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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
Jul 10, 2017

Stu Sjouwerman. He’s a serial entrepreneur and currently the founder and CEO of KnowBe4.com. He’s a big Shark Tank fan. He’s based in Tampa, Florida.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Positioning
  • What CEO do you follow? – Elon Musk
  • Favorite online tool? — SurveyMonkey
  • 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? – “I wished that my 21 old self knew that Bill Gates was going to go into Windows server, in about 1995”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:21 – Nathan introduces Stu to the show
  • 01:46 – KnowBe4 is a new school IT
    • 01:51 – KnowBe4 focuses on modern security and awareness training
  • 02:08 – KnowBe4 is a SaaS company
  • 02:46 – Average pay per user is $15/year
    • 03:01 – The charge is annual upfront which is easier and most people prefer that
  • 03:26 – KnowBe4 focuses on organizations with 50 users and up
  • 03:36 – Average seat size varies
    • 03:52 – Average seat size for SMBs is 200-300 and for enterprise 1500-3000 seats
  • 04:21 – Stu sold his anti-virus company in 2010
  • 04:35 – It was called Sunbelt and Stu’s 4th startup
  • 04:56 – “We are growing like crazy”
  • 05:01 – KnowBe4 did $7M in 2015, $24M in 2016 and is targeting $50M this year
  • 05:26 – KnowBe4 does inbound marketing and they send newsletters to their list of 1.2M people
    • 05:40 – The list was built over several years
  • 05:57 – KnowBe4 was bootstrapped for 5 years and Stu spent around a million building the company
  • 06:07 – In December 2015, they took $8M from VC
  • 06:47 – Total fund raised was $13M
  • 07:11 – It was easy for Stu to let go of 20% of the company
  • 07:25 – Stu’s told Kevin Mitnick that he would give him 50% of his company in exchange for Kevin’s 30-year experience in hacking
  • 08:34 – The cap table
  • 09:10 – Stu is confident that KnowBe4 will earn $50M this year
  • 09:20 – Churn is 15% annually
  • 09:33 – It is relatively easy to predict whether a SaaS model will be profitable
  • 09:43 – KnowBe4 serves 9500 companies
  • 09:55 – Average ARR
  • 10:22 – March revenue
  • 10:58 – Enterprise sales come in March
  • 11:10 – Team size is 290
  • 11:27 – CAC is around $2600
  • 11:39 – CAC to LTV ratio is 7
  • 12:02 – CAC payback is instant
  • 12:17 – Average selling price per year
  • 12:42 – Stu likes Vladimir Putin
  • 14:03 – Eagles programs are state-sponsored programs that are offensive cyberattacks
  • 14:49 – USA also has offensive cyber weapons, same with China and Russia
  • 14:58 – Hackers go after the weak link in IT security, which is the human
    • 15:15 – It comes in the form of an email
  • 15:33 – KnowBe4 sends frequent phishing attacks that are similar to legitimate ones
    • 15:43 – This will make the team aware and cause them to be on top of their toes in case they receive an attack
  • 16:02 – KnowBe4 has a phish alert button
  • 16:30 – KnowBe4 trains people with the real stuff
  • 16:41 – Stu used to play soccer and is very competitive
  • 16:49 – Stu has 2 reasons why he wants to go public:
    • 16:52 – First, because he has never gone public before
    • 16:57 – Second is to expand further and faster
  • 17:12 – KnowBe4’s biggest competitors are PhishMe and Wombat
  • 17:26 – Stu gets their competitors’ information from Owler
  • 17:45 – There’s a possibility of Stu acquiring one of their competitors once they go public
  • 18:11 – Stu got $10M from his previous exit and he’s NOT doing KnowBe4 for the money
  • 18:57 – The biggest problem Stu had with his previous company was social engineering
  • 19:08 – “Nobody is really taking care of the human IT security”
  • 20:30 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. There’s a big gap in human IT security and more and more people aren’t even aware they’re being hacked.
  2. Going public can help a company expand further and faster, and perhaps even acquire the competition.
  3. There is no such thing as retirement.

 

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
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • 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

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

Jul 9, 2017

Ryan Sevey. He’s the CEO of Nexosis, an artificial intelligence and machine learning startup focused exclusively on developers.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Hard Thing About Hard Things
  • What CEO do you follow? – Elon Musk
  • Favorite online tool? — Aha!
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 4
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Learn how to be true to yourself”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:25 – Nathan introduces Ryan to the show
  • 01:55 – Nexosis was launched in 2015
    • 01:59 – Nexosis offers a solution that big retailers are forecasting
  • 02:24 – Nexosis has 300 developers who use their APIs
  • 02:56 – Nexosis has developers from the retail space who have their point-of-sale data
    • 03:11 – Nexosis will take the developers data and give out a result
    • 04:13 – This result can help in the decision making for the future
  • 04:34 – Nexosis gets people to be more proactive than reactive
  • 04:52 – Nexosis found out how companies are using their historical data
  • 05:14 – Nexosis adds more features to training
  • 05:23 – Nexosis’s add-on layers
  • 05:41 – With sentiment analysis, one good example is Wendy’s Twitter account
    • 06:00 – You can use the number of tweets as a numerical value that can go back to your data
  • 06:39 – One huge case involves a Wendy’s beside a convention center; Nexosis can predict future revenues
  • 06:51 – Nexosis can predict future revenues and can understand the real impact of an event
  • 07:23 – Nexosis focuses on the developer ecosystem
  • 07:38 – Nexosis charges .10₵ per 1000 predictions
  • 08:17 – Nexosis makes money once the developer talks to the enterprise and shows the API
  • 08:43 – Nexosis charges the developers by consumption
  • 09:24 – Average pay per customer depends on the data that they have which usually starts at $10K
  • 09:42 – Nexosis was founded in 2015
  • 09:53 – Ryan and his co-founder have been looking at machine learning since 2012
  • 10:09 – Nexosis was originally considered an information security company
  • 10:21 – Team size is 15 and they’re based in Ohio
  • 10:38 – Nexosis has millions of API calls per month but their focus is on the number of developers
  • 11:30 – Ryan’s vision is for developers to enjoy Nexosis, be it as a hobby or use in a professional way
  • 11:55 – Nexosis is currently serving 100 different enterprise type of developers
  • 12:26 – What Ryan sees is when a developer signs up, he’ll make 1-2 projects then invite his friend to try Nexosis
  • 12:57 – Most of the developers are already in a company
  • 13:10 – MRR
  • 13:20 – Nexosis has raised a little less than $7M
  • 13:39 – The long term goal for Nexosis is to raise more
  • 13:56 – Twilio has survived their early days with VC funding
  • 14:26 – Nexosis measures expansion rate rather than the churn
  • 15:37 – Nexosis aims for 100% month over month growth and at the moment, they’re hitting it
  • 16:30 – Consumption in terms of the number of predictions is over a million
  • 17:55 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. There are companies who rely mostly on raising funds to scale.
  2. Knowing the data for your FUTURE can help in your decision making TODAY.
  3. No matter what—be true to 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
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • 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

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

Jul 8, 2017

Sheri Atwood. She’s the founder and CEO of SupportPay. She’s also a former Silicon Valley executive and a child of a bitter divorce who also went through her own divorce a few years ago. She’s created SupportPay when a search for a better way communicate about child support systems with her ex-husband proved totally fruitless. SupportPay is the first-ever automated child support payment platform poised to transform the complex, time-consuming & stressful process that impacts nearly 300M parents exchanging more than $900B in child support & child expenses worldwide. With SupportPay, today’s modern families can spend less time managing and arguing about child support, and more time focused on raising happy, healthy children. Prior to starting SupportPay, she was a former vice-president at Symantec and also has been named #5 of 50 Women in Tech Dominating Silicon Valley and Top 40 Under 40 Executives in Silicon Valley. She’s energetic, resourceful and lives by the motto “don’t talk about it, be about it.”

Famous Five:

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:23 – Nathan introduces Sheri to the show
  • 02:37 – Sheri is going to lower the divorce rate by showing people that divorce just gets worst
  • 02:49 – Millennials aren’t getting married but are having babies
  • 03:10 – Sheri uses SupportPay and invented it because she didn’t have a solution
  • 03:16 – Child support is made up of 2 things: a base payment that covers basic daily living expenses and then there’s other additional expenses
  • 03:34 – The argument is about where the money is going and if it is enough to raise a kid
  • 03:46 – While doing an expense report in Symantec, Sheri thought of the idea of SupportPay
  • 04:04 – SupportPay started in 2011
  • 04:38 – Sheri was raised by her single mom who was an alcoholic
  • 04:48 – Sheri was one of the youngest VPs in Symantec and she was able to save money from her salary
    • 04:57 – Sheri had multiple houses, cars, boats, gave his ex-husband a house and 2 years worth of salary in the bank
  • 05:24 – Sheri bootstrapped SupportPay at first and she learned to code
  • 05:40 – SupportPay has raised $7.1M total
    • 05:49 – The series A was for $4.1M
  • 05:59 – Sheri has talked to people and there was nothing to support parents
  • 06:13 – Sheri also received calls from vendors thanking her
  • 06:35 – SupportPay is a SaaS business
  • 06:40 – Pricing starts at $9.99 a month
    • 06:51 – There’s also a free version
    • 06:55 – Each parent pays independently
    • 07:05 – Average pay is $10 a month
  • 07:28 – Sheri started hiring people in 2013
  • 07:39 – Sheri learned to code the basic html, css and php by starting her own website
    • 07:50 – Sheri self-studied from books that she found in Barnes and Nobles
  • 08:08 – Team size is 25 and they just relocated to Sacramento, California from Silicon Valley
  • 08:30 – Team has 14 engineers
  • 08:39 – After raising $3M, Sheri realized she couldn’t sustain a business in Silicon Valley
    • 08:45 – Sheri was burning $95K a month
    • 09:08 – Sheri’s equity table is a mess now because of her tech people switching to another company for a better offer
    • 09:16 – Sheri would have focused on revenue a little bit earlier
    • 09:48 – Sheri didn’t have revenue until July of 2016
    • 10:08 – SupportPay was processing $3M in child support
  • 10:19 – SupportPay currently looks at processing $4M a month in child support
  • 10:30 – SupportPay has over 43K customers with 2K paying customers
  • 11:03 – MRR is close to $100K
  • 12:12 – SupportPay has a free 30 day trial
  • 12:27 – The value of the product is the history, which can be used in court
  • 12:46 – SupportPay also provides certified report records
  • 13:31 – Churn on active users is 3% annually
  • 13:57 – Conversion rate from visitor to paid user is 12%
  • 14:50 – The bigger valuation for SupportPay is how it solves the problem of child support
  • 16:00 – After getting into fundraising, SupportPay focused on their revenue
  • 16:25 – 2016 revenue
  • 16:41 – Sheri has talked to Salesforce to get them involved in SupportPay
    • 17:10 – Salesforce is trying to move government applications into the cloud
    • 17:15 – SupportPay will get Salesforce into the government space quickly
    • 17:30 – SupportPay is built on the salesforce platform
  • 18:00 – Tim Draper invested in SupportPay as he saw the value
  • 18:17 – Sheri’s goal for building SupportPay
  • 20:20 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. More millennials are having babies, but are not getting married—this leads to more parents having problems with child support.
  2. Having one less argument regarding child support will alleviate stress for the whole family unit.
  3. The divorce rate isn’t getting any better, it’s just getting worst.

