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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: Category: general
Nov 30, 2017

Rob Frohwein. Back in 2008, he recognized that companies like eBay offered automated access to small business transactional data via APIs. He also realized that small businesses could simply share this data to allow underwriters to make better, faster credit decisions and provide a great user experience. Because of that, he co-founded Kabbage in Atlanta, Georgia, to leverage the power of real-time data automation through technology. The company has since expanded to serve all small businesses throughout the U.S., providing billions of dollars to more than 100,000 customers.

Nov 29, 2017

Tom Coburn. He’s the cofounder and CEO of Jebbit. He left Boston College to pursue the company and is currently in the Forbes 30 under 30 list. He’s also the cofounder of Enjoy Life Education, a non-profit that empowers teens to be the best versions of themselves, and SSC Ventures which invests in Boston College entrepreneurs.

Nov 28, 2017

 Zach Benson. He’s the cofounder and CEO of Assistagram and he’s one of the standouts in the world of online entrepreneurship, especially, influencer marketing. He’s a TedX speaker, social media trainer for international brands like The 4 Seasons, Ritz Carlton and Vice Roy. He was a past participant on “So You Think You Can Dance”. He doesn’t only manages his own Instagram network of millions, he’s also guiding other influencers and Fortune 500 companies through Assistagram to social media success.

Nov 27, 2017

Nadim Hossain. He has over 17 years of experience in building marketing and selling cloud applications. Prior to founding BrightFunnel, he was VP of marketing at Power Reviews, paving the way for a $170M exit. He was also the marketing executive at Salesforce from 2007-2010. He has a BA from Cornell and an MBS from Stanford.

Nov 26, 2017

Greg Harris. His company is Quantum Workplace and he started with a vision to create tangible measures for leadership strength inside of companies. His company surveyed tools for measuring employee engagement and recognizing the best places to work. It’s grown into an engagement platform that talent-minded companies use now to accelerate performance.

Nov 25, 2017

Harpreet Singh. He’s one of the cofounders of Kvantum. He’s in a lot of positions based in data science including big companies like Target and Sapient.

Nov 24, 2017

Garrett Moon. He’s the CEO and founder of CoSchedule, the web’s most popular marketing calendar and the fastest growing startup in North Dakota. As a thought leader, Garrett has been blogging and speaking about content marketing, social media marketing, and startup businesses for more than six years.

Sep 5, 2017

Venkat Nagaswamy. He’s the CEO of Mariana IQ. He brings a long and diverse background in high technology to apply artificial intelligence and deep learning to help marketers make account-based marketing at scale a reality. "Big Kat," as he was nicknamed by friends and colleagues, has led teams in creating analytics, technology and business development solutions at McKinsey, Juniper Networks and GE Plastics, among others. He's worked in enterprise and digital consumer hardware, SaaS, corporate and business unit strategy, market entry strategy, and product development. He's a proud graduate of the University of Michigan and the Georgia Institute of Technology. He holds an MBA and a Master's in Aerospace Engineering.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Good to Great
  • What CEO do you follow? – Marc Benioff and Mark Zuckerberg
  • Favorite online tool? — Calendly and Feedly
  • 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? – “Being diligent and hard-working counts for a lot more than being smart and clever”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:54 – Nathan introduces Venkat to the show
  • 02:54 – Venkat was in Juniper trying to implement account-based marketing
  • 03:14 – Venkat is trying to solve the problems in account-based marketing
  • 03:27 – People buy a monthly subscription to Mariana IQ which will allow them to run campaigns targeting the same audience across different platforms
  • 03:37 – Mariana IQ is a SaaS business
  • 03:43 – Average pay is $4K a month per customer
  • 03:55 – Venkat started Mariana IQ three years ago with his three co-founders
  • 04:02 – Venkat also uses their technology
  • 04:16 – Venkat and his co-founders felt that marketers need more tools to be successful in the field
  • 04:36 – First year revenue was zero
  • 04:45 – Late 2015, Mariana IQ made $155K and $550K in 2016
  • 04:59 – Venkat is expecting to get 5x more in annual revenue this year
  • 05:17 – MRR in June was $70-80K
  • 05:45 – Mariana IQ has around 20 customers
  • 06:00 – Zendesk is one of Mariana IQ’s clients
    • 06:13 – Zendesk wanted to target larger companies and so they gave Mariana IQ their data
    • 06:30 – Mariana IQ used their API to find the targeted companies for Zendesk
  • 06:54 – Venkat shares their success rate at Mariana IQ
    • 07:27 – “We got better quality, 4x the volume while keeping the cost the same”
  • 07:36 – Mariana IQ has raised capital
    • 07:39 – First seed round was in 2014 which was led by Blumberg Capital
    • 07:58 – David Blumberg owns Blumberg Capital and Bruce Taragin is who is on Mariana IQ’s board
    • 08:05 – Blumberg Capital has been around for 34 years
    • 08:19 – The first round was a convertible note round with $6M capital
    • 08:47 – Mariana IQ did another round in 2016 which was a priced round
    • 09:10 – Mariana IQ has raised a total of $4M
  • 09:48 – Venkat doesn’t worry about growing into their valuation
  • 12:00 – In Mariana IQ’s first year, they were only getting beta customers
  • 12:41 – Venkat shares the unconventional way he attracted more customers; a video of him in the shower, singing
    • 13:05 –The video was posted on Twitter and got a million views
    • 13:38 – “I’m the worst singer on the planet”
  • 13:57 – Gross margin is around 80%
  • 14:10 – Gross customer churn is quite high, at 3%
  • 14:22 – Revenue churn
  • 14:55 – Full weighted CAC is $22K per customer
  • 15:06 – Customer LTV is $200-250K
  • 15:40 – Venkat is looking at increasing their CAC by spending more on sales and marketing to increase their volume
    • 15:54 – They will add two more salespeople
  • 16:23 – Last month, they spent $2k on marketing alone
  • 17:20 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Marketers are constantly looking for alternative ways to become more effective and successful in their industry.
  2. A business shouldn’t worry about its valuation—as long as their confident with their product and continue to add value to their customers; it will work out in the end.
  3. It’s necessary for companies today to invest in their sales and marketing to increase that engagement with their audience.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Simplero – The easiest way to launch your own membership course like the big influencers do but at 1/10th the cost.
  • 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
  • GetLatka - Database of all B2B SaaS companies who have been on my show including their revenue, CAC, churn, ARPU and more
  • 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

