17 Episode results for "Andrew Warner"

169. Andrew Warner of Mixergy Does it for Love

Love Your Work

1:11:45 hr | 2 years ago

169. Andrew Warner of Mixergy Does it for Love

"The. This is lobby your work on this show. We help you make it as a creative on for newer. Find your unique voice find the right mindset to succeed. Be the first capitalize on new opportunities to make a living making your art. I'm David kademi. If you want to join us and love your work every Thursday. Please hit subscribe on your podcast app. And get your free creative productivity tool kit. Sign up at Kennedy dot net slash tools to me, Andrew Warner's mixed podcast created the entire category of entrepreneur interview podcast category. This here podcast falls within. I started listening to mixed Hershey. Something like ten years ago. And it was one of the main podcasts that got my gears turning to eventually start this podcast after I put it off for many years. Of course, Andrew has created over seventeen hundred interviews and courses with top entrepreneurs people like Jimmy Wales. Barbara Corcoran and PolyGram. He's known for. Getting his guests open up and to reveal exact numbers in their businesses. Actually, sometimes at find myself squirming at the direct questions that he asks, but it works. I recently took a trip to San Francisco to be in the Jordan harbinger show look out for my appearance on that show toward the end of March. I think you're really gonna like what he prepared specifically for that show. But while I was in San Francisco, I was trying to think of who I would like to interview and the first person who came to mind was Andrew Warner. And honestly, I was a little reluctant to interview him for the show because it wasn't sure if he was a great fit because on his show, the often talk about numbers a lot is very much about how much money did this entrepreneur make and if you've listened this show, you know, that it's not very much like that. But after talking to him, I can see why had that gut feeling that I should interview him because he loves entrepreneurship, so so much really shows. And so it turned out to be very appropriate ESP. The fact that we did this interview on Valentine's Day, so in this conversation, you're gonna learn about monetization. Andrew was the first hot cast or that? I can think of his past episodes behind a paywall. Now, why does Andrew think that was such a great decision? What drove that decision? And why does he hate the word paywall? Also did Andrew create the category of the interview podcast. I was dying to know who inspired Andrew to interview entre Noor's in the first place we're gonna find out and why is harsh criticism. A gift. Andrew shares his perspective which helps him keep improving. Also the day before the interview Andrew message me he wanted to change the location of the interview we were originally going to do it in mixer offices in the financial district in San Francisco. But now Andrew was inviting me to his house. He said that he would explain why later you're going to hear why in the interview, it's pretty cool. Also, this is the first episode with detail. Show notes. I recently put out a call for new patrons to help us reach a new goal where we would be able to afford to get a list of people and places and articles and books and other things mentioned in the episode along with links to all those resources, and I thought it was gonna take a while. But it happened very very quickly that we reach that goal and surpassed it in fact, Andrew, and I talk about eight a lot of interesting stuff in his episode. So those resources will come in very handy. Thank you so much who are patriot supporters for providing these detailed show notes, and if you'd like to help bring the show to thousands of people and put your money, where your mind is. So you will get more out of love your work and get other bonuses along the way support on patriot. At patriot dot com slash category. It means a lot one of the toughest things about making it as a creative on for is focusing on the right things focusing on the things that are going to move the needle to use David Allen's determine elegy sometimes get destroyed. Acted by the latest and the loudest reveal like we're being productive. But we're really trading a dollar for a dime. We're thinking in the short term, we need to be acting now for the benefit of the long term. And I have spent twelve years getting to where I am today. And I'm going to be sharing everything that I've learned about staying self-motivated to be productive and successful solo preneurs in my upcoming webinar self motivation for Sola preneurs it is on March twentieth. So next week, and it's free. This is a lie webinar. You can ask me questions in real time learned the details and sign up at kademi dot net slash motivation. That is Kennedy dot net slash motivation. Hey, I just wanted to drop a quick note in here at the last minute. I was just looking at my Lipson stats, and I'm happy to announce that after more than three years of doing the show. We just passed the one million download Mark. Now, some part of me feels like I should make really. Huge deal out of this. It's probably because a long time ago. I was aching to have a million downloads. But now, I don't really feel that way. I certainly mentioned it many times in the past number of downloads and how like for us to have more. But I quietly stopped trying to grow the podcast several months ago. I told myself that is going to stop worrying about what tactics and strategies, I could use to get more listeners. And instead, I would try to make the show as interesting as possible for myself and for the listeners that I do have and I also decided to start trying my best to connect with those listeners. Those of you who are listening, and the main reason I'm able to do that is because of the wonderful patriot supporters of the show. So thank you very much to all of them as long as there are people out there who get enough value out of the show to feel compelled to give back I'm quite happy with that one million is a nice round number. It has some significance. So I didn't want to let it pass us by without telling you. Especially because I had mentioned so many times in the past. I know many of you feel strongly enough about the show that it means something to you. As it definitely does mean, something to me just how much I'm not really sure not. But ton went to focus on continuing to make the show. Interesting for myself. And those of you who are listening, so okay, wonderful. Yes. Let's celebrate for a moment. And now back to work. Thank you. Here's the interview. Andrew where in your home? It's kind of weird, but I have to leave in like an hour. You're forcing me out. Happy Valentine's Day Yemen. So Valentine's Day is a Libyan my my anniversary of my first date with Libya. Yeah. She came to my house on February thirteenth twelve years ago. And she played poker because I like to organize a lot of things with friends and she won. And after she won she helped me clean up. And I said do you wanna go out for dinner? Actually, I think it was drinks. She said sure I said how about tomorrow, and we went out Valentine's Day. This our first Valentine's Day apart. So I'm going to surprise her. I'm gonna go grab the kids from school early. Put them in the car and drive them out to see her. Where is she? She's at a conference for her company. She works pager duty. So since I'm going to aid your duty. I've got my pager duty socks on. They've got some kind of company retreat. They're always doing something. She's doing something your first date was on Valentine's Day. Yeah. Did you think? That's kind of weird. Up until that year, Valentine's Day meant a lot to me, usually Valentine's Day meant. You're a loser. And one day you're gonna make it. And then you'll be able to date a lot of women or you'll find someone you love, but it's going to work out. Great, but everyone else's in love right now and everyone else's dating and gear not. And then I started to date and actually enjoy Valentine's Day more than the people who the women I was dating. And then it became a thing that I needed to have to do something every Valentine's Day, even if I wasn't with anyone and the year that living I met was the first year. I was just okay with it. I'm not a loser from not with someone. I'm not like in a perfect situation. And okay with myself, if I am with someone it's just if it works it works, if it doesn't it doesn't, and I'm okay, not being with someone and not defining myself by that. And then we had this really good conversation. And I kind of had my aunt her for a while. And so I asked her out, and it felt just as comfortable saying, do you wanna go out tomorrow as it would have been to not do anything on Valentine's Day and retro retrospectively has she said anything about. Her thoughts on the fact that your first date was on Valentine's Day. She thought that it was a very confident thing to do to to be able to do it and frankly teeth and be able to pull it off. We're living in Los Angeles to pull off a really good night for Valentine's Day with less than twenty four hours. Notice was I'm glad that it worked out that way. Well, was it one of those? Yeah, I think a lot of restaurants have some sort of Valentine's Day like hard to get around. I lived in New York. I would pay a couple of hundred bucks per person to go out for dinner. And then it would be this jammed inexperience. It stocked. So we we ended up going to the crescent hotel, which was a hidden gem back then now it's just hidden in it should be. But it was hidden beautiful place in Beverly Hills felt old school. Beverly Hills really elegant really simple. And there was nobody there which is probably why it failed and turn into something else. And we will sit outside in the warmth of February in LA and talk and have a drink. And then go in. Side. And then we happened to one have dinner, and there was a restaurant that was open. Actually, they were closing. But set your sit down will get you what you wanna eat in. It was just the two of us in that restaurant. It was good. I eight. Our first year apart and tomorrow, she's still going to be at the conference. And so the planet always been that I was going to go take the kids and do something do something fun with them. And I thought I'd just take them out see her, and that'll be our fun thing going to whatever in Napa will do something that fits within the criteria that you had set out. Yeah. Doing something with the care, actually. Yeah. Fries with them while surprise mom tonight. And then she's not gonna want to hang out with us tomorrow because he's going to be at the conference, and I'll find stuff for us to do his wine tasting who know those guys are they're going to drink too much. You know, what I know we're going to get into business. But I've got to tell you that when my kid was two years old. He kept asking to have whiskey because he saw me drink whisky. You can see this is like a tiny tiny bit of my whiskey collection. It's pretty big. Election. We've we've kind of draining this a little bit and not replenishing it like it's on me, drink whisky kept nagging. I said, okay, fine. I'm going to give them a drink. And this is going to turn them off to all whiskey forever. That was what I was thinking he had a drink. And then he went and had and said, I want more. And I said, no, no, I thought maybe it's watered it down. I gave him alcohol straight, and he drank whiskey need, and he said, I want more. And I said never again, I'm not even kidding. With them about wine in my allowed to publish this. Literally, it means that I get arrested kicked out of apple podcasts. Now, probably will my allowed to Kurt's. We're just won't. Yeah. Absolutely. You know, what I'm not even that uptight about all that I'm worried like his David getting the business stuff that needs were now like five minutes and sixteen seconds into the recording eighteen second. Like fifty minutes or something I could be a little bit late. But I'm I still have deep desires to drive towards goals. The same kind of thing that happened to me with dating I still have that. And I wonder if I'm ever gonna get to place where I'm just okay? Well, did you ever have or do you currently have? Maybe you're not even aware of it. I don't know. Is there any elements of this? I guess I can relate to this idea of Valentine's Day feeling like, oh, you know, it's Valentine's Day. And so if you don't have someone you're a loser or something? Did you do you have similar feelings about entrepreneurship or success? I do and I wonder when it's point. I'll just get to accomplish where it's okay. And you're not there. I'm not there for sure. Beautiful house in San Francisco. Yes, you have a podcast where you have an office. I will more in the financial district of San Francisco for your podcasts in you're just not satisfied yet. No. No, I I don't know when and if I'll ever be satisfied, and I wonder if it's going to be one of those things like before Libya having sex with a lot of women was a big thing for me. And then at some point when I was backpacking through Europe and Canada thinking through I said, let me count how much how many how many experiences how much had and see if it's like a good number, and I couldn't count and I realize it's partially because it been a few women, but largely because I just don't care anymore to count. It's not about numbers about being with them. And there's something that happened that let my head turn from numbers to just being. Okay. And I don't know if that's ever going to happen to me with work will I ever stop caring about numbers and just feel. Okay. And I feel like when you just feel. Okay. That's when you can drive better numbers and have better quality everything. I just not there yet. I don't know what it's going take it though. I wonder. Can't can you drive better numbers when it's just okay Livia would not have wanted to go out with me the next day. If all I wanna do was fuck, so I can add another number to my to my mental count. Well, same thing with work. I feel like as long as I'm just like so hounding the work. And so hounding the details. I don't think I could be in a good enough place where I can be as good as I'd like to be. But here's one of the things that happens. I do a lot of these podcasts where I become to my podcast, and we turn around on me sometimes. And I always go into the stuff. I'd like to be better. Like, right. What I'm doing right now. And I always leave people with this impression. I think nothing's ever good enough. And that I'm not in a happy place. I'm one of the happiest people you ever met. And so comfortable Libya who knows me better than anyone else. Will just be amazed. How could you just be constantly just happy and optimistic about everything? I am for some reason whenever I analyze work. It gets into the all the rough spots that I wish are better. But I don't wanna leave listeners with the impression that that's where my head is just when I analyze it. That's what comes up a lot. Yes. So I don't maybe you just enjoy the. The pursuit of more. I do enjoy the pursuit of more than I do. Also, just feel like. It's this something that's missing. And it's not there, and I'm just gonna keep hunting for it. But is there is there? Do you feel insecurity there? No, I'm credibly secure. So you don't you know, if you go to dinner with friends who has two billion dollars, and you only have one billion dollars. I'm not I don't know if you have a billion dollars, but I don't put up gone to I've gone out to dinner with people who have hundreds of millions have lots of like the in. It's not just them talking. They won't talk anything. It's if you look up if you know them you see how well they're doing. It doesn't bring it up so much with them. It's with friends who are a little bit closer. But a little further ahead where it comes up ago. Tim, why am I talking to you right now? Little. Yeah. Like you. You've got something to prove still not what you're talking to them to me. Like, I'm I'm relaxing a little too much when I'm with them. You're not concerned about them judging, you know, I don't think they care. Okay. I if anything I actually find the people feel a little bit more. We don't live in a world of braggers. I'm thinking about San Francisco people aren't braggers. I was talking to you before we started about how everybody here is in tech in business somehow, and it's kind of interesting and cool. But nobody's bragging about it. People are downplaying they're all feeling like, well, there's something else. I wanna do. I wanna keep working on it. Yeah. I having lived here. I know it is one of these places where you might be might not discovered. The somebody's wildly successful until right much later. Right. Right. And they may not be and my friend Colin works for any. Hey, that's been firm says people come into their office with these beat up old Toyotas and a dream, essentially. And he goes you won't believe it two years later they end up as I come superstars of the startup world. And everyone wants to be them and. Yeah. So one of my challenges doing interviews is to make sure that when we do the interviews on mixer. Gee, we get the story of the entrepreneur out in a way that doesn't feel threatening. That doesn't feel like you can't get there. Step ahead of you. And you're never going to catch up to find a way to make sure that people see the story and get inspired enough to want to be a better version of themselves without being so spooked that they don't want to do anything or that. They then start to hate everything. And that's kind of a challenge. I know that's a challenge I can tell when I talked to people who listen. And I suppose that's part of why you use this hero's journey format. Play interviews there. Couple of reasons why I the couple things that one is I do use the hero's journey. Most entrepreneurs wanna come on and tell the story most people even conversation if you're asking them about themselves, they want to totally downplay it wouldn't which case as a podcast Donald story. No reason for anyone to listen to for anyone just fire or they want to just tell you about the good things because they feel like you're there here because they've done great things, and they wanna pump it up. The hero's journey is a format that allows you to. Have somebody be relatable, then go off on a quest? That's so challenging that you care then fail. So that you root for them. Then the story becomes interesting because the you relate to them you can identify care about their quest. And when they smash their face into the ground, you feel like you want them to do. Well, and that's the that's the thing. I try to do with interviews. And frankly, even when we have conversations, I do dinners all the time. I just interviewed someone yesterday who at the end of the conversation. I said I really enjoyed talking to you. I know you're in San Francisco you wanna come over for poker? One time and MAC says I didn't wanna say this in the interview I was at your house for poker? And that it's happened quite a bit. Where people have been here in the house never like this for work, but for social events all the time. And I don't realize who it is. What I do know though is when I have a chance to talk to them. I want them to be relatable. I want their quest to be something. That's interesting. I want them to be vulnerable at the dinner table. And I think if we could get to that place. They have these experiences, and then the people around the table don't feel envious don't feel disconnected but feel like they know the person and their rooting for them. So yes, the hero's journey journeys a big one. And if you've ever had a dinner with me of or five people where it's not like out of control, you'll see that we subtly will take people on that path. And then the other thing that I do is. I do ask for for vulnerabilities for challenges in a way that allows people to express themselves and keeps me interested to and so that's been a challenge. How do you get people to do it? And a lot of it is me being open about my challenges. Just spit up on your laptop. I got a little bit excited. They're getting see it was just a tiny. But when I get excited, I wouldn't not known at all if you say anything still I have to. Yeah. I do like share these wonderful spots, and then the other of myself, and then the other thing I do is. I look for hints that they drop those things that they wanna talk about and make the conversation. Little more interesting. Little more meaningful. So as we were talking about before this conversation, I feel like you to me you created this whole category of the entrepreneur interview podcasts, which is essentially a lot of what my podcast is in. What many many podcasts are to the point that you'll even here? People save you're gonna start a podcast don't even bother starting an interview podcast because it's been done to death. Now. Take me back to when you were starting that. Were you emulating somebody did did you immi-, right? Did you create this category? There was one other person doing it. As far as I know, Gregory gallant. But I would take the origins of it even before podcasting. This is before any of this. I lived in a world that we're all going back to a world or entrepreneurs where losers or greedy bastards losers in that they couldn't get a job. And so they're starting businesses greedy bastards in that they were going to try to own everything either way. Nobody wanted to be like them. They would definitely not cool. We went to a short period. We're entrepreneurs ship was cool today. Nobody wants to be Kevin system. They wanna be whatever latest guy is or woman is who's got a million followers on Instagram. They don't wanna create the next Instagram like Kevin system, did what they wanna do is be celebrities somehow back to that world where the where the thing to spire to is popularity and celebrity level without creation through entrepreneurship, and I have no issue with any one of these people being popular on Instagram or or anyone aspiring to be a basketball player. I don't I don't think there's anything wrong with any of that. I think it's a shame that we do not in. Encourage entrepreneurs that we do not allow them to be themselves from an early age and support them as a country and support them as teachers and support them as a world enough. I just interviewed someone else yesterday who told me that when he was a kid he sold candy out of his backpack. And his teacher said come on put it away. He wasn't supposed to do that. How many people have gone through that? How many people who are listening to us right now sold something and they were told not to. So I started mixer g with the idea that these entrepreneurs who nobody understands should be heroes that other people aspire to be like, not everybody not all other people, but some other people should aspire to be like them, and that's the point. And I said, how do I do it? And I started out with interviews. And I meant to go beyond interviews, and I didn't, but we will the idea of mixer G. Is entrepreneurs are heroes. Their handful of these weirdoes out there in the world who want to be entrepreneurs who need to see people. Do it. Right. Who need to see that? There's someone who made it in the world like this fire to who told the teacher fuck off. I'm going to sell my candy in school who told the teacher. This is the thing that I want to do and they did it. And so that's what we want to go to that kind of environment. But when you did start it's there was intention to this. They was there was this was like a thing where I was going to start the very first. Few interviews were just me Hon of saying I'm doing these events. People should meet the people who come to events, but these events are somehow leaked entrepreneurship and the events never went entrepreneurship, they would just never anything more than social events. But the interviews highlighting. The entrepreneurs were coming to the events were about something. They were about something that touched me that meant something to me from the time. I was a kid, and it was finally able to be expressed in. I remember interviewing this woman Rosalind Resnick who I did a lot of business. You bought a big part of my business. Not like a percentage of the business, but she bought outright a big part of my business. And I'd known her for years because she sent me a lot of checks, and we talked each other about ours rations and all that. And it wasn't until I interview her that I really understood her it wasn't until I said over an hour. I wanna just learn how you got here that I really got to know her when that our was over a Libyan. I were maybe living together the time, maybe she just happened to be over. And I remember saying to Libya. I found the thing I want to do for the rest of my life. And that was it. It was doing interviews. Talking. Entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses crafting their stories getting to a point where I got to know them better. And that an audience of other entrepreneurs got to know them better. So when you were starting was was it then events and interviews if you want to go to the wacky thing that I thought of here's what happened. So I I sold my previous company, and I had a bunch of time off to do nothing to literally just walk on the beach. In Venice beach. Boardwalk was like my feet were in the sand. And fortunately, it was just like just casual walk on the beach. I remember watching this dude after being in such a high pressure virement myself watching this guy who was selling trinkets on Venice beach boardwalk, and he was asleep just the happiest most easygoing sleep, you could imagine. And I realized that I still was not at a place where if I had to sell I could comfortably do anything. If I was standing behind that table. I would be hawking the hell out of everything that was there. And I couldn't understand how he could get to that comfortable spot. And I knew I don't wanna be there. But I do need to be a little bit more chill that if I'm still getting excited that he's so relaxed, but also as barechested towards that. I think there's something for me to learn how to this experience. So I was spending a lot of time on the beach having those kinds of revelations. And then I started to slowly drift back into entrepreneurship, and I did things like post on Craigslist. If anyone needs help, let's get together at this place. We'll talk at the time I really liked king's head bar. And so that's why would meet people, but I wasn't super helpful. And it was like a lot to do to go there. So then I started slowly saying I'll do calls on the phone with people and help them out. And then I would pay to give people coaching from other people if they needed it, and I could see his inching towards something. Then I went and backpack through Europe. And when I came back, I said, okay, I'm ready to do something. And that thing became events with the idea that people would meet each other there'd be events all over the world. And then that would turn into this big event movement thing it wasn't it. Ended up being podcast starts by the name mixer g came from. Yeah. Mixers with with energy. Yeah. Man. So then how did you end up doing an interview? I had some piece of garbage Mike around the house. I didn't realize it. Mike's would different. I just thought if you have a Mike you can plug it in I plugged it in and I use Skype, and I just recorded the person, and that was it, and it was a home. If you listen to the very first interview and the first batch you can hear him. The whole time. It was because the Mike was just one of those old fashioned Mike's ones, you know, the that auxiliary cable type of thing that the headphones used to be until apple killed the headphone, Jack the Mike had one of those things. And I realized that's a problem and then eventually bought a USB Mike, and then just a little at a time. What made you think to even do an interview? I think there was a part of me that just admired how Howard Stern grownup, and I listen to all the time. And I thought he's doing just having conversations, and it's pretty interesting. And I think that when he asks people about some wacked out stuff that I don't care about. I'm less engaged sometimes than when he just talked to someone about how much money they made when they were in television, and how they gave away all these rights to their old broadcasts and back, then it wasn't worth anything, and then repeats came on and suddenly all the rights that they sold gave away now valuable and they missed out, and I get so riled up about that. So interesting so fascinating, tell me more. And so doing interviews gave me a combination of Howard Stern interview. And the. Caring about business just full on business. In fact, in the early interviews you'd hear people say things like I started my company, then I built it up two million dollars. Once we got one hundred million dollars. I decided it was time to sell and then they await stop. It's like Howard Stern. Now Howard Stern when you tell them that you had sex with someone says hang on slowly, tell me how you took off your clothes. And then tell me like what the next thing was I want you to walk me through that. Because that gets me excited your business. I mean gets me as excited as that do that. And so that was a clear influence, but so is NPR there was actually just one. It was this American life in the early episodes. I was in trolling just like guy from this America life, IRA glass ABI. I'm Andrew Warner you you might be wondering about this next guest and how it was kind of a put on. But the clear point has always been there, which is the goal of makes her from the beginning has been. Encourage entrepreneurs by showing them what works for real entrepreneurs. It's gotta be that. It cannot be like the Tony Robbins thing that I signed up for where I paid him and or his company for coach and the coach had never been in business. She was just someone took a class. And that was it cannot be that. It's gotta be real entrepreneurs passing onto real entrepreneurs. Which is why when there's an author who's dissect it all these entrepreneurs and can come in and talk to me about it. I think great for you, Pat on the back. It's not for me. I can't do this because sorry. The fake entrepreneur. Like lessening self help books that I read growing up, and it's still are published at his day are also happy go lucky. Nobody's ever. Screwing anyone over in those books. It's always like the nicer, you are the better yard other people. The better your life is will good on you. Guess what? That's not the way the business works. That's not the way business works. And you could see it in the evidence. Now that Email comes out, right? Youtube was not two guys saying, hey, it'd be really nice if when we're having dinner and taking pictures and video of ourselves we can actually post video online. It was a little bit of them saying, hey, you know, what we can screw over the major television networks, and if we do that then we'll be too big for them to ever take us down. Now. Look at my saying that the way you should be. No, I'm saying I want to know how it is. I don't wanna come into conversation saying how should it be? I wanna know. How actually is it? And let me make my decision LIPA listener make their decision. Let us really here. How it is. You still don't get that from other people accept. For real entrepreneurs. Because they've actually. Dealt with the competitive environment. That being an entrepreneur is. Yes. And they're not the world might make them wanna be ashamed. But they're not. It's like so we live in. I'm in San Francisco right now. Right. You'll see pictures of guys used to go to gay bars back in the day when gay bar was thing. And they knew that they wanted to be gay. They believe that there was nothing wrong with it. And they just had their heads up and proud, and they were going in there, even when the world told them, no they just couldn't help. But be proud of it. Now, I don't know anything about that. But I do know this. I've seen that look in the entrepreneurs who I've interviewed the entrepreneur look that says. I know that doing that's banning is not a good thing. But I have to tell you. That's what I did. I spammed to get started. And I'm thinking about specifically Matt from automatic from WordPress. If you go back to his interview with me, he probably shouldn't have said, let alone bragged that to get people to know the WordPress was good publishing platform for the internet. He would go and and spam, other people's blogs. But he can't help it because he knows that's what it took. And that it's not hurting anyone and he's kind of proud, and I feel like that thing comes out from entrepreneurs. When you give them a real space to be themselves. I'm still trying to figure out the very first interview. What motivated you to do that? And did you were there other podcasts that you were listening to did. You know, it was going to be a podcast your very first interview. It wasn't a podcast. There was Gregory gallant who Greg gallant went on to create the shorty awards. Greg gallant is kind of a warning story for me and was in 'rational like thing. And example of what I could do what he did was. He would interview people I still sometimes in my head. We'll hear his voice when I run because hit this funny way of Saint company would always go. And now I'm going to talk to him about his company and how he built his company. Man, he was so sincere, and he was this podcast. He was it was a podcast. I met him at a podcast convention in Vegas. He had this giant pimple on his nose that couldn't explode fully kinda had. And I loved him for every bit of that. He was like a a nerd caring about the nervous piece of technology, which was podcasting bat before the iphone who genuinely cared about his guests who didn't talk over his guests and was really interested in them genuinely interested. So that's what I liked. They said, hey, wait. This is a thing that could happen even interviewed him. Learn how to how he did it. The part. That's a warning for me was he never fully monetize it well enough. And so there are these great gems that were on a site that disappeared because the site was a monetize, and I refuse to let that happen to gee, I believe that makes her G needs to be something that earns enough money that it could survive forever. Outlive me that when years from now, we are implanting chips in people's brains, and we're putting in the library of Alexandria equivalent at the time mixer g needs to be in that you need to absorb all these entrepreneurs in the way, you're thinking if you want to be an entrepreneur and take it with you. And and unfortunately, he had read Hoffman from Lincoln explaining who the Lincoln audience was with such a clear understanding, he had a Lexus. Oh, Hanan on from read. It talk about how they sold read it at a time when the red it sale was this like. Dad would say in Persian just glues a bird shaped like little tiny thing. It was like they didn't sell for millions of dollars. They did they didn't sell for hundreds of millions of dollars. Nobody nobody took it seriously. They were second rate to dig. But you can hear in in Alexis. Oh, Hannon's conversation about the business in his caring about the interview and caring about Gregory gallant the hose, Gary Greg gallon. Nobody to me was because I was listening to him to Lexi wasn't necessarily, but Alexa. So hanging took that care in that interview in a way that showed who he was and told about his story in a way that you see how how easy entrepreneurship can be without making a perfect perfectly easy. Anyway, all that. That was that's where I was thinking. So all of that has gone now, it is the links are dead. Links are dead. I don't even it's been years since I've even gone to look at his website, but they're gone. We're gonna take a quick break. We've got university of California Irvine's division of continuing education. Sponsored this show. UC? Irvine is ranked the top ten of US public. Universities their division of continuing education has been offering Eucation too. Adult learners in Orange County since nineteen sixty two but you don't have to be an Orange County. Silly to get educated at UC. I guess they provide online courses they offer flexibility and a real immersive online classroom experience because you get collaborate with your peers there's a ton of certificate programs, especially studies programs available whatever you want to study. You can do it on your own time. You can advance your career and his little is six months, which is not very long. You see is division of continuing education. Wants you to know that spring quarters coming up. Registrations open. Visit C E dot UC dot EDU slash podcast. Enter the promo code podcast for fifteen percent off. One course that C dot UCI dot EDU slash podcast. And for the word podcast for fifteen percent. Off one courses offers valid through March thirty first you'd better act fast. When you're building your business around your creativity. You need to be prepared for anything because the things you create are your bread and butter and that is why back. Up my data with back. Blaze back, blaze offers gimmick free unlimited cloud backup for max NPC's, and it's just six dollars per month per computer back blaze backs of everything documents music, photos videos projects everything you can access your data from anywhere in the world on the web or with the back lays app, you can even do what's called restore by mail and back lays will send you overnight. The FedEx a hard driver flash drive with all of your data on it. And then you can keep the drive or you can send it back for a full refund. Make sure you use back blazes special. You are L just for love your work listeners. It's at back lays dot com slash love, your work that way, they'll know where you came from. They will continue to support the show. I can continue doing the show. Get a fully featured fifteen day, no risk free trial at back lays dot com slash love, your work. Check it out and start protecting yourself from potential bad times. Start today. And so I think you're probably one of the first podcasters I can think of that put stuff behind paywall. Yeah. And so you're thinking with that is that the money is food air and water for. Yes. It's more than that. I actually do believe that the thing that's going to keep mixer g from ending up like rig. Alan stuff is. That we charge that there's money there that there's like infrastructure that supports it. I think there's also this care that I have in this thing being part of universal entrepreneurship on understanding, and it may not be value that way by other people or enough other people now, but that's the way I confronted every time that I go in there, and this is going to be the the encyclopedia of entrepreneurship in this stage of the world, and I'm gonna get to as much depth as I can to get there. So that's a big part of it. The other reason why charged was nobody cared about the last stuff. So let me tell you something that happened. I used to go to I go to everything every kind of event Quan clubs rotary club. You got a club. Like if you had a cult. I literally would go into your Colt, and I would be there, and I would pray with you in the cult because I just want to see how organisms worked in what happened that something that happens almost universally at all these things learning annex is where I saw best people pay for these stupid, learning classes and the first row was empty. His kind of weird to sit next a next to the instructor. Right. The second row was kind of empty and then when you went to the back row it was packed. And I compare it to events that I'd gone to where they charge extra for VIP seating in the front now people care because they pay extra. They care about it. Because it's VIP. We all look at the people who are there because we aspire to sit closer to the instructor not all the way in the back makes for a much warmer feeling for everyone. When you're somebody in the back, and you see two rows empty one fully empty the other nearly empty it. Looks kinda weirdo to you. But if you see people who are proud in the front, suddenly the sting that was garbage every other event, the events charge VIP seating for the charge more for those seats made it more valuable. So what does that have to do with my podcast, the older episodes are the most undervalued episodes of any podcast? There's always gonna be somebody who's going to scroll through and listen to an older episode here and there, but once you get past a hundred who's gonna go in search past one hundred who's gonna go now that I'm past fifteen hundred nearing two thousand maybe I've exceed I have no idea who's gonna go search beyond that, those older episodes sudden. Nobody cares about. So here's how I make people care about them. I charge and what charging means is first of all anyone who buys is buying into this this like library Alexandria idea. That I have that this is making this more sustainable for the long term number one. And number two. You're also getting access to it. But now the fact that means everyone who's going to have an opportunity to listen. My latest episode knows going to go behind a paywall in a little bit. I better get it. Now is the thinking before it goes back there. So now, the older ones are more valued two point people pay. It all gets a stained the stuff that nobody cared about. I'm now using to make people care about the whole the whole collection of it. And so one hundred percent that works and now. I think that that my money mindset is the only thing that will allow to be sustainable can go on another rant here. I know I'm kinda ticket. Please. Do here's another end. What's the new podcast app is not new? It's been it's been around for a while. There was just acquired by about if I anchor. Yes. The founder of anchor goes out there, and he says podcast hosting should be free. It shouldn't cost any money. And I thought what a lie this guy's tongue. Twisters business. It's such a lie. And the reason that it's ally is because he knows all gonna go way. If if he's not monetize enough it's going to go away. And if you don't pay for it, you know, it's gonna go away. And here's an example of how go away I went back, and I said, I don't want to be negative. But since wearing my house, I'm kind of being open with y'all. I went back. And I said, let's see what happened to all the old anchor audio that's been on the internet like when tech crunch. You could go do this yourself. Maybe they'll delete it out of embarrassment by minute. After this published you go back, and you look at the launch of anchor on tech crunch. There was in bed code from anchor on that launch. That thing is dead. It's dead because they decided to go from version one version two they killed all those old links. They couldn't even say to themselves. You know, what the people who trusted us in the beginning. Yeah. They didn't pay for anything. But we believe that information needs to be free. We believe hosting should be free. 'cause it doesn't cost that much. We're going to go and support the old stuff nad they moved on. They moved on is not a money incentive. It's not going to survive. It's got to have financial incentive. How's that you got my gears turning now, what do you thinking you think you wanna start for the old stuff? I I don't know. Maybe I mean, I have thought about life got one hundred seventy episodes, you know, but it's like hundred hours content, something like that. Which? This quite a bit. It's not a time. When you say that the people most people feel very overwhelmed by like, oh, man. That's too much to do with hundred right? Give me one hundred dollars. I don't need it. It's too much got too much on the internet. I think that we're making a few mistakes. You're podcasting. Not we I'm not making this one mistake, we call it a show, you didn't say show, but to people calling to show, I don't know what we're trying to spire to be we like playing like little rascals where everything's a fricken show. It's not a show like this. If this was a show, it would be so much more entertaining. And if you look at my podcast episodes, if they were shows that we so much more like fun and entertaining. It's not about that. I think that. Case studies in other verbiage needs to be applied to this needs to be considered that way, we're not here to put on a show. We're not here to entertain you sit your ass down. If you care about this and listen to this, it's education. It's yeah. We need to be thinking more like that. I don't love the I don't love education because it reminds me of high school in elementary school, which is basically in college, especially which is basically just a fraud. A lot of it is. But there's something there babysitting versus educations what? Yeah. I just think that it's it's too connected. Emotionally and mentally to school, which is disconnected from what really training. Yeah. Training is a little bit closer. There's something there. But you're right. We need to be thinking of it as that. We're not here to have a conversation. We're not here to put on a show where here to arm. These people to give them superpowers if they're listening to they need to have some kind of superpower. Now, it doesn't have to be so heavy handed. That's like. Andrews here to give us this seven steps towards whatever. Right. We actually don't learn very well that way. But if there's a story with clear message in it. The story will make the message go into people's heads in stick their long after the messengers even forgotten. And if you do it, right? I feel like that has enormous power. And that then becomes something worthwhile to charge for other episodes, nila, let's suppose, you don't get any money for go. Look at your data and see what happens three months after you published. An interview you see a lot of traffic. And then right? Well, I don't know when I think about it a little bit of loss aversion starts to creep in because that I think about what will my first episode is which and freed and then I've got his episode David Allen and like classic one. But Seth Godin, and these episodes that bring people in at least, I think that they do they bring the they certainly get listens. People go on to listen to more episodes. No. But maybe I'm I'm gonna miss out if they get listens. You can still keep it in your feed. Yeah. Check it out. And see if they really do get listens. Here's something else that I learned there. Couple of things that I've learned number one David Cohen told me that you shouldn't founder of Teke Techstars. They've invested in tons of phenomenal companies send grid is is one that was recently acquired by twi- Leo did phenomenally. Well, we've got a bunch of successful companies. I said to him how do you know, what features to add in which wants to take away. And he said if you don't know which ones take away just take it away. And see if people scream if they scream, you know, they loved it. So that's one possibility. The other one is gonna get the numbers and see is it getting that much love. And if it's not hundred upset, and if it's not getting that much love, and you are upset one thing you could do is put it behind pay. I don't even like the way pay while I'm going to have food later today from Arizona gonna get pizza. Ariza? Mendis guy's not going to say all our food. Here's behind paywall who came up with the frigging word paywall, what hippie communist the fact that I'm charging. Not a wall. Right. Okay. Fine. Let's go back and put it behind whatever you want behind the cash. Register. And then go back to your audience and say, look, this is usually something I charged for I'm now making available for two weeks right now, David Allen, most people don't recognize how important he is. But he's someone who helped organize all these people that any helped me here and help that way. And he sat down with me. And it's a little bit awkward, and I think that awkwardness put him at ease enough to say this other thing, and now you've prized it the fact they charge for so where did I get that? I talked to Nevada Ravikant founder of angel assed. And I said, this is where my awkward questions are so fricking helpful at the time. He was running angel hacks. Eventua- hats tracks the blog go hang out with the venture heck's office with really no. Yeah. Okay. Navarro was invested. Anyway, we used to work out that your office is this blog. And I said dude, you've made it like why are you still in five dollar e-books? What are you talking about with this? And it was kind of awkward you could see I like the awkward laughs that people give because I feel like now we're getting to the real. And he said for one thing when I give it away conferences for free. Now, they're giving away this thing. Like, it's an important like it's important book that they're giving everyone of their ten days. And I thought if he just like a freebie downloadable thing on his website with a conference say, and guess what? If you attend my conference, you're going to get the venture hacks free book man gonna care he prized it. It's a way to mint money in some ways, you charge for something. So you could give it away for free and people appreciate it problem is giving too much away for free and people don't appreciate it. Yeah. And it's it's definitely wouldn't change. It's one of these things I think that we're all thinking about because there's the tragedy of the Commons with his stuff is it. We're frayed that if we don't give it away for free is not going to spread. Nobody's gonna share. It. Fewer people are going to get our message. But that can't last forever. And I don't think the message anyway, because we don't I don't think we've alleyway. Anyway, that's my my opinion is that I'm totally fine. With people thinking that I'm a scumbag for charging for the older episodes, do people think you're a scumbag for charging for the older episodes. Sometimes they do. And then I and then I give them a little bit of insight and go holy crap. That's amazing. Does that happen? Wes now that it used to. I think that I have gone to a place where if I do it people are to barris to talk to me about it or two they doubt themselves instead of question me. And what I want is more open conversation about stuff. I really like it. I like when I don't I don't like that. We're getting to place where people just assume that if I've done it. It's right. I love I love negative. I love negatively. I was actually going to couch. It I love negatively if you could be negative to me about my stuff. And I love it. It's ironic to love negativities. Yeah. Right to be so positive about. This is what Livia means like there's nothing that gets me down just about. I'm just like so optimist about everything. I'm so excited about everything. Like, the kids will go screaming, we didn't have any time. And right, if you don't love it, the house is full like like, noise and kids, and they were able to have kids, dude. What happened? Why could see why you would love negatively for work? I do for work. Personal life. I don't know. I'm an optimist. I just love it. I really feel like well what if we couldn't have kids? I remember like deriving they used to be this place called action park, which in New York. I loved it. I could see why shutdown people literally would slide down these these concrete things on just like concrete slide that you could go super fast on hold holding onto the stupid go-cart that shouldn't even be allowed on on any. I'm not describing. Well, but it was awful. It was just go kart made out of at nothing with the stick for a break. Literally stick for break. They have something like that in Colorado do somewhere. Yeah. There's like these shoots. These concrete shoots that you ride down. Like, you're a loser. Yeah. That's it. Right. So people really would have these scrape all over the bodies, and they would show it, and it was. I drove one of their stupid cars, and I bumped into something super hard, and I slammed my gut slam right between my legs. And I thought for sure I'm never going to have a kid. This was when I was like thirteen I just started understand. And so the fact that I could just have a kid now. And it wasn't at all an issue. Like hiding in back of my head for years and thinking maybe I won't be able to have kids because this one experience natural part. So now if the kids screaming, hey, I was able to pull it off. I I do that all the time if you're married to that you go come on come come down a little bit. Gotcha. Yeah. But it worked I love negatively for different reason. I want people to give me feedback into care enough about it that I could then use it to improve like, I love when people told me, Andrew your audio quality stinks. I do remote interviews you're doing face to face with me, remote interviews a hard. I loved it. People kept saying the other guys audio stink so much, and then eventually we now the process we're buying everyone of Mike and sending it to their houses. If they Lau us to buying it and sending to their house. I just talked to founder who has found a way for me to automate that because it really drives his whole team nuts, actually drives Andrew. My sister. Nuts just to hunt down people's addresses. Make sure she can send them tell Amazon. Yes. It's a legitimate address by putting in the credit card against such pain. But we do it. I wouldn't have done it. It's somebody criticized it I wouldn't have tone my enthusiasm for my guest down. Somebody criticized it, and usually it's not just one it's like twenty people criticized for me to go. Wait a minute. I have to get it through my head. I'm being a little too few severe. I like these entrepreneurs a lot. But nobody wants to see a guy sit there and go home. I hide your cell great calmed down. So I love negatively for that reason. Well, yeah, negative feedback. Really? I can say that the first few times that I got it. It really really messed me up for days, really. Yeah. Maybe my first bad book review on Amazon. Days for days because but because. Probably I was just taking it personally. Because you know, how it is. When you with our biases. We we we don't maybe you don't know that when somebody criticizes you you think about all the reasons that they're wrong, right? Instead of thinking to yourself. This is a gift nobody who's close to me, no friend or family member is gonna give me feedback like this. I yes. And that they even care enough to do it and that they care enough to do this the care enough to do it. And I am constantly. I don't do really well with things that have to be great from the start. I do really well with things that I can suck at an improve improve improve. And that I need a lot of bats to keep improving. So I the podcast goes multiple times a week. So that I could take some feedback in fix it. The next time and fix it the next time and so on. So the fact that I get negative feedback means that I can improve with that. But here's the negative feedback. That. I don't want to be so perfectly happy. Go lucky. The stuff that does get me as stuff that's in my head that I'm not even aware of you know, so what's the stuff related to you mentioned a book? I hadn't published a book I tried and the stuff I think that's in my head related. I could be the issue without noticing all like in my head. I go, dammit. You can't write a book. There's something there that keeps me from approaching it. And that's or from going through that was interesting because when I mentioned getting a book review, you instantly, understood that so is there some sort of personal wound. They're not allow was China's understand what it was like was it that that they hit on something that you really saw that was true. And they touched it because of that was it because the book was more express brushing view has trying to get to know your thoughts better through what what triggered you about it. I'm interviewing here you heard back way back the way. Way way. But you were saying that you haven't published a book yet and the boy why. You know, I I had this thought a while back about what I learned from the interviews. And then I was going to do something with it. But I hadn't and then it just kind of dragged on and on. And then I thought well, maybe it's not so important anymore. Certainly not as important to me as it was back then. So that's it. Okay. All right. I mean. Feeling you feeling something about it? Yeah, I'm trying to figure out a thank you. I could use the coaching. I'm trying to figure out like if there's some sore spot there around books or or maybe it's not that. Maybe just that. I know that people people take I think people take books too seriously. Yeah. I mean, I I now publish if I read a blog post, and it's five thousand words. Put on kindle to really because because the kindle was paid web browser because you can go on Amazon, and you can search and you can find a book that's called how to add a device your kindle account. Now, why does that book exist that book exists because people search on Amazon like how do I add a device to my kindle accounting? Yeah, there's some people who are pissed off. They think this should be free information that probably would be free information. If they knew how to use Google instead. Not the point of it is guys charging three dollars for this book. It's a paid web browser. I read almost nothing on the internet. I read everything on my kindle, and so it's all books. And so in a way is you're you're making it easier for people to Steve just make a kindle, and you're saying make it less special. You know, it's funny. I was going through the books. My my counting books with our finance guy today. And something stood out for me. It was his five dollar revenue may be with fifteen actually I don't even know nobody it was tiny. And it just keeps coming from a company that whose name I can't think of right now. But what they did. While back with say, Andrew, we just got funding from y combinator will you just help us explore this idea. And I said sure, and it was can we take your old interviews and turn them into books. And I said sure whatever I want to support whatever you're doing. And they said, okay, we're gonna start with Paul Graham. And I said, okay, you're in y combinator just like, I'm sure it's fine. It's all in the family programs, founder of y combinator, and he was working really deeply into in the program at the time. And so they did now they didn't get permission from Paul to do any of this and police apprised because the formatting was pretty bad. They would just exploring it. But even so people are still buying that book p it's still keeps Parang in revenue, and again for something that I wonder how many people appreciate how much she had in that interview with me that was really meaningful. So you're right. There's a sense of it's a book is so special that you don't want to approach it. And then again, it's not what it doesn't have to be. We're too writing blog posts, Amazon's one of the biggest search engines on the internet, there's millions and millions of people right now this moment searching for things to read I do, and you know, they already have their account. They have one click ordering yen. And I do prefer read that for some reason that Amazon I know what it is the reason that I preferred I would even pay for it is it's for me, the highlighting I I love reading books, and highlighting words and then getting all the highlights out. I recently paid somebody who works at air table too. Take all of my highlights from every kindle book and put it in an air table table. And have each highlight have the author societas within the book associated with it. And give me a room to tag it. It's just great or do. I have something for you. Was that read wise? I oh, I see what that is. What is so revise takes. All your highlights from kindle from whatever platform, and it aggregates all of them. So I got eleven thousand highlights I've got him color coded. I do most on KENDALL. And then every day it sends me a few of highlights Email, and I can review them, and I share them on Twitter, and then from there, I see what resonates with people, and you can tag them as well. So you can tag them in search them and everything so this all exists now. And so now, I can actually get like I can hit a tag and find all the all the notes associated with tag. That's what I would imagine. So I haven't used. Purpose. But I don't there's tags that that must be true. Right. If their tags must be true. And that that's all I was trying to do. I was just trying to get to a place where I found like these gray stories in interviews stories where someone wasn't doing anything super bad. But also was clearly skirting the rules. And I thought I wanna be able to to pull those out whenever I need them. If they're ever if there's ever someone who says, I can't believe this guy on Mitch or does is one bad thing. I want to be able to go back and say five other people who did something five other people who respect to think of as being really ethical in admirable who did different things that are equally bad if not worse and be able to call that up, and that would be collected from just your natural reading, I tend to highlight highlights. Yes. And you color code. How do you do I highlight super family later tag? And only when it comes into air table. I thought I'm going to make a project of getting it all into table finally. And then I'll I'll tag it as a way of REM as a way of having access to it in the future. But also while I'm tagging it. I'm reconnecting with those old highlights and thoughts, and I thought that'd be a good thing to do the challenge ahead with air table. Was it doesn't work very well on mobile and I've switched away from computers for every. Anything except for being in the office. So if I'm working away from the office on an ipad or an iphone, and or Chromebook and air table doesn't work on phones in ipads, nearly as well as it does dusk tops. I can't wait to see. What your life is like when you have realized I know I'm curious about that too. It wouldn't be bad too. I'm paying air table. Now. Fifty bucks a month to get their highest level. So and it's not built for this. So I'd like to see that. It's just not cost that much. I also hope I can get it all exported out, that's useful. For me. I think you can do that as well. I'm also I also can't wait to read your first book new to which now I think I have to I have to force you. You could do this. This is what I usually tell people hit me is take five hundred words on anything. Open Katie p account makeup name. And just go through the process of putting a book on Amazon. There's something magical that happens at first moments when you see an Amazon page that you created that looks just like Amazon page for four hour workweek or. Yeah. Further the latest Robert green book, you know. It's just. Makes the sparkle off. I like the idea that you bring up to me of of turning even posts into books only because it it feels right with my my desire for constant improvement that I like what what bothers me about books is you just put it out there once and I like something that lets me create badly, and then improve it and improve it until it's just so good that I'm I feel like it's gotten into and you can iterative. I mean, you can you can improve a book after its out as well. That's too. I'm currently working on researching maybe changing the subtitle on the cover, you know, it's it's a whole. Different world from what we have thought of books as so. Anyway, I need out of your house. Yes. Here's my plan. I'm going go. Get the kids from school. I've gotta get something for them to eat in the car. We're gonna go to Napa where Livia conferences, I still make it before. I think I can get to Napa in two hours. That means before she goes to her next event. She is scheduled at six o'clock to have FaceTime with us for Valentine's Day bef- like in between her two big events. And someone say Libya, let's face time right now. And we'll FaceTime from the location where she is. No the place because she and I went there on a good getaway once and so were surprised her and let her go do her thing. And then we'll hide out in her hotel room in the next. I'll take the kids out to take them to Napa to do stuff and to make this work every time I thought this was going to be easy. Something weird would happen. Like school's out for the kids. One of my my son's kid's mom said. Can I drop my son off with you? I wasn't prepared for takeoff. And I can you take the afternoon, then let me goes. Yeah. Sure. It's going to be easy. It's easy. This is four year olds or simple to take care of. Then I had to come up with a story for a Levy about that. And her brother suddenly surprises her and stays in Napa in this place. So I call them up. And I I think I need I need to place, and I get him another hotel rooms now paying to move them to another like nice hotel room. So he gets away for the day. And who knows what? But we're gonna pull that off. And then sorry, David. I'm going to end this with this this next exciting thing. I'm going to run a marathon from Texas. Do you know this? Are you the last person on earth who just looking at? Yeah. Go now endlessly, I want everybody to know this because I'm so psyched about it. I'm going to go to Texas. I'm going to run twenty six point two miles the equivalent of a real marathon. But I'm gonna do it on my own from Texas into Mexico. Once I get to Mexico, I got to airline to flights one that I hope to catch. The other one is a backup all book. The so I'm gonna get there. I'm going to check out this city, and then I'm gonna get on an airplane, go to Mexico City. And then I'm going to interview entrepreneurs in Mexico. Those guys would not come to me and do an interview here do it remotely. I'm going to go to them. And now I've got to entrepreneurs which believe me it was harder than getting hundred entrepreneurs on mixer from the US to entrepreneurs in Mexico City said yes, shoot interviews with them fly back, and then when do this and other continents two that's twenty nineteen. That's awesome. Let me know when you come to South America. I am going there next. I've got a partner for Chile who's helping me set up interviews over there. And so I was going to do a couple of countries I'm going to go there. But you're not there where are you medigene Columbia? So that's why I wanted to go. I was planning. He said to me Andrew clumpy has got. We've got really good. I think it was in Bogota. We've got sorry. We're happy is is a big big one with knows a couple of others who are still doing. Well, but I never heard of he said I could hook you up with them. And I thought going to go there. I'm going to go to Chile, and then I said, wait a minute. I want to do something, right? Instead of smashing too many things in and I don't get to experience it. But frankly, Columbia for me is someone who's never been. There is more interesting. Brazil is more interesting. Even Panama where I've got a layoff. Layovers more interesting than chilly because I've been too chilly, but entrepreneurship and Chile's really interesting they're paying they paid entrepreneurs to come there. They're really working on ecosystem. I wanted to how well it does. And I want to run a marathon there. Great. We'll we'll keep bookie following you. Then following I'll try to hook you up with some people in Latin America, I'd love it and the rest of the world. And if anyone out there is listening and knows how I can get Antarctica. I'm really working on Antica that one's been really tough. But I wanna do seven marathons seven continents one year and Artika is got to happen somehow figure out how to run on on an Arctic. I there's one marathon that I wanna be a part of the. But anyway, I would even if somebody had a volunteer opportunity I would go and in tier the do measurements of stuff all the time. And I doubt again house ice doing. How's the weather doing great? I'll I can help you measure the ice. But all I need to do for a morning run. Maybe I get up at four in the morning, and I go run back and forth back and forth. Back and forth in front of your building. Until I hit twenty six point two miles on my watch. I do it. I hit it. And then I could come back in continue to volunteer. I will do it. All. Are you making documentary of this? Friend. Devon meadows is videography for. He's I often put Al calls in podcast if anyone eats based in San Francisco, I've got a great office come hang out over there. So you came in hang out hung out a couple of times we had lunch. We talk. He said you flying. I could shoot video freight. Let's do it. I enjoy hanging out with you. Anyway. So he's coming with me should seize the camera gear, but he's also got good taste. He's gonna shoot a video of this stuff. And we're gonna publish it. Awesome. Can't see it. All right. Thank you so much. Is love your work, helping you find your unique creative voice. Does it bring you the inspiration and motivation, you need to become the creator and human you want to be if so please be a part of making this a special and nourishing and thoughtful show support the show on patriotic. It'll be an even bigger part of the show than you already. Are if you contribute just to Coffey a month, you'll be helping support the hosting and production of love your work. Everyone has some unique creative gift off the world. Together, we can give people the tools they need to bring that work into the world. The world will be better off for it. Visit our patriot on page at patriot dot com slash kademi. This is a different kind of model for supporting the work that you love the choice is yours boat with your dollars put your money where your mind is and keep love your work going. Visit our patriotic page at patriot dot com slash category. As thank you. You'll get early access bonus content and discount on love your work merchandise. Lord. More at patriot dot com slash kademi. That's patriot dot com slash K A D as in David A V is in Victor why. And if you can't support the show financially, and you've listened to at least three episodes. Can you do me a favor write a review on apple podcasts? You can consider it. Your donation to help support the show. Love your work is brought to you in part by our patriot supporters such as mini sponsors. Roxana Maynard of agility alchemist at agility, alchemist dot com and policy Briggs and top supporters, such as Geoffrey, Mason and Vitas pin conscious. This has been love your work. And I'm David Cassidy the theme music for the show is at sea by Derain ah from the album about everything and more by arrangement with deep elm records at deep elm dot com. Love your work is a production of tabby, ping.

