11:54 – Content is dependent on niche
    • 12:28 – You just got to go out and pay writers the right amount
  • 12:50 – Prior to Webris, Ryan was doing his MBA and realized he hated everything about that life
  • 13:59 – What Ryan made last year is less than what he did when he was 20
  • 14:21 – Ryan’s #1 goal is that his people are happy
  • 14:33 – Ryan spends $4K a month on their office space
  • 16:00 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. If you hate doing something – just quit.
  2. Paying your writers the right amount will lead to great content.
  3. In every decision you make for your business – consider your people.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • 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
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

May 18, 2017

Trevor Wolfe. He’s the CEO and co-founder of Delvv.io. He started his career in New York, where he held product innovation and marketing positions for Kantar and TNS. He also led the marketing for New York brands, Gerson Lehrman Group, along with Moveline—which is a tech startup in NYC Company and Morgan Stanley. Throughout his career, he’s launched over a dozen analytics and research products and is an active advisor to investors in market research, adtech, and media tech startups in New York, Vegas, and Africa. He holds a BBA in international business from Hofstra University and is an aspiring sailor. His cat’s name is Junior.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Tracy Kidder's books and The Power Broker
  • What CEO do you follow? – Scott Belsky
  • Favorite online tool? — The Top Inbox and Slack
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 5 and half to 6
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – Trevor would tell himself to go find his fiancée so that he could spend 5 more years with her

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:12 – Nathan introduces Trevor to the show
  • 02:06 – Delvv is a platform that allows advertising and marketing professionals to get a peer review on creative campaigns before using them as paid ads
  • 02:22 – Delvv has 2 models: the marketplace, where they go to agencies and brands, and the subscription model, where you can use Delvv’s own organization
  • 03:05 – Delvv was launched in March, 2016
  • 03:29 – The subscription model has just been launched and is already being used by Ogilvy
    • 03:31 – The subscription model is per license fee
    • 03:48 – Delvv packaged a panel of 30 professionals to start an organization
    • 03:57 – The panel processes the feedback and turns it into a report
    • 04:17 – The 30 professionals are paid depending on campaign feedback
  • 04:32 – If Ogilvy pays 5K for a campaign feedback, $1500-2200 will go to the 30 professionals
  • 05:12 – Trevor and his co-founders have spent more time in advertising campaigns
  • 05:39 – Delvv is doing more digital now, but most of their revenue comes from TV and radio campaigns
  • 06:00 – Delvv has worked with 17 different brands and they’re working with Delvv in 10 different countries
  • 06:16 – Delvv did $180K since May 2016 in marketplace sales
  • 06:30 – Delvv has paid 700-1200 professionals to do the campaign feedback
    • 06:41 – Some of them are from agencies and would spare 30-60mins for the feedback
  • 07:10 – Delvv is getting $4000-6000 per contract
  • 07:23 – Delvv has 8 full-time workers and a few contractors and interns
    • 07:30 – The team is based in Johannesburg, South Africa
    • 07:45 – There’s an advantage to having a team in South Africa
    • 08:11 – The disadvantage in South Africa is the electricity, but not the internet speed
    • 08:21 – Once a week, the power in the whole city goes out for a few hours
  • 09:05 – Trevor and his co-founder funded the business for $10K
    • 09:37 – They have raised $300K from Angel investors
  • 09:49 – Trevor was 32 when he launched Delvv
    • 10:29 – Trevor has kept his expenses down to $2K to save up for the business
    • 10:41 – “I’ve traded my shoebox of an apartment in New York for a 4-bedroom house, here, with open garden and a pool”
  • 11:18 – Delvv has 80K in contract for the month of March
  • 11:33 – “We really wanted to push the SaaS based platform”
  • 12:08 – Delvv will start their seed round of about $1M on an equity round
    • 13:12 – Delvv has a UK investor, a local fund and VC in South Africa as their investors
  • 15:00 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Campaigns are significant to any company and having feedback can help you save more money.
  2. There are pros and cons in having a business in another country – try to find a way to work it out if you really want a change of environment.
  3. You can enter the world of entrepreneurship by saving up and making your expenses as low as possible.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • 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
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

May 17, 2017

Varun Chandran. He’s the founder and CEO of Corporate360, a big data marketing software startup. He bootstrapped the company in 2012, grew the business into multimillion dollars in revenue with international clients and 40 employees across 5 countries. Prior to Corporate360, he worked for some of the leading technology companies like SAP, Oracle, Dell and Netapp in 3 different countries. He’s a college dropout and a national footballer. He loves data science and travelling. Under his leadership, Corporate360 became the first international startup from Kerala, bringing IT jobs that foster social empowerment. 

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – N/A
  • What CEO do you follow? – Elon Musk
  • Favorite online tool? — Google Apps
  • How many hours of sleep do you get every night?— 4 hours
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Build something that changes lives”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:12 – Nathan introduces Varun to the show
  • 02:00 – Corporate360 is a sales intelligence data company for B2B enterprises
  • 02:08 – Corporate360 is a SaaS business that sells their software through subscription
  • 02:30 – Corporate360 has standard pricing
    • 02:38 – Typical deal size would range from 20K onwards, annually
    • 02:48 – They have some monthly contracts, too
    • 02:57 – “We are evangelizing data as a service model as opposed to buying a marketing list”
  • 03:33 – Corporate360 was launched in 2013
  • 03:40 – Team size is almost 70 in 5 countries
  • 03:47 – Corporate360 is totally bootstrapped and they’re reenlisting profits back to the business to grow it
  • 04:00 – Varun was 30 when he started Corporate360 and it was his first take on entrepreneurship
  • 04:14 – Varun spent 8 years in the corporate world
  • 04:26 – Varun had sales development and marketing roles
  • 04:43 – Varun started the company with minimal capital of less than $10K
    • 05:02 – Varun used the capital to learn data science and hired contractors from India and the Philippines
    • 05:22 – The initial investment was for building the application, launching the website, and a basic outreach email campaign
  • 05:55 – Customers use Corporate360 differently
    • 06:01 – There’s inside sales, analytics, campaigns, marketing and for sales operations
    • 06:18 – One of Corporate360’s customers is from Japan—they wanted to run a competitive attack and get competitive intelligent software
    • 06:30 – The company from Japan started a subscription and they gave reference to teams in China, Singapore, and eventually to the Europe and US market
  • 07:08 – Corporate360 is currently serving 300 customers
    • 07:22 – They currently have 40K seats
    • 07:28 – Seats per user license is sold only for inside sales
    • 07:35 – Analytics and marketing are based on data and not per seat
  • 07:58 – Corporate360 average deal size will be per user
    • 08:04 – Varun shares how an inside sales deal works
  • 08:52 – “We are not part of a data syndicate”
  • 09:00 – Corporate360 source their data from their own algorithms
  • 09:37 – FullContact focuses on getting data from syndicates
  • 10:27 – Varun shares how they differ from other data sources
  • 12:06 – When you subscribe to Corporate360, you can get a 360 degree viewpoint of 7 modules
    • 12:22 – Corporate360 provides detailed information about the leads that they have and why they are the best fit for your company
  • 13:30 – Average ARR
  • 14:00 – Gross customer churn
    • 14:16 – Corporate360 designs their services based on client feedback
    • 14:46 – Churn is less than 10% annually
    • 15:12 – Most of their customers are startups
  • 15:51 – CAC
    • 15:58 – Corporate360 doesn’t have field sales and just 7 account managers
    • 16:20 – They tried LinkedIn ads as paid ads
    • 16:34 – They spent $200K on LinkedIn last year
    • 16:47 – The budget for paid acquisition will go down this year
  • 17:15 – LTV can be from $45K to a million
  • 17:36 – Corporate360 headquarters in Singapore
    • 17:40 – They have a large BPO center in India and Philippines
  • 19:40 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Small capital can go a long way—don’t be discouraged if you are beginning with little.
  2. THe data space is quite saturated—have something that sets you apart from the data syndicate.
  3. Build something that changes lives.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • 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
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

May 16, 2017

Oli Gardner. He’s the co-founder of Unbounce. He’s seen more landing pages than anyone in the planet. He’s a prolific international speaker and he’s on the mission to rid the world of marketing mediocrity by using data-informed copywriting, design, interaction, and psychology to create a more delightful experience for marketers and customers alike.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – How to Deliver a TED Talk
  • What CEO do you follow? – N/A
  • Favorite online tool? — UsabilityHub
  • How many hours of sleep do you get? — Maybe 3 hours
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Learn how to make decisions”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:10 – Nathan introduces Oli to the show
  • 01:49 – Unbounce is a SaaS business and a conversion platform for marketers which started as a landing page platform
    • 02:00 – They just expanded to convertibles that have overlays that captures more leads and signups on the website
  • 02:17 – Unbounce was launched in August 2009
  • 02:33 – Unbounce has 6 co-founders
    • 03:11 – Oli was broke and filed for bankruptcy
  • 03:26 – Unbounce was initially funded by friends and family with $15K CAD
  • 03:38 – Unbounce had a seed round and Angel round and has raised a total of less than 1 million CAD
  • 04:12 – The 6 co-founders are all equal
    • 04:22 – All are working full-time
    • 04:50 – They’ve figured out a rough valuation
    • 05:25 – 5 of the 6 co-founders are still active
  • 05:41 – Team size is 184
    • 05:49 – Members are based all around Canada and some in South America
  • 06:14 – RPU is $93 CAD a month
  • 07:05 – Unbounce lets anyone in for at least 2 years
    • 07:11 – Their plans have been restructured in a way that is most beneficial
    • 07:38 – Their $10-plan has been removed
  • 07:57 – Unbounce now has professional marketers
  • 08:10 – As Unbounce continues to grow, they’re trying to scale with their customers
  • 08:33 – Unbounce currently has 14K active users
  • 08:42 – You can create a demo account but you can’t get your own domain with demo
  • 09:13 – Average MRR is just under $1.4M
  • 09:47 – Unbounce had a problem with churn, like what most SaaS businesses have encountered
  • 10:03 – “We know that you need landing pages for everything you do”
  • 10:55 – 5% is the problem churn with Unbounce
  • 11:30 – If Salesforce or Marketo have been integrated, the company is a larger company
    • 11:47 – Overlays have been successful and there’s so much traffic and data
    • 12:09 – Overlays are called overlays because they are similar to popups
    • 12:20 – “We’re trying to be responsible with the technology because technology is not the problem, we are”
  • 12:52 – Oli respects Bounce Exchange when it comes to the overlays world and they’re doing a lot with machine learning
  • 13:06 – The biggest difference in using Unbounce is you will feel that you’re not using templated overlays
  • 13:40 – Unbounce’s value is different from SumoMe and their targeting is getting smarter
  • 13:55 – Most services like Unbounce charge $250-5K a month and Unbounce starts at $99
    • 14:06 – There are cheaper ones in WordPress, but they’re not really good
  • 14:21 – Oli is primarily a public speaker now and spends most of his time on the road
    • 14:25 – Oli was actually scared to start public speaking years ago
    • 14:33 – Nathan recommends watching Oli speak in public
    • 15:15 – The rest of Oli’s time is spent with Unbounce’s marketing team and data scientists’ team
  • 15:48 – Unbounce just got engaged with a new marketing agency
  • 16:03 – LTV
  • 16:14 – Unbounce had one marketing guy and he left, so they switch to a 5 digital local agency
  • 16:33 – CAC
  • 16:43 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Being broke should NOT hinder you from starting a business.
  2. A great product with a reasonable price will always attract more customers.
  3. Learn how to make decisions and don’t hold back.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • 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
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