Sep 4, 2017

Jeremy Haynes whose company is Megalodon Marketing. He’s building all kinds of personal brands for celebrities and entrepreneurs alike.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – 48 Laws of Power
  • What CEO do you follow? – Elon Musk
  • Favorite online tool? — Infusionsoft, ClickFunnels and Stripe
  • 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? – “Speed is power, but power is nothing without control”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:55 – Nathan introduces Jeremy to the show
  • 02:28 – “Real results in real life”
  • 02:33 – Jeremy’s real life experiences have driven millions of dollars in infoproducts
  • 02:43 – Jeremy only gives actionable advice
  • 03:00 – Armando Montelongo is one of Jeremy’s clients
    • 03:02 – Armando had a show that ran from 2006-2009 which was called Flip This House, by A&E
  • 03:10 – Jeremy brands himself as the largest go-to personality in digital agency
  • 03:20 – 16 months after Megalodon’s launch, Jeremy met Armando
    • 03:28 – Armando explained to Jeremy how his TV show led to a business with $200M annual revenue in 2017
    • 03:57 – $200M doesn’t include any online revenue
    • 04:05 – The entirety of its revenue came from selling event tickets to people over the phone and up-selling them
    • 04:18 – There were 22K customers between 2006-2009 and the majority of customers have an average transaction value of $20K or more
    • 05:18 – At first, Jeremy couldn’t believe Armando’s story because 2017 is the year of online advertising
    • 05:35 – Armando paid Jeremy $5K per day to come in for 3 days in total
    • 05:48 – Armando’s business was built up on traditional media
    • 06:05 – Jeremy did an assessment on Armando‘s business during his visit
    • 06:15 – The business made 6-figures the first month of the launch after spending a mid 5-figures
    • 06:30 – Armando is making a 7-figure revenue in the succeeding months
  • 06:40 – Jeremy made 3 deals with Armando
  • 08:38 – 33% of the social media activities is on Instagram as it’s a powerful platform
    • 09:00 – An account with 60K views in an hour can have 2% of that traffic go to the product
    • 10:20 – There’s a chrome plugin that helps you filter all Facebook posts
  • 11:11 – Grant Cardone is the Number 1 sales trainer in the world
    • 11:30 – Jeremy became a part of Grant’s business as an email marketing manager; he trained 50 of his people to use Infusionsoft
    • 11:46 – Jeremy ended up as a digital marketing specialist
    • 11:50 – By Jeremy’s sixth month, Grant’s business was making a million dollars in digital revenue
    • 12:28 – Jeremy started with $50K a year to $60K a year with a bonus
  • 13:54 – Jeremy created an omnipresent advertising model for marketing automation
    • 14:05 – Jeremy categorizes Grant’s buyers
    • 14:50 – Jeremy shows the buyers the ads they would want to see depending on their behavior and interests
    • 15:21 – Jeremy shares an actual example using lead forms
    • 15:43 – Jeremy tracks the leads from their customized URL and ads
    • 16:29 – PlusThis is an Infusionsoft plugin where you can connect Facebook to Infusionsoft and generate an http post
    • 16:47 – When a lead fills out a form, it will be generated to a campaign
    • 16:51 – The first step in an marketing automation sequence will be an http post pushing the lead’s data to the target audience where the lead should be
    • 17:03 – Then, the audience will be connected to the ad that is made for them
    • 17:10 – The sequence won’t always be perfect
  • 19:00 – Jeremy shares why people like him are needed to do this job
  • 19:17 – People can hire from com
  • 19:35 – Jeremy stayed with Grant for 13 months, then left to start his own agency
  • 21:40 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Digital marketing is one of best ways to grow your revenue as a business.
  2. Know your worth and show people why you’re worth it.
  3. Leave when you think it is the best time and/or option you have; then, continue to pursue your dreams.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Simplero – The easiest way to launch your own membership course like the big influencers do but at 1/10th the cost.
  • 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
  • GetLatka - Database of all B2B SaaS companies who have been on my show including their revenue, CAC, churn, ARPU and more
  • 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
Mar 11, 2017