Andrew Warner San Francisco Valentine Libya Gregory gallant David Allen Europe Barbara Corcoran founder PolyGram Jimmy Wales Beverly Hills David kademi apple Mike Hershey Lipson Mark
3351: The Girls Brothers w/ Andrew Warner and Michael Khalili

Keith and the Girl Comedy Talk Show

1:03:45 hr | 8 months ago

3351: The Girls Brothers w/ Andrew Warner and Michael Khalili

"Welcome the keith. And the girl. I'm keith malley hamda. Come the happy birthday. That's all i want. Happy birthday to you. Also thank your husband going so far. It's glorious been. Watching gilmore girls. I went to starbucks for free coffee And that's all we can do in the pandemic did omit this morning. Fantastic is starbucks only place you go into because you just said the other day. How very care for your now. You're getting coffee. My day are all with windows in front of them and distanced in waiting outside. And i also the supermarket have gotten pizza from actual pizza place but i wait until everybody leaves and they they look at me like i'm crazy and i'm like just trying to social distance. One guy started yelling at us. It's all very fun but we're trying out here who at you because it's fake. This one guy was standing at the door with mask like on his chin. So circuses didn't want to pass through that through the doorway so he's just like i'm just waiting guys like going to go off on like can't believe this blah blah blah the fog and it's like okay. Well i just want pizza. Won't get pizza today. Okay everybody wins. I don't get pizza now. We talked of course it was one full year ago that Enda even though zirk sees alga busted his back making all the different food and giving massages. He didn't give a card. He wasn't raised property. The list goes on a k. Those were the two things okay. He made a shoe over breakfast and he made salmon and rizzo granted. Those are gentle foods. That need you know the need monitored. But i don't believe remind you find salmon disgusting slimy and gross and made for you on your birthday. I don't faint out there listeners. Don't faint but did not give a card and you ain't gonna look how ungrateful. I sound fixing the way you say. It was beautiful. Okay go ahead. Don't put meaning into my words this. Listen to the words and you were praying. He must be fucking with you. Obviously there's a card coming and then it got too late and there was no card. Have you gotten a card today. No because we moved my birthday to saturday. I gotta work all day today. I don't want to change the schedule. So we're moved to saturday. Also i forgo the card. The card was clearly. Because i needed more expression of a kind of romance and things like that. I have gotten that this personal year. So i'm not as crazy for card now. He said he's not falling for it. So i'm cheryl beginning one but That's where we are. How long have you been together a year and a half okay. So the first half of the year he wasn't showing much love. Apparently he was showing a lot of love. I wanted different kinds of expression. I want to stop. Yes the but stuff of cards. Yes okay so now. He doesn't need to get a card. Because you have been expressing love the whole year. However i did see the car that he bought an. It's guinness world record size. It's huge and you get it this weekend very excited for you. Just get sick season troublesome. We'll see what happens. So saturday is the real. Follow up to find out everything worked out so we don't even know yet. We were at at ease with this day. No no you should be at ease with my day. Actually i get worried. That i made people in easy and this morning i was like. Hey you nervous you okay. He's like. I'm not scared of you or your birthday. So everything's fine. I you on the forums. We put up. Are you nervous for his birthday. I'm not gonna say the results until saturday. So we'll see. I mentioned this though keith. And the girl dot com slash kick. K i c k. It's our kickstarter. Eighty percent funded the loot for almost there about ten days left to go. Of course it Brings another year of keith. And the girl we had to put our studios into our house so that we need to studios and we'll do the twenty four hour. Virtual marathon were making the data emails turning that into a book. So you give your pledge you get rewards of course it's not a simple donation and we appreciate it the very very much so far so good. I think yeah and get your coloring book on the way out so you get to pick whatever reward and then On the way out sort of like a passing through the gift shop you get to choose the coloring book as well. There's another there's another. Add on there too and i just think it's funny. Just check it out. Keeping the girl dot com slash kick. K i c k. Today's guests ladies and gentlemen. It's a special day. Yes so get special guests. Okay harry is. This is the only way. I get these guys to talk to me. Have to on my show right the host of mixer gene. Now this podcast. I love this podcast. I wouldn't normally be into business podcast. But this guy doesn't fuck around. He talks to entrepreneurs he talks to fully realize successful people and breaks down how they became successful. How their businesses going up and he's not shy about asking numbers you know all right. You did this plan. Specifically what was it specifically. How much money did it bring in. He doesn't give a shit. And i think that's fantastic. That's why you wanna download mixer g. He happens to be kennedy's older brother. Andrew warner. how're you doing andrew. Okay very good. So we'll work on andrews microphone later. Now we're going to talk to the other sibling. Oh i took off. Michael's know what they look. So we're like bad. Oh you muted. Michael michael we can you know what it is. This is michael's fall because he changed his name into some funny name. That confuse you what. What confused you about my bed. Call myself andrew narrow michael the fact that he's running the show and you're telling jokes in the place where he has to you. That's what it is so confusing raising about your tone. What's confusing about your talent. That i put andrew water as my name. Please ladies and gentlemen the real andrew warner how you doing answer. Hey good are we. Is this the point. Where a talker. You're going to go back to my sister and her butt plug and my brother and how he looks like me. It was a weird name. Worst invitation i ever got is it. Are you able to listen to Do you have to take breaks from keith. And the girl when it gets personal about whether it's whether it sex or anything that's a little too much. I was surprised that i didn't because i was i. I remember years ago when you guys would do this. I thought why am i continuing to listen. I realize because nobody knows that i'm listening. And as long as there's no judgment around it. I don't care. And so and plus i was running and i don't wanna stop my run anything so i've learned to accept it that sir. Equal with your intro. That level of love running just because my sister's running or fucking mouth again all right and you already heard from him. Harry is a younger brother and the genius behind the keith. And the girl app michael khalili. Hello michael my immune that okay. Hey how's it going. It's great it'd be back on the show. Thank you thank you very much when you now i see right here on the cameras of course has everybody's name and michael kept the last name. Khalili andrew did not years of course have gone by since that business decision. Michael how do we feel about that. Is that selling out. Do you look at your brother fun. So i like like what people say cashing in instead of selling out. Don't think either of those two. I think it was lever hack. We you changed your name. We were doing sales at the double. You're doing the sales at the time but we were we. Were trying to get your cold calls at the time injuries. Doing cold calls at the time trying to get ads on our on our platform. And you know you call and you say you're calling from qalilya negative Halil salihi Talking about saying at the hub voluntarily trains right right. Carl hurley leak. Leili all the mispronunciations cap. And i think during sales you wanna be as clear as you can as easy as you can. Plus it doesn't hurt to sound kind of waspy when you're calling from but when for money right so having a haven't changed name. I think it was a good hack to to get in there. And then he was andrew water for so long making a call. It just made sense to switch. Now that i think is a good thing that andrew did you say. hey. I know. I'm doing these calls but michael. If you're so into me changing my name you change your name to. I couldn't get my wife to change her. Name to warner getting married and i remember. We have all these arguments are. Isn't that funny. You think like hey old fashioned. Do i take my husband's name. That's already a thing you know in in this day and age. Now she's supposed to take a name that's not necessarily real. Yeah my gonna take on your fake name. No and so. And i changed it legally. I got the paperwork and she still insisted that she didn't wanna do it. And i remember. We had an argument with two and michael there. And i think you might have even been there at the time and finally we came to this agreement. That's very michael. Which was i'm gonna keep using warner for work. And then privately our marriage we could still. I could switch back to khalili and so for work all the work papers all the boxes the come into the house or to my office for work have warner's the last name and then come when it's dinner time she goes she goes andrew khalili. Dinner's ready no though that she does she doesn't do because even she can't pronounce khalili folks on both. Your wives are last. Name was halili. The weirdest part is my parents will call me. Andrew honor and they don't even accept it. I've gone back to khalili. And i think even call her. Olivia warner so. Only one out there on the island on her own. Your parents just wanna make they just wanna make sure they pick the thing that you're not picking at the time. They wanna be americanized. Like every other jew did they. How religious are you andrew. I'm not religious. You were all americans and the thing to say is not religious and spiritual right and your white convert. What the fuck fucker words converted. But you don't you don't go to temple will see you go to temple. No but she still had to see rabbi non. he doesn't go to temple. She go but my boyfriend is right. I converted to then just now. I mean who cares my my own kid yesterday in the car said as we were driving. Mom is christian. I go what he was telling me. Now olivia was was raised atheist. She's not in hasn't ever been but even he's frigging confused by all this. I couldn't i don't you know like what is the point that she signed something like what. What's the point. It makes me feel like he's going to know right. And god's going to know what you did a lot of when you die okay and you have a lot of people especially with kobe. Dying all at once. You think they're going to be checking everybody's paperwork. What happens when you're playing a numbers game right. You're you're hoping you don't get audited. They take your numbers. I think. I think that's kind of gave. You gotta play when you go into heaven you just kind of and they take it to the math okada certificate. They're wiser what's the worst happen. You go to hell you going there anyway as a christian right andrew. So she's got a shot right hilar- who wants to. Who wants to take this. When when you guys were talking about the start doing your business together. Ken does the free spirit right. The artistic one The The singing this kind now. Now podcasting where it's more about her life as opposed to you know a specific genre. It's you know it's a comedy show but we're talking about anything. Did you guys have to look at each other and be like how do we get her in the number business like i know like if not the only she was Choose one of One of the first jobs was working with you guys. Are you know you're being a little too. Hippyish numbers are numbers. Numbers lead to toumani focus on the on. What's you know what works no andrew No i'm okay with people. Just doing their own thing as long as they don't rope me into their nonsense. So right drags you onstage to sing. Write your bullshit i actually. That's how i rang gay but no it's worse it's like that time when you guys came to san francisco and she was up on stage and she said look. I need my brothers up on stage and had this one guy keith. Mcnally who tells a story about his pubic hairs being used as dental floss. And then now does brother andrews gonna come up and i've gotta sit up on stage and answered whatever question and try to be as interesting that that was awkward. So long as i don't get sucked into this too much i'm fine. You think that being mind numbers right. How about you michael. Are you ever worried about the hippie attitude. No no back. That was that was a good thing right to that. That helped me get another full point. Plus with the hippie attitudes come hippie friends that have free love attitude which was very convenient for me as well so i would. I not like that. Can the b. b. as hippy. As hippy. as you'd like to be be as free spirit as he likes to be go. Get some more free. Spirited friends introducing me. How many of kansas friends have you had sexual intercourse with michael. I wouldn't answer that question out of respect for and of respect for this is the only number he doesn't know didn't keep track of like i think i think when i was younger. You keep track of the girls you kiss. Then you get older you try to think about like the next got the first base then you keep track of that number than second base and third base. He can't keep track of the number. Then after a while. You just stop counting. Michael i think this is the math. Andrew was trying to avoid. Maybe i need to get out the spreadsheet. Start figuring this out. yeah andrew. Two children shepherd and river Both boys sell far. so far. Right does going to remind you that okay. You don't know like is this how happy she is like. You don't know yet. Do you say they appear to be. They act as if they are boys. I live in san francisco. I don't need her to tell me any of that. Okay and michael. Max and marcus. Three in one. Have your kids met each other. It's max's it's marxist birthday today congrats. Yeah so yeah. Big matt each other they. They said hello. They pass each other in the hall on the way to the bathroom has your have your son's met andrew sense yes A couple of years ago into came over and matt's but not the Not marcus so andrew you're due for another trip Come on over and meet marcus. i don't have to. Everybody can come here the energy to travel all right have a had you guys zoom each other the families. Yeah yeah the kids. The kids know the does uhm interactions pretty. Well i think at this point and then We try to get together with everyone every here and again. But it's a lot of me just watching. My brothers manage their kids on those calls. It's like oh how you doing come to hold on shepard. Yes yes you can but can you ask them. Okay yeah okay. Yeah i'm the how you doing. And then michael goes a max. Show them how to play happy birthday on the piano. It's a lot of that about. Max said doing tricks. 'cause we practice all the time. And now it's showtime and now show everybody how awesome you are. What a by extension. How awesome. I am not have to be great gate with terrible dad or maybe we'll be you definitely a great kid with awesome debt. So i want. I want credit for the performance. He does obviously is very much into self help. Some actual have you guys noticed that the growing up and would you say you're in tune with yourself as much as she is andrew. I didn't a surprise. I remember when she started doing when you guys were clowns for kid parties when she had this giant calendar she said all right now. I'm going to be organized before that. Everything was just chaotic and she had this giant calendar where she would write the kid parties down on and from there. She just kept getting more and more organized. Oh right even know that. Did you being organized and carrying about self help. I feel like i was a self-help person in the family. Actually that's true. yeah you would read about. How people's minds work. And what makes things work stuff like that. Yeah i don't know what do you remember. Michael love a kid. I heard a story do you do you remember this. I heard a story that she wouldn't talk actually talk until noon. That's when the design bay. Remember this too. She wouldn't talk but she would communicate so she come down with a pillow. If you insisted on talking to me no now you you You weren't grumpy. You just didn't want some mornings. I guess when you're grumpy but the regular thing was just coming downstairs with your pillow. This beat up pillow. That i don't know how it could feel comfortable is it. You have never seen a pillow where you lay down on it. Your head is actually sinking below the mattress. That you're laying down on. This thing has no support at all. You've got your pillow there and And then you just communicate like this who is like more work talk that way they like my throat hurts with just that little bit of and then of course you'd have to repeat yourself is like what you do gestures you To what she still does it now. What was the point of that. I didn't wanna. I was still sleeping then. That wasn't awake. I didn't talk i Even if i was like in public. I would avoid everybody until noon. I just wasn't ready and you do that until you were. How old. I think i believe when i moved out of my parent's house i was still doing it to maybe. After a real grownup it was a long time. Was it like. I didn't have my coffee yet or was there. Something deep wasn't even drinking coffee. It was more like. I'm not ready to open my mouth yet. And that's the end of it so i just said how he is an interesting guy so she looks into herself and she never thought this was a thing. Well i used to used to well. I still do. I fold my tongue at night and sort of use it. It's really weird to say. This was sort of use. It as a pacifier is what i discovered when i was a teenager and i think i just didn't wanna unfold yet so stay there. How many people how to fold their tongue while he said the the com half your listeners. Fokker tri fold there and understand what you just said. What does that mean the. Fold your tongue pacify. Did you stick out your tongue and you put the tip you fold it back towards the back full corazon early like straight across the tyke in with par and then you just wanna just sits there. You take has to do with being a singer now. I think my tongue is just too big for my mouthy. Sounds like one of your parents. Can't let me mention this by the way speaking of self. How help i wanna tell you about this company. Better help h. e. l. p. of something interfering with your happiness or something preventing you from achieving your goals better. How will assess your needs and match you with your own. Licensed professional therapist start communicating and under forty eight hours. It's not a crisis line. And i say self help. It's not necessarily self help. It's a professional counseling. That's done securely online help at all i go to counselor there i see i see a therapist that also sees people in hardcore jail so y yeah so i i imagine if you like can pull emotions out of people who are literally in jail and have to buck up before they go back to gen pop. Maybe i can Get in with this guy. Naar gnarled south out because somebody else's helping you yeah. Self-help is finding things on your own account of walking through things. Very important distinction timeline. Thoughtful responses plus. You can schedule weekly video or phone sessions. Seattle ever have to sit in uncomfortable waiting room as like you would in traditional therapy where we gonna say michael. Do you think that people in jail gen pop are saying. I go to the same therapist that has an israeli mother and father. We don't like the person that you david never approved of so this guy must be real good hardcore and they come from iran as she. I know a guy studies. A woman who are tongue had just turned forty five. It sucks like a past portable than traditional offline. Canceling and financial aid is available so visit. Better help h. e. l. p. dot com slash k t g. That's better help and join over. One million people have taken charge of their mental health of experienced professional. In fact so many people are using better help that they're recruiting additional counselors in all fifty states. So here's your special offer to get ten percent off your first month. Better help. Dot com slash. Kfi jilani what happened. Last time i was on a call with them. I was just the guy text like. Hey you ready. Because then he's going to video chat me and i go. Yes and i throw all my coffee. That i just made all over my keyboard. I repeat keyboard protected. I throw that off. I see that more sinking in. He's calling me while. I'm trying to touch the touch pad full of coffee to say oncoming than i was able to cause you log on your phone to log on my phone and said just one second three minutes later i was able to talk to him in my computer's fine but that was a moment like as the phone started ringing the coffee spills everywhere and i am just watching my therapist. Try to get in touch. He says what are you stressed out about right there but yeah we did couples therapy via remote like that and i couldn't sit still because i hate just sitting there and talking and i said i would love it if i could just put my phone on a selfie. Stick around you so helpful. I asked so much better even if it's around the house but even gone through the neighborhood because we're here no valley san francisco. There's nobody in the street during the day. Who just walking around talking and it allowed me to open up in a way that i couldn't if we were just sitting down fell to sterile too uncomfortable to do that. Yeah i've made coffee while we're talking. Yeah i'd i'll actually put it on a little podium thingy for for phone. I didn't mean selfie stick. But yeah i don't think they care. They were a little cautious about what i be as open if i was walking around with strangers hearing me but i turn the camera around. You can see known seeing me. There's no one around right by the way speaking of the parents. How long has it been that. You haven't talked to your parents kinda. Let's at this point. I don't know four or five years for sure. At least four and andrew. Do the parents try to get see. What kind is up to through you. I try to stay out of it. Because i feel like no matter what i do. It ends up exploding on me. Like i remember asking him to what you want out of this. What would what would your ideal thing be from them and she just went off and i thought i didn't do anything to you. It just asking you a question. i went off. I said. I said i want them to speak to me. Like adult. not like nothing has happened. I get a touch it. That's what you say. Better help therapists what they did. Do you know when i was saying i thought all right. I guess what you don't realize do this. Interest rate so big brings up the topic. You're attack like they were making the case for them. Insert just wonder ideal. You want me to. Do you want me to send my kid with his ninja moves. They'll take him. I said I want respect as a human for a start. I want acknowledgement that. We haven't spoken in years real recognition. Not to pick up where we were as if nothing happened. Well i could see my a siblings. I could see this going the same way. My siblings were hearing this show saying. That's how keith is with our dad. Where i could see brother mind saying you know what just it's it's gonna be christmas. You can call dan for christmas and me going. I don't think you get it. That i don't think you understand and i could see them thinking well easy. I'm not that we don't even get that. It's once your ideal. Do you know what i do know. We read the question. That don't read your apply me the question that i asked you because i was just asking you. I think i was asking you. Let's see the way. I remember it as well. You said the tricky thing was mom and dad is they ask. How was your day. But they don't want to actually know the answer. It's hard to have conversations like those and anderson. I get that but are you saying you're not willing to live with that. I mean considering that's how they are. What do you want. And i said i want respect as a human i start i want. Oh i start. I wanted knowledge meant that. We haven't spoken in years real not to pick up where we were as if nothing happened. And michael says never mind. That's a different conversation. They even jobs. I don't know what i said but you could. I can see the exact same. We'll never know. I could see the exact same thing though with key. Figure the fuck out. Okay sounds good all right. I'm not part of the family yourself involved in your this and i am anthony started. This entry was introduced one of the first things he says. I don't care what you do. Just don't get me pulled into your bullshit you don't get me pulled into your bullshit has had out started. Andrew started a continued tax with me. And michael starts with. I'm that did you get the box for mom. What do you think. And i said i did. I think it's weird. It had it had a card with glitter that That said happy new year in hebrew no signature nor real message. We haven't spoken for over four years. Feels like an invitation to continue exactly where we left off. Which sounds like hell to me. 'cause somebody asked me how i felt and then. The andrews said glitters the best and then he said. That's a fuck you right. that's passing. That was funny and then he said so. What's your non. Hell ideal back to nothing. And i said i don't see an option here. A package doesn't create change and he said thumbs up. Then michael said going okay. They don't have the two hands up for blacklivesmatter all but always said is. I don't option here. Package doesn't create change comes up then. Michael said the tricky thing with mom and dad is they ask how is your day and then it and then that was. That was to the end and now keith. you're right. I know so but all i'm trying to say is that now gives a fun. Save yourself gives a thumbs up mosey verge verbally and move on. I could see. I was going to say hey. Christmas is coming up too late. Michael christmas is coming up. Why don't you just you could at least say hi to debt. And i'd be like then you don't fuck and get it and if you don't want to say hi i'm not telling you to your ideal if your ideal keith is to just disconnect completely forget it it to have a conversation it if your is something else i get it. I one hundred and then if we can't get that ideal. I'll be open say. Look you can't get that. I get what you're looking for. You can't get it. Can i ask you my aunt to my house and just naturally sit down here with my friends and smoke weed. I can't do it right. So what so. What did i answer was that now you tell us what's your ideal you want acknowledgement and you don't want to pretend that this this silence didn't happen right. Yeah because i don't know how else to reconnect with someone if we're just going to pick up and they're going to keep picking on me just get that if they were to call you up and say we really have not talk long time. See he can't get through because he knows. My parents are not going to do something normal by the way normal like that. These are normal things. Okay whatever house. We grew up with. That's not normal for for someone to go. Hey i acknowledge regular behavior is actually okay. Now that's looking for if they were all right. We fully acknowledged. Here's a piece of paper saying that. We acknowledged. I don't think that's what you look for. I think you're looking for more. I think you're looking for and understanding that you are in deepen pain and a regret that they caused it. And i don't think i could get that. I'm really just looking to have a if they want to have a conversation. Because i really don't with people who don't want to have a conversation with me they wanna have a conversation would seems like they do. I think by sending me boxes. I guess that's how you get your girlfriend back. You know what. I mean like one of these. Send me flowers. But if they wanna have a conversation. Wouldn't i want them to not. I can't keep picking up the phone and they call me fat. I pick up the phone and they call me loser. I pick up the phone and they don't like who i'm dating. I pick up the phone. And i haven't done anything right in my life. Why am i picking up the phone. So if you ask what i want i want to pick up the phone and somebody not insult me. You don't wanna be constantly criticized. I told me mom that. And and then she said dumb. Well then forget. It was just strange concept but it was such a strange concept to her. I add that that was a suggestion. And it's like well then. Why bother at all. Why am i even used if that's my kid. Then what's the point is reality than she says. Well the the white her friends you know. Get the criticized. Her and i i. I can't criticize kickstarter does. Is there anything to that data. You understand that but does it bother you at all than michael andrew. Do talk to your parents. You know if they want that in their head. that's fine with they. Don't tell me to contact my parents anymore. And i don't tell them to stop context contacting their parents. We don't tell each other what to do. If they an and i imagine they have a better relationship them because they have kids so and i have told them at some point. I'm like what can you talk about. I mean what can you possibly have to say anymore. And they just talk about the kids i don't have that buffer and about my kids and that's probably what would end up happening and then i started thinking okay. I'll call them. Do they know where i live. Do they know. Do they know that circuses here with me. Do they know that. I'm not saying anything unless you bring up jim life. I wonder why why they think that toxic. Because if i do say Because they do try to ask these questions what we should do. Aiding she doing this so they know. I walked into this trap. You know married already know how to avoid traps. I know how to avoid these things but they know they know that i'm divorced. I think so. I think so. I try not to bring it up because it always ends up like intention always and entered no resolved like i don't mind getting into an argument or getting into a like a contentious discussion. If i know at the end of that maybe we will get through it and learn something. Maybe the relationship with your at your relationship with them but it goes nowhere the they get upset and and they they tell me. Stop talking as if. I'm the one that started this like i'm hesitant throughout the whole conversation. I don't wanna get into this talk about this disease now. I started saying because you guys are just couldn't get upset. No just tell me this one all right. I know you're gonna get upset here. We go and then what happened. So i try not to. So that's every conversation. I have with them. It's me trying not to make them upset. Just trying to say the thing that says nothing in order for me not to upset them. What a crazy fucking relationship. Why would i wanna call anybody by the way your mother tried to call me on facetime. I recognize the israeli code and i'm like okay. That's my mom. Then i get a follow up email. This is hilarious. Okay it's all in the subject. Nobody just in the trump that's how they used to send email and their generation. My email from andrew like to andrew's used to send emails with just something. Climate of body says all you can tell andrew learn that people don't pay attention to detail but everybody reads a subject so put it on this. This is just an ab test. I'm doing to see who newsletter campaigns. Just seeing it right away just a little just a little side. Though andrews fucking mixture g mails i understand. The point is to get your attention a mother. I have cancer. And i opened at the email is what a guy was said that worked as the ceo of ibm interview. At how he'd beat be having. I didn't mind having an affair. And i'm like i'll fuck and i opened it up with money kidding but i'm totally using those too much. I realize i'm a piece of shit for not getting my act together soon. Real talent there the best so in the subject. My mommy says happy birthday that we wish. And how does she flip from hebrew to english in one sentence. It's my name is in hebrew. The rest is in english. Happy birthday time that we wish you all the best in parentheses. I tried to call. But it didn't work in parentheses now in hebrew mazal tov the in hebrew. Happy birthday so an indepth She tried probably sent it as a text message or something. I'm not yeah. I'm not really criticizing her. Yeah she sent a message to called in so we good good. You know i'm sitting right. Next is who's calling on facetime and i have to ask myself if i pick this up. The she wanted to know what she's about to look at freely. Send a facetime fucking here and go. Do you wanna see what my apartment looks like. Hurt in her defensive. You've tried not being a bad daughter now. You know tried it. You might like it are you. Are your parents ever wrong like my. My dad has never been wrong. In fact i saw my girlfriend snap at one of her kids and what they did was very wrong but then she realized. Hey maybe but maybe. I shouldn't have said it. And she's saying this to the kid. Maybe i shouldn't have said it this way for that. I'm sorry and i'm like i. I don't think i've ever seen a parent apologize. No it's more like if if it's like if you wanna like share reality with them like hey in reality this okay. I'm the please do favourite. You're giving me a headache. I look at my brothers faces. They know that line see. I started livia. Do that with like our kid. When he was three years old. I have to go and tell him i was wrong. She goes in practically wakes up to say i was wrong. Who does that. That's very foreign to you. Guys are a bunch of weirdos. I do have all the time. Have you not admitted to rob when you're wrong. You're setting it up for them. A late for them to distrust here like. Could you be with a three-year-old all talking about time. He was wrong because ibn poker. And you curse the next but like you say alligators crocodiles and then you realize that it was really an alligator. Have you let you let that go. Walk around hauling mouth big mistake. What a big wrong. Both of the mistakes i make. I don't know what you guys will kinda you as a parent. That's probably the worst mistake. I have made so far but yeah there would be. I remember you know people would ask me. Hey you know when. We talked about the debt emails. When when my dad thought he was talking to my expert is really talking to me hitting on my axe so hitting on his son They it and i'm like all right. This is out of control light. New your true colors or not. But this is this is beyond. I think this relationship is over and people said well so that's really it like what if he apologized. And it's almost what you guys were saying before. I'm like what if what if you just made up a whole new person. Yes of all sudden your whole new fucking person and you you explained all the shady bullshit. You've always done and how you You know you just made up that you knew everything dead shore. I wouldn't even cracked. I wouldn't i couldn't even happen. So that is the. That's my point. It can't happen. So what are we even talking about. Trying to describe a different person if in him to express that feeling than other things would be in him and he would not have done that in the first place right. We wouldn't be here. What if we get a time machine ejecting new body into his brain. Okay what are you gonna do you know. Do you guide you find yourself. I mean the kids are so young but do you find yourself doing something that your parents did and being like. Uh oh shit. No always thought that it would happen. It doesn't nothing not anything significant. I think that we just. Maybe we waited so long to have kids that i don't remember how my parents were and i've got a different approach. I don't think you guys remember. Do you remember being a kid. I don't remember being a kid. I won't act like i'm michael jackson over here. But i don't i don't remember. I don't remember these. I don't remember kid like stuff. I don't even remember leading being a kid. And i hated it so much that i just blanked it out and it's only bad things happen to me. Michael jackson never touched me. It's more like it's just not for me. I don't. I don't get it when my supposed to be doing here. I remember being a kid being pulled ahead to take a nap in the middle of the day and i had the same attitude. I have now if you told me. Andrew go take a nap now. I just want to snap on. What do you want me to play sand discuss. You gave it a name and put a. It doesn't mean that this is some sort of toy. This is not entertainment right. What is described. you want me to play in dirt for. He didn't like it when we when we went to the park as like an extended family. It'd be like a lot of cars a lot of food. That'd be a pool there. He's like why can't you just leave me here. I'm going to read a book. That sounds like a reasonable thing for a child to ask. Just leave me here Andrew andrew they call them by his real name. Come on can the car. You're being ridiculous these like. I'm and you fought for this a lot. Yeah so now as a dad. When i found myself doing was sending my kid to school where in kindergarten. He was forced to sit down where he was telling his younger brother. How a few act out you go to the principal's office and i said this is kindergarten down for covert. I could actually see him on zoom sitting down and studying away. That just felt like everything. I rebelled against or an example of what i rebelled against his kid and i felt that about it and you felt bad about what the house forcing him down the same path. I was on that. I didn't like i didn't like school the way that it was presented to me where you're forced to sit down where you're forced forces study the things that matter to them and copen like one example and i think i've said it on the show before i asked andrew is okay There was a time where the our parents had to be called in because andrew just would stand up in the middle of class right He would stand up. Teacher would be like. Hey it's time to say. I'm listening to the same way. I just need to stand here and you fought for that and then the the result was you. You've got to sit stand at the back the classroom. Not distracting now. By the way my dad actually was a person who came in and a she that one of the things that i really liked that he was willing to do today. sit stand. Desks are so frigging common. That it's not a big deal if you don't have it sometimes we'll feel bad for you for not getting it from your boss. But we were sending our down that path and Because of covid. I saw it and i realized it and i was forced to confront it and i was forced to find another another way and now he's at school where he has to take rain pants and with him because they're going to be playing in the mud and he likes to play in the mud where he's not forced to sit down where he has a different experience. And so the reason. I'm saying that is i. Don't find myself copying it intentionally. I make an effort to notice the things that i hated and be aware enough to give them what they're looking for. Do you find your kid is sitting down nicely over zoom. You hit them over the back of the head and be like. What are you doing the work i have to say. I do sometimes wanna tell my kid had to be subversive. Like if i want to say you do not have to take this bullshit if the teachers forcing you to do it and i have to stop myself. Because if i say that. I don't know what kind of bullshit and what they're gonna fight against but i do want to tell them you don't have to put up with it but they need to put up with things like that's part of life to some degree. Yes but i don't think that the big picture has to be go into school every day for years where you put up with it. You don't have to put up with it because if you put up with it you're not gonna get any smarter doesn't appeal to you and we should find a different way. Can you imagine a couple years from now. Like hey school just called and said you cut class good job. Can you imagine the you called me the hippie. What the hell are we talking about. We're all hippies. In our own way has like giant bins of compost in his backyard. So excited about it. It's all he talks about. Don't go to his house. you'll hear about composting. And now my boyfriend also used to compost giant bins. And they talk composting all night. So fun look andrew off. I still hate it because you have to another static. Both you graduated right or not. Yeah i mckay me and michael michael guy. Gd michael job. When i was seventeen. I dropped out in it. Would you recommend that for your kids. Yes so i would recommend that for the kid as long as they have a plan of what to do afterwards. So it's one thing to say. I don't want to do this but i will. I want to do this instead but if you just saying. I don't want to do this or i don't wanna do anything. That's a problem if you tell me what you do. look at. oh he. This is the the phrase of the house. I don't want this. Or i don't want to eat that and stop telling me what you don't wanna do. I don't care what you don't wanna do. Tell me what you want to do. So don't tell me what you don't wanna eat. Tell me what you want to eat and help you. I can't help you if you don't want to sit there like where were dating. I'm going list of restaurants in all you're gonna do now so tell me what you want. And then you'll get it or anyone right so these that's what do you want three year old. They were brought it up right. I've heard the like i. I love i. I love my brothers relationships with their kids. I think their kids really really really lucky and So i've heard michael when he and he really make a really does perform when we call He'll say he'll say the max. Okay here we go. It's time what is this. What does this sound make. And max will look you know. Now it's out of nowhere. And he'll i don't know and michael yes you do. Just think about it for a second. I don't know now come on. We practice this do it. I don't know we're live. We're fighting live you with when she gets video or when you guys get video or when you see those things that facebook that's like number seventeen so he thinks that we're recording. But he needs to get. I got to get him used to like this. Live one one and done. He's michael got michael. Got the kids both of them both the three end the one year old when he says trump they go nothing yabu and then at altitude a call. With with bob and dad will your. Your kids are older and zero. You guys getting political over there in your house. I really try not to i. I need a break from it. It's it's all over right. What is the six year old's thoughts. And all these pardons going on in the way. He's a little too much. Crime did was even mentioned yet. And they're given pardons. What does the four year old thing you know what. I bet that they do have an opinion about it at this point. It's just on all the time we right. I really liked the point in their lives. Where for example. They didn't know that some people are black and some people were white. I remember when i first explained to my kid. He goes well. My black and i just loved that they would that naive about it. But we've actually realized we've got to bring them in and understand that some of the kids in their class or dealing with with real problems and real frustrations and real anger and so we talked about. I talked about. It is neutrally as i could so that they had an opportunity to talk about to think about it for themselves and i also tried to not be so aggressive with politics. Said that they don't get into fights with other kids in school who whose parents are sending them in equally aggressive. And i i know this and of course you know this but for anybody out there confused your not black. Not black right. I think that's sick. Andrew you can teach them about politics but also teach them how to fight so that they'll win so when somebody when they get. I think it said that it's a nice distraction. You feel angry. Feel justified in your anger and in reality you're distracted from your real work and i think we're all better off or most of us are better off spending as little time as possible on it and focusing on the things that really matter. That reminds me of a sweater. The statements that. I've always remember andrew saying if it's not about business. It doesn't matter i was. I was watching the news. And he goes and he's the one that like i shed light on it to be. That's entertaining aesop news. It doesn't matter what you care if somebody across the country this is why when when you were like sixteen or eighteen an hour tat. One care about somebody in california. I've got shot. What does that matter. You have changed your life. What does that help you run about a business or something like that. If that really is the way to think and except i would just change it now and except that there are other things to do in life other than business. But if you're if you're trying to be a cyclist focus on cycling. It's been a little bit of time outside interest but who like you said who cares about this. Sounds like one of your emails. People are dying. Inside i do. Here's seven reasons. Andrew will be the first person to cry when you tell him that there was like some injustifiable in justified unjustified death or like what is he going to do it he doesn't need to hear about that death because do about it. So why am i going out speaking on your behalf. Why am i gonna hear about this going to help me in anything second improve my life so i mean to hear about it so otherwise entertainment if i say i don't want to hear about it not like it'll be oblivious to it. The news will make its way to you. It's it's just we don't need to. We need to work to not get it instead of working to get more of it. Meanwhile it's a challenge. Because i put these these speakers all over our house all these amazon speakers all over our house. And it's so tempting to say. Play the news just to have something on it and then they go off into it so he could also give it to me girl. They'll they'll the it'll play that. Say play on spotify. It's such an atlantic camera around the house when livia tries to get it to played the right song actually so she'll calm and peaceful except when the speaker will not hear her play the exact opposite and then she's when she worked when worked very very of morning that very morning. The thing that frustrates me. The most i tell every morning. We're playing the same song. We got cobblers in the same song. All the sudden it's different rendition by different artists everyday. I've been happy with the same song. Never asked to stop. And now i gotta hear some new life tape by some other artists. Who need that right. By the way that morning song in the michael khalili house was bounced by system of a down for awhile pogo pogo job although pogo pogo cardio. It are you guys. Are you guys nervous at all about the kids being so young that you know they're gonna have a drone in the next six months is they're going to be too much information too fast or because it's going to be always there they won't give. I think drones. I've got strong opinions about this. I think drones are fine. I think the big problem is phones. they are just. They're such a distraction machine. That a few years ago i decided as soon as i home after put the phone in the drawer and just be done with it and if i need something. I got the apple watch. I'm all kitted out the But every other technology you could dip in and out of the freaking phone will suck you in all the time and so i do make an effort to not have the phone on around them to put it in a drawer when i get home a little harder now that we're working from home and i need the phone work. But that's that's one of my big walls. I try to block that off everything else. You want to have a drone you want to have something else. Go for it. They've funny did not like that. Picking down we lost your computer rant. I hate phones. That's my bottom line. Keep this on in a drawer. Tried to keep him away from them. You will kick you off again. I like michael. Loves computers He he's one zero one zero one from way back if you know what i mean at bits about computer he always says it's user error and then when something goes i just secretly when something goes wrong in his end and he said gosh it. I just lost seven years of work. I'm like mother c. C. the pleases me. A little bit the best is keeps struggles in struggles and struggles with the problem. That i come in there. And not that. I just fix it really quickly that though that is satisfying and i just showed him how this one that was in. Front of him was Solving the problem but when he can't reproduce it and so i'm here i'm available. I wanna help you. I want to solve this problem for you. But i guess you're you're just going insane because this problem then i leave a enforce. The problem starts again. If you were a cyborg. If you could be a cyborg you would right michael in a fucking instant. That is the ultimate evolution back. 'cause why do i only have two limbs like allow people think about cyborgs of does like. Well if i lose my arm. I'm gonna replace it with You know a mechanical arm like darth vader date or something. I can or look out but if you have the ability to At to replace our. Why do you have to wait till the arm gets cut off. Now have a Why not just add another arm if this works. Why don't why don't i just have a bunch of bunch of legs. Like what do you think will be better like two feet or four ford. estes outlook. Michael says is hilarious but the best is watching keith. Response to it because my job is to fight robots and i am you know trying to like. Robot is different than the cyborg. Please keith skills. Can we already know. I already is. What in hammer robotics revive we not. We don't know yet that humans are shit. Well yeah well then you then you get your hands man. So i'll get mine will will or all the this is the ultimate half where my mind takes us. So if i could get a separate appendage right why does that appendage need to be connected to my body why can't just wheel so i do have an extra arm but it doesn't have to be connected to be connected. Wirelessly i got the wireless receiver shoulder. Keep you get sick of me sometimes. But i'm like your favorite khalili. Christ i know i'm just as we were talking. I was going on amazon to buy extra windex. Keeping you can put off on that arm that with wheels across the room to now you can see across the room by staying here in the chair and you're now why do you have to one arm wheels when they have a whole bunch of arms of cameras on this. You can see three sixty and why descended across the room when attended across town or you will go to harry. Reid not say the paris. he's not frozen. He's just ignoring you. Send that you send that to paris now traveling to paris while staying at home and you get to experience parents your nerve endings era. You have that everything's there wirelessly connected to you. There's a little bit of latency but that's all right. You know if. I'm in paris. And i see this not robot that's not attached you but in another country and i kick it. You'll feel that in your arm. But because i'm gonna advanced cyborg of a much more vanishing than humans. I can actually turn on and off the nerve endings. And that could limit the nerve endings just like we can lower the volume and mute. Things we can lower the volume on understandings. Or you can turn it up. Who need it in past. Maybe we meet. Maybe we meet somebody and we like them. We turn up the nerve endings and is that is that cheating or not cheating. Is that what you talked to mom and dad about. 'cause that that'll fill some time it's what he tells talk soumare sell about and every time he brings it up she's led the and then just send it to paris. Why not send right now and you're already doing why not. Why not put a gun on. Okay wait and so. That's the problem that to deal with. But now you said just have one event gonna mark you can send one tomorrow and the other one that send it to venus and then quite that's how we're going to call outsing ram my wife sometimes asking you. Why does it. Michael travel as much as you still and i remember. I asked michael. Why don't you traveling anymore. Goes well we got clubs over here. What else do. I need outside of the country. What else is there and tom dot food. Food over here to manhattan fully appreciating the benefit of being there in person. You want me to go to china. I got chinatown just a few blocks that you want me to go to. Italy voted illegally. What do i mean what they they sent people to me. All the people from those countries come to cabinet. Okay i'm not paying manhattan. Just so i can go leave empty those else's many there. Well this is the time we we're having s- cousin they're gonna come up with me in such a great place. They wanna come. See this to send my of there michael What would you like to say to him on her birthday. That perhaps she Doesn't know or doesn't fully aware any message. You want to tell your sister. It was a lot of work to not jumping in the beginning of this episode. When keith and you were talking. And i just wanted to jump in. That is your birthday present. I kept quiet. And i. I was silent and waited for my introduction or at least till injuries introduced and then i started talking so each day. Wow and key to me for the for your birthday. I will win the tournament in your in your honor please. Don't okay. don't button on your cyborg cans. No you don't have to be modest about it. I'll do it. I'm i'm happy to do it for you and andrew. I don't know how you're gonna top that but anything you would like to say to your sister on this special day. Happy birthday great. You know my family wasn't. I thought my family wasn't emotionally connected. This is beautiful. You like to say anything to me on my birthday. I'll say i think they covered it. Don't forget keith girl. Dot com slash kick. It's a it's a big deal and it's a you know can there's of course is on top of that refresh refresh refresh. I love seeing the smile on her face. Oh take a look. I think you're gonna dig it We put some pretty cool Rewards in there are Andrew good seen again. Yeah i look forward to your next email. I will never hit on subject. You're dead and i'm like what five things and business owner. You're dead dead right. You know what. I'm subject lines you'll see. How do they describe. Just go to mixer. I'll find you you. Click on walking you. He just goes. Hey jen out. Sorry salon michael. Of course Does the keith girl lap which Which is so fantastic. You get all the vip shows on there. You see every show while we were done I love it very much. I don't know if people know about the filter. Take a look at this if you don't let's see you. Click on keith. And the girl on the app that you know that show as opposed to the extra vip shows but you can do it for the extra vip shows. Also you type in the filter aghast. A topic a show number any of this guy takes your right to what you like or what you're looking for in the last sixteen years of what we've been up to six and almost sixteen years in march. Yeah not this is the truth. Sixteen years sixteen years. Are you getting tired of herbst. Today was top. Because i know right not know how to work your computer. That was another thing. What during during the technical difficulties. It was all i can do. That's for your andrew. i. I did not tease you. Try not teasing you. Because you're frustrated. I'm going all right. Everybody it's great senior. Ken happy birthday. I love you. It's been an honor to work with you. Obviously it's been an honor to know you without exaggeration. You have made me a better person. I have to say it in the sing song. Way because I don't know how to deal with. Okay semi at goodbye michael com.