May 15, 2017

Martin Garcia. He’s the CEO and founder of FLYX.Systems. He’s also a mechatronics engineer and co-founder of Ilumexico, a solar power lighting company for rural communities in Mexico. He’s got an MSc in drone design at University of Southampton and is an alumni of Singularity University at NASA Ames California, USA and later, a teaching fellow for space and robotics. FLYX.Systems is a company that develops technology for industrial UAVs that aim to improve the productivity of many industries.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Lean Startup
  • What CEO do you follow? – Elon Musk
  • Favorite online tool? — Noun Project
  • How many hours of sleep do you get? — About 8
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – Martin would tell himself to finish every project he started, then move on to the next one

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:22 – Nathan introduces Martin to the show
  • 02:17 – FLYX.Systems develops technology that encompasses both hardware and software algorithms
  • 02:33 – There are 3 UAVs in history: the military UAVs, the drones that are popular nowadays, and the industrial UAVs
    • 03:22 – Industrial UAVs are going to be the biggest game changer in business
    • 03:31 – Industrial UAVs will be completely autonomous
    • 03:48 – 70% of UAV crashes are caused by human errors
  • 03:55 – Martin wants to develop a company that aims to build industrial UAVs for different applications in different industries
  • 04:25 – Martin wants to build a combination of both the UAV hardware and the UAV software or the brain of the drone
    • 04:33 – VJA is a company that uses UAVs mainly for photography, but the drones can’t be modified easily
  • 04:59 – When Martin develops software in a computer that can be used in autopilot, it results to an amazing UAV with a high level of intelligence and algorithms that differentiate themselves from other UAVs
  • 05:24 – FLYX.Systems currently has 2 main projects
    • 06:09 - FLYX.Systems provides services to solar companies
  • 06:26 – FLYX.Systems is still in the preoperative phase
    • 06:34 – They’ve raised $100K
    • 06:39 – They’ve used the funds for the UAV’s prototype and the landing platform
    • 06:48 – The landing platform is one of their biggest projects up their sleeves
    • 07:17 – The landing platform will be applied to the solar companies
  • 07:32 – Team size
    • 07:46 – Based in Mexico, but thinking of expanding to Columbia
  • 08:03 – FLYX.Systems was launched early 2016
  • 08:21 – Prior to FLYX.Systems, Martin was working as a CTO, developing technologies for solar applications
    • 08:28 – Martin went to Singularity University’s summer camp where he met people in the same field
    • 09:06 – Martin got his masters in UK and it was about the foundation and core of FLYX.Systems, which is the automation of the UAV system
    • 09:27 – Martin was 28 when he entered Singularity
  • 09:51 – One of the advantages in having an UAV business in Mexico is that the regulation for flying UAVs is not that harsh or strict compared to USA
    • 10:18 – There’s less competition in Mexico, too
    • 10:20 – The people in Mexico are talented and the salary range is lower than in the USA
    • 10:42 – UAVs are not expensive when you know how to build them
  • 11:27 – There’s a possibility for DJI to move to industrial in the future
  • 11:40 – Martin wants to work on localized applications as quickly as possible
  • 11:55 – Martin knows his market and wants to build something that is suited for their specific needs
  • 12:13 – Martin also wants to combine technologies that DJI isn’t developing
    • 12:30 – AI is one of the tools that Martin wants to harness
  • 13:00 – Martin doesn’t want to depend on companies that sell UAVs
  • 13:23 – People usually buy drones, then think of the vale
  • 14:00 – Martin’s prototype will be launched next month and will be sent to different states in Mexico
    • 14:14 – You pay for the service of the drone, the drone is not yet for sale
    • 14:30 – The pay will depend on the size of the land but it will be around $15-20 per hectare
  • 16:40 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. The UAV market is currently a very hot market – if you can combine both hardware and software, the better.
  2. Starting a business in other countries has its advantages – in this case, less competition, less cost, and fewer regulations.
  3. Don’t start multiple projects at one time; finish one before starting another.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • 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
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

May 14, 2017

Eric Min. He’s the CEO and founder of a company called Zwift.com. Eric is a tech entrepreneur, a lifelong cyclist and is now spreading fitness through virtualization and gamification.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Crossing the Chasm
  • What CEO do you follow? – Max Levchin
  • Favorite online tool? — Slack
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 6
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Taking risks earlier”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:47 – Nathan introduces Eric to the show
  • 02:11 – Zwift is creating a virtual space where cyclists can interact with each other in real time
    • 02:31 – Eric is trying to solve one of the most common problems of cyclists
  • 03:26 – Zwift is a pure SaaS company
    • 03:29 – Zwift charges $10 a month
    • 03:36 – “We’re an asset-like company”
    • 03:38 – Zwift works with partners who have all the different equipment available in the market
  • 04:08 – The most basic setup to use Zwift is an iPad; a trainer that can be attached to your traditional bike to make it stationary
    • 04:32 – Based on your weight and how you’re pedaling, Zwift can put you in the game
  • 05:08 – Zwift was launched in January 2014
  • 05:18 – Eric and his co-founder committed a couple of million dollars to build Zwift
    • 05:36 – Their friends and families had raised around $7M
  • 05:47 – Zwift just closed their series A and they have a total of $45M raised
  • 06:07 – Prior to Zwift, Eric and his co-founder built a trading platform
    • 06:28 – Eric and co-founders wanted to build something out of their comfort zones
    • 06:41 – Eric was 30 when he launched the trading company
    • 07:08 – “Enterprise business is tough”
    • 07:45 – Eric and his co-founder had a $100M contract and spent 5 years extracting the contract
    • 08:18 – Initial capital was $3M
  • 09:17 – Eric and his co-founder are set out to be category leaders, so they made a new category
  • 09:51 – Zwift currently has over 300K accounts created
  • 10:07 – Zwift has 5M rides and 5M hours of pedaling
    • 10:16 – The average ride is 1 hour
  • 10:28 – Zwift also has 88M miles recorded
    • 10:36 – The engagement is fairly high
  • 10:38 – People log in to Zwift to watch other people
    • 10:44 – 202 hours of people logging in just to watch
  • 11:07 – People are also broadcasting their experience with Zwift
  • 11:42 – Zwift doesn’t have free users and what they have is a trial period
  • 12:00 – Zwift doesn’t have year-long contracts at the moment
  • 12:02 – Eric wants to understand the behavior of the customers
    • 12:10 – Most of the customers are outdoor cyclists
    • 12:33 – Eric believes that over time, Zwift will be a year-round overtime preposition for not just cyclist but fitness enthusiast too
  • 13:11 – Almost all consumer businesses are seasonal, like gaming
    • 13:20 – People spend less time playing games in the summer
  • 13:34 – Zwift makes it easy for people to consume fitness
  • 13:42 – “Our belief is that everyone is chasing fitness and everyone would like to consume fitness in the most efficient way”
    • 13:53 – The solution enables you to be at home and it’s cost-effective
  • 14:55 – Zwift has 70% of the people stay with them every year
    • 15:10 – Eric calls them “pause” and not churn
  • 15:27 – As the social network expands, it’s gaining more interest
  • 15:40 – Zwift also crowdsources content
  • 15:54 – Zwift has a community of users who want to volunteer their services
  • 16:17 – 97% of Zwift’s user acquisition is organic
  • 16:54 – Zwift targets cyclists and most cyclists belong to a tribe or a team
  • 17:29 – Zwift does a little on the digital advertising side
  • 18:00 – Eric has invested in Zwift Academy which is modeled after GTA Academy
    • 18:11 – GTA Academy is a marketing advertising program between Gran Turismo and Nissan
    • 18:50 – Zwift took GT Academy’s model and made Zwift Academy
    • 18:55 – Zwift Academy called out ladies around the world to join and 1200 ladies joined the program
    • 19:03 – Zwift had a public PR in different media channels to announce Zwift Academy
    • 19:15 – There were 3 finalists and they had to go through numbers of different tests
    • 19:29 – The 3 finalists were taken to Majorca, Spain where they trained for 10 days with a professional team
    • 19:37 – The professional team tested the finalists and offered a professional contract to one of them
    • 19:45 – One of them is now a professional rider who was a former series marathoner
  • 21:12 – Eric doesn’t worry about the valuation
  • 23:07 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Get out of your comfort zone – you’ll never know what’s in store for you until you get there.
  2. A large, initial fund that was raised should NOT affect your valuation if your company is doing well.
  3. Take risks...the earlier the better.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • 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
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