Nathan interviews Patrick O'Luanaigh. He started as a programmer and designer at Codemasters 20 years ago, working on micro machines V3. Prior to founding nDreams, in 2006, he was a creative director at Eidos where he was responsible for the design and gameplay of all the titles there including the well-known Tomb Raider Legend and Hitman Blood Money. nDreams is now 50 people strong and pivoted to solely focusing on virtual reality 3 years ago. nDreams has launched 6 VR titles to date.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Chimp Paradox
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Elon Musk and Brendan Iribe
  • Favorite online tool? — Box
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Yes
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Life is too short to play it safe, you gotta take your risk. It’s so much more exciting even though it is scary, you just gotta do it. Be brave!

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:18 – Nathan introduces Patrick to the show
  • 02:07 – The greatest challenge of VR (virtual reality) at the moment is the limited number of hardware available
  • 02:16 – “We are still figuring out how to make the very best games in the experience of VR”
  • 02:36 – nDreams’ game that has generated the most income is Perfect Beach
  • 03:02 – nDreams’ key metric is the number of units sold
  • 03:18 – nDreams has sold 250K units
  • 03:49 – nDreams has 50 people in the team
    • 03:56 – Ideas come from anyone in the studio
    • 04:05 – They work with the best idea and do an estimate
    • 04:25 – There’s a lot of things to learn in VR
    • 04:30 – nDreams focuses on gameplay
  • 04:49 – Perfect can be purchased on Google Play Store or your VR digital store
    • 05:16 – Mobile version currently costs $2.99
    • 05:20 – The high-end version costs around $7.99
  • 05:40 – nDreams has earned 75K from Perfect
  • 05:50 – The challenge of PlayStation VR is the price
  • 06:06 – Patrick has not heard of other competitors who have sold as much VR as they have
  • 06:44 – It’s hard to tell the total potential basis for the VR space
  • 07:00 – Patrick started the company 10 years ago
  • 07:36 – nDreams was bootstrapped but they raised capital for VR
  • 08:06 – nDreams has raised around $6M
  • 08:14 – Patrick started the business even before the start of the VR market
  • 08:41 – 2016 top line revenue
  • 09:30 – Patrick can predict which games will do well even when they’re still early in the market
  • 09:43 – nDreams is trying out different games and genres
  • 09:53 – “We’re in the stage of learning what works well”
  • 10:08 – In nDreams’ released games, SkyDIEving is the only one that’s for free
  • 10:48 – Perfect Beach was from an experiment
  • 11:08 – Gunner’s expenses
  • 11:45 – nDreams is launching more games this year
  • 12:30 – Patrick shares where most people are buying their games
  • 13:15 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Being in a space that is new can be challenging because of the limited data and resources.
  • You learn in every process you take .
  • Life is too short to play it safe—be brave and take those risks!