 

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
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • 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

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

Jul 7, 2017

Ryan Hungate. He’s the co-founder of Simplifeye, it’s the number one technology experience for healthcare providers, patients and their businesses. The company’s platform of software solution health care providers improve productivity, efficiency and profitability. Ryan is an orthodontist and previous Apple retail strategist and Zach is a previous founder and Wall Street alum with a background in Tech MNA.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Lean Startup (Zach)
  • What CEO do you follow? – N/A
  • Favorite online tool? — Calendly
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 5 (Zach) 3 (Ryan)
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “How difficult business can actually be”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:11 – Nathan introduces Ryan and Zach to the show
  • 01:54 – Ryan’s dad was a doctor
  • 03:00 – Simplifeye tries to make doctors’ lives easier
  • 03:28 – Simplifeye provides the patients’ information before they walk in during checkups
  • 04:03 – Ryan and Zach are VC buddies
    • 04:07 – They’ve raised money from their hedge fund friends
    • 04:12 – They applied at AngelPad
    • 04:35 – Simplifeye was a halfway project and they thought it would be big
    • 04:52 – it was in 2015 when they got into AngelPad
  • 05:02 – Zach gave up hundreds of thousands in a salary when he joined Simplifeye
  • 05:14 – Ryan gave up his $500K salary
  • 05:34 – They rationalize building a startup by getting validation from different capital companies
    • 06:01 – They also know that they can be in every doctor’s office
  • 06:17 – Simplifeye has raised $3.5M
  • 06:24 – Angelpad’s terms
  • 06:50 – It was September 2015 when Ryan and Zach came out to NY and ended up coming out with AngelPad strong
  • 07:21 – Simplifeye’s customers are healthcare practitioners who pay on a monthly basis
  • 07:25 – Simplifeye tries to involve everybody—to teams of doctors, nurses, dentists and others
  • 08:18 – Average pay is $2400 a year
  • 08:39 – Expansion revenue is based on the size of the practice
  • 09:08 – Simplifeye is also HIPAA compliant chat
  • 09:28 – Simplifeye started with the Apple watch
  • 10:00 – Nathan had Laurence Girard on Episode 575 who talked about the HIPAA compliant chat
    • 10:16 – Being HIPAA compliant is a huge advantage for you
  • 10:20 – Doctors communicate with each other in an insecure manner
    • 10:35 – The limited standard
    • 10:56 – Doctors will pay a fee if they break the standard
    • 11:29 – Simplifeye always tries to be transparent
    • 11:46 – Having Simplifeye can make doctors feel better in their daily processes
  • 11:53 – Simplifeye just passed 1000 office signups
  • 12:03 – MRR
  • 12:44 – Simplifeye has 90% annual retention
  • 13:24 – Team size is 13
  • 14:42 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Doctors feel more comfortable using HIPAA compliant products and services.
  2. You have to trust your product in order to take that leap from the corporate world.
  3. Enjoy what you’re doing and believe that you WILL be successful.

 

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
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • 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

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

Jul 6, 2017

Seymour Duncker. He’s the co-founder and CEO of a company called iCharts, the leader in cloud business intelligence and analytics and a seasoned entrepreneur who has been both a consumer and developer of visual analytics. Before founding iCharts, Seymour assisted SAP’s senior management in driving the company’s product strategy and was an early team member at 2 enterprise software startups before that.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Inevitable
  • What CEO do you follow? – Elon Musk
  • Favorite online tool? — NetSuite and Salesforce
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 6-7
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Spend a little more time outdoors”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 02:26 – Nathan introduces Seymour to the show
  • 03:12 – iCharts is a cloud-based business and intelligence analytics solution platform
  • 03:24 – iCharts is a SaaS model
  • 03:36 – iCharts partners with NetSuite which is a cloud-based EOP
    • 03:48 – NetSuite uses iCharts as an embed BI (Business Intelligence) engine that powers iCharts for NetSuite’s customers
    • 04:05 – iCharts is like an app inside NetSuite
  • 04:55 – iCharts can take any kind of data and visually represent it so that people can interact and analyze the data
  • 05:16 – The analogy of iCharts is like the car's’ navigation system which is separated from the car’s build
  • 05:55 – iCharts considers SaaS businesses as an ecosystem and NetSuite is a large ecosystem
  • 06:05 – iCharts has a mixed business model
  • 06:24 – iCharts is also looking into exclusive partnerships with a SaaS platform to distribute iCharts
  • 06:55 – Pricing starts at $15K per annum depending on the number of users on a platform
  • 07:54 – Seymour arrived in the USA, in 2010
  • 08:10 – Seymour is from Germany
  • 08:50 – When Seymour had an idea for a cloud-based business intelligence platform, he was thinking about where to build it
  • 09:27 – Back then, it was easier to sell in the USA than in Germany
  • 10:10 – Being in California was also a great idea for Seymour’s wife, so they built iCharts in the USA
  • 10:37 – Team size is 60
    • 10:56 – Sales team has 20 people
  • 11:35 – The majority of iCharts’ market
  • 11:49 – iCharts will know the pain points of the users of NetSuite
  • 12:53 – iCharts will already have an idea of the customer’s needs
  • 13:45 – iCharts has around 200 customers
  • 14:04 – iCharts started focusing on various markets
  • 14:25 – iCharts has raised $23M to date but they were initially bootstrapped
  • 15:07 – Churn is around 5-7%
  • 16:20 – CAC
  • 16:32 – iCharts is highly profitable from the initial time they closed a deal
  • 17:04 – There’s an advantage of growing faster and burning yourself as you grow too fast
  • 17:44 – At the end of the day, it’s all about having a high-functioning team that produces quality
  • 18:04 – Average ARR
  • 18:21 – iCharts also offers additional services for their larger customers
  • 20:13 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Build your business wherever you’d like to—even if it means leaving your home country.
  2. Having a well-functioning team that produces QUALITY will drive your revenue and contribute to the success of your business.
  3. Make time for rest and vacations; this will relax and regenerate 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
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • 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

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

Jul 5, 2017

Daniel Fagella. He started a mixed martial arts gym when he was an undergrad and sold it after getting a UPenn graduate degree in cognitive science. He did turn his grad school thesis on skill development into an ecommerce business that grew for 4 years, reaching $4.2M in top line sales and recently sold it for a million dollars with 90% paid upfront. He’s now using his funds for TechEmergence.com in order to influence global AI policy for the better.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Plutarch’s Lives
  • What CEO do you follow? – Last bio he read was Marcus Aurelius’
  • Favorite online tool? — Asana
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 6-7
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – Daniel would tell himself that dealing with the existential human condition could be done by contributing to a much bigger world

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:20 – Nathan introduces Dan to the show
  • 02:08 – Dan was studying skill development and goal setting science in psychology for his undergrad
  • 02:17 – Schooling was expensive; Dan decided that he’d rather use himself as a skill development guinea pig than a pizza deliverer
  • 02:40 – Dan started teaching and making money at the back of a carpet store
    • 03:11 – Dan’s jiujitsu gym was the smallest business back then
    • 04:03 – Dan sold the gym after 3-4 years with $250K ARR
    • 04:14 – Dan was 25 when he sold the gym
    • 04:41 – The membership fee was $157
    • 05:07 – Dan sold it for over $100K with 10% upfront to his right-hand and friend
    • 05:45 – The business ran for over 2-3 years after that
    • 06:05 – Dan took $30K from the $113K
  • 06:36 – Dan was also making $20K a month selling martial arts instructional resources online
  • 07:09 – Dan was using Infusionsoft for his e-commerce business, Science of Skill
  • 07:56 – The e-commerce was doing around $200K top line
  • 08:42 – The biggest cost for Science of Skill was on merchant processing, customer acquisition, advertising and affiliates
  • 09:26 – Dan likes to spend half of his CLV (Customer Lifetime Value) on acquisition
  • 09:42 – The CLV for membership programs were around $100 and affiliates $50-60
  • 10:00 – One of the affiliates was Survival Frog of Byron
  • 10:23 – Byron drove Science of Skill into 6-figures
  • 10:44 – Dan was paying affiliates upfront
  • 11:15 – Byron of Survival Frog was on Episode 395
  • 11:44 – There are agencies who get onto their email list by paying
    • 12:14 – One of the agencies is com
  • 13:02 – Finding the right people to advertise and won’t tag you as spam
  • 13:11 – Dan will find firearm sites in com—go through the website owners and email them to find the right people to target
  • 14:11 – Dan sold Science of Skill in February 2017 for a little over a million dollars
  • 14:22 – Science of Skill was valued by the multiple of net
  • 15:11 – Science of Skill revenue in 2016
  • 16:27 – Dan’s ultimate goal
  • 16:31 – The buyers are a private group of 2 buyers in Ohio who previously ran SaaS businesses then sold them to the government
  • 17:05 – Science of Skill should be at Inc 500 for 2016
  • 17:13 – Dan sold Science of Skill because he believed he has better and bigger things to do in life
  • 17:25 – Dan’s core objective involves the global conversation of neuroscience and AI
  • 17:48 – TechEmergence focuses on the business applications of AI
  • 18:08 – TechEmergence is not making money, but will make money primarily through advertising
  • 19:09 – The goal now is to scale and make traction
  • 19:21 – Current cash burn
  • 20:05 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. You can start your business literally anywhere.
  2. Focus on your goals and objectives, even if it means having to burn cash.
  3. The future will probably evolve around n_euroscience and AI.