May 13, 2017

BJ Lackland. He has spent over 15 years as an investor in startups. As an investor, he’s been in VC and Angel and is now the CEO of Lighter Capital, where he oversees over 200 alternative investments in early stage tech companies. As an executive, he’s been on the executive team of 3 companies including CFO of a public tech company called Power Efficiency Corp. He’s raised and uploaded over $150M worth of capital.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Crossing the Chasm
  • What CEO do you follow? – N/A
  • Favorite online tool? — Cirrus
  • How many hours of sleep do you get? — 4-5
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Just keep seeking”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:20 – Nathan introduces BJ to the show
  • 02:05 – BJ was at VC in the early 2000s for 5 years and focused on energy technology
  • 02:58 – Lighter Capital is a fintech company that revolutionized as a startup finance
    • 03:06 – They are using technology to improve entrepreneurs’ access to capital
  • 03:14 – Lighter Capital’s model
    • 03:23 – An entrepreneur spends 8-10 hours with them before they write a check
    • 03:30 – The revenue-based financing tends to be the best aspect of equity
  • 03:58 – On average, Lighter Capital provides companies $250K and can go up to $2M
    • 04:28 – Pay multiple is 1.5 to 2 times and paid typically over a 3 to 5-year period
    • 04:53 – If the company grows quickly, they can pay in a shorter time period
    • 05:00 – “We have every incentive of trying to help them grow”
    • 05:07 – Lighter Capital is really betting on the entrepreneurs
  • 05:20 – Lighter Capital has raised a total of $120M
    • 05:23 – The initial fund was $20M
  • 05:45 – Lighter Capital is raising from traditional LPs
  • 06:44 – Lighter Capital makes money like a bank does
  • 07:35 – Most lenders are worried about payment defaults
  • 07:44 – Lighter Capital focuses on helping companies grow long-term
  • 08:40 – Lighter Capital has a minimum threshold of $15K a month
  • 08:55 – Lighter Capital looks into 2 different audiences
    • 08:58 – One is their customers
    • 09:01 – The other one is their capital partner
  • 09:14 – Lighter Capital is funding 10-12 companies a month
  • 09:40 – Lighter Capital has a group of 9 developers and data scientists
  • 09:49 – Lighter Capital has 90% accuracy for predicting revenue
  • 10:45 – Lighter Capital still goes through several different factors for approving a company
  • 11:56 – In Episode 421, Nathan had Ceterus who worked with Lighter Capital
    • 12:17 – The payment can or cannot accelerate depending on the company
  • 12:44 – Companies can pay lighter capital earlier with a lesser amount
  • 13:56 – Lighter Capital funded companies that are just by themselves
  • 15:00 – Lighter Capital is also funding similar companies
  • 15:36 – In Episode 542, Nathan had HipLead and on Episode 560, Badger Maps, and they both worked with Lighter Capital
  • 17:34 – Lighter Capital worked with 101 companies last year
  • 17:54 – Lighter Capital closed a lot of deals last Christmas
  • 19:20 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Thousands of new businesses are coming out every month; having easy access to capital is a huge advantage for them.
  2. Predicting one company’s future revenue is beneficial, both for the investor and the company.
  3. Keep seeking, stay curious, and always find new things to learn about.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • 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
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

May 12, 2017

Khaled Naim. He’s the CEO and co-founder of the company called Onfleet, a software company that makes it easy for businesses to manage local delivery operations. He holds an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and studied computer engineering at The University of Michigan. He grew up between London and Dubai. He’s currently residing in San Francisco.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Venture Deals
  • What CEO do you follow? – Elon Musk
  • Favorite online tool? — Gusto
  • How many hours of sleep do you get? — 7-8
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – Khaled would tell himself to do something that he’s really passionate about

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:14 – Nathan introduces Khaled to the show
  • 01:47 – Onfleet is a B2B software product that helps delivery companies manage and analyze their local delivery operations
  • 02:18 – Onfleet provides apps for drivers, dispatching dashboards for the dispatchers, analytics and write-up optimizations and algorithms
  • 02:29 – Onfleet charges monthly depending on the delivery volume
    • 02:35 – The larger the business, the more deliveries they do
  • 02:42 – Onfleet is a SaaS business
  • 03:30 – Blue Apron is different because they don’t deliver locally, but ship using FedEx
  • 03:42 – Onfleet’s focus is on companies who deliver their goods locally
  • 04:16 – Onfleet was launched in April 2015
  • 04:46 – Team size is 15 and all are in San Francisco
  • 04:40 – Onfleet has raised $4.5M in total funding, so far
  • 04:55 – If you can bootstrap, it is a good option
    • 05:13 – There are factors that lead to the decision to raise funds
    • 05:18 – If you’re not generating enough money to support the team, then raising capital is a good option
  • 05:45 – It was 30 years ago when Khaled launched Onfleet
    • 05:51 – Khaled, together with his co-founder, started Onfleet while he was still at Stanford—this is also where they met their CTO
    • 06:28 – Khaled, with his co-founders, attended Stanford’s Accelerator Program in 2012
  • 07:17 – Onfleet raised a convertible note round and an equity round
  • 07:38 – Onfleet offers a 30-day free trial for new customers
    • 07:48 – After 30 days, they need to enter their credit card information
    • 07:55 – Onfleet’s pricing is very transparent and can be easily calculated on their website
    • 08:30 – The telephone services are the call and text messages that run through Onfleet
    • 08:38 – The customer receives notifications automatically regarding the driver’s status
    • 09:16 – The cost varies primarily on the market
  • 09:53 – Onfleet is currently serving 300 customers
  • 10:10 – Onfleet’s pricing page is really nice and easy to navigate
  • 10:34 – Onfleet’s average customer is between the standard and premium tier
    • 11:06 – Some of the customers are paying the north of 10K a month
    • 11:13 – Average customer pay per month is $400-500 a month
  • 11:56 – Onfleet doesn’t track the number of tasks during the free trial
  • 12:38 – Onfleet helps businesses to scale their business
  • 13:10 – Onfleet’s net MRR churn is more negative than negative 5%
  • 14:10 – Everything in Onfleet is pay-per-use or pay-as-you-go
  • 14:40 – There are customers who start using Onfleet, then leave
    • 15:27 – Onfleet doesn’t have much customer churn
  • 16:05 – CAC is around $1500 per customer
  • 17:08 – LTV is around 18 months
  • 17:37 – Onfleet’s customers are categorized
  • 17:47 – Onfleet is slowly moving to more larger accounts
  • 19:20 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. You can start a business without a capital – just find a way to it.
  2. If you’re not generating enough money to support the team, then raising capital is a good option.
  3. No matter what, follow your passion and you’ll be alright.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • 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
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

May 11, 2017

Peter Kortenhoeven. He’s a creative person with a great deal of experience in the gaming industry. He started after graduation at the Academy of Arts as an animator at Coded Illusions. He became a lead animator at Triumph Studios shortly afterwards. One of his key successes has been the successful Overlord series. As lead artist, he worked on many different, yet, unreleased games. From a need to gain more business experience, he decided to focus on applied games. He became an art director at Bright Alley and later on at Ranj. During his period within the serious gaming industry, Peter kept working on small game projects during his spare time. One of those projects, Pillow Willow, helped him start his first company, Pillow Willow VR Studios.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Story of Whole Disney
  • What CEO do you follow? – N/A
  • Favorite online tool? — Trello
  • How many hours of sleep do you get? — 6
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Take it easy and make sure you focus on the right thing”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 02:22 – Nathan introduces Peter to the show
  • 03:43 – Pillow Willow works on two flavors of games
    • 03:47 – First is non-violent dreamscapes which are completely filled with liveliness
    • 04:11 – They also work on active, full-body, VR games which stimulate players to move actively within the games
  • 04:38 – Pillow Willow hasn’t released a game yet and is still working on 4 titles, at the same time
    • 04:47 – The first game, Drako, will be released within June and is a dreamscape game
    • 05:13 – Drako’s demo will be released for HTC Gear and Oculus
    • 05:39 – The goal is to have a multi-player option in the future
  • 06:05 – Pillow Willow won Best Dutch VR Game at the Bright VR Awards, in 2016
    • 06:17 – It was for a demo game
  • 07:00 – Pillow Willow has a seat funder which is Lumo Labs
  • 08:00 – Pillow Willow has currently raised $500M
  • 08:07 – Pillow Willow was launched in March 2016
  • 08:23 – Team size is 12
  • 08:46 – Pillow Willow will charge for their games and will create high end content
  • 09:20 – Mobile VR is the Samsung S series combined with the Gear VR
    • 09:38 – You have to have the proper phone and headset to play the games
  • 09:52 – Average number of people who have VR gear
  • 10:13 – Pillow Willow’s first game will be an hour long and priced at $499
  • 11:10 – Pillow Willow will try to create those dreamscapes games in a virtual universe
  • 11:40 – Nathan thinks of the dreamscapes games like Neopets
  • 14:15 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. The VR space is a hot space at the moment and the games are getting more and more interesting.
  2. If you have a seat funder, your company can continue developing a product even without recurring revenue.
  3. Take it easy and make sure you focus on the RIGHT goal.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • 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
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