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel
  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible.
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • The Top Inbox  – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • Jamf – Jamf helped Nathan keep his Macbook Air 11” secure even when he left it in the airplane’s back seat pocket
  • 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
Mar 9, 2017

Mike Cook. He founded XOR Data Exchange to bring privacy and accountability back to data management. Today, his organization works with the nation’s largest financial institutions to fight fraud and manage risk. You might have never seen Mike presenting the newest consumer tech, but rest assured every digital entity in America is safer under his watchful eye.   

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – How to Win Friends and Influence People
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Sam Yagan
  • Favorite online tool? — Periscope
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “That you should go to anger management”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:40 – Nathan introduces Mike to the show
  • 02:10 – Mike mentions how XOR Data Exchange works
  • 02:54 – Mike wanted to create a company where financial institutions can share their data with one another
  • 03:16 – XOR Data Exchange is a B2B model
  • 03:21 – XOR Data Exchange will eventually help consumers
  • 04:04 – Mike shares how XOR Data Exchange will work in between companies
  • 04:31 – Companies like AIG and JP Chase Morgan store data
  • 05:32 – XOR Data Exchange changes the mentality of the pipe
  • 06:25 – XOR Data Exchange generates revenue by building pre-exchanges
    • 07:17 – XOR Data Exchange charges transaction fees based on return data
    • 07:38 – XOR Data Exchange is a pay-as-you-go model
  • 07:43 – XOR Data Exchange is building a new exchange focusing on financial services companies where companies can exchange fraud information
  • 08:10 – XOR Data Exchange was launched in January 2014
  • 08:20 – First year revenue is nothing
  • 08:27 – Mike put in his own money in XOR Data Exchange
  • 08:34 – Mike sold his company ID Analytics to fund XOR Data Exchange
    • 08:40 – Mike sold ID Analytics in 2012, which he started in 2000
    • 08:56 – Mike was 17 when he started ID Analytics
    • 09:15 – Mike had 2 other co-founders
  • 09:26 – Mike tried to work in a big company after his exit
  • 09:56 – Mike has raised $6M and will close $2M, today
  • 10:53 – The last round was in August 2015
  • 11:22 – Most of the money from the current round is from the previous investors
  • 11:36 – Mike shares about his Angel investors
  • 12:40 – “Raising a Series B in this environment is not the easiest thing to do”
    • 12:51 – Mike explains what he means by this
  • 13:20 – XOR Data Exchange is working with big customers
  • 13:45 – “If you work with the top 6, 7, 8 financial services companies, you’re really covering 90% of America”
  • 14:05 – XOR Data Exchange has dozens of companies
  • 14:23 – Team size
  • 14:26 – XOR Data Exchange is not yet cashflow positive
  • 15:05 – 2017 goal
  • 15:25 – Most of the XOR Data Exchange employees are tech and based in Austin
  • 17:30 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Reinvest your money in something that you believe in.
  • The financial service space isn’t the easiest environment to raise a Series B.
  • If you work with the top 6, 7, or 8 financial services companies, you’re really covering 90% of America.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel
  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible.
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • The Top Inbox  – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • Jamf – Jamf helped Nathan keep his Macbook Air 11” secure even when he left it in the airplane’s back seat pocket
  • 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
Mar 8, 2017

Alex Fishman, the founder and CEO of Bugsee, a bug reporting tool for iOs and Android.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Hard Thing About Hard Things
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Henry Worth
  • Favorite online tool?Gmail
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?—I wish
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – "You want start playing in the startup ecosystem as early as possible when you have less commitments and less things to worry about"

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:18 – Nathan introduces Alex to the show
  • 01:31 – Bugsee is bug reporting tool for iOs and Android
    • 01:51 – Bugsee provides video network and blog, leading out to the event
    • 02:15 – You will not only know that the app crashed, but what led it to crash
  • 02:50 – Bugsee is a SaaS model and they price based on the app size
  • 03:19 – For an app that has 500K users, it will cost $500
  • 03:40 – Bugsee provides different levels of value
  • 04:33 – Average customer pay per month
  • 04:45 – Bugsee started in January 2016
    • 05:01 – Bugsee started charging in December 2016
  • 05:20 – Bugsee has 1100 sign ups and 30% have used Bugsee
  • 06:22 – Alex mentions why he calls users as customers, too
  • 06:40 – Most customers are given free tier to continue using Bugsee
    • 07:11 – New customers use the plan available
    • 07:30 – The limitations of Bugsy's free plan
  • 08:52 – Number of paying customers
  • 09:20 – Bugsee is funded by K9 Ventures
    • 09:33 – Bugsee has raised $1.2M
  • 09:40 – Bugsee had a previous failed attempt
    • 09:53 – The cap table had been reset by Bugsee
    • 10:43 – The previous attempt was in July 2015
  • 10:57 – Team size
    • 11:05 – The team is remote
  • 11:24 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Users are also customers, regardless of whether you sell them on something or not.
  • Having a failed attempt does NOT mean you should give up.
  • Start playing in startup field as early as possible and while you're still free of obligations.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel
  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible.
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • The Top Inbox  – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • Jamf – Jamf helped Nathan keep his Macbook Air 11” secure even when he left it in the airplane’s back seat pocket
  • 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
Feb 2, 2017

David Darmanin.  He’s the CEO and founder of HotJar. Over the 12 years before founding HotJar, he generated hundreds of millions of dollars in growth consulting small to Fortune 500 businesses. He’s got multiple teams, developed brands, and ran hundreds of tests for his clients spanning across 19 languages, 12 currencies, and 13 different industries. HotJar is now used in over 150 sites around the world and the company is growing to €3 million euros in just under one year.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing
  • What CEO do you follow? – Jay Simons
  • Favorite online tool? — Intercom
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – I wished I truly understood what marketing was

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 02:18 – Nathan introduces David to the show
  • 03:03 – HotJar is a tool that allows site owners to see how their users are using their websites
    • 03:30 – Once you know the customer experience, it is easier to see what to improve next
    • 03:45 – Nathan experienced HotJar himself, in his website
    • 04:10 – HotJar is careful about what data to show in regards to privacy
  • 05:05 – HotJar’s technology was expensive
  • 05:30 – HotJar has a premium model
  • 05:51 – Average customer pay per month is €50
    • 06:10 – It was only €30 when HotJar started
  • 06:33 – HotJar is currently serving 10K customers
  • 06:50 – The number of sites each customer has
  • 07:30 – ARR
  • 07:40 – MRR
  • 07:55 – Revenue goal for 2017
  • 08:15 – HotJar currently has a team of 22 people and 8 on the leadership team
    • 08:35 – There are 5 people in the founding team
    • 09:14 – There are 4 big pillars: marketing, customer success, product, and operation
  • 09:57 – Gross customer churn is higher than net negative churn
    • 11:05 – “We are the dropping the smaller customers, but we are retaining and expanding the bigger customers”
    • 11:20 – Both have less than 10% monthly churn
  • 11:41 – HotJar was founded in 2014
  • 12:20 – “If you truly want to create a premium company and not just like a trial model which is disguised as a premium, you really need to think about how does that free package stand on its own 2 feet”
  • 12:43 – HotJar minimized the number of interface and allowed users to delete them and create new ones
  • 13:21 – David does not track the time the customer has converted from free to premium, but they track the cohorts
  • 14:00 – CAC is extremely conservative
  • 15:04 – The premium aspect Hotjar offers is brand building
    • 15:50 – There is brand value in doing different types of campaigns
  • 16:17 – HotJar is bootstrapped
  • 16:25 – HotJar sees other players who have raised capital
    • 17:14 – HotJar does not see raising capital as an advantage
  • 17:34 – HotJar gets a lot of referrals
  • 18:10 – HotJar just recently started with paid advertising
    • 18:40 – HotJar has an investment target model
    • 19:10 – HotJar has used this model to offer flexibility and freedom
  • 20:40 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Churn is one of the biggest challenges of a SaaS business.
  • If you truly want to create a premium company and product—think about how that free package stands on its own two feet.
  • Check your options because NOT raising capital can be very possible and advantageous for you.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel
  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible.
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • The Top Inbox  – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • Jamf – Jamf helped Nathan keep his Macbook Air 11” secure even when he left it in the airplane’s back seat pocket
  • 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
Jan 16, 2017

Bobby Martin, the author of The Hockey Stick Principles: The Four Key Stages to Entrepreneurial Success. He believes too many startup founders pivot way too early, quit too early, and expect rapid take off. Through his experience of starting and selling First Research, he's learned firsthand the challenges and solutions at each stage of entrepreneurial growth. Bobby’s currently the chairman and co-founder of Vertical IQ—a leading provider of sales research insight for banks. He's an angel investor and an active board member with several innovative startups including Local Eyesight, Boardroom Insiders, My Life Site, SageWorks and etailinsights. While he's a national speaker, he's still a hometown guy who focuses most of his investments in North Carolina where he's lived and worked.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Rework
  • What CEO do you follow? – Brian Hamilton
  • Favorite online tool? — Salesforce
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – Be patient for a long journey