 

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
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • 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

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

Jul 4, 2017

Allan Willie. He’s the co-founder and CEO of Klipfolio, a software-as-a-service dashboard company with over 8500 paying customers including Jet.com, Zendesk, Aviva and Ikea. He previously co-founded a company called Espial, an internet device software firm that is now publicly traded on TSX. He lives in Ottawa with his wife and 2 daughters.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Lead by Greatness
  • What CEO do you follow? – Tobias Lütke
  • Favorite online tool? — SEO Plus Chrome plug in and Owler
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 6.5-7.5
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Listen, build something of value and then see if you could raise money”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:07 – Nathan introduces Allan to the show
  • 01:50 – All of the meeting rooms in Klipfolio’s office have different wallpaper
  • 02:12 – Klipfolio is an online, cloud-based, dashboard vendor
  • 02:18 – Klipfolio works with mid-sized businesses who use them for everything
  • 02:40 – Nathan uses Klipfolio quite aggressively, especially for his Facebook live streams
  • 04:17 – When Allan was last on The Top, he was passing 7K customers—now he has 8500 customers
  • 04:36 – In January, Klipfolio announced a $12M raise which was an insight round from existing investors
    • 05:14 – The initial round was to raise an external round
    • 05:43 – “We did use market to validate”
  • 06:12 – Klipfolio had verbal offers that were lucrative
    • 06:40 – The valuation were multiples for some of the terms
  • 07:00 – Klipfolio also had some acquisition discussions
  • 08:08 – Allan won’t call the acquisition discussions offers, because it would still have to go through a lot
  • 08:59 – In every acquisition discussion, you want to layer how much information to present to another company
  • 09:35- Customers usually get the $70 plan for the first month, then move up to $150 in a year
  • 10:10 – Some of the customers are partners who can pay directly or pay as a partner
    • 10:24 – 30% of Klipfolio’s income come from their partner channels
  • 10:35 – Last month revenue was $500-600K
  • 11:16 – Klipfolio’s valuation was between $700-800K
  • 11:25 – Some of the VCs that Allan has talked to are putting terms in place with a higher valuation
  • 11:47 – You have to sustain your valuation to get into the next round
  • 12:34 – Anything on Klipfolio is being tracked
  • 13:15 – The weirdest use case
    • 13:25 – There are NGOs who use Klipfolio to push some of their metrics out
    • 13:34 – Red Cross uses Klipfolio for flooding, zika virus and other stuff that is happening in Africa
  • 14:11 – Churn has gone up slightly
  • 14:35 – Klipfolio started paid ads for $120K a month
    • 14:41 – Klipfolio has a blog about the lessons they’ve learned from Facebook Ads
    • 15:24 – One of the cons of ads is that the conversion rate drops and churn goes up—which is normal
  • 15:40 – CAC
  • 15:54 – LTV
  • 16:05 – LTV to CAC is still relatively healthy
  • 16:26 – Team size is around 90
    • 16:47 – The team is moving to a new space in November
  • 18:20 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Maintain your valuation in order to get into the next round.
  2. Not all acquisition talks are considered offers.
  3. A company of great value has a better chance of raising money and getting acquired down the road.

 

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
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • 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

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

Jul 3, 2017

Blake Smith. He’s the CEO and co-founder of Cladwell, a clothing company that doesn’t sell clothing. His goal is to fight for sustainability and human labor practices by enabling people to buy fewer, but better clothes. Blake was at The Top a year ago where he articulated that they passed 11,500 customers with each customer paying $6/month; so, they were doing about $70K MRR a year ago. They were at about 5% churn, monthly spending and at $17 to acquire new customers. They’re based in Cincinnati and they’ve raised about $1.8M and $100K in revenue.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Wooden on Leadership
  • What CEO do you follow? – Ben Horowitz
  • Favorite online tool? — Calendly
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 2
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – Blake would tell himself the importance of following your curiosity as opposed to having a strategy or a plan

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:04 – Nathan introduces Blake to the show
  • 01:59 – Cladwell’s current customers is around 17K in number
  • 02:06 – Cladwell is an everyday styling app
  • 02:50 – When you go to the Cladwell’s website, you’ll click “buy”
  • 02:58 – Cladwell is also downloadable in the App store
  • 03:12 – Cladwell is doing pricing tests
    • 03:45 – Cladwell looks at other SaaS products that customers are paying for
    • 04:02 – Cladwell also looks at other workout apps
    • 04:21 – Cladwell is looking into charging $9
    • 04:41 – “We’re going forward unless proven otherwise”
  • 04:47 – Pricing tests never end, especially with SaaS
  • 05:31 – Last month total revenue is around $60K
  • 05:41 – Cladwell used to bill quarterly
  • 05:49 – Cladwell is around 900K ARR
  • 06:17 – 80% of Cladwell’s customers are using the web app on their mobile devices
  • 06:42 – Last year’s revenue in the same month
  • 07:19 – Marketing spend last year
  • 07:32 – Cladwell has recently raised a $1.2M round
  • 08:07 – 2016 total sales is $760K
  • 09:35 – Blake explains how the app works on a daily basis
    • 09:40 – Every morning, the Cladwell app gives a recommendation of what to wear
    • 09:53 – Cladwell recommends 3 outfits basing on what’s in your closet and the daily weather
    • 10:18 – Cladwell will also know what you wore for 3 days
  • 10:55 – The more that you use the app, the better the experience is
  • 11:35 – Majority of Cladwell’s users are working millennial moms
  • 12:18 – People have tried Cladwell’s ideas before and onboarding was the biggest issue
  • 12:33 – Cladwell did something similar to Google venture’s sprint design process
  • 12:56 – Cladwell provides a feed of all the potential items in a person’s wardrobe
    • 13:34 – A female customer will have an average of 60-70 pieces of clothing in her wardrobe
  • 13:58 – The onboarding process is now easier for customers because of the feed
  • 15:30 – Team size is around 15
  • 16:02 – Cladwell’s currently spending is still TBD
  • 16:18 – Churn rate is a bit high
  • 16:50 – From the 17K customers, around 5K has downloaded the app
  • 18:00 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Onboarding is one of the biggest challenges for a styling company, customers lose interest using the product.
  2. More and more millennial mothers are finding it hard to manage their time; having an app that will save them time daily is heaven sent.
  3. Follow your curiosity—it can lead you to something GREAT.

 

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
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • 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

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

Jul 2, 2017

Assaf Resnick. He’s the founder and CEO of BigPanda, an algorithm-make IT operations platform that turns IT alert noise into insight, unifies fragmented operations and enables digital enterprises to attain dramatic or pretty high service levels. Prior to founding the company, he was an investor for Sequoia Capital where he focused on early stage companies across enterprise software, SaaS and the internet sector.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Goal
  • What CEO do you follow? – N/A
  • Favorite online tool? — Salesforce
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 5
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Start a company early”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:17 – Nathan introduces Assaf to the show
  • 01:52 – Sometimes, Assaf would still ask himself why he left Sequoia
  • 02:00 – Assaf spent 6 years in Sequoia and it was an opportunity of a lifetime
  • 02:19 – Assaf started in Sequoia when he was 29
  • 02:36 – Assaf was bitten by the entrepreneur bug, so he left Sequoia
  • 03:30 – Assaf’s stayed in Sequoia for personal career growth
  • 03:43 – Sequoia is different from other VC firms
  • 04:31 – For Assaf, Sequoia expresses the combination of opportunities in the market
  • 05:33 – Assaf is proud of the deals that he had made with Sequoia
  • 06:00 – Assaf found Snaptu to be an interesting deal they invested in
  • 07:00 – BigPanda automates the ability of human-beings and IT operations to keep up with data centers that are radically evolved
  • 07:50 – The big part of IT spending usually goes to the engineers
  • 08:00 – In the data centers, they have to keep the software and infrastructure that is radically transforming running
  • 08:40 – A data company needs to have a handful of tools, data centers and servers
  • 09:15 – One of BigPanda’s clients is a Fortune 50 and a large networking company
    • 09:30 – The company now has SaaS offerings and gives the SLA (Service Level Agreement) that they promise to companies
    • 10:15 – The company has teams of engineers in Ukraine, California and India that use 15 monitoring tools to see what is happening
    • 10:37 – The company has 70K data points they need to keep track
    • 11:05 – The amount of data engineers they need has become an issue
  • 11:27 – The problems in the war room can be both preventative and reactionary
  • 11:45 – BigPanda uses a lot machine learning and dynamic classroom instruction to get through the noise
  • 12:10 – An alert can be a problem with the server and something that you can just leave out
  • 13:31 – One should examine if the “if/then statements” are dynamic
  • 13:45 – The “if/then statements” vary day by day, then variables change quickly
  • 14:13 – BigPanda was launched in 2012
  • 14:20 – BigPanda is a SaaS company which charges annually
  • 14:45 – Pricing average
  • 14:51 – BigPanda caters to very large companies
  • 15:20 – Team size is 60
  • 15:28 – BigPanda has raised almost $35M
  • 15:46 – BigPanda has done a regional series B
  • 16:08 – BigPanda partners with Sequoia, Mayfield and In Battery
  • 16:28 – At the end of 2015, people started devaluing some unicorns
  • 16:59 – When Assaf saw rain clouds forming, he thought it made sense to get a winter coat from a capital perspective
  • 17:40 – BigPanda had plenty of pipelines
  • 18:02 – Half of the company is based in Palo Alto and half is in Tel Aviv, Israel
    • 19:03 – Half of the people are in engineering and product, the other half is marketing
  • 19:49 – BigPanda is very disciplined with their model
  • 20:39 – BigPanda has around 25 companies from Fortune 500
  • 22:20 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. If you’ve committed to always being there for your client, you better follow through on that.
  2. No matter how many engineers you have, there’s always a chance of them missing a lapse in the data.
  3. Start your business as early 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
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • 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

