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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 109
Jun 15, 2016

Chris Brisson, the founder of Call Loop website. Call Loop is a voice and text messaging service that’s used by a huge range of clients. Listen as Chris and Nathan talk buying out a co-founder, building a company while working full-time, and how to pivot with an established product.

Famous Five:

Favorite Book? – Stealth Marketing
What CEO do you follow? — James Clear
Favourite online tool? — ClickFunnels and ConvertFlow
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 being young is an advantage - take the opportunity to make mistakes


Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:22 – Nathan’s introduction
01:40 – Welcoming Chris to the show
02:00 – Call Loop is a voice and text messaging service
02:22 – Had the idea in 2009; business was founded in 2011
03:00 – It took 3 years to build the software as a side project
03:55 – Put in $10,000 to kick-start the project
04:12 – Bought out his business partners in 2015
04:50 – Two investors put in $90k total for 7.5% equity
05:55 – How did buying out his co-founders work?
06:20 – One co-founder had a full-time job and didn’t want to be hands-on
07:20 – Chris wasn’t financially experienced - hadn’t put caps of cliffs on the equity
08:10 – Co-founder had 25%
09:10 – Bought out for less than $100k
09:30 – “We have SaaS components but we’re not really a SaaS business”
10:00 – Different customers have extremely different needs - they buy credits differently
10:45 – Topline revenue in 2015 was $385k
11:25 – Reinvested $150k in the company in 2015
12:15 – Revenue goal in 2016 is $430-450k
12:35 – Around 1000 unique customers each month
13:54 – Sending around 400k text messages each month
14:34 – Goal is to develop the software behind the product, add features, and scale
15:45 – Chris hopes to pivot towards marketing automation
18:18 – Connect with Chris at the Call Loop website
19:55 – The Famous Five


3 Key Points:
Youth is an advantage. Don’t be scared to act because you’re too young.
When you’re distributing equity with co-founders, by sure to have a vesting schedule. You’ll hugely reduce the risk of problems down the line.
Look for opportunities to pivot, even when you’re an established company. The market changes; technology changes: make sure you keep up.

Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
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

 

Jun 15, 2016

Ilias Tsagklis, co-founder of Excelexis. He’s a software developer-turned-entrepreneur who gave up a great salary to found his own company. Ilias blogs about entrepreneurship at Wealth Triumph. Listen in to hear why a developer built an ad company instead of a software company, and just what he’s doing to make 85% net margins.

Famous 5:

Favorite Book? – Millionaire Fast Lane
What CEO do you follow? — Marcus Lemonis
Favourite online tool? — Asana
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Yes
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — That the road to success is only through self-education. Don’t expect anyone else to help you.

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:14 – Nathan’s introduction
01:56 – Welcoming Ilias to the show
02:17 – Trying to monetise platforms like banner display
02:37 – Provided sponsored content for a recent customer - trying to move away from traditional banner displays
03:25 – Own Telecode Geeks, a content site, where they can place adverts
04:02 – Ilias started out as a software developer
04:18 – He quit his job after 7 years, looking for something new
05:02 – “I wanted to build something that could scale”
05:40 – Gave up a salary in the mid 5 figures - a high salary in Greece
06:40 – Started building a community writing technical articles
07:15 – Why monetise through ads using Java instead of building your own software platform?
07:30 – “We were more interested in building a steady income to replace the corporate job”
07:55 – Around 85% net margin in the business
08:22 – Multiple revenue streams: advertising; sponsorship; lead generation and affiliate marketing
08:47 – Total revenue in 2015 was in the mid 6 figures
09:15 – Two co-founders, several assistants, and some freelance writers
09:40 – Ilias’ revenue goal for 2016 is $500k
10:30 – Connect with Ilias on Linkedin or at his blog
12:00 – The Famous Five


3 Key Points:
Success comes from self-education. Start investing time and energy in yourself.
Build a community before you try to monetise. Once you have a tribe, everything else will follow.
Define your goals as an entrepreneur. Explosive growth? Steady income? Early retirement? Once you know your why, you can worry about the how.
Resources Mentioned:
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

 

Jun 14, 2016

Kim Barrett, bestselling author and the founder of Your Social Voice - a marketing and lead generation agency that’s gone to $100k per month in sales in just one year. Tune in as Nathan and Kim talk lead generation, marketing, and building a killer sales team.

Famous Five:

Favorite Book? –Built to Sell
What CEO do you follow? — Gary Vaynerchuk
Favourite online tool? — Podio
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be?— Trust what you think and don’t listen to what other people tell you to do


Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:28 – Nathan’s introduction
02:25 – Welcoming Kim to the show
02:35 – Your Social Voice makes money through ‘done-for-you’ marketing services
03:22 – Focus on lead generation - driving traffic to a landing page
03:45 – Offering different packages
04:20 – Company started in 2013
04:40 – Total revenue in 2015 was a little over $450k
05:02 – Currently making around $100k per month in sales
05:30 – Cash received is 50-60% of sales
05:55 – Aim to be a recurring business: encourage clients to engage ongoing services
06:40 – 80% month-to-month retention rate
07:00 – 25 clients this month
07:10 – Always in sales mode - and aiming to bring ongoing clients on board
07:45 – Base their sales on strategy, not software
09:00 – Challenge of retaining service customers vs. SaaS customers
09:42 – Sales people make 15% commission on cash received, plus targets
10:30 – Kim’s also a bestselling author of Winning in Life and Work: New Beginnings
12:30 – Connect with Kim on Snapchat (therealkimbarrett) or through his website
18:58 – Connect with Finn at his website or through Linkedin
15:10 – The Famous Five


3 Key Points:
The difference between building a customer base in a service business and a SaaS business is that you need a fantastic sales team.
Focus on what your own goals and ideas: don’t let other people’s opinions dictate your life
Find ‘stretch’ heroes to study: people to follow who are several steps ahead of where you want to be


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
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

 

Jun 14, 2016

Madison Wickham, CEO and co-founder of Grandex - a media and content company that’s behind the sites Total Frat Move and Postgrad Problems. Madison’s also created two successful apparel companies, and is generating around $10 million in revenue a year. Listen in to hear Madison talk about the secrets of capturing an audience, quitting his job with a 10-day old baby, and how to turn content followers into customers.