andrew michael keith khalili Andrew warner Michael andrews keith malley hamda warner zirk michael khalili Eighty percent marcus Khalili andrew starbucks Halil salihi Carl hurley Leili andrew water andrew khalili
ClickFunnels Startup Story - Part 3 of 4

Marketing Secrets

27:31 min | 2 years ago

ClickFunnels Startup Story - Part 3 of 4

"Hebrew, wanted this Russell Brunson. Welcome back to the marking secrets podcast. Hope you enjoyed episodes one. And two of the interview with Andrew Warner at the drive our comedy club where he was telling the click fellow start a story. I hope you're enjoying this interview series, so far, and I hope also that this motivates you guys to go over to the mixers you podcast and subscribe to everything the Andrew does I said, he is my favorite interview. And I think that what he does is second to none. So I hope he has enjoy him as well. And go to subscribe to the mixture you podcast without setting. The theme song we come back. We will start in two part three of the click full of startup story interview. So the big question is this how we're entrepreneurs like us. You didn't cheat and take on venture capital spending money own pockets, how we market in a way the lets us get our products and our services and the things that he believe in out to the world and yet still remain profitable. That is the question in this podcast. Give you the answer. My name is awesome Brunson and welcomed the marketing secrets. I actually got. I did see I don't know. I didn't see the video you mentioned. But I did see what it looked like here's one of the first versions. He compared it to click funnels. He said, look, I mean to lead Phages he said look at how lead pages has their stuff all the way on the left all the controls. Oh, you can't see it. Let me try it. Again. Let me see if I could bring up the screen because this is just it's just too good on a second. I I'm just constantly amazed by how you're able to draw people to you. So this is the article from lead pages. This is the first landing page for click funnels. This is what he created before. This is what you guys did together. This is your editor. And he said, look, if you're on lead pages there controls editors all the way on the left, and it's just moving the main content to the right, which is not looking right. And I said prefer something that looks like this with a hundred pixels on. The left one hundred picks who knows how to pixels. Like, what is this Jones obsessive echoes excess and you drop people like that you draw people like David who's just phenomenal. Dave, the traffic and conversion event that he was just talking about is that the one that you went to the one after that. Okay. We'll come back to that in a second. Then. So this became your next version you brought on a new partner, and then you did a webinar with this guy. Who's this guy is Mike Vilson when my first friends online actually wasn't a webinar. It was alive event. He was Unilab event in San Diego, and he's coming so click funnels, and I was like nobody's buying click funnel through free trial. And like we couldn't give it away. Like, it was it was crazy. And he's like, well, you're on his website. They can pictures there. You have some sell click funnels, and I need to sell for at least a thousand bucks because way it works. You speak some of the vent. We sell something split the money fifty fifty. So they he's at least a thousand dollars, and I was like all bummed out. I didn't wanna do it in the vet actually started. And they're streaming live online. So is sitting in our office in Boise watching it as I'm putting together my. Slides to create click funnels and then flew out to the event we had a booth. I don't know if I told you this. We had a booth and leave pages headed booth right across the little hallway skinny hallway and Todd's wife was manning our booth and then leave pages right there. It was so funny because she was like not shy at all about talking about pages. He's like, yeah. We're like leap aids, except we're way better. We can do this and this and the other guys sitting there like right in front of her. She's telling them everything. Anyway. I digress. It was pretty funny. But by the way, she's still added. I saw video that you guys created. You talking to her? And she goes I will be click for oh, wait a minute. You you still have that fire. Okay. So so you're at that event relevant. Probably I can't remember one hundred fifty two hundred people maybe in the room. And so I got slides up and dealing was there. And he was like we got the funnels who's going to demo the editor. And so I did the whole thing. I show show the presentation we Demel click funnels, we did the thing and the end of it I sold and I've been good at on stage. But by far that was the first time in probably eight years. I've seen a table rush. Where people are like stepping over the things jumping around trying to get to the back to buy as fast as they could. But did you say to get them to to want to do that? We made a really I mean, the gave the presentation that you have a really good off the end they get a year of click films for free, plus get training other things thousand dollar training and a year click finals for free, and then they become long-term members. And it was it was also like called. Funnel hackers tax funnel hacks. And that's the thing that became like, the culture, this culture this tribe. It wasn't just that they were signing to learn from you, they were becoming funnel hackers you. That's it wasn't plan. Though. It was like a sexy name for the Thai the presentation saw funnel hacks and somebody owned final acts dot com and make. I'm sitting in the presentation that way and then. Yeah. Then later, remade teachers that funnel hackers. And then like now we got four or five people who've tattooed that to their bodies. It's really weird. But anyway, but yeah, that's what happens we did that we sold it. I remember going to night. I with the guys who were there and Todd his wife and everything and we're all excited 'cause it made made money. Finally, I was just like user understanding I've spoken on a lot of stages. I haven't seen a table rush. Like that as like an remembered back. There was a guy he passed away a couple of years ago Ziems Fred Katina, and he was the radio. He was the guy who did the the radio commercials for. Using. I was gonna be from Star Trek on it was his name Priceline. Priceline radio commercials made they guy billionaire, and he told me when we were in the radio. This was going to happen. We're in test your ad if it works when calling on the phone, I'm gonna let you know, you're rich because if it works means, you're gonna be rich. And so I remember going down. I just he has. No, if we're rich like, what do you mean? Like we made made one hundred fifty thousand dollars. I mean, no, no, no like. The way people respond to that. I've never seen that my life. They were rich that would the response rate from that. I've never seen. And then you went to Lebanon after webinar after webinar fly home that I'm texting everybody I've ever met. I got the high gotta hot offered this webinar crush that. We just closed whatever send the room. It feels seems a bit who wants to do it. And it's filling the calendar and the idea was, and you told me you did two to three some days, and the idea was they would sell somebody on of course. And then their members within here, how your software and your funnel hacking technique would help up what they just bought. And then they would sign up. You're still excited. I could see it in your face. And then this thing took off, and then you started doing an event for your culture community. And this guy spoke Tony Robbins. Oh, yeah. There's one of the first ones was he at the very first one. Now, he came to the third one was I had income to. Yeah. Why why do an event why do your own live event we'd done events in the past? I know events or goodbye sworn often because the last minute we did I think we sold three or four hundred tickets and less than hundred people showed up, and I was like so embarrassed I was like we'll never do events again. And as soon as as soon as click front launch and was growing. Everyone's like we wanted to meet up. We shouldn't event we all customers kept asking and against my aunt really want to do it. But the same time I was launching my book, and I wanna Ferrari in this affiliate contest. I was like what have we did? And we had the Ferrari there, and we gave it away. And then we were we had. Right. Giving away other cars in this keep became this. Big exciting thing that eventually turn into an event. And that was the first one I'll hockey live event in Vegas. We had about six hundred people that one that that showed up, and that's where it all started. And it built how much how many people are you up to now last year at thirty five hundred people, and we're on track to have about five thousand at this year's event five thousand. Yeah. Those are free tickets you sick. It's thousand dollars. Total revenue from the event. What we so ticket sells you'll ashes three and a half million this she'll be over five. But then the event we sell coaching. So last year we made thirteen million coaching sales at the event as well. How would you come up here for a second? Dave. Did you guys know, Dave? Yeah. Everyone knows Dave. It was amazing. That's amazing. I saw video you guys have this blog now beautifully shop blog. You guys went to Salesforce forces conference. You're looking at the boots and in the video, do you? Remember what you did? Is you saw the different boots? I think about when I when asked what price fixed the books were. Yes. And then you multiply he's like, you're not enjoying the then you're. How much ten thousand one hundred. That's like. Wow. Right. And you do this all the time. Yeah. If you if there's a lot of money like that. And you think this was not your event you would be doing the same calculation trying to figure out how much they brought in today. Wow. We all right. When you went to Salesforce, did you calculate how much money they probably did from their event them. We when that whole time absolutely saw the building you had to know. Oh my gosh. You sixty one stories why why do you guys want to know that? Why does how does that inform? I wanna understand your drive as a company and feel like this is a part of it. Figuring out how much money other people making using that for fuel. Somehow tell me I think it actually goes back to Russell and his wrestling days. Where the experience of gosh, let experience of going to Chicago right after that and super just exhausted. And it was one of those things where he littered landed. We walked down, and we're underneath. The tarmac and all of a sudden Russell goes from just being totally exhausted to a massive state change where he's literally is right back where he was with his dad and his dad or walking that same path to go. I think it was nationals. And I saw Dan usher was doing filming capturing that moment. And it's that type of thing for Russell. Where all of a sudden, it's the dream where as soon as you see it. It can happen and Russell's been just amazing modeling and again, it's the whole idea as far as just going rapid rapid speed. And it's ready firing. It's not you got king at the Salesforce. It was the Salesforce phone, call dream force dream force. It's not you gawking at how well sales forces event dream forces doing it's not you having envy or just curiosity. It's you saying it's possible. This is us. That's is totally possible. Totally possible. We could get there. And when you're sizing up the building even found out how much of building cost. Don's that most people go where's the bathroom? There's a number. It's you saying we can maybe have that. We can't have it. Yeah. Got it. All right. And so let's go back a little bit. I asked you about traffic and conversion because the very first traffic and conversion conference, you went to you guys were nobody's nobody came in saw you. We're putting out the north forty pasture way way way way far away. And some people would say one day. I'll get there you told Russell today. We're gonna get there. Russell wanted. He was speaking as whatever you're speaking of event. It's important you fill a room like this. And there's nothing worse than having event and having no show up. It's just the worst feeling in the world. And so he's know all we need is going to find some way of getting people into the event, he says, I wish we had like some girls who could just hand out t shirts or just do something. And as like, we're in San Diego. That's like my down. They've like how many neat? It's just a number. It comes down to a number one. And so we ended up having within an hour. So we had five girls there who were more than happy to dance around and give out tee shirts and FILA room and the room was full packed packed. And why wouldn't you say one day? The next time we come to traffic and conversion the ten time. We're going to do it. Why didn't have to be right there? It's always now, it's always an talks now. So he's now it's never going to be the next funnel. It's never going to be the next product lines. Like, I've got to do whatever we can right now and the next one and the next one that's it. That's who you are. That's how it works. And now your partner in the business eighty three million dollars. So far this year. You got a piece of that? Yes. Do I just checking to get to take profits home? Now, we do you do you personally? Do you a millionaire? Things are really good. Millionaire. Good from click funnels. Yes. Really? Wow. And you're another one I was driving. I said what was it about? Russell that made you work for him. What was it? And you said I've never seen anyone implement like him. Give me an example early days something that he implemented. You know, what forget that? Let's not go back. Russell as a team. You guys have gotten really good at implementing community sample one thing that you just stunned by we did it it came out of nowhere. We could've been distracted by funnel software. We could have been subjected by the next book, we did this. Then what is it? You're here on this stage with JP, and this was what six weeks ago, and this whole thing just came from an idea. I heard us use vox her why he's boxer not slag Baba's. No because you'd like to talk into it. You fast forwarding four expedient for the messages of people release lead sauce and just train of thought dome. Here's what I think we're gonna know. It's not that. I heard it's have a secret project. I'll think about it later, and they also freaking out tell us now. So you could project I don't know what it is. It's going to be exciting. They don't know what it is going to be how it started this one. I was cleaning my resting room listening to you. And you are I don't know who's been it was, but you were at a campfire sounded like and you were doing something like this. And I was like I want my own campfire chat to tell our story. And then I was like day we should do. And then now we're here. So they become a campfire. That's how it happens, and that's exciting to this day. All right. Thank you. Give them a big round. Thank you so much. You know, what I didn't mean for this to come on stage. But I'm glad that it is. This made you laugh when he accidentally saw earlier to why is this making laugh what what so we we're not shy about our competitors. Even they're our friends. So one of the companies were crossing out his his so that's it's one of my companies, and their it's also a company, I invest in that octopus is is many Chad. I've been a very big angel investor supporter. There's I I'm not an all insulted by that I'm curious about it. You guys come across his such nice happy. Go lucky guys. Dave asked me, if if I want water, Dave, I can't have you give me any more things. I feel uncomfortable on New Yorker punch me, please. So goes, okay. But one more thing I'm gonna give you socks. Really? But still you have murdering your is sometimes like you're crossing out everybody. This is part of your culture. Why? Because for me, it's wrestling, right? Like when I was wrestling. It was not I don't know. There's different mentalities, right? Like, and I did a podcast one time. I think I've fended some people. So I apologize in advance. But like in in a in a if you're in a band right ever used together and you play together and you harmonize beautiful, right? When you're wrestler. You don't do that. Like, you know, you walk in every day. And you're like those guys I have to beat to be varsity. And then after you do that, then you walk in K whose people have to beat the b region champ. And then state champion in the national champ and my entire fifteen years of my life. Like, all my focus was like who's the next person on the run that I have to be in studying and learning about figuring out there moves figure out what they're good at and what they're bad at. So we can beat him. And then we go next thing. The next thing the next thing. And so it was never it was never negative for me was competition like half, the guys my friends, and and they were didn't seem to me. So I come from a hyper competitive. The world. That's everything we do. And I feel bad now because in business thought he would compete against aren't competitive. And I forget that sometimes they some people don't appreciate it. But it's like, that's that's the drive is just like who do we like if I don't have someone to disaster were driving towards there's not a point for many, even if they're even if I was hurt to accept it. I'm sorry. You heard Andrew I still care and love you. We're gonna crush. Building. And I had I had someone on. So obviously infusion. Soft was one of our people. We were talking for a long long time. And I had a call with Clayton. I'm someone on his team asked me like why did you why did he infusion soft so much as I don't know you understand? I don't hate. I got love infusion. So I'm grateful. I'm grateful for leap as I'm grateful for and I don't wanna guessing the dark Knight like my favorite movie of all time. And it's the part where we're Batman and joker there and batmans like acid joke. Like, why are you trying to kill me in the job starts laughing? I'm not trying to kill you like threes. Why I do this is because of you might have you? There's no purpose behind it. And so for me it's like five something to compete against like, why are we playing the game? And so for me that that's not to say, it's not enough to just say we're playing the game because want to help the next entrepreneur the next person who's sick and needs to create an no it's not that's a big part of it. But like have there's something. The competitions would drives me for sure. And just like you're wrestling with someone trying to beat them. But you don't hate them. You're not going to their house and break it down wrestle if we're friends afterwards. We can we're on the same free song Greco teams later in the season. But during when we're competing like, we're competing and everyone's going all at it. Someone's going to Loudon. That's an interesting way to end it. How how much more time? Do we have damage more time? Do we have I'm gonna keep going? Can I get you to come up here? John because I got to get you to explain something to me. So I told you I was online the other day a big round. On the other day. I don't even know what. I'd click click something. And then I saw that the Russell's great webinar person keeps telling me that. All right. I gotta find out. How he does it. So I click over. All right. Just give you Email address. And you can find out. All right. I'll get my Email address to find out how he begins to webinar presenter. Then just give credit card. It's only four ninety five. So it comes in the middle comes in the mail. It's pretty cool. Nothing comes in the mail anymore. Use my credit card because all right? It's going to mail it out. Would you also like to learn how to use e slides four hundred go. No, I'm done. Welcome to the final assist done. But I'm going to put in Evernote a link to this page. I don't lose. I can come back, and I swear and I did it. And this is this is like my receipt for four dollars ninety five cents. And then another don't you ever feel like we're beyond this. We're in the software space now, we're competing with dropbox are competing with Joe schmo. When his e-p-o-c-h, and you're the guy who books the. Lucky? I mean. Yeah, I asked you that do you ever get a little we're still in the info markets face? I think it's at the essence of what we do over. So does is we'd love education. We love teaching people. I mean, the software is the back end. Right. But we're not software people where we sell software, but we teach people all these people here all the people that all of our vents like they just wanna learn how to do a better. I don't believe it. I believe in. I believe in. I believe the for you. It's the numbers. I just don't believe it. I'm looking at your eyes and lie. I'm giving the script. I'm good. I'm doing the script. I see it in your eyes. But when I was talking to you earlier, no fence, this is why he does what he does. Nice talking to you earlier. You told me about the numbers the conversion how we get you in the sales funnel. How we actually can. Then motte. That's the exciting part don't be insulted by by the fact that I said, it know that we have marketers. They're they're gonna love you for being open about what's going on here. What's going on keeping you in the space? Okay. From my perspective case, so initially it was self liquidating on the front, which is what I told you. Right. It was the fact that we were bootstrapped like we didn't have money to just like throw out there. We had we had to make sure that we were enough money to cover our ads. Right. And Russell had all the just in the world. And me, I don't know why he did. But he did. And he's just like spend money and just trying to make a self liquid it. I'm like, okay. Right. So we just had to spend money and hope that we got enough back to keep spending money and self liquidate means by an ad today. And make sure that we make money from that ad right away. And then software and then Utah and then software was going to pay overtime. That's our legacy. That's. Are thing. And you told me software sucks for selling sauce sucks. Yeah. Why everyone who's in info everyone who's an education says we're show is a software guy suffers eating the world. They'll get all the respect. Right. I walk through San Francisco. They think anyone who doesn't have software and their veins is a sucker. Yeah. I think to myself, you know, I was like running ads like why can't I just run straight to the offer? What I have to go to these info products. Right. I want him to get it on the soft. And then I was like I feel like it's kind of like marriage. A big thing to say like you probably already built websites, but come over to drop everything you're doing and come over here and built websites over here on our thing. It's like, ooh. That hard poll. Right. But hey, you want to build eleven hours? Here's a little thing for five bucks to build. Webinars. Now, you're in our world. Now, we can talk to you naked chest this. No, we can get you over there got it. Okay. All right. And if that's what it takes to get people in the world, you can accept it. You're not gonna feel too good for that. You're just going to do it and grow and grow it. Yeah. What's your ad budget? Now, see now your eyes lighting up. I tapped into it. We spend half a million a month half a million a month. Yeah. Don't don't tell the accountants guys. You guys pay with the credit card. You have a lot of miles. Yeah. We do. Yeah. You count came into my office the other day and said next to me by ticking Houston. With delta because I think he has flew me out with delta American Express is where we're spending our money. So wow. And your partner to. Wow, congratulations. And you I don't know you well enough to ask you if you're a million. I'm just going to say, congratulations. Thank you. Wow. What I actually was going to ask the video gophers to come up here. I wrote their name down. I got the whole thing. And I realized I shouldn't interrupt them because they're shooting video. But I asked them why are you they had this this career where they were flying all over the world shooting videos for their YouTube channel, they were I'm sorry. I forgot their name. And I don't wanna leave them out, Dan, then Blake and they were shooting YouTube videos. They were doing videos for other people. I said why are you now giving it up and just working for click funnels all the time. Why more so excited about it? And. I said, you know, it's the way that we work with Russell. And I said, do you remember the first time you invited them out and to to shoot something? What was it? It was the very first one I can live we ever had and probably two weeks prior that one of our friends had an event and Dan had captured the footage, and he showed me the videos check my video, Mike. Oh my gosh. That was amazing. I said who did he told me? So I emailed Dan as a, hey, can you come to that for hiking live, and he's like what's taking lives kind of told him? He's like sure, and it was like two weeks later is what's the direction? I was like, I don't know. Just bring the magic man, whatever you did they do that here. And that's kind of been his is calling card says come does stubborn magic. He wants to have those words painted on the Toronto office. You guys are starting literally because he says you say that all the time and idea is. I want to understand how you hire. The idea is I'm going to find people who do good work, Emma? Let them do it. What happens if they wouldn't have done? It your way what happens if it would have gone a different direction. And I'm not perfect. So I'm going to caveat that by some of the guys my team know that I'm kind of especially on the design and funnel stuff. Like, I'm more picky on that. Because like I'm so into that. I love it. But what I what I found is like me, hire amazing people. They Todd for example, doing quick funnels. Like the times I've tried. I tried to click prior build it was like me and I'm telling developers. Here's what to do. And how to do it? And there's always some loss in communication we taught. He's like, I know exactly what I would build because I want this product to and then he just built it. And he showed me stuff. And that's a good idea. He's like I did this. That's a good idea. And I it's so much easier that way, and so we find the right people. It's not you giving them ideas and come with you ideas, that is a good idea go, and then it just makes takes all the pressure off your back and so for us, and it's been fun because I look at man last fifteen years of all those different websites and the ups and the downs like the best people have always stuck. And so we've got fifteen years of getting the cream of the crop. And then it was almost like I'm kind of a superhero nerd, but it's like the avengers, right? Where at the end of click finals came about we had this adventure team. Of people in like, okay now, we've put in our news. Now, it's time to like us all of our superpowers to do this thing in all kind of came together build it and build it and build it up. And then as you're building it up. He then went to Salesforce, you guys invited me. He said, hey, Andrew where in San Francisco your hometown, you wanna come out? I said I'm going to be with the family said good be with the families better than hanging out with us. But I still said what are you guys doing in San Francisco at Salesforce because sales people don't need landing pages yet. You guys will pop and find a way for them to need it. Soon. And then I saw this. This is the last video that I've got there's no audio on it. I just want it. I want you guys to look at their faces as they're looking up at these buildings walking through the Salesforce, Salesforce office looked at getting on the motorcycles in the lobby. They're looking all around going Loeb g counting the buildings that are Salesforce labeled looking at that whole. What are they doing not? Not believing. This is even possible. And you stop in gone. This is this is dream force. This is your dream is what did you get out of going to sales forces event. On your off. Honestly prior to Salesforce. I was kind of going through a weird. Like a funk in my in my business because it was like again, there's the goals. Right. So it was like he would do million bucks. Did that and say news fake ten million a year? And then fifty and then initial hit one hundred nine what's the next going billion lake because like one hundred million twenty million that big of a difference, which is kind of like, what's what's the point that what's the purpose groans big as any company that I know and an last year, Dave and Ryan out there, and they were telling me stories like there's one hundred seventy thousand businesses here, and they're telling me, and it sounded coolant, and they were going going crazy yet to see this as you can believe it, and I didn't. But there's something about the energy of acceding something that makes it real. And so this year, I was like I want to go and just I wanna see Benny off speak. I want to see the the the towers. I wanted to understand it because vendor standing it's like, okay, cool. No can reverse engineer and figure out how we can do it. And so for me, it was just like seeing it. I think at anything any as we aren't too. If you're people believe that they can do they'll do if you believe you can lose weight, you lose weight, if you can believe you can grow a company, and like, I I believe that the next level is possible for that. I saw. Saw it. And I was like oh my gosh. This is not it's not Redan Benny offs nut. I mean, these guys are any smarter than any of us. It's just like they figure out the path is like his look at the path. And then let's look at that. Now, we can figure out our path and seeing an in person did that for you. And yeah, makes it tangible exit like, they it's like your physiology. Feels it versus like reading a book about her hearing about it's like, you see it and experience it, and it's like it's tangible. I told you I asked people before they came in here. What are you looking for in a few them frustrated me because they said I just wanna see Russel I just wanna see the event it'll give me something I could ask a question about. But I think they were looking for the same thing that you got out of there. And I know they got him and ask them to come up here and ask him questions, and I want to know about the future of click funnels. But I I've gotta just acknowledged that we're here to just pick up on that energy that energy that got you to pick yourself back up when anyone else would've failures a husband. I can't do this. Go back, the tension that came from failing and almost going to jail as you said from failing, and succeeding and failing again and still that is in. Firing to see I wanna give I want to give Hoke funnels family, a big round of applause. Please everybody. Would you like to see behind the scenes of what would actually do each day to grow our company if so go subscribe to a free behind the scenes reality TV show at WWW dot funnel? Hacker dot TV.

Russell Brunson Salesforce Dave Andrew Warner partner Todd editor San Diego San Francisco Dan usher Mike Vilson Phages Boise Jones Tony Robbins wrestling Priceline Chicago Ferrari
#2046 Reducing churn starts with this

Startup Stories by Mixergy

53:48 min | 6 months ago

#2046 Reducing churn starts with this

"Hey their freedom fighters. My name is andrew warner. I'm the founder mixer g where i interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses joining me as an entrepreneur who said that sas great and one of the beauties about sas is that you get a customer. They pay you monthly or annually. And then you get that recurring business with them recurring relationship but also recurring revenue from them and everyone talks about. How can we get more of those customers. Because they're just so valuable but he said what about what about the need to pay attention to when they're so unhappy that they leave and what impact that has and maybe we could actually reduce churn and if we reduce churn. It's better for revenue growth than going out and looking for more customers. Soc ramdas focused on that he created a company called strike deck. They are the customer success. Platform that prevents. Churn invited him talk about that and about his other businesses and we can do thanks to two phenomenal sponsors the first before we got started. You said andrew. You're so like. I've got a good ability to talk now right. I used to suck. Well this company unbound said how about we pay you right out the things that you do on just publish it. I said you know what. I'd like to do that so i did it. If you want to get that it's four free right now available to you. All the listeners at unbound dot com slash mc surge their landing page creation site. They put it up on their site. Not even give an email address. Just go to unbalanced dot com slash mixer g their sponsor and so is host gator. But i'm talking. About host gator later. I saw good happier good to be here at. What's the revenue it's strike deck. How high did you get it. So i cannot mentioned about the strike. We company medaglia. But dob you're doing well happy to share because you got acquired. Do you remember the day of the acquisition who absolutely can't forget that. Tell me about that. Goes may of two thousand mine team and You know Was a great baby. Because madonna was the leader of customer experience and maguire. Adding us was a big being fond of anti strike team and this was just before they went public. It was filed three months before they went public. And that was again. That mazing. Because elvis had in my bucket list to be there in the company when it goes public and so that was being as well you got to go. Where do they go public. Market new york new york. So you got to go to the new york stock exchange. Lets you got to see. I want to see it with the company my wife works for. It is just an amazing experience. I hope they don't get rid of it because of covid. What was it like for you. It was great you know it was thankfully over now is being. He produced those zoom which and not just imagined bad but Then uh g that moskvy And would love people you know who have been in the journey longtime feeling that they've accomplished something. Great that whole whole mafia has been on plus that atmosphere. When i saw bryan chess ski of airbnb do the whole thing from his. I guess his living room or house in some ways it's appropriate because airbnb is all about sharing your home and other ways. It just felt like sad for him. He should get that experience of going to this. What i still feel is hallowed ground. I remember as a kid going to the new york stock exchange getting to see the future of stock trading in. They're getting see my future anyway. It's exciting that you've got to do that any any way that your life changed after sold the company to get to buy something find you get to do something to treat yourself after all this hard work. Yes the one thing that. I've had lots of fun after that was issued as investing mother startups so That has been phenomenal. I just love this phone. Startup energy invest in. What's exciting for you. So the one copy. That i'm really excited about is Event it's an online even company tree young guys out in london Reading the whole even banishment black fall for managing online events. That's right okay. Online conferences It's just going beyond just the online meetings it's full-fledged conference experience where you have exhibitors booed you have different Tracks all of that right hardy. Managing move all that to the internet. That's right including video including like a presentation and all that yes. I want to hear your story. But i've got to tell you about one that i just invested in past mixer. G guests matt morales. He said you know you know when you and i appreciate it when we get on camera you pay attention to your background. I love the backdrop over there. I make sure that. I've got something my background but we pay attention. Also the way we looked at i shaved today. Because i want to be my baz. Do i look okay. He said you know what. What if we do away with the whole thing and instead we give people avatars it look just like them take their face a photo their face on their best day the backdrop the best way to looks not fake one though you could do a fake one and then we haven't control it remotely so that if i kind of arch my eyebrows. My avatar will archer eyebrows. If i smile it looked so real that when he did a demo online. I said okay. That's you right and then you switch faces to this older man. He said no no. The whole thing was avatars that i was controlling with my face. Anyway the beauty of it is that it allows us to have these remote meetings low bandwidth and without having to worry about how we look. We'll always look at are always look are bazant. People don't even have to know that we're using it's called the oasis. That's not mellanby i am. I am really excited about that. One i know that you're supposed to invest with the idea that most startups will fail. And all that accepting. I want that one to do really well. Because i need that. I'm tired of looking my best. I wanna look a little sloppy. Sometimes all right speaking of my best. Let's go into your story. Where'd you come up with the idea to focus on churn. It was at your previous company. Wasn't it yeah so my previous company. That was focused on marketing automation. Lead comics wasn't wired by guida me and Renounce tweet i sent Always focused on you away position and we don't do enough about the gore. Mind that in our backyard which is an existing customers and this gotta be better way of managing your customers and so in that. Gump me i. I told her head all support. That we're not gonna ask the board. We are going to have customer success. Your titles going to chase the customer success and nine members you mentioned that you walk in customer and give them their business guard and the comments that he would get. That's daigle right. Where do you guys do right. And so that was inspiring and show when marles from sap us like what should i do next the my dumb hulbert i fight until on the customer journey as focused from a lead being generated to a sales getting closed with marketing our mission. How far if i go from close deal to a successful customer and that's how it all came about because lead for mix was all about. How do we get businesses more customers and you said all right. Let's now think about how do we. What do we do with those customers. Once we land them that's right lesson that's how it came out and then the the boar philosophy you take any Technology foam their board. All this focus on you'll aware -sition and icy martin is being done. And so that's why. I my favorite Freeze these ambrose. His new era which is our is a new era and on our neck tradition rate. Okay is the new era net retention rate. You know what. It's so frustrating that it's it until recently it's been really hard to even figure out how long retaining customers right. But now i see stripe is building it in before. There were some add-ons did it. It's it's been tough to measure it let alone improve it. Can we back a little bit league for mix that was your first startup. that you co-founded right. That's right. What did you get the idea for that. So that We got inspired by this full vista movement. Everything that was offline was moving online and you start with our daily newspaper right chill. A lot of them were struggling for existence and this whole jinyan optimization was coming about and that's where i felt like they should be a better way of nurturing prospects and taking them to the finish line right and so. That's what drove the original concept of marketing automation and initially andrew. Weaver focused on sales and You'd go in pitch to the skies an amazing way to close a deal and the sales guys would direct stored so marketing folks and they would say the marketing guys are the ones while controlling the budget do and the marketing guy said we need a better way to manage the email communication that happened so it's not just militarizing. The deals nurturing the prospects but also engaging with them that email content. And that's how we we build a solution yet which markets seeded did email marketing. And what else email marketing and what we used to call drip marketing which is Designed the workflow that if andrew opens the email but does not engage with us. Then opco fight is how do you send a reminder saying hey andrew. We are here to help you with this this whole process. We can take you through the demo and so on so marketing automation but largely done by emails. That right that's right. What about this when you guys sold see. Techcrunch says lead for makes. Let's be to be vendors. Turn anonymous visitors to their site into qualified leads by by identifying potential customers reporting their intent. How did you do that. That seems like it's much more than email marketing. Yes so as i mentioned. Our solutions mutually was built for sale. So we said website is your primary destination it showcase as your company offering your product. So anybody who's coming to the website. We should be able to figure out. What does the intent that they're coming to the website for right based on holiday browser website. Yeah we went and found their foam graphics. Which is are they going from. Cisco they're coming from ibm if they're coming out there looking at pricing which means that they're ready to buy are just looking at some of the collateral which means that they are still doing the research so based on that. We would figure out the intern as well. As as some proxy information about the prosper. That's the type of stuff that now active campaign and others do for. Snb's did that one year so this was back in two thousand line so just the time van makuto little but also going about the marketing automation. We started except our defense. Was this league for encyc- on a you know All the background information about the lead in that used to also bring to the table knowing what they're based on what they're doing on the site or also where they came from mainly with a game from and more doing on the website so we're ingram showed the organization name and doing on the website demonstrated by indicate which is now so common now that everyone with a shop. Five store can pretty much do this. Doesn't cleo oh do stuff like this maybe not exactly and flavio. I know Active campaign i mentioned Convert kit even on the smaller end. Drip does yes and you are ahead when you were trying to explain this. Was it hard sell to explain to those departments that they should be buying. This was enterprise accepting this. Did they say we already have a solution. Yes oh it was really pasta ling. Initially though Or they use it became easier. You shouldn't even be used to push the market market us. The questions we would get as what marketing automation. What do you mean by not shooting Yeah and so. And so we had explained to them. The whole concept of understanding Then and holler woke throw and how it'll make their life easier right answer law expanding through the loss badgen zimbabwe. We had to do in the beginning. How did you learn to sell. You're not someone who who came from sales loving background are you so. That's a great question that drew you know. I was managing engineering team I had a fairly big theme at your daily which was a fintech platform and we had up be come in wapping came in and i came out and a tranquilize my stint that and i fed i need to understand the world outside of engineering to engineer to become a better entrepreneur. And so because you knew you want to be an entrepreneur. You're working for your daily and you said at some point. I want to be an entrepreneur. You knew your weakness was sales. Okay so i absolutely right. And why gravitated toward sales was as junior. You just close the skies. You uk-us them for the title. The customers they bring in Last for a lot of customization and so on and yet. I found it. The skies are the ones who are keeping revenue growing and so it was like a black box a mystery for me and so i wanted to go in and figured out tan. What does this world all about. And so i went in I went to an early start up and beg the founder for a chance and and the founder was reopened. He said you're -ccomplish engineer. Why do you wanna come to the side. And i totally my must. I'm going to be a student again right. And so and i wanted to be tough. I did not want to to be for me to be treated differently. And so i started with core calling andrew. And i still remember the plus call that i made the walls to wycombe and tv networks Trish both uzi was a guy. I still remember his name and I was praying to god time that it goes to voicemail and after popular. Listen you pick the call. And i froze so so anyway so learned a lot from that whole experience because the deal. I closed the deal yet after freezing. What did you do to close a deal. And why would they need yodel. Yodel was A way for companies to let their users log into their bank account so they could export data right. Yes so this was not for. You had already come. Artificially this was far Services from all catalytic and time again and i froze for a minute but then i started speaking. I think i was able to close the because technologist andrew so trish had been through number of vendors and he was seeing that the project implementations were not going well and after my conversation he felt like this is the guy who knows a solution really well and he will be on the hope implemented and so that's where the trust came along. I know what it's i would have thought. Look you don't have the slick voice you don't have the slick come the confidence. You don't have the thing that's going to make him love you instantly but i could see the customers. Don't want that. They wanna feel they've got somebody who can implement someone who who can understand what they need all right so you learn to sell and then you came up with this idea that you needed to create sales automation software. You made the first sales calls the way that you talked about now with how you sold to viacom mtv absolutely are so That whole sheets. Expedience i would say love is the foundation of all my entrepreneurial us because i would You know rather than being Rather than developing the fit solution i would go and stop talking to prospects and that is important because prospects would ban help you figure out what exactly solution they mean with your back with the solution that we're winning so only feedback really had the law. Because they're basically building with you you sold. And how long did it take you to launch the first version. Yeah it took me about three months. Lost bush bush flush with really really liked right and that line. Your seasons all legal seen. So you're going. And and seeking lily designed bottlers and beulah promising them a lot promising denver future. You're telling them that. Initially you a rain will. But you can customize it to their needs they will benefit from that and eventually you get the The desired state and at that time they can be the true ambassadors program. So that's the vision that he would say okay. Did you raise any money. So would lead from excel. We did not raise any clue because having gone through the you'll be experience. I wanted to try Bill the company without raising much though why what was the channel was the challenge with iota early. So usually andrew wasn't dot com days. Where money was always there. And so Released lot of capital of leon. And when you raise of capital literally on your his find a way to spend it and that's what happened and show so. I realized why one should not be raising a lot of money before they find product market fit so that was a lesson. I didn't have product market fit. Because i remember iota lead. They were the ones who powered mint. For example meant was this new amazing software that would allow individuals to for free. Keep track of their spending and because it did that and made them better spenders they would be able to offer them credit cards and other things well. Mint didn't have a way of logging into everyone's citibank chase and other bank accounts so they just partnered up with iota iota lee would take their contact information and lock them in it was it was brilliant. It was behind the scenes and it worked. What was the problem with. Their product market fit. Yes so you're right. Wing was built on top of sticky And love the other financial poems that actually built on box you. Espn gay wat- you know We have had a great brought bucket We had million users Pretty quick yorker. We lost a brought it and do a lot of time. Bitter that ron because We had to bring in all the financial data into the platform and so we had a lot of the national extensions. Remember this ball. Ninety nine thousand. Laura the financial Used to do she did not have that infrastructure back then right and their website fail the accessing the website their website was really and so we had to work with them so it took took time to perfect. The solution right. So it's it's making the product that customers wanted. It was a challenge figuring out what they want. Is that right. That's what i understood i. I'm kind of fascinated by your daily. They would also have to take people's username and passwords and then scraped log them in behind the scenes and then scrape the daily data from the banks because the banks were just that unprepared for online customers want their data outside of the online site on out of the banks that right absolutely and that again is a fascinating story in la the loudly users would expect all their financial data will be as in stint as positive and so V log on their behalf. The bank several yeah asset infrastructure was. Were those days and we would crash site infrastructure and so then the data would not be available and the bags senba got pretty angry. And you'll be. And they were shot by rebound they would not let our topic in and so then we had to go And megotiating with them and be would tell them that it's their users one. But i'm thinking macho us us rain and so then what then be offered to collaborate by either funding a thorough in their off funding the whole xml. The effects need accedes. I think so. I invested in a in a company called into narrow at this point. It's almost a decade ago. And they were going to take on quickbooks and allow businesses to have a better online experience. They pivoted since then to doing books for businesses. The manual part of keeping track of people's finances in quickbooks But i remember that sorry. I believe they are doing well. And i saw i see jessica on the cover of what was it was inc magazine. I think. And she's been sending out some updates on. I'm excited about how they're doing But i think that even she for customers had to use iota in order to get business customers data and when my when my bank failed i was just frustrated but she said this is what we're doing we. This is the world that we're living in right now but it will change and sure enough it did change but you know what it seems to me show like. They needed the money then if they had to deal with all these headaches that were foreseeing. The money helped them. But you still took a lesson away from it of money. Why what was it about the only employment that you had there that time you not to raise money so you know when when money is there You just spend you. Don't think about Spend that in. Retrospect did make sense to remember. So i remember. We took over engineering team to hawaii. We do cover To celebrate new mice stolen so dot stakes spending that happen and it happened because parentage diverse it was a movement back then right when every other other company we're spending and so you're going with the long all employs expecting right Back then and so. That's where i if not If you are making that much funding taking only that much what is required to live the product. Off for your gm. Then you are. You'll be conservative in your approach. Way you need to okay. And so that's what you did when you when you launch your own company lead for makes according to tech crunch sold in twenty twelve for nine million dollars cash. Is that reasonable. That's right okay. And your sole owner of the business i had a co founder co founder. The at that point you start investing in other businesses. I did did. What's your biggest hit. So biggest hit biz a company or keto which is spelled arcadio at us now. Salesforce would be so now. All of them are investors and the their last round at a one point seven billion valuation. What did you like about them. When you first saw the founders. Yes a what was incredible. Incredible was found us. Came from the company. Typical like employed third fort employees and so they understood the middleware piece really well andrew of how the data should slow hoggard. I should come in all of that. And to limit taking that expertise in to integration space and then also the three co founders knew each other really well. One of them had sold his previous company through skype. Ancho had great track record. So i saw all the signs at this company is going to be really do really well. How'd you connect with them. So so one of the founder was at his previous company. Customer lead phonics okay. So that's how. I got to know him and we stayed in that and so as right to bet on him when he stopped at his. Why did you leave for mix so we were at that point competing against market or andrew where we realized that either we had to raise venture on our look for the option and at that time. You know the a acquisition offer was there competitive offers and it just seemed right for it and and right by me. More importantly marquette over just became a beast. Right just like huge. I'd hate to compete against them. All right let me take a moment. Talk about my sponsor and then want to come back in when you found your idea. How did you launch is what i to get into so and by the idea i mean i strike debt. My sponsor is host gator and tricia. You know that. I like to brainstorm with my guests about ideas for what they would what they would launch. They had hostgator account. You've talked about this before. I think the easiest thing to do is a service business to say. I'm really good at this one thing. I'm going to launch a service of it and then deal do for your customers and look for problems and as you find problems. That have repetitive solutions. Great software to solve it right. So for example. What i might suggest is Now i think that there's this new job title kicking around tricia something like automation specialist. You know like you know. There's there are people who are really good at at taking data that comes in from their form feeding it into their email app and then also adding to the crm and getting into getting all over like the stuff that people use to do is now being done using zap ear. And this and that. I feel like that automation specialist. With a few great case studies would be an excellent job because you can cut down on the nonsense work. People do and a lot of times when people think they need a virtual assistant or another salesperson. What they really need is better systems in that would be a good A good consulting agency to create an that automation expertise. What do you. What do you think you have any idea for. If you wanna create an agency what it would be. I love automation agency. Concept that you just mentioned am also finding a lot of new sofer assad doing your own node node. Yeah so Look what software still means that. You need to do some amount of coding house low code as opposed to know code. Yeah yeah so But who will do that locally. So i think there's an agency you're right there and work you mentioned you know. F that look code can be can be transformed into an automation scenario. More power to it. Okay i've got a. I've got an example of someone who did this one of my interviewees squared away. She said look the military wives like me. They need jobs and they can do. Great virtual assistant work from anywhere and they're the kinds of people who can make things work and be counted on so she created an agency squared away. Which does it and she started paying money for all these different apps. crm and In a way to keep to keep track of her people's hours and all this stuff. And i didn't realize it but the cause was just going up and up and up on that she had a one of my friends matt galligan Create using coda Everything that she does all these other apps in one little app coders basically a no code solution. Right it's a way of of turnings. They i think they used to say turns spreadsheets into into apps. But it's a little bit more complicated than that right now. Is software basically perfect for her. Her cost went way down. Doesn't have to pay for all these different apps you now. Has this one app that she pays for and gives her everything she needs in order that she wants it. And it's all because matt set it up that is that's that's an example. What an agency could set up absolutely. That's exactly what. I was mentioning some lily. Irritable and motion be right. Wonderful things with those two as well. All right and matt galligan is mg. If anyone creates that you should be hitting up mg on twitter Makow against brilliant guy art. And what you need when you do. That is a basic website right to let people know that your business and to get started and to get that basic website go to hostgator dot com slash mc surgery. If you throw that slash mixer at the end they'll give you the lowest possible price and frankly they'll take good care of you no matter what. The price is really inexpensive services. Really great and i've been using them for a long time go to hostgator dot com slash. Mickey all right so strike back. I know now where the idea came from. you started. Having customers started interviewing customers. Who did you talk do. And what did you learn your so. We spoke about three hundred. Our customer success litas practitioners andrews and What we wanted to understand was Beim life plus csm. How does a ceus muda suspect. There's you know one. They're one of the activities that they do want the processing we are in warwick and more importantly one of the things that they do in stretching. Because they're doing things in the spreadsheet that can be tossed into a software right so we wanted who who have all seen that insight. Ahmed wing had scoring inspection on tracking which customers are healthy which customer other tracking customer lifetime value in a spreadsheet on their tracking the revenue expansion in this benching. So he wanted to know all of that. And that's where ya we've been out far. We should Finding scenario that we can you explain what a customer success leader is. yes so Gusmao success overall is a new phenomenon times to the sas of wear as you mentioned recurring revenues ski and so people understood that in order to retain in order to expand and more importantly in order to doncaster most who to an aggregate right where they stock refereeing other needs to so it was important to be proactive customers. You just cannot wait and let them figure out how to use abroad. You have to guide them on how to leverage the bronner you have to guide them on how to get get. I'll come bachelor disgust while success came along and The leader the customer success group is either the chief customer officer a repeat customer success. And you're looking for a certain size company. What was the size. Yes we were looking. At companies that were about million revenue one million to ten million in revenue. We know that we knew at that time that we would not go to the larger companies. Because we don't have that credibility but company startups of size of one to ten million would be willing to give us a chad so it'd be willing to be a design partner and they'd have enough customers. I'm imagining to which could be an issue. Could be measured could be improved. That's right okay. And so what did you see. They were doing in spreadsheets. So all of them. We're we're running a health scoring algorithms spreadsheet They would have this la by which they would compute red green yellow red green orange for their customers where they are based on Based on how long is the contract holiday using the product. They use data. How many support tickets. They have open right if they're loss upward to get that mean. This customer may be frustrated And if there are no support tickets could that also be an indicator that they're not using the software or were there others it's so they were manually. Keeping track of how people were using their wear. That's right and not nearly half andrew. Because in order to keep that updated they would need to import that data into a spreadsheet and so they would have to manually every single day. Okay and so now you knew that one. Did you think the first step was to fixing it. what's the first version. So the flow switzerland the product. We had up nida coming in from the seattle. I'm from the suburbs. Getting system and the usage those three data says we focused on. How do we bring that in our platform. And then showing them the visualization of the three that we call this customer three sixty so in one glance they knew everything about the customer day tractions and Then we proceeded the some this album Screen where they can go and figure out what parameters can influence the health score and so for example. If you take usage you have been have. They been logging into the product every single day. Have they have been using the ski feature. Every every day of all the features that they are using does all the feature contribute to the perceived value that they are getting from the software and so they already had software in place to measure usage to keep track of whether or sit each customer was using the key features. They did have that. So a lot of the form at least had google analytics in place as you know is free. So a lot of them had our andrew they were putting data into their own database so we would go into the database and track. They had some logging in there about about caldecott wayman individual customers to know if they were using it. Okay and then for crm. What do you get out of the crm so crm. we would get. Who's the state quarter that would help us. Attract the state quota still the job mark. How long is a contract. A three year contract is obviously more healthy than one year contract right and then we would understand revenue you know where they are in terms of revenue if all the customers are the the on the lower end of the revenue band are out there on the higher end because lauren thing to be more Trigger friendly okay. So you're sucking all this data you're analyzing it and then you're giving them a dashboard that says where each of their customers are. Right color coding. I'm guessing like they did in their spreadsheets. That's right and so now. Greenwood gusta goes from green parade. Then we would provide the notification saying that these three customers are in dread. Please stay reactive action. Now right set up a follow up call Guide them on their their struck. And how will move forward. The advance notification was at customers who turned red and the renewal date is closer and so that means the time for action is now right. You cannot offer way because a renewal date is coming closer. You know what this this. I don't mean to put down but it doesn't seem like it's that complicated now that could be done using no code solutions right yet so it where it gets complicated. Andrew is that the data coming from different sources. Generally there's no way of figuring out a common customer. Righty how they allow come together. So the data mapping the transformation is really complex in this case the head scoring once all the data is in the place held scoring. The simple has gone can be done with a local solution spreadsheet but in the in the last like we have customers. We've got thirty. Six patently does going into the health scoring calculation that then becomes difficult. Okay so how do we get the data from the various places that the company has it in whether it's even accessible or not as a question mark i imagine right and how do get it in and then basically you could do the health score easily unless they have way too many parameters in which case it becomes more complicated. We're still looking at version. One did you give this away to customers for free for feedback to understand that right. Yes so initially be gave it three and then after a specified period we started jogging a small nominal amount that they have some skin in the game. How much were we talking about. Five hundred dollars for. Oh god it for enterprise. That's nothing but you wanna see that. They're at least putting in their credit card. That goes under the credit card authorization requirements right. They don't eat check with the boss. Okay how how did you do with those customers. So it was great. You know some the feedback perspective wants the data started flowing landfall fall v alison stock. Seeing the usage batman's longer take them to on more along wooded pig to invite other users into the platform however they They want featured on the in finding value. And so those that kind of feedback headed us to trade on the on the product and head thus to come up with the future worshipers so let me see finder sand so far what i've taken away from this number one. You're recognizing you have a problem yourself. You want to know that you're not just closing more and more sales but that you're keeping the sales you've got right. Yes and so the first step is understand. There's a problem and in your case you had it. The second step was talked to people who could experience the same problem. In fact i narrow down who you wanna talk to. You didn't talk to everyone who has a churn problem you said. They have to have at least one million dollars to ten million dollars in sales. You don't want them to early. Don't want them too late. And then you find the right person in the company you said. It was the customer success lead and you're asking them how are you doing this. Is this a problem for you right. Yes and then the next step was to say would you pay we solve it and you gave them a nominal price then you created the first version. How how minimum was the minimal viable product on this. Yes pretty minimal. Looking where we are today was barebones andrew so it had just though the basic import facility the data sosas it had a you know. Simple customer Head scoring bottom and Some key activities that. You're that that god created once you have those notifications saito's bearable but today resembles aviad grenade. We have a lot more automation. We've talked about automation specialists. We have automation recognizing using the bag that customers can be segmented as high touch and low touch If they're not being that mature venue we into lord dutch and that means you cannot afford that many That many human Into adventure or engagement on that particular customer answer you need to have army. The whole process had an. I think now you also will be able to signal that someone is likely to turn based on how they're acting in relation to how other people who have turned enacted right. That's okay wants. The historical data comes in andrew. You can figure out the patents on walks leading to the children and then you can apply that those patents on your current customers and figured out who are the most likely you're okay but at this point in the story you've got a few customers they're paying you you then go back and try while you have to go and find more customers. What did you find your next batch of customers. Yes so at that point once we once we we had the we had a worship him back people would like would appreciate back then now does a time boom the bid process scale right and so then i went and hired my stuff Andrew a higher so that because founder selling is one thing because on his are passionate about the space and so just because of her bashing becoming cheaper to buy but we'd mile out you know on the customers. Can we scale the whole process. And that's rare. The new seats qian man. And so i trained lucius ramp when don calls with him and then left a milan. Figure the pap and she how we move on. But it was still outbound sales to companies that hit the criterion that you mentioned before that strong the still bomb Because i wanted to see more customer at option. Before we don on the marketing graph. Did you ever get to the marketing part before you start you did. Yeah did that go. So marketing was more got it more grew tacking andrew because we did not have the problem of budget. Plenty we will always charm that so. We had to be creative in in halloween. Go to the market and so You know the few chows sweeter line on was obviously website so change in more content putting more content on the website. We created a best practices guide. We created a template book. We had infographics recreate a lot of infographics. We created a lot of block. Voice it's all about the customer success leader. What they need to know what someone who's doing the job would want to know you saying then and then. We decided to inouye in terms of how we bring the community together. So what we did was we started doing. Meetups customer success me dust and so i open an account meet of dot com. I approached Service now at rushed autodesk the sponsored the space and sponsor the the dinner are of the lunch and the bulldog nyse ation s- came forward in supporting us and so started doing meet and today the customer's success group. That we created in the meet up is one of the largest customer success coming the on the meet up group. What do you do now is all done online. It's now it's all done online. Yes i sustained where we were you. Stream track And love the collaboration. At that time i do too. I love seeing people in person. The i still have not found an online equivalent is just too easy to to stop you know and to get right down to the point where off flying is more. It's more relaxed. We take your time. You wander a little bit and conversation. How did you end up connecting with medaglia so weaver a come two thousand line team andrew early little nineteen. I was thinking You know My sales team is small. Hardawy expand my garbage. And that's when i felt like Channel partnership is is good thing to consider because if we set up a good channel partners their mom their customer base and that gives us wider distribution and started talking to of tree companies bendel segment and monalua and with segment. We went and participated in the marketplace with bundle. We started selling in man with aalyah. They asked us to do a proof of concept and so we Did the demo for platform took in their radar we ensured offer and blue and that time madania failed that since they do customer experience. Customer success is is close to the philosophy that they have adopted in customer experience. customer experience. andrew is outside in you. Get the explicit feedback from the customer customer success. I the us as inside our which is implicit feedback that we gathered from the data actual getting them both side by side next to each other made sense so that what is what is do so. Madonna's customer experience. When i mean i see their home. Their tagline at least on their homepage says growth happens with experienced turn signals into actions. That drive growth. Monalua is Is a customer experience platform. That means basically they are taking signals from anyone traction. That's happening whether chat whether it's radio whether it's in call center surveys i always And so on and then bringing that together to create the customer journey and fix and that gives a lot of these organization. You've all almost all the fortune. Five hundred companies are using medallion. And and you would find that they live and breathe that customer journey right. How do they ensure that. The customer is having a great time with their service on the product based on what the customers how the customers are talking to the company. That's right it's all. It seems like it's all that right at all without the way that the customer explicitly talks in the company via surveys as i said be a speech text messaging and so on my right. That's right that's right and then what you do is say at once. The house the customer using it. And what does that. Tell us about where the customer will stick around is outright that okay and so that was the combination. You said they're dealing with the same customers as you are. Maybe they could resell your software. Day then said well. Yes but how if we do it as as a buyout. That would happen check. Okay all right and then the segment part you were in the in segments marketplace that we recently got bought out by so we The segment do so segment is is in the category that scott. Cdp disgust more data platform. So they are essentially think about them as a house that contains all information about Customer so it goes and it's it's in the house and then from the warehouse anybody can go in and big data right that the organization authorizes got it so anything that customer does. They've got instant instacart on their site. Anything that i might do on instacart like what i bought. What credit card. I use with a where i live all. That is a house in one place that then other departments can tap into engineering like marketing. Is that right. Yeah so think. About your customer of in shock art but before houston spock mentally stuck god website and restored and sign and before that you may have lisa jr so when you have the air matas accustom over as a prospect. Find on the standard service. There's been denied leaving on the website that goes into segment then customer. Now your your registration. You're registered right and not information visit into the sigma and alpha back. You start doing transactions than that goes into a segment all of that data is there in the segment as warehouse so one big database of it then is more accessible to the other teams in the company that truck and then what was your connection to them so we were You know having data host and segment gave us easy day. That and so he Effort at our end to combine by a company already has stayed coming in from their customers. They might as well do something with it and the number one thing you want to do well. One of the top things is keep your customers instead of trying them out. Got it so all data comes in from segment. You don't have to gather it. You just use it i see. Are you still partnering with them. Segment yes we are doing their marketplace. Yeah i've heard that that's the segment acquisition and the way that Geoff lawson has grown. Twi- leo is just become one of the iconic preneurs here. I hear a lot of entrepreneurs try to be like geoff lawson founder of tokyo which acquired segment All right you sold the company life easier now that you're not trying to figure out everything on your own. You have a company behind you. Is it easy. I would not call it easy. I recall it exciting Definitely because now we want to rule the business we wanna penetrate every it'll be organization there and we had mild the science team. Do that right so the engine is there. And so what. I have learned from my previous acquisitions do that. Once you're wired you should mark vest you should now think about You as a as a as a knowledgeable monetary and it's your duty to distribute that knowledge and the only way to distribute that would be each sales person in the thing and then Educated the show them how to sell and children though the value that you create for the prospects and customers why you just sold it. Why not just move on rest. Invest as it rhymes. That means. it's good advice listening all good. I never denied that. I look forward to weaken that. I get but If you are passionate about something really. It's an unfinished business. And right now gusmao citizens unfinished business for me. I i feel like they are only thirty percent penetrated yet. I've seen the customer. Success will also be will go beyond software companies and. That's why it's an unfinished business and batch by the still a lot of things to accomplish right. How do people connect with you. What's what's a good way for them to follow what you're up to Lindon is a is a great way. We'll keep in touch with me. I will to all my linden emails. You get all the lincoln messages you will read them all. I read the ball. Wow someone we should send messages just to see Sri respond e. You don't get overwhelmed by the number of people who are messaging you on lincoln or these days definitely. It's getting overwhelming especially all the different channels. You've got missouri's prom right But if it's a genuine connection. I would love to respond because i feel every human deserves that restrict all right. I see obviously very easy to find you on lincoln when i a kid being named shuki khalili was a pain because people couldn't remember it sounded so far into them. Now i realize is that having a name. That's a little bit different. Makes it so much easier to google person so much easier to find them. I've got some people like ryan smith. The guy from quarterbacks he now is dominated the name ryan smith. It's incredibly popular. And so now when i interviewed the founder of leaf link. His name is also ryan smith. I just couldn't find him so anyway. All that to say is shri. Ramdas is easy to find your definitely the most popular Around us out there. You're in like forbes. You're on all these other sites and your lincoln shows up pretty quickly so people be able to reach you. I appreciate you coming out here doing this interview and i want to thank. The sponsors may happen the first hostgator. If you need a website hosted if you have an idea take to hostgator dot com slash mc surgery and second. I think unbound for encouraging me to write some of the tips that i've used to. I don't even know what's in it for them show. They're not asking for an email address all right. I shouldn't keep complaining about. I feel like they could do so much more with this. But i'm also overwhelmed by their generosity has said he'll take the money. Go write something and so. I did a few tips. That i've learned from interviewing that you can use in your daily conversations and it's available to you right now at unbound dot com slash mixer. Judy tricia thanks so much for doing this. Thank you so much for inviting. thanks bye-bye one.