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

Jul 1, 2017

Manny Fernandez. He’s a Stanford University educated Angel investor, serial entrepreneur and best-selling author featured on CNBC’s Make Me a Millionaire Inventor premier episode. He’s been successfully investing his own ideas as well as taking companies from startup to exit. Recently, he was named by INC magazine as one of the 33 entrepreneurs to watch in 2016.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Think and Grow Rich
  • What CEO do you follow? – Steve Jobs
  • Favorite online tool? — LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook
  • 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? –“Wisdom and experience beats, no matter how [many] great talents you have”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:11 – Nathan introduces Manny to the show
  • 01:51 – Manny’s first company was an investment property
    • 02:10 – It was a 6-figure transaction
    • 02:21 – Manny decided that he wanted to go from 1 investment to 10
  • 02:39 – One of Manny’s most notable investments is TaskRabbit
  • 02:58 – Manny is the founder of SF Angels which has 32 members
    • 03:08 – The deal flow comes from others
  • 03:30 – The funds for an Angel round is $250K per year
  • 03:46 – As an Angel, you’re looking for the deal flow
  • 04:46 – One of the members of SF Angels is an early investor of TaskRabbit and SF Angels was invited
  • 05:00 – Angels can invest as an individual or as a group
  • 05:32 – Everyone has different preferences
  • 06:31 – Some of the investors in SF Angels are successful enough
  • 07:01 – The potential of investing in SF Angels is different from real estate
  • 07:11 – If you’re investing in something that is really working well, results are astronomical
  • 07:47 – Manny suggests to invest only what you can afford to lose
  • 07:56 – Everyone has different financial workflow and abilities
  • 08:31 – Manny has put in greater than normal in angel investing
    • 08:49 – Normal is around 2-5%
  • 09:19 – DreamFunded allows everyday Americans to invest as small as $1 into a company
  • 09:35 – DreamFunded is the first platform in Silicon Valley to receive the approval to allow non-accredited investors to invest, so they’re accepting accredited investors and ordinary people
  • 10:03 – Manny has been on the screening community of TiE Angels
  • 10:11 – Manny is good at doing his due-diligence
  • 10:29 – DreamFunded applied as a registered funding portal
  • 11:15 – Manny has personally vetted on the deals on DreamFunded
  • 12:06 – DreamFunded has a legal disclosure where investors can see the minimum amount they have to close to in order to close the transaction
    • 12:33 – The information is not readily available on the website
    • 13:02 – Investors will get an email telling them the closing dates
  • 13:23 – DreamFunded gets 5% upon closing and the 2%the company is offering
  • 13:50 – There are over 30 companies that have closed deals in DreamFunded
    • 13:56 – Over $35M total funds raised
  • 14:07 – The non-accredited investor is still new
  • 14:16 – DreamFunded has not released their total funds raised from non-accredited
  • 14:36 – The first approval for non-accredited was received by DreamFunded in July 2016
  • 14:54 – DreamFunded was launched fall 2014
  • 15:01 – Average team size is 10
  • 15:16 – DreamFunded’s model changes overtime
  • 16:02 – A company can raise its target and at the same time, receive an investment from a big company
  • 17:15 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Invest only on what you afford to lose.
  2. Investing in a company that is already working is smart, but venturing into other investment streams requires your due diligence.
  3. Listen to your mentors, they are mentors for a reason.

 

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
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • 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

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

Jun 30, 2017

Vinay Patankar. He’s the CEO of Process Street, the simplest way to manage your teams’ recurring processes and workflows. Vinay sets up new clients, onboard employees and manages content publishing with his tool. He also co-host the podcast Business Systems Explored where he deep dives into business systems with industry experts.

Famous Five:

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:50 – Nathan introduces Vinay to the show
  • 01:28 – Process Street is a tool that helps companies build and manage their workflows and processes
  • 01:34 – Process Street is a SaaS product, charging on a monthly or yearly subscription based on the number of users one has
  • 01:44 – The vision is to make workflows easy
  • 02:28 – Process Street is from an intuitive perspective
  • 02:53 – Average customer pay
  • 03:42 – Process Street has options for pricing and incentives for annual contracts
  • 04:04 – Process Street was launched in 2013 as a side project
  • 04:10 – Seed round was raised a year and a half ago
  • 04:20 – Team size is 21
  • 04:30 – Total raised was $1.3M
  • 04:47 – Process Street went through Angel Cloud
  • 05:10 – Nathan thinks that the one who will win the space is the one who is better at distribution
  • 05:42 – Distribution is the key in finding a scalable sales process and getting the pricing right
  • 05:57 – The space is very fragmented
  • 06:34 – Vinay thinks they don’t need to beat the competition, they just need to grab enough volume of shares
  • 06:52 – Process Street focuses on SEO
    • 07:04 – They measure their rank from targeted keywords
  • 07:28 – Process Street has a marketing team that helps with distribution
    • 08:13 – SEO is cost-effective
  • 08:35 – CAC from the SEO efforts
  • 09:06 – MRPU
  • 09:17 – Process Street doesn’t spend in other marketing channels
  • 09:26 – Process Street invests in sales deeper into their funnels
  • 10:00 – Expansion rate varies depending on the size of the customer
  • 10:28 – Process Street has a healthy expansion revenue
  • 11:26 – 15 of the team are focused on marketing
  • 11:35 – Process Street is still working on their headcount expenses
  • 11:56 – Process Street will adjust and optimize pricing
  • 12:29 – Average number of customers
  • 12:41 – MRR
  • 13:03 – Process Street’s goal is to raise an A round at the first or second quarter of 2018
  • 13:20 – Target MRR by the end of 2017
  • 13:35 – Process Street has no paid acquisition
  • 14:50 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. The one that will scale in the project management space is the one that is better at distribution.
  2. You don’t always need to beat your competitors, just gain your shares and increase your volume.
  3. There is real money that can be made on the internet.

 

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
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • 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

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

Jun 29, 2017

Scott Clark. He’s the co-founder and CEO of SigOpt, a Y-Combinator and Andreessen Horowitz backed, optimization as a service startup. Scott has been applying after-learning technologies in industry and academia for years. He holds a PhD for applied mathematics and an MS in computer science from Cornell University and a BS degree in mathematics, physics and computational physics from Oregon State University. He was chosen as one of Forbes' 30 under 30 in 2016.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Hard Thing About Hard Things
  • What CEO do you follow? – Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz and Phil Knight 
  • Favorite online tool? — Gmail and Slack
  • 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? – Scott would tell himself that it doesn’t get easier, so set up habits and processes to make things sustainable when you have the time and ability to do it because that will definitely help once things ramp up

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:44 – Nathan introduces Scott to the show
  • 01:25 – SigOpt is optimization as a service
  • 01:27 – SigOpt helps companies build different, complex AI and machine learning pipelines
  • 01:41 – SigOpt is a SaaS model and the subscription is based on the number of models per month
  • 01:53 – Pricing starts at $2500 a month and enterprise starts at $10K a month
  • 02:13 – Average monthly RPU
  • 02:33 – SigOpt usually engages at the executive level
  • 02:38 – People wanted to use AI for their businesses but couldn’t find the right person to do the work so they go with SigOpt
  • 03:23 – One of SigOpt’s client is Prudential
    • 03:31 – Insurance companies are augmenting their traditional methods to the new data that is being collected
    • 03:48 – As their data increases, the need for the best possible performance increases
  • 04:26 – What SigOpt does is different from the traditional machine learning as a service companies
  • 04:41 – Scott shares a specific example of how SigOpt works with credit card companies
    • 04:44 – Fraud detection has been around for decades
    • 05:28 – SigOpt fine tunes different knobs and levers in the configuration parameters that makes the machine model work
  • 06:15 – SigOpt focuses on black box optimization
  • 07:45 – SigOpt relies on the domain expertise of the person at the specific firm to build a deep learning model
  • 08:31 – SigOpt applies an ensemble of global optimization techniques to the problem so they can efficiently configure the system
  • 09:20 – SigOpt suggests different curvatures
  • 09:58 – SigOpt has raised $8.8M to date
  • 10:30 – SigOpt never sees the underlying data
  • 11:11 – The entire system is designed to be hands-off
  • 11:43 – SigOpt was launched end of 2013
  • 11:51 – Number of paying customers is around a dozen
  • 12:18 – Average MRR
  • 12:25 – SigOpt prefer annual deals
  • 12:54 – No churn yet
  • 13:14 – Team size is 13
  • 13:35 – The capital raised was spent on the team and the enterprise sales efforts
  • 13:54 – 3-4 of the team are in sales
  • 14:05 – CAC
  • 14:22 – They sometimes visit their customers
  • 14:55 – Investors like to make big bets on the new technologies
  • 15:33 – The goal for the series A money
  • 16:33 – Average expenses
  • 17:40 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • The need for AI and machine-learning is growing fast and there’s not enough people who are qualified to develop these products.
  • The headcount can eat up most of a company’s expenses—especially in the technology industry.
  • Optimization services make a business more efficient leading to a less to none churn rate.

 

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
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • 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
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Jun 28, 2017

Eric Dolan. He’s the co-founder and CEO of Neutun. He has 5 years of startup experience and business management experience. He also has data science experience with a focus on product development and management. In 2014, his team received an award for Best Smartwatch App in the Hack the North Competition in Canada. Recently, Eric was named INC’s 30 under 30, a list that recognizes the best young CEOs in America. He received his bachelor in business administration from University of Western Ontario and his post graduate specialization certificate from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, New York University School of Business and John Hopkins University.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Hard Thing About Hard Things
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Jeff Bezos
  • Favorite online tool? — Mixmax
  • 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? – “Go more towards your business and tech side, that’s where you’re going to make more money”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:50 – Nathan introduces Eric to the show
  • 01:42 – Eric is a Canadian and has been in US for 1.5 years
  • 02:11 – Eric is currently in Canada during the interview
  • 02:35 – Neutun is a software that makes it easier for patients to keep track of chronic diseases
  • 02:44 – Eric’s mom has epilepsy and it was difficult for them to manage the seizures and medications
  • 03:06 – Neutun keeps track of the seizures and manages the medications on time
  • 03:28 – Neutun is device-agnostic
    • 03:37 – It allows users to use their existing smartphone to track
  • 03:45 – Neutun makes money through lead generation
  • 04:17 – Eric is looking at a million dollar runway for 2017
  • 05:09 – Neutun’s revenue is predictable for a SaaS business
  • 05:56 – Neutun’s initial model was a lead generator for pharmaceutical companies
  • 06:02 – In the long term, Eric wanted Neutun to transition to a market-intelligence company
  • 06:14 – Neutun wanted to address all chronic diseases
  • 06:30 – Neutun has 10K organic users
  • 07:15 – Neutun was launched late 2016
  • 07:47 – People find Neutun mainly from word-of-mouth
  • 08:18 – There are also doctors who are recommending Neutun
  • 08:38 – Neutun makes money through scripts or prescriptions
  • 09:08 – Average amount per script
  • 10:23 – Neutun tries to benefit the user as much as possible
  • 10:46 – Neutun also suggests sponsored medication
  • 11:06 – Average medication expenses of a patient
  • 11:42 – Neutun is almost similar with tracking steps
  • 11:53 – Through Neutun’s algorithms and AI, it can detect a seizure
    • 12:11 – Then the recording will start
    • 12:44 – Tracking the seizure is important for doctors
  • 12:58 – With Neutun’s data, doctors can prescribe more accurate medications
  • 14:10 – The only way to prevent seizures is to do what doctors tell you to do and take the medications
  • 14:37 – Neutun was initially bootstrapped
  • 14:56 – Neutun has raised a million on a kiss convertible note
  • 15:33 – Team size is 7
  • 16:50 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • If patients can track their seizures accurately, doctors can prescribe a more appropriate prescription.
  • The advancement in technology is benefitting the health industry in many ways.
  • Go where you can earn well.