Famous 5
Favorite Book? – Zero To One
What CEO do you follow? — Jonah Peretti
What is your favorite online tool? — Slack
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 I didn’t have to have a definitive plan...I just had to be doing something productive and learning stuff

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:50 – Yuri’s introduction
02:30 – Welcoming Madison to the show
02:50 – Started Total Frat Move as a one-liner comedy website with a fraternity buddy
03:40 – “Our business plan did not exist...we were trying to capture an audience”
04:56 – Started with advertisements but starting experimenting with other revenue streams
05:38 – T-Shirts worked extremely well - “We gravitated towards merchandise”
06:25 – At what point did Madison realise his project was a legitimate business?
07:20 – “In 4 months we had $2000 a month from ad revenue”
08:32 – Quit their jobs and dived in full-time
09:32 – Madison had a 10-day-old baby when he quit his job
10:11 – Went full-time in October 2010
11:20 – “It was the most liberating thing I’ve done in my life”
13:10 – Financing? “We always made more money than we spent - we didn’t have experience of doing anything else”
13:50 – About 3 years in, they formed a relationship with an angel investor in Austin
15:15 – Learned from him about the process of raising money to develop a team
16:25 – Raised $2.3 million over 12 months
16:44 – $20 million pre-money valuation
17:16 – 3.5x multiplier on topline revenue
18:00 – Grandex currently runs 5 websites
18:21 – Rowdy Gentleman designs, creates and sells apparel
18:54 – Male Outfitters is a premium online menswear store
19:40 – Grandex generated around $10 million revenue in 2015
21:10 – Revenue from TFM and related sites is through advertising and promotions
23:10 – “The media is the lifeblood of our business”
23:45 – Promote apparel products to their media audience
25:00 – What’s worked best for you when promoting online?
27:40 – Things change constantly - it’s vital to be tapped into the social media landscape
28:20 – What’s next for Grandex?
30:30 – Releasing their first feature-length film this year
31:20 – Connect with Madison at the Grandex website and the Inside TFM podcast
34:42 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:
Capture an audience. Profit will grow out of having people that follow you.
Be hyper-aware of what’s happening online: social media changes in an eyeblink
You don’t have to know what your grand plan is. Just start doing something productive.


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
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

 

Jun 14, 2016

Finn Kelly, co-founder and CEO of We Love Numbers, a smartbookkeeping and financial advice site that’s turning financialservices into SaaS. Finn’s been named three times as one ofAustralia’s top 30 entrepreneurs under 30, and is about to launchhis first fundraising round. Listen as Finn and Nathan talk goingfrom service to SaaS, the ins and outs of investment partnerships,and why you are what you think.

 

Favorite Book? – True North
What CEO do you follow? — Warren Rustand
Favourite online tool? — Slack
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No, but pretty close
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what wouldit be?— Look after your body, and focus on your thoughts. You arewhat you think.


Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:31 – Nathan’s introduction
02:00 – Welcoming Finn to the show
02:20 – We Love Numbers - smart bookkeeping and advice forentrepreneurs
02:40 – Revenue is generated by a subscription model to 1 of 4different packages
02:49 – Packages cost $395 to $1695 per month
03:10 – Recent client was a wine importer - We Love Numbers helpedthem to look at different back-end processes and interpret thenumbers they needed to focus on
05:14 – What, strategically, can We Love Numbers help with?
05:35 – Answer questions to help optimise pricing models, salariesetc.
06:20 – They work with multiple clients so have a sense of what isindustry standard
06:30 – Currently work with 50 clients; have over 900 in thepipeline
06:57 – Started in March 2015
07:16 – Average customer pays about $1000 per month
07:22 – MRR in February 2016 was around $50,000
07:55 – Started out in wealth management - sold their first companyfor multiple millions
09:13 – About to raise their first capital round
09:30 – Raising because they want to scale quickly
10:00 – “We see ourselves as a SaaS business”
10:25 – Looking to raise $750k via convertible note
10:40 – Aiming for churn of 2% through month
11:00 – Worst churn rate they’ve experienced was 10%
11:40 – Aiming to pay no more than $1000 per customer acquisitioncost
12:20 – Currently 10 people in the team
12:40 – Head count expenses are about $60-70k per month
13:40 – A pre-money valuation of $6 million would make Finnextremely happy
14:20 – Looking for strategic partners, not just VCs
18:58 – Connect with Finn at his website or through Linkedin
16:54 – The Famous Five


3 Key Points:
Look for strategic partners who can add value beyond money.
Find a way to make your business scale. How can a service businessbecome a SaaS business?
Focus on your body and your health. Look after yourself, and you’llbe prepared for anything.
Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices andaccounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names andhosting for cheapest price possible.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly createhis webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to SanAntonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

 

Jun 14, 2016

Beate Chelette. Beate went from being a single mother in debt, to selling her image licensing business to Bill Gates for millions. She’s a successful coach and speaker, and the author of Happy Woman, Happy World and The Women’s Code. Listen in to learn why equality and diversity are good for business, how to build a million-dollar company without owning any assets, and the hard story behind success.

Famous 5:

Favorite Book? – The Compound Effect
What CEO do you follow? — Marc Benioff
Favourite online tool? — Infusionsoft
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Yes
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — Don’t take it so personally. And it takes time.

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:11 – Nathan’s introduction
02:20 – Welcoming Ilya to the show
02:40 – Biyathe cornered the market in architecture and interiors photography
03:40 – Acquired by Bill Gates’ business Corbis
04:40 – Were at around $1 million in revenue from licensing
05:02 – “You can build a business where you don’t own any assets...we just had the rights to assets”
05:40 – Sold for a multiple on the gross margin
06:38 – “You come to the point where you ask: ‘What did I do it for? What drives me?’
07:25 – Success comes with an obligation to share information
08:08 – When successful people tell their stories, they tend to gloss over the tough parts
09:12 – Co-founded the publishing company that published her book
09:44 – Happy Women, Happy World has sold in the low 1000s so far
10:14 – “I didn’t want to manipulate the system to get a bestseller”
10:55 – Published in September 2015
11:20 – It’s designed to be easy to consume in short chunks - “a purse or bathroom book”
12:40 – Started building an email list before her book - has around 17k engaged list members
14:30 – Beate’s started training and speaking on why gender equality and diversity is good for business
15:24 – Connect with Beate Chelette on Linkedin at the Creative Entrepreneur Forum or at her website
17:33 – The Famous Five


3 Key Points:
Understand yourself. Understand what drives you.
Equality and diversity are good for business
Success does not come until you’re clear who you are, what you’re doing it for, and how you can sell yourself
Resources Mentioned:
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

 

Jun 13, 2016

Todd Tresidder's a serial entrepreneur who retired at 35 afterbuilding millions as a hedge fund manager. He’s the creator ofFinancial Mentor, a hugely successful financial coaching service,which is soon to become an online course. Listen as Todd and Nathantalk asset allocation, risk reduction, and how to createwealth.


Favorite Book? – Essentialism
What CEO do you follow? — Steve Jobs
Favourite online tool? — None
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— It varies
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what wouldit be?— Buy more income-producing real estate


Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:20 – Nathan’s introduction
01:35 – Welcoming Todd to the show
02:18 – Lasted about 6 months at Hewlett Packard - then he wasfired
03:20 – “Everything is quantitative”
03:45 – Invested $20 million through a hedge fund set up with apartner
05:00 – “One of the keys in investing is knowing what you don’tknow”
06:30 – Made a 3% management fee
07:20 – “It’s completely a numbers game”
07:55 – Why move to teaching others?
08:30 – “You reach a point where you’ve learned what you’re goingto learn”
09:03 – “I would have been repeating life over and over”
09:35 – Sold the hedge fund and travelled through the Middle Eastand Europe
10:45 – Todd’s currently working on his courses at FinancialMentor
11:00 – Started as a boutique coaching site
12:10 – “I’m trying to develop the one-on-one coaching intocourses”
13:00 – Nathan spends 10% of what he earns and spreads the restacross different equities
13:55 – “The top 12 asset allocation formulas essentially performthe same over 30 years”
15:00 – “The variance in return is to do with risk exposure”
16:00 – There are limits to growth in conventional assetallocation
16:20 – “Entrepreneurial strategies will blow the doors offconventional allocation”
17:30 – “Set yourself up so ‘heads you win, tails you win’
18:15 – Play smart - risk can be unexpected
19:25 – The solution to risk management is “higher highs, higherlows”
21:00 – “I sold all my real estate in 2005 or 2006 - I waslambasted, but I didn’t want the risk”
22:00 – “Knowledge leverage has no downside”
18:58 – Connect with Todd at Financial Mentor - and receive a freeebook and course
24:18 – The Famous Five


3 Key Points:
Know what you don’t know. Be aware of the areas you aren’t anexpert in - and either learn, or leave them to someone else.
Manage risk. Unexpected things happen all the time - you need to bethinking about how to not just make your high returns higher, buthow to minimise your lows and losses.
Know your numbers. Investing is absolutely a numbers game:everything is quantitative. Understand the numbers and you’llunderstand how wealth works.


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices andaccounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names andhosting for cheapest price possible.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly createhis webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to SanAntonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

 

Jun 13, 2016

Kim Kaupe, a Forbes 30 under 30 and co-founder of custompublishing company Zinepak. Zinepak creates fan packs andmerchandise for artists and sports teams. They’ve worked withJustin Bieber, Katy Perry, and the Boston Red Sox. Listen as Nathanand Kim talk googling your way to success, making good investmentdeals, and Kim’s stint on Shark Tank.


Favorite Book? – Rework
What CEO do you follow? — Jim O’Shea
Favourite online tool? — Pipedrive
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— I am
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what wouldit be?— Eat more chipotle and dance more, it’s all going to beokay


Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:30 – Nathan’s introduction
02:15 – Welcoming Kim to the show
02:30 – Started Zinepak in 2011 - found a fantastic niche
03:05 – Latest clients include Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes
04:04 – Work as an agency - they’ll create the product and sell itwholesale
05:00 – Order size varies from 500 units to 200,000 units
05:20 – Average order would be around 5,000 - 20,000 units
05:41 – Packs sell to the client from $3-5
06:05 – Aim for a 30% gross margin - though sometimes work withartists for less
07:01 – Total revenue in the first year was $600,000
07:31 – Started the business after working in corporate for twoyears
07:50 – “It was pretty much a googling game”
08:50 – “Know what you’re good at and what you’re not so goodat”
09:11 – Total revenue in 2015 was $2.8 million
09:20 – On Shark Tank in April 2015
09:40 – “For us it was about moving into fanbases outside the musicindustry”
10:20 – “We wanted to get 5-10 solid business leads from theshow”
10:55 – “You’d be surprised how many CEOs and CMOs watch SharkTank”
11:45 – Ask on the show was $725,000 for 17.5%
12:30 – Due diligence starts a couple of weeks after theshoot
13:40 – Ultimately didn’t go through with the deal
16:10 – If Nathan and Lisa created a product together, what wouldit be?
17:05 – Maybe a product to do with goals and structure
18:10 – Maybe exclusive data - delivered at a live event
18:58 – Connect with Kim at her website, or on Twitter andInstagram
21:30 – The Famous Five


3 Key Points:
Know your strengths and weaknesses...and outsource yourweaknesses.
Be clear on what you want from an investment partnership. Is yourpartner bringing anything to the table apart from money? Don’t beafraid to walk away.
Look after yourself and your health. You need to be on top form totake over the world.
Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices andaccounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names andhosting for cheapest price possible.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly createhis webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to SanAntonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

 

Jun 13, 2016

Subbu Rama, co-founder of BitFusion, a service that gathers unused processing power to create a decentralised supercomputer. Subbu’s hoping to create something as big as VMware. Listen as Subbu answers the hard questions about splitting equity, raising capital, and building sales at the beginning of a big idea.

Famous Five:

Favorite Book? – Steve Jobs
What CEO do you follow? — Steve Jobs, posthumously.
Favourite online tool? — Slack
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 wish I’d started a company

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:45 – Nathan’s introduction
01:50 – Welcoming Subbu to the show
02:35 – BitFusion grabs unused processing power to speed up clients’ processing
03:23 – Started in February 2015
03:36 – Based in Austin, Texas
03:50 – Subbu gave up a $250k salary at Dell to create BitFusion
04:20 – “The world is moving beyond CPUs...big computation is becoming more complex”
04:30 – “I thought - how do we bring hypercomputing to the normals?”
04:45 – Subbu’s co-founders quit Samsung and Intel
05:15 – The co-founders split their equity equally - 33% each
06:01 – “People don’t put the same energy in all the time...but in the end it all evens out”
06:45 – “I would recommend doing whatever you’re comfortable with”
07:26 – Raised $1.5 million in a seed round
07:42 – Went through the TechStars incubator
08:00 – Debt round via convertible note
08:40 – Nathan: “Are you making sales?”
09:05 – Have around 6 customers
09:40 – Customers pay $10-100k per year
09:55 – Looked for customers they could close with in 1-3 months
10:20 – Gained 6 customers in 2 months
10:40 – Revenue in the last year has been $100-500k
11:11 – Losing less than $100k per month in salaries - team of 9 people
11:50 – Hope to have enough customers in 2016 to run a Series A
12:25 – “I look at strategic investors, not valuation”
12:55 – “We want investors who will help us”
13:29 – Subbu wouldn’t sell for $20 million right now
13:50 – “We think this could be as big as VMWare”
14:18 – Connect with Subbu on Twitter
15:45 – The Famous Five


3 Key Points:
Look for strategic investment partners who’ll bring something besides money to the table
Sales are everything. Start bringing in customers as quickly as you can.
Computation is becoming more complex: services that capitalise on super-fast processing are going to succeed


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
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

 

Jun 13, 2016

Ilya Semin, creator of Datanyze - a sales intelligence platform that’s the only thing Hubspot and Marketo will use. Datanyze has reached an ARR of $6 million in just two years - and they’re growing incredibly fast. Listen in to hear why Ilya took his first round of funding, how to have the tough conversations about equity, and why emotional intelligence is crucial for tech entrepreneurs.

