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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: Page 1
May 14, 2017

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

Famous Five:

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

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

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

 

3 Key Points:

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

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • The Top Inbox – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Host Gator– The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible
  • Audible– Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

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