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:42 – Nathan introduces Bobby to the show
  • 02:53 – First Research was launched in 1999
  • 03:19 – Bobby had the exit before the bubble
  • 03:31 – First Research provided profiles to sales and marketing professionals
  • 03:51 – First Research is a SaaS business
  • 04:11 – It took 7-8 years for Bobby to build First Research
  • 04:42 – Bobby made the book because he loved the process
    • 05:09 – Bobby loved the journey
    • 05:26 – Bobby had a publisher and agent for the book
    • 06:00 – Bobby’s agent negotiated the deal with the publisher
    • 06:28 – Bobby’s book was just recently published
    • 06:41 – The average number of copies sold
    • 07:30 – Bobby shares what he thinks made the book sell
  • 08:57 – Bobby is an angel investor
  • 09:40 – Vertical IQ provides profile revenue to bankers
  • 10:19 – The revenue model of Vertical IQ is similar to SaaS
  • 10:30 – Vertical IQ gets paid upfront annually
  • 10:43 – Average number of customers
  • 10:55 – “We don’t charge per seat, we charge according to the number of bankers”
  • 11:20 – Vertical IQ pre-sells to banks
  • 12:05 – ACV is between $15-20K annually
  • 12:28 – Average ARR
  • 12:40 – Gross customer churn
  • 13:25 – Average CAC
    • 13:34 – Vertical IQ is a sales driven company
    • 14:04 – Vertical IQ has a solid profit margin
  • 14:55 – LTV
  • 15:53 – Team size
  • 16:40 – First year revenue
  • 16:58 – 2015 total revenue
  • 17:15 – Vertical IQ is self-funded
  • 19:00 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Write a book—not because it’s convenient—write because you have something to share to the world.
  • Requesting an upfront annual payment can have clear advantages over monthly payments.
  • Be patient and do not get discouraged—the entrepreneurial journey takes time. 

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel
  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible.
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • The Top Inbox  – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • Jamf – Jamf helped Nathan keep his Macbook Air 11” secure even when he left it in the airplane’s back seat pocket
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Dec 25, 2016

Samir Smajic, one of the founders of GetAccept. GetAccept recently moved to San Francisco from Sweden because they are part of YC—a solution where you design, send, track, and market your proposals to get more deals digitally signed. Samir has a bunch of experience in project management, consulting, CRM, IT, computer software, business and more.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Never Split the Difference
  • What CEO do you follow? –  N/A
  • Favorite online tool? —Trello
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Doing whatever I felt good to do”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:55 – Nathan introduces Samir to the show
  • 02:25 – Samir chooses skiing over snowboarding
  • 02:35 – GetAccept helps sales reps close more deals by focusing on their sales document workflow
  • 02:58 – GetAccept is a subscription-based SaaS business
  • 03:07 – Average pay per user is $40/month or $200 per business/month
  • 03:42 – GetAccept currently has 1,100 paying customers and 4,400 free customers
  • 04:15 – Average MRR is $44K
  • 04:20 – GetAccept was launched in December of 2015
    • 04:47 – GetAccept already had revenue their first month
  • 05:31 – Samir shares why GetAccept has a high conversation rate from free to paying customers
  • 06:00 – GetAccept calls their customers to give them product information and ask them questions
  • 06:50 – GetAccept helps their customers send their first contract
  • 07:17 – Fully weighted CAC
  • 07:35 – Total headcount expenses
  • 08:28 – GetAccept has 200 new customers monthly
  • 08:47 – GetAccept has paid marketing
    • 09:09 – Spending is around $4000 for paid ads
  • 09:20 – GetAccept’s biggest competitors explained
  • 11:00 -  Gross customer churn
  • 12:00 – LTV
  • 12:25 – GetAccept is currently based in San Francisco
  • 12:49 – GetAccept had raised capital and is still open
  • 14:20 – Samir’s focus is the growth of the company
  • 14:34 – GetAccept has 4 co-founders
  • 14:42 – If DocuSign offered to buy your business, would you accept?
  • 15:30 – Connect with Samir on LinkedIn
  • 17:10 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Focus on what YOU can do for your customers – assist them in ANY way possible.
  • Doing the work you love and enjoy is more important than the bottom dollar.
  • Let your competitors motivate you to improve what YOU are doing.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel
  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible.
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • The Top Inbox  – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens and follow-up with email sequences
  • LinkedIn – Samir’s LinkedIn account
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Dec 4, 2016

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

Famous Five:

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

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

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

 