andrew new york Soc ramdas bryan chess matt galligan sas matt morales mellanby jinyan andrew warner bush bush citibank chase inc magazine airbnb keto arcadio guida daigle tricia
#1709 How Rachel Kersten helped me grow Mixergy

Mixergy

1:31:57 hr | 2 years ago

#1709 How Rachel Kersten helped me grow Mixergy

"Hey there freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner on the founder of mixture d where I interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses audience of real entrepreneurs. Usually I interview people about how they built up their businesses, actually. But in this case, we're gonna talk to someone who helped me build up my business. I'm trying from time to time to bring on someone who's been a part of the mixer jeaner circle to show you how we built up our company, and I at first I was very hesitant about Rachel. I thought nobody wants to hear about me what they wanna hear his about entrepreneurs rebuild phenomenal businesses. And then I realized I always want to hear about the people who are hosting interviewing I wanna know. And we are building a phenomenal company. And so I've done a little bit and then a little bit more, and then I've really been enjoying it. And so I'd like it to be kind of ongoing thing where every couple of months or so we bring someone from the mixer team to talk about how they how they helped build this thing up the person you guys are about to meet today. Her name is Rachel Kirsten. She and I met when I was at an event and someone introduced me to our Rachel. Andrew, and she helped me just launch things and help me actually charge and helped me remember that I should continue to sell a not just sit here and focus on other people's businesses and learn from them, but really remember to build up my business, and she helped me do things like create new products and also create a company wide meeting. And so I asked her to come on here to talk about how she did that and how she's building up her own consultant company, which is called quantifying Rachel Kirsten is the founder that business which helps businesses grow through educational marketing. This interview is sponsored by two great companies that helped me build up my company. The first is top towel where I've hard developers find Binat sky hired a designer I'll tell you about them later and also tell you about active campaign, which will help you do your Email marketing, right? Rachel. Hey, Andrew, thanks so much for having me. And I absolutely love that you're willing to like open the KOMO to borrow some people's phrases or peak behind the curtains that, you know, the wizard of Oz that so many people are so afraid to like show what actually goes on. And I just wanna take a moment and applaud you for that. Because it very very very just like being open and forthright in like, hey, this is Andrew and this is how my business runs. Thanks for inviting me. What's the animal sound in the background? Gosh. I was hoping they would be quiet. So the dogs are playing barky tag. I have a border collies learned just to say, I have border collies 'cause it just makes it sounds so much simpler, do you live on a farm? You've got like a horse. Sometimes it will come in on our calls. You have dogs. Yeah. Outside of Austin, Texas. I have myself a nice little mini rant and got eight horses in the backyard. I'm I'm on your three of fostering sheets named Larry. So everybody loves Larry the way m and then the dogs are outside. I have mama data momma dog in the daddy. Doug and were puppies. That are now at euro. So they've been the most fun. I asked you if you can pull up some numbers in preparation, the biggest thing that we did together was launched Bata kademi do have the numbers for how we did with that. I have I have I your numbers. So because because. As we took that from like twenty sixteen was like zero twenty sixteen was it was bought academy was like a glimmer and Andrews, I like it was nothing. From. Yeah. How we got to up. Okay. Yep. And so in twenty seventeen we actually did about seven hundred fifty thousand dollars worth of revenue in that business. And those are I like full yet full year yet. We did a beta launch in January to kind of prove the idea out followed by a actual real launch in may. And then we came back into another launch later in the year, and then some evergreen sales with well. Okay. Right. And we're going to spend some time talking about it for those of you don't know because I don't talk about my stuff that much bought academy came out of my love for chat bots is a place where you can if you wanna reach your audience using chat, you can even learn how to do it yourself or hire one of our graduates will build a chap out for you. Let's go back to spend more time on that in a bit. Let's go back to how you and I met Rachel. I was invited by past guest, Dane Maxwell to come to Vegas to see people who are part of the foundation. I remember. He roomy out there. I land there's a limo with my name. Andrew warner. We're waiting for you. I get an his beautiful hotel room. Stunning. A lot of people sitting around there some on the floor or some Mike off the stairs in this suite some sitting on there some on couches all a cannon. Everyone of Danes words and coach getting coached by Andy Driss, the co founder of the organization, and at some point I as I speak to people there, I've get introduced to you. And I'm told the you're someone who worked with Ramiz safety, you working with them, you're helping them all figure out their ideas and grow their businesses. And we connected, and I said if you ever in San Francisco got an extra room, I'd love to hang out and said, I'm the kind of person who just makes things happen. Let's just do it, and you came out, and I know that still blew my mind because they, you know, I came into entrepeneurship very corporate world and in corporate like, you may say, hey, come onto the city, you know, have a meeting or whatever. But Andrew is like, hey, my house inspire number. Excellent. I flew into San Francisco that was actually one of my first trips is San Francisco, and I'm going to get my luggage. And hearing my phone is like a selfie of Andrew Anderson yourself, he just because you wanted me to be sure that when after I got my luggage that I would read know exactly what you up like and not feel uncomfortable there and was yes. Yeah. Like, I am standing right here will just go together. And so I picked you up from the airport. We went together the issue. I was having at the time. We just kinda hung out. We went immediately walk through through the mission on down the street. I remember hanging out in the backyard and talking the big issue that I was wrestling with that. Then was there's no frigging order, my company, everyone would just kind of do things by memory. And they all were so proud that. They were really good at doing their thing. The way that they did it remember that. Yeah. Yes. And like this thing is you're not alone. Like everybody is at that point at some point in time because it's like where you go before you get organized before you have systems and all of you know, like I have refrained from watching the new tidying up series and saving that for later. But it's like, you don't people don't stop and tidy up inside their business. They just kind of world with things and things are working. And if you hire great people, which is amazing, they do their jobs. Well, but it doesn't ever like fix things. In case somebody's sick doesn't show up like to use the word bus factor. Like, you know, what your bus factor? How many people have to be hit by a bus order for your business to stop? And that's what in time. It was like one in so many places. And now it wasn't now. Yeah. It's still it's still me for for. If I get hit by bus, the company is Don essentially, there's someone winding period, I feel like there's some value for the next year or two. But that's it. What we had the problem we had there was it wouldn't last day. But also nobody knew what anyone else was doing. We couldn't have anyone else. Like. We couldn't have anyone else pass the work to someone else. We can have constant improvement because I didn't know what people are doing. They were just doing it themselves. And so I kept asking what do we do? How do we do it? And we came up with. Actually, I remember one piece of advice. You gave me do you? Remember, what do you remember one that you gave me or one piece of direction guy? Seventy different things. There's there's no telling one thing was I remember at the time we switch from like using WordPress to document what we do to use Google docs. So that if you did something there should be about how you didn't. But people in creating the Google doc just do their thing. It's like, oh, yeah. Andrews asking for it. But I can't remember I can't do it. Now. It's more important to do the thing. It's more important to pre interview. It's right. And you said, look, the documentation is part of everyone's deliverable. If you're doing a pre interview need to have some process, doc show me how you do it. It's not I'm not just paying for the pre interview and paying for the pre interview and the documentation of how you do it. If you are. I don't know what to this was job. Sorry, it's part of their job. Yeah. And I'm expecting to see the finished product product and the process doc of how you did it. And so that was a big thing organizing it in Google Drive was a big thing. Another realization that I had was Google docs is not enough software had to manage it. Like, some pieces had to be on top of the person in the process to make sure people doing it. Especially since you know, you're running virtual team like a lot of a lot of times, you know, when if we come out of a business environment where everybody's like in one place, we can skip a lot of things because we just fix it over the water cooler, but like when you're in San Francisco, and I at the time was in, you know, in that Tennessee, anybody somebody in Arkansas someone else Guatemala. Yeah. I'm like you start writing everybody out like all those water cooler conversation never happened, and nobody can just pop into somebody else's cube or stop by their desk. Or, hey, let's go get a Cup of coffee and fix problems. You just have a bunch of people that have no idea what's going on. And so later that. Yeah. Go ahead. So that was a huge issue of fast forward to today where not only we have like process not just process docks. But my favorite now is a checklist or some piece of software to manage it. We also now have regular meetings where as a teen we check in on those processes so that they don't get stale. So for example, the pre interview process is something that we've really mastered a long time ago, and we had a document about how to do it. But because we we have these weekly or actually was monthly calls on the primary process. For example, the two different pre interviews Brian Benson and Ari disarm. Oh, they both. Now get to see that there were using two different processes, and they started harmonize processes take the best of both worlds. They were starting to see that. There are people who weren't sure what was expected them before a pre interview. And we realized that and so we go back into our process, and we say, how can we let them know? This is what's expected on the call and not have a feel weird like all those things. Now, we can collect. And we can see. Here's how we operate. Now that we know how we operate. Here's a hole in our process that we can improve. Here's a place that we could make a little bit better. So that's been hugely hugely helpful. So then I said to you Rachel I'm noticing that when we launched something when we create something and sell it. Then there's excitement not just internally in fact, more externally than internally because it doesn't feel like just a stale interview. I said can I hire you to come in and help us create these things and sell it. And you said do remember what you said? I'm going to sell that. I have Alzheimer's now. I don't remember what I said, I know we ended up working together. But it's either usually that whole filtering process is making sure we're on the same page. By the way. This is why we do pretty interviews. It's your own life. And you don't remember it happens to everybody. We're too busy living ails. But there's no pre interview that I could do for this because we're just kind of maybe we could now that I think about it. There's always improve next time. Here's what we loose that you said to me, Andrew, no, I can't do it. I know it sounds kind of weird. But I don't I've never taken a vacation or hadn't in a long time. I need some time to myself to go take a vacation. And so if you're interested we could work together afterwards. So you took a vacation I got in the groove of things without you. And then at some point we started working together. And one of the first things that I wanted to do was after my son was my first son was born I had a lot of time at home, and I kept going through all the Email, and I kept seeing. Frigging people are asking me. How do you do interviews? What's what Mike do use podcasting was starting to get hot? This was about four and a half years ago. And I said Rachel I want to start creating this thing, and you and I got together to take this thing kind of created and turn it into a sale. I didn't have any team called or anything at the time talk about what you did to. Actually, I said I'm hiring. You you find a way to sell it talk about what you did to bring some order that concept. Yes. 'cause there's so many different places to start. And when you have so many people have you had something you were teaching in this case, you know, we we did both interview or heroes. Your course on how to get started on podcasting as well, as we did true mind, which was what would you describe your mind ender, other than the course about the be stay focused, and I would even say that the interview heroes everyone thinks of his podcasting thing. But I actually believe that interviewing extends way beyond podcasting. If you take a look at some of the top channels on YouTube, they will bring on they'll do these collapse. Bring someone else on to ask them about their office. Right. It's like I feel like knowing what to ask and how to drive a conversation helps with any medium, including podcasting. But podcasting the best for. Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. So you had you had something. And so I just want to clarify that. Because a lot of times people have an idea. But they haven't gone through the process of actually making it concrete into a course because that that base of going from idea, and what you teach and what is your your body of work, borrow Pam slim sprays. You know, what what is your expertise? And then how do you distill that down into lessons and put that in a course to sell like that is one process in and of itself? So we didn't focus on dot part. We focused on the how do you take now that you have something to sell and how do you connect with your audience? How do you create your marketing message and take your people who are listening to you through and educational marketing experience and give them the opportunity to continue to learn more through purchasing. The course. And so the way that you structured, it was I remember you would open up a Google doc that had LaPointe a of a grid at the top. And a colored background was a colored background about. Okay. So when you're on call this goes, along with the whole, everybody's all over the place, and like, okay, they're all over the place all over the place, mentally, but they're also all over the place to graphically so in Google docs, you can actually shared your background two different color, really easy for everybody to remember. Okay. Let's go to the green doc, the pink dot the blue duck, whatever color it is. So that when everyone's on their laptop you can get them all to the exact same spot at the exact same moment. And there's no question like did. You mean this one or that one or this one or that now shaded everything pinker blew it wouldn't work, but when you just have one that's a different color. It's a good way to center people and then at the grid. There was a there was a calendar. And so actually it wasn't this one. But you don't have some form of a calendar. Should right? Head up in your life or. A clan calendar in your life. You mean to especially for your company? Now, you know, what this is one of those two ones on one side is my track on training schedule on the other side is just blank. But if you don't ever start out with date, nothing's ever gonna happen. We humans are like wired from the time, we're young plan. Everything according to something else, you know, you can ask a five year old. When is your birthday, they know when is Christmas, they know like we're hardwired from the from so young so old school. Here's summer vacations. Like, there's any bent and part of creating momentum around a product and the marketing campaign is making it into any bent 'cause people are motivated by deadline internally and customers of urgency. And so we're I for example, got this big race. And I'm going. To run the first marathon is going to be from the US to Mexico, people know about it. And we know that we need to do some set of things around it. It at the time. Was you put a grid at the top which was just like your own makeshift calendar with eights on? And he said, all right. Here's a calendar. Now, let's start thinking about what goes into each one of these boxes that we know. When are we sending out this Email when we posting this to Facebook when we doing this and that and setting it all up, and that was at the very top. And then at the bottom you underneath a grid. You had a list of emails that needed to go out because that was the workhorse each Email had like it was more like an like an outline in one. Just to set a bullet points of what needed to go out. Yeah. And in full disclosure that was not my original. I'm all about credit where credit is due. And in that case, we need a lot of watching these dating Jack Walker's product wants formula in a very abbreviated. So if you get his book launch like I literally figured out how to copy and paste from kindle, which that forceps in it of it's not as easy as it should be. And how that that's what a bullet points came from because it's a framework that works is it the best. Maybe maybe not probably not is it the worst. Not at all. Does it work? Has it worked before rather than reinventing the wheel and making the perfect marketing campaign? Lex get something that we know will get us who solid C plus B, minus B. Plus, let's be a solid player in the game. Rather than trying to get a perfect score out of the gate and doodling. So you about iterating and you don't wanna iterative by starting from scratch. If the thing is already been done before it's not critical to our business. We don't need to reinvent it. Let's just go with what works so and put that line. And then he started to signing a writer, April Deichmann who was writing for us. She knew exactly now what she needed to. Right. And then how it all fit in together? You took Ari disarm. Oh, who at the time was too. I think customer service Email and customer service, and you said to her I think you're capable of doing more, and you can handle Email marketing software, if I teach you how to do it you brought in Rebecca Rebecca, you're working with her. What was what was Rebecca's role for you? And what was it for us as as you're working with us and to so when when we started Rebecca was working for me is nicer spent and so she did a lot of the project management on. Mys- is the way that we were running it someone needed to help keep everything organized and at that point in time, I was working with multiple clients multiple things going on. And so Rebecca, and I would talk about how to organize it. And then she would go do the little details of whether it's putting it into your in a sonnet that time or into base camp when we moved there and just really support me. So that when we were on a call 'cause we'd be on project a lot of team planning calls and stuff and a lot of did without you before when we got started. We just evolved Andrew for some of them. But the court team Rebecca Ari and April, and I we've meet we'd go through like, hey, what are we going to do? What's a strategy? What are we gonna right? How do we think the story flows going to go? And then we'd involve Andrew, and we needed the details and for approval most of the time, we forgot the timer to your very very gracious about, you know, the whole, hey, remember, the only on his if something's. Down with my name. I wanna see the final version of it. And you know, make sure that it's good. And that's another thing. I don't want a brush over that. I was not one to use project management software at all. Even Jason freed hit me up one time and said, hey, I want to I want to kind of feature you you're using base camp. I not really I use basecamp whenever it's other people's companies that are doing stuff for me. But I don't use product management for myself. I never liked project manager. I always thought probably management software was a little bit too much overhead the way that many people on our team thought about like systems in organizing themselves being too much overhead. I thought that way about project management. You should I don't care. I'm gonna use Asana and you signed us up for a sauna, and I wasn't in on those calls. I didn't even know about it. And I thought it was great. I'm totally fine. Letting go of stuff, I don't have to do myself, and I got excited about it product management software, when it was was actually, really helpful. It is because going back to everybody's in a different place. You need a central location for everybody to be able to look at and see even if they don't wanna look at the big picture 'cause a lot of people that are specialists really good at their specific little thing. They don't want in on what's all going on. They just get overwhelmed though, I can feel and but you still need somewhere as the Wieder. It's part of leadership you need to be able to go somewhere. And know what's going on? Who is has what do when you can manage it through Email? Guess what you're gonna hate your in box. And then if you don't. Other people miss it. Other people miss it for sure I think the secret there was also not trying to use it myself on my own for the first time having somebody in this case, you who had a lot of experience organizing other companies come in and say, this is how organizing it at me from going into too many like using the subset like you had on opinions. We're not using sub tests within asks on Asana were just keeping it at the top level. And that's it. Let me take a moment. Talk about my first sponsor. It's a company called active campaign for sending out Email marketing, if you're out there, and you're getting team marketing in any way, I've gotta tell you. I've used so many different pieces of software. I've hated so many of them I stopped actually being negative about them in public because I may want to get the the founders on here to interview, I might like the founders for building up what they did point to any mail software just suck so badly because they either don't have the power to do customization. Or if they do you're gonna need to hire people in literally pay them tens of thousands of dollars not a month. I I've ACTU. Been at a place where we have to pay ten thousand dollars a month to have somebody take care of air, Email marketing software, absolutely sucks. I will tell you in person, you don't even need a drink in my hand. I will tell you in person, which one suck why they suck in great detail because I I've gone through it. I'll tell you active campaign is phenomenal. It's not just me saying this. I talked to side baulky. I said, look you're using in monster. What you seeing this being worked on its own do gonna go jump active campaign. I talked to a sumo. These are the people who create software for collecting Email address. I said look hunting scenes when he guy seeing the people are using well and being happy with because you integrate with all these Email providers active campaign everybody who who you've seen me interview about active campaign has the love them. If you're looking for Email marketing, downright Hugh should go check out active campaign dot com slash mixture it allow you to tag people. So that you can customize a message you send them based on what they've clicked on in the past. Whether they've seen a video or not in the past that means that if you're selling boots for hikers and boots for hunters. You can still communicate each one of them differently. Not till hiker was like peace, Nick and begin. This is gonna be great when you're out there on a hunt and the same thing for the opposite. Someone who's out there with a job? You don't want them to see your at about how this is like, wait, experience nature. No, then want experience nature. Active campaign dot com slash mixture, g will give you first light. You try it for free. If you love it, and you sign up your second month will be free. They will even do to free coaching calls, and they will migrate you from that. Whatever piece of garbage emails offer using right now, go to active campaign dot com slash mixture. You will thank me for it. And I will tell you this. If you ever hate them or any other sponsors compel me about it to my whole team. If I'm for some reason, not paying attention Email, my whole team contact that mixture dot com, it goes to everybody, and I will be embarrassed to have a sponsor that might team sees my audience doesn't love you have to love them or else. I don't have to take their money active campaign dot com slash mixture, gene. Even if you hate me toss off this lash mixture message at the end, spite yourself and not get any any payment free month. Just so I don't get credit for love active campaign. I promise. All right. Like, I know what you have sponsors and you have ads, but it's a truth. I've had clients and just about any and every software solution under the sun. And then some you've never heard of and with folks are no that used campaign love it. You know, what we're with Email providers more than like stuck team providers more than we are a lot of other providers. If you hate my other sponsor, hostgator, you take your WordPress that you move to somebody else if you your Email provider to pain in the but it is to switch over you better. Make right. Okay. So we were we were doing. Well. You started organiz team calls and team calls where another thing to were mystery to me I've never worked at a company. I don't know what these team called is supposed to be like you started implementing without me. What goes on in team? Call. That's a great question. Because a lot of times like when we if you've had any big company experience like you waste so much time on conference calls, and I joke like I missed part of my fortune five hundred career because they used to get so much done on conference. Call like, I didn't get on my shopping done. You know, re catch up on the way the articles like I do not and still here present for my, you know, three minute blip, usually at the end of the call when I was reporting out whatever project, but when you twist small team like it's an education process because everybody has to start like understanding what the big picture is. So they see where their little contribution fits in. Because it's a lot of different pieces of puzzle and in order to be successful. Sometimes you end up doing co working on team call now it depends upon the size of the size of the team early on when we just had the four the four of us, myself APR. Oh, Rebecca and REO. Call one of those were like co working call or we were talking about things making some decisions doing a little bit on the call. And that's the team grew. I mean got into the Bon academy launches, but when you did to get everybody on the same page. So we all know what's going to happen, which steps are going to go through it. Because if you've never been through before you don't know that you know, the process, it's it's not rocket science. It's very systematic. You're gonna go from traffic and advertising, then people are going off in and you get weeds in an audience, and then people are going to be engaged, then you go into conversations in sales, then they're going to buy then you're gonna go into customer fulfillment and everybody touches one piece of that or multiple pieces. But when I waited they don't know how all the pieces fit together. And there's no really good way to know. But happening like we're the progress. What needs to go on this week? What? To go on the week after to get everybody on the same page to be marching to the same deadline. But so in the beginning, you guys would be on the calls and actually do the work. So few told Ari, here's how Email marketing software is gonna work. You would actually have her. Do it turn on your screen share Walker through it? Have it set up? If you worked with April about what went into an article, she might start interviewing you for the bullet points that she needs and then go and write off on her own. That's epoch thing. Yeah. In in some cases, and we were able to do that because it was such a small group, and so is more of a working call than team call. And because everyone knew that the some of what we accomplish in that our that Ari didn't mind working on something else if April and I were working on bullet points for an Email. So she would work on something else. Just quietly go do what about the other companies that you worked with on your site right now on quantifying dot com slash clients worked. The John Maxwell's company you worked with. Who is it who Elsa the foundation, Dr occupant? Dr axe. What what goes on those calls me? The you worked with him for how long. Reme- nice spent three and a half years working together. I started working with him back in twenty ten right after he launched his first earn one K prod product, those do Bruins. Yep. Okay. Yes. That was his first paid course after the book, and I actually purchased it early on phoned him through Tim Ferriss, and I was was a student. He asked for feedback. I got to know his team or well that was back early days, you know, small launches, you know, there were a small number of students going through. They always ask for feedback and whatnot. And then eventually his team and remained pitched me on. You know, hey, we want you to work with us. Let's start doing some little stuff, and I started actually doing dash boarding with him. So when through all the different pieces of software pulled all the numbers. So every week could see which numbers were growing. And really what the state of the business was. What numbers would you look at what what were the sale? So what we're sealed dollar? You know, what were the weeds where we're the weeds coming from? Because at that point in time. It's not like nowadays where the west is. Oh, my God huge at that point in time. The list was, you know, sixty thousand seventy thousand Atara, and so it's like, and that was back before everything was evergreen and systematize. And so the way that the business ran with we do all these little micro launches so there'd be a period of gathering all your opt in. And then when haunch can we more just the new people? Okay. All right. Let's watching all that. Yes. Okay. And hoping helping manage manage all those numbers, and then that was still at the point in time where I had a fulltime career. You know, I was making six figures in corporate working for Nissan North America driving new cars, all the time. Benefits that lay. And eventually we got to point where I had done some launches with the team. And I still remember like what I even know even sells this anymore. It was negotiate your rent. It was a product. And how how you lived in San Francisco or another big city to actually work with your landlord in the Goshi at your rent to get a better deal. So I, you know, I really wonder I'm gonna have to go like to see if you can still buy that on the internet nowadays. Like our first launch in some ways on that. Although we didn't feel on it. It wasn't like some. Oh, my goodness amazing thing. But because they came into, you know, the world of freelancers and entrepreneurs and digital marketing and info products, I came from a corporate background. So it was used to having to organize information and to be very structured in the way, it was communicated. I still remember the first Email I sent out when we were going to do the whole negotiate your rent launch. And I'm like, okay. This is who's all involved. And this is what's going to happen? And these are the timelines and did this the Email before the meetings, and I still remember Chris Whitmore who's doing the videography for remediate? He only goes so easy. It's just like, so relieving. Have a plan and like no it's going to. To have that order. Because everybody wants to know what's going on like going back to what we as humans are commissioned to we're really conditioned to understanding what needs to happen. You know, Americans and Britons are really good at cueing. Like, we're good standing in wise. We're good at waiting like. But in so many things like nobody knows what's going to happen. I when it happened second what's going to happen third. And so in some ways, if you're not doing team, call you can do it through Email, but somebody's gotta like have order and enjoy writing those emails because they can get really long, and then you've gotta insure somebody reads them like if you're on a call, especially video call it's really easy to see who's engage in who's totally checked out there like, yeah, she video on. But I don't think most people do video still. It could be changed at zoom. Zoom has changed because it's so good at doing the whole many screens like, you know, Skype is you know, wasn't the thing there for loud before. Anyway, we'll go down Microsoft bashing route. But your organs ING his calls. How are you doing that yet? So we we had a calendar. And you know, as we grew the business, and it was, you know, right about a million when I started and we've hit her first fifteen million year the year that I offered from working with him. So is that from twenty twenty ten through twenty fourteen a wow. So you took you help them go from a million to how much to fifteen million in like twenty years. Wow. Wow. That's hyper growth, right there. Yeah. Is our product launches. We we got to we got a team and the team grew. I mean, one of the things were meet with the nominal about was knowing his audience and marketing to his audience and figuring out what products do they want? What products would they pay money for which the figure that out? So he did a lot of serving. He did a lot a lot of serving and even still if you're subscribed to newsletter. You'll see like all the time. They're like different surveys. Are you interested in this? Are you interested in that? And then read through all the surveys talk to people in some place some cases develop, you know, small micro courses or live events or dream job elite. So when we were launching prime your dream job. Nobody told the dream job elite group that paid, you know, anywhere from ten to twenty K for that course, that, hey, look this is a beta of what REM. Testing that. Yes, you'll get your value out of and you'll get interaction and coaching and whatnot from all of that. But really you're just a student in a beta program that we want testimonies from in order to go and then watch the. Them. It was surveys talking to people. Then creating this beta group where people are paying ten thousand to be to get access to it and then learning by teaching them, and then bring back what you learn from them to create a full on course, if it works got it. And so that's the process, and when you say talking to people who do the who'd have those conversations a lot of times would have them also worked with some price developers, and has teamed that way where sometimes they go interview them sometimes things would be transcribed. But I remember so well because I mean, I have an undergraduate degree in marketing like I'm cross trained in classical marketing. And that's I started my masters in technology, our number. I'm like, I had the pistons courses on how do you verify idea is would shit, and this goes against all of that all of that? And I didn't get it. Because like, you know, you need a statistically significant. Sample, but like differences, you're not trying to market to the masses you're trying to market to the people that are in your audience. And so if you don't know who's in your audience, and what they want cares what the rest of the world is going to do because it's the people in your audience that are on your Email list that are going to buy something. And so it was serving following up with phone calls to understand thing. And it'd be even creators that help do it. And then creating a sim all tests often, and then if that worked making it into a big thing on Sint launches launched. Gosh, we ended up launching any Murphy tween six to ten products in a year important the car on incentives. Oh, gosh. So that depends on the way you count it. So we did cart reopened in some cases products were really small like they were you'd have a big product. And then you carve out a little niche. So in case of you know, the dream job product. There was a course on, you know, overnight resume makeover. So you know, because like building your resume was part of that. But then people would pay two hundred or three hundred dollars per course, just on resume, let alone on that. When you look at the way, the products suite is built, and this is true for any product. You have a great big piece that's made up of smaller pieces. And so you can have things that are very symbiotic. And so if you have smaller products that then build into a bigger product, you've got an upgrade path for somebody or a lot of time talking about that kind of hyper growth, the thing that most people miss is the price point. If you're selling at a two thousand dollar to three thousand dollar price point, you don't have to so near as many unit to get to a million dollar. You know? It's five hundred times two thousand. Got it. Late at night. So you've been would you rather have five hundred customers or two thousand customers so part of the secret of that, hyper growth is pricing of the very high price point. But it's also the matter of knowing your customers marketing to them getting into their heads going back to another one of those things that you know, Ramiz was phenomenal. At so many other marketers are phenomenal at I mean, it's like one of the things that took in pagan too, high success and hers is understanding that mentality of like, what is the customer actually going through because it's not necessarily just marketing, it's the psychology of it. What about your other clients like John Maxwell company? He's he's just a be creating a lot of different books and M's. What did they do to understand? Yeah. So gosh, John Bax was one of that was a super challenging engagement because they come from the organization. John mackerel company, they come from very fate based culture. So while they re religious not well, so the marketing isn't religious principles are very religious. So it's very much an upright above board. And it was a how do you do digital marketing? But you can't use any of the internet marketing tactics. You can't be sleazy. You can't be scammy. You can't you know, be fake. You can't, you know, do tons of like weird discounting, you know. Value. You know for the lemon at time off if you buy it like next two seconds for fifty bucks. Like, we couldn't do any of that. But the phenomenal. They have really good people, and they had amazing people working for them that cared about helping the customers we launched. We actually launched several things that we did a high mastermind called the executive circle. So that was twenty to twenty five thousand dollars per seat and at working with executives and giving the executive of big companies a place for mentorship with John and other people in his circle, but we also did some leadership programs. We're has leadership course that you can you know, it's year. Mom, leadership course, and it was how do you take going back to the same type of marketing structure, and then working both you he has writers right with him. And. To you. Take your marketing director, you take your person you take your writer, you take your intern. And then one or two other people pop in and out of meetings, and how to use showed them that. Like, hey, we're gonna do this place where we actually like create a marketing campaign take people through the experience through senate's story talking about leadership through some, you know, samples of the course. And then we're going to take them to an actual copy sales page. I know I like so don't believe in long copy sale pages, but they work. So I've learned to suspend my disbelief because the people that read the copy actually engage, and they're the ones that by the people that don't read the people that don't buy. Yeah. I think even when I buy like the latest ipad, I'm doing a ton reading on and watching videos, and you think who's watching. I am I'm watching it. And I get it. You're saying someone's about to spend a couple thousand bucks or ten to twenty thousand dollars on something. They wanna read is possible. Let me. Let me come back now to what we did at mixer g one of the things that we did was you lived in Austin, are it was an Austin April was in Austin felt like everyone was in Austin. And so at one point I came to Austin, and you had a friend who we're gonna use some some space may become even to your place. And you said, you know, have friend ride the heart of Austin, beautiful place. Let's go stay with him. Day, and we'll just talk, and I remember you came in fully armed lot of markers. Hot of like big piece of paper with sticky on the back, and so on now, we have a checklist. Those items are on our checklist. We could always them. Post. It knows all the things that I can't stand. I don't love any of them. But I see the value. And now they're on our checklist that we always will have it whenever we do in off site meeting. I'm because for me, I just like want give me an apple whatever it is. I can connect my device, Anna chrome, we always know whatever the chrome stupid thing is connected TV in the in chrome cast in the apple TV. We have one of each and we use a chrome cast. And that's what we use. But it still helps to have something for people drawn. And I appreciate that. So we do what you came in. And you said Andrew when I want you to do now is just answer a bunch of questions with all of us here. And we'll all understand the product betters were writing creating so on one of the things that you force me to do say who is in the audience just described them. And in the description, I said they do love to talk about. And try the newest thing in technology, even if it goes nowhere. You will say there's this new thing and go. Yeah. Of course, I tried it. Here's out work for me. And that's unusual. Most people don't want to try and other pieces offer. They're just happy where they are people. Do you kept pushing me like, for example, what an at the time this like four years ago three years ago on product hunt chat bots were just coming at the very top all time. I keep monitoring product on every morning. And you said, okay, let's put this on the board. And I said somewhere towards the end of the day Rachel, I'm really quieting down here. But I don't think this is useful. And I'm trying not to for that. Right. I know I like to take over every meeting. Oh, gosh. That's the statement of the air talk about the way that my my meeting style. Oh, gosh. So we start with an agenda, and we usually have some kind of a Google doc because let's be somebody has to leave the meeting 'cause otherwise you're all gonna hang out on a conference call and like thirty other or you know, be texting somebody else. And so we start out with a meeting, and we'd we'd have the Google doc, and we'd have certain things we're supposed to cover and we've got a time budget, and I've read meetings for your so I'm pretty good at like speeding things up or slowing things down. And then you can Andrew in their unlike, you know, you'd be really good like the first five minutes, maybe ten minutes in. And then you you have been hey, can we talk about this one thing and like at the beginning like as unite have gotten a little bit more, comfortable each other? You know in the beginning that you run like an that'd be Andrew would like wandering then getting a three or four minutes and be kinda like watching my looking at the watch. Like, you couldn't you couldn't see it. But I was like, okay. I'll give him a little while then I'm gonna rain and go back and then later on as we went along, and you started to get into the meeting. Cadence to be like, okay, Andrew will come back to that later. But let's go into the other thing right now because you have such great ideas. And you have, you know, a lot of energy, and it's and it's by nature because in the meeting, you're still the boss and use that as the air quotes, because they, you know, you're the guy that signs everybody's paychecks or, you know, in some