Famous 5:

Favorite Book? – The Alchemist
What CEO do you follow? — None
Favourite online tool? — Manny [link skyped to Nathan]
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 wish that I’d started working on my EQ skills and learned how to communicate with people

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:09 – Nathan’s introduction
01:58 – Welcoming Ilya to the show
02:12 – Datanyze is a sales intelligence platform that’s offered as a subscription service. Customers include Hubspot and Marketo
02:30 – 500 customers, with an average annual contract of $20k
02:55 – Founded the business in 2012 - launched officially in 2014
03:20 – First year revenue was around $50k
03:40 – Mostly serve B2B companies and enterprise companies
03:58 – Raised $1.8 million in July 2014
04:20 – “We were profitable even then...but enterprise customers don’t like dealing with small companies”
05:00 – VCs included Google investments and Mark Cuban
05:30 – Total revenue in 2015 was $4 million, and by December 2015 there was a monthly run rate of $500k
07:21 – Churn is less than 1% per month
07:44 – Customer Acquisition Cost is around $9k
08:20 – “Almost all our customers pay up front”
08:55 – Have about 60 people based in San Martel, California
09:18 – How does a typical customer use Datanyze?
09:30 – If a sales rep is making a call, they can use Datanyze to access information about a company
10:07 – Datanyze can also help to generate potential leads and their contact details
11:00 – Have an inside sales team who set up around 15 demos per month
12:57 – Current revenue growth is 7% month-over-month
13:30 – Team salary costs are close to $500k per month
14:16 – “We’re close to break-even all the time”
14:38 – One other co-founder. They had the difficult conversation and didn’t split equity evenly
15:01 – Connect with Ilya through Linkedin or his blog
17:12 – The Famous Five


3 Key Points:
Zero in on the market you want to serve - and find partners or investment to help you in that market
Learn to communicate. 85% of your success is down to emotional intelligence and ‘soft’ skills
Have the tough conversations about equity. All that an even split proves is that you aren’t communicating well enough
Resources Mentioned:
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

 

Jun 12, 2016

Michael Mogill, president of Crisp Video - a company that bridges the gap between video production and video marketing. Michael started the business on his own three years ago, and now has 15 employees and clients including Coca Cola and Red Bull. Listen as Nathan and Michael talk return on investment, finding a marketing edge, and focusing on progress.


Favorite Book? – Delivering Happiness
What CEO do you follow? — Gary Vaynerchuk
Favourite online tool? — Dropbox
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be?— To stop doubting myself, and not apologise for the standards I hold people to


Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:14 – Nathan’s introduction
01:35 – Welcoming Michael to the show
01:45 – Generate revenue from video production and implementation
02:10 – The clients Michael’s most proud of are the small businesses
02:48 – One attorney in Nebraska doubled his business by using marketing videos
03:45 – He went from an average case value of $1,000 to an average case value of $10,000
04:00 – Created a brand video for him, as well as a series of educational videos
04:25 – A brand video costs around $10,000, a series of 26 videos over a year costs around $4,000 per month
05:40 – The firm has trained cinematographers in every market in the US
06:10 – Business founded in 2012 - originally just by Michael
06:20 – First year revenue was $100k
06:40 – 2013 revenue was $200k
06:50 – Crisp Video now has 15 employees in Atlanta, plus around 25 contractors
07:10 – Total revenue in the last year exceeded 7 figures
07:40 – Current goal is around $5 million for the end of the year
08:25 – Michael reinvests profits in the business
09:10 – “You have to consider the time you’re putting in, versus the salary you’re taking out”
10:01 – “If you can get to the point where you have a team, then there’s a higher return on investment than in a salaried job”
10:50 – “It’s not about the money - it’s about the next goal”
11:00 – Connect with Peter on his site or on twitter
14:00 – The Famous Five


3 Key Points:
When you start a business, be prepared to go from a 40 hour week to a 100 hour week. Once you build a team, those numbers will improve.
Fulfilment doesn’t come from achievement - it comes from pursuing the next goal.
Don’t apologise for the standards you hold people to, or the accountability you demand.


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
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

Jun 12, 2016

Tim Ray, the founder and CEO of Carnivore Club, a speciality meat subscription business. Tim sold his first company, Foodscrooge, within 4 months of starting it. He’s currently the CEO of two companies and is hoping to double Carnivore Club’s profits this year. Listen as Nathan and Tim talk earning out and buying, bootstrapping a business, and how to get the most from podcast advertising.


Favorite Book? – 48 Laws of Power
What CEO do you follow? — Elon Musk
Favourite online tool? — None
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Almost
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be?— Swing for the fences. Be bold and swing big.


Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:01 – Nathan’s introduction
01:42 – Welcoming Tim to the show
01:58 – Tim started his first company, FoodScrooge, to allow consumers to buy bulk frozen food surplus
02:40 – Revenue in the first year was $150k - they were bought within 4 months
03:07 – Sold for $2.1 million on an earn-out scheme
03:45 – Tim acquired Broquet for $150,000
04:25 – Broquet’s a premium curated gifts company
05:30 – Carnivore Club has a subscription model, whereas Broquet is more traditional e-commerce
06:40 – Carnivore Club was launched via Indiegogo
07:10 – Crowdfunding raised $22,000
08:15 – First monthly order was 175 orders in the US and 250 in Canada
08:41 – The business is seasonal - in December 2015, they shipped around 8,000 boxes
08:51 – March 2016, sent just over 5,000 boxes
09:25 – Subscription is $55 per month - people often give gifts of a multi-month subscription
09:50 – Paid up-front and don’t have to ship for the next few months
10:40 – Around ⅔ of sales are fixed-term gifts - the other option is a rolling subscription
13:00 – In 2015, total revenue was $1.3 million
13:01 – Business was bootstrapped from an initial $100,000
13:24 – 35% average margin - currently investing all profits in the business
13:50 – 4 full time employees
14:15 – Currently focusing on podcast advertising
15:00 – The most successful podcast advertisement has been a 30-second midroll on Drinkin' Bros. Pay around $270 per episode.
17:34 – Connect with Tim on Linkedin
19:00 – The Famous Five


3 Key Points:
Your consumer base might not be who you originally expected. Accept them and see how you can understand and serve them best.
Think big. Timidity doesn’t serve anyone.
You’ll benefit from creating a payment model that gives you cash up front. Traditional e-commerce requires sunk costs in inventory and storage - try being more creative.


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
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

 

Jun 12, 2016

Michael Mogill, president of Crisp Video - a company that bridges the gap between video production and video marketing. Michael started the business on his own three years ago, and now has 15 employees and clients including Coca Cola and Red Bull. Listen as Nathan and Michael talk return on investment, finding a marketing edge, and focusing on progress.