3 Key Points:

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

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel
  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books
  • The Top Inbox  – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens and follow-up with email sequences
  • Andy@Wealthfront.com – Andy’s email address
  • @Arachleff – Andy’s Twitter handle
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Nov 27, 2016

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

Famous Five:

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

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

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

 

3 Key Points:

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

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks – The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • Assistant.to – The site Nathan uses to book meetings with one email.
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel.
  • Grow.com – Rob’s business website
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Nov 20, 2016

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

Famous Five:

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

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

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

 

3 Key Points:

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

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks – The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • Assistant.to – The site Nathan uses to book meetings with one email.
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel.
  • Ron@StartEngine.com – Ron’s email address
  • Chad@Snapwi.re – Chad’s email address
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Nov 19, 2016

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

Famous Five:

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

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

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

 

3 Key Points:

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

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks – The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • Assistant.to – The site Nathan uses to book meetings with one email.
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel.
  • LinkedIn – Timo’s LinkedIn account
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Nov 13, 2016

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

Famous Five:

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

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

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

 

3 Key Points:

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

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks – The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • Assistant.to – The site Nathan uses to book meetings with one email.
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel.
  • DebbieJohnston.com – Debbie’s website
  • Facebook – Debbie’s Facebook account
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Oct 21, 2016

Sean Wycliffe, CEO of Dealflicks –  a company that helps movie theaters move tickets at discount prices. Listen as Sean breaks down how he uses affiliate-driven system to drive a $ 240,000 per month business.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Laws of Leadership
  • What CEO do you follow? – N/A
  • Favorite online tool? — Slack
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Definitely
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? – “Wish I would have got to real estate earlier”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:40 – Nathan introduces Sean to the show
  • 02:10 – What is Dealflicks and how it makes money?
    • 02:15 – Dealflicks is partnered directly with movie theaters
    • 02:27 – Currently all over the country
  • 02:47 – Number of ticket moving per month
  • 03:20 – Average ticket price
    • 03:45 – 70,000 tickets per month and 70,000 from concessionaires
    • 04:05 – 2 tickets per transaction
  • 04:16 – Average order value is around $ 13
    • 04:25 – People buy them as gift cards
    • 04:44 – The $ 13 can be for a ticket and a concession
  • 05:05 – Marketplace
    • 05:13 – Movie theaters are allowed to have inventories in the platform
    • 05:24 – Sellers are the theaters; buyers are the movie-goers
  • 05:31 – There’s around 800 movie theaters and 6000 screens on the platform
  • 06:02 – Number of unique buyers since the Dealflicks started
  • 06:41 – Dealflicks was launched in 2012
  • 06:48 – First year revenue
  • 07:17 – Dealflicks takes a pre-arranged percentage per ticket sold on the platform
    • 07:36 – An average of around 15%
  • 07:58 – Gross margin
  • 08:30 – Current team size
    • 08:40 – 8 full-time employees
  • 09:21 – Raised $2.9 million and opened up a bridge net recently
  • 09:58 – Aiming on getting Series A next year
  • 10:20 – They’re willing to take investors
    • 10:27  - “If you’re a startup, you can always raise money but it’s not always necessary”
  • 11:07 – Dealflicks is making $ 50,000 per month
  • 11:24 – No other expenses
  • 11:30 – In July, they crossed over $ 480,000 for revenue
    • 11:50 – Spending more on marketing and team
  • 12:13 – Valuation of the company
  • 13:45 – They recently expanded internationally
    • 14:18 – It’s a big proof point
  • 14:43 – 2015 total transaction volume
  • 16:16 – 2016 growth goal
  • 16:36 – Number of unique buyers per month
  • 17:40 – Reach Sean through Twitter and Facebook
  • 19:50 - The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • If you’re a startup, you can always raise money but it’s not always necessary.
  • Aim for a healthy growth.
  • There’s no age limit in entrepreneurship – you can start as early as you want.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks – The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • Assistant.to – The site Nathan uses to book meetings with one email.
  • @dealflicks – Sean’s business Twitter handle
  • Facebook – Sean’s Facebook account
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Oct 9, 2016

Ryan Stewman, CEO and CTO of Clyxo.com – the world’s only opt-in social media search engine. Ryan has one of the top online training resources for sales people worldwide, and is a best-selling author/contributor to Forbes Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, and The Good Men Project. Listen as Ryan talks about his new book, Elevator to the Top and how he is addicted to success.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Influence
  • What CEO do you follow? – Elon Musk
  • Favorite online tool? —Leadpages
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Yes
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? – “I was at the right place at the right time 20 years ago. Just following the path that led me to where I’m at today.”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 02:38 – Ryan’s focus
    • 02:40 – Focus on Hardcore Closer
    • 03:10 – Modern ways to close sales
  • 03:30 – Founded Hardcore Closer in January 2012
  • 03:45 – 35,000 people on his list
  • 03:57 – Content strategy
  • 04:35 – Reasons why Ryan writes for publications
  • 05:15 – Use ads for Facebook
    • 05:25 – Spent $250,000 to grow his page
  • 06:08 – 4,000 unique buyers for Hardcore Closer
    • 06:25 – Elevator to the Top
    • 06:40 – People love Ryan’s products and they keep coming back to buy more
  • 07:18 – First year revenue
  • 07:40 – Ryan had an app
  • 08:10 – Total revenue in 2015
    • 08:30 – “I want to be transparent with the numbers”
    • 08:55 – Free cash flow in 2015
  • 09:25 – Other expenses
    • 09:34 – Facebook ads costs has toned down
    • 09:48 – Most significant cost
    • 10:11 – Affiliate marketers
  • 10:23 – 57 people in 30K per year program
  • 10:36 – Estimate revenue in 2016
  • 10:50 – Ryan’s salary
    • 11:00 – Ryan talks about his cars
  • 11:30 – Team size
  • 11:40 – Revenue stuff: one-time or monthly?
    • 11:45 – 99.99% one-time
  • 12:32 – Hardcore Closer app to 42222
    • 12:39 – Backend of the app
    • 12:50 – It is a website that is mobile optimized
  • 13:40 – The Hardcore Closer podcast
    • 13:47 – Downloads per month
    • 14:16 – No guests
  • 15:05 – Ryan’s book is self-published
  • 15:20 – Connect with Ryan through his Facebook, podcast and website
  • 17:45 - The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Keep your customers happy and you’ll gain more.
  • It’s good to let people know about your numbers – it gives them an opportunity to learn from them.
  • Do what you love to do.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks – The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • Facebook – Ryan’s Facebook account
  • Clyxo.com – Ryan’s website
  • HardcoreCloser.com/podcast – Ryan’s podcast

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

Oct 4, 2016

Anand Sanwal, CEO and co-founder of CB Insights, a company that provides predictive intelligence for emerging technology trends, startups, and corporate. Their customers include Cisco, Marketo, and Red Hat, just to name a few. Prior to CB Insights, Anand managed the $50 million Chairman’s Innovation Fund at American Express.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
  • What CEO do you follow? – Jeff Bezos
  • Favorite online tool? — Gmail
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— “I wish”
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? – “Be patient”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:42 – Nathan introduces Anand to the show
  • 02:45 – “If you buy something for 2 and sell it for 1, you will not make it up in volume”
  • 03:12 – He was in-charge of spending money
    • 03:25 – Sent to London for Cosmo Europe
    • 03:40 – Overspent
  • 04:00 – Rationalizing the expenses
  • 04:45 – Worked in American Express after Cosmo
  • 06:25 – Salary in American Express
    • 06:55 – “Decided to take the plunge”
  • 07:30 – CB Insights
    • 07:46 – Every industry is under attack by technology
    • 08:09 – Monthly customer pay
    • 08:34 – “Use our data to create a sense of urgency”
    • 09:20 – Tracking the competitors
    • 10:00 – Using algorithm on the data
  • 10:30 – Number of paying customers
    • 10:45 – Average of pricing
  • 11:25 – Total MRR last August
  • 11:40 – Hoping for 8-figure revenue this year
  • 12:12 – Team size
    • 12:25 – Some are based in New York
  • 13:05 – Exact MRR last month
  • 13:30 – “Everybody pays upfront”
  • 14:14 – Individual customer acquisition
    • 14:40 – Gross revenue churn
  • 15:20 – Lifetime value
    • 15:29 – 20% churn just to be conservative
    • 15:49 - $200,000 lifetime value
  • 16:16 – Funds raised
  • 16:46 – Most customers are VCs
  • 18:18 – Jon Sherry is the other founder
  • 19:18 – No current acquisition talks
  • 19:32 – Connect with Anand through his website and Twitter
  • 21:05 - The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Do not be afraid to take the plunge—there are risks but just do it.
  • Things happen for a reason and believe in your life plan.
  • There’s no absolute certainties in life—only right places and right times.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks – The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • CBInsights.com – Anand’s website
  • @cbinsights – Anand’s business’ Twitter handle
  • @asanwal – Anand’s Twitter handle
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

 

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