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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
Dec 8, 2017

After receiving his MBA from Stanford, Steven Benson worked in Sales at IBM, HP and Google where he was Google Enterprise's Top Sales Executive in 2009. In 2012 Steven founded Badger Maps, the #1 Sales App in the Apple App Store, which helps Field Sales People be more successful.

How do you put touch on such a low price point?

The sales cycle is quick, about 3 weeks, so we're able to put touch on most free trials even though starting price point is $35 a seat. 

Marketing, Sales, and customer success all tied together but manage themselves in pods. There is no variable comp, including the sales roles. Everyone is on salary and everyone owns equity so they can take part in upside. 

What is revenue growth?

Back in December 2016 we were doing $130k, now in August 2017 we're at about $180k in MRR so about 80% yoy growth rate. 

We're using bank debt, 19% interest rate with LighterCapital, to fund growth because its non dilutive. 

In July 2017 spent about $15k on paid marketing. Has sales team of 30 that works those leads and makes up larger part of cost structure. 

Are you cash flow positive? (Minute 17)

Yes because we're pulling cash forward in the form of multi year deals. We incentivize this by giving customers a 20% discount. 

Favorite business book is Predictable Revenue. 

I'm following Jason Lempkin at SaaStr.

My favorite online tool is gmail.

Steven has no kids, gets 7 hours of sleep and is currently 39. He wishes his 20 year old self would choose a career path that he enjoyed, that their are jobs in, and that he was good at. 

Connect with Nathan:

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Dec 7, 2017

I really enjoyed this interview with Dave for two big reasons:

  1. He’s playing in a space that is not typical for B2B SaaS
  2. He’s using freemium consumer adoption to drive enterprise leads at a very low CAC of $80 which he makes back in well under 12 months.

Dave is the CEO of TeamSnap. He has more than 20 years of experience in technology leadership positions. He was previously CEO of SANRAD, a venture-funded storage networking company, which he joined in 2006.

He also helped found LeftHand Networks, a Boulder-based company sold to Hewlett Packard. Prior to that, Dave was with Hewlett-Packard. An avid skier and wannabe competitive cyclist, Dave lives in Boulder with wife Deb and two children, Mariel and Gabe. He enjoys reading, cooking and microbreweries

Revenue Model:

Over 1m teams use TeamSnap and 250,000 of those teams pay Dave $80 per year to use TeamSnap to manage team communication, logistics, and more.

The average team has 30 people ranging from coaches, to players, to players parents.

TeamSnap leverages 3 revenue streams with the SaaS component making up 40% of the total revenue mix. SaaS revenues are about $20m in ARR from 250k teams paying $80 per year.

Total revenue is approaching $50m which Dave expects the company will cross in Q1 2018.

Overall the business is growing over 100% year over year.

On Launching in 2009 in poor economy:

Dave: 2009 was best time for us to launch. The trough of a recessions is best time to get company going due to low opportunity cost. In recession there are talented people available for hire.

2009 revenue was less than $100,000.  It took Dave just 3 years to break $1m in ARR which happened in 2012.

Fundraising

First 5 years from 2009 to 2014 the company was bootstrapped. Dupont funded the company with his own capital and local area angels. He put a couple hundred thousand in himself in early days.

In 2014 they took their first institutional capital and have sense raised a total of $43.7m.

On seasonal users and how that affects TeamSnap gross logo churn monthly:

Teams pay $15 during the season then stop paying us off-season. We don’t look at this as churn because we know they come back next season. They are simply “in-active”.

The company looks at revenue per customer on an annual basis which averages about $80.

On customer acquisition:

We use our consumer app which people use for free to drive enterprise sales in a land and expand strategy.

30% of new consumer customers come through referrals. We’ve boosted that up by spending about $500k per month on Google and FB ads mostly. Payback is pretty strong, under 12 months.

They’ll pay $80 to acquire a customer that is worth about $280 over their lifetime which puts LTV to CAC ratio at about 3.5.

Cash Flow:

Net burn is really close to our discretionary marketing budget of $500k/mo. We are in good shape cash wise. Near September of next year (2018) we’ll be cash flow breakeven at much higher revenue level. We’ll figure out then what to do strategy wise.

We are on the path to being a billion dollar company. I have no desire to sell out quickly to anybody. Build as big as can, shoot for IPO, create fantastic product over long haul.

Strategy towards IPO:

Large competitors like Comcast compete with us with their subsidiary called SportsEngine. Dicks sporting goods has a competitor in space called BlueSombrero and AffinitySports. Lastly, a private equity funded company called BlueStar Sports compete with us.

Many of our competitors are purchasing small players and just aggregating. A short term private equity play versus a long term 20+ year deal.

Would you accept $400m offer from Comcast? (minute 22)

Well it would depend on the moment in time. In 2016 probably, in 2017 maybe, next year when revenue is higher, no way in hell!

What is your favorite business book?

The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Is there a CEO you’re following or studying right now?

Samir, SendGrid CEO

Whats your favorite online tool?

Apple pencil to evernote.

How many hours of sleep do you get every night?

7

What would you tell your 20 year old self?

I’m married with 2 kids, married for 30 years, and I’m “approaching a milestone birthday”. I wish my 20 year old self knew that “nobody does it alone”.

Connect with Nathan:

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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
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