bigger companies that maybe you know, that you're the one who, you know, people would report up to but like by nature everybody just like takes a seat. It's like, oh, it's the boss the boss the bosses, the boss we have to follow it. We can't talk back to him. But. I feel like I tell everybody is listening to this. Like, if you're the boss what happens if you just shut up and sit back, and because sometimes that necessary because like now, you know, as you the process is gone, and we had the meetings, and we had the structure, and then I turned it over to Mirasol, and we taught her how to run them. And then it was just a couple of weeks ago. She and I had a call, you know, talking about like things running and huffing going, and you know, I know that she's like ramp things up another notch just based upon some of those things, and it's the process of letting others take the weed. And now if you don't show up like the business still goes on I thought academy still runs I like, see, right? The reason that I can't shut up. Sometimes I feel like we need to get to something really substantive and actionable immediately and not just merely every. Second. If it's not actionable, and it's not done. Now. It just sucks. So why are we sitting in setting who these people are what are we going to do with it? What's the plan for what to do with it? And I have no faith in anything. I don't like take things well on faith, unless somebody's a super strong leader. Who says I've done this a million times and this work? It's actually that came to me from having a kid. I had this nanny come into my house. And I remember going why am I trusting this nanny with my kid? The woman is not in the country legally, there's nothing holding in the country. I don't have that much of background information on her. I'm trusting my kid with her where I wouldn't trust my laptop with a friend. I always take it out with me. My wife didn't have my passcode until last year and almost ten years. And I realized what it was part of it is just my natural. I need to control. But also it was more than that. The nanny was really good because I could see that. She knew her. She knew her stuff. She knew the little details. Like to tell me, we're gonna open up these bottles that you didn't think you need to later. She knew how to help my kid fall asleep. She knew how to make a chain. How to change a diaper and do it fast and officially and cleanly. Schmidt a calm the baby down. And I realized when someone's really good you just trust them. And yes, I made a few phone calls, of course, to make sure that my kid was in good hands. But you just trust them. I realize a lot of times what I was doing was starting out with someone who's new who's figuring it out with me. And I don't do very well at just saying your new you'll figure it out much better saying all you're so much better than me. I'm confused completely by this. But I know the outcome's going to be good go run with it. I'm much better at handling people like that nanny than I am or at the opposite end someone who's brand new and then just micromanaging. So that's. Pain related though. Because like some people are like, why do you pay these people lot of money like all of us have been in the business somewhere where we have somebody that exceptionally well paid and sometimes we're like. You're not that you know, good. But like when you're paying people for when they are good is you're paying them for all the learning for all the mistake. Save made you can shortcut that learning curve and just jump to the result pair, somebody brand new they're making mistakes on your and so with you. I knew you could do it. And I forced myself to shut up even though it seems like it wasn't going anywhere. And then we kind of walked away. And we realized this Chapa thing is actually kind of exciting. It's gotta just keep talking up. It was more than that. It was gonna talk all the things that are interesting in new to the audience. I started talking about this chap thing. And then this big thing happened. Let me take me talk about my second sponsor, then we'll get right back into second thing is second sponsors, a company called top tout, one of the people that I hired from top towels a guy named Jack I got into situation Rachel where I just wasn't sure. Where's my money going? Where's it coming in new to the penny? Literally to the penny. I know that the Wall Street Journal every month, charged me four bucks. I can't stop paying attention to that. I know at all I go over every literally every expensive the company every month. I wanted with like a big picture understanding. What was I missing what was going on? So I went to top Colin. I said you guys have a new finance division that you bought. And now you've made it part of your offering. Can I hire someone who's gonna be my part time CFO, and they said, let's talk and so again, this is the same process everyone else goes through. And they asked me what I was looking for why I wanted it. And then they reshaped. It renamed. Named it re everything, and they came back to me and said, actually, Andrew what you're really looking for is the profitability advisor. And then they gave me a handful of people to talk to because they wanted usually do just two or one, but they wanted me to see a broad spectrum because I wasn't super clear on what I needed one of them was this woman who just graduated from Stanford University was working I think in an oil business into she had a very like academic approach. Another one was an entrepreneur who had multiple business was later in life who just had a lot of experience running companies one of the person that was Jack Jack had was he was working for a major management company. And he was also someone who had run a company for an investment group. And what I liked about him was as I was telling them the problem, let's see some screen chair. So we just showed finances, and then as we continue he said, well, actually, I think you missing an opportunity here with taxes, and why are you not paying quarterly taxes? And I said, well, one of my interviewees said you don't have to pay the pay the fee, the fine. Then keep using the money says you actually don't need to keep the money. You've got enough in the Bank. What you? Should do is take all that money out of the Bank, and you should take a loan because interest rates anyway, all that stuff. He started giving me advice on what my wife should be doing with her money coming in from work all exit great, Jack you're hired in the United now working together every month you've more than paid for himself. He's it's like having a McKinsey level a adviser for the company and for the finances all coming in from top town, if you're out there, and you're looking to get some help with your finances top towel will tell you that they will put together spreadsheets for you for your investors of forgetting investors. They'll tell you the put together decks for you. That will help persuade people. I'm gonna tell you even higher like CFO type people from them and management advises from them, you you can't do is hire that person who's going to be like chief person in some random part of the world for five bucks an hour. Screw that top house not in that business. But if you're looking to pay a little bit more because you want your business to grow a lot. More fucking go to top tau T O P T A L dot com slash mixture g they don't like that curse. I don't think they like that occurs. Top cow dot com slash or gee, I really love them using. Forever and a few that link you're gonna get eighty hours of top developer credit for free. When you pay for eighty hours in addition to it, no risk trial, period. Go top the top of head towels talent to be tail dot com slash Mickey. Right. Yeah. Man. I'm I'm going off again. This is a problem that I have with my advertisers. I can't wing it. We hired this woman. Jackie to turn these cream duddy stories for me, I need to be more disciplined. Stick with case. Studies just going off. What do you think the open with moody? Think of the way that I did that ad. The thing. I know this parts of the story. Like, I didn't know that Jackson all this. But I love that. You're just being honest now for the like like the authenticity is there from the sponsors perspective. The cursing of really interesting question because like some people don't care some people do care in like in this day and age it just a good conversation like peace anyway. But outside of the outside of the cursing the corporate part of me still remember like trust me. I was at tractor supply. And this is back way early in my career. And you know, I I now curse a lot more than ever. Did. I'm like, you know, our CEO Kirsten some of the meetings, and I was like offended not like he was like dropping like words like that in the middle of the input of like the whole company, and I was like appropriate for like, you know, senior management of like. Butch and five hundred. I don't think it's good for me to do in the Addy that was just me getting carried away. And if I could edit that out, focus and also don't think that that much about it. I don't like the rambling it's to rambling that ad that added needs to stay more focused. I need to stay more disciplined within the ads. The ads are actually big challenge for me because I do them when I'm passionate about them. And my passion means that. I sometimes go off a little bit too much talk too much, and I need to name is your Email, though, see differences like this you get one cut right with your Email like what actually goes out in the final product in those Email has been edited an edited an edited like we're things just get cut because in the Email process. We start with a story, and you're talking a name, you know, that gets written up and then you start chopping and you're like, hey, we can make this better. I think that's just the part that editor has already done or speaking of Email. One thing that you helped me realize I don't have to write my own Email myself that was a big issue for me other people writing. And then you said look I've worked with other clients. They don't start with pages. Have someone else writes, something, even if you don't like it, then you hate it? And that's easier for you to write against a blank pain. Maybe they actually take your words, and they shape it the way you express the way you express it to them or the way you meant to and it sounds better. And you can just go in refine it, and that's been a huge thing. It wasn't until I read a book about Johnny Carson where he was like shocked when he got into Hollywood when he got into show business to see that the people who are standing up on stage didn't write all their own material. And he had that realization. Okay. I have to accept it. And then he had a bunch of writers wasn't till then that I realize okay, I got accept this too. And it's helped it's helped. But it's also a challenge. Finding writer's been my big goal for this year is to work with better riders define them. It's gonna pay gas. Let's come back to the story. We then with sitting and thinking about the chap thing. And I said this is too exciting. We need to do something with it. And the way we experimented with. It was I just sent out an Email to my audience saying I'm playing with Chapa income in come in sign up. And so they sign up a bunch of them did like actually was two hundred he them, and the reason was two hundred and fifty as Aydin link to the chat experienced properly. I linked to what is a mistake. And now, I know it because I made that mistake, but two hundred fifty people is good is a daily message from me teaching them what I learned about chat as a way of reaching an audience, and then from there, we said, let's see if anyone who by anything, and then I started selling, and I it was like seventy dollars call with me to do chat bots, and I would do it. Sit on second here because they've sat call with you when everybody that's probably listening to this thinking, oh, Andrew where it went and wrote a sales page, and I remember like the marketing part of this is stuff. I don't always tell you marketing. Part of me was appalled. Like, Andrew did a form. What's that? What's that? Yeah. You made like gravity form like Lincoln to gravity form. Step one step two step three step four. And then you had, you know, pay me here because you have a way to get money through gravity from. Yeah. The record connected. Yeah. Yeah. I like it was I was doing the marketer in me was just a dying inside. It's like, oh my goodness. Mrs. So. Why why didn't you like it? I didn't know that you felt that way. Brilliant nursing all the words, it's like just so basic like, you know, like I wanna like at least build a short fill page and put a button, so they can quit and be committed. Here's what I did. I tell you my process, and then I want to hear from you be open. I promise I'm gonna shut up. So that I can hear what I did. When I when I got fascinated by interviewing as a conversation process. And so when it came to interview heroes, I emailed out to a thousand people on the list. And I said look while I was away on paternity leave a bunch of people ask me about how to do interviews. Would you want me to teach you how to do this even and if somebody said, no, I said, why not and like the thing about gravity forms and all forms really as you could easily say to somebody who says no why not and then collect data. Yes. I said what he wanna learn. And then it's okay, great. I'm gonna do it pay a deposit, and then we'll figure out what the price is later. And I'd see if people didn't I'd say, okay. Would you pay deposit if they said, no and say, why aren't you gonna pay a deposit for if they said, yes? Why what do you wanna know? And then I let them pay and then I would take that little bit attacks. I would put it on the next version to the next island people, and I would continue asking that question. Keep pulling out sentence your sentence there and putting it in with a sales page with the Chapada. I was kind of on the same path saying, do you wanna learn create one of these things if you do say, yes. And then tell me why you don't say no tell me why. And then I take you through. But you don't like it. Why? Like, I like things to pretty like there's a part of me that just like everything to be nicely visually designed and whatnot. But like from the process perspective. It's the absolutely right thing to do. 'cause you're doing the MVP approach for everybody. That's in the software world, you know. It's just the minimum viable product. What do you need to know what you need to do? But it's like the it goes back to the chicken and the eggs do build marketing funnel and the process and all the pieces, and then safe people buy it or do you see what people are going to buy and then build it. So what you did in that very beta stage. It was even ghetto before beta because we took all of that research, and then go out the beta sales process and. That research abled, the the pre- the first version, which which we didn't January, and then we turned around into what we learned from selling the first well the second time 'cause you know, phone calls. I then we sold the first version of the course, then we took all of that. And then we launched what would be considered a more proper launch like with Upton and leave bag nets and sales funnels and webinars and so- pages and like the full thing. So basically wasn't that bad. It was just ugly. And I've had an issue with ugly for ever like even right now, my backdrop, she'd have something looks good on it. I just don't have the design. I that's definitely been a huge issue for me. And I need to find solutions for part of it was we ended up working with Jose who you helped me meet through someone else. And that's one advantage working with you that you've worked with a lot of these people. I could give a list of people can go see it on quantifying dot com slash clients. And so the people who they use and you've gotten to know because you're in their project management software. You are able to introduce me to and I could work with many of them that helped. Time at conferences like that's one of the pieces that most folks like underestimate like I don't go to the conferences for the content to go to conferences for the networking. So and a lot of times it's like you meet somebody, and it's like what do you do? What are you into your experience? Yeah. And it's not always about the here. And now sometimes it's about the three months later, the six months later, the nine months later. Oh, yeah. I met that guy had traffic and conversion you know, that you had that and between both you know in the world of hiring. I've I've hired a lot of folks a lot of people that I've hired no hired him. A lot of people that are fired don't know that fired them because that was your coaching. But usually coached the buddy else that was firing them but higher than firing process. It's like you've gotta warn what you need. And then like what are the important parts? And then what are? Are you know, just the nice to have things that really me not matter like going back to like, you know, are you very first interational for Bata kademi. You know, the nice have was looking pretty you know, that really didn't matter. What mattered was people are people going to pay like with a designer what you have to have, you know, it's absolutely critical that what they do looks nice. And that they live or on time out of people tell you to bring on time is optional. But no the. Yeah. Working with that schedule. You can't have one person just stop at rethink, especially if that person's designing the sales page. Okay. So then we said this is working. We're gonna sell it the way that we wanted. I remember as I was walking. And I said to you can we do to go big with this. And we kinda made a plan for what it was gonna be is gonna be ads, and you really tasked me with finding somebody to buy ads for us. And that was tough yet. Because the difficulty with buying ads is the big the individual people who buy ads do it. Okay. But they don't have enough insight into it. The bigger agencies do great job, but they don't wanna start with someone who hasn't figured out like what works, and so if you don't spend what is fifteen twenty thousand dollars with the agency doesn't want to deal with you, even if they're nice to me because like, hey, it's mixed guy. Let's just help him out take on business. That's doom five thousand dollars a month in ads that took us a long time. We eventually found each segment who. It was John Lee Dumas of all the people who I'd kinda worked with John do had the most fricken dialed in business out there every aspect of his business. I never would have known until I saw him in every aspect of business super organizing dialed in and I said who do use end he said, I use this guy. Ethan, I must really like you because I'm making this introduction. So did you can help partnering with other people helped? Here's what else was useful in that process. I wasn't pushing the people who we wanted to partner with to move fast enough because there's a whole lot of me like evaluating people letting them just make their own decision. Whatever you want Andrew go in there and just tell them this is important, and they need to do this right now. And this is what n if they ask you any more questions, Tom. This is what it is they with chats chat bots people had tons of questions. They just weren't sure about anything. Basically, they're never gonna know everything just tell them, you're not gonna know everything just make decision. Let's do it. I liked that. I liked that about you that you say you can say Andrew you need to move faster you need to do this stop being a pussy. Never told you never actually used that word. He like, but I've said that in so many other ways they've Zach saying things. Yeah. You know, what I was trying to think of a synonym in my head before saying, and I said, no, I can't come up with one. But I'm not gonna wis outta talking whis is the it was should've had. Okay. So that that's what did it. And that's what helped us grow. Things got good from there. And we've continued to grow that part of the business. I eventually liked it so much it was becoming too distracting to mixer G. And like what the hell's this whole chat thing. Doing on MSCI became question. I said I had to decide to love it enough to keep going or do I not? Lot that we bought domain spot academy. Anyone listening can go and check it out. Let's talk about now that we've gotten to that talk about just like working with me. What's that? Like, you had you said before we started talking about me as a leader might be interesting. What do you think of my leadership skills in? What is it like not what you think of it? What do you notice? So first of all like, I what you don't talk. A lot about is like the where you are. Now is not where you were three years ago. Like all the way along you've been making slow and Krugman as as a leader at like actually giving direction versus a lot of times early on. It was Andrew was like, hey, what do you think? Hey, what do you think? Hey, what do you think? What do you think? He what do you think? Hey, so and so thinks so in something that I can you not be like, you know, we'd be like thirty minutes later. And it's like, okay. We haven't decided anything we just done a lot of talking. And so like that process has shortened dramatically, there's still places where you ask everybody for their opinion. And you're really good about making people feel heard making people feel valued. And you're you're really good at like all those conversations. Like, you know, I think everybody was into mixture. Jay, if nothing else should just learn how to have con conversations chant. Kennel their inter Andrew and ask the awkward questions that they really wanna know kinda fray desk. Being good at challenging the status quo. Always pushing is both good and bad. Because like we do something. And how do we make it better? We do something. And it's like, okay. Well, what about trying miss what about trying that? So in some cases, like the same thing that makes it great is also part of the downfall. Because then it's like, how do you decide when did change something when to challenge something? And when do you decide okay, we're going to do that? But not yet. You don't want. It is it's out. Mix is different from three's company next started out doing my own thing. And then I moved onto working with virtual assistants who were going to do individual tasks like editing, and they if I didn't give them clear directions in just expected them to know what to do they weren't getting it done right because they weren't here to watch me. Because I because they didn't know what to do. And so I got really clear on. Here's exactly what to do step by step. And I got good at it. I'd create these docs with screen shots in our O's and everything and then I get what I was looking for. And then I started moving to working with people who had their own opinions, which was really good. Because you know, I wanted that. I wanted somebody to come up in pre interview like Jeremy Weiss, we did the original set of pre interviews. I liked to befriend the guests in hang out with him after interviewing become super good friends with a lot of our guests. I liked that. He had opinions about what we should be asking about how we can direct the conversation. And I said, okay, great. I'm seeding to their direction on this stuff because they. They see the beginning nicotine from there. The challenge eventually was. I would say I think we need to do something and they would have their own opinions. And then how do I connect my opinion with theirs, and it would be things like going back to documentation, I need to document. A no I can't what do you think? We should do this big mess here. I'm okay with something different. I don't need Google for everything. What do you think we should do? And then it became this. Like, I don't know. But I can't do this. And so what you told me to do is look Andrew they don't have an answer for this. If they're just having an hiring. It's not because they don't wanna do it just they tell them to do it. It's kinda like eating your vegetables. You may know that you need to do it. And you're not doing it. Not because it's wrong. There's no one telling go eat your vegetables any eventual is documenting eating your vegetables following up in a certain way. All right that help let me see what else. I have. You're my notes conversation. You brought up a couple of times here that I sometimes go personal conversation was what is that? Like, what do you think about that? Yes. So it's it's good because it would be bad. If you went person. Conversation. It was only ever one way. I don't know that there's ever been a question that I've like inter after, you know, like, you know, you don't you don't give it as good as you get. Yeah. You dating. And then I don't talk about my my wife with my wife rescue about an argument that you've had with someone and not get into like an issue that I've yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And that makes all the difference. But like I remember like early on some of those like, you know, kind of like a little bit on edge. Sometimes enders going to ask think it really weird that. I think the ultimate bit of weirdness was probably when we all were actually at that meeting in Austin with RA and April, and we all had gone out to this Mexican place, and we all are talking about, you know, hey, who is the first person, you know, you ever had sex with. When did you lose your virginity and stuff, and you're here, and we got to talking and those are not the normal. Kind of conversations people have believe I don't believe I asked that at that, lunch or dinner. I could be wrong. But I don't believe I did. I'm very careful to not if I'm working with someone I could be wrong. But I'm careful not to ask about their virginity. But I do ask about prying questions. And I had no problem asking you about your brother's situation. Yeah. In my wrong about the net. You you you you were not direct like the way we got into talking about that you made sure everybody was comfortable to a certain degree like, you know, there's that whole space like how far do you go where the boundaries on your good at pushing boundaries? But you're not, you know, I wanna go up until your boundary, but not any further, but I don't wanna without a knock at your boundary. But I don't think I've ever asked you about when you lost virginity actually think that would be an appropriate. And if I did maybe it was like an opening where and I think could that ages. We were talking about how old were you rather? Other than the may. Maybe maybe I'm careful not to go gone where I see people uncomfortable. But I'm also possibly wrong where I sometimes go where people do feel. I can't I can never tell ensuring this conversation. If you're gonna talk about remit, for example. But I am one hundred percent sure that if I hadn't asked it. I would have regretted it, and I'll tell you what comes from. Fred Wilson, I interviewed Fred Wilson soon after Twitter one of his big investments had decided they were going to cut off all developers instead of asking him. Hey, Fred, you're on the board. It was on the board at the time. You're an investor in Twitter. You guys just grew from developer partnerships where they were all creating these apps on Twitter. And now you guys just slaughtered all these develop relationships in one fell swoop. Why and I didn't ask it because I was being too nice. And I thought this was what's on my head in my mind. I didn't tap into that and ask them, and I'm not going to make that mistake again so comes with. But you know, what actually I think I might be talking over you. It sounds like what you're saying. To me is Andrew. You do go to a place where it's uncomfortable. And it might be wrong time, I'm -solutely, but like really this conversation because like what's talking about the remained thing. I mean, it's like anybody. That knows me really well knows like three and a half years of my life. It was incredibly successful and did extremely abruptly at least on my part. Obviously, you know, it was something we were in the middle of a launch. You know, we Romy was at that place in his business where he was like he wanted exclusively with everybody and wanted people to come on and being pleased, and you know, dad document to sign, and it's like, hey, you know, you can't ever talk about this that or the other and I sent my turn. And I'm like, hey, what do you think of this, and I didn't wanna be removed some plea? You know, wanna be his COO? I mean, you know, it's funny because like that is even though I had functioned in that for you know, three and a half years behind. Seems the part that never really talked about publicly is during that time. I Sistema ties that like I had a team of people working for me. And with me where we were managing his entire business. And I wasn't in it twenty four seven I was working with other clients. That's when I was doing work with Damon Amdi at the foundation was doing some consulting with pagan team around, you know, some of their branding. And you know, I mean number of other projects, but I was still, you know, contractually fulfilling my obligations for what I was doing with reme-, but I had a project manager who would go so people have ghostwriters I had ghost project managers me new. No, no, no. They would. They would go strikes. Not they wouldn't go me. They would like ghost project manage as me. So I. So I. Yes. She would. So she was working with me. And it was something about hiring the right person hiring the right fit making sure they've got the right boy using she would like it as you to the project management software and create tasks what you would. Yes, I would oversee her work, and we would get the mood. Get everything done at the same time with the phone Dacian. I had Blake that was working with me and Blake was working on the foundation stuff. And there were days when I would be balancing between different projects point time. I was doing a favour for friend in corporate and working on a multinational consolidation of a company that had bought another company, and they were mixing up their SAP software like goes back to what I used to do in corporate. I was doing some of that on the side. And I have a lot of ball. It was juggling the air. But I had a really great team of people that were working with me. And they understood how I worked, and I was able to train them such that I could bounce. Into a project. They would prepare document for me. It was in my style. We would share that document with the team. I hang up the phone one, call London bathroom, gravity water back on another call something that I didn't even know where it was. But the team had prepared it for me. So we could run through because everybody was doing product launches. So it was the same underlying core process, you know, indifferent people. So it's very issues on a theme. But if you if you set up your business, right? You can do that now like fast forward, and I no longer do the done for you services. I, you know, really decided as much as I love having teams and stuff that I really don't was the obligation of, you know, just chasing cash and business to grow that whole spaces you have to get to certain momentum. Like and a lot of. Goes through places where we skill up businesses and down businesses, and I'm a myspace right now where I feel down you're saying you're saying you didn't have a lot of people on your team and continue to do that and grow at and then become the project manager for mixer g with team of people who work for you that we rewrite. I haven't asked to if I could hire you here if I could partner up with you, I would have done equity even just to we can like get you to run. But you said no, I don't want to run the team. I don't wanna I don't want that kind of up ligation. And so we switched to a coaching relationship where you you help me with decisions, and you push me. I gotta ask you first of all we'll get to how other people interested. They could work with you. But I'm going to regret if I don't ask you a follow up question on the do. I get to personal do I get to a place where it's uncomfortable where you don't wanna go where we've noticed other people not wanna go. What what's your take on that? I don't wanna ask questions you'll are violating. I think there's a difference between like violating and uncomfortable. So this is a really fine wine because they this also goes back to you know, of nominal marketing techniques voyeurism, everybody loves watch other people. I mean, that's why reality TV like oh my gosh. How many different personas of survivor? Have there been or any other things? People love to watch other people be uncomfortable or things they would do. And I've seen him on Mr. g osc questions that made people really pencil seen. I remember, you know, team emails we've had where somebody's like, hey, you can't air that episode or don't air that episode. Let's record another interview. And you there have been a lot of spaces where you could have done the easy out and said, okay, that's fine. But it's part of the secret sauce of mixer. Gee, isn't your glean task questions that pushed the edges? Now, have you ever been completely inappropriate? No been awkward sometimes. Yeah. But I mean such as like all right good. I'm glad to hear that. I do check in a bunch, and I wanna make sure that it's not. And but I, but there's always a danger in that. And I think I've accepted the risk. The risk is that I could actually say something that really hurt someone's feelings or that feels violating a little too personal. And I've accepted that that's a risk. And I'm coming at it with good intentions, but I do worry about that. They're been nice literally where I've been going. Did I ask that where I'm especially concerned is with women. I don't wanna get situation where women feel like I'm asking them super personal questions that I wouldn't ask men and in if anything I find myself overly worrying about that where I wouldn't or about it with men, and then I think will is that wrong for me of done that I'll tell you where the big payoff is for these types of questions, I viewed Ross bird off. He is the guy with. Founding CEO of home away fantastic business in leading up to interviewing him all. I saw was articles about whether he cashed out too much money from home away. This was a multibillion dollar business started a new business called zen business. And as he's talking, I'm looking frigging arm. There's something on his arm. And I think this is personal his arm is his own business you here to talk to him about his business. But then I go I gotta ask I, and I asked him in my usual way, which is inappropriate for me to ask you, what's on your arm or something like that? And and he lights up instead of I thought this could be the end he likes up, and he shows me something on his arm. That's like giant tattoo. The one of the biggest twos I've ever seen on an arm. And it says something like like. Stop fear. I forget what the exact phrases. I realized here's a guy who had a successful company who has to tattoo his arm. A reminder that that fear is in his head, and he's not gonna let it stop him. And that let me that sent me down a path of understanding what I always thought as a kid, especially once you cash out millions of dollars of nothing to be afraid of. Then you help me understand never goes away changes. No, it's something you have to deal with for him. It was tattoo for me. It's my own thing. And that is gold to me. 'cause every article that I read about him was is he cashing too much is he doing too well to rich turns out, there's no such thing. That's what I didn't. And it goes back to just that real connection with humans cause it is really easy, especially in this day and age when we all like have had so much media training to be politically, correct. And you know, I mean, and this is not like, you know, of any type of movement or another. But it's like, you know, when I'm talking with people. I'm like, hey, I'm Rachel. And when we start talking about dating, I'm like, you know. Yeah. I'm mean, I'm like where where I came from. I grew up in Wisconsin. I grew up in world discounting outside of Green Bay. You know, the reason why black people list in growing up with the place of ball. And I mean, okay that is not an appropriate statement. That was my reality. Student. You you're saying that it wasn't. It wasn't the truth. It was just the way that it was presented to you. Yes. I that was always strange to me when I would I grew up in New York that world didn't exist. Everyone was all mixed together. It wasn't until I go out to business trips and fly to somewhere go. What is this? This is such a weird like separation, and you're saying you noticed it when you roll up yet. And I mean, I never like always thought the other side of the tracks. I mean because report, and it was all rural very far. I mean it was mid west. It was leave it to beaver, and you know, I was in on honored clashing that we took for Hemingway and Faulkner because I thought that sounded more interesting than some of the other classes, and what are and we went down to Mississippi, and I had never been Mississippi. And it was just incredible. Because I realize like the other side of the trucks. I mean, it's not just a phrase it. It's like literally like I had just never been outside of my own little bubble. Even though, you know, I was, you know, well, educated working on my undergrad, you know, very smart. You know, decently bread, you know, not necessarily heavily TV. But it's like until you get exposure to like different cultures different ways of being different food groups. You know, you just don't know what's out there. And so what you know, if you need somebody that's different than you. And they have something that going on especially when it's something that's visible or something in their business or something to talk about if you don't dive down that hole and take a moment to be curious. I mean, especially without due to. Yes. I do. I can't help it. I do try to watch out and detri- to learn how I do how to do it. Right. I'm looking here at the transcript, I love that. We do transcripts understand. What exactly did I do to bring it up without may? Making it feel uncomfortable. I basically said to him I've been wondering whether I should ask you about the tattoo on your arm, and he jumped in and interrupted instead God. Yes, as what is it? Do you wanna see it is? Yes. And then I had to ask them to bring it up a little higher. And that the tattoo says fear is a liar in the word fear is in big. All right. So his is what we learned today. Number one. I think order in organizations important number two. I think people have much more credibility and ability to impose that order when they've done it before. And I think the reason I couldn't do it so easily before is because I wasn't sure what's the structure. How's it done? And the fact that you shortcut it by saying here's that we use project management before who's the outline that we use for emails, always super helpful. I think that I like working with people who have that kind of experience, and I don't get to do that can never do enough of that. And then I asked him pre questions, and I worry about them. A we've discovered that I can send conversations off on the wrong tracks which used to be an issue for me with mixed. Sometimes is I think we covered a lot of different ground here today where would ordinarily? What else what the big thing that you took away from this? So not so much take away. But the the thing that you've done overly long is it rate like you rinse repeat make it better. Because if you look at wanting Bata kademi if you had stopped after the first time and not iterating gone back and done it again. And again, and again, and what you've done with the mixer g processes is. What's happened? You know in so many other areas of the businesses take something get it started and keep going don't give up and don't be afraid to make mistakes. I am really good at that. I'm really good at when you get something when I find something just continuing iterating an interesting an interesting the challenge that for me as always shake it up also to find a way, and so adding chap adding body kademi helped shake it up at shake it. She'll now the people who work on that who then make the rest of mix Gede that much better. But I do. Yeah. You switched your questions you switch from what do you think too? How do you think we should change that? Or what do we how do we make it better? Like, it's it's just such a minor tweak. All right. Your website. Does not seem to be accepting at this point any new clients. I actually like are you open to? I am. I am. So I'm looking for for companies and teams to work with. I'm totally out of the done for you space. So like if you work with me, I need to be working with you and your team. So I can help coach them and coach you and most of the time either work in like a business coaching role where I support whoever's leading with you know, whatever they're going through from growth and teen and change and business, and I also work with folks on project basis, where we're working on some kind of either major project for their business and a lot of cases that information product luncheon and marketing campaigns, and then sometimes we'll do just kind of like a small starter project to see that we get to know each other that we like each other because nobody wants to make a commitment without getting to you know, feel out each other. So out of time. We'll just say, hey, we've got this small project to start on do that. Let's see if we like one another. And then what's go from there? Yes. Especially since this is such a personal relationship. You really it's almost like you're getting hired to work fulltime with someone without. While without work fulltime with someone because you're in my life. We will share like my financial on the call will share the issues that I've had with people on the call and Rachel, and I have a more coaching relationship now where it's a once a week call if anyone wants to go check out Rachel you can go to quantifying dot com. And I guess it's point. She's and it'll be on there. Yes. Okay. Now have there'll be a form they fill out and give me a little bit information about them. And then we'll go from there. All right. I wanna think this sponsors made. This interview happened. The I will do your Email, right? It's called active campaign. Check them out at active campaign dot com slash mixer, g the second will help you hire next phenomenal developer or in my case I've hired a finance person from them. Jack is amazing go check him out a top tau dot com slash Mishra. Ji and one final thing that we've do what we're doing in our company this year, I interviewed this guy Skop ins. Who had this truck part company where he sold truck parts. I think he was selling three four million dollars. Forget the exact number. It seems great. But it wasn't like in the company now. And I think about I realize the margins weren't probably huge. It wasn't like he was cashing out three four million dollars a year. He was just economic nice profit. But he didn't love his company. He didn't love working there. And he said I need to do something anyone. He started to go to Google to see how they run their company. He went his apples. They run their companies got all these nap shots of how he did it. And what he discovered was culture. And he started lay out what his company was about six points. And then he started to not just put them on post posters around the office. But say guys every month, we're gonna take one of these things we're gonna use it. We're gonna enact it. We're going to do something about it. We're gonna reward people about it. And things started to take off his company became a fun place to work where people cared about the company more where they all work better together where they were able to shock and surprise not just their customers. But their suppliers because they had this thing that they wanna bring fun bring to their clients. Fun to the team and also bring fun to the people who they were buying products from and he took it over a hundred million dollars in sales. And then he sold the company. He's now at this point where he's just doing the stuff that he loves he did, of course, on how to do that I've been following it internally at mix the every month, a different part of our of our culture of our principles of operation. It's been helping our company tremendously if you wanna go and learn from him, he is one of our course leaders at at mixer g mix mixer G dot com slash Scott. And for the next few weeks, at least until I want that you are out because it's such a sweet out. It will be linking you to him. What you can learn directly from him. It's mixer G dot com slash Scott. It's fantastic. I love that guy semi coffee so much coffee. I still it's months ago. Rachel, I still have it in my house. I guess coffee is part of his passion project right now. He sent me dozens know about a dozen copies of his book the principles fortune. We just wrote how he did this. He's at a point life. We're just doing stuff he loves teaching on Mickey's one of those things mixture dot com slash Scott. Thanks, Rachel by ruin anything so much.