May 10, 2017

David Barrett. He started programming at the early age of 6 and has been inspired to become an expense reporter ever since. He attended the University of Michigan where he worked in a virtual reality lab before moving to Texas to write a 3D graphic engine for the industry. Then, he moved to California to join a name that is probably familiar to many of you, Travis Kalanick, in building a peer-to-peer file transport technology called, Red Swoosh, which was acquired by Akamai in 2007. In 2008, David left that company to start Expensify—where he is today—and he’s trying to figure out the world’s frustrations, one expense report at a time.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Innovator’s Dilemma
  • What CEO do you follow? – Travis Kalanick
  • Favorite online tool? — G Suite
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 6-8
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “I wish I had dropped out of college”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:13 – Nathan introduces David to the show
  • 02:36 – David was working on a debit/credit card idea and the banks weren’t happy with it
  • 02:50 – Expensify is the corporate card for the masses
  • 03:08 – David got into the space when there was so much room for disruption and pain points
  • 03:40 – Travis’ first company is called Scour, which is an early file sharing network that got sued
    • 04:06 – When David got into Red Swoosh, Travis was the only guy there
    • 04:48 – David thinks that Travis is very articulate in communicating his vision
    • 05:12 – David had equity from Red Swoosh
    • 05:31 – Red Swoosh didn’t have a big exit
  • 06:14 – Expensify charges $9 per active user per month
    • 06:20 – Expensify is a mobile app—you take a picture of your receipts and the app will read all the details on the receipt, automatically
    • 06:29 – The information will then be categorized, sent to your account, and you’ll get reimbursed the next day
  • 07:10 – The company is only paying the active users
  • 07:29 – Expensify’s price points are $5 and $9
  • 07:40 – David started Expensify’s idea after Red Swoosh’s acquisition
  • 07:56 – David left Akamai in 2008, then he worked on Expensify
  • 08:00 – Expensify’s official launch is 2008
  • 08:05 – Expensify’s team size is around 110
  • 08:18 – Expensify has raised capital
    • 08:27 – Expensify has raised a total of $25M
    • 08:36 – Expensify has been a break even business for a long time
    • 08:39 – “We grow primarily through revenue”
    • 08:52 – The vast majority of Expensify’s growth is through self-finance
  • 09:54 – The business itself is breaking even, but they’re always raising and experimenting on big experiments
  • 10:31 – There are about 25K companies who use Expensify
  • 11:03 – There are millions of individuals who use Expensify, too
  • 11:32 – 10% of Expensify’s user base are paying customers
    • 10:43 – 10% of 4.5M are paying customers
  • 12:12 – “Churn is complicated”
    • 12:33 – Expensify has a net negative revenue churn
  • 13:05 – Expensify doesn’t advertise and they have 100% organic traffic
  • 13:37 – Expensify had a few fundraising rounds
    • 13:41 – In 2008, they had their first $1M round
    • 13:43 – They did a few more in a couple of years
  • 14:25 – David doesn’t talk with investors and hasn’t talked with them in years
  • 15:27 – Expensify is something totally different from Salesforce
  • 15:53 – Expensify doesn’t have salespeople
  • 16:16 – Expensify’s primary revenue generator is their support team who follow up on deployments
  • 16:43 – Pricing has been difficult and Expensify is still working on it
    • 16:53 – Expensify was originally free and customers didn’t understand why
    • 17:18 – David thought they needed a reasonable price point
    • 17:31 – After choosing a price point, people became more comfortable and trusting
    • 17:51 – Expensify’s competitors followed their pricing
    • 18:37 – Expensify’s focus is on mastering the dynamics
    • 19:06 – David thinks that, realistically, their pricing should be much higher
    • 19:34 – David is planning on increasing their pricing
    • 19:52 – “Because we don’t need the money, we’re focused on something else”
    • 19:58 – “Maintaining an incredibly low price right now for the industry actually helps keep the competition out”
  • 20:29 – People find Expensify through word-of-mouth
    • 20:51 – “All of our emphasis is on building a product in a brand that generates an incredibly strong word-of-mouth”
    • 21:34 – 99% of Expensify’s traffic is people searching for us
  • 21:40 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Adding a paid option to your product can actually make your customers more confident in your product.
  2. Word-of-mouth is one of the best and cheapest ways to grow your traffic and client base, but your business has to be valuable for people.
  3. A college degree is NOT the only road to success.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • 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
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

May 9, 2017

Dale Beaumont. He’s an award winning technology entrepreneur, international speaker and author of 16 best-selling books. He started his first business at age 19 and has been building companies ever since. One of those companies is now a multi-million dollar enterprise which enabled Dale to become an investor, philanthropist, and has given him the opportunity to set foot in over 70 countries.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Seven-Day Weekend
  • What CEO do you follow? – Mark Zuckerberg
  • Favorite online tool? — Voxer
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 7
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – Dale would tell himself to really have fun and just enjoy the journey

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:18 – Nathan introduces Dale to the show
  • 02:00 – Dale’s first book was published in 2001
    • 02:23 – Dale published a total of 16 books and sold 250K copies
    • 02:26 – All of the books that Dale published were on best-seller list in Australia
    • 02:42 – A best-seller book in Australia sells 5K copies on physical bookshelves
  • 02:57 – Dale was 19 when he started his first company
    • 03:05 – One of Dale’s challenges was being so young in business
    • 03:27 – Dale thought that needed to create credibility and the one way to do that was to publish a book
    • 03:45 – Dale’s first book was The World at Your Feet which is a personal development book for teenagers
    • 03:50 – When Dale wrote a press release, it got him on national TV, newspapers and magazines
  • 04:23 – Dale’s first company’s revenue went up after they released his book
    • 04:59 – The book became their launch pad
  • 05:16 – Dale’s first company’s revenue increased to $500K
  • 05:28 – Dale published a series called Secrets Exposed, which has 15 books—he wrote the series in two and half years
    • 05:43 – The books are interviews conducted by Dale
    • 06:16 – All of the books are self-published
    • 06:39 – Dale worked on the series from 2007 to 2009
    • 06:49 – Publishing this series is one of Dale’s most successful ventures
  • 07:10 – In self-publishing, the cost per book goes down when you have 5K copies
    • 07:31 – Dale had a pre-sell for his books
    • 07:48 – Dale also had partnerships with companies, associations and organizations and they pre-purchased his books
  • 08:28 – There was no requirement for the interviewee to purchase a copy of the book
    • 08:38 – When Dale was about to print the copies, he sent messages to people offering a discounted price for bulk orders
    • 08:58 – After 4 books of his series came out, more people approached Dale to be interviewed, so Dale had to set requirements
    • 09:08 – Dale was able to fill out the next 11 books by making people commit to buying 1K copies
    • 09:40 – Brad Sugars is an example of someone who approached Dale
  • 10:21 – Dale started a company called Business Blueprint
    • 11:04 – The company teaches small business owners across Australia and New Zealand how to use technology to improve their business
    • 11:11 – The company started from the ground up and has continued to grow for 7 years now
    • 11:16 – It is doing more than $5M in revenue
    • 11:26 – The company does live events, webinars and membership sites
  • 12:05 – Dale’s goal is to provide business education and support
    • 12:30 – Less than 1% of businesses have a business coach or advisor
    • 12:33 – Dale thought that it would be cool to create a product that would give everyone a chance to have a business advisor
    • 12:46 – Dale started to build the world’s first AI business advisor and his name is BRiN
    • 12:54 – “BRiN is like the Siri for business”
    • 12:56 – BriN is a smartphone app and is currently on free download in iOs and Android
  • 13:50 – Dale shares the benefit of using BRiN rather than searching your business questions through Google
  • 14:21 – BRiN has had 21K downloads in the past 6 months with 4K weekly users
  • 15:00 – BRiN, overall, has had 164K user sessions
  • 16:10 – Dale self-funded BRiN from the funds he got from his previous company
    • 16:20 – Dale has also been approached by different companies who are trying to talk to small business owners
    • 16:39 – BRiN now offers partnership packages
  • 18:52 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. One way to “manufacture” credibility is by publishing your own book.
  2. It is good to know that you’re on the right path in business – and business advisors can help guide you on that path.
  3. Work hard, live your life, but make sure you are ENJOYING the journey.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • 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
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

May 8, 2017

Maria Gotsch. She’s the president and CEO at the Partnership Fund for New York City, which is the investment arm of the Partnership for New York City. In addition to leading the funds operations, Maria has spearheaded the creation and operation of a number of fund strategic initiatives including The Fintech Innovation Lab. Prior to joining the fund in 1999, Maria was a managing director at a company that is now part of Deutsche Bank, providing strategic and financial advice related to mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures and the development of business strategies. Maria worked for LaSalle Partners in the New York area and Merrill Lynch Capital Markets, in both New York and London. She graduated with an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Wellesley College.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – “A book on the Iranian negotiations with the US around the treaty”
  • What CEO do you follow? – Henry Kravis
  • Favorite online tool? — MyCity Bike app
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 7 and a half
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Be bold, be bold, be bold!”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:11 – Nathan introduces Maria to the show
  • 02:15 – Partnership Fund is the corporate sector at the table that is trying to grow the NYC economy
    • 02:21 – Henry Kravis of KKR has raised funds in the late 90s and raised from major corporations and individuals, in NYC
    • 02:32 – The investor list is the “who’s who" of the private equity
    • 02:36 – Partnership Fund was structured as an evergreen fund
    • 02:48 – “We can do things that are a little bit riskier and take a little bit longer than a traditional private sector investor”
    • 03:02 – “We often work with government, but we’re privately funded”
  • 03:13 – Partnership Fund is like an interest-free loan for 45 years
  • 03:33 – All of Partnership Fund’s gains just go back to their funds and they reinvest it
    • 03:41 – “We have the investors’ money for 45 years and if we make returns, it comes back to us to fund new projects”
  • 03:58 – The Fintech Lab is currently in their 7th year and has 75 graduates
    • 04:08 – It is an elite program and takes 68 companies a year
    • 04:18 – It is structured as a civic program
    • 04:32 – The goal of the program is to help reduce the pain and agony of a small emerging company trying to get into and get attention from large financial institutions
    • 05:06 – “Because it is competitive to get in, it’s a shark tank to get in, but once you’re in, it’s a dolphin tank”
    • 05:18 – They get 150-160 applications a year
    • 05:28 – Companies are selected by their financial institution partners
    • 05:34 – A company’s technology has to rise to the level of addressing a major pain point for major financial institutions
    • 06:10 – In some cases, it’s not about an acquisition, it’s about using
    • 06:15 – The fact that they are a non-profit civic organization is important
    • 06:29 – CTOs and CIOs will come to the table as a civic program, partly to help grow the fintech community in NYC, to create jobs
    • 07:23 – They invest in some of the graduates’ post programs
    • 07:30 – The lab is laser-focused in solving problems
    • 07:41 – They are not doing any direct-to-consumer programs
  • 08:20 – The big 3: data, security and risk management have been on the top of the CIOs list from the beginning
    • 08:43 – However, new things are coming
    • 08:47 – Disruptive talent management has been added as a new category
    • 08:58 – Blockchain has gone through an interesting cycle
    • 09:14 – This year, there’s much less interest in blockchain and distributed ledger
  • 09:52 – Maria predicts that in 2 years, there will be an increase of interest in enabling technologies that fit around the distributed ledger
  • 10:31 – In data, Digital Reasoning came into the program with an interesting technology that is able to read unstructured data, and they’re working for the government
    • 11:03 – They were advised to focus on compliance
  • 12:04 – In security, Centripetal Networks has a perimeter defense technology and they’re gaining traction from people who have a lot of retail locations
  • 12:34 – In risk management, Quarule automates some of the processing of regulatory tracking and flagging operations against the regulations
  • 13:23 – In blockchain, Digital Asset Holdings has raised a significant amount of money and has been involved in some major projects
  • 13:50 – Maria shares how they are telling companies to create more jobs in NYC
    • 14:02 – The companies will also realize that they need to have people on the ground in NYC
    • 14:20 – Some have moved to their headquarters in NYC
  • 14:46 – “We’ve not raised money since the late 90s”
    • 14:50 – The initial fund size was $120M
  • 15:46 – New York is starting to be seen as a center for fintech
  • 16:34 – There are some smaller companies that are trying to go after pieces and as they scale, the acquisition cost is increasingly expensive
  • 17:40 – The small business lenders come to a market that the banks aren’t servicing
    • 18:00 – There are companies who are an exception to the rule
  • 18:17 – Most of the companies end up partnering with large institutions
  • 18:54 – What the large financial institutions have is expertise and compliance
  • 20:10 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. The trend in the fintech space is constantly changing.
  2. Creating more jobs in New York City means more opportunities for companies and for the people of New York.
  3. Be BOLD—don’t shrink, don’t hesitate—just go for it.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • 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
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

May 7, 2017

Gaurav Dhillon. He’s an early investor in a company called SnapLogic. He joined in 2009, when he saw the potential of how companies integrate applications data and devices for digital business. He spearheaded SnapLogic’s rapid growth and overseas strategies, products, and operations. He’s previously the co-founder and CEO of Informatica.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Power of Habit
  • What CEO do you follow? – Andy Grove
  • Favorite online tool? — Gmail
  • How many hours of sleep do you get? — Close to 6
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “I wish he knew more that opportunity knocks often”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:22 – Nathan introduces Gaurav to the show
  • 02:04 – Gaurav and his co-founder had a $75K SBA grant when they built Informatica
    • 02:25 – They have raised a total of $13.5M
    • 02:57 – “11-12 years is a long time and it’s time to go”
  • 03:32 – Gaurav is a company builder
  • 03:47 – When Gaurav did an IPO, he sold some of his shares in a secondary public offering
    • 03:53 – There was no lock-out
    • 04:24 – They made $400M in secondary public offering
    • 04:32 – Their initial raise was less than $100M
    • 04:49 – In IPO, you are also trying to build a brand for yourself
  • 05:23 – Gaurav left Informatica in July 2004
  • 05:28 – Gaurav spent a year doing things on his bucket list
  • 06:10 – When Gaurav went back to the valley, he joined a couple of boards
  • 06:25 – Gaurav was in a board meeting when they talked about business internet, which is now cloud computing
    • 06:37 – “People aren’t just going to buy books from the web, they’re going to balance books on the web”
  • 06:58 – Gaurav invested in SnapLogic
    • 07:05 – Gaurav wrote a couple of men a check saying that if there’s a business, prove it to him, and he will provide capital
    • 07:16 – The initial check was $1M
    • 07:26 – Gaurav structured it as convertible debt
  • 08:06 – SnapLogic has raised a total of $136M
    • 08:10 – Initially, it was from Venture
    • 08:23 – Most recent round was led by Vitruvian Partners
  • 09:04 – Gaurav built Informatica to hook up those products with each other
  • 09:21 – SnapLogic is connecting the new cloud application to what is now Legacy, which was a new application 20 years ago
    • 09:46 – They’re expanding out the product set in SnapLogic and providing all kinds of connections
  • 10:12 – Is SnapLogic the unsexier version of Zapier, but more important?
    • 10:26 – Zapier is a consumer place and Gaurav doesn’t dislike it
    • 10:32 – There have been companies, like Bump, who try to do certain kinds of things
    • 10:56 – The problem of overt strata in business
    • 11:05 – What they’re solving on Zapier is on a personal level
    • 11:20 – If you’re trying to connect your human capital system with your SAP financial system and you are a big company, you will need something like SnapLogic
    • 11:44 – SnapLogic is the industrial version
  • 11:58 – SnapLogic is a PaaS (platform as a service) model
    • 12:04 – SnapLogic is a cloud product and is like Google Chrome
  • 12:33 – SnapLogic’s average customer pay is $136K a year
  • 12:57 – SnapLogic currently has 250 employees and is still growing
  • 13:20 – SnapLogic’s LTV
    • 13:32 – “We’ve got many customers in 7-figures, already”
    • 13:50 – “You can always buy that you can sell”
  • 14:07 – SnapLogic has inside qualification people or SDRs for customer acquisition
    • 14:24 – SDRs ratio
    • 14:43 – SnapLogic has less than 20 SDRs
    • 14:56 – CAC
  • 15:49 – “We’re a buzz company, customers love us”
  • 17:15 – Gaurav looks at incremental growth
  • 18:44 – Nathan thinks that it is so wrong for founders who focus on the LTV-CAC ratio
  • 19:09 – “You don’t want to be too conservative, right, because the early market share you get is the best market share”
  • 19:26 – Gaurav shares the business metrics
    • 19:46 – Try to do a 6-figure deal and try to have more customers than employees
  • 20:06 – Average ARR
    • 20:47 – SnapLogic hasn’t broke the 9-figure ARR rate yet
    • 21:05 – A company that can double its revenue has nothing to fear
  • 21:34 – “What we’re doing is building a robust business which, no doubt, is growing aggressively, but also has its feet on the ground”
  • 22:50 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. If your company can double its revenue, it’s a strong indicator that you are in good shape.
  2. The early market share you get is the best market share.
  3. Don’t fret—opportunity knocks often.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • 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
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

May 6, 2017

Garth Moulton. He’s invested and has advised a number of technology startups and was responsible for revenue growth for the channel for Pipl Inc.  After 11 years of sales experience in the Bay area, Mr. Moulton had the perfect startup journey with Jigsaw, which was drawn up from 2 guys with a whiteboard to a $175M exit, in 2010, to Salesforce.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Speed of Trust
  • What CEO do you follow? – Tim Ferris
  • Favorite online tool? — LinkedIn
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 6
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “That time is not boundless”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:18 – Nathan introduces Garth to the show
  • 01:58 – Garth didn’t get depressed after Jigsaw’s exit
  • 02:23 – Garth and Jim stayed at Salesforce for a year and a half, after the acquisition
  • 02:43 – Pipl was running together with Jigsaw
    • 02:48 – Garth met Pipl’s CEO during the early days of Jigsaw and they partnered together
    • 03:03 – Pipl would drive traffic to Jigsaw
  • 03:51 – Pipl was a typical search engine, driving traffic to partners
    • 04:31 – In the last 3 years, Pipl was more of a data company that sold API access and basic search tools to access data and profiles to 3 channels
    • 04:46 – First channel is a search app like Spokeo and Instant Checkmate where Pipl supplies them the data
    • 05:19 – Second channel is fraud alert and ID validation
    • 05:44 – Pipl checks if the email is real
    • 05:56 – Garth overlooked the companies that were going to use the data for sales and marketing
    • 06:18 – Pipl is partners with Full Contact
  • 06:39 – Nathan has been trying to find the mother of data sources
    • 06:52 – “Jigsaw was the source of the data”
    • 07:12 – LinkedIn is still the biggest source of data for B2B
    • 07:50 – There’s a LinkedIn private channel
    • 08:26 – LinkedIn has gotten more and more aggressive in making the data available
  • 08:58 – There have been CEOs who received a cease and desist order from LinkedIn
    • 09:24 – Some of the companies are wholly dependent on LinkedIn
  • 09:56 – Garth shares the same sentiment as Nathan that there’s no mother data source
  • 12:30 – An average of a hundred corporations have bought the API access of Pipl
  • 13:14 – Pipl’s business solution average price point
    • 13:21 – $1200 a year for unlimited searches, per person
  • 13:37 – Team size is 40
    • 13:47 – Team location
  • 14:15 – Pipl is bootstrapped
    • 14:27 – Garth became interested in Pipl, because it was completely bootstrapped
  • 15:15 – Garth had an agreement that he would come on for a couple of years and expand the channel for Pipl
    • 15:37 – Garth is on the cap table
  • 17:00 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Data sources are sharing each other’s data to grow and verify their own data—there is no mother of data sources.
  2. A company that is bootstrapped definitely has more freedom and control of their company.
  3. If you can start your business as early as you can, do it.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • 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
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

May 5, 2017

Benjamin Cohen. He’s the CEO and leading T-REX, with a strong vision for the future of enterprise financial technology and its impact on marketing and making markets more transparent and efficient. He’s built the T-REX team and the T-REX software platform by combining the most sustainable elements of finance with modern SaaS technology.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Influence
  • What CEO do you follow? – Elon Musk
  • Favorite online tool? — LinkedIn
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— Between 6 and 7.5
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “I wished that I knew that not everything was of the utmost consequence for my entire life”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 02:24 – Nathan introduces Benjamin to the show
  • 02:55 – T-REX is a fintech company that makes complex capital markets more liquid by making them more transparent and efficient
    • 04:04 – T-REX provides a familiar framework where their clients can slice and dice everything
    • 04:15 – “We’re just making the risks more transparent”
  • 04:20 – T-REX has an enterprise SaaS model
  • 04:59 – Customers are paying $2k-20K per month depending on the functionalities they need
  • 05:09 – Benjamin launched T-REX in 2012
  • 05:55 – The Ecosystem Integrity Fund is T-REX’s series A lead investor
  • 06:12 – T-REX has raised $15M in total
    • 06:26 - T-REX had 2 priced equity rounds
  • 06:32 – Team size is 21 and based in New York
    • 06:39 – Half of the team is based in Tel Aviv, Israel and are mostly software engineers
    • 06:57 – The cost of living in Israel is a bit lower
  • 07:35 – T-REX has over 225 users
    • 07:51 – The 225 are all paying customers
  • 08:28 – The model of T-REX is that investors are coming in and looking for different deals than what originators have out, which includes different loan portfolios—specifically in the renewable energy sector
  • 09:34 – Loan’s interest
  • 09:44 – The secure ties
  • 10:30 – Average MRR
  • 11:13 – “I invested 2 years of my time before getting a dollar”
  • 11:19 – It took Benjamin 2 years to raise capital
  • 11:36 – Benjamin’s fund was from his previous role in Macquarie Bank
  • 12:12 – Renewable energy presented a great slate of a market
  • 12:33 – Benjamin funded T-REX with a 6-figure capital
  • 12:52 – A junior engineer’s average salary from Tel Aviv
    • 13:53 – Everybody in the company has equity
  • 14:03 – Benjamin is the sole-founder of T-REX
  • 14:32 – Customer churn is currently zero
    • 14:54 – Benjamin is expecting T-REX to be incredibly sticky
  • 15:20 – T-REX is selling additional seats and their customers can sell more modules
    • 15:29 – T-REX can expand horizontally to different markets and vertically where they can sell different models
  • 15:50 – Years ago, T-REX has set up their own broker/dealers
  • 16:05 – CAC is dependent on the customers
  • 17:11 – T-REX will do a $10K conference sponsorship and they need to be there
  • 17:35 – T-REX series B closed in November 15th
  • 20:00 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Be in the space that you know best and don’t fear being a solo founder.
  2. It is actually GREAT to make mistakes and GREAT to fail, as long as you learn from it.
  3. Don’t fear that every decision you make or action you take has a lifelong consequence in your life—it simply isn’t true.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • 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
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