 

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
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • 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
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Jun 27, 2017

Paul Tyma. He’s the founder and creator of a tool called Mailinator which is an email system. He’s also a startup veteran and has focused on 4 Silicon Valley startups including Preemptive Solutions, Manybrain Inc which owns Mailinator, Home-Account.com which was acquired by Bills.com, and Refresh Inc which was acquired by LinkedIn. He’s a frequent speaker, writer and author of one of the original books on Java called Java Primer Plus. Dr. Tyma has received his PhD from Syracuse University focused on Java/.Net performance.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Influence
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Amy Errett and Bradley Kam
  • Favorite online tool? — Linode
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 8.5
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “How to talk to girls”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:53 – Nathan introduces Paul to the show
  • 01:48 – Paul started his first company during his PhD
  • 01:56 – After getting his PhD, Paul worked for Google
  • 02:12 – Paul is still part of the board for Preemptive Solutions
  • 02:18 – Refresh had a very visible exit and is currently at LinkedIn icebreakers
    • 02:37 – The acquisition was in 2015
    • 02:45 – Acquisition price
    • 02:54 – Refresh was a consumer application
    • 03:10 – Refresh has raised $10M in total
    • 03:20 – The first round was a priced round
    • 03:53 – Refresh had 100K users
    • 04:30 – Refresh built its own identity from scratch
    • 04:40 – The technology of Refresh
  • 05:40 – Home-Account.com was built prior to Refresh
    • 05:59 – Paul was a minor founder
    • 06:15 – Option pool
  • 07:23 – Selling a company and staying with the company who acquired it is a cliché in Silicon Valley
  • 08:19 – Mailinator was a side project Paul built 13 years ago
    • 08:30 – It was a receive only mail service
    • 08:50 – Mailinator lets you create a disposable email
  • 10:17 – Mailinator had some ads which paid for the server
  • 11:30 – Mailinator now makes money from affiliates
  • 11:47 – Mailinator’s brand became strong
  • 11:56 – There was a high usage from QA departments who tested their signups process and welcome email
    • 12:11 – They asked Mailinator for additional features
    • 12:40 – Hundreds of QA teams now are using and paying Mailinator
    • 13:16 – Mailinator also has a private paid domain
  • 13:40 – Pricing is $29 for single user and $129 for a team
  • 13:56 – Average RPU is $35
  • 14:31 – Average MRR
  • 14:57 – Paul is now turning Mailinator into a business
  • 15:21 – Churn is pretty high
  • 15:48 – Less paid advertising
  • 16:16 – Mailinator has 45K unique users a day
  • 16:44 – 25K new inboxes are set up everyday
  • 16:58 – “This is not a DAU product”
  • 17:21 – Mailinator has not raised money
  • 18:09 – Team size is 3
  • 18:30 – Gross margin
    • 18:59 – Server cost
  • 19:53 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • A side project can definitely turn into something more—don’t underestimate its potential.
  • An email does NOT reflect one’s identity.
  • There are thousands of emails being made and sent every day—having a disposable one is almost a necessity.

 

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
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • 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
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Jun 26, 2017

Kathryn Minshew. She’s the CEO of founder of TheMuse.com, a career platform that is used by over 50M folks to find jobs, learn professional skills or advance in their careers. This platform is also used by hundreds of companies looking to grow their employer brand and to hire. Kathryn is a Harvard and Wall Street Journal contributor and she’s spoken at MIT in Harvard along with the Today’s Show. She’s been named The Smart CEO’s Future 50, INC’s 35 under 35 and a Duke alum. Kathryn worked at Rwanda and Health Access Initiative and before founding The Muse, she was previously at McKinsey.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Hard Thing About Hard Things and Traction
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Jennifer Hyman, Elon Musk and Jeremy Johnson
  • Favorite online tool? — Boomerang and Pocket
  • 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? – Kathryn wished she knew it was okay to be different and everything that is worth doing is hard

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:42 – Nathan introduces Kathryn to the show
  • 01:35 – The Muse was founded to be the most trusted and beloved place for people to navigate their career
  • 01:42 – The Muse is a marketplace with over 50M people who uses the site annually
  • 02:00 – The Muse has over 600 companies which they help in hiring and employment
  • 02:25 – “If you want really great people, you have to compete for them”
  • 03:00 – The companies can reach more candidates through The Muse
  • 03:19 – The Muse is a SaaS-enabled marketplace
  • 03:31 – The Muse somehow competes with LinkedIn Recruit and Glassdoor
  • 04:05 – Most companies in The Muse sign up for an annual subscription
  • 04:24 – Average pricing is $20-30K but enterprise is higher than the mid-market businesses
  • 04:54 – The Muse works with every business size in every industry
    • 05:04 – The businesses are categorized by team size
  • 05:25 – Companies that are subscribed have access to different tools on the website
  • 06:11 – The marketplace on TheMuse.com is where companies can post their profiles and job listings
  • 06:21 The Muse has also developed more products
  • 06:41 – One of The Muse’s client has 50K to 150K employees
  • 07:29 The Muse also assists their Fortune 100 companies on their existing channels
  • 08:12 The Muse started targeting individual users
  • 08:24 The Muse was launched in 2011 having career related tools and content for individuals
  • 08:31 The Muse rolled out their first company profile after hitting 100K website visits per month
  • 08:41 – The Muse have never had advertising on the website
  • 08:58 The Muse had their first 100K users in 6 months
  • 09:05 – The initial cash for The Muse came from Kathryn’s savings
    • 09:39 – When Kathryn left McKinsey, she had $25K in savings
    • 09:50 – Then Kathryn got an offer to work at Rwanda
    • 10:28 – Kathryn was 25 at the time
  • 10:56 – Kathryn has always thought that savings equate to freedom
  • 11:34 – When Kathryn came back from Rwanda, she started a business similar to The Muse
    • 13:02 – Kathryn spent $20K on her first company
    • 13:23 – With only $5K left in savings, Kathryn together with her co-founder started The Muse
    • 13:45 – Kathryn tried to keep her expenses low
  • 14:24 – Kathryn started The Muse because she had all the questions and wanted answers
  • 14:29 – The community then gave Kathryn the answers
  • 15:02 – The Muse initially had 50 articles giving career advice and providing resources
  • 15:10 – The first job listing was posted after a month as a test
  • 15:29 – The Muse used to get paid for the job listing but it doesn’t work that way now
  • 16:17 – Kathryn shares how the conversation happened between her and the co-founders
    • 17:11 – They wanted to work and make it happen
    • 17:25 – The equity between them is almost even
  • 17:54 – The Muse raised a round for $100K in 2012 and got into Y-combinator
  • 18:41 The Muse raised $10M in a series A in 2015, and $16M in a Series B: Q1 of 2017
  • 19:12 The Muse is closed to breaking even
  • 19:31 – There are different ways in building a business and there’s no one perfect path
  • 19:53 The Muse has 600 active businesses
    • 20:10 – Some companies just closed or got acquired
  • 21:35 – Average revenue
  • 23:05 – The Famous Five
  • 23:32 – Kathryn’s book The New Rules of Work

 

3 Key Points:

  • You can start a business with minimal means and still grow it into a profitable one.
  • There is no one perfect path to building a business.
  • If a task or venture is hard, that’s a good sign it’s worth 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
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • 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
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Jun 25, 2017

Duy Huynh. He’s the founder of Autonomous.ai which builds smart office products to help people work smarter.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Zero to One
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Stewart Butterfield
  • Favorite online tool? — Google Analytics
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 4
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Focus on and build something really helpful to people”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:50 – Nathan introduces Duy to the show
  • 01:20 – Subscribe to Youtube to see Duy using a smart desk
  • 01:32 – Smart desk helps work smart the whole day
  • 01:48 – “We don’t care much about the money”
  • 02:02 – Autonomous’ mission is how they can help companies’ work smarter
  • 02:51 – Autonomous wants to reinvent every single item in an office
  • 03:15 – One of Autonomous’ products is the Cardboard
    • 03:30 – It is created for people who want an affordable standing desk
    • 04:05 – It sells for $19
    • 04:17 – Cardboard is a fairly new product
  • 04:42 – Autonomous was founded in 2014
  • 05:10 – Autonomous has shipped around 100K units
  • 05:16 – The best-seller is the SmartDesk
    • 05:38 – It can keep you healthy and stay active in office
  • 05:50 – Some of Nathan’s friends have bought the Smartdesk
  • 06:07 – Autonomous has raised $200K
  • 06:18 – Prior to Autonomous, Duy really liked smart products
  • 06:46 – Duy started Autonomous with his co-founders in a small apartment
  • 08:25 – The seed money has helped Duy make the prototypes
  • 09:00 – Duy has spent $100-200K on the products before raising the seed round
  • 09:09 – Duy traveled to find the best suppliers
  • 09:30 – Team size
    • 09:43 – 4 are working in the NY office
    • 09:46 – 10 in California and some in Vietnam and China
    • 10:10 – Total of 40 people
  • 10:22 – Autonomous is currently cash flow positive
  • 10:35 – Duy isn’t looking at raising another round at the moment
  • 11:00 – Monthly expenses
  • 11:40 – Autonomous is doing over $10M annually
  • 12:18 – Most of the customers are founders
  • 12:37 – Autonomous currently relies on word-of mouth
  • 12:49 – Autonomous had a Kickstarter campaign
  • 13:05 – Autonomous made $250K from their Kickstarter campaign
    • 13:20 – It was for a thousand units
  • 13:58 – Duy wanted to maintain a fair margin in the supply chain
  • 14:36 – “They pay for what they get”
  • 15:00 – Competitors’ margin
  • 15:19 – Gross profit
  • 16:04 – The second and third best-selling products are the chair and stool, respectively
  • 16:38 – Duy wouldn’t take a deal from Herman Miller at the moment
  • 16:41 – Autonomous isn’t a furniture company
  • 17:19 – On paper, Duy is the single founder but the co-founders have equity as well
  • 18:50 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Smart products shouldn’t just offer convenience, but make your life healthy and active too.
  • Price your product fairly—the value of the product should match the price.
  • Create something that will be really helpful for 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
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • 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
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Jun 24, 2017