Andrew Email Rachel Kirsten San Francisco Rebecca Ari Rebecca Rebecca Austin founder Andrew Warner Andrews Mike Jack Walker writer Larry Texas Alzheimer Binat KOMO Ramiz
#1773 Trent Dyrsmids Flowster brings sexy to the SOP

Mixergy

1:07:19 hr | 2 years ago

#1773 Trent Dyrsmids Flowster brings sexy to the SOP

"Hey, there, freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner, founder of makes her interview entrepreneurs who constantly surprised me about how well their own businesses. Today's guests more more than most I had this whole thing in mind, I've known Trent deers made not super wa, but I've known him for years. He's the guy who's had a podcast and so because of the podcast I've gotten home. He's been on my podcast because of that. I got an on and I had a sense that what we were going to talk about today was how he got into Amazon reselling and like a lot of people Amazon, he kinda got slaughtered, eventually, slowly didn't even feel it. And then I thought what he was going to say was. But Andrew, I'm backing I've got this new software called flow stir. It's brand new at one day, it's gonna make money and so I'm going to tell you, my, my sad story of how Amazon is doing in exchange for you helping me tell the story about how the software is going to do great, and that's going to be my thing. It turns out the software is not going to be graded already is doing great. All right. How did you get to do this? Well, let me back up a second, and then we'll get into the where we go into more detail. So Trent had a podcast and actually, I'm blanking on the name repod cast Trent. What is it? It's bright, ideas, ideas. Eight years now there it is, actually, I'm staring at my screen since two thousand ten to the president, according to Lincoln and still. So there it is bright ideas, he got into Amazon, the first thing that he did on Amazon didn't go, well, the second thing did well, and partially it did well, because he's one of these guys whose into S O P's standard operating procedures, documenting their stuff. I've had a love hate relationship with his synthetically the beginning a mixture, I used to think this is just too anal way to run a company. It's not the way to run a company that in a changing environment, and then I finally realized I should document things than document things actually got good. And then I stopped documenting because things were good and wants to go back and document anyway. I've had a love hate relationship for him. It helped him take his Amazon business from being kinda pain, painful to one that grew really fast. And then he created this software that allowed anyone to create standard operating procedures for themselves for their team and he's doing something kind of different from anyone else who's offering anything like this. Which is he saying? I'll actually sell you some standard operating procedures. I gave you the checklist of things to do if you want to sell on Amazon. I've done it. It's doing well for me. Here's my checklist. Bide from me put it in my software. Inhabit managed and then you could create your own checklist, or buy from other people on my platform is companies only been around since two twenty eighteen so about a year old, right? We launched it to the public last October, actually. Okay, that's a less than a year old and still was going to say, how well is doing, but I'm gonna let him say it we're gonna find out is how this guy got into standard operating procedures the Lee sexy thing you could ever go to somebody is marry out and you go. You do. And then you find she says, what do you, do you say? S O P standard operate. No does not sound sexy. But it is it is if you're real entrepreneur, you care about the stuff we can talk about this interview, thanks to nominal companies, the I will help you. Hire your next. Great developer, Trent, you need to find out about them. They're called top tau and the second has been doing my counting for one who does transit counting. We'll find out about it. I have now turned my books over completely to pilot African love it. I wanna marry pilot dot com. Tell me if it's inappropriate. Our bullet talk about those later flow Stor. What's the revenue? Honestly, it's not a huge source of revenue just count the software subscription. So you have to understand what I call my three stack of my business on the bottom as the Amazon thing, but you're selling things on Amazon. We a couple million bucks a year. I'm not involved day-to-day. I haven't been involved in today since about the first twelve months. My wife we own this big building here in at the other end of the building. She runs it with a team of US employees virtual assistance, that businesses the proof that my standard operating procedures work. So the standard operating procedures typically sell for about twenty five hundred bucks. We sell about a million dollars of those a year. And when someone buys all of that content, it has to live somewhere in so we'd the somewhere that we created is the flow stir software application. What I can tell you about flow stir is, we have somewhere north of thousand users we spent a year developing it, and we have all. Already recovered all of our development costs through sales of software licenses. So when you say million dollars a year does that mean a million dollars since October when you launched it? So the, the SO Ps that purchase happens through my bright, ideas brand, that's a million dollars a year on his app going on, actually it's growing a little bit beyond that now. So we we've been doing that for maybe about a year and a half. Got it now. So when you say million dollars a year, you're not annualising the last few months of revenue actually had a full year under your belt, and the four flow Stor. What house all these standard operating procedures this challenge originally. Yeah. When we originally created them, it was a Google doc, are locks these Google docs. I no no, no. And then when we first launched I didn't create it for it to be a product. That's a whole nother story. I created just as scratch my own inch. And eventually, we were using competitors software application, always, I don't feel like saying their name, so kind of your element, but we were using their software when I didn't have a product. And then I got on that stage. I told my story and everybody said, hey, wanna buy a copy of these things. That's when I realized that we needed to make offer application so that we could own that piece of the business as well instead of I dunno your I don't know who used for a while. But let's assume like something like Asana, right? Because it's on, it's kind of free checklists than sell that checklist dot instead of using someone else's offer. He said, this is an opportunity. I might as well while I'm selling my software. Got it. All right. Let's go back to what happened. You're, you're an entrepreneur, who I thought was like a lifelong entrepreneur. But as you were talking with producers it look, I was nevertheless, dates Dan type of person. I wonder what type of person you are grown up. I want to get a sense of who you were before you became you are. So I grew up in his really poor. Family. We, we were on welfare at times. And there was a lot of fighting in the house between my parents because of financial scarcity. And so as a kid, I just, I guess, I developed this belief in my head somewhere that poverty equals violence, and I don't like violence. So I thought I don't want to be poor. I don't wanna live my life like like we have. And so I went into sales is somebody smarter than me when I was really young said, you know, you could go to college, which I didn't or you could get a sales job and make commissions working for other people. So I thought that sounds like a good idea to me. So I went down that road which is about his entrepreneurial, as you can get without being an entrepreneur, and, and after my first first job was selling off equipment. I did really, really well at it, and then I use that track record to get a group in Canada, and I got one of the, there's five really big banks in Canada. Each one has brokerage division. I got hired at one of those divisions. When I was twenty three the youngest higher they'd ever had. And, and I made the top of my class, and there's actually an article floating around James clear wrote it about in its in his book, atomic habits about how I would have these two jars on my desk and every time I clicked, and I made twenty five thousand co calls in my first year. That's why I was the most. I wasn't the smartest. I wasn't the most educated. I just outhustled everybody else you've got into podcasting and you did it largely because you wanna learn, you wanna get to know the people who are there. Meanwhile, though, you did start to get an audience, people are listening to your podcast, and they were reaching out, you trying to hire you to do what so when I first started my podcast. I realized that small businesses in general would really benefit from all the ways that you can generate leads online, which I had been learning for the last year and a half in, in running my very first flog, and so I decided, well, I'm gonna I'm gonna talk all about Lee generate. Marketing automation particular around the fusion, soft platform, because I've used that for years. And so, I had I was developing this ongoing body of content, and people would naturally reach out and say, I I've been following me for a while. I really like what you're doing on your list, like how your marketing automation, workflows work. I don't know how to make all that stuff. Can we just hire you to do it? And that's kind of where the marketing agency came from. And you you're working with clients. A lot of them were small, but there was one especially big client. China client. What would that client like? So as the agency developed over the years that we ran into eventually, we kind of pivoted to becoming what's known as a content marketing agency. And so we become hub spot, partner, and at one point in time hub spot referred us. What was a pretty big client for us anyway? And so they started paying us a couple hundred thousand dollars a year to create content for them. And I'm really happy to say that they were the most obscure business ever, but about a year into the CEO said to me, man. Oh man. You're right is content stuff really works. And they were getting all these crazy opportunities with huge partners in their space that never happened before that. So that was pretty cool. And that's that relationship lasted a couple years until they really didn't need any more leads given what their objectives were in so they gave us notice. They weren't gonna return renew the contract and had that impact you that was pretty scary because we had we have. Small child time we had we had some savings, but not a huge huge huge amount. And we're like, wow. Okay. So now, we actually have to either go out and hustle, and get more clients than I didn't want to deal with little clients anymore because I tired of it. And right around that was when I decided that I was gonna make the pivot to ecommerce and that was in, I was influenced by some of my friends, who had had on my own show, and they were doing ecommerce than they were literally harassing meet to get into it. I was like the wanna do it. Don't wanna do it on a do it. But then, when the, the client said, we're not going to renew. I said to my wife said, look, I don't wanna do professional services business anymore. I've done this type of business now for over a decade. I just don't wanna do it. I wanna move to a product based business. I started my Amazon gig as a side project and I didn't really very well the Guinea. I wanna find out why. But before we do I always sense that. You hadn't yet, fig you hadn't hit your stride for longtime with bright ideas, I hadn't hadn't, but you are guy who had had success before that. What's that, like I feel like it's really challenging to struggle in public and not being a business. Be speaking to a business crowd. Fustrating and humiliating this time, because I, I saw other people who had shows like mine, and in my show has averaged shredding five stars and I don't get as many downloads other people, and I just could never figure out why. And I think I know why it is because in the beginning, I didn't really know I didn't really have products that really know how to monetize, my audience very well. So my Brad ideas podcast was a great networking tool for me, but it wasn't really how I made any money to speak of. So if it never was my top priority. So sometimes, I wouldn't produce episodes for months at a time at one point. I didn't produce enough so for a year, and so your audience, you lose your audience and you lose your momentum when that happens. And so, and also for several years my podcast was about marketing agencies and now it's all about ecommerce. So if I had consistently produced episodes on one topic for the last four or five years, I'm sure my audience would be much bigger than it is. But then it's still wouldn't necessarily have. Profitable because you hadn't figured out, what that profit engine was, and that's the challenge. Right. When you're talking to I've been there with with mixer and I talked about publicly, and I feel like by talking about it. I was actually hurting myself because people don't wanna listen to somebody in the business base who is talking about, as challenges frustrations. If things are working well, they wanna hear that he made it, and then can go back and look at all the time, when he didn't make it, you know, it's not inspiring, and we wanna feel inspired. So it's, it's challenging it's painful. You know, question it was in my case, I like I said, I chose to really focus my energies on the underlying ecommerce. Business would was the pivot that we made in thankfully, that, that were once I got my strategy figured out that worked extremely well. And then by accident that success led to my bread is becoming now. The most profitable thing that I do by a good margin. Well, let's that understand when you got into Amazon. On. It was gotta start making some money. Somebody's telling me that there's money here. I see it. You get an doesn't work out because. Because I didn't know what I was doing. So there's several ways that people can sell on Amazon, when might friends were doing what's called the private label approach and I didn't even know that there was any other approach. I just thought all that sites on Amazon because I knew nothing about ecommerce. And so, you know, I'm like everybody else. I'm looking for product opportunities. What's got enough demand but not too much competition. And I picked two products. One of them was a, a dog bark collar. That would give a dog a shock in another one was essential diffuser necklace. And I thought you know, I'm a confident guy. I'm a business guy. I'm gonna pick leasing ably competitive products. And I'm just gonna like claw my way to top. Well, you can guess how that turned out. I ended up having to spend so much money on advertising. There was no profit left and after four or five months that I was pretty much ready to throw in the towel. It's the whole, like Alibaba thing, get stuff from their put you're putting your label on it to before you were not even custom packaging, or I mean, I was literally doing what I now affectionately called China arbitrage. She just by a thing, Alibaba slap in your sticker on it throwing it on Amazon and that years ago that used to work pretty well. But those days are long gone. I love that name, China arbitrage. I know that there are people who are doing it. Many of whom way in every weren't doing awhile. I Catherine from bestself the journal and more companies she started out that way, too, and it didn't work because they were just too many people doing it at that point. And then you got the by bunch of adds to standout got it. Okay. And then something happened at helped you see a better way to do it. What was that? So I interviewed a guy, but Mme yours on my show, and that is the time that is the first moment that I became aware of the fact that I could go to existing manufacturers. In the US existing brands and build a relationship with those people in informant agreement where I would become a seller of their products on the Amazon, marketplace, as well as other marketplaces, Amazon exit, the lion's share of our revenue. And that was his big thing Hommant, because it was kind of, like kind of like being a marketing agency in that I'm going to help them with all these marketing stuff. But instead of sending them an invoice, I'm gonna buy their products and resell those products on the Amazon marketplace. So I'm making my money in a different way. And it totally changes the nature of the relationship, because you get paid every month, no matter what whether you're doing any marketing services or not, you still get paid 'cause you're still product until you interviewed him that you got to know him. No. I developed a very scalable league generations of product lead generation and outreach system in, in that's documented all of those processes, right from the beginning hired virtual assistance. Right from the. Beginning and much like memorizing I moved all the paper clips over and that's how I got success. I simply sent more emails, more targeted emails to more manufacturers than most anybody else could because I had systematized in outsourced it. So it wasn't dependent upon my labor to do it. So we were sending two to three hundred emails a week from the get-go and in qualities in the quantity, when you send that many emails, you're just gonna get replies. And people are going to, and then you're gonna have phone calls, and then you're going to look at price lists. And then you're gonna figure out margin there and they're going to say, yes, and you're going to say yes, and you've just landing accounts like crazy didn't know that until you met, Dan, right? Yeah. That's how did you meet, Dan? And had you know about like, not selling no-name staff, with your brand, but instead selling well-known stuff on Amazon. How did you know that has one? Yeah. I met a guy named Eddie Levin who and I don't even remember where I met Eddie, and I interviewed at he right before, Dan and Eddie, does something similar is a little bit more cagey about it, but I know that he spends his entire life on the road in hotels. And I was like, I don't I don't want any part of that at all. And then when I interviewed, Dan, he was telling me that, you know, you never leaves he's just all over Email. And so I took what I learned from Dan, and I basically put rocket boosters on it guy and your rocket booster was the it seems like what you've told our producer was this business is about getting quality. Manufacturers to let you sell on Amazon in the way you do that is, as you were mentioning now, reach out to, as many as you can and do a whole sales process on them. It's like you're selling them. And part of what you bring to them was your marketing experienced got it. All right. And so what are some of the S OPEC you created right in the beginning standard operating procedures everything in anything to do with the process of sourcing products? So we head ways that we researched in analyze products. And there was a couple of different SOAP's built around that, then we had ways of finding the correct contact information for brand. So we had Espy's for that than we had ways of making sure that we reached out to them, and we had in. I didn't have to send all those emails. I'm not gonna load him up in an autoresponder. So then we had systems for that in just kept in cast gating glow. Doc, in the in the very, very beginning. It wasn't a Google doc. I literally would do the sing in screen shot. The thing that I was doing, and I would move it all that into a Google doc, and then I would type instructions and to a level of detail that I then give that Google doc to virtual assistant and much like baking arrested, like a cake, they could follow the recipe and produce the exact result that I wanted, okay, I've got so many questions about that because I've done it. And I've had tons of frustrations with it. Let me talk about my first bouncer, and then we'll get into my frustrations with this documentation process, and I want to understand how you overcame them. But I, I there's a company called pilot dot com. Do who does your accounting do it yourself? You probably have another leaf virtual assistant. We actually used the firm their local but they've marketed themselves as the Amazon accountants. I actually think that's the you're all I think it's the Amazon, accountants dot com. Okay. A forty year old accounting firm scads of credibility, just for like regular bookkeeping in the local market. And because they chose into. Themselves that way in specialize. They were not the first one, we dealt with the first one was these other two guys when it came to ecommerce like when you're processing eight ten thousand transactions had no no idea how to, to count for that in the middle sorts of crazy stakes. We've found these guys. And, and it was just like a someone throwing us a life raft because they know what they knew what to do. We didn't have to teach them. See, I would never know that they make sense because I'm on their website. First of all, it looks like they're site is a little out of date like even the copyright is going back, twenty seventeen they're using Amazon's name, which Amazon is not happy with. I gotta believe and somehow they're get, but I could see totally focused on online resellers. Right. Makes sense. And it looks like they're working with zero. Here's the thing, I'm glad that you've got a big agency. I hate the idea of having one book per do my books because if they don't show up for whatever reason, or they get busy, or they've got, like a legitimate thing with their kids are sick or something, my book, some get done, and I don't want anything to keep my books from getting done. Because once you miss a month or week, you're just asking for trouble. It just starts to extend extend in your out of date, and you forget where you're where you're businesses. So I went with pilot, I kinda didn't reluctantly because they wonder sponsor, but I didn't want I didn't need an accounting company. I was I had my books taken care of. But Andrew, my sister said, you know, Andrew, let's just have them do it just to get another set of eyes on our books. I said, you know, here take some money, here's my credit card, just give it to them. Let's see what happens. I completely ignore them. This was back in October September of last year January, I says you should see what they did because you've been paying for it. I go into it. It is amazing. It is in QuickBooks. So it's standard software that I can see on my phone. My ipad on my desktop. Everything is automatically tag categorize using software and humans go in to make sure that the software is doing the right thing. We started randomly selling things at the company that I wasn't aware of the tagged in the income statement properly, they then took money from advertising that was making 'cause it looked like we, we would in December get a ton of money 'cause that's when such was selling ads and then in January, making no money from us. They spread that revenue out throughout the year. So they switched me to a cruel accounting, if people are paying for annual membership, they spread that out throughout the year. It's like so now I understand month a month, how well I'm doing. It is amazing. And I said, all right. You know what we've got stick with them? And then I still said, we're not ready to have them on his advertisers, because I don't know. Am I the only one they taken care of just to me? And it turns out there, working with air table with atrium with Justin cons company. They're working with Sam Oldman. You know, Sam Oatman left running, y combinator, he's now running open. I've fulltime apparently. So Sam is, is working with them. Laddis Sam oldman's brothers working with them. Why combinator sent him a bunch of people anyway? They're fantastic. I highly recommend people sign up with them. And still. I'm about to give you guys. And you Trent a link that will not get you to work with them that this is not a link where you can go and hire them if you go to pilot dot com slash mixture. Gee, what you will do is be able to schedule a call with one of their people who look over your books with them. So Trent, you've got an accounting firm. Phenomenal. Have you or someone on your team go in and have them? Look over your books, you guys do it in quick in QuickBooks zero zero. It looks like they're all about zero they can look through your numbers, and then tell you here's how it would work. If it was in QuickBooks, here's how we would adjust it and then the by they're not. Effectively, they're going to close the sale right away. If someone's got a bookkeeper they're not switching like that, because they heard Andrew Warner say something put that little bug in your head. Here's how well we do it. Here's our suggestion. And then when you're ready to switch, you can switch over to them. And if used a special euro, you're gonna get a discount your it is go to pilot dot com slash mixture. Judy pilot dot com slash M. I XY RG. Y again, they will just look over your books and give you feedback on it. If you're not running a company right now, you don't have any, any books, they will actually help you think through how to do it and they're playing long game. They worked with me for the long game. It was about half a year before we accepted them as advertisers, because I wanted to see if people knew them, and if they like them, and if I liked them anyway. So they're gonna play the long game with my listeners to. Good domain, name, don't you think pilot dot com, absolutely? Check it out. Yeah. Good. I saw that. That's great. Here's my challenge with with us. Oh, ps. It's a pain when you're working, and I heard that what you had was you'd have a second screen when you're doing half of your screen when you're doing something, the other half of the screen is where your documenting what you're doing. It's a pain, it's drag ticks forever. I just want to get things done and it forces, you also go through switching from doing to thinking about what you just did, and explaining it and then two doing, it's back and forth. So that's problem. Number one. How did you when you were documenting it get documenting work at over it. Well, this wasn't my first rodeo, my first company. I read Michael groupers e miss, and so I was drinking the Kool aid on a long time ago. And I, I was able to I think you on your show before we talked about the sale, and I was able to sell it for a higher price than I would have otherwise been able to. So I, I'm drinking the Kool-Aid I understand the value of SO piece both from an exit value perspective. But also just from a manager. Simplifies my life like I literally should wear t shirts say SAP will set you free. And that's because you able to sell your company because it wasn't about you and your special gift. It's you had a set of processes. And if somebody wanted to follow your processes, they could follow it just like a, a cook could follow somebody else's recipe. That's correct. Correct. So, so yes to answer your question, making them is kind of a pain, because it takes a long time to make a good one, because it has to have a high level of detail in has to be structured in a certain way. However, the payback is when I have made a good so p for missing. I don't ever have to do the thing ever again. I don't wanna do the thing, I don't wanna be working in my business. I wanna be working on January. You then give it to somebody else assume as you've documented it. I did what's an example of something you're able to give someone else with a whole product sourcing process. I mean, I aside from doing the last step of it, which was having the phone call with the brand, which I wasn't willing to delegate that ten I did eventually. But in the beginning, I didn't for the first six months that was me. Everything that happened before that was done by my team, mostly virtual assistance with a little bit of management by one of my US employees. So kicking me a process that, that you able to do once documented in Hanover to someone cure. So part of our research process is extracting, existing Amazon seller storefronts dumping that data down into a spreadsheet than doing some mathematical analysis on it to dentistry, the products that we would like to attempt to stock, and then putting finding the contact information for all those companies putting that into the spreadsheet than importing it into hub spot, and sending out the right Email, all of that systematized delegated. You did it yourself and I, but Trent the first time you're doing figuring things out, by the way, I'm drinking the Kool aid on on documentation to I'm totally with you. I'm not coming from a place of like how this does not make sense. I'm going to challenge you, improve the Iran I'm coming from a place of. I know this make sense. But there's like an inner voice that just keeps telling me, here's all the places where we failed I wanna get better at that. And some bring up all my challenges, so that we can combat them. And so the first time that I do something, the first time that my team does something, they're kind of figuring it out in the figure it out mode. You can't even talk throughout loud, because you're not sure what you're doing. It's only in the second part of the process, where you get some space from the first time that you realize that is what I did. I did like a million different things. Here's a thing that worked. And then you ready documental. You think yes in the way that we handled that was occasionally, maybe I'd do it twice Andrew. But I sure as heck wouldn't do it three times, but what would happen in the first generation of any SO P is the person that you're assigning it to we'll have questions things that a lovely all you didn't go deep enough in the detail on this or something was big use. So we would be continually improving just much like you improve piece of software or any other project that you're working on, we would be continually. Proving the SO peas based upon the feedback of the employees virtual assistance. That were that we were assigning them to in a really short period of time you get them pretty tight, then the issue becomes you develop more of them. See now in our package. We sell seventy seven different SO Ps, it's taken years to create refine test. Optimize, improve whatever words, you would like to put in there. It's a lot of work, by the way, you know what I think is a good service. You guys should be offering I feel like flow. Stor is super expensive. And I don't see how to get rich off of such low prices, but maybe people looking to buy a bunch of seats. It's gonna be the marketplace wonder. But here's here's what I would love to see as an addition, let somebody just record, what they're doing and talk throughout loud, complete with mistakes, and everything and have a virtual assistant on your team document that whole process. So you can imagine. I might use one of these cloud recording apps and just talk through. I'm clicking here and clicking. There might forget that. I'm talking. It doesn't matter that I uploaded to whatever system you have, and you take screen shots out. And you put it into a task list in the first time I get back, this is bad because he missed his one step. So I forgot to talk it through a now I've got something I could add it I feel like that would be a really useful feature for, for people. Yeah, I like the it's like an SAP concierge service. Right. My, my buddy, Nathan here in Boise with his app convert kid, so there's a huge pain of, change of getting someone to switch from one Email up to another and they manage the entire cut over, and that's not scalable insure not profitable in the beginning. But I'll tell you eat killing it now. So let's great idea. Thank you for that. Good. Good. I'm glad that, that makes sense. I've wanted for so long. I've even tried to pass it onto someone on my team and say, look thickness green chat can you document? It just didn't work. All right. So here's the other problem. It didn't work because I think unless you're doing it consistently. If you being told take Andrew screen shot, turn it into checklist. Fully bought into checklist. Don't exactly know what Andrew did an Andrew just did it and wants to move on and so and enters not checking enough. It's a problem that would be helpful and then the other thing that I find is people don't use them again. They forget, even I might forget, so I do webinars, I almost always will go through a news a checklist this past week I forgot in. I see that they're bunch of people whose, who have frustrated is this whole conversation going on? What we find this. How do we make sure that Andrew doesn't make that mistake again? Oh, this last webinar was a little different than the usual ones. Let's create a new one for unusual webinars in add, this set of tasks to it, so that we know that we're gonna get the video at the end of it. When I'm wondering what do you do to ensure that people actually take action that they use these things first off, I should share with you might women are? S. O P, cause I also do the women are live once a month. And I'll tell you, I guarantee you, I would forget all sorts of important stuff without mass so dancer, your question, how do you get people to use them? It's woven into our culture. It's part of our DNA. I mean, there's a going joke in our office that you're not allowed to far unless you have SAP. It's just it's just what everybody does it would be really odd for someone to be doing something that we didn't have an SAP for. All right to what, and then, but you have any way to make sure that they're actually using it because in the rush of getting the job done. We forget, we don't think of it. We remember just instinctively how to do stuff. And so we don't go in and look for the documentation, we say, I know how to do it already. I'll do it. Yeah. Flow stir is so much of a part of our daily operate. Like it's literally like Email like we as a team just can't function without it because there's so many different processes, there's so many different procedures in honestly, it makes it easier because, now as the person doing the work, I don't have to think, oh, one of my forgetting, and, you know, like I just all the process and the software, you know, if I wanted to spy on my staff, and checkup and see whether doing this offer makes it really easy for me to do that. I can see what workflows are overdue or not do do next week who is designed to all those controls air. But I guess the best answers unsellable like a procon record. It's really got to be part of the culture and people, I think, like are VA's, really like him because they know what's expected of them. They know exactly how to do it, it makes on boarding a new way easier if you do it, right. It just works hotel what you're saying. I, I wonder if it's also that if you have smart, people do the same thing over and over, they're not gonna go back to documentation. They're just gonna do it by rote versus smart. Like the people who create the documentation, I feel like they're less likely to keep going back and redoing it because they know it. I wonder if passing it to somebody else makes more sense, because someone who's just there to follow the process, you know, I don't love the terms, but my friend has a term of brains verse hands. And I wonder if at some point if the person who's the brains who creates. Checklists does it over and over? They're gonna forget about the checklist 'cause they never really needed it, or they feel like they already own it. I wonder if it has to be a brains verse hands with a personal created has to pass to someone who doesn't wanna have to think about how to create the process, and just wants a clear process. Maybe that's part of your magic to that. It is largely as we're doing this stuff. Yes. And no because I myself I have a bunch of them all to do with my podcast publishing post and publishing upto Soad's doing YouTube video. I mean, I use my own apiece over and over and over again 'cause I don't wanna forget stuff. My US employee's. Use them constantly and yes RV as do. Now. Does that mean that one of my US employees might forget to use the SOAP to publish the podcast episode for this week yet, but I know it because when, when a guest my process is when a guest signs up a workflow is created a network flow goes from. Initial pre interview all the way to the episode being published in shared on social in broadcast out. So like it would be impossible to not use the soap e because I would know and there's just stuff that would get forgotten. We have you closer to the mic. Because when you step back, I heard a little bit less of you. You know, the other thing I'm I'm gonna give you another wishlist item. The other wishlist item is, I think most people in the only one who doesn't use chrome, but most people do I wonder if a chrome plug in that will tell you when you're on a site. There's an SAP for this and makes it available in a nice side of the screen way would help. So when someone is in the Email marketing software, there'd be a little pop up this we have an SAP on this, which of these SAP's you, try, gene, and now they're in their fingertips. They can't help but go grab it. So if they're in. I don't know the editing software, if they're in the Google Drive folder. We're pulling, you know what I mean that type of thing puts it right there in front of them. All right. I'm really I'll be talking to my CTO about that afterwards. So I'll tell you what we do we now have switched from Google docs, which I found people weren't going into two tasks, which I find people use more often we do in base camp because that's project management software. It's kind of a quiet software, which means not a lot of chatter, just stay focused if I have a webinar, I just copy a checklist over, and I start to check off on my items. If someone else is working with a partner someone else's. Trying to think of sending out Email using our Email management software. We need to tag links. They just copy a checklist, and then they leave this repository of checklists. They copy it, and they start checking items often, I find the checklist helps one of things that since checklist in our culture, one of the things that we do is we. We spend a month, making sure that everything that we that we do repeatedly is, is documented, and at the documents are up to date and the ones we don't need our archives. And so on. So this is the month of may close to the end of it, where everyone has to go through all of their checklist, and make sure that they're up to date and archive, the ones that aren't and so and put things in the checkless, if they if they need to I find that helps because it reminds me for whole month. This is what we do anything else that you find helps for making checklists or standard operating procedures SO peas part of the culture and getting people to do them. Even when there's no software to manage it. I don't know if I have a great answer for that other than to may be shared two stories. If I may the last spoke at a woman by the name of crystal in her business partner, and I don't remember her business partners name. They came up to me and they said hatred we bought your Amazon S, O, P's, six months ago and we've already grown, and we took this training like I was at the conference of the guy who had on my show. He sells a training course. I don't so. All these people are there to learn. They've all bought his training, course they've spent twenty five hundred bucks. They now know what to do, but they don't have a systematic way of delegating, so she grown her business from zero to one hundred grand a month, within six months. I got a text earlier today from follow names on he's retired NHL hockey player. Stefan, yell used to play on Denver. And he's, he's told me he's now between two hundred two hundred and fifty thousand a month. And when I when he bought my stuff he was zero he'd never sold on Amazon. It's for so Hauer. Those stories answering your question. I my hope is that when you see people who'd never done a thing before, then they go and get extraordinary results. It kinda makes them wanna keep taking very systematic approach to their business because it's really really working, and I know in my case, I don't like to be bogged down in details of the day to day operations. I like to be up higher. So if I can't delegate that means, I'm going to get sucked into all this stuff. So I don't have to remember and then I go back to the culture thing again, I- policies. I sound like a broken record. I don't have a better answer. But it's, it's just so loeven into our organization that it would be really weird for people to not use them. All right. Fair enough. Wanna know what? We'll come back. I've got so many questions. I'm trying to figure out like what's the next question? Because I think the fact that you started selling SO Ps as that you started your software company with info'products essentially was really interesting. I wonder how you got your first sales. Let me talk about my second sponsors, a company called top towel. Do you know top out for hiring developers of heard of? You have what did you find your developers? I have a CTO who's been through the ringer is built and sold us off or company already. He's very frugal individual. And so all of ours have been hired from India Bangladesh. I think and he's been in charge of that whole process so how he finds no idea 'cause I just don't can vault. So let's imagine this. Here's where I think that a company like topped. How would help a company like yours your site is really good? But the mobile app, the mobile version is a little bit tougher to operate, and I understand why. Because most of your people are on desktop. They're not looking for us. Oh Ps on their phones. Correct. Imagine if it's some point, you said, no, I do actually need a mobile app, and what do you do to get a mobile app? You go and find people from India, who are going to be building a mobile app. Maybe. Or maybe what you say is I want to foundation to be really good. And so I want people who built multiple mobile apps and specifically apps, they're very similar to mine, and to do that. What you can do is go to top talent. You say, here's what I'm looking for. I sensuously want something like and maybe give them a list of competitors that are like what you're looking for you. Tell them how you operate, everything. So p you tell them what, what software use to, to communicate and they'll find somebody who's done software like you and whose intellect documenting their stuff, especially well, so that they culturally fit with you, and who can communicate. It using whatever software. Quirky thing that you do like for me. It's base camp. I don't want someone who's a high chatter person. I want someone who's more sit right every company has worked. So they'll find all that the get you the one or two or three people that you need you can work with them with your CTO, managing the whole process, and then once they're done, you've got the foundation, you can say great. Thank you. It's been a good month with you. And god. These, we worked well together. I'm glad that you're here, but it's time for you to go totally fine. And my team's gonna take it from there and since they've documented well, and since they've actually organized everything, right? You now have your mobile app. Maybe it's two different laps. One franchise one Freia s that's where topped out comes in for companies like yours. And I remember it was David Hauser, the founder of grasshopper, who's now moved on after sold his company for one hundred seventy million dollars start investing in companies, he was using top talent is using topped out for what and he said it specifically for what you're talking about small projects, where we can test, where one person or few people can come in, and they can move on them to all right? If you or anyone else are looking to hire the best of the best developers, and this is where they are. They like Google level develop. Vers at a reasonable price. You go to top towel dot com slash MC surgery, when you do again, they're not gonna sell you what they're going to do is get you on a call with the matcher Heaton Shaw, the founder of formerly kiss metrics, and now f why he said the thing that I love best about it. The reason that he didn't go into his network. You can always got a big network of developers, and especially since he advises so many startups is he said, I like the mattress top talent. I agree. You talk to a mattress, I if they could find people for you, they'll connect, you often within days, and you can get started right away, if not while you'll be like many other people Email me and said, you know what it didn't work Andrew. I think that's fine. I want them to tell you when it doesn't work. I, I saw wrote this down, so I'm not gonna sell past that I will tell everyone it's top tau dot com slash mixers. Top on top of your head towels and talent T, O, P T, AL dot com slash mixer. Judy when you go there, you'll get eighty hours of top developer credit, you get a whole bunch of stuff did not offering anyone else and they're doing it because they're mixed Raju fans. All right. You get up on stage. And you say, I'm got these things and you sell them for how much the documentation goes for. No. I didn't get on stage. It's had nothing to sell when you did finally sell. How much did you sell it? For what did you sell into whom? So we select for twenty five hundred bucks for a just documentation, because you are doing how much in Amazon sales at that point millions. And he was telling what type of products. Random stuff like we were selling bow degradable garbage bags. We were selling dog pain, hip joint stuff. We were selling oversized. Gummy worms. We've selling all sorts of supplements. I mean just literally just water filters just crazy random stuff. And you had a process figuring out what crazy random stuff would work, and then what's process? That's the first time that I really like a competent smile in here, the thing about you that I've noticed is not that you ever uncomfortable. You don't frigging swagger yet. I feel like at some point like you've done it. Well enough that you should have a little bit of swagger, I expected after I heard all this. Once we started recording the interview be like I gotta figure it out, man. It's all documented and the business doing well. And I've got three levels of business of eminent Zahn, screws me over things are going great. If somehow I don't you don't have that what happened. I'm Canadian we're just naturally what it is. Lord, I don't I don't like blah, blah of myself now. I'm not afraid to say that I've been successful I make a lot of money and I feel good about all that kind of stuff. But I don't it's not the first thing you need to know about me, maybe have been together for how long what's that you and your wife have been together follow close this big sixth year, wedding anniversary of the six two of you work well enough together that she can be in the same building as you all day. You can get stuff started. She can go and manage, it seems like that's why for you. I used Amazon business to buy an eighteen thousand square foot warehouse. And I put her at the other. End. Oh, you got to tell the other things. So parents, you guys have a storefront talk about what the problem was that led you to do that. So when you're approaching brands, there are certain brands that little have criteria that if you don't have a retail storefront. They just end the conversation with you. And so we decided that we would create a retail store in the foyer of our office that is the front of our warehouse, because it's legit. There's a re in the building that I own there are there are some retail, and so we put that there is a means to be able to put the tick in the box on allocation. Is that picture of that somewhere that I can see online? No, the reason I don't share the picture anywhere is because then people when you have an audience, like me, they all wanna know what brands do I carry 'cause they wanna try and poach my brands. So I don't I don't put any pictures of any product anywhere, because they'll take a look at your picture, and see what you're selling at the store and really in the mail. Contact those brands trying get on. The product as well. And some might many times, we will have an exclusive relationship with the brand, but not always. And so in the case were not always as there, will, I don't need another seller sharing the by box with me because that means less revenue for me. Why would I do that? Wow. And you actually have someone with a cash register and everything selling the stuff nobody ever walks in. But yeah, we're quipped for it. If someone walks in who goes to get the door. My wife is like a bell goes off the Bill. When you walk in and goes ding cow store and somebody, 'cause there's usually. Oh, two three four people down there. Somebody would come up and say, hey, can I help you? But we don't we don't we don't advertise the store, I don't want anyone to walk in the store, the store is purely there to put the tick tick box we've had sales reps from brands, come by looked at the star like it. Lou. Wow. And still no yelp braiding or anything on that story. Hold. No. When when you're selling it. How much was there for twenty five hundred dollars? Was it a set of Google docs, that were hen pages didn't matter? What was it? No. The product was very much like what it is today. I think the first time we sold it, there was fifty five S O peas in hindsight for, because we didn't the first version were on version four now. 'cause we, we improve them pretty regularly. The first version probably wasn't detailed enough because I'd never sold us. Oh piece for two people, and I just assumed that they would look at the folder structure. And if they needed to source products, they would go into the products or seeing folder, and they would look at the one that was labeled step one, and they would start with that one and much to my surprise, because I guess nobody ever bought any pre made us. Oh, peace before people were buying them, and they were sitting down, and they were trying to read them all like, like a book or a train instead of just doing. That makes sense. I would do that with the recipe that I got for for dinner. I just wanna. Right before you make it but, but when you have fifty five or now seventy seven s peas reading them, all from end to end is like the dumbest thing ever, because why would you do that? You just don't. It's just you just wouldn't it just doesn't make any sense. So the improvements that we may unlike each and every SO p will be like this is what this is for. This is who you should delegate it to this is when you should use it. This is kinda how it relates to the other SAP's. We made a more intuitive names. We made sure that we have really tight folder structures because I understand that for someone new coming in having seventy seven s appease could be intimidating despite the fact that I tell them you should really only focus on these ones in ignore all the other ones until you need them. So I got one of these it's I didn't realize what it was until now. 'cause I just went with. Now, you've you have a marketplace, where I can just go get S O P from people, and there was a free one that I thought would give me a good sense of how this works. It's called how to get major press for your startup small business or website, and I can see that the first checklist item is intro. And it says the content from this SOB was taken from this article on social triggers, it's a good, read and good idea to read it beforehand. Dark Halpern is new describe who he is. And now I get to hit a check that I completed that task. And now I understand what's coming up. And then you go step by step telling me how to do this. How do I understand where my competitors are what my topics are, by the way, I think it's brilliant. They just found blog post you turn them into into these checklists. So that was, so that's not what we don't sell those ones. Those ones are free. Right. And the reason that we did that is, as you may have experienced when you first log into the software platform you can build in us. Oh, people it's kinda like an book. All the tools are there, but there's nothing there and we wanted, and we this is continuing to be a strategy of ours in the marketplace dovetails into this. We wanted to make it so that people could just go and download SO P and start to immediately benefit from the content that was provided in that s o p as well as the software platform as a way of because we run a Freeman model like every other offer coming into the sun. And once they get the five then they start to have to pay, but in the beginning of painting. And so he's we attempt to create a free SO p each and every week. And then we built the marketplace, because I realized after selling millions of dollars worth of SAP's myself. I thought, wait a minute. Maybe there are other experts out there who knows stuff that I don't know who have an audience, but they don't they've never thought of selling SO P. And they also don't have a platform to do it on, because, again, we're not selling a PDF here that you could just, you know, sell the Email or whatever other way like you need an infra str-. Picture to be able to have that SAP usable. And that's what the marketplace allows you to do. Yeah, I and you still don't have do you have people selling in the marketplace? We, we haven't even formally launched the darn marketplace, and it was a soft launch to my list. And somebody immediately came along. There is a couple there that are like twenty five bucks or fifty bucks or something like that. And now my job is to get the word out. Find other influencers. Explain to them why they would wanna do this. And you know, there's, there's a lot of snowball to push it. Yeah. I can imagine. I kind of feel like you could even create some free ones for people. I mean do it on their behalf. They're thinking end. Yeah. And then let them make some money from this. I think that you know what? I remember when lead pages started doing their marketplace. They reached out to me and said, can we turn your best landing page, and they picked one specifically into one of these pages. For we'll do it for free. And then can we also sell it in? Okay. Go ahead do it. I like a clay Collins lot. I said go ahead do what you want. And then that became part of the reason why people would sign up and they're big interest was not in making money off of my thing. They wanted to get people sign up for their platform kinda like you guys that happening. I totally see that happening here. Other thing that I'm doing gives you, I'm interrupting because you mentioned swagger. So I'm gonna I'm gonna swag, a little bit here is is started. I wanted to test, so I sell the stuff for twenty five hundred bucks. And I've largely done that by using affiliates since stuff that's not easy for other people to replicate is out to myself. I wonder if I could sell like a much lower price point two people on my list with no affiliate support in. So I created a webinar which was much the same presentation, I gave from stage Oso, many years ago, and then I made a four hundred dollar offer at the end, and, holy cow, dude thirty grand month. I make off of one webinar. How what did it? What are you selling four hundred dollars for what I took of my twenty five hundred dollar product? I took a little bitty slice of it yet, and I priced it at three hundred ninety you can bite off my website, any day of the week for six hundred bucks. And so I put it on the webinar for three ninety seven I put some scarcity in it, and then in the. Post's sale Email sequence over the next two weeks. They have the opportunity to upgrade to the twenty five hundred dollar plan will give them the whole three ninety seven back if we do that works like crazy, well, and saying, more recently, what I did was, I evergreen, that webinar using ever webinar, and then I hired a YouTube agency and we shot some video ads and we're now driving paid traffic into it. And we're three weeks in, we've done almost, no optimization or split testing. And it's already profitable. Wow. I'm looking on your site. It's on bright, ideas dot co similar. The webinar. No, the product that you said yourself for more on the site, the resources page. Okay. Let me go to the resources page right now. Both Hummer there, three nine the five ninety seven product and the twenty five hundred dollar product. They're both there. And then is your delivery method. Of course, what what's offered us to publisher? You're selling flow Stor. Ev everything felt directly in false day, everything that people buy bright ideas drives users to flow Stor. You have to become a user to get the thing, and that's how you end up with the monthly revenue. Because in addition to people paying for the program they're also starting to pay for flow. Stor got it all. This is such a freaking brilliant model. This makes a lot of sense. I actually think that a lot of courses should not be on course platforms. I think what they should be as on checklist platform, because Aren trying to learn. They're trying to do through the process of checking off items. They learn the thing that they need. To do that. I feel like is is a better model. And that's the exact message that I'm trying to convey to course owners. So if there are course owners that are listening. My message to you is this everyone who bought my SOAP's had already spent twenty five hundred bucks on a course that teaches the foundation of what my ASO piece do. And they, they still bought my SOAP's because they realized that course teaches this, foundational level of knowledge, but it does not equip you with a set of checklists that you need to start doing and delegating to day. Right. And the fact that there's delegation, I think I thought allegation inhaling on this, this is not coming anoint yet, it's a very top. I see it again. I didn't see it. I'm a mobile only person except when I do interviews. And so I missed a lot of this have gotta remember back in and see people sites here. I also have to remember from time to time. Switch to chrome just check what a missing, but I can see so I can delegate this at this point to Andrew. But if there are other people on my team, I could delegate it to them. You can give you could have one s o p that was safe. Seventeen steps long. You could delegate it to two or three different people. Give them all different due dates. Vail, getting notifications, you'll get ill notifications. There's all this accountability built into the software. So things don't fall through the cracks. Okay. So now I've got this one template that I bought as a got for free as a sample, I can hit copy template. And then does that count against my five? If. Yeah. If that if you yes, if you have so the terminology is we call them, templates and workflows? So a template is SAP. It's the it's the recipe for success, a workflow is simply instance of that, template, okay? In the free plan, you can have up to five templates, and I forget, if you're limited on workflows, but I know you're limited on five templates, and then after that, you'd have to go up to the fifteen dollar month plan. And then I think you're allowed to have third or something makes so much sense. The only thing I don't love is SAP. Here's my problem with us o p. I feel like it's such a Dilbert term, and we haven't found a better term, right? It's well. Known in and you know what I've had a lo- you know, when I give talks I just I was just down at seller summit in Miami. And I give a talk on this, and I got all sorts of crazy. Good feedback people like, oh my God. I know I need us. Oh, Ps that. So I don't really wanna come in and try to invent a new word. I know it has kind of started takeover used to be documentation, but even that didn't feel right? It is. It is becoming a thing. Yeah. I see actually I see a pricing page right out five active templates and five active workflows is in the free, that means if I use a template more than five times, I'm going to be paying monthly fee of fifteen dollars a month, only if you're using if you have five concurrent workflows, if you have a template in, and you do it workflow in York, New workflow in Europe, still free. That's still free. Oh, surprise you do that. And even unlimited users on the free plan. I'm surprised you do that to unlimited guest user. So a guest users. Typically VA that have the ability to import NS Opie create a soap e edited Nestle P. They do you just assign a workflow to them, and they do it. I saw those underpricing too. I love this model. This is not what I signed up for. I do not like when I do interviews. And I'm like super happy about what the guests doing. That's just a pain. But to listen to people feel like it's just a fawning interview I hate myself afterwards for doing it for getting carried away. But I really like what you've built here. I feel like they're a handful of companies that have gone on after this SOAP market, and the vast majority of them, even if they're doing well, they haven't really knocked it out of the park is they haven't figured out the thing, the thing that's going to make it work. The thing that's gonna make it stand out from Asana, for example, not to say that it's on the ideal place for it, but, you know, it's like cheap and it's a free and it's known. Right. And so there's haven't figured out the way to do that. I feel like you've found the thing. Not fully yet, not fully. I think there's still going to be more to this accountability, yet, like where I can see if if Bob is done, all ten of his things, and you can go into, if you logged into the app, and there's a link on the nab bar called workflow. Okay. Yeah. Although search boxes and you can type in assigned to or created by a sense of how he's done and has Bob, you type it all been every workflow that's been assigned to Bob will show up in. You can look at how far they along in the progress in, if you know that they're all like, if the green arrows on the left hand side, you know, Bob's kinda Slough in he's not doing his job. But if the green arrows way towards the right hand side than, you know, he's got he's completed almost all of them. Thing about this is people believe this are like religious about it that they're so into it that their companies operate on this. It makes a ton of sense. What's your, what's your monthly recurring on this? I would have I let me give his second here. All look it up. We if I can find that quickly hassle like the name flow Stor. Good name truck. She had flow stir dot com, but flusters a really good name. So our monthly it's huge it's like five grand months, this point in time. Okay. Those challenge is should it be higher. Yes. The challenges that I am old in three different businesses. And so I spread myself too thin. And I'm that has consequences to it. If I was just focused on this. I'd like to think it would be bigger. But then I wouldn't the way that I on board most of my customers is because they buy SAP product and they buy products because I have a successful Amazon business. So if I take the foundation out than I can't sell the appeased out of different way to market, now, I'm like every other SAS company on the planet, I'm doing content marketing. I'm doing pay traffic. I'm doing webinars, and I think, I think what I think this way he's gonna take a little longer in the beginning. But i'm. Quiring customers extremely profitably in like that. Yeah. Yeah. You know what? So you've had AA tresses sponsor. I have I think we might still have them for a little bit. I don't know. But I've been using them more. And so I'm looking at your site on AA trips and it looks like sometime around. Let me see jet August. Eighteenth is when you started to do some content stuff, and then February of this year seems like when you really kicked off getting referrals, and growing your site through through content at my right. So h f was sponsor just fairly recently in so hurt of their sponsorship program was, we agreed to create some free SO piece for them on the. No. I mean, I'm using them actually, to get a sense of what you're doing and it looks like starting in February. You had this ramp up of content, where for example, it looks like my wife, quit her job dot com. Did an episode with you in much, and they published it on bright ideas. October. You started listing it on your site on your resources page as a as a tool something called crew crise dot at started including you in there and it all started kicking off, it feels like in October of last year. When the site got up that was when the that was coordinated with one of our affiliate launches. So it does get a lot of attention during that period of time, something happened around February where you just going going going with more stuff, right? Now, maybe I've, I've been cranking out videos on YouTube channel and cranking out, podcasts and talking about it more on the podcasts and just trying to bring awareness, you know, we have a weekly newsletter to my house list. And we talk about a narrow every single week people's podcast to like, episode fifty two of the awesome, IRS dot com podcast at in January. Yeah. You know, kinda digging a dress, just for stuff like this to get a sense of what somebody up to right now. What are they doing? And you could tell. Are you looking at right now? So that's a thing. They're so frigging much in there that they had a hard time using them for guests research. So here's what I'm doing now lately, I just type in domain, and then I go into the back links to see who sending traffic most recently, and then I switched to from general back links to new to get a sense of are you doing anything, especially big? I also look at top pages to get a sense of what is especially big for you. So, for example, for you, I see one of your top pages is, how to build Instagram following free SOAP. That's one of your top ones, according to address this kind of gives me a sense of what's going on with people. And we picked that as that was part of an SEO experiment. And we wanted to try and rank for that particular term in it worked moderately well as you can see from the rift tool. Yeah. This is a now starting to see how it's actually useful for, for interviews for getting a sense of people. Awesome tool. I love it. The website for anyone who wants to go check it out. Is where is it? It's flow stirred dot app. A P P. I feel like that's the top thing we should send people to. But you know what? If I went there, I wouldn't even know that you're selling those Amazon, Amazon SOAP's. Right. It's not mentioned on the homepage. Let me say something because we do get inquiries in. We make sales so right under try flows absolutely free. It's done for you standard operating procedures for Amazon's hours. I see it and it's sourcing supply relations shipping product prep. And honestly the home the homepage needs improvement. It's one of those things of all my different priorities. And I, I do wanna make it a little bit more seamless. But nonetheless, we get a fair number of increase, because there's that little green talk, the Email submit adding there. And that's where we get predominantly increase. I have an Email that I sent back and its got links for people to buy it. And typically they do. Yeah. I've gotta admit you're, you're the opposite of many people. Your website is is worse than your app. They. The home page. It's like things that look like buttons or not buttons. I could see what you're trying to do. But I could also see why was a little confused. I but your software is way better setup than I expected for software. That's this new, I would've expected, a lot more issues. I haven't come across a bug yet accepted. It doesn't work as well on phone. Not nearly as it does on on desktop. Cool chan. We that has the there is an can't forget, I can't remember the name of the terminology for it. But there's some new technology something or other which is apparently better than responsive website, design, and I remember reading an article on to our CTO, and we are slowly building that into the app in it will make it work much, much better on mobile. Can I create a template using the free account Elia that, where's the credit template thing? Shine left, upper left. I'm gonna go templates. See all the templates that I could make you know what? Let me just edit this template instead of making another one. I just wanna know can I put. So if you put your most on the left a little the nab bar pops the green button. It says new template. Okay. You know what I was trying to see is could I add video to this? If I wanted to show somebody what I was doing could I just do a video, and it looks like could because you give me access to the Tim else, I could just pop in you to video or. If you just putting your own or the, you are L into, but, I couldn't bet a video can't I as soon as you put the oil in it invented for you. Oh, god. It, you just unfurl it automatically. All right. I'm getting too deep now and doing customer support question for. Right. All right. It's flow stir dot app for anyone wants to check it out. Number one, number two. If you need your accounting done right. You know, first thing you should do go to pilot dot com slash mixture. G ask them to look over your books. If it's a good fit for you. Can always switch over to them. They really will do your books great. But if you just want somebody to give you feedback on your current process, or you're expected process, they will help you out and if you need to hire phenomenal developers go to top towel dot com slash mixing me. Make clear top towel dot com slash mixture. GTO P T, L dot com slash M. I X Y or pilot dot com slash mixer. G R, right. This is my this is. Yeah. At one, you're too, if I may. Yeah, if, if there's anyone less thing, and there, and they've been thinking about wanting to start an ecommerce business. They've been thinking about wanting to start on Amazon. I have a start here on the bright, ideas dot c o log, there's a start here button, and I would encourage the come in click that there's a series of videos that talks about some really foundational stuff about sewing ams on the three different business models. Why one's more risk than the other why? Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, there's some free content there. I see find fifty products in thirty minutes. Like do it just find friends. Storefront walk friend. Like easier to go find that than to find products on your own. All right. Cool. Thanks Trent by one.

Amazon Andrew Warner US Trent SAP developer Lee Dan Google China virtual assistant partner producer CTO founder president Alibaba Canada OPEC
#2050 John Lee Dumas opens up about PTSD