May 4, 2017

Pablo Estevez. He’s a Mexican entrepreneur who co-founded HolaGus, an artificial intelligence company that focuses on automating customer service and sales via chat for Spanish speaking countries. Since founding his company, he has been distinguished for receiving awards like The Diamond Winner by MassChallenge.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Hard Thing About Hard Things
  • What CEO do you follow? – A lot
  • Favorite online tool? — N/A
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— Usually 7
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “That this is going to be really, really hard, I was going to work a lot of hours”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:14 – Nathan introduces Pablo to the show
  • 02:00 – HolaGus develops AI to automate customer service and sales via any chat channel
  • 02:11 – HolaGus charges businesses for every assisted conversation
    • 02:39 – HolaGus’s standard fee is 1-2 Mexican pesos
    • 02:47 – HolaGus has a pay-as-you-go model
  • 03:20 – HolaGus is a B2C business and is similar to GoButler
  • 03:37 – “If we really want to scale the business, we have to focus on the AI”
  • 04:04 – HolaGus was launched in 2015
  • 04:10 – There are 3 co-founders
  • 04:22 – HolaGus has raised capital and is about to close their third round
    • 05:04 – HolaGus has raised a total of $1.4M
  • 05:23 – HolaGus focuses on the customer’s closing and how much automation they’re able to create
    • 05:39 – “We try to keep the bots, like, between 80-90%”
    • 05:53 – HolaGus focuses on closing the biggest amount of clients that they can
    • 05:58 – HolaGus has a lot of interesting commercial deals in the pipeline
  • 06:09 – HolaGus has already sold 3 contracts
    • 06:16 – HolaGus only started selling 4-5 months ago
    • 06:21 – HolaGus is hoping to close 85 clients
  • 06:55 – HolaGus is still on pre-revenue
  • 07:10 – HolaGus has different projected revenues and models for their 3 customers
  • 07:12 – HolaGus has an upfront development fee of $25K
  • 08:02 – HolaGus pricing will depend on the technology
    • 08:13 – HolaGus develops AI, specifically for a business
    • 08:39 – HolaGus is now creating an ocean of knowledge
    • 09:08 – “If we have a thousand clients, our AI gets smarter and smarter really quick”
  • 11:08 – Pablo believes that they automate a lot
  • 11:25 – Total projected conversations for the first 3 customers will be 20K-40K conversations
  • 11:56 – HolaGus tries to charge a minimum of monthly consumption
  • 12:30 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. AI technology can be complicated and needs continuous development.
  2. Play around with different payment models to see what works best and is most profitable.
  3. Starting and running a business is tough work—you just have to be dedicated.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • 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
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

May 3, 2017

Peter Aronson. He’s an award-winning journalist who’s has been featured on NPR and Marketplace. He’s also been a vice president in the corporate world. Now, his startup helps Mexico transform that notorious Mexican tap water into perfectly drinkable clean-tasting purified water.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Founder’s Dilemma
  • What CEO do you follow? – N/A
  • Favorite online tool? — HubSpot CRM
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— 7
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – Peter wished he took business courses and knew about the GTD (Getting Things Done) methodology

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:12 – Nathan introduces Peter to the show
  • 01:33 – People aren’t supposed to drink the water in Mexico
  • 01:41 – Mexico became the No. 1 consumer per capita in the world
    • 02:08 – 70% of the consumed bottled water in Mexico is 5-gallon jug
    • 02:21 – An average Mexican family is spending more for their water than on their broadband or landline
  • 02:48 – Peter’s company is Biluu
  • 03:07 – Peter had been curious about the startup and business world
  • 03:13 – Peter was the corporate vice president for US-Indian Joint Venture
  • 03:30 – While in the Himalayas, Peter would boil his drinking water every day
  • 03:35 – Eventually, Peter taught the people how to use a water purifier
  • 04:00 – Peter searched how to properly filter water and what should be taken out
  • 04:25 – Peter’s wife is Mexican and he returned to Mexico
  • 04:36 – Biluu is a for profit business, not a non-profit
    • 04:44 – Biluu is currently doing direct sales and YouTube promotions
    • 05:00 – The main challenge in Mexico is changing people’s habits
    • 05:12 – “We’ve had to establish trust”
  • 06:12 – Biluu filtration system cost is $170
    • 06:50 – For $170, they can get virtually unlimited purified drinking water for a year
    • 06:58 – A cartridge will last for a year
  • 07:11 – 1500 people are drinking Biluu’s water
  • 07:35 – Some of Biluu’s filtration systems are in restaurants
  • 07:53 – Biluu has sold around 100 units
  • 08:10 – The previous water filters in Mexico weren’t effective or scientifically proven
  • 08:43 – 42% of Biluu’s growth came from referrals
  • 08:55 – Biluu isn’t manufacturing by themselves
    • 09:28 – Biluu has an exclusive license to the technology
    • 09:39 – The deal is by volume commitment
    • 09:57 – Biluu needs to maintain a 6-figure sales
  • 10:14 – Biluu is totally self-funded
  • 10:20 – Team size is 5 and all are based in Mexico City, Mexico
  • 10:47 – Biluu is trying to look for brand ambassadors to reach out to people
    • 11:06 – Biluu is also doing Facebook paid ads and Google AdWords
  • 12:17 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. It’s not easy to change people’s habits, but you HAVE to try—especially if it’s for the better.
  2. Learning from a community can be a life changing experience.
  3. Find a brand ambassador who has a good online reputation and large following.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • 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
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

May 2, 2017

Alex Mehr. He’s the founder of Zoosk, which filed to go public in 2014. His current venture is MentorBox, a unique and new self-help concept. Before that, he was an aerospace scientist at NASA.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – How to Win Friends and Influence People
  • What CEO do you follow? – Jeff Bezos
  • Favorite online tool? — Trello
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— I try at least 8
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “To take more risks”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:10 – Nathan introduces Alex to the show
  • 01:43 – Zoosk announced to go public for $200M
    • 02:24 – Zoosk decided to stay independent, so they didn’t pursue going public
    • 02:44 – When you go public, you make projections about the growth rate and what you want to do financially
    • 03:05 – The expectations from the public market for tech companies who go public are different than those who do not
    • 03:14 – Alex and the team didn’t want the company to push hard for a quarter by quarter growth
  • 03::50 – Zoosk was launched in 2007
  • 04:00 – Alex and his co-founder split everything 50/50
  • 04:21 – Alex and his co-founder have worked for 8 years and they never had a problem
    • 04:40 – Alex and Shayan have different domain expertise and they respect each other’s’ domain expertise
  • 05:30 – Zoosk has grown rapidly until 2014
    • 05:36 – “But the company was not profitable”
    • 06:40 – Alex still has his equity and is part of the board
  • 07:36 – Zoosk is growing again
  • 07:53 – MentorBox is a self-education self-improvement education box
  • 08:07 – Alex has always been a book reader his whole life
    • 08:33 – Alex would gift his friends books all the time
    • 08:43 – 10% of the population’s primary method of learning is reading
    • 08:50 – There are 4 methods of learning: auditory, visual, reading, and kinesthetic
  • 09:20 – The idea of MentorBox is a subscription for business books that Alex thinks everybody should read per month
    • 09:38 – MentorBox makes the information concise so that you can study the main concepts in 10 minutes
    • 09:46 – MentorBox delivers in 4 formats
  • 10:28 – Tai Lopez is Alex’s co-founder
    • 10:41 – 7 years ago, Tai and Alex met at an online gaming conference
    • 11:05 – It turned out that Tai reads 1 book a day
    • 11:40 – Tai and Alex have a 50/50 deal with MentorBox
  • 12:03 – Alex had a landing page to test MentorBox
    • 12:19 – They had a video that explained the product
    • 12:27 – Tai has a large social media following so he tested his ad on his social media
    • 13:05 – In the first test, they were able to sell $80K worth of product
  • 13:22 – MentorBox is priced at $89 a month
  • 13:50 – MentorBox’s retention
  • 14:14 – MentorBox’s space is education subscription
  • 14:40 – Average retention in the space
  • 15:12 – Tai and Alex knew that MentorBox would be a sustainable business
  • 15:38 – LTV and CAC are both high
  • 16:18 – MentorBox also relies on word-of-mouth marketing
  • 16:37 – The cost per box drops depending on the volume
  • 17:26 – MentorBox buys from distributors and publishers directly
    • 17:48 – MentorBox is looking at getting directly from the author
    • 18:18 – The number of books MentorBox has bought from Ryan Holiday
  • 19:15 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. The public market’s expectations for companies that go public are very different and can put on additional pressures that, otherwise, wouldn’t exist.
  2. Do what you love AND share what you love doing to other people.
  3. Be a risk-taker – you’ll learn more that way.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • 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
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

May 1, 2017

Sean Ellis. He’s the founder and CEO of GrowthHackers.com, he coined the term “growth hacking” in 2010 after using it to ignite growth for Dropbox, Eventbrite, LogMeIn and Lookout. He also founded and sold customer insights company Qualaroo, growing it to millions of dollars in recurring revenue.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Hard Thing About Hard Things
  • What CEO do you follow? – Peep Laja
  • Favorite online tool? — The Calm App
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Yes
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “I wished my 20-year old self knew things are going to be pretty good”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:25 – Nathan introduces Sean to the show
  • 02:03 – Sean speaks at The Capital Factory in Austin, Texas
    • 02:07 – Sean’s talk was about viral coefficients and why it’s important to decrease the time of the original share to really drive growth
  • 02:50 – If you don’t have a lot value at the foundation of the growth, it’s hard to make your business sustainable
    • 02:56 – Sean tries to understands the value of the product first, then goes backwards from there
  • 03:16 – Sean used the referral program for Dropbox
    • 03:30 – Sean, together with the group, came up with the idea of giving away free storage for referrals
    • 03:45 – Sean’s friend tested a double-sided referral program prior to Dropbox
    • 03:53 – Sean’s friend is James Siminoff, founder of Ring and the previously the CEO of PhoneTag
  • 04:45 – Sean provides advice on viral coefficients
    • 04:55 – In the case of DropBox—“Referrals were strong before the referral program went in place”
    • 05:12 – Understand what the motivation is for people to do refer
    • 05:18 – Think about every step in the process; for example, what’s the prompt that gets people to share?
    • 05:42 – Optimize all the steps of the referral process
    • 05:47 – The more you have qualitative and quantitative insights about what’s happening, you’re going to be more informed in the tests that you are running
  • 06:41 – Eventbrite didn’t have an incentive, but just a natural viral product in itself
    • 07:18 – Eventbrite helps companies sell tickets
    • 07:30 – Eventbrite doesn’t only offer a convenient experience but also good SEO, social integration, and other factors that will help you sell tickets
  • 08:00 – Sean worked for LogMeIn’s marketing for 5 years
    • 08:05 – LogMeIn is now a $5B company
    • 08:07 – “Natural word-of-mouth was huge with LogMeIn”
    • 08:10 – By the time Sean left LogMeIn, 80% of the users were coming in through word-of-mouth
    • 08:15 – LogMeIn was spending more than $1M monthly with a 3-month payback on acquiring customers
    • 08:21 – “Value drives word-of-mouth”
    • 08:35 – At first, the majority of LogMeIn’s users didn’t really use the product
    • 09:25 – The CEO and whole team worked together to find out the problem with the customer experience
    • 09:55 – LogMeIn has always been cash flow positive
  • 10:13 – Look up how Sean runs questionnaires in his Youtube videos and slideshows
  • 10:31 – Qualaroo is about customer insights
    • 10:45 – Sean acquired Qualaroo in 2012
    • 10:49 – Qualaroo was acquired from KissMetrics
    • 10:53 – Qualaroo was a side business and Sean was an advisor for it
    • 11:08 – Sean built Qualaroo to millions of dollars of recurring revenue and sold it last year
    • 11:45 – Sean bought it for less than a million dollars
    • 12:00 – The revenue of Qualaroo was less than a hundred thousand dollars
    • 12:25 – Qualaroo was acquired by Xenon
    • 13:01 – Jonathan Siegel owns Xenon
    • 13:14 – Sean wanted to sell Qualaroo and wasn’t trying to get top dollar for it
  • 13:57 – Sean had a 7-figure advance on the book, so he’s not losing money
    • 14:09 – Sean has signed with Crown Business
    • 14:29 – Sean has self-published a book before
    • 14:49 – Sean’s background and Growth Hackers allowed him to get a great deal with Crown Business
    • 15:00 – Sean is the guy who came up with the term “growth hacking”
    • 15:09 – There are already a lot of publishers who approached Sean to write a book about growth hacking
    • 15:22 – Morgan Brown is Sean’s co-author
    • 15:47 – Morgan and Sean hired an editor to write the proposal
    • 16:10 – Sean’s agent is Lisa DiMona
    • 16:30 – The process is getting an agent to invest in your book, they help you with the proposal and they pitch your book
  • 17:21 – Sean’s plan to make the book a successful one
    • 17:26 – First is to gain momentum to get on the New York Times’ Bestseller List
    • 17:43 – The weekly sales is what will determine whether you make the list
    • 18:05 – “If you get on the list, then it’s a lot easier to stay on the list”
  • 18:32 – People’s perception on growth is often a bit flawed
    • 18:45 – Growth hacking is more about testing stuff and doubling down when something works
  • 19:04 – Sean has some copies of his book for his Microsoft presentation
    • 19:20 – Sean also has some copies for different companies
    • 19:31 – Sean offers ticket bundles for Growth Hackers Conference in May, in LA
    • 19:37 – Growth University’s growth master training course has bundled with book sales
    • 19:43 – Sean is running bundled ads, too
    • 19:51 – Sean is getting sub $50 sales on their course with the book bundled
    • 20:51 – Sean is currently at a ConversionXL conference
    • 21:05 – Peep Laja was on Episode 620, and he is the founder of ConversionXL
  • 21:37 – Sean didn’t commit to buying any books
  • 22:35 – Why should people buy this book rather than the other growth hacking books?
    • 22:39 – “Ryan Holiday’s book was awesome to bring attention to growth hacking”
    • 22:47 – There hasn’t really been a guide book to what do you do as a team, especially for bigger companies who want to replicate what Facebook or Uber has done
    • 23:12 – Marketing isn’t that hard, but you need cultural change, cross-functional coordination, and collaboration
    • 23:31 – Hacking Growth has the methods for what you need to drive growth at its foundation
    • 23:44 – It is powerful and people need help
  • 24:06 – Crossing the Chasm provides observations regarding the growth process
    • 24:20 – The main difference between this book and Sean’s is that it doesn’t tell you how to organize your team to exploit that growth situation
    • 24:32 – “We’re not just telling you the fundamentals of how growth works, we’re telling you how to run a growth process across a team...”
    • 25:02 – “You need to have a very integrated coordinated team and the best time to build it in your business is early, when the culture is malleable to do it”
  • 27:20 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Regarding viral coefficients, the more you have qualitative and quantitative insights about what’s happening in the referral and sharing process, the more informed your tests will be.
  2. Growth hacking is more about testing stuff and doubling down when something works.
  3. You NEED a very integrated, coordinated team—the best time to build this into your business is early on, when the culture is still malleable.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • 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
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

Apr 30, 2017

Kenny Ewan. He is in charge of the overall strategic direction for WeFarm where he oversees the day-to-day activities of the business. After graduating, he spent 7 years in Peru running an international NGO, specializing in work with indigenous communities. Kenny played the lead role in developing WeFarm, before launching it as a startup in 2015.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Chaos Monkeys
  • What CEO do you follow? – Elon Musk
  • Favorite online tool? — Slack
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— 6
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “I’m happy to let him make mistakes”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:18 – Nathan introduces Kenny to the show
  • 01:49 – WeFarm is a growth focus model
  • 02:29 – WeFarm offers their services to farmers
    • 02:37 – WeFarm leads farmers to the sellers and WeFarm will take a small transaction commission
  • 03:00 – WeFarm offers information in the space
    • 03:08 – A farmer in Kenya who has no internet access can ask WeFarm a question, through SMS, for free
    • 03:30 – 10-15 people in WeFarm’s network will try to answer the question
    • 03:45 – The people who answer want to share their knowledge about farming
  • 04:12 – WeFarm has generated revenue, but they’re still on pre-profit
  • 04:20 – WeFarm just closed a seed round for $1.7M
  • 04:27 – WeFarm started as an Impact project for Google and they won
    • 04:36 – They used the prize as capital
    • 04:42 – The prize was £500K
  • 05:04 – Team size is 20 and is still growing; they’re around the globe
  • 05:41 – WeFarm uses radio to connect with more farmers
    • 05:51 – WeFarm partnered with radio stations and invited farmers on
    • 06:00 – 4-5K people were joining WeFarm in just an hour
    • 06:12 – WeFarm also partners with businesses where farmers buy
  • 06:45 – WeFarm currently has 140K farmers on their platform
  • 06:55 – WeFarm measures activity by the number of users who actively contribute every month
  • 07:55 – WeFarm is also available online
  • 08:15 – WeFarm has a super active marketplace
  • 08:32 – WeFarm doesn’t incentivize people who answer inquiries, just like Quora
  • 08:50 – WeFarm’s roadmap this year
  • 09:00 – WeFarm has 20 people
  • 09:30 – WeFarm already has a couple of commercial contacts with a major retailer in UK
    • 09:48 – “We have validated our revenue sources”
  • 10:00 – 2017 target revenue is around $50K
  • 11:30 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. A business does NOT always have to be revenue focused; helping people can be a goal in and of itself.
  2. We have a responsibility to help guide those who need it and access those who still do not have the internet.
  3. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, but be sure to learn from them.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • 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
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Apr 29, 2017

Tyler Tate. He’s the CEO of Crema.co, the coffee market place. Previously, he co-founded TwigKit, which is an enterprise search software and was the first design lead at Nutshell, which is a SaaS CRM platform. In each case, he used product strategy and design thinking to play its part in envisioning, designing and building products from the ground up. He’s also co-authored the book called Designing the Search Experience which Morgan Kaufmann published in 2013. He’s spoken at numerous conferences. While at TwigKit, he consulted for organizations such as The Financial Times, Thomson-Reuters, Qualcomm, Vodafone, ITV, Rolls-Royce, BASF and Gemalto, helping them design search-driven applications. He’s originally from Alabama, went to University of Kentucky, and spent 7 years in UK. He’s also lived in Seattle and currently resides in the San Francisco Bay area.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Tyler prefers reading blogs at the moment
  • What CEO do you follow? – Michael Dubin
  • Favorite online tool? — Trello
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— 7
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – Tyler wished he realized earlier how important a network is

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:35 – Nathan introduces Tyler to the show
  • 02:41 – In TwigKit, Tyler was selling an expensive software product to large companies
  • 03:00 – Tyler learned that he’d rather do something that is more marketing-driven than sales-drivensomething that is more consumer-driven than enterprise
  • 03:14 – Tyler’s realization in switching to a coffee company from a SaaS business
  • 03:28 – At Nutshell, Tyler was the first design hire
    • 03:33 – Nutshell has 3 founders and a CTO
    • 03:53 – Tyler, together with the whole team, was able to build something from the ground up
    • 04:01 – Tyler had some equity in the business
  • 04:38 – Tyler had put in $15K to Crema
  • 05:05 – Tyler sold his equities back to TwigKit and Nutshell
  • 06:03 – Tyler started working with Crema early 2015
    • 06:08 – Tyler did a Kickstarter campaign and made $25K
    • 06:19 – Tyler closed and had an Angel round
    • 06:25 – A total of $325K was raised and $150K came from 500 startups
    • 06:48 – 500 startups had a deal of $150K for 6% which is a standard deal
  • 07:21 – Crema is a marketplace for coffee drinkers to subscribe to roast-to-order beans
    • 07:35 – Crema has a platform fee on every order
    • 07:43 – When you buy $18 worth of coffee, Crema takes a $9 platform fee and the other $9 goes to the roaster
    • 07:58 – The price that you pay is almost similar to retail price and the roaster price is above their typical wholesale price
    • 08:15 – The total price includes shipping and other fees
    • 09:00 $9 is a flat fee no matter the order size
    • 09:46 – Crema’s concept is a single-origin emphasis
    • 10:12 – Crema does the co-production for the roasters
    • 10:24 – Crema has a storytelling team that write journalistic write-ups for their website
  • 10:43 – Team size
  • 11:06 – Crema currently has 15 roasters
    • 11:11 – With a total of 60 types of coffee beans
  • 11:27 – Crema had 750 customers in  January 2017
    • 11:30 – Generated $17K  on the platform
  • 11:44 – Crema’s growth is 28% month over month
    • 11:48 – “We’re targeting something like 10x growth”
    • 12:07 – Crema’s growth metric is based on GMV and revenue
  • 13:55 – Average cart value is $17 for a typical purchase
  • 14:08 – Each box of coffee is shipped individually
  • 14:43 – A customer spends an average of $23 a month on the website
  • 15:05 – Crema started in Kickstarter in October
    • 15:13 – Crema has been generating organic traffic since then
  • 15:48 – Crema has spent $5K for Facebook paid ads
    • 16:06 – CAC is around $20-25 to convert website visitors to subscribers
  • 17:02 – Crema ran surveys about people’s coffee drinking preferences
  • 17:29 – Crema had sample packs for new customers allowing them to try 4 different types of coffee
  • 20:15 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Shifting from B2B to B2C is a breeze when you really know who you want to target.
  • Great storytelling can engage consumers and connect them to the product.
  • Do not hesitate to meet people, move around, and build a network for yourself.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • 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
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Apr 28, 2017

