Saalim Chowdhury, a man who’s out to build the future of online talent sourcing. Saalim was CTO at Skillbridge - a premium talent-sourcing company that was acquired last week by Toptal. Listen in to hear Nathan and Saalim talk about why Skillbridge was keen to be acquired, how the human cloud economy works for high-level talent, and why sometimes you just need to keep going.
Favorite Book? – The Hard Thing About Hard Things
What CEO do you follow? — No
Favourite online tool? —Thingthing keyboard
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 wish I knew the value of persevering no matter what
Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:10 – Nathan’s introduction
01:50 – Welcoming Saalim to the show
02:00 – Skillbridge is an online platform that brings management consultants to people who need them.
02:40 – “How do you make the human cloud economy work for people whose skills can’t be broken down into a 5-star rating?”
03:10 – Skillbridge breaks down what a company needs people to do, and then connects them with the people who have those skills
03:35 – Founded in 2013; went to market in 2014
04:30 – Saalim was the second customer of Skillbridge and found the exact person he needed there
05:50 – Skillbridge’s peak team size was 7 people
06:35 – Makes money from a 20% flat fee charged to the buyer
07:55 – Have been a total of 7.5k people listed; 1k people looking for skills
08:30 – Raised an angel investment round
10:00 – A typical project involve consulting, for example in the equity space - perhaps a week to 2 week project
11:00 – Typical project size is $5k-10k
11:50 – Deliberately high-quality, curated skills service
12:40 – In March 2016 just under $500k of projects placed on the platform
13:55 – Why sell the business?
14:15 – “We could either raise money and play catch-up, or we could sell to these guys and go in together”
15:10 – “Everybody was very happy with the deal”
16:00 – How is a business like Skillbridge valued?
18:02 – “Toptal are essentially building the future of on-demand talent”
18:20 – Connect with Saalim on Linkedin or via email
20:00 – The Famous Five
3 Key Points:
Sometimes it’s best to join the people ahead of you instead of trying to play catch-up
Persevere. Work through the hard times.
The human cloud economy is complex - the platforms that manage it and connect people need to be able to handle the complexity of people’s skills and histories.
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.
Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives