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SaaS Interviews with CEOs, Startups, Founders

What if you knew data behind the fastest growing SaaS companies today? Each morning join Nathan Latka as he spends 15 minutes interviewing SaaS founders. You'll learn how SaaS CEO's launched their startup and grew it into a business. SaaS Founders range from bootstrapped to funded, MVP to 10,000 customers, pre revenue to pre IPO.
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Now displaying: Page 1
Nov 16, 2016

Brandon Foo, co-founder and CEO of Polymail (YC S16) – an email platform making businesses and companies more productive. Previously, he co-founded CTRL LA Collective, a co-working space in LA. He graduated from UCLA where he co-founded Bruin Entrepreneurs which is now the biggest entrepreneurship organization at UCLA. Listens as Brandon shares how he built Polymail and why entrepreneurs prefer it over Gmail.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – N/A
  • What CEO do you follow? –  Aaron Levie
  • Favorite online tool? — Asana
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— 7-8
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Spend more time with side projects and less on school work”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:35 – Nathan introduces Brandon to the show
  • 02:08 – Polymail is a super-powerful email platform designed for business users
    • 02:18 – With just 1 app, you can do a lot with your email
    • 02:37 – It is a complete stand-alone email client
  • 03:15 – How are you convincing people to make the switch?
    • 03:20 – Polymail supports multiple accounts
    • 03:52 – People are looking for a complete product experience and Polymail has that
  • 04:31 – A lot of features of Polymail are not in the regular Gmail
  • 04:54 – Polymail started in 2015
    • 05:02 – Launched a Mac prototype in December 2015
    • 05:12 – There’s a tremendous traction
  • 05:38 – Brandon built a small community of people who were invited to try the app
    • 05:48 – They have a Slack group so Brandon can get feedback on a daily basis
    • 06:10 – When they officially launched Polymail, these people downloaded the app and left reviews
  • 07:12 – Polymail is a free app at the moment
    • 07:20 – Polymail pro is in the works but you can sign-up for it now
    • 07:41 – Polymail pro has much more advanced features
  • 08:00 – Over 20,000 daily active users of Polymail
  • 08:12 – 150,000 total downloads and people who signed up
  • 08:27 – Every time Polymail will release a new feature, they will email the whole list of people who signed up to get them engaged in using Polymail
  • 08:52 – Brandon had raised around a million dollars
    • 09:12 – Brandon used a convertible equity
  • 09:24 – Team size of 5
  • 09:48 – The goal for Polymail is to build the platform for external communication on top of email
  • 10:08 – “Email is a critical product for business people so we saw the opportunity there”
  • 11:23 – Polymail is not for a short-term outcome
  • 12:00 – They just wrapped up their seed round
    • 12:30 – They wrapped it up in September 2016
  • 12:48 – Target people
    • 12:56 – A lot of the users are solo entrepreneurs
  • 13:45 – There’s no significant changes with Gmail for the past 10 years
    • 14:09 – Maybe because they make money from ad revenue and let Gmail be a generic email platform
  • 14:40 – Find Brandon on Twiter
  • 16:44 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • An update on a product can make non-active users use the product again.
  • Consistent feedback from a group of customers can significantly improve the product.
  • Spend more time with side projects and less on school work.

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.
  • @Foolywk – Brandon’s Twitter handles
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
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