Jon Ferrara. He’s in CRM—a relationship management entrepreneur and noted speaker about social media’s effects on sales marketing. He’s reimagined the CRM by building a simply smarter social sales and marketing platform. His most recent venture is called Nimble.com. It’s the first CRM that works for you by building the updated contact data for you and then works with you everywhere you work. He’s best known as the co-founder of GoldMine Software, one of the early pioneers in the Salesforce automation and customer relationship management in software categories for SMBs. He’s recently been recognized by Forbes as one of the Top 10 Social CEOs and Top 10 Social Sales people in the world.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Think and Grow Rich
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Marc Benioff
  • Favorite online tool? — Buffer
  • 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? – “Not to sweat shit so much”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:17 – Nathan introduces Jon to the show
  • 02:13 – There was no Outlook, CRM or Salesforce when Jon had the idea of GoldMine
    • 02:31 – Jon started on $5K with no bank loans and VC
    • 02:35 – Jon ran GoldMine for 10 years, had 5M customers around the globe, sold it and retired at 40
  • 02:44 – GoldMine was a software platform
    • 02:55 – GoldMine started as a floppy disk until it became a CD
  • 03:28 – Jon started GoldMine in 1989 and sold it in 1999
    • 03:38 – GoldMine passed $70M in annual revenue, with 250 team members worldwide
  • 04:00 – ARR wasn’t necessary before when it comes to valuation
    • 04:22 – Jon sold GoldMine for $125M in cash with no strings attached
  • 04:55 – A year after GoldMine was sold, Jon was diagnosed with a head tumor
    • 05:07 – “The most important thing you have around you is your health, next is your family, then your passion and business”
    • 05:19 – Jon was 41 when they found the tumor
    • 05:27 – “We are on this planet to grow our souls”
  • 05:51 – After the tumor, Jon spent next 10 years of his life with his family and friends, adding value to people
  • 06:15 – Jon got into photography and worked as the photographer for USC football for 10 years
  • 06:42 – “You need to be your own advocate”
    • 06:56 – Jon found a doctor who developed the technology to have a radiation beam reach the center of your head without touching any vital nerves
    • 07:17 – The tumor disappeared after 7 weeks of radiation treatment
    • 07:42 – The radiation is like burning the seed inside the watermelon without burning the watermelon’s skin
  • 08:18 – Jon started in social media in 2006-2008
    • 08:33 – Jon saw that relationship managers are contact managers
    • 08:58 – Jon looked at CRM and saw the gap
    • 09:07 – You have to use salespeople to use CRM
    • 09:08 – “That’s why they’re called salesforce because you force salespeople to use it”
  • 09:27 – Nimble’s team was formed in 2010, Alpha in 2011, and they turned the paywall in 2013
  • 09:36 – “Just like with GoldMIne, I was early to the idea of an intelligent social relationship manager that works for you”
  • 09:57 – Business is social and life is social
  • 10:11 – First year revenue
  • 10:21 – Jon got their first customer for Nimble the same way he got their first customer for GoldMine:
    • 10:36 – Jon had a trusted advisor for his prospect
    • 10:51 – Jon got his first $50K revenue in GoldMine from resellers
    • 10:56 – Jon grew the $50K by mobilizing writers who write about technology and business
  • 11:10 – In 2009-2011, there was no reseller because everything was cloud
    • 11:27 – Jon looked for influencers
  • 11:36 – Jon put in his own $3M to the company
    • 11:48 – Jon also got some cash from Mark Cuban, Jason Calacanis and others
    • 12:05 – Jon’s money went to the company’s capitalization
  • 12:20 – Nimble currently has 100K customers and 10K paying companies
    • 12:31 – An average of 3 seats per company
  • 12:36 – Nimble is a SaaS business and is generating 80K website visitors with zero marketing
    • 12:43 – Trial to paid conversion is 20%
  • 13:05 – Nimble started at $15 per user per month
    • 13:08 – It recently rolled out to $25 and will have $45 and $65 buckets with a $99 mark automation add on
    • 13:16 – “Sales and marketing should never have been split apart”
    • 14:07 – $200K average MRR
  • 14:15 – Gross churn is about 3%
    • 14:22 – “We provide a lot of value and satisfaction to our customers”
  • 14:32 – Nimble just rolled with Microsoft Outlook mobile by providing 40M handsets for free
  • 15:04 – CAC is really small because they don’t have a large team
    • 15:25 – You don’t need to spend or overspend in order to build a company
    • 15:35 – It is great to find people who want to grow with your help
    • 15:42 – Rather than hiring a sales guy, Jon would rather hire someone who truly cares about the customer experience
  • 16:16 – Jon’s team is based in Santa Monica with remote workers in USA and Ukraine
  • 16:53 – 2017 target revenue
  • 18:30 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Engage with your customers and add value – don’t always think about the sales.
  • Share your passion with people on a daily basis, don’t be afraid to bare your soul and make those connections.
  • You don’t need to spend more to build a business – find people who are willing to grow the business with you.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • 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
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Apr 27, 2017

Ben Cantey. He’s a San Francisco entrepreneur and has a passion about solving problems and changing lives through technology. He teaches entrepreneurship and lean methodology at universities and high schools on his free time. He’s launching some bad-ass technology with a handful of math geniuses in a parking space.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Rough Riders
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Elon Musk
  • Favorite online tool? — Yesware
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— 8 1/2
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Execute faster”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:18 – Nathan introduces Ben to the show
  • 01:51 – Park Evergreen revolutionizes the way parking is sold and managed at airports
    • 01:55 – Airports currently use a whole stack of services, suppliers and contractors that are outdated
  • 02:15 – Park Evergreen uses geolocation technology to bring physical parking online
    • 02:25 – Travelers can find a reserve pay per parking through Park Evergreen’s app
  • 02:35 – Park Evergreen is somehow a marketplace
    • 02:49 – Park Evergreen is more focused on the traveler’s experience
    • 02:54 – Ben and his co-founders came from the consulting space
  • 03:10 - Park Evergreen started out with customers who wanted to find paid street parking
    • 03:23 – Park Evergreen currently has a couple of deals
    • 03:30 – Park Evergreen started growing their revenue in June
  • 03:54 – Ben is just happy that they got a great product market fit
  • 04:03 – Most USA airports are now going into modernization projects
  • 04:44 – There’s an interesting balance between travelers who prefer to leave their cars and those who prefer to just take an Uber car
    • 04:53 – Park Evergreen’s average customers are business travelers who are gone for only a couple of days
    • 05:18 – The airport modernization includes parking expansion
  • 05:54 – Travels tend to get cheaper each year and more and more people are travelling
  • 06:02 – The millennials demographic has the most frequent business and pleasure trips
  • 06:28 – The parking growth is growing 4-5% per airport, per year
  • 06:34 – Park Evergreen was founded in 2016
    • 06:43 – Park Evergreen didn’t want to compete with parking meters and pay machines
    • 07:08 – Park Evergreen was making a couple of thousand a month
    • 07:22 – Park Evergreen made $15K topline
    • 07:33 – Park Evergreen’s biggest cost was for CAC
    • 08:02 – “It’s a tough market, people are used to their options”
    • 08:10 – Park Evergreen pivoted because they’re tired of their mobile apps parking solutions
    • 08:18 – SpotHero and ParkWhiz are the biggest in the space
  • 08:28 – Park Evergreen has raised $150K from 500 startups
  • 08:43 – Team size is 5
    • 09:01 – The equity is divided by 5 co-founders
    • 09:19 – Park Evergreen is bootstrapped and the 2 co-founders have been building everything for free
    • 09:25 – Ben is in charge of closing deals and doing the strategy
    • 09:40 – It’s a balanced team
    • 10:03 – The team had some contractual work on the side and some have full-time jobs
  • 11:11 – Park Evergreen charges a flat fee per space that they manage per month
    • 11:39 – The average is $100 per space
  • 11:55 – The average top 10 US airports manage 18K parking spaces
    • 12:00 – Some double or triple 18K
    • 12:10 – Park Evergreen’s market size in terms of market space is over 4M
  • 12:50 – When a traveler books his flight, he books his parking space, too
    • 13:06 – Park Evergreen shows the traveler 2 hours before his flight, the fastest route to the airport and to the parking space
    • 13:22 – Park Evergreen can tell you exactly how long it will take a traveler to go from one place to another around the airport
  • 13:46 – “I want our travelers to know when they look at their phones in the  morning, before they leave their house, what time will they arrive at the gate, ready to get on the plane”
  • 14:20 – Park Evergreen started their user acquisition in March for the contracts
  • 14:30 – Park Evergreen is using SMS initially
  • 15:08 – “The only way to park is to use Park Evergreen”
  • 15:18 – Park Evergreen is doing 500 spaces for their initial pilot
  • 15:35 – Park Evergreen’s contracts are on an expansion plan
  • 16:16 – As soon as you get to the airport, you can get a Park Evergreen ticket with a code that you will use to text
    • 16:45 – You can pay Park Evergreen ahead of time via text
  • 18:40 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Airport parking is a great space to be in at the moment because of the modernization projects that are on the way.
  • To stay competitive in this space, provide the best traveler experience that you can.
  • It’s can be quite difficult to broaden people’s understanding of their options, but that does NOT mean you shouldn’t try.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • 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
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
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