Favorite Book? – Delivering Happiness
What CEO do you follow? — Gary Vaynerchuk
Favourite online tool? — Dropbox
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be?— To stop doubting myself, and not apologise for the standards I hold people to


Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:14 – Nathan’s introduction
01:35 – Welcoming Michael to the show
01:45 – Generate revenue from video production and implementation
02:10 – The clients Michael’s most proud of are the small businesses
02:48 – One attorney in Nebraska doubled his business by using marketing videos
03:45 – He went from an average case value of $1,000 to an average case value of $10,000
04:00 – Created a brand video for him, as well as a series of educational videos
04:25 – A brand video costs around $10,000, a series of 26 videos over a year costs around $4,000 per month
05:40 – The firm has trained cinematographers in every market in the US
06:10 – Business founded in 2012 - originally just by Michael
06:20 – First year revenue was $100k
06:40 – 2013 revenue was $200k
06:50 – Crisp Video now has 15 employees in Atlanta, plus around 25 contractors
07:10 – Total revenue in the last year exceeded 7 figures
07:40 – Current goal is around $5 million for the end of the year
08:25 – Michael reinvests profits in the business
09:10 – “You have to consider the time you’re putting in, versus the salary you’re taking out”
10:01 – “If you can get to the point where you have a team, then there’s a higher return on investment than in a salaried job”
10:50 – “It’s not about the money - it’s about the next goal”
11:00 – Connect with Peter on his site or on twitter
14:00 – The Famous Five


3 Key Points:
When you start a business, be prepared to go from a 40 hour week to a 100 hour week. Once you build a team, those numbers will improve.
Fulfilment doesn’t come from achievement - it comes from pursuing the next goal.
Don’t apologise for the standards you hold people to, or the accountability you demand.


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
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

 

Jun 12, 2016

Kenny Hawk, the CEO of Mojio. Kenny made millions from iGo, a company he started in his dorm room in the 1990s. He’s now turning his expertise in wireless technology to good use at Mojio - a company backed by Amazon and Deutsche Telecom that uses cloud-based tech to link your car to the internet. Listen in to hear lessons from the dotcom boom, how Mojio can slash your garage fees, and why Kenny’s expecting to sell almost 2 million units in the next 2 years.

Famous 5:

Favorite Book? – Built to Last
What CEO do you follow? — Larry Ellison
Favourite online tool? — Evernote
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — The most important choice in life is the people you choose to be around you

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:09 – Nathan’s introduction
01:37 – Welcoming Kenny to the show
01:45 – iGo was Kenny’s first CEO gig - he started the business in his dorm room before graduation
02:30 – iGo created universal charging adaptors for mobile devices
02:50 – Started in 1993 and bootstrapped, followed by angel investment and VC rounds
03:30 – Raised $10 million and went public in 1999
03:50 – Acquired 3 companies and were then acquired themselves
04:40 – Moved from Silicon Valley to northern Nevada
05:20 – Top market cap was almost $1 billion
05:40 – Market cap was below $100 million - but they came out on the right side of the bubble
06:25 – Revenue was around $80 million when they sold
07:15 – Gross margin was around 30-40%
07:20 – iGo was profitable when it started, but VC investors were focused on growth rather than profit
08:30 – People who came in late in the dotcom boom tended to suffer
09:30 – Kenny did well out of his company sale
10:00 – People went bankrupt by paying tax on optioned gain - then losing everything
11:00 – The people who lost the most were the public market
11:26 – Mojio was launched in 2012 in Vancouver, backed by Amazon and Deutsche Telecom
11:50 – Kenny started in late 2015
12:05 – Mojio provides a cloud service to connect cars to the internet - track drivers and know where a shared car is at any time
12:53 – “When you’re not in your car, your cellphone’s not in your car”
13:23 – The device connects through the onboard diagnostic port - meaning that you know exactly what’s gone wrong
14:10 – Work on a revenue-share basis. Sell units and store data.
15:08 – Hoping to join the autonomous car ecosystem once it takes off
15:30 – Under 30 full-time employees
16:10 – Sales will be within the millions of units in the next 2-3 years
16:35 – Why did Kenny come on board instead of starting a new business?
17:12 – Kenny grew up in Detroit and loves cars - he also knew and respected the VC investors
17:55 – Deutsche Telecom has been a fantastic strategic partner
11:13 – Connect with Kenny through the Mojio website
20:22 – The Famous Five


3 Key Points:
Surround yourself with the right people. The most important choice in building a successful life and business is who you join forces with.
Find a strategic investor who brings more than just money to your business.
Growth is not everything. The dotcom boom happened when growth outstripped profit - it’s important to know that your business can work.
Resources Mentioned:
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

 

Jun 11, 2016

Peter Himler, the man who set up the New York Times’ paywall. Peter’s an experienced PR and media consultant, and the founder of Flatiron Communications. Listen as Nathan and Peter talk subscription vs. native advertising, the growth of content marketing, and the importance of influencers.

Favorite Book? – The End of Big
What CEO do you follow? — Elon Musk
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— I absolutely do
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be?— How to be more assertive with my boss


Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:10 – Nathan’s introduction
01:30 – Welcoming Peter to the show
01:55 – Peter helped the New York Times launch their first paywall
02:45 – What can agencies do to make sure they retain talent?
03:00 – Large agencies have invested in digital strategies
04:00 – Flatiron create content marketing for their clients
04:35 – Content sites with a paywall are a growing trend
04:50 – How did you execute the NY Times paywall?
05:10 – The first paywall was unsuccessful - ‘Times Select’ in 2005
05:50 – “It was premature” - focused on driving advertising revenue
06:20 – When they fully embraced the paywall model it became more successful
07:45 – “The Times is a very strong brand in a sea of online content”
08:10 – “The voices of true journalism are fewer and further between”
09:40 – Do content paywalls cannibalise revenue from native advertising?
10:35 – Some paid subscriber sites provide a very targeted market for advertisers
11:40 – Are paywalls feasible for people who aren’t big brands yet?
12:41 – A trend of hiring influencers to create branded content
13:31 – A company called Niche matches brands with influencers - bought by Twitter for $20 million
14:24 – Flatiron has a team of 4 people
15:30 – Charges retainers of around $7500-12,500 per month
16:10 – Connect with Peter on his site or on twitter
17:55 – The Famous Five


3 Key Points:
Subscription models can coexist with targeted advertising: be creative about how you’re generating revenue from your content.
Be prepared to create a lot of free content in order to build your brand.
Be assertive...and once you know what you’re doing, be prepared to strike out on your own.


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
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

 

Jun 11, 2016

Khalid Saleh, co-author of the bestselling book Conversion Optimisation. Khalid’s an expert on conversion whose company, Invesp, has grown companies from tiny startups to giant powerhouses. Listen as Khalid and Nathan talk leaving a salaried job, turning a consulting business into an SaaS giant, and running a global fundraising round.


Favorite Book? – The Lean Startup
What CEO do you follow? — Alex Turnbull
What is your favorite online tool?— Evernote
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Hell, no!
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be?— That I need to be laser-focused. There’s opportunity everywhere - you just have to focus on it.


Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:20 – Nathan’s introduction
02:20 – Welcoming Khalid to the show
02:35 – Invesp makes money by consulting on conversion optimisation
03:00 – Companies pay a monthly retainer for ongoing optimisation services
03:45 – Charge a minimum of $8,000 per month
04:00 – Companies stay 15-24 months on average
04:25 – Invesp was founded in 2006
04:35 – Made around $15-20k in their first year
05:00 – Khaleed was 31 when he left his salaried job to launch Invesp
05:20 – “An amazing employee but difficult to manage”
05:40 – While working for Motorola, Khalid noticed the problem of conversion rates
05:52 – Gave up a $200k salary as one of the top software architects in America
06:30 – Khalid’s wife is one of his business partner
07:00 – 4 partners in the company
07:35 – Moving into providing a SaaS platform for conversion optimisation
08:30 – Made close to $700k in 2014 - the year they decided to take fewer projects
09:15 – “It’s been a gamble to focus on software development”
09:30 – Initially wanted to make an AB testing platform...but decided to move into other products
10:35 – Several companies are interested in funding - but many are asking for more equity than they want to give up
11:01 – A VC in Russia was willing to give $1.5 million for 45% equity
11:20 – “He said I could probably get the same offer for 25% in San Francisco...but it’s a different market in each country”
11:55 – The SaaS business will be a product that’s offered by Invesp
12:40 – Connect with Khaleed at the Invesp Blog or on twitter
15:30 – The Famous Five


3 Key Points:
If you want to expand, be willing to move sideways and think creatively about where your business can go. Consulting doesn’t scale the way SaaS can.
Think very carefully about how much equity you’re willing to give up in a fundraising round.
Interest means nothing without conversion. Optimising conversion rates for your business can boost your growth enormously.


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
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

 

Jun 11, 2016

Rob Biederman, founder of HourlyNerd - a platform that bypasses traditional consultancies to help companies hire just the experts they need. HourlyNerd serves more than 4,500 companies, including GE, Microsoft and American Apparel. Listen as Rob and Nathan talk about spotting a market gap, dividing equity, and why you should have studied computer science.

Favorite Book? – Only the Paranoid Survive
What CEO do you follow? — Jeff Immelt
What is your favorite online tool?— Slack
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be?— Take some computer science papers


Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:15 – Nathan’s introduction
01:40 – Welcoming Graham to the show
01:56 – “Companies use us when they have a pressing need for a solution that can’t be provided by their current workforce”
02:00 – HourlyNerd makes money by taking a small percentage of transactions
02:30 – Example: connected GE to a robotics professor who could educate them about commercial robotics
03:30 – Around 80-85% goes to the consultant, the rest goes to HourlyNerd
04:00 – Rob worked in private equity before starting his business
04:34 – Had the idea of bypassing traditional consulting to connect people to talent directly
04:58 – Rob started in private equity aged 21, and founded the company aged 26
05:40 – He gave up a $400-600k salary
06:40 – “I’d saved a tremendous amount...I could mitigate the risk”
07:20 – How did Rob and his founders divide equity?
07:30 – They used a vesting schedule to accommodate any changes
09:15 – Worked with 5,000 customers in 2015 and had 21,000 nerds
09:31 – Nerds actively making money would be “in the low single-digit thousands”
09:50 – “We work with clients from GE down to a woman called Jenny in Massachusetts”
10:40 – Founded in 2013
10:51 – Total revenue in the first year was $150k
11:00 – Total revenue in 2015 was above $5 million
11:20 – Have raised about $10 million in capital
11:25 – “Nobody on our founding team could code...we needed to pay a development firm”
12:40 – Gave up around 20% of equity via convertible note to fundraise
13:30 – Auditioned for Shark Tank: dropped out but ended up with Mark Cuban as an investor
14:40 – Connect with Rob at HourlyNerd or on Twitter

3 Key Points:
Be wary of how much equity you’re giving up in the early stages of your company. Make choices that minimise dead equity.
Don’t be afraid to give up a salary to follow your ideas
Learn some computer skills as soon as you can


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
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

 

Jun 11, 2016

Preston Lee, the founder of Millo. He’s making $8,000 per month from a website and newsletter that started as a side project. Millo is a business resource and newsletter for creative entrepreneurs. Preston’s built an incredibly engaged community and a list that actually thanks him for sending out sponsored emails. Listen in to hear how to make sponsorship deals that your audience love, how to build revenue from a side project, and why it’s important to think like a business from the start.

Famous 5:

Favorite Book? – The $100 Startup
What CEO do you follow? — Ben Chestnut
Favourite 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? — How to think more like a business

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:07 – Nathan’s introduction
01:40 – Welcoming Preston to the show
01:43 – Millo is a blog and a newsletter for people who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs, freelancers, or creators
02:30 – Email list of about 30k, and a high level of engagement
03:10 – In 2009, Millo started as a graphic design blog, Graphic Design Blender
03:35 – In the first few years, made less than $500 per month
04:00 – In the last few years, pivoted to become a sponsor-based business that makes around $8k per month
04:50 – Highly tailored sponsorship packages
05:05 – Between 3 and 7 sponsors per month
05:24 – Design Cuts is a long-term sponsor
06:08 – Send out dedicated emails advertising Design Cuts bundles
06:33 – Millo is a side project for Preston and he’s happy with that
07:11 – “Right now it’s a very exciting side project”
07:35 – Lowest sponsorship package is $400 per month; highest is $1850
08:55 – If Nathan wanted to work with Preston, what could he do?
09:51 – The Freelance Report is a side project in the Millo newsletter
10:51 – Preston’s full-time job is content marketing for a magazine website
11:13 – Connect with Preston on Twitter
12:52 – The Famous Five


3 Key Points:
Start side projects and things that you love. You never know what opportunities content will lead to.
Once you’ve built an audience, you can build a business.
Think like a business. Focus will connect you to opportunities.
Resources Mentioned:
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

 

Jun 10, 2016

Graham Williams, one of the creators of Fun Fun Fun festival and head of Transmission Events. The festival’s first year had only 3,000 attendees...now it lasts 3 days and welcomes 20,000 people. Listen as Nathan and Graham talk about building up an event, the economics of festivals, and why you should start building your dream sooner.

Favorite Book? – I’ve never read a business book… 1984
What CEO do you follow? — None
What is your favorite online tool?— Gmail
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 think I made the right decisions for the most part...I wish I’d started my company a little earlier.


Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:15 – Nathan’s introduction
01:40 – Welcoming Graham to the show
02:10 – Started Fun Fun Fun festival in 2006 with the head of Alamo Drafthouse
02:45 – Cost around $100k to produce and sold around 3000 tickets in the first year
03:15 – Left Emo's to start Transmission Events, a booking and promotions company
03:20 – How did you get 3000 people to an event that had just launched?
03:40 – “A lot of flyering and street-team work”
04:07 – Now a 3-day festival with 20,000 attendees
04:24 – Now costs $4-5 million to produce
05:50 – Currently run by a local manager
05:10 – What’s driven the growth of the festival?
05:40 – “You find your audience and respect that audience”
06:22 – Ticket sales are the bulk of revenue - then sponsorship and bar sales
06:55 – A weekend pass costs a little over $200
07:22 – Around half the total revenue is in ticket sales
08:30 - Sponsors pay more per head because of the opportunity to target an audience
11:00 – The festival feeds into Graham’s year-round business
11:20 – Find Graham at Transmission Events or Fun Fun Fun Fest
12:35 – It’s aimed at licensing information obtained from defunct websites

3 Key Points:
Learn all you can - but you need to put that learning into action.
Find your audience and respect them. Cater to their needs. Build your niche.
Start sooner. Whatever you’re thinking about doing...do it.