Connor Gillivan. He’s a 27-year old serial entrepreneur and published author. He started his first company out of his college dorm room and built it to sell over $20M in products on Amazon.com. After he became an expert on hiring online, he co-founded FreeeUp, an online hiring marketplace focused on connecting the top 1% freelancers with business owners. He’s the author of Free Up Your Business: 50 Secrets to Bootstrap Million Dollar Companies.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Shoe Dog
  • What CEO do you follow? – Elon Musk
  • Favorite online tool? — Jira
  • 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 knew to stay focused on what I do best”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:47 – Nathan introduces Connor to the show
  • 01:32 – Connor makes 20% to 30% of the gross margin of a product on Amazon
    • 01:38 – Net profits end up being from 5%-15%
  • 02:04 – It was 6 years ago when Connor started his business
  • 02:15 – Connor earned on the first year of the business
  • 02:51 – Connor has scaled up his first company
  • 03:00 – The company still operates with $1-2M in revenue per year
  • 03:08 – The team is composed of freelancers who are based around the world
  • 03:27 – The 3 founders, including Connor, are getting their pay quarterly
  • 03:40 – Connor now spends his time on his second business FreeeUp
  • 03:52 – Connor’s first company is Portlight
    • 04:05 – Average price point was  $75-100
  • 04:25 – FreeeUp was launched in 2015
  • 04:29 – Connor and his co-founder learned about hiring freelancers through Odesk and Elance, which merged and is now called Upwork
  • 04:36 – They didn’t like the process of posting job ads and going through every applicant
  • 04:46 – FreeeUp has a better solution where the business owner doesn’t have to do the upfront work
  • 04:58 – FreeeUp finds the top 1%  candidates for the business owners
  • 05:18 – Toptal is more focused on top developers and designers
  • 05:23 – FreeeUp’s freelancers are specialized on e-commerce business operations
    • 05:35 – There’s no upfront free
  • 05:43 – FreeeUp has a standard markup that they charge on their clients for hourly rates
  • 06:06 – The minimum charge is $2 and 20% for the higher price
  • 06:55 – There are over 500 freelancers on FreeeUp
  • 07:28 – FreeeUp’s system can measure the amount they’re paying their freelancers
  • 07:37 – The biggest metric is the hours billed to the client
  • 08:01 – Average billing per hour is $10
  • 08:18 – FreeeUp is keeping $60K-80K in revenue per month
  • 09:11 – FreeeUp has around 1500 signups on the platform
  • 09:16 – FreeeUp bills between 300-500 people who are utilizing their workers
  • 09:45 – 2000-2500 people have been billed since FreeeUp started
  • 09:58 – FreeeUp has a referral program where clients can refer other people who would want to use FreeeUp and they receive $0.50 for every hour that has been billed
  • 10:28 – FreeeUp is more hands on with their client
  • 10:56 – Most clients start slow and when they see FreeeUp’s benefits, they’ll use it more
  • 11:10 – Team size is 20-25 part-time people
  • 11:51 – Connor is currently in Orlando, FL
  • 12:11 – Both of Connor’s businesses are bootstrapped
  • 12:21 – Total transaction volume for 2016 is a bit over a million
  • 12:33 – 2016 average revenue
  • 12:44 – 2017 projected transaction volume is $3-4M
  • 13:20 – Connor puts his money back into his businesses to scale them
  • 13:47 – Connor splits the 20% from FreeeUp
  • 14:32 – Since April, FreeeUp has grown 1000%
  • 15:20 – FreeeUp started winning in the ecommerce industry
  • 15:58 – FreeeUp now offers digital marketing as well and try to find different areas that will interest more clients
  • 17:10 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • There are more business owners relying on outsourcing for their needs and share with others just how beneficial outsourcing is.
  • Ensure you have backup funds for your company.
  • Focus on what you do best.

 

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
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • 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
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Jun 23, 2017

Dan Gamito. He now leads partnerships and B&D for a company called ManyChat. Formerly, he led the customer success team for ConvertKit.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – N/A
  • What CEO do you follow? – Des Traynor
  • Favorite online tool? — Calendly
  • 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? – “Just chill out”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:47 – Nathan introduces Dan to the show
  • 01:16 – ManyChat is marketing automation platform for Facebook Messenger
  • 01:28 – ManyChat is a SaaS business
  • 01:38 – Nathan uses ManyChat and struggles with the emotional factor
  • 02:11 – Users struggle with emotion because of the automation side of ManyChat
  • 02:14 – Think about how people use messenger
  • 02:29 – Dan suggests in keeping your messages informal, straight to the point and write what people would find valuable in EVERY sentence
  • 02:49 – People are now shifting to Messenger from email marketing
  • 02:57 – Messenger is different from email
  • 03:05 – Nathan shares how he struggles figuring out what messages to set
  • 03:54 – How can people use ManyChat in a simple way?
    • 04:04 – Dan challenges us to look at our phones and see who we want to talk to at that moment
    • 04:17 – Build the interactions up from the bottom
    • 04:19 – The goal is to make people want to have a live chat conversation with you
  • 04:51 – ManyChat can be part of your funnel
  • 05:49 – ManyChat has a partnership with Sean of Soul Space Media
    • 06:04 – Sean’s wife had a case study of ManyChat on their podcast
    • 06:10 – DigitalMarketer did a case study, as well
  • 07:05 – For 0-500 subscribers, pricing is $10
  • 07:18 – Average customer pay
  • 07:51 – ManyChat has been around for about a year and a half
  • 08:38 – ManyChat has raised a seed round from 500 Startups
  • 09:02 – ManyChat has raised around a million
  • 09:19 – ManyChat has over 40K bots
  • 10:26 – Dan on leaving ConvertKit
    • 10:33 – Dan was Nathan’s first hire at ConvertKit
    • 10:45 – Dan did everything to add value to the company, more specifically in customer success
    • 10:56 – Dan has launched his own software product prior to ConvertKit
    • 11:27 – Dan saw Nathan trying to compete with Infusionsoft
    • 11:41 – Dan was like a silent co-founder
    • 12:12 – Dan ended up not being a good fit for ConvertKit
    • 12:54 – Both Dan and Nathan are both headstrong and their communication broke down
    • 13:16 – Nathan terminated Dan on short notice
    • 13:50 – Dan was naïve and inexperienced during that time
    • 14:19 – “I walked in completely unprepared”
    • 15:01 – Nathan gave an offer to Dan
    • 15:30 – Nathan explains how equity works in startups
    • 16:16 – Dan thought he didn’t value himself very much
    • 19:10 – Dan is now almost 30
  • 19:31 – Dan was pursued by ManyChat’s CEO Mike
    • 19:55 – “He believed in me”
    • 20:13 – Dan approached ManyChat with what he could add to it and the structure that he could build 
    • 20:21 – Dan knew he could do it by heart
  • 20:36 – Team size is over 15
  • 20:49 – Dan still has no equity
  • 21:03 – Dan joined ManyChat in November of 2016
  • 22:38 – “Time-boxing things and putting expectations around things is never going to work”
  • 24:00 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • In new work opportunities, know your contract by heart.
  • Know your worth—don’t undervalue yourself.
  • Automation can sacrifice the emotional and interpersonal interaction with your customers.

 

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
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • 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
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Jun 22, 2017

Sam Caucci. He’s the CEO of Sales Huddle, a training and development team that is using game technology to help organizations better prepare their people for the workforce.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Meditations
  • What CEO do you follow? – Jason Lemkin
  • Favorite online tool? — GrowBots
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 4
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – Sam is a big believer that you have to over-network

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:52 – Nathan introduces Sam to the show
  • 01:30 Sales Huddle is a mobile game platform for employee training
  • 01:43 Sales Huddle has everything a business needs to learn
  • 02:04 Sales Huddle is a subscription business
  • 02:10 – Pricing is from $5K to $15K
  • 02:13 – There’s a monthly recurring fee based on the number of employees on the platform
  • 02:20 – 2016 revenue closed out at $1.2M
  • 02:29 – MRR is around $800K 82 subscribed clients on the platform
  • 02:58Sales Huddle has an initial integration fee for converting a client’s current content into the platform
  • 03:18 – Most companies pay Sales Huddle an upfront payment
  • 03:36 Sales Huddle tries to get companies to pay upfront first
  • 04:03 Sales Huddle has 100% retention
  • 04:37 – Sam credits their 0 churn on the product not infringing on the customer's current learning stack yet
  • 05:10 Sales Huddle started as a part-time consulting company 6 years ago
    • 05:26 – The development of the product was in middle of 2014
    • 05:27 – Selling started in 2015
  • 05:40 – Team size is now 20
  • 06:05 Sales Huddle is currently raising and has raised $400K
  • 06:33 – The round was a kiss convertible note
  • 06:41 – A kiss convertible note converts to an equity and is similar to safe note
  • 07:44 – Many startups don’t think of their sales pipeline
  • 08:08 Sales Huddle is currently in a strong position
  • 08:40 – As a founder, Sam believes it is his responsibility to drive the shift with his team
  • 08:58 – Sam can definitely raise money through sales, but they have to think of the worst case scenario
  • 09:12 – Sam sees his company running a 100m dash; once they get to 200m, they will think about how to get to 300m
  • 09:30 – ARR goal is around 100m and they’re currently at 50m
  • 10:16 – Sam just had a daughter
  • 10:49 – Sam is building a team that is going to have your back in a bar fight
  • 11:12 Sales Huddle’s competitors
  • 11:43 Sales Huddle just started to spend money on paid acquisition
  • 11:59 Sales Huddle is almost always breaking even
  • 12:16 Sales Huddle is burning $40K-60K a month
  • 12:41 – The hardest shift for Sam
  • 13:50 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • A great retention rate could mean you’re not charging enough or your product is just that good.
  • Be the founder that your team trusts—even to the point of trusting you that raising funds is not necessary.
  • Always invest in growing your network!