Mixergy

49:19 min | 5 months ago

#2050 John Lee Dumas opens up about PTSD

"Hey the freedom fighters. My name is andrew warner. I'm the founder of mixology where i interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses. Joining me is another guy who guess what interviews entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses john lee dumas has been doing this for what over three thousand interviews. I just discovered that in your book. I didn't realize you cross that milestone since thousands. Yeah let me see if i remember from the book twenty twelve. I think you said is when you started september. Two thousand twelve look at that. My wife is constantly reading and she believe it or not. She's on me for not reading enough. I told her. I just don't see it. I could read books so much. Faster and i retain things anyway And one of the things that i liked about john is that he had me as one of his first guests on his podcast when he was getting started. I've also just enjoyed getting to know him over the years. He's built a business where he teaches other entrepreneurs about podcasting. He's got a book now where he is talking about how he built his business and what you can learn from his experience. It's called the common path to uncommon success. I invited him here. Frankly i'll be honest with you guys. I buy them because i like him. He said i got a book. I said come on. Let's get on here. We'll talk and we'll figure out a way to talk up the book and i'm sure they You've got an interesting way of promoting the book i should say. This interview is sponsored by two phenomenal sponsors. The i if you're out there listening testing your inspired by this you wanna start a business. One publisher website go to hostgator dot com slash mixer g. And of course if you already have a site bring it to hostgator. They'll take good care of you and the second is a company you don't know about it's called stop. Don't i'm actually hoping john and i can talk about how he could do. A better job promoting them. They're all about getting leads from lincoln. But we'll talk about those later. John gustavia here. I am fired up to be here brother to hang out. It's always oblast. Even when we get to hang out on cruise ships circa two thousand fifteen podcast spirit. Ice cream i. That's what i feel. I feel like i really got to know you. And i understood cruises. You're basically just forced to stay with the same group of people for days and you get to know them. You don't pretend you have another agenda something more important and you also can let go. I've seen people in shorts. I saw their harry legs. I saw them just walk around when they're just not in the mood and you get to know them better when she we tell the cage erickson surfing story real quick. I don't feel comfortable with that. I told you. I got this whole middle eastern background. It makes me feel someone. Go ahead tell it so my fiance. As of christmas day caitlin erickson was also on that cruise. And you know like you said you get to know people a little bit better. We're all in the outdoors. Wave surfing. And kate was up there with her shorts and her shirt on surfing away and she fell down both holding onto the board in whoop. There go the shorts and there was just her and her birthday soup. I'm so do you get uncomfortable talking about that at all. No not at all. I mean listen. Every man was a one hundred percent gentleman and literally did an about-face faster. And i've seen in the arm off in the army for eight years. I would say about face and people would do it eventually. People did it like immediately. And i was like. Wow that's all all the girls are just like. Oh my god kate. How can we help like running towels and blankets and stuff. And you know it's interesting i was. I was bringing up people's sexual experiences in feels to people. Like i can just talk about sex and get no what i want to do is understand them and this is part of who they are then. That's what i want to get. Get into something like this. It's like a andrew becomes a nineteen thirties housewife. You're gone too far sir. You know. I remember that when we were hanging on san francisco and we were with a bunch of people giada scott dinsmore who unfortunately is no longer with us and some other amazing people and you did. You went around the room and you asked a question along those lines ends it was. It was very healing question. Yes i did think it was real. I won't talk about what we got. Hey here's what i we'll talk about. I didn't realize that you talked about your military experience. We'll get into business in a minute but you had ptsd. I didn't realize it until. I read the book so i was an officer in the army for six years. will sorry four years active duty than additional four years in the reserves so a total of eight years and for thirteen of those months. I was deployed to iraq. I was in charge of fourteen sixteen men and it was real war. I mean we were over there. It was war Four of my sixteen soldiers did not come home and you know there was definitely responsibility on my shoulders for that and it was a very emotionally traumatic period for a twenty three and twenty four year old. I turned twenty four. While i was in iraq and i paid for you know not immediately by the way like i kind of went back to the army lifestyle and that was that but then when i was in the civilian world i really saw it coming on Ptsd definitely hit me hard and caused multiple bouts of depression in my mid to late. Twenty s and you know. I really still feel like there's there's some lingering effects of that. What do you mean by on my shoulders. Because i was the leader. Those your responsibility. Yeah i said go left. We went laughed and we got hit. You know like it was my so it was literally like if i just said go right things could be different and so then when you had. Ptsd had affect you. What what exactly happened. The biggest thing was like. I just found myself not able to concentrate on anything like i was in law school at the time. And when you can't in law school forget about it. Which is a y. Dropped out. Because i just wasn't going to be able to continue going forward but you just couldn't concert or anything like the most revealing thing that i'll share right now is i grew up a massive new england patriots football just born and raised in new england. College in new england's love the patriots. It was like i was passionate about the games. And i was watching one of the games and i just remember thinking so clearly to myself i could care less who wins this game and when that realization him andrew i was like well something is wrong appear because usa live and die by these guys and now you could just care less. What would you mind go when you weren't paying attention was it. Was it back to that turning to that turn or was it somewhere else away you just in blank. nothing matters. There was a combination of all three to be honest. you know. sometimes. I drift back to my work experience. Sometimes i would just dwell on things that in my life were in great dating. Somebody like something. Small happened that would now. Just roll off my shoulders. I would like just stress over it and focus on it and just make it so much more than it was again just wasn't me like before i winced a quote unquote war. Like one of my girlfriends previous girlfriends. Biggest complaints were just like john like nothing fazes year. Like you don't even care. If i'm like making out with a guy across the bar like an exaggeration but that was kind of true in some ways where like i just. I didn't get jealous at nothing like really faze me. I wouldn't engage in fights or nitty things with any of them because it just wasn't worth it but then it was the opposite and like now. I'm just like every little thing you know like like how could you like. Org remember what it was. But i would just stress over all those things. And i was just like. This is the now acting the opposite of how i usually acted for the first twenty six years of my life. I now i could care less about the patriots. I'm overboard jealous or envious or stressing out about the little things that don't matter in life and getting into arguments about nothing and i'm like literally. I'm the exact opposite person right now and that was weird. How do you get yourself back on it. The reason that i'm asking is i just. I just had a conversation with you. Entrepreneurs who who talked about being sued and wanted them says i find myself just getting angry at this person who soon me and i can't disconnect my mind from it and focus and then i get angry at myself. He said for thinking about this lawsuit and others started talking about how in this little group. That i'm in with so talking about how they were sued in how it becomes a distraction when you have. Ptsd how do you keep yourself from losing focus like that. How do you get yourself. Yeah most people don't and i call it circling the drain of despair. Because that's exactly what it feels like. You're just going deeper and deeper into it because now you're in despair because despairing and you're mad at yourself and your mad at them and you met everybody and it's just a bad scenario. I mean some ways that i was able to get to get over the hump so to speak and number one is definitely time like it just took time number two was therapy like i definitely embraced therapy and talking to other people like groups etc. I did try medication for a while. Which actually at this stage in my life at forty one like i was twenty seven then and so i was just like i'll try anything and like i wish i had 'cause i'm pretty against that for various reasons now although i think now there's some really interesting and a lot of really cool case studies for veterans. None of which. I've tried. Because i just i would be happy to now if i feel like i needed it but like silla cyber and i don't know much about about buffalo and like other things along those lines that people are are trying to like naturally altered their state to kind of like get in their heads in and get over what they can't get over and i have some really good veteran friends who swear by it and it's it's really interesting. What's happening in the veteran community with. What's the therapy therapy. Do how did that help you get over this just talking about it and realizing that i wasn't alone that actually what i was experiencing was was actually normal. It was unfortunate normal like other people were losing interest in things they used to love. You know snapping over things that they use and not care about. And i was like oh okay so now that i know that i'm just not as weird stranger on a distant lands and but i'm actually going through what this thing. Ptsd actually is at least now. I can identify it and now work with people to get over it. Got talking about it. I also imagine keeps it from being bottled inside and not getting. It's almost like our mind. Wants to think it through and we're not letting talk it out and get it out and flush it out. I think about journaling. I know you've got incredible popular incredibly popular. I was one of the first version of that. Did i get to be your customers other. It's so beautifully done. It looks like a frigging bible. The way that you set it up. But i feel like that's the benefit that i get from. Journaling that when there's something that's spinning in my head i get to get it out even if there's nobody there to listen. So maybe that's what. I should have suggested to this entrepreneur. Just journal out talk it out. Journalist adults talk it out. Surround yourself with other people who are going through the same thing so you can understand like is actually. It's not good. The you're having these thoughts but it's normal and it's natural and key but you know i will say just to remind you of the the bible golden rather always within reach. Because i'm a big believer. I journal every single day. It's getting the stuff in here out there onto the page uniform junk if it's crap unloading cracking junk from my head which is which is just as important. I want to do this interview. Roughly about how you got here and then we'll talk about some of the ideas in the book but maybe we should start with. What here is where are you guys. Revenue is revenue is. We actually just hit our ninetieth month in a row of a net profits of over one hundred thousand dollars so that one thing that our business has been is flipping consistence and by the way we've published ninety incan reports in a row monthly income reports in those income reports have a fantastic tax tip from our accountants. Have a legal tip from our lawyer have details of all the things we did right this month so that we can be emulated by other people also all the things. We did wrong this month. Which happens every month to so you can avoid our mistakes. Breaks down every penny that comes plus every expensive goes out you can see how we actually run our business and what we spend our money on. So they're very thorough very detailed and We're well over. Twenty million dollars in total revenue since launched and twenty twelve. And now that. I live in puerto rico. I get to keep the money i made brother. By the way that's on eofire.com slash income. I'm on the site right now. And ask you a question about it. But you are in puerto rico. Because what's what are the tax laws there. I love california california's an amazing states. San diego was my home for five years. It's beautiful the weather's great. The people are awesome. It is so painful to be a successful financial entrepreneur in california. I'll say with one little exception for the people who are doing The people who are selling companies don't suffer nearly as much right. there tax rate is considerably lower. They get to postpone when they pay taxes. Right some people like you re taxes right. Yes so sorry that that is a that. It's a problem for me and it's a thing that just really pisses me off that. There are people who are doing the they make so much money but then they pay way. Less percentage wise because they're just making it on capital gains. But it's a fantastic point. There's so many people that are building amazing companies that they know they will exit for some point for seven eight nine figures but they're not paying that tax taxes. Now i have a different business where i'm making one hundred thousand dollars. Net profit a month that means when leaving california. I'm spending at least fifty k. A month in taxes. Now by the way. I've made six seven hundred thousand dollars in a month before like that was a three hundred thousand dollar check. I wrote in one month. When the in this painful for the type of business that i run and that was gonna continue to run so this is you know back in two thousand sixteen. I had just hit my third year in a row where i wrote a seven figure. Check tackle sam. And i was like this. This could stop soon- sooner than later. It's painful now. So i talked to my account and i said hey. What are the legal options for me to decrease my income. And i don't want to move to texas no offense to access. Don't want to move to nevada or florida. It's wasn't my thing. What can i do and he said well. You can move to this caribbean islands. Scott puerto rico and pay any federal tax. Because it's not a state it's a territory so they don't pay federal tax. You're not gonna be any state tax. Because they have an incentive program for entrepreneurs that will only pay a four percent corporate tax rates. Your total tax rate will be four percent. So i went from fifty one to four percents. Literally the day i moved. Because it's immediate. The day you move boom. You can send a letter to the california. Irs into the federal government and say. I'm out and a letter to puerto. Rico saying i'm in and you literally start paying four percent that moment so i moved to puerto rico back in twenty sixteen almost immediately bought our dream home here on the caribbean which is beautiful. Two million dollar gorgeous panoramic caribbean view home in seventeen months andrew. I'd saved more money in taxes than the house cost and what about kobe now. How are you guys handling there. Feels like we're in a little bit of a bubble down here. So i live in a gated community where there's thirty three hundred homes. So it's a massive community to golf courses twenty courts seventeen restaurants at an equestrian center a k through twelve academy. You name it. We have it in the community and it's just a lot of people who are like you know what we're gonna hunker down and so people have hunker down here and we've had incredibly few cases. The island is three point. Five million people so it's not a small population and there's a total of two hundred and fourteen cases on the island right now so it's not insignificant. There are people with cove in puerto rico. But it's pretty under control at this time and so far so good. It feels like you know. We have people by the way that visit all the time. So i people that have come down from as my family and and they say it is such a breath of fresh air to be. Now you're puerto rico. Can you walk around hanging out with friends. Each other's homes under with your community you can within our in. The house are no masks when you're with friends masks inside or outside now who. I didn't think that all right so the way he did it was its content. You talk about in a book about how you decided you. Were going to go into audio. You're somebody who likes to just keep on cranking. i wonder lately whether we've hit peak content peak blogging peak twitter peak instagram. He everything that it just feels like. It's hard for anyone to stand out. I'm not saying that we haven't but i will say that. I've heard that in two thousand twelve when i launched that we were at p. con. I heard it two thousand sixteen when i was midway through my current journey. And i'm hearing that today. And i'm not saying you're wrong today or anybody's wrong today. That saying that current thing because eventually somebody is going to be right. Of course you know just like eventually something's going to be right about when the stock market's going to crash it will crash at some point and that personal eventually be right Will happen is it now. I mean i will say. I don't know how far going on this rabbit hole butts. I do feel like a an app. Like clubhouse is really adding speed to that content saturation in a very fast way. So why clubhouse by the way is the where you can just go in and talk to people within these virtual ruins. It's all audio based. Why do you think that's a lot. I think it's speeding up. What that comment that you made about potentially saturation because because people don't have much time there's twenty four hours in a day yeah sleep hopefully for at least eight of those hours you're going gonna be doing work for someone who's hours working out talking to people doing things. You have a certain amount of time. Each day you can literally consume contents like a podcast like a video show x y z. And clubhouses coming in right now in his taking a huge chunk of that free time that people dedicated at in the past two other platforms now in six months. My we be laughing about clubhouse failed experiment and maybe or may be saying. Wow look like facebook. Bought them for ten billion dollars ends now. They just blew it up to the next level and now all people used to consume their audio contents is clubhouse who knows about right now is legit all right and so you got into podcasting. Because you're listening to podcasts. You said you know what i like. This thing i've been leading What kind of conversations you lead an army that made you feel like you're ready to do this. I didn't goes ready to do it. I mean when i a podcast i was terrible a b. i was clueless like see. I was completely freaked out of all things that had to do. With technology microphones next. You name it so. I don't think i could do it. I mean did. I have some experience in the army where i was like having to give reports in front of five star. Generals like yes. That happened so i had some perspective of being jailed. E kit over yourself like stop being such a little scaredy cat loser and talk into a microphone into an into an empty room because of course my lauch wasn't empty room and going back to when earlier comments actually yes. Andrew warner was one of my power twenty. When i wish i called you know people that i sat down very intentionally prelaunch and said these are my twenty dream guests in if i sat down and made that listing and andrew you would still be on it right on route. I i love that you that you went back to your mentor and you said hey jamie i've got to make this adjustment to i forget what it was something like. Can i put this these these links in this margin on the left instead of on the right even within your community of people who create a podcast against stupid questions like that that makes me want to. I am not a physical person. And i know it sounds cliche. It makes me wanna hit him. And just mac and wake them up and say who cares. I know what you're doing. You're postponing getting started for for these nonsense reasons. Why get pretty. I can pretty bold in the book. I know you sent me one highlighted attacks which you know julian thing we can maybe talk about later but like i just straight up. Call people cowards. In the book and number one. I call myself. Coward is was a hundred percent of coward. And what was i doing. I was a coward. Cowering behind a wall of fear. Because i didn't want to launch my voice in my message to the world. I didn't want people to be able to make fun of me. Which i knew they would and some people did and i didn't want that to happen. Thousands radulov flower. What did i do. I try to hide behind the word. Perfectionism overweight. I'm a perfectionist. I can't launch right now because it's not ready. I'm such a perfectionist. So many people love saying that word and like like you wanted to smack people in the face for the prior comments. I want to smack people in the phases. Say that because what really. I'm hearing when they're saying i'm a perfectionist. I'm hearing i make howard who is unable to launch. Because i'm a coward and that's just how i got a call it out and by the way i'm not pointing at people like putting myself to like that was me in two thousand twelve and i don't want you to be that person that i was almost in launch. Like stop being this flippant perfectionist because perfectionism flat out sucks every time you got it one of the things i like about you and others is that you get mentors. I remember actually swimming and thinking of saying irish swim every day. I think john would have gotten a trainer to help swim better. I've been playing chess lot more. My friend noah kagan got a trainer to teach him to play chess more. I sometimes feel though like breaking that isolation that i have me swimming on my own breaking that isolation that i have a the game of chess is distracting. How do you know how do you stay created within your own experience while bringing somebody in saying now you yell at me. When i'm not swimming right you tell me how. I should be playing chess better so i think you're thinking about it in the wrong way like how i would think about this near the you're talking about is and by the way. This is a great little Tim ferriss hack that. I love is you want to get better swimming. Why don't you look up the silver medallist of the last olympics which nobody cares about. But who's obviously a fantastic swimmer. And how can you hire that person for an unbelievably cheap dollar amounts compared to the gold medals who beat them by one one hundred of seconds. Who's can command any dollar amount. They want go to the silver medallist. And you can do that for of course any sport or whatever think endeavoured someone a deal but to your specific point of like you know you want it for solitude and you want wireless yelling at you i look at it as i wanna be. Trains incredibly well by somebody incredibly great at what they do and then left alone so that i am confidence for those next one thousand laps that i swim. They're being done in the best manner. So i know that my flip turn is spot on on seeing underwater. The right amount of time. That i'm doing x. Y. and z. Which i can by the way relate to i. I think. I told a story about my swimming in the book. Actually and Yeah and that was legit. Like i was a terrible swimmer star. But you know. I i figured things out over time. But that's not the point of what you're saying is i'm a big believer in being taught by the best how to do things right one time by them like this is how you do and learning in in maybe having a couple of sessions but then you know being set off into the world and then doing it with the knowledge that i'm implementing their genius as well. I know Talked to louis house. And he's about something and he said he also trained. You helped you out with your webinars right. And that's a key part of your model. It seems to me your business model is. I'm going to do all this stuff for free and then i'm gonna give you free training which happens via email right with videos. Yes and then. It's you want even more than you pay. And that's that's the model for everything. I was even surprised to hear that. When you're an affiliate of tony robbins. Instead of telling your audience have got tony robbins in here you created a free training with another partner which with the screwed nine to five people. You created that free training and then people went through it paid. I think even for part of it. And then they they were up. Sold on the affiliate. That's the model that you go with. So the model is what can you do to give people such immense value that they get a real substance like substantial results in a substantial great solution to a real problem that they have but at the same time. They are now ready in the in the need that next step and the great example. I gave him the book. That you've kinda referred to as i teach people for free how to create and lost their podcasts. What is you. And i know when you lost your podcast to the world is one of the most exciting moments for podcasters and now. There's two things you really wanna do. You wanna grow that audience and you wanna monetize in. Guess what here's jail. The guy that taught you how to create it and how to launch. It's who you know like and trust because you've seen my videos you learn from this. Reciprocity built up from all this free value. I've given you and now you want to join my paid community podcasters paradise to grow your audience into monetize. And that's why paradise now has over six thousand members over seven million in revenue. It has been going for eight years in a row. I thought i saw in the book. I highlighted it. I thought i saw that. You closed down you in fact. Was it something that you said you close down. So i've never close podcasts. Paradise down what you actually are referring to believe is my course. I launched because of the idea of podcasters paradise where people were coming to me and saying john. You doing live webinars every single week. So i wanna learn how to podcast but i wanted to do webinars so we had a course for four years called webinar on fire which we sold on the back end was like this additional for people that Bought podcasts paradise. Or they can bite on their own if they didn't even want to start a podcast and that was a great revenue stream for us for a lot of years and then frankly weather's became a lot less effective and we didn't want to keep up with the course and keep updating it so we just let it go once effective now. What's working for you. The podcast is absolutely so working for me. I'm doing five days a week now. I did seven days a week for five and a half years then. I stepped down To do to per week. For a while. Because i i was like i'm ready to do more of like the andrew warner. Deep dive interviews. I was ready for it. Goes excited to do it. And i am still doing those but i'm now just being my quantity. I went to three days a week and then four days a week now but five days a week. I'm just like i just. I miss talking to more people so now. I'm back up to five days a week. The podcast absolutely working. And that's really. The main core focused every everything. So i looked at your revenue. Even revenue is advertising number. One album podcasting. You'd see a dip in advertising last year. twenty twenty or dip in an audience. I saw a dip in audience. I started dipping audience and we had a couple of big sponsors who are with us for a year. Say hey we want to put up our advertising on pause you know back in lake march april when everybody was freaking out and i said absolutely not you have a year contact contract with us. You will stay by that contract or you'll be hearing from our legal counsel like this not to be mean but like we trusted you. You've just us we're delivering. We're gonna keep on delivering on that and you know. Most of them came back with like john. We were good like we're going to stay the course near glad they did. Because we did see a little blip in numbers like most people did but no we actually saw a bigger increase. And we've had our three biggest months the last the last consecutive three months because it does seem like more people are now kind of getting into their new home life lau and they're just kind of having podcasting be more part of that journey so you're saying we downloads have gone up. Dallas are three biggest months the last three months. I sense that maybe you're burning out on on podcasting for a bit there. I think you were even charging people to be on the podcast and my right still you still so everyone was on is paying to be on thirty five and then how do you keep it from being to promotional from them. If they're paying in the application which will get four hundred inquiries per month to be on the show in the application where people to apply to be on the show. It very clearly says. This is a podcast that delivers value on your area of expertise. You will be allowed one call to action at the end of the show and that is so. Every episode is value value value sponsor break value value value. Time to say good. Bye call to action. Goodbye speaking of sponsor my i. Actually you know what the first sponsors an easy one it's hostgator. I think we can make it work. Well but i've got to talk to you about sopko. I'm kind of struggling to talk about it. And i think i'm going to lose them because i'm not doing a great job on an okay job but i'd like to do a better job. Here's what they do. You know like if you wanted to get customers what you could do is just wait for them to come to you or you could go to linked in and then find the people who would be ideal customers. Maybe you get their email address and message them. People aren't opening up their email. If they don't know you apparently sent a message on linked in you get better response only takes a long time. They created an automated way to do that. You you tell them type of people you're looking for like if you said i want all ceos of startups in tech in san francisco that have at least one hundred employees or fifteen points. They'll get it for you and they send the first message to them saying you should be sponsoring entrepreneurs on fire and then if the person response comes to john john type or someone on team and close the sale. That's that's what they do. That's the software. Here's an extra layer here. What do you think. So far where i am with it. Then you're going to be honest. Be honest go ahead. I need to hear more but it feels right now like that maybe a impersonal cold. Reach out that's is also equating into a cold. Not even a warm lead. So i need to know. How are they making this more personal. Is there a way for me to create an awesome video that they can use in that. So they're already getting a face and voice branding before it comes to my inbox. You want the u on it of video from yourself to the person sitting at video to the they're sending texts. They're sending text messages on linked into the person. So it'd be hey it's john. I saw that you're in san francisco and maybe a couple of personal things because they do mail merge. If you're interested in hearing about how to sponsor just hit reply i'll let you know about it or not get customers for you it replied and then as soon as a person survived it goes to you and you can have real back and forth with them. I would actually maybe even like to say. Hey if you want to learn a little bit more click here. Because here's a video from out of company that goes into detail for some more contacts and then and then hit reply so like i would just like to see that one step in there because i've always found in my outbound marketing. That's key you know we can little more explanation and then hit reply only for the people who are really getting in right. Let me say this or anyone out there. Who's listening if this is something that you're interested in go to mick surgey dot com slash izaak does see a demo video z. O. p. t. o. Where you'll see a demo video and Well so much. More than i could talk about that. You can even see if they've been on the site you send him a message on lincoln without saying specifically creepy. I saw you on my side but it's kind of like. Hey this could be a good fit just when you think about all right. I won't go into the list of features but i'm grateful to denver sponsoring mixture g. dot com slash zapped. Oh yeah yemen when when What's your sales process for advertising. Is it wait for people to come to you. That's been pretty effective for people to come to me. I get a lot of inbounds requests the people that come and the you know frankly our income reports Do a lot of that because people see the sky gets a lot of money. August sponsors obviously his show must be effective and then they use the contact form they reach out to us and then we sent him the card. And they're like oh we can't afford that and that's fine but you know some people. Can i use a lot of podcasts broker sponsor brokers I by the way just kind of a sign out. I'd be happy to introduce you to a fantastic company called a red circle. I have no affiliation with them. But they've been sending the fantastic sponsors. They're awesome. They're doing some local things in the podcast base and i just have a couple sponsors who have been with me for so long legs. Ziprecruiter's been a sp- an annual sponsor six episodes a month for twelve months at a time for five years. Now it's like insane. And i have a couple of sponsors just like that as well so even though i have five episodes per week now like my inventory is almost sold out for all of two thousand twenty one. Well i i don't know red circle obviously no ziprecruiter. I've heard them a lot. And maybe we should be checking on Or go to the indeed their competitor. So you just got indeed and say hey ziprecruiter just wants. Masha my show. But before i give it to them like you want a counter and just play off each other. Love it. because there's so much money in recruiting that high ticket item products. Do well with my audience right. A huge right now is better help too. I think you do good in that company because of our. Ptsd conversation yeah. I remember talking to the founder. Better helps just asking basically to justify. How therapy could be done by mobile and really. In retrospect of course it could be even better by mobile hotter and by the way they're the number one podcast monster in the world's i didn't realize that you go directly or using You know we never watched him. I don't think they'd be a great fit for me specifically For my podcast. So we don't like go after companies really liked that We have our sweet spot. Executors awesome for that reason in other companies. But there's a report by greats podcast newsletter called pod news which every podcast should subscribed to and they just recently sent out the report like the top ten podcast sponsors and better help was number one. Make sense. haven't been hearing them a lot and it does. It's just of the moment so much all right so the first thing is that. That's how you sell it. Let's talk a little bit about your research process i. I've found that. I go so deep in the research that i could go mental with it. I have to limit myself. What's your process. Do you do research on guests. Zero minutes zero seconds. And i don't say that's like pride. I say that like out of necessity. Because when i launched a daily podcast if i'm committing to doing seven interviews a week i've gotta find a way to either do very efficient and quick or potentially research whatsoever and i often with the ladder and i said if this isn't working out i'll have to adjust and figure out another way and for three thousand plus episodes is just worked out and you know what i say to myself and you know i'm kidding myself. In some ways andrew. But i say to myself hey when i when i come to the interviews. Incredibly unprepared with knowledge about the gassed. It makes me curious at like my listeners are and so i ask the question that my listeners wants to be asking themselves because i'm not. I'm not cursed with a curse of knowledge that i do know a lot of people happened when they're talking. They just they know the answer is they. Don't ask them the assume everybody knows in his called the curse of knowledge for a reason in so i don't have the curse knowledge. I am basically clueless about every guest. That i bring on i i literally right before i bring them on. I read their thirty word bio and. That's all i know about them and then i bring them on and we talk. How do you know by the way. I clearly have a different approach to it. I was going until. I said we can't talk. I've got to kind of finish. John's book and do it the night before or the day of usually i do have but much the reason i do. It is because dude i would then go down every rabbit hole possible research wise. I actually do work with the coach who has to tell me set timers to stop the going off on these research on. Yeah works yeah it helps. Yeah i do it on my apple watch. Just hit the five minute thing. I promised myself only five minutes in such a vibrate like crazy all right another five minutes. And then i stopped. What about staying in touch with your audience. I feel like that's always a challenge for me. And i think you called me out on that for your podcasters paradise the crews that was called where you said andrew you're so deep in the world of your interviewees but you're not nearly enough with your audience and i do work to do that but i could see that. It's a big challenge. Especially now during covid where i can't get into into their lives. What do you do to see what they need. So i'm the opposite of you like spend almost no time literally zero time into research and my guess but spent so much unscaled time talking literally talking and conversing back and forth with my audience with my listeners. how I've always asking for it via email via social media whenever people reach out to me and say you know love the show. Enjoy this data. Mo's like skype called What's this isn't like john. You'll jump on a skype call with them all the time all the time. F four questions that i slipping love asking these individuals. I love jumping on calls to them. And if they don't want to call or some people don't get it. I just send them the questions that we can use respond to these like. What are the questions number one. I always ask. How did you find out about my show and do the math listening for five years. I want to know how the i were led to my show. So i can amplify the things that actually work then. I asked him number two. What do you like about the show. Just so i can understand what they actually like people vague albany show yesterday but what was great. What actually was great about the show because a whole show was not great. What did you love and understand what really people gets like for a great example of this is a lot of people say john. I love when after that guest is done talking. You turn to the audience like you break down the third wall and you say fire nation here are the biggest takeaways. I wanna make sure you get from what andrew je shared. I do that just a couple times on interviews. Not everyone. But i got so much feedback. When asked that question for my listeners. I'm like i'm gonna do this on every interview. And then like the calmest kept even growing and growing now those doing it all the time and now that is literally a cemented part of my show and like people love that and then number three people. What don't you like about my shell. And when i hear somebody give me something. They don't like about the show. I essentially ignore it. But i remember. It's if a because it could be an anomaly as my point on that right right but then i get if i get a theme of people like kind of saying. They don't like certain things about the show over over again. Then i'll take action and then and frankly i actually had. That happened recently. Which i could talk about okay. So i always started my show for hundreds of episodes with the question Tell me something about yourself that most people don't know and frankly it was cool. I got a lot of great feedback about that. I in like this is neat. I'm gonna t- to know something about these different people and frankly like most things you know that question had an expiration date and it just kind of a little old and people say okay. I'm here in kind of the same thing. Law like everything has everybody has any different but felt the same. Sort of getting people commenting on that more than more than once. And i was like you know what their rights and came up with a new question that i now ask which is pretty interesting is what is something that you believe about success or about becoming successful that most people disagree with. So i really want to put people on the spot to be contrarian because i love a contrarian. I love playing devil's advocate like when i'm on panels because there's such love fast it was like oh i love what he just said. I love what she said. I could not agree. More is people's favorite phrase which i raised when people say i cannot agree more. I'm like do you have your own individual mind please. And so like when. I'm on panels. I am on a mission to disagree with as many people as i can't on that not even because i'd necessarily disagree with them because i want to disagree and start up an interesting conversation and people are floored. Like what like what are you doing. I'm like actually having a fun conversation now. Tucker max that really well by the way little shadow to tucker max. I saw him do that. The time has meyer. david hansen. Does that too. That i remember. He came on and said andrew sick and i could still do the interview. This the founder base camp. And i said i don't mind that he say because i know he's going to be good and i also knew he was going to disagree but i didn't think how fast you would do it. I remember introducing it saying. Hey andrew founder mixer g home of the ambitious start goes. I hate ambition. I hate ambitious people. I swear go. See it in the transcript. How're you doing. I know that you're really Eight minutes i mean. Look for an hour and that'll be announced. How do you. How do you inter- how do you interrupt your day when you're so driven by the calendar to get on calls with with with your listeners. That's been real pain for me. Yeah you know. I make it a priority and i'm not always in this kind of back to back but promotion mode that in now in a normal world which is not these current three months and i'm in book promotion mode i. I work five days a month. I work incredibly hard those five days. My schedule's insane. And then i work very lightly you know email social media couple things the other twenty five days in the month But i have time. I time hanging out by the pool and asking the questions of calls do random times like that. That's when you're reaching out to people by the way in the book you talk about how the way we're able to figure out what to sell. Your audience was through these kinds of conversations. Turns out they weren't necessarily interested in being like your guests. They wanted to be like you. You said all right. Let's teach them how to create podcasts. That's how the business happened and you go through the process of understanding. I think you said you had one hundred people who are willing to pay you to be in part in the community kind of doing this. Because i promised i would go through some kind of order here and talk a little bit too. Close the loop though. Real quick is is the fourth question i ask is Thanks for your point what you were just talking about is what is your biggest struggle right now. What's got me the answer to everything. The share like basketball. I got that answer of what my audience wanted. And that's how. I created all the products and all the services i created. None of them came here. They all came from that question. What's the problem. Let me close it out with the book when you're working as you said a few days four or five days a month how are you sitting down and getting yourself to right. I think you said at one point. I forced myself to sit one hour a day for put in that one hour. What is it for eight months in a row. Eight months one hour day and that our how do you get productive in that moment. The beauty of doing an interview as we're recording. I can't not be productive. I have to talk. But if i have to sit down and write. It's a frigging nightmare and it would've been for me to and it was and i had to like get to a point where it wasn't because i wasn't used to it but after a week of force myself to sit there and blink screen like you start to kind of break down some of these walls and i did the method that we talked briefly about about twenty minutes ago is the pomodoro method. I set my timer for forty two minutes. That's just my crazy number. That i came up with and i press start and i watched the first two seconds tick down and then i said i have forty one minutes and fifty six seconds to write and i just started writing and i started writing and that was it and that got me to seventy one thousand words in four hundred eighty writing hours. Because i'm a crazy person that tracks stuff like this. And it's a two hundred seventy three page meaty business book that apparently andrew wanna read a couple of hours and it follows a logical progression. If anything frankly i would have. I would assume that somebody else had written it except the video that you sent me was so hyper aware that you needed to say i wrote this book. It's not i- rocketing thing. I yeah there you go yeah. Let's go without our second. Because i think this is on topic. I do things that don't scale when it matters like those conversations with my audience because when you do things that don't scale all of a sudden things and ideas you get those things become scalable. So i sent andrew a four minutes a personal video to let him know that he matters to me. I'm not just sending a blast. Email that he's a part of he's a friends. I respect him. I like him. I know him i trust them and i love his platform that he's built and i don't take it lightly if i'd be able to come on and talk about whatever and maybe mentioned the book that makes sense like that would be meaningful. There was a personal formative video. I did three hundred of those videos on average four minutes long. You can do the math weeks of just doing those videos. Because i know that doing those things that don't scale are so meaningful and there's a reason why i got an eighty five percent response rate from the top three hundred influences. I reached out to oppose to like a five percent response rate because was personal and it hit people to the core that and that's exactly what i wanted to do. I ended up buying twelfth frigging books. I emailed andrea. Said can you. I said i don't want to deal with this andrew. Please take my credit card by twelve books because of the video and of course we had to on here. You have a you are l. Why don't you sending people to amazon. Everyone buys books amazon so that you are out. Does some people amazon. But you know. I'm smart business guy like i want to show you what the bonuses are. I i wanna collect your email address. I you can go to amazon if you want the common path commerce. Success it's on their john lee dumas. Would you are. Let's be clear about who are l. is uncommon success. Book dot com. You'll get to see my beautiful. Endorsements from seth godin who does not give out endorsements easily gary banner. Jacques neil patel. Eric mandy dory clark. You'll see all five of the bonuses there which are insane. You mentioned the freedom journal earlier. This is something we can if we had more time. We can talk about I'm sending the freedom mastery and podcast journal to everybody's doorstep. Who buys one copy of this book. I'm losing money on every single preorder because not the point. The this is not a financial play for me like finances. Good done in the bank. This is get this flippant book and people's hands. Because i am positive this is going to change people's lives and this is not some flaky. This is like me not being able to write a book for ten years because they didn't have a book to right now. I cannot wait for people to actually be able to apply these seventeen step roadmap to get to where they need to be all right and if we go to uncommon success book dot com your first getting our contact information and letting us know that if we buy it i guess what buying it on amazon. You're gonna give us all these bonuses book if we the journal if we get one. But what am i getting. I don't even know what i'm getting for. Twelve guys. if you're curious to uncommon success book dotcom am flying. First class of puerto rico. You are staying you. Mike boorda rico. I know online to do on buying a first class for of course but listen you are coming. I hope to puerto rico at some point. I'd love to to now you're making me think. Maybe that's where we should go and hide for. Covert all right. Thank you so much for being on here. I wanna thank sponsors made. This interview happened. The i actually got. It's mentioned it opco if you want to see go. Watch a video. Mixer g. dot com slash is updo. John just made a dance for them. This is the type of stuff you get when you buy sponsorship and mixer. Gee a dance from the guests and number two didn't get much of an ad. I will not charges against would not charge them for. But i will tell you. Listen go when you need. A website hosted go to hostgator dot com slash. They'll do wordpress any number of other platforms and do it right inexpensively and when you throw that slash or japan you get a pat on the back. They'll landrieu for sending over there and you get a great price from them better than they usually offer hostgator dot com slash dirtyjohn by a calendar. Gatt ear on yes.

puerto rico andrew warner andrew john army patriots john lee dumas new england california John gustavia caitlin erickson giada scott dinsmore swimming chess kate
Failure is NOT an Option - Dave Woodward - CFR #407

FunnelHacker Radio

18:37 min | 1 year ago

Failure is NOT an Option - Dave Woodward - CFR #407

"Welcome to click bottles radio where we go behind the scenes and uncovered the tactics and strategies. Top entrepreneurs are using to make more sales dominate their markets. And how you can get those same results. Here's your host. Dave Woodward art everybody. It is like six thirty in the morning. It's two weeks before frontal hacking live. A million things have to take place and have to happen. We were on a cruise for the last week. Couldn't get a bunch of stuff done that we needed to get done. And we're literally down to the wire and we had our meeting. Yesterday of people are going. I don't know if we're going to pull all this stuff off. Jake was here late last night. It was it was at the net of College National Championships. which is one of Jake's? He's a quarterback in high school loves playing loves college and and all of a sudden I walk out. It's about eight seven thirty and I see he and his son out there watching the football game on one of the monitors while he's just cranking out trying trying to get all the other content and images and everything else done and that's just kind of the mentality that force that we've been blessed having here in our company and Jacob is one of the mini all stars that we have but it was just so amazing to me when you start seeing these massive goals huge huge goals that you set and you're like I don't nothing to pull this off here is what's the fourteenth fourteenth fifteenth of these fourteenth of January and all of a sudden two weeks into the New Year a lot of people have already given up on their goals because they just didn't have a strong enough reason. Why and I recently just this morning as I got into the office at five thirty this morning and started going through some email I received an email from Andrew Warner in Andrew? Warner is just a a dear friend but more than just being a friend. This is a leader in in the podcast industry. If you're not following Andrew Mixer podcast highly recommend that you do but but he's the guy who literally just ports pours his whole heart and soul into absolutely every single thing that he does. We had the opportunity of having him at at the dry bark. Comedy Club love when we were looking for someone to actually interview Russell to tell the Click funnel story we've known better as an interviewer than Andrew. Andrew came down and I typically typically have the opportunity to when people are Basically been in the event for a long time and they've just been bombarded by everybody. I I'm the guy basically is kind of. Can you get me out of the situation and so I thought you know what Andrews just. He's going to this thing for hours. I thought the event was over. And there's a ton of people around asking him a million questions. I just kind of want me to kind of get you out of here said no no no no I just love this. I WANNA be by these people. I want to hear what they had to say. And this is a man who just little care so much about absolutely everyone he ever meets. We had the opportunity as washing before the the drive. Our Comedy Club. He was out before you even opened up the the event he was out in the streets. Talking to everybody in line's far. Why are you here? What look why would you travel to Provo Utah to watch Russell being interviewed? What's this whole thing? And he just cares and he's so passionate about everything and so he set this goal of of running basically of running a marathon twenty six point two miles on every single continent in the year. Twenty one thousand nine and go. He had ten years earlier and so finally before the the decade came to an end. He wanted to make sure that he he reached that goal and it came came down to the very very last part of it where all of a sudden he had to get to Antarctica and I was following his journey in store and he's sitting there chilly trying to trying to get passage in trying to get clearance and all that kind of stuff and things weren't working and I'm going to tell you his story injustice. He sent me a video this morning. Thinking as he's actually Artika I'll share that video with you just a second at least the audio of the video but it brought back a memory. I had years ago. We're had the opportunity meeting gene Kranz and gene Kranz was the guy who Ed Harris played in the movie of Paul Thirteen. Paul Thirteen was movie in one thousand nine hundred ninety. S Basically Ron Howard documented. This journey of of what happened so everyone understands you know we touched everyone basically get. We had the up to be on the moon. But we don't want to do it again. And so this is like the third attempt of getting back there and Dan is. They basically launched the spaceship into orbit and they were ready to to land on the moon. One of the auction tanks goes was out. And everybody's situation of like. Oh my gosh. We're not going to be able to get to the moon more important that is I don't know if we're GONNA be able to get them back home and as I was doing some research on it I I'll play the video. It's like a two minute video so you'll get the audio of it at least of the story behind it. But as they were doing the research behind the whole movie and ideas ideas for his failure is not an option. I had the operative talking to gene Kranz at mastermind. We had in early two thousands where we invited him to attend and gene. Actually I was just asking saying gene was that just for Hollywood would that was that situation. That story real or was just kind of made up and just a stone cold face of almost irritated that the question was asked. Are you kidding me. You guys understand what it's like to be mission control in right Noah uh-huh obviously we don't we're there and he's like too often people minimize or try to glorify what actually it was like he goes you have to understand. We were in rated situation where we didn't have all the technology that you guys have these days. There's you know there's more technology in phones than there was technology. We had to try to get someone someone back from outer space basically back to to land because failure is not an option is exactly how it was the credo that we live by NASA. Asa and I was kind of trying to figure out some of the writing behind and I found this little quote here says in preparation move the script writers L Reinhardt and Bill breuls. It came down to clear lake to interview me on what people mission control really like and one of their questions was were there times when everybody or at least a few people just panicked. My answer was no when bad things happen. We just call out. All the options and failure was not one of them I immediately sensibility. Wanted to leave and assume that he was bored with the interview only months later. Did I learn that. When they got in their car to leave he started screaming? That's it. That's the tagline for the whole movie. Failure is not an option and as we were sitting there talking with gene in Cranston about it he basically told us that the creed that Nasr's mission control lives by is that failure is not an option and I think too often in in life you set a high goal anything you know. It's just not possible. I just don't think I can do it. And all of a sudden you get obstacle after obstacle after obstacle and I believe in life sometimes those obstacles are placed to for the universe for God to really define. Are you willing to pay the price that's necessary to reach the goal. Are you going to become become the person that you need to be to actually earn that opportunity. And as I take a look down where click balances come in five years. I take a look. Get our our to calm winds eight figure winners and soon today we should actually be getting our C. Award and we'll be going out to Louis. Identify who actually earlier some of the big players and people who are going to push it up to one hundred million. I think that too often. Once you start reaching obstacle after obstacle and things just the pain outweighs the vision and the dream and the reason why you're doing and I remember just having the opportunity I left. I left that mastermind with gene krantz and it totally changed the way I looked at my goals and my dreams and everything else realize that when you when life is at stake failure is not an option and I think too often for a lot of us are goals that are dreams. They're just not big enough there. They've never lot left after anybody in space. That was not an option that was not one of the things they were going to do. And so if you get if you haven't seen the movie I highly recommend you go go back and take a look. gatting seat on Netflix or something. I'll play the all hopefully and posted in here right now and and yet we can kind of see the story. Oy and then after that I want to tell you a little bit about Andrew. Warner's attempt to get his his whole goal of a ten year goal basically of running on every single marathon in content. So Scott if you can't put it in the audio right here from mission control and then right after that I'll come right back so you're telling me you can only give our guys forty five hours and brings them to a bad there gentleman that's unacceptable. The power is everything. They don't talk to us. They don't correct their trajectory. They don't turn the Heat Shield field around. We gotta turn everything off now. They're not going to make a three answering. What do you mean everything? Everything on the lump draws sixty amps at that rate and sixteen hours. The batteries are dead. Not Forty Five. And so is the crew we gotta get them down to twelve amps. You can't run a vacuum cleaner. On twelve twelve amps John Beckett. Turn off the radars cabin heater. Instrument displays the guidance computer. The whole smell guide is a computer what they need to do. Another burn in June. They won't even know which way the point the more time we talk down here the more juice they waste up there. I've been looking at the data for the past hour. That's the deal. That's the deal. Okay John We finished burn. Will Power Down the meantime frozen command module of a couple days went to power it up. He's nothing but the re entry batteries. We've been tried before hell we've never even simulated emulated it before gene. We're GONNA have to figure it out. I want people in our simulators working reentry scenarios. I want you guys to find every engineering design ever switch every circuit every transistor and every lightbulb. It's up to then I want you to talk to. The Guy in the assembly line will actually built thing. Find out how to squeeze every aunt out of both of these goddamn shootings. I want this mark all the way back to Earth with time to spare never lost an American space. We're sure as HELL NOT GONNA lose one Mile Walk Doc. Failure is not an option so now that you saw that understand the situation will. Andrew Warner was in that type of situation if you have the opportunity following Ah podcasts. As Mixer de highly recommend that you see it but I remember watching his instagram stories and facebook live and and just reading Jean what he was going through where he's little in Chile for weeks and having some in basically Chilean I garb of native today in type of things out there running in these crazy crazy things trying to stay in shape in hopes and dreams. Is that someone. Somehow we get him passage to Antarctica where he could run his last marathon. He'd already ran in Africa. Ran All these crazy places and for for Andrew. He wasn't typically. If you got there and there wasn't a marathon. He literally just did a solo marathon where he went out ran by himself. Twenty six point the two miles on each and every single continent and it was just a massive during this year and I had so much fun watching him take on obstacle after obstacle after obstacle obstacle. Where things just weren't gonNA work and most the time there wasn't a set marathon when he got there and even though he'd tried every every single time to actually run in a regular race in Africa there wasn't a regular race Mahindra run so he just ran through what appeared to be like the Seren- Getty of Africa and just run his twenty six point two miles and I think the part I love most about his story and watching him was? It wasn't for anyone else but himself when you're doing a solo marathon. No one even knows you're running beside you and I think those goals in life it's that person of who you become as you go through. The the fight. Energy continued to earn that those stripes of of success and most of the time. It's the battles in in life that you do solo. No one knows about that that make you that help you become the person that allows you to really go and achieve all the goals. Eventually some people may see and so for Andrew as he's sitting there struggling through the whole thing he's like. Oh my gosh I don't know how in the world I'm going to actually make this happen. So he just sent me a video just received today and it's him on Antarctica telling his story so I'm GonNa have Scott put in the the audio of it right now and again. Huge congratulations to Andrew having reach that goal most importantly I wanna make sure that you guys watch this or listen to this. Keep in mind that he'd ran already on six other continents that he had achieved a ton of these overcome a tunnel ready but now he's sitting there with one last massive. You're massive obstacle to overcome. First of all. How do you get passage to Antarctica? And then when you get it how do you actually get permission to run on a continent continent that is covered by ice. no-one typically is GonNa even allow you to do so again. Congratulations to Andrew. Listen to this and they'll come in afterwards and kind of summarize the last a couple of things Russell Dave everybody click funnels. I WanNa tell you how click funnels got me here to Antarctica. U- see I think we talk a lot about how click funnels helps us get get more leads. Get more sales. But I had a problem that I couldn't solve on my own and click funnels. Got Me here. Allowed me to overcome it at the beginning of the year. I had this idea that I would finally only hit my goal of running a marathon on every single continent and booking a flight to Africa is hard. But it's doable going to Asia. It's hard but doable. Wherever you want to go you could go and run a marathon and article is really tough? And this was a goal that I had for over a decade and just now finally started moving. I wanted to finish it by the end of Twenty nineteen gene and I couldn't get any of the organizers of races on Antarctica to say yes to me so I created a click funnels page and I said I'm going to achieve this goal somehow this year and if you need help with your goals just enter your email address if you want to follow along as I tried to get my goal email address and maybe somebody out there who enters their email address will also help me get Antarctica. Well I some people who enter their email addresses. Started contacting race organizers on Antarctica saying please let Andrew and I know you're racist closed I know this marathon. Marathon is closed loop. Please let Andrew Win and they all said No. There is no way. These things are booked years in advance and only a small group of people can come to run a marathon with them on Antarctica. Finally a few people said you know. There's an organization called Antarctic Logistics and expeditions. That takes people their so called them and they said Sorry Andrew we don't don't have space for you. We don't have the ability to get you on and article to run a marathon and another guy said Andrew. I'm telling you I have a friend. I know somebody who's done it. As I said all right right I went back with more conviction. I went back to Arctic Logistics and explain what I was trying to do and they saw my click funnels page and they said you know we see what you're trying to weaken absolutely get you there and so here. I am on Antarctica because of somebody who filled out a form on a click funnels page and stayed in touch with me and helped me get here because if you guys is thank you so much Russell. Thank you so much dave and to everybody really have gotten so many people click funnels. Thank you so much for what you've created and as somebody who runs a podcast you sponsor Sir thank you also for sponsoring to be honest with you. It's the payment from the sponsorship. That helped hey to get me on here and I appreciate you doing that. Thanks so much. I'm going to go and get ready around my marathon on Antarctica. How beautiful this look right there? That is my tent sleeping right. Here is where I am going to be running solo marathon. John Thanks Click all right. So now you've seen gene Kranz played by Ed Harris. Talk about failure was not an option. How they what they had to do it? Apollo thirteen to overcome that. And you've listened now to Andrew Warner. Tell his story with Click finals. We always talk about your your one funnel way and people people get frustrated when my Gosh I've done to done three five and it's still not working with Russell I know is thirty one funnels. I was on playing yesterday with Steve Larson and we were talking about. I think it was like thirty eight or forty finals for him realize that. I don't know how many it's going to take but understand that failure is is not an option if your dream and your goal whatever it is and I think that's why I love so much our whole creed is just one funnel away because it's your one run-away dot dot dot from whatever that might be for some people. It's from retirement from quitting your job others. It's fun away from from running a marathon on seven comments or it might be your one funnel way from helping raise a million dollars for charity. I don't care what it is realized. Is that the most important thing is how the you have to have the largest wipe possible. So I'm an cynics whole thing behind this idea that start with why if you start with the why I I everything else falls in place because you have to have a strong enough why to overcome everything that you struggle with in life. If you don't have it you'll never forget it so realize you're one funnel way. Failure is not an option. Go out there get it. And hopefully I will have the option of seeing you at frontal hacking I can live or if not at some other event in the near future. have an amazing day. We'll talk against you.