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
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

 

Jun 10, 2016

Jason Greenspan, the founder and CEO of Whoosh!, a screen-cleaning product that’s on track to make over $5 million in sales this year. Listen as Jason and Nathan talk about creating a start-up with a physical product, what good margins look like, and how to convince people they have a problem.


Famous 5
Favorite Book? – Purple Cow
What CEO do you follow? — Kevin Plank
What is your favorite online tool? — Pipedrive
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Definitely not
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — To start a business then! It’s much easier before you have responsibilities.

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:20 – Nathan’s introduction
01:44 – Welcoming Jason to the show
01:54 – Whoosh! is a best-selling screen-cleaning spray and wipe
03:05 – Was on the Canadian version of Dragon’s Den
03:40 – Founded in 2009
03:50 – Pivoted in 2012 from making car-cleaning products
04:05 – Knocked a cleaning product onto his iPad by mistake
04:30 – Filled one-ounce bottles and handed them out at CES - never looked back
04:55 – Entirely self-funded and currently profitable
05:10 – Looking to raise $5 million this spring to fund growth
05:30 – Wiped over 1.5 million screens over the last year
06:30 – Total revenue in 2012 just under $1 million
06:39 – Total revenue in 2016 will be $5-10 million
07:00 – The formula is proprietary - they manage a supply chain
07:40 – The Whoosh! Go sells for $10 - what are the margins on that?
07:55 – Retailer takes a 25-50% gross margin
08:20 – A good gross margin on a physical product is 40-50%
09:02 – A good net margin is around 5%
09:35 – Spending very little on acquisitions
10:00 – We’re building through the wholesale channel - probably 90% of sales
10:24 – 10 full-time employees
10:40 – How do you value a product company?
10:50 – Valuation is on topline revenue and growth
12:30 – Whoosh! is a sticky product once people try it
13:20 – Biggest growth opportunity is convincing the market that there’s a problem
15:40 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:
Grab opportunities when you see them. Whoosh! was founded by capitalising on an accident.
Start your business now. Waiting longer isn’t going to make it easier.
If you’re dealing with physical products, you should be making better than 5% margins.


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
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

 

Jun 10, 2016

Ben Williamson. Ben went from teaching himself to code, to working with Steve Jobs. After 10 years at Apple, Ben’s building Yoshirt - a custom apparel tool that’s priced at $5 million after just two years. Listen as Ben and Nathan talk through fundraising, insecurities, and building an incredibly successful startup.


Famous 5
Favorite Book? – The Way of the SEAL
What CEO do you follow? — Nathan Latka
What is your favorite online tool? — Periscope
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Recently, no
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — You don’t need anyone else’s permission.

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:30 – Nathan’s introduction
02:17 – Welcoming Ben to the show
02:25 – Ben’s second time on the show - he was here in episode 23
02:53 – Yoshirt was founded in 2014
03:00 – “Custom, on-demand apparel from your iOS device”
03:08 – Last year ran an over-subscribed fundraising round that closed at $1.1 million
03:30 – Priced round at a post-money valuation of $5 million
04:10 – 13 full-time employees
04:25 – They make money from the physical product - $36 per shirt
05:30 – Cost of goods is $15-18; gross margin of 50%
06:12 – Unique point: Yoshirt prints image on a single piece of fabric before they cut and sew
07:02 – Running Facebook ads and retargeting current customers
07:30 – Over 3 million people have downloaded the app
07:43 – Over 100k paying customers
08:30 – Focus on delivering fantastic customer experience
08:50 – “We make garments so unique that no one can walk by without saying something”
09:20 – Topline revenue was $3 million in 2015
09:25 – Shooting for $10 million in 2016
09:55 – Working with bands to generate growth - partnered with Fall Out Boy
11:00 – Sold over 1,000 units from the Fall Out Boy activation
11:30 – The goal is to see how far they can push the idea
12:00 – “We really look at ourselves as a technology company”
12:50 – Wouldn’t sell Yoshirt for $10 million in cash today
13:30 – People are looking for attention: we’re building a company around that
14:00 – Connect with Ben through email, Linkedin and Twitter
17:55 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:
Satisfied customers are your best growth tool. Deliver a fantastic product and people will return and refer.
Deal with your own insecurities. You don’t need to seek permission or validation from the people around you.
Get the best data you possibly can. Successful entrepreneurs need facts, not stories.


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
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

 

Jun 10, 2016

Laurie Lane-Zucker, founder and CEO of the Impact Entrepreneur Centre. Laurie’s created a network of 10,000 entrepreneurs who are chasing the triple bottom line: making a positive social and environmental impact as well as a profit. Listen in to hear how Laurie funds his dream to make a difference; why you need to expand your bottom-line thinking, and how to get started as an impact entrepreneur.

Famous 5:

Favorite Book? – The Way of the Wizard
What CEO do you follow? — Elon Musk
Favourite online tool? — Linkedin
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 wish I knew about entrepreneurship earlier. I wish I had the opportunities that millennials have now to pursue their own goals.

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:10 – Nathan’s introduction
01:53 – Welcoming Laurie to the show
02:07 – An ‘Impact Entrepreneur’ is someone who wants to create companies that do good in the world, and to nurture a network and ecosystem that support these values
03:10 – Website is Impact Alchemist
03:40 – A ‘triple bottom line’ that considers social and environmental impact
04:21 – Over 10k members in the network right now
04:40 – Laurie makes money from consulting. He’s recently worked with water purification companies, nutrition research companies, and companies making biofuel from landfill
06:00 – “I gravitate to companies that are working on the UN development goals”
07:15 – Laurie often match-makes between companies and impact investors
08:05 – Takes a ‘success fee’ when they secure funding
09:20 – Currently creating an incubation and acceleration hub in the Berkshires
10:25 – Laurie generates revenue through speaking, consulting, and taking fees on securing funding
11:20 – “Look at the sustainable development goals of the United Nations - and see what strikes a chord with you”
12:20 – Connect with Laurie on Linkedin
13:52 – The Famous Five


3 Key Points:
Chase the triple bottom line. You aren’t really adding value to the world unless you’re looking at your environmental and social impact as well as finances.
There’s a lot to do in the world. Look at the UN’s sustainable development goals and see what strikes a chord with you.
Make the most of all your opportunities
Resources Mentioned:
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

 

Jun 9, 2016

Troy Sultan, founder and CEO of Resource, a company that’s trying to automate the recruitment process. Troy was the first recruitment officer at Grooveshark, and later left Google to return to his passion: startups. Listen as Troy and Nathan talk about Troy’s career path, managing co-founders, and why you shouldn’t rely on venture capital.

Famous 5
Favorite Book? – The War of Art
What CEO do you follow? — Gary Swart
What is your favorite online tool? — Mixmax
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — Slow down to speed up. And think about what you’re really good at.

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:10 – Nathan’s introduction
01:30 – Welcoming Troy to the show
01:47 – Troy founded a startup out of college, then joined early Grooveshark
02:10 – Grooveshark got sued for $17 billion
02:40 – Troy went into hiring at Google in 2013
03:00 – Built a startup in the last year of college - “we made every mistake”
04:00 – Decided to work with Grooveshark to learn about startup success
04:30 – Google was the next stage: seeing how a big company worked
05:00 – Lessons from Google? - “A lot of delegation is happening”
05:13 – The quality of your experience at a big company depends on your manager
05:26 – Troy then started Resource
05:54 – Part of the 500 Startups accelerator
06:06 – 5% equity; $125k investment
06:20 – 3 team members
06:33 – Trying to split equity equally, but people came on at different stages
07:00 – If everyone’s going to provide equal value, try to keep it equal
07:30 – “I don’t want to co-found a company with someone who’s not picking up where I’m weak”
08:05 – Charge a monthly flat rate of $5-8.5k for services. Month-by-month opt-in model
08:38 – Doing tens of thousands in revenue per month
09:10 – Customers “in the low double digits”
09:30 – Creating a hiring solution that’s part-human, part-software
09:54 – Most acquisitions are coming through social credibility
10:20 – No spending on marketing at the moment
10:40 – Not a SaaS company - they’re not looking at churn
11:00 – MRR varies depending on when people are hiring
11:50 – “If we do a good job, we get rid of customers...but hopefully they come back”
12:25 – Troy’s trying to hack his way to the next checkpoint
12:50 – In a good month Resource makes $50k in revenue
13:00 – Operating profitably - margins are good
13:30 – “We don’t want to rely on venture capital early on”
13:50 – Connect with Troy on Twitter or through his blog
15:20 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:
Slow down to speed up. It can be worth putting your short-term goals on hold to go corporate for a while and learn from the masters
Be certain that your business can make a profit on its own terms. If you rely on venture capital early on, you can go a long way with a bad idea.
Choose your co-founders carefully. If they’re not going to bring serious value, they’re probably not who you want to start a company with.
Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
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

 

Jun 9, 2016

Zander Adell, co-founder and CEO of Doorman. Zander’s aiming to solve the frustrating problem of finding a note on your door, instead of your Amazon or FedEx package. He left his job as technical director at Pixar to go to business school, and wound up solving one of the stickiest problems in e-commerce. Listen as Zander and Nathan talk logistics, changing a business ecosystem, and dreaming big.

Famous 5
Favorite Book? – Good to Great
What CEO do you follow? — Jeff Bezos
What is your favorite online tool? — Slack
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Yes
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — To focus on the big dream, not the little pieces along the way

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:26 – Nathan’s introduction
02:00 – Welcoming Zander to the show
02:20 – Zander left Pixar in his early 30s to go to business school
02:50 – He wanted to understand how to get a business off the ground
03:10 – Fascinated by the logistics element of apps
03:40 – Worked in the gaming industry briefly before starting Doorman
04:10 – Doorman aims to solve the e-commerce problem of getting your stuff delivered
04:40 – It lets customers schedule when a package will come to their house
05:10 – We’re still in a transitional period between shopping in person and online
05:30 – The existing logistics infrastructure isn’t ready to interact with consumers
06:00 – Revenue comes from both retail partnerships and consumer customers
06:40 – Items are delivered to Doorman’s warehouse; customers then choose a delivery time
07:10 – Warehouses in San Francisco, Chicago and New York
07:20 – Working with retailers is currently more profitable
07:50 – Launched in 2014
08:00 – One co-founder and a team of 10 people
08:15 – Raised a little over $3 million through 500 Startups
09:00 – Around 10-20% growth of users per month
10:40 – Delivered over 100,000 packages
11:10 – “We’ll deliver pretty much anything” - anything under 45lb is a normal package
12:00 – Furniture etc. costs a little more
12:40 – Doorman is currently trying to build economies of scale
14:15 – A big win in 2016 would be hooking up with a large retailer
15:00 – Don’t consider themselves a SaaS business - but use SaaS measures
16:00 – Logistics margins are tight - they can get down to 5% in big companies
16:50 – “We can scale without really owning anything”
17:10 – Delivering 15-20 packages on average for top-quartile customers
18:25 – People’s buying doubled when they started using Doorman
21:20 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:
Logistics companies can learn from the pared-down model of SaaS. It’s possible to grow without owning bricks-and-mortar infrastructure, or fleets of lorries.
Assess whether what you’re doing right now is serving your long-term goals. If it isn’t: change what you’re doing.
When you solve a problem in an ecosystem, you change people’s behaviour. Simply providing an effective solution can make a market develop.


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
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

 

Jun 9, 2016

Holly Cardew, a member of the Forbes 30 under 30 list and the founder of Pixc - an online image optimization service. Holly dropped out of college to grow an image editing empire that’s making just short of $1 million in revenue each year. Listen as Holly and Nathan talk about Pixc’s bootstrapping ethic, the importance of revenue over investment, and how to get the most from an affiliate program.

Famous 5
Favorite Book? – The Lean Startup
What CEO do you follow? — Ben Chestnut, though he’s kind of hard to track
What is your 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 wish my parents had told me to go to Silicon Valley. I should have learnt how to code.

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:15 – Nathan’s introduction
01:56 – Welcoming Holly to the show
02:03 – Holly took a corporate job in London after university
02:20 – Tried multiple online businesses before Pixc
02:40 – Pixc is an online image optimization service
02:50 – Sells credit image packages
03:05 – Launched a landing page in 2013; started properly in 2014
03:20 – Largely self-funded; raised $150k in capital
03:55 – ‘At the end of the day, you need to have a business - not just capital’
04:15 – 16 team members
04:30 – Revenue in the range of $200k - $1 million per year
05:10 – What are the running costs?
05:20 – Semi-automated process with some human input
05:35 – Currently breaking even and re-investing in the business
05:50 – Holly is 28; she dropped out of college to start her business
06:20 – Working with over 7,000 clients
06:40 – Acquisitions through referrals, integration, content marketing and affiliates
07:10 – Affiliate program is very effective. One article brought in 70+ customers in 3 weeks
09:20 – Affiliates make 20% commission on referrals
10:40 – What’s the competition? Largely freelancers.
11:03 – What’s Pixc’s growth strategy?
11:40 – Planning to expand the affiliate program and build partnerships
11:50 – Thinking about what other services they can offer in this niche
12:20 – Connect with Holly on Linkedin, Twitter and at her blog
14:58 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:
Focus on revenue, not on investment. You have to know that your idea can make money.
Learn how to code - it’s a basic skill that will pay you back a hundred times over.
If you’re looking at expanding, consider what other services fit in your niche. What else do your customers need that you can provide?


Resources Mentioned:
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
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

 

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