 

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
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • 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
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Jun 21, 2017

Scot Wingo. He’s the CEO of Spiffy. He’s also a 4-time serial entrepreneur and industry thought leader in ecommerce and on-demand economy realm. He’s appeared on CNBC’s Today’s Show and contributed his expertise to The Wall Street Journal, New York Times along with many other publications. He previously founded Stingray Software which he sold to Rogue Wave Software, AuctionRover which was sold to GoTo/Overture, and ChannelAdvisor that went public in 2013, under the stock symbol ECOM.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Hard Thing About Hard Things
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Jeff Bezos
  • Favorite online tool? — LinkedIn
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 4-6
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “To trust your instincts and invest even more in your own companies”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:44 – Nathan introduces Scot to the show
  • 01:29 – Spiffy is an on-demand car wash and detail company
  • 01:33 – Customers pay for car washes and Spiffy is full-stock
  • 01:59 – Spiffy is a pay-as-you-go model
  • 02:02 – Some customers would request to have their car cleaned on a regular basis so they’re currently working on a subscription plan
  • 02:30 – Having your car cleaned is addicting
  • 03:02 – Spiffy started in 2014
  • 03:17 – Scot was 46 in 2014
  • 03:26 – Scot loves building a company
  • 04:00 – In 1999, AuctionRover started
  • 04:14 AuctionRover is a search engine for auction sites
    • 04:16 – Scot always had a plan to develop software for sellers
    • 04:20 – After getting acquired, they developed the software which turned into ChannelAdvisor
  • 05:43 – They’ve raised $3M for AuctionRover
  • 05:53 – AuctionRover started to get acquisition offers
  • 06:16 – Scot was a fan of Goto
  • 06:45 – Stingray put Scot in a position where it had to work
    • 07:32 – Scot had accumulated personal debt to run Stingray
    • 07:55 – Scot was 25 when he founded Stingray
    • 08:03 – Scot had Stingray for 3 years before selling it to Rogue
    • 08:11 – Acquisition price was around $7M
    • 08:27 – It was software and Scot had a 30% margin
  • 09:07 – Scot added $3M through fundraising
    • 09:55 – Tim Draper was on Episode 129
    • 10:17 – AuctionRover’s acquisition price was $20-50M
  • 10:43 – The negotiation with Goto to buy back AuctionRover
  • 11:18 – Scot bought back AuctionRover for around $1M
    • 11:37 – They bought it back in 2001
  • 12:00 – When Scot IPOd ChannelAdvisor, everything was new to him and he had never taken a company that big before
  • 12:07 – Scot’s dad was a business person and was on Fortune Magazine
  • 12:58 – Scot always has a higher goal
  • 13:37 – “If you’ve raised a venture capital, you’re going to have an exit”
  • 13:47 – Scot wanted to see what an IPO process looked like
  • 14:02 – Scot raised capital for ChannelAdvisor
  • 14:14 – ChannelAdvisor helps retailers and brands sell on eBay, Amazon and other channels
  • 14:26 – ChannelAdvisor raised a total of $90M before the IPO
  • 15:08 – ChannelAdvisor’s market price on Day 1
  • 16:03 – Scot brought in a COO to help him
    • 16:11 – After going public, the COO was promoted to president
    • 16:20 – Scot felt he wasn’t learning much more and the president wanted to step into the CEO role
    • 16:27 – Scot felt it was a great time for the president to mature and take on the CEO position
    • 16:47 – Scot just simply sent a letter to the board about him leaving
  • 17:35 – Scot is more of a tactical entrepreneur
  • 17:47 – “I just really like solving hard problems and scaling businesses”
  • 17:55 – Everytime Scot would have a career change, it was in a different space
  • 18:05 – Since Spiffy is consumer oriented, Scot believes he can scale it faster than ChannelAdvisor
  • 18:27 – Scot’s goal for Spiffy
  • 19:35 – Scot had 2 physical car washes after selling his 2nd company
  • 19:44 – Spiffy was an MVP in 2014 when it was launched
  • 20:09 – There are reasons why customers don’t like detailing
  • 20:40 – 70% of Spiffy’s revenue is from out-work consumers
  • 21:11 – Spiffy just crossed the $200M runaway and is growing annually north of 100%
  • 21:33 – Team size in the office is around 20 and around 60 technicians
  • 22:06 – Spiffy has raised $7.5M on their series A
  • 22:18 – Scot still gets excited raising funds
  • 22:38 – Scot’s aspiration for Spiffy is bigger than his checkbook
  • 23:55 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Always aim higher when it comes to your goals.
  • Going through multiple exits boosts your learning and experience.
  • Always trust your instincts.

 

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
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • 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
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Jun 20, 2017

Dimitris Giannoccaro. He founded IAMIP, in 2013, after an extensive career in engineering and intellectual property together with some of the strongest leaders and inventors at ABB. The urgent need for digitizing an intellectual property world and maximizing the potential of intellectual property successfully has been felt during his work at his company.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – n/a
  • What CEO do you follow? – Björn Lilja of Kundo
  • Favorite online tool? — Slack
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 5
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “I would never do this again”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:44 – Nathan introduces Dimitris to the show
  • 01:31 – IAMIP is a typical SaaS company
  • 01:56 – IAMIP is where users can collaborate in real-time in order to access all the patents
  • 02:49 – IAMIP has 3 target groups: small startups, medium-size companies and corporations
  • 03:06 – Small startups still need to know how to protect their solution
  • 03:22 – Medium and corporations are big companies and they want to make sure no one is infringing on their rights
  • 04:12 – If you want to get acquired later on, you want to make sure you don’t infringe on other’s rights
  • 04:42 – Patents are important for product
  • 04:58 – Patents are also filed on services
  • 05:32 – As a consumer, the focus is on the usability of the product or service
  • 05:40 – If you want to make money right and keep growing, you want to have your IP
  • 06:08 – Team size is 14
  • 06:19 – IAMIP was launched 3 years
  • 06:23 – Average MRR is $60K
  • 06:38 – IAMIP currently has 500 users
    • 06:54 – There are 62 paying customers
  • 07:18 – IAMIP raised 2 years ago, but it was initially bootstrapped
  • 07:34 – Dimitris was 37 when he launched IAMIP
  • 08:05 – IAMIP managed to have their first client after a few months
  • 08:22 – IAMIP has 2 founders and the split is 50/50
  • 08:59 – Dimitris regretted not inviting more people
  • 09:55 – IAMIP has raised $1M on the first round
  • 10:01 – IAMIP is in the process of raising an equity round
  • 10:27 – Dimitris based the valuation on the future number of customers
  • 11:08 – IAMIP didn’t give a discount on their first round which is an equity round
  • 11:44 – Gross customer churn
  • 12:16 – Dimitris’ tactic on having 0 churn
  • 12:46 – 2016 revenue
  • 13:08 – 2017 goal
  • 13:16 – IAMIP has recently been accepted by the UCLA Amazon program
  • 13:33 – CAC
  • 13:59 – Everybody is part of the sales team
    • 14:30 – All of the people on the team are engineers and the 7 spend additional time in sales
  • 14:51 – LTV
  • 16:17 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Patents are important for growing businesses in order to protect your solutions.
  • Having co-founders has its advantages and can be much better than doing it solo.
  • You CAN acquire new customers without an expert salesperson.

 

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
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • 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
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Jun 19, 2017

Rickard Carlsson. He’s the CEO of Detectify, a Stockholm-based security startup selected as one of Sweden’s super talents, in 2015, by the Swedish business publication, Veckans Affärer. He has lived and worked in Sweden, USA and India and holds an MSc of applied physics and electrical engineering.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Home Improvement Books
  • What CEO do you follow? – N/A 
  • Favorite online tool? — Google Calendar
  • 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? – “Know more about how to build a great team”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:43 – Nathan introduces Rickard to the show
  • 01:35 – Detectify integrates security testing into the development workflow
    • 01:49 – Detectify makes sure that the safety testing is brought to development
  • 02:08 – Pipedrive uses Detectify as a part of their security
    • 02:25 – Security is important for Pipedrive so they use Detectify to automate a large part of their security detecting
  • 02:54 – Average pay per customer is €80
  • 03:10 – Detectify was launched in 2014
  • 03:50 – Rickard’s co-founders who worked for the biggest tech companies had the idea of Detectify
  • 04:44 – Rickard met his co-founders at his previous job and they were Angel investors to Detectify
  • 04:58 – Rickard was a business consultant for McKinsey
  • 05:54 – Rickard started a startup to learn new things
  • 06:21 – Detectify has 4 founders and the split is not the usual 25% each
  • 06:41 – Detectify has now raised €2.5M
  • 06:49 – The last round was a priced equity round
  • 07:13 – Rickard does everything except coding including sales
  • 07:42 – Detectify managed to get 1-2 important Angels on board
  • 08:09 – Detectify is currently serving 350 customers
  • 08:20 – Majority of the customers are the long-paying customers
  • 08:45 – There’s an increasing number of larger customers
  • 08:55 – MRR is around $30K
  • 09:10 – Nathan has released interview videos on Youtube
  • 09:45 – Team size is around 25
    • 10:09 – Salaries in Europe are much smaller than in the USA
    • 10:18 – 2/3 of the team are full-time engineers
  • 11:17 – Gross customer churn
  • 11:26 – Detectify has no paid acquisition
  • 11:30 – Detectify has 2 outbound sales people who just started
  • 12:00 – The team is based in Sweden
  • 12:17 – LTV
  • 12:47 – Detectify has a few enterprise customers
    • 13:00 – Deals are usually a year contract with an upfront payment
  • 13:25 – Rickard won’t disclose what the salespeople get for every $10K deal they close
  • 15:36 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • An eagerness to learn new things is a great motivator to start one’s own business.
  • Security is simply a necessity.
  • Having different brackets of customers allows for more growth.

 

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
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • 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
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Jun 18, 2017

Don Mal. He’s the CEO and co-founder of Vena Solutions which was established in 2011 and is the fastest growing provider of cloud-based corporate performance management software. Prior to Vena, he’s owned several executive tech positions along the way with companies like Clarity Systems and IBM.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Who Moved My Cheese
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Satya Nadella
  • Favorite online tool? — Dropbox
  • 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? – “I wish I knew that sales cures all”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:44 – Nathan introduces Don to the show
  • 01:21 – Vena was the fastest company to acquire a hundred customers
  • 01:29 – Vena is growing a 100%, year over year
  • 02:05 – CPM or corporate performance management is budgeting, planning and forecasting financial performance
  • 02:28 – A fastfood chain can use Vena’s service to capture the sales of their burger
  • 02:55 – CPM is about measuring results in a couple of different dimensions
  • 03:16 – The Top had Glen Coates of Handshake and they’re an inventory management
  • 03:31 – Vena is more horizontal based and vertical industry based
  • 04:20 – Vena doesn’t compete with Bill.com and Expensify.com
  • 04:31 – Annual RPU is $50K
  • 04:53 – Vena was launched in 2011
  • 05:02 – Team size is almost 200
  • 05:18 – Vena has raised capital with equity rounds
  • 05:49 – Don was running sales for a company in the same space that Don sold
  • 06:02 – Don has already built credibility, so he was able to convince families and friends to invest
  • 06:21 – Don has raised over a million to launch the business
  • 06:50 – Don’s process of closing
  • 07:06 – Don was able to raise $3M from other sources
  • 07:30 – If your friends and families can’t write a $25K check, a $1k check will do
  • 07:42 – Don has now raised a total of $50M
  • 08:35 – Having the right kind of partner is important in raising a round
  • 09:17 – Vena is approaching 350 paying customers
  • 09:38 – Average MRR is $1.4M
  • 09:47 – Vena finds new customers with a combination of inbound and outbound marketing
    • 10:04 – Vena also nurtures their prospects through drip campaigns
  • 10:22 – Total spend on paid acquisition is a couple of hundred grand a month
  • 10:40 – Vena has a team that does the testing for new channels
  • 11:05 – Don wants to keep their CAC below a 12-month cost of the revenue
  • 11:38 – Don is looking at a 12-month payback
  • 11:55 – LTV
    • 12:05 – A customer stays with Vena up to 10 years
  • 12:48 – Don sees the significant expansion of their platform
  • 12:55 – Client starts with 2 user cases and can end up having more than 20
  • 13:28 – Gross churn
  • 13:39 – Vena has hit their net negative revenue churn
  • 14:05 – Vena’s dollar will turn into $1.20 with their current system
  • 15:15 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Before a big round of fundraising, master your pitch and start with your friends and families.
  • Make your product stick to your customers and you’ll experience amazing growth.
  • Have experts in your sales and marketing team; trust and release them to do their job.

 

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
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • 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
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Jun 17, 2017

Victor Levitin. He’s the CEO of CrazyLister and last time he was at The Top was in late 2016. His company, Crazy Lister, has passed 2K customers, about 600K raised and about 30K in 2015 revenue. Each customer pays about $15 in monthly revenue. They’ve passed 25K in MRR with about 3% gross customer churn each month. They are based mainly in Tel Aviv with their team of 8.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Hard Thing About The Hard Things
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Jason Lemkin
  • Favorite online tool? — Intercom
  • 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? – “Start with SaaS, everything else does not compound”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:44 – Nathan introduces Victor to the show
  • 01:25 – CrazyLister is the easiest way to create high-converting, mobile-optimized product listings for eBay
  • 01:36 – Investors call CrazyLister, the Wix for eBay
  • 01:49 – CrazyLister closed the door on their Tel Aviv office and focused on just working
  • 02:14 – CrazyLister has recently hit $1M in ARR
  • 02:38 – CrazyLister just passed 3.5 paying customers
  • 03:13 – CrazyLister’s growth is a combination of several tactics and strategies
  • 03:26 – CrazyLister now nailed paid acquisition
  • 03:47 – CrazyLister managed to get their CAC to LTV ratio to 1:8
  • 04:01 – CrazyLister is spending $15K a month for paid acquisition
    • 04:10 – To acquire a new customer costs $80
  • 04:29 – CrazyLister is trying every paid acquisition
    • 04:41 – CrazyLister is now focused on Google AdWords which is working quite well for them
  • 04:58 – CrazyLister couldn’t make it on Facebook
  • 05:31 – CrazyLister targets specific customer needs in retail
  • 06:15 – Victor has been in California for 2 months to discuss the future of CrazyLister
    • 06:40 – Victor came to the conclusion that with the growth that they have experienced, raising a big VC round wouldn’t be healthy for them
  • 07:06 – Victor now focuses on making e-commerce easier for retailers
  • 07:17 – CrazyLister will first prove traction beyond eBay then raise a not-so-big round to sustain growth
    • 07:35 – It will be between $1-2M
  • 07:40 – Current team size is 10
  • 07:53 – CrazyLister just hit cash flow positive in March
  • 08:03 – CrazyLister doesn’t really need capital, but wants to grow beyond eBay
  • 08:48 – CrazyLister now has 3 plans: $9/month, $25/month and $45/month
    • 09:04 – The best customers for CrazyLister are the highest paying ones
    • 09:35 – CrazyLister tries to understand their customer even before they upgrade
  • 10:24 – As CrazyLister adds more features and updates, they increase their pricing
  • 10:56 – CrazyLister has developed a feature that is beneficial for businesses
  • 11:37 – Victor has 2 co-founders
  • 11:51 – There are 3 main pillars in CrazyLister
    • 11:55 – Victor and Max, the co-founder, are the business pillars
    • 12:06 – The second pillar is the CTO
    • 12:25 – The third pillar is the paid acquisition expert
    • 12:45 – The paid acquisition expert is a full-time employee
  • 14:00 – When CrazyLister began with paid acquisition, their budget was only $5K
    • 14:08 – As the data becomes better, they’ve raised their budget as well
  • 15:34 – CrazyLister now wants to replicate what they did to eBay to other channels
  • 15:50 – 2016 total revenue
  • 16:40 – As a seller/business, you constantly need to add listings on eBay, so there’s a considerate need to use CrazyLister
  • 17:03 – Gross churn per month
  • 18:38 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Focus in on your goals, then see if you can raise a bigger round.
  • Paid acquisition, if done well, can get you new customers consistently and help grow your company.
  • Let your pricing reflect the valuable updates and developments you make to your product.

 

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
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • 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
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Jun 16, 2017

Jon Ferrara. He’s been recognized for pioneering innovation in the customer service management category for many years. Prior to founding Nimble, he was the creator and co-founder of the award-winning customer management product GoldMine. In 1999, Goldmine got acquired by FrontRange and he left to pursue other interests. During those years, he continued to watch the CRM market grow. He saw that most CRMs in the industry that were serving small businesses moved up market and became way more expensive and more complex—leaving the small business market totally underserved. It was at that point that Jon decided to create the next generation CRM product for small businesses called Nimble.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Think and Grow Rich
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Marc Benioff
  • Favorite online tool? — Buffer App
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— Around 8
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Start a business earlier”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:44 – Nathan introduces Jon to the show
  • 01:42 – Jon was on Episode 643 of The Top
    • 01:55 – Nimble has around 10K paying customers with a monthly RPU of $20
    • 02:08 – 3% monthly churn
    • 02:14 – CAC is around $5
    • 02:24 – Team size is 25
  • 02:43 – Nimble has recently closed a $9M round
  • 03:07 – Acquiring SMBs is the exact same way they’ve scaled Goldmine
    • 03:20 – The problem with most CRMs today is that only sales and marketing people use these systems when in fact, everyone in the company should use it
    • 03:56 – Jon cold called every Novel reseller in the country when Goldmine was just starting
    • 04:00 – “People sell what they know and know what they use”
  • 04:15 – When Jon started Nimble, no one knew that social media would be the way to grow a business
  • 04:30 – Jon looked around for influencers for Nimble’s launch
    • 04:48 – Nimble is the early pioneer of influencer marketing
    • 05:08 – Nimble was getting 100K website views with 0 marketing spend
  • 05:25 – As a company scales up, it should also touch the customers in different ways
  • 05:43 – Nimble doesn’t pay influencers
  • 05:45 – To find influencers, you have to know the core influencers around your product
    • 06:00 – You find ways on how to build a relationship with influencers
  • 06:32 – Nimble will now try to get around with ad spend
  • 06:41 Jon always believed that there was another way to get access to customers
  • 06:44 – Jon is going to replicate the strategy they used with Goldmine by partnering with people similar to Microsoft and Google and get their VARs to use Nimble and start recommending it
  • 07:01 – Nimble just signed a deal with Microsoft where they can be a reseller of Nimble
    • 07:12 – Microsoft can now give their VARs Nimble so their VARs can be better, smarter and faster in sales and marketing
    • 07:33 – Nimble will work on top of Office 365 as the operating system of a business
  • 07:57 – Microsoft is currently passing their revenue to the VARs
  • 08:11 – The VARs are the one making the MRR which is 20%
  • 08:30 – Nimble’s average RPU is now around $30
  • 08:41 – If you can help a business person with their sales and marketing needs, you’re now opening yourself up to other functionalities for that customer
  • 08:53 – Every business struggles with sales, marketing and relationship management
  • 09:20 – Nimble just rolled out new pricing and marked on automation add-on
  • 10:13 – March MRR is around $225K
  • 10:25 – Nimble now has around 10.5K customers
  • 11:31 – Without relying on the VARs, it’s going to be a long term strategy for Nimble
  • 11:48 – Microsoft has bundled Nimble inside of Outlook mobile, Office 365 and Outlook desktop
    • 12:07 – It is like a free acquisition
  • 12:32 – Jon won the deal with Microsoft because of their relationship
  • 12:42 – In every business relationship, you want to know how the other person answers and what success looks like for that person
  • 13:21 – Nimble is now a free plug-in with Office 365
    • 13:37 – Users can use Nimble for free without paying $30 a month
    • 13:42 – Nimble is like Rapportive on steroids
    • 13:48 – Nimble has a limited feature for free users
  • 14:14 – Business people are the ones who usually convert to paid users
  • 14:33 – The market of Nimble is a very fragmented market
  • 14:37 – Nathan mentions the people in the same market that were on The Top:
    • 14:39 – Hatchbuck
    • 14:55 – Pipedrive
    • 15:02 – Close.io
    • 15:08 – Contactually
  • 15:29 – In a fragmented market, you need to be top of the line with your customers, influencers and with business products that people use
  • 15:52 – Nimble continues to be rated as No. 1
  • 17:00 – The way Nimble wins is how it executes the distribution channels
  • 17:13 – Team size is currently 32 and based in Santa Monica and Ukraine
  • 17:44 – You don’t go to raise with a particular value in mind
    • 17:53 – Let the market determine the value
  • 18:06 – The last round raised was a series A
    • 18:22 – Nimble has talked to a number of VCs and with this deal, they’re bringing in a seasoned CEO
  • 19:18 – What people are vetting for Nimble is the future
  • 19:41 – “We’re definitely going for a large exit with Nimble”
  • 20:14 – Office 365 is now dominating the email cloud productivity space and they’re just starting
  • 20:48 – “And Nimble, I believe, is positioned today to dominate in this space”
  • 22:05 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • In a fragmented market, you need to be TOP of line—a product that people will always recommend.
  • You have to know how a potential client answers a question and how they define success when making a deal.
  • Nurture your business relationships—this is KEY to your 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
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • 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
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
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