Andrew Antarctica Andrew Warner gene Kranz Russell Dave Africa Andrew Mixer Dave Woodward Ed Harris John Beckett Jake Scott Jacob football Comedy Club NASA Steve Larson Netflix Cranston
#2027 An audio documentary about my life

Mixergy

1:00:53 hr | 7 months ago

#2027 An audio documentary about my life

"Instead of usual interview today. I've got an audio documentary about my life one. That was done by samuel donner. And what i love about. This is the amount of research and time that he willing to spend with me to understand how i built my businesses who i was what i was trying to do in life and then once he recorded with me and we spent some time recording he he added these audio this production value. That made the whole thing. Sounds so interesting so yes i'm interested because it's my life but more than that i think he just made it into an interesting story by using audio elements that you don't usually see here on mixer and so that's what i got for you here today and i can do it. Thanks to gusto the company that will help you do your payroll right will help you. Frankly just take care of your people. I'm staring at my twitter account. Where i see that. My friends in past interviewees are exchanging tips for how to hire people. The thing is that they're always talking about how to hire people and not once. Have i heard them talk about what to do. After they hire people and what you do afterwards will determine how happy people are with you and frankly how happy you are to manage a team of people the reason that so many companies in my audience and outside of my audience are switching. To gusto is the gusto. Makes it easy to take care of your people. We're talking about full payroll services to help you with benefits medical dental vision. They've got certified experts to help. Answer your questions. Basically what they're trying to do is get you in and out of your payroll fast but also making a great experience for your people including hiring an on boarding are if you want to go and check them out and see why so. Many people who. I've interviewed us gusto. Why so many people who listen to this podcast like you are using gusto to pay their people no matter where they are and no matter whether they're fulltime employees or contractors. If you wanna go find out about them. I urge you to go right now. There's no better time than january to go into this. Go to gusto dot com slash mixture g. And they'll let you try them for free but more importantly they'll make it a good experience for you and your team go to gusto that spell g. u. s. t. o. dot com slash mixer. G all right. Here's the audio documentary. I had this idea that i was going to build this. It wasn't going to be a billion dollar. Business was going to be four hundred fifty million dollar business. But then i had this issue where suddenly i found myself deep in debt. Eight million dollars in my mid twenties and at the same time. I was burning out and didn't know it and i remember getting an email from someone who said they were going to southern california and they were done. They sold their business. They're going to be on the beach. They're thinking oh no love to be there. I've never really enjoyed being unbleached beach by one now and that was real devastation. Point for me. This is finding founders. I've seen real daughter. And that was andrew warner describing the impossibly fast pace of his first business success. Shortly out of college andrew was handling millions of dollars antiquing passive risk. Only a few years later he give up that frantic lifestyle jumped ship and had for respite. In the caribbean andrews life with all the peaks and valleys of the entrepreneurial journey mirrors his initial mentors that sprang from the pages of books. He took those lessons founded a few companies and now continues to learn from entrepreneurs with this show. Mixers you asking the question. What do you start founders. Know that you don't. Today will explore andrew story a page turner that started in queens newark in a community with entrepreneurial vision the first place we lived was right on grand central parkway literally on the highway. You look out the window. You see the highway there. You hear the sounds the whole thing. And i didn't realize living on the highway was a problem until a cousin of mine told his dad something. His dad said yeah real estate values not very good when you're on the highway because no one wants to live on the highway. Ooh ooh when we moved into jamaica states. We got lost when we first got into our house. Because there's so many rooms we're used to just two bedrooms and that's what. I realized that we weren't a starter house and there wasn't enough space for all three kids in one bedroom and that there should be something else and suddenly everyone had a huge backyard. And as i got to know the people who were there. I saw that there were doctors largely and much more than that. There were entrepreneurs and the types of entrepreneurs who lived in in my neighborhood with people who sold jewelry pants and skirts and had stores often in the in the bad part of town. But you'd see someone who just would hit it big. And they became the person who have been talked about and locked up It's that way the sense that here's who's making it. There was also an indication. I think of your personal value as a human being life is divided into winners and losers and those people there are losers and you have to be a winner. If you didn't do a hell then you weren't really valuable. And that's just the way. Energy was determined to live his own life his own life within clearly marked boundaries living around successful entrepreneurs stories from his dad. The implicit pressure of all this could very well have weighed heavily on a young child. But not andrew. Entrepreneurship came naturally to him and he had a booming business before he hit the first grade. Don't way before. I knew that there were business books way before i'd ever known about business from my parents. We're talking about kindergarten first grade at the latest maybe even before kindergarten. There were these cigarettes that were being sold. Gum in the shape of a cigarette. You'd blow out of the of the cigarette. And i think it was howard flower. That would come out till it looks like cigarette. Smoke fifty cents would get you ten of them. If you sold each one for a dime you get a dollar. And that was the thing that i did and i can't say i needed the money. I can't say. I was eager to buy candy. It was just the fun of it. It was just for the sport of it. As andrew reflects on this moment you can hear him savoring. The process the pure love of the game that thrill that joy in simply playing in life. Everything is a game or at least everything should be. Viewed as that framework takes the seriousness of the day and infuses life with levity joy. It seems from a young age. Andrew chose entrepreneurship as that game and honestly having such early conviction for that path is kind of weird but those unique qualities that might lend judgment of weird or different building blocks of early success. Your different for the majority of your peers. You fall in the level of that majority andrew found. He was different from his classmates but he wasn't allowed. There are people like him any met those people as he flips the pages of book. My first set of books that i loved with judy blume books. Always thou a girl who couldn't fit in or fit in so much and she was ordinary. Who needed to find herself and through that she would find the person sometimes who would say you wanna go steady and he would ask specifically. Do you want to go steady. And i love that i love. I loved romance. I love the sense of what was coming in school. And i liked duty balloons writing and so i would read her stuff. I also could not fall asleep. And i remember going to the library looking for stuff i could listen to wile. I was laying there so that i could just at least be entertained. And that's when. I discovered some audio books about business and from there i discovered stories. That were just as approachable as the stories. Judy blume had i just started reading biographies and cooked. Every biography starts with the person's childhood. What made them special from early on. That still holds true today and it might be something like j. p. getty as a child keeping track of every dollar that he spent and then adds in adult he still keeps track of every dollar that he spends and that could include buying oil well in the middle east and buying a fifteen cent sandwich on the other side. I kept finding myself. These little anecdotes that i'd read about in other people so i would see that and say That is my future to. I'm not a weirdo. There other people. Who are doing this too. And i shouldn't stop it and be embarrassed. I should accept them a little bit ahead of my age. I remember reading. Richard feynman book in one of his books. He says i lived in fear that a ball would get thrown my way and i'd have to throw it back. I literally had that feeling myself growing up. Because i knew that if i'd have to throw it back to you it was going to go to the side and then you and everyone was going to laugh at me and it would be horrible or i would just leave it there and you think that i was a jerk and so i'd have to pick it up and show you that. I was so lame that i could go right so in many ways i wasn't i wasn't really fitting in and wasn't ahead. I was way behind and wanted to be class president because all the kids in the judy blume type of books We're doing something like that. I cared about politics. And all that. And so i joined the finance club and finance club had to raise money and it was. You're supposed to do it and it to me. It was just now. I'm doing homework assignment instead of getting to be creative and entrepreneurship is is is creation in archetype kolesas from andrew stories of his childhood. The well known and well loved story of the odd kit. The one who's too smart for their own good and that office is revealed to be uniqueness nerdiness to be genius introversion to be independence. Andrew was reading these stories fictional and factual whether he realized or not he was living this story to at twelve. He was in the prologue. The part where that should kid is. Just the weird kit. There would be many steps along. The way and brick path would show andrew. He could become that unique genius and independent protagonist from his bedtime stories. I looking for thing that i could do. That's mine looks for lots of them. In one of them was when i saw that they took the bricks off the facade brooklyn tech and through the mid dumpster had this idea. What if you could mount it. What if The alumni could have a part of the school on on their wall to remember. Is there some alumni with really connected to going to brooklyn tech and so i said to the people who are in the club. Look you're supposed to get credit if you do all these assignments for me just helped me out one thing and i'll give credit if you've done everything going to that dumpster and get bricks. Let's look for ones that we can out. I need somebody to help me mounted and we had a shop club teacher. And i talked to him and he said yeah. I'll do it. And then i remember going with my girlfriend to whoever was running the alumni program saying i'm going to sell it and they said well you can't keep the money. This has to go to the alumni association if you're raising money that's how it's done and i said no. It has to come to me meaning to our club. You can't take it. i remember. She was so embarrassed she started pulling my arm and pulled me away. And i said i'm not going to be with someone who is not going to support this in me. You have to love this part of me in order to be with me and she usually was very supportive. She was the person who saw in me entrepreneurship and business. And and a real thing. Before i could really express it to anybody except myself and sure enough we sold it and actually i had to go work. In my dad's store the day that the alumni association event happened and she my girlfriend went and stood by the table with all these bricks that i had and she made sure the people bought them and they sold out insanely fast instantly because it now that looking back it was what ten twenty bucks which seemed like a ton of money to us have a piece of your school was as meaningful and that was one of the first things that i did. That showed me what i could do with the rest of my life. It's easy to look back and say that moment. That's when i knew who i was. It's harder to recognize that moment while you're living but to a certain extent andrew did he was watching and listening with degree of introspection. This introspection allowed him to note what he was good at and more than that what he loved. He loved creating experiences for himself and others. He loved the creative process of business and it seemed inevitable that andrew would follow his entrepreneurial instincts however he was diverse multifaceted yet other interests and would have to decide whether those interests were direction or distraction. I knew who i was. I would say by first grade. I knew how the world was going to work for me. I knew the whole thing. I had two different parts of my mind. I really love rush. Limbaugh and conservative talk and i really loved malcolm x. And the thing that they both had in common was the ability to speak and create the nothing but speech if you think about rush limbaugh and how he created what he called ditto heads but i saw him create conservatives bites planning what conservative movement was if you looked to the malcolm x. book and and even more so to the malcolm x. movie that was done by spike lee. You see him standing on a step ladder in harlem new york with leaflets out telling people what his movement was and converting people into his movements either fully or partially into his worldview. What i was. When i was born a black man was innocent. Thing is all republican or democrat. We were black before there was any such thing as a mason or no we will black and i love that and i wanted to go into politics to be able to have an idea that so earthmoving that i would want us evangelize the way those two did and to do that and so i thought i was either going to go into politics. I would go into business. Politics was just this this thing that grabbed me because it could be so addictive because it is kind of captivating it gets you angry justice morale left. Would you out. Listen who is on your. Gets you fired up. And i knew that that was passionate not not love. It was it was like having an affair versus wanting to get married as much as i was in love with politics. At the time i recognized it. Business was who i was and i started at that point. A lot about the nineteen eighties financiers. This sense that they do anything. One of the people who got me there was someone who bought famous amos cookies. Now if you're a kid and you don't have cable tv because your parents don't wanna get your cable tv you're watching famous amos on pbs reading books or whatever it was that he was doing either game again and welcome to learn his lesson four in the previous lesson. We have said that letters. Kind of code for sending. He's famous because he was with celebrities but more importantly also sold cookies. The became more famous than he was. This is the house that wally has built in honolulu for his beloved cookies. Ever seen a cookie. Well i did. When i was a kid. Cookies fell out of favour. Nobody was buying them. This financier bought the cookie company and put it in vending machines and realize that a lot of people like me grew up known famous amos and would want at least try his cookies in the vending machine and business was transformed and they were able to sell it for much more than they bought it. But that article made me think there. Is this love that. I have for finance and for business more so than i even loved the thing. I didn't even love the the cigarette. Candy that i had as a kid come tasted awful. He look like a dork. Pretending that it's a cigarette. I love the mechanics of it and i thought mechanics of finance. That's interesting another way to get into business. That's interesting and so. I decided i would go to nyu and at nyu. I would learn all this stuff. And the reason i went to. Nyu is bud fox from the movie wall street. One ten y you. I just want to let you miss too geico. Go that i've rental about you. nyu business. And i think you're an incredible genius. Always dreamed of one thing and that's do business man like you and so i said all right. I'm hungry as he was. I'm not going to do it. He did but he was. Let's do it. Let's start start life. I couldn't get into nyu directly. I was really bad student in high school but they had this thing called. Gps where you can go get an associate's degree at nyu and then from there. They would let you go into business. Classes to stern school of business and complete so i went in and i took all liberal arts classes all the stuff i hated with not a single business class. I always loved reading. Books took me to another level. This introduced me to a little bit more depth in the books in a way that i don't even have time or patients for now. I got really into into plato really into the philosophy books. I got really into the history books i got to discover. Iron ran for example. Which was it was out of left the a little closer to what i would love but i got to discover it in a way that gave me time to think about her ideas. In time i also discovered meanchey. Who was a lot less. Approachable that iran but i had time with the teacher to understand it and i got to understand the type of businessman. I am where everyone else was wrong. I am right. Am i need to have this space to express how right i am and businesses. That's base and i realized no that's one of the pitfalls that i have. I could start believing that i'm greater than everyone else and go towards us. I n ran philosophy. And i realized that's not me and it's not the world i want when i liked instead as my own. Personal philosophy was the sales books that i read growing up where they would teach you how to sell. Because for you to get what you want in life you had to show someone else how to get what they wanted in life business is about helping other people getting what you want in allowing your your selfishness express itself but also tapping it down and channeling it towards something really productive useful and helpful to other people and so. I wouldn't have time to think that. I might have gone around being selfish as a business person and allowing that little bit of selfishness to be in my head instead of saying i studied it. I care about it. I rejected and that's not me injuries time. Nyu allowed him to resolve philosophical distance. The very classes he thought were a waste of time allowed him to get outside himself and byu zone practices with perspective what he found parallels between how he navigated the world and an rans widely rejected philosophy of objectivism. This epiphany pushed him away from objectivism in towards this idea of the ego centric utilitarianism. How can i frame my success. In a way that also gives success to others realizing the power in this philosophy in channeling his innate selfishness towards a beneficially productive 'cause he began to look for his next stepping stone and his career ended up working on wall street. Now is so shy. That i was afraid to ask what my salary was. I didn't end up getting a salary. Because i didn't ask what it was. And when she eventually said my boss. Stephanie winston said You don't get paid anything because you're an intern. I just accept it. Because i wanted to work on wall street and i was too uncomfortable talking to people to say. Hey you gotta pay something right then and why you requires it but one of the things that i said was. I really admire the people who built up this city. New york admire the business. People who did in ace greenberg was a legend. I said i wanna meet the people i admire. I don't wanna have a wall between me. And i want to be in their world and so i remember calling up his assistant. I think it was saying. I work for you as an intern. I'd like to come in and see him and ask questions. She said he always supports meeting. Anyone works for him. So i went over and I saw him. And i like seeing what. His work situation was like to see that he really was on. The trading desk to see really was surrounded by other people to feel a little bit less like a mysterious thing that i only read about in magazines and i didn't know what to say to him. It was kind of an awkward conversation. Not kind of awkward. I finally had my moment. I have the research. I did it all. I could bring up stuff like his poker playing but for what it was just kind of awkward heard playing punk earn school and got your name as because you're a nascent poker and your name is really allen. Anyway he was very good about gently. Say get out of here kid at the end. I said maybe get one quotable thing. I said you have any advice for someone like me. And he said yeah. I was once told that if you love what you do have to a day in your life long. And i thought that and it's so cliche in the minute i realized for some reason. This phrase is going gonna stick with me more than the most profound statements that i might have heard and so i've kept that mind just to feel the love for the work that i'm doing. Let's face it ace. Greenberg's advice is completely and totally generic. It's been said countless times and will continue to be said countless times but andrew felt more stimulated an inspired by that handful of words than the countless books he had consumed. I think it's because he was drinking from the source using eliciting a response in real time from someone he admired and he'd returned with something tangible. This interaction had also eliminated shortcoming. He was shy. Socially awkward and the able to verbalize thoughts desires and the wealth of knowledge imprisoned by a lead tongue. He knew he had to change. I would go to my boss pulse obama's house and he had this huge house and then we'd go to his next door neighbor. Who had a huge house in a successful business. I think selling lumber and is like all. These people did so much whether it's building phenomenal companies. Being able to talk to people. And i couldn't do any of it and i was worthless in a i think in many ways i absolutely was worthless. The only thing i had was this desire and belief in myself so what i did was i just started something. An the first thing i wanted was to create a magazine. I said a physical magazine I'm going to call it achievement. It's going to be full types of stories that i really love. I don't have to sell that many copies of it. And the fact that i just make phone calls to people out of desperation she helped me sell it. I think just the fact that i was calling up people on wall street who are selling for millions of dollars the fact that i could call them up with his hustle and starting this thing him i dream sell to them. Ask them for a referral sell to the referral asking them for more referrals. Sell to more referrals. Get this thing going in and build it up into what could be a publishing empire but always makes money along the way. That is how i get started. The problem i had was. I couldn't get a written on my own. And so i never got to actually call up anyone and sell and that was a real painful time to have this desire to be some thing to start off but not even be able to do the basic thing which is right. The damn thing right the damn magazine. Meanwhile my brother was creating the mail. Something or other. I don't remember what it was. And he was accumulating lots of people on his list. He was writing the software to collect email addresses writing the software to send out email. And i couldn't even get started. He had thousands of people. And i said there's a problem with the way. I'm going and he's going. This place needs to sell. Maybe there's something we could do together al. I just need something to sell. Because i loved selling. We started building an email list and selling software that he made it would be software. Like i could record on people's computers. And then i could send that audio over to someone else over the internet and i finally had my chance to write copy to sell and i loved it. Owns that company was called stern and peabody. Because i thought that if it sounded like a wall like a wall street firm people would take it seriously and the first thing we sold through stern peabody was a guide to how the stock market worked. What is a stock. What does it mean and it sold so much. Andrew's brother demonstrated resourcefulness that andrew admired and felt he could complement with his ability to sell through working together. Andrew realized that entrepreneurial efforts are always to some extent collaborative. This collaboration highlights another important but often forgotten role and business relationships matter not just connections but relationships relationships infused with trust and understand andrew and his brother knew each other intimately and cared for each other. Their relationship served as the sturdy bedrock on top of which they could build their business. The success of that initial project proved that greater success would be around the corner. They got to work. We need another product. Michael created a software that led people make phone calls on the satellite with back up again. Then that starts to go down and so he makes up another product in some do well some do badly. I read another book. And it's all these little guides and little pieces of software that we're selling and i said coming up with new products is not gonna work. We're gonna fail eventually. We're now in the hits business of hollywood without the big hollywood payoffs when we do well because we would come up with a great product it would sell well but if we'd had a bunch of bad bad products are revenues would go down so then i said i'm going to start an email newsletter where i come up with content people saw subscribed to my content and then i will sell ads to other people who make products. And that's where my revenue is gonna come from worked with someone who ran a company called amazing amazing. The with any anyways i sold adds to an amazing was acquired by sony and when the company was acquired by sony. The guy who. I talked to was a friend of mine. He said to sony the best way to grow. This newsletter is to buy more ads from these other newsletters in andrew's going to sell and so he said andrew. I wanna take as many of them as i can get. And so he gave me a check for seventy five hundred dollars. I had the sense with the thirty thousand a month with a seventy five hundred a month. There's two things that go on in my head with that number one is. This is huge. I've got a lot of money. Number two is this is not enough. Nothing's enough nothing's there. This sucks i need even more. I am worthy of much more than this. Where's the check for a million dollars. Those two things in my head at that time at the same exact time. This is great. I'm onto something. I can't believe they like me enough. I believe he likes me enough to to buy from me. i can't. i'm so appreciative. That he does and at the same time and andrew. You need to be so much more than this. What is this seventy five hundred hundred dollars. You gotta get millions of dollars. What to four you here right so those two things go on in my head the whole time. We'll be right back after this break. I've been asked this question before my last meal would be every single time. I've been asked this question. I responded with an incredible. That's your bra. Are you serious. You have anything in the world. Customs are actually like one of my favorite foods of all time anything at all. You can have like like the best steak you could have frigging gold flaked hotdog portabella mushrooms. That have been aged in fine wine. And you're going for the incredible. Yeah i would actually to crystals that is so much better than a salisbury steak or anything you just said. I'm a simple man. Well honestly that's a pretty easy order. All of us is easiest sharing our podcasts. So remember to go. Rate finding founders. Five stars subscribe to our podcast and take a screen shot and post your social media of your choice. And maybe throw in our editing team. Lead adrian A nice uncrossable sandwich. While you're at it internal coaching his head and like being hard on yourself in certain areas good but it depends on where the coach is pushing you towards right. What if it's your worthless and you do the thing that makes you come alive unless you achieve the thing that gives you the greatest joy. What if what. If it's that it would be totally fine to say to somebody who keeps saying. I love to sing. I sing in the shower to say you dream of what singing in front of people get out there and sing and fire people and if they said no i will sing in the shower. You say look your life is going to be absolutely worthless unless you go and sing in front of people because that's what you want. Get the hell out in front of the ferry building in san francisco where you know a lot of foot. Traffic is sing. get out there. I don't think that that's a problem. I think we prioritize happiness too much. I think the soon as you say hard on yourself you lose a lot of people and not me. I feel like that's okay. I think we're better off with being hard on ourselves. So that's where that's where that came from and when that check came in there was this sense of them. I'm hard on myself. Like i wanted more. Andrew is isn't wrong. Americans probably do prioritize happiness too much. But i'd like to amend that statement and say americans in the world at large defer fulfilment for cheap dopamine all the creature comforts of our ancestors have been infinitely magnified to the point where they are hard to escape television and video game substitute your own life for a fictional. One porn is a substitute for sex alcohol and drugs are substitutes for the simple pleasures like a long walker a slight breeze. The intensity of these high dopamine activities makes us forget though simple in abandoned long-term fulfillment. We're infinitely playing that stanford marshmallow experiment and said of waiting were gobbling. What's easily accessible. But perhaps in the process of chasing short-term happiness. We catch a glimpse of the feeling that we're looking for regardless andrew was committed to fulfilling the core of his being and chasing that allusive fulfilment and success. The first thing that i did was i went to michael. Surrender his office unannounced. I found the address. I show up there. I give them a check for two thousand dollars and i say i'm going to pay you to run ads with me if you run ads with me and you don't make money back. Forget not having to paint it. You keep this check for two thousand dollars. And then truthfully i exaggerated how big my list was to him. And i was up nights worried really up nights scared. That now is get called out not about losing the two thousand dollars. Which was the last dollars last money that i had to my name but i was. I was really upset that i was going to to underperform for them. And because of that i wouldn't sleep but also because of that. I just work like mad to find ways to get them. The results that they needed a few months later. I come back to his office and he and i have had a relationship because he's the guy managing the ads on my email newsletter and i go to his office i talked to him and on the way out. I hear him say to somebody else. I've gotta go. i'm running late. I say michael. I've got a car downstairs to come with me. We drive up. We're talking and when we finally got up there. He opens the door. He says thank you and then he says by the way you should talk to susan. Susan friedman's when buying a lot of ads from us and from everyone else. She will buy ads from you. He makes an introduction to susan freedman. Susan freedoms i check to me. I add run with me was for three hundred and some odd thousand dollars. I felt like this is the groove. This is where my life was meant to be. Yeah hundred percent. It was this this. I'm coming into my own but yeah that did feel like this. Is the life that i worked hard to get to. This is this is where i am do. It wasn't just hard work. That got andrew to where he was certainly. He devoted himself to his business in pushed himself. But it also taking big risk like exaggerating his mailing lester pershing into michael's office but through all this he'd begun to build an infrastructure of success He had the mindset the business the wardrobe and the budget old but the infrastructure still wasn't stable. I didn't realize that i didn't have my fundamentals down. I was making up for mistakes with more revenue. So if i could manage people because i didn't know how to manage and i didn't have any advisors to talk to it all when i would do is just spend more money on more people. I just didn't care about the details. I said money will make up for it and all. That was fine until the money dried up. There was no advertising coming in. And i saw my sense of self. From where where. My my revenue is my revenue. Me were one and i had nothing else going on in my life. When sales went from two to three million a month to half a million a month. I thought that i'd trunk from that. To half a million half a million felt like like a failure and i didn't like it truthfully. I was taking on the wrong customers. Because i was prioritizing more revenue so i didn't really feel happy. Feel like i was where i wanted to be then. Two things happened. That helped me turn things around. My friend crystal was taking on a lot of work. She was the first hire but also issue is a friend and when she did the avon walk while she was on the treadmill walking. I would try the treadmill for running. Because i wanted to run. She also said andrew. You feel uncomfortable going to a gym. That i found a gym teacher. There's only one coach one person in the gym at a time. So i got to be on the treadmill running while she was there. I got to be in this place. I started getting into exercise which then gave me this sense of strength. In another part of my life. I would go running or skating in central park and then i would see somebody and say if i can beat this person that i can get through this tough part in an race them they would know i was racing. They were just doing their exercise for the day. But in my head. I was raising them and feeling my strength. Come back then. The other person network with new was a guy named richard. Herb was our finance. Cfo who said you need to cut expenses. And i wasn't comfortable cutting expenses. Because i'm optimist. I was believing myself. Something's gonna come through cut expenses and so we cut back expenses. Thanks to him. I got myself thanks to her. My brother who is still my co-founder trusted me completely. There was no sense of him. Thinking i was a failure even if i felt like a failure and all that helped me level out a little bit and then i finally said as soon as i get an opportunity sellers to sell and so we finally did. I feel that there was also a desire to be like those entrepreneurial greats like warren buffett spent their entire lives building only one company. I feel like you have that. Intensity wanted to that legacy sailing the the business maybe seems like a departure from that desire. Did you feel that. Yeah i did feel like a failure for it to had to leave it. I had this idea that i was going to build this. It wasn't going to be a billion dollar business going to be four hundred and fifty million dollars business. But then i had this issue where suddenly i found myself deep in debt. Eight million dollars in debt in my mid twenties owing money on like computers for people at the office servers random stuff that was nevertheless really important for the business and at the same time i was burning out and didn't know it and i remember getting an email from someone who said they were going to southern california in there. They were done. They sold their business. They're going to be on the beach there and thinking. Oh no not to be there i. I've never really enjoyed being beach by wanted now. And that was the real devastation. Point for me and thankfully because we are doing half a million dollars in sales we finally got to profitability at half a million. And then i was able to make payments on all the the debt and clear that up and then it was done i had some money i had the ability to sell and i said okay on itself for any to anyone or anything that means that i can just move on with my life and so i got that denouncing conventional life in heading to the beach you could call it idealistic. You could call it escapism. But honestly with eight million dollars of the intensely critical with which andrew uses success. I can understand. Wanting to leap he'd been holding onto this identity. This identity of the entrepreneurial giants for so long he'd been desperately trying to imitate the titans of industry. But now all i could do was let go. He'd been on the treadmill of success and it was time to hop off and reflect. Now going to that. Simple life of selling all your your suits. Did you take a step back from always thinking about the next business that next like entrepreneurial vision so and i finally just said i had it. I don't know that. I want to do anything and i said i don't want my stuff. I don't want any obligations. I too many obligations other people. So i gave away everything. All those suits that. I spend thousands of dollars on and sold my car and i just moved to a. Afterwards me and the girl. I've been dating at the time. You're in the caribbean. I would never have gone there. But she suggested. And i'm learning to actually do things that's not work related so go the her and i do this jetski experience and i've never done anything like that and i remember it was in this jetskis with two people and i said to the guy at the head. How much do i need to pay you for you to come out with me and let me just stay here for as long as i want you give me a price cuts frigging peanuts. Let's do it. And i got to just you know. Enjoy the jets can do i myself and realize Are the things i could enjoy. And not necessarily things that have to have any value in them. And i think that what i did before gave me the opportunity to have this fund the best moment that i remember was i had this place right on the beach and i didn't make my own. Coffee just walked out and bought my coffee as i walked back. I said blending is like this. I can get my coffee outside. I can get my lunch every day. Get my dinner everyday. Life is so simple and it doesn't take much and i don't have any of the stress of the people around me who are rushing off to do something will worried about paying rent. This is sustainable. This feels great. How did you have such a feeling of well-being at that point and not think that this way of life could have been attainable earlier. I had some money. And i had the time to explore. I didn't really need much. And i could live and feel a sense of accomplishment from where i'd done also personal nearly died. I nearly died financial. You looking at eight million dollars in debt so instead of dying. I became an angel. I could just walk around and feel impervious to life issues. And i had this time now to focus on the rest of my life to push myself. It's no mystery. That andrew felt so invincible. He'd taken steps in a drastically different direction. A kind of gamble very different from the financial rescue is accustomed to his worth was no longer tied to money and he could focus on the simple pleasures from which he derived meaningful happiness who was also a time for an exploration unbridled by the life that came before so so disconnected from the tech world for while there that i would read the physical paper newspaper and howard dean in the newspaper at the time would have these articles about how you raising more money than way more established candidates for president than the hampshire. Tom harkin we're going to south carolina and oklahoma said how and he had these groups. These meet up groups that were around raising money for howard. Dean are helping howard. Dean's message and individuals were leading them and howard. Dean didn't have to tell them what to do. They can go off on their own art and it was the real grass roots thing coming from the bottom and had to go see it so i went to see howard dean group in these people fired up that same like political interests that you felt when you were in high school no i had some point suppress it. At some point. I realized hey you know what talk about. Politics is actually hurting relationships. With people said really force myself to stop thinking and talking about it. So i wasn't by then at all Even even interested in the politics of it. But i was interested in how they created this movement. I said highs from these groups and if i could groups to then it could be this big movement and so i started organizing small groups i give people together and have cocktail parties mixers and since it was mixers where they would mix with each other and get to know each other and there was this energy to a call mixer g and makes her g. became these events where business people get together and talk to each other and do business together. Hopefully and that's where it all started. Inter's conception of mixer was driven by a desire to foster a synergetic landscape where people from all walks of life could interact and connect under the umbrella of one. Overlapping business mixer. Ji was about eliciting the sense of community among like minded individuals providing them with both the platform in the means to share their experiences ideas exchanging dialogue and making connections in the process of expanding personal. Networks it was a pretty solid idea to begin with but you need more than just a good idea to start a successful business. Andrew drafted his vision with patients and care with imagination and passion. How're those first few events. I thought that they were very nerve. Racking at first because i hope people would show up and then exciting afterwards because people do show up what we did was we had five people who are host. So all i knew at five people. I think at the time in business in l. a. Because i was basically off the grid and i said teaser those five people you invite your five friends and we'll all be co host and then if you all invite five and i invite five will end up with thirty people right. And that's a pretty good event where everyone knows each other through one other connection. That seems like it makes a lot of sense. So that's what we did and it worked and people did invite five people but they'd end up with ten to fifteen people who showed up from each person and events packed and so that worked out well. Except i didn't explain the message of it. I didn't have a mission statement. I didn't express what we were about. So it didn't grow. But i also thought i wanna create a way for people to get to know the guest before they show up. Why should you randomly hope that you meet the right person at an event. Shouldn't you know who you wanna meet. Software could do that software. Could match you up with who you are and who you wanna meet before the event and then it's going to be great because you come in and you know who you wanna meet and you make sure to go and say hi but you even need to go and say hi. You can ask the host to make the introduction. That would be great. So i started doing that and then took a little more time and money to improve in to get it going and then i could make it work and i finally hired someone i worked with that bradford and read and since i hired him and it was costing money to put this together. I said i have to make some money from this. So let's turn it into its own software company. And i had to get people using my software for their events now because now in the software space and couldn't get anyone to use it and i would ask friends to use it and they. They wouldn't use it or they would begrudgingly use. It felt so bad. When i knew that they were disappointed. Even though they wouldn't tell me why and the final nail in his coffin was when olivia through a birthday party for me. And i was at meditation retreat waiting for her to calm. I was in silence. I happened look at my email. And i saw that. She invited people using somebody else's email software. Then i was just so so so disappointed. Not sure what to do what to do with myself what to do with it. What did work out. Well though was one of the things. I got was to try to organize other events on my software. I reach out to tech events and said i'll host the tech event that people in my network and if you don't mind we'll use my software to promote it. They said who cares. Use whatever software you want and hostess technical with your friends and we'll help promote it and so we started doing that. We were doing lunches at tech companies offices where other people in the tech community can come to the office of tech company and actually see a tech company and get to know each other and it worked out really well and i started getting sponsors for it. In one of my sponsors was microsoft and lynn. Langat who worked there said andrew. Nobody knows who's coming to your events and you don't do social media you. Should i select. She said tweet out. Said i tweet out one. The event is anxious. Tweet out coming to the event. Tweet out what's what happened. That was great. Post a photo on facebook about what was great. I said okay. And somehow i started interviewing people were coming so the world could see amazing. People were in the tech space coming to the events and i started interviewing them. I found my passion for interviewing. And i said i gotta do that and so i wrote a video mixer g saying i failed. Hey everyone my name is andrew warner mixer dot com and i failed. I failed big time. So here's why failed. Turning mixer and ten invitation site did not work closing it down. The part that did work is doing the online interviews and occasional in person events where people to see and hear from the people in the tech space and that's what it became and that's what took off and that's what makes your gs today andrews original vision from mix. G didn't quite live up to his expectation but eventually it would expand beyond those expectations. This was only possible through accepting failure. That might sound counterintuitive. But i mean momentary failure. The failure infused within an idea that has been interested upon during his multiple trips back to the drawing board. Andrew explore different ways to redesign mixer from intimate events to software to organizing tech advance to interview something that was both new and reflective of his childhood interest in biographical stories as a kid. I read biographies got to actually make biographies as a kid. I'd always want to ask more questions than are in the book or take it in a different direction. I got to do that. Freedom fighters. My name is andrew. One or i'm the founder of knicks dot com. I'd have to do biographies my way. Got to focus on the things that mattered to me. I got to do it with people who ordinarily wouldn't be biography. Were at the time cut to be exciting. Today's guest steve huffman co-founded read it. Brian chessy and joe give you co of airbnb germain griggs or those things that matter to you how they did it who they were how they deal with the issues that ideal reading biographies was his pastime as a kid. But it wasn't enough anymore. He didn't want to just read the barebones entrepreneur's journey. He wanted to engage with them. Those burning questions only entrepreneur themselves could answer starting is podcast was a monumental step fringe. He was breaking out of his shell. Who's getting further and further ahead by refining the entrepreneurial skills he had been so behind in developing as a child talking to these successful entrepreneurs he felt comfortable. There was no hesitation only pure excitement. In fact the only thing he feared was cashing in on his success. I i didn't want it to make money. At first i thought it would pollute. The whole thing would give me back into business. If it made money. I would turn away advertisers who were interested in advertising thing. The only time that i finally took some money was at the beginning. Actually at the events i said if i i saw somebody else come to my events take business cards at the event and created another event and i said they're going to create an event they got a sponsor and i said okay the next time i leave event. I'm taking sponsors contact information. I'm selling the sponsorship. Because i'm not gonna fall behind. These people thought my business my private life my everything needs to be self sustaining and so i said all right. Let's take some advertising when he started doing the courses and monetize that way. Why i felt that a lot of people who are teaching where people who did nothing but teach because time to think about how they express themselves well. The people who are doing didn't have time to teach because what they were doing was was working was doing was running. A company. Could imagine if a person's running a company that's doing hundred million dollars in sales and they have a team of people who count on them are. They didn't have time to teach to try out. One approach of expressing how they do something well and then try another another approach and then another until they finally expressed each message part of their message in a way. That is easy to understand and actually will be used. And so i thought okay i can provide a service year leading the business people who are amazing at something fine with their amazing with them. Find a way to to learn from them. How do it and then turn that into a master class and that was the vision. Andrew has the perspective he needs to sit. Watch wait and see what happens running away to the beach. All those years ago was arrested. It was a departure from the life. He had known since he was singing. Sticks of gum as a kid he seems to have found the business world equivalent of the happily ever after. This interview is all the proof. Uni andrew began his journey reading about other success. Then he lived his own success and now he draw success stories out of others but today andrew was the one being interviewed. That'd be remiss not to ask him. The lessons learned along the way. Say that having done these interviews and live my life. I've noticed that there are two ways that people built businesses one. Is they find the thing that matters to them the passion that they have that they can't stop and they go for that thing that they think that they need assume that other people needed to that is less successful and less common in the interviews that i've done but it's it's a way that you can just go and create the other part that i've found is much more common which is find the problems. The world has in find a small way to address. Small way to solve it that to me is the most impactful way to do it. If you love your job you'll never work a day in your life this expression or dad job or just generic device depending icy. It applies to lives of all successful entrepreneurs but never starts that way. It starts with trial and error failure in hardship long working hours in eating robin in the garage. Entrepreneurial success is often found at the tipping points or more accurately at the balance between work and passion for andrew. It took selling everything moving to the caribbean to find that balance and look at him now. He's living in enviable life. Travelling the globe interviewing entrepreneurs. I won't tell you to abandon your life right now and move to a beach but i think andrew story is a great reminder to take some time for yourself and let passion lead you get perspective. Do something you enjoy or better yet. Find a way to incorporate the things you love into your work. See next week. Only thank you so much for listening. If you haven't already make sure to subscribe reap the podcast five stars in share with a friend if you have any questions or comments sat finding founders. Podcast instagram lincoln or facebook. Finding founders is produced in hosted by me. Samuel daughter are editing. Lead is adrian but the support front joseph chabot l. Lauren matt fernandez muir gold. So theon her and shannon o'halloran our script writing team lead is choice. Mark with support from of sengupta primerica. Cutoff mitchell jemma brand wolf elizabeth bowen and sharon chen our outreach and research lead is jessica lynn with support from sasha marie-yvonne lisa alice yao nambiar and djamil swiss art design and social media team. Lead is anne liu with support from tv sejour. Tiffany rick glue a ericsson. Shruti ronin thing who and james barton to see more of what we're up to subscribe to a newsletter at finding founders duck. Thanks again for listening and see you next week. all right. what do you think this is over your feedback on this episode on my story on anything. We're just frankly. Say hi on twitter where i've been spending a lot more time lately. I'm at andrew warner on twitter. And just let me know what you thought and if you liked this storytelling if you like this approach if you want more from samuel donner and his team go. Check out finding founders. That's the name of the podcasts available and whatever app you're using boy. I'm so curious about what app you're using to listen to this podcast. Let me know on twitter but go to that and check out finding founders. I really enjoy his storytelling and thank you for listening.

andrew nyu judy blume brooklyn tech Andrew samuel donner howard flower finance club and finance club kolesas alumni association andrew warner amos cookies bud fox stern school of business Stephanie winston ace greenberg
Growing Your Business with Chat Bots

Duct Tape Marketing

20:12 min | 2 years ago

Growing Your Business with Chat Bots

"This is episode of the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by s e m rush is are go to sc o'toole for doing audits for tracking position in rankings were really getting ideas on how to get more organic traffic for clients competitive intelligence back links and things like that all important as seo tools that you need for pay traffic social media pr and of course as you check it out at sm rush dot com forward slash partner forward slash duct tape marketing will have that in the show notes hello welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast this is john jansen my guest today is andrew warner he is probably most of you know him as the founder of mixer g h program that interviews experts help you grow your business i think i did a masterclass five years ago or so so you've been rocking and rolling for a while with this you also got a new initiative something you call the box academy and so welcome thanks so potentially get the cu i listened to your podcast and i know it's all audio but i'm glad you're doing video i've got a screen shot here that i'm saving just to remember how you doing this well you and i bumped into each other at a conference gosh a year ago or so but it was like two ships passing in the night i didn't get to hear you i don't think i don't know if you were around when i spoke but yeah it's it's a great this is in person but this is closer right so we hear a lot about bots obviously it's it's probably v hottest this topic right now so a lot of small business owners come to me and say okay is this new thing somebody the pay attention to so give me give me kind of a practical lowdown why should a small business owner or really any one pay attention to what maybe seems like a fad this bought this no i wasn't paying attention to it much for a long time but what i did notice what my email open rates were not increasing and some kind of guy wants to take action on stuff so hard great copywriter and she did fantastic tactic work i'm so proud of the work that she did together doping rates increase a little bit and the click rate increase a little bit but it was not like revolutionary and i want big said all right a company that will actually help increase your funnel so i flew myself my copywriter we spent two days at the officers at this company working through are funneled through the whole process from beginning to end and i came back super proud still am of the work we did it increase they open rise a little bit the click rates a little bit and i thought there's something wrong with me maybe 'cause everyone is you know helping me on their own experts and then a this company then i invested in the founders sent me a research from male champ but said here across the board olive are opening click when it's just amazing and i went through and i realized oh it's super hard to get over twenty percent open rate it's super hard across industries to get over three percent click creates that means ninety seven percent ninety seven out of a hundred people are not clicking emails that were sending out and it's not just me it's across the and i realized oh i'm actually doing better than average this is just the medium of email it's not it's not getting much more open rates it's actually no i wouldn't say dying it's just not growing and i realized oh look at how i communicate with my team we use chat apps like facebook messenger sky sky bs but a slack in tech to communicate with each other my wife and i were just hold each other i love you before i got on with you and i said i i can't talk for a little bit but i did it by i message were using ai messaging other chat apps to communicate with people who work in love with and no and then when it comes to selling we used just email and i thought there's gotta be something better so i'm not using chat bots do anything kind of miraculous twentysix century i'm just saying if people communicating chat how could i been reached in that way and that's probably the theme that has come forward and the last year to is this idea of meeting people were they are personalizing giving people better experiences as you say if that's the experience they wanna have them we probably better pay attention so we probably before we go much farther we i suppose some people we need to kind of give what you're broad stroke view or definition is of a job i'm sure you know the best way for them to do it a taxi when i made an intro to one that they could see if they go to buy academy dot com slash duct tape marketing wonder if i should get duct tape marketing to get a lot of people who say duck like quack quack well well i do and so of course i only your offer that to so i thought academy dot com slash duct tape marketing in duct tape marketing 'em because here's what happens when they go there they're gonna see my face hopefully i'll even get a picture of you and a button that says hey if you want to find out more press this button they pressed the button and then their phone vibrate and they'll get alert that says hey do you mind if i use this to tell you about my work they tap the hat and they get the first tip why show them how chat bots could help them then the next day i come back with the next messaging the neck method so similar email marketing except you might have noticed when things missing there's no form if somebody comes to my site and subscribe to my email newsletter they have to fill out a form tell me their name tell me their email address a lot of room for typos lot of room for people give fake names or bad email addresses i did none of that it comes just say they're being offered something they practice single single button and then they subscribe yeah and i think of course with e you the commission us of facebook messenger you know as a chat bot i think that that's the other thing too is people were already subscribed billions of people around you subscribe to this one billion and people on facebook messenger not just once downloaded yapping ignored it every single month end if they happen to be people who don't have messenger on their phone or don't have new smartphones next time they go to their desktop computer they go to facebook dot com my message will show up in the bottom right and i'm i'm certainly seeing increasing numbers of people that are choosing not as a medium just communicate with me they would ask a question they wanna recommend somebody you know i'm i'm getting you know numerous a facebook message so i think as that behavior increases then it's just it'll just be normal will be in there and john oh knowledge it sometimes it's frustrating right like i might reach you v a text message on a saturday night and then a friend of yours on i on a facebook messenger and then somebody else might really loved telegram i've got a friend who used the taliban with me to be honest it a little frustrating that we have not coming out i saw everywhere and so that the issue is that is the way of the future of the people do prefer chat in the solution for that is coming in that are inbox used to be g mail dot com or outlook or are company inbox what i'm finding more and more as i phone is becoming the messengers section is becoming that universal inbox and people are deciding what do i want in there and what don't die with email i could email you if i gave you email address to a friend of mine he could email you tomorrow with the request if i gave you a facebook messenger you are out to a friend of mine never gonna bother you know business can bother you there i can't method anyone unless they explicitly asked me just just subscribe so their frustrations but there's also a lot of user end user controls their well and i think this is true of email of course we've all just gotten burned out so i you know i'm getting emails but again it always you know you were useful you were helpful you know you set stuff i want it to reid we'd i mean that's how you got your emails open and i think this is gonna be true of of the box to right if you just start spamming people even if they give you permission you're not gonna be welcome there if they stop you keep sending even if i give you permission is not useful they're just gonna say watching so you know john i'll say two things about that so i've been podcast how long have you been podcasting since two thousand and five wow so you even beat nita podcasting i thirty two thousand eight so you eventually build up a reputation in what you find is there these pr people who start soliciting they you get on the list in any one of them and they never look at you're not never most of them don't look at their site they just fire off the same thing everyone end there's nothing blocking them from doing it which ways facebook messenger with chat apps in general there's no way for me the message anyone unless they come to that page and hit the button and once they do it's all in the users control they could always swipe up to delete me swipe up to report me and then you know you're gone so i could see like why many consumers and many businesses are saying we prefer destino yeah well so let's talk about a couple of business use cases in again think of it doesn't have to just be to get clients i mean i think that the i think the best use of a lot of these technologies is to serve are existing client so think about if you wanna share kind of a couple of inches or or use cases of how you're seeing some businesses do things you know i'll give an example of how a company that everyone who's listening to this knows could used it take to crystallize so any one of those duct tape marketing for the first time will see in the bottom right a little slide in that you're using now the says grabbed the seven steps to marketing success guide they get the enter their email address and then you send in the guide immediately send the guide and then you get to keep teaching them about marketing techniques that you've learned that work for them right well the same thing could happen which chat bots what you could do is say if you want the seven steps to marketing success press this button no need to enter an email address just press the button the sooner they pressed the button the chat chat bot says here the god i promise you and here's a technique that's working for are students they also will then say gonna email you this guy to so you could save it for later if they want it all they do is press again one button they don't have the type in their email address 'cause facebook messenger messenger knows her email address all they do is press a button and then it goes into their inbox and now are students can reach people into different ways email an shot so were finding people do that really really effectively and again i incorporated that to the chat bot i created the demo freer audience would like so now i have also encountered a lot of companies when i buy something they're giving may an option if i want tracking if i wanna know your window orders gonna be ready that all of this communication that we maybe use the center email ten come through through chat as well so as a customer service to i think there's gonna be some huge adoption isn't it oh so i'll give you a couple of basics and then i wanna give you one that's mind blowing a couple of basic sar yeah you could send receipt facebook book messenger pay pal now will do that and shop a five stores will do that yes you could new customer service a lot of people there on facebook anyway so they send a message to the business on facebook that basic that could be handled in addition to having uman's respond to it you could also have a chat bot respond to some of the basic questions like whether you're hours what you refund policy and automated response i let me give you the mind blowing stuff john i was on a site called pure cycles looking at a bike some a cyclist i saw one i added it to my shopping cart and then my flight took off to a to go san diego i think you and i met each other in san diego at at at drinks or something there by the time i landed i didn't buy it i just put it in my shopping cart forgot about it which we often do when i landed if i got my phone vibrate and and said hey you forgot something i tapped be alert it was just a message be a facebook messenger from pure cycled a picture of the bike and i put in my shopping cart and said do you want a complete your order of this do you want me to remind you about it later or do you want me to never bother you without again that is something you could never do email i never entered my email address all they did was put in extra check box underneath the add to cart button in a student's added the cart that check box gave them permission to also follow up with me on facebook messenger super powerful stuff we're seeing 'em i think it's one out of ten people die when used that that that would have otherwise abandoned purchase one out of ten people who put something in their shopping cart and walk away just abandon it will come back and buy because of that i must admit i ended doing that all the time with the with amazon leaving stuff and i'm like that's been in there for two years and forgot all about that so we all don't pay much attention to email i'm with you i still effective channel but is become less effective of robots take that course i mean i again i i'm not saying today or tomorrow but a robot eventually take that course when everybody's doing i think the difference is the power is completely in the users hands fans i've had people say to me andrew i have this huge group of over a hundred thousand people on facebook and i add all of them to my boss and have my bachmann no you can't can i have these customers can i add or no you can't they have to explicitly after subscribe end it anytime they don't even have to ask you to unsubscribe the power of unsubscribe it in their hands and the difference is my assistant loves to use a expedia everytime i wanna book a flight she used expedia promised expedia is they immediately will subscribing every newsletter and she must not look at all the check box is there there and so i get a ton of emails from them i always will go through and personally unsubscribe hit that button and unsubscribe and often when i get from them is it'll take up to ten days to unsubscribe i think what do you guys do after ten days you take a punch card and putting it into a computer generated what is this and so the difference here is it in their hands the unsubscribe processors their way how many times have you hit a link to unsubscribe and you think you unsubscribe then you look at one of the tabs open in the background and computer unreal instead to complete the simpsons unsubscribe enter the email address you signed up with i go i forgot i don't even know the email address we have on file but i wouldn't tell people john to give up on email we even created code we give to our students that allows them to say look you have a client who used his email and they love it just add this little bit of code and they'll give permission to get chat messages to the user an email it doesn't have to be an either or it could be in as well yeah well i think it's like a lot of things you're actually i i suspect and maybe i'll ask you this is a question i suspect or people they're actually building their email lists more effectively using chat bots yes just as you describe an and making the champ making the channel itself a better channel again a because they're using it in smarter was yes and i'll make sure the tap but i created the demo here will have that because what you're gonna see it you don't have to type in your email address one of the problems with typing it on a phone is tons of typos well intentioned people like me i always for some reason i wonder if this is your other people do too i don't type in dot c o m dot com type in dot c k am i don't know why i wanna ask you to two things about this technology is i think a lot of people run into a lot of people are using hey i will we call it that is it really that yet in some of these spots spots where they're kind of preprogrammed things and you know we've all experienced i've experienced a couple of really good ones i've experienced some the just become like a circle of hell you know it's like the whenever i asked him i get a stupid answer and then they say great are you happy now no i'm not happy i gotta get my question is so you know is that just is that laziness is that bad technology i mean is that gonna get better i see that it will i invested in a company that's working on that and doing a phenomenal job it's called assist they work with companies like eight hundred flowers this stuff is going to get better it's just not there yet and so i would say anyone who's listening to you know what don't do it yet don't try to have you're bought be super smart just think of it as another way of reaching people they prefer to get messages on chat instead of email and i got stats show in the region be a chat and instead of email and let the intelligence get added in as it earned the right to get added until you experience i've seen some of these futuristic things are amazing where you could actually say to a chat but my wife is having a birthday next week the chat bot will say what is your wife like ask you general questions about her and then suggest gray flowers were not exactly there yet in a world where that bought will not break boy it's coming so let me ask you one wasn't hard question before we run out of time and you could tell me about about academy one more a lot of people realize that a facebook paused a chat feature for a period of time and i think that kinda gave some other people reason the pause of do you wanna talk about why that was what impact that is is that you know is that should we be nervous about that i actually was happy that they pause allowing new people to create chat bots what i saw was people getting away with so much this is a really powerful medium anything i send out is going to get just about over forty percent open rate pretty easily so what i saw was people were creating these deal bots where they were getting someone to subscribe and then they were sending out nothing but marketing messages under the guise highs of deals and it clearly goes against facebook's terms of service they don't wanna pollute the environment by creating nothing but spam and people didn't got away and i was sitting on the sidelines go my sucker for not doing that and then facebook's shut it down and said let's look into it there is a therapist bought which said no human being could ever see what you're saying to the therapist and i i wrote this down i said you out of your mind of course a human being can stop saying that and so facebook's are cracking down on that stuff so having said that i think they do it right to do it but i also completely league knowledge his platform risk if you have nothing but facebook as we await of connecting with people there's a big risk which is why you'll see my first one of the first things at actors what's you're email address in the near future will be able to create the same type of chap on and we already do on different platforms on your website that has nothing to do with baseball i saw bots on alexa i don't think they're there yet but we're gonna see it'd be super strong i think in business you're gonna see a good slack i've seen some on linked in i think we're gonna start to see it on on lots of other platforms we should diversify but you gotta start somewhere and this is one point three billion people who were checking every month i gotta be where they are yeah i'm talking about here on right i'm like blah blah blah blah but there's so much i wanna cover but then i kept those shorter the mind mind go like hour marathon gonna run out of time so we better a better queue up a what the bottom academy is why you started at why people are checking out the reason i started i am an angel investor i made an angel that's been a couple of chapters companies and one of the founders i said look here's why i think chat bot going in the future it'll be as intelligent as you show me in the present give us a way of connecting with customers and then i said let me show you and i created a bought and then i started teaching people how to do and i said look it's working and they said you know what it does make sense 'em this does work and what it is is a place for me to teach people how to create chat bots and if they want to i know a lot of businesses will come to me and taken we hire you to do it in the past i would just just just to learn about the industry that is investing in now i guess what we have these graduates if you wanna chat bot build one of our graduates can do it for you so anyone wants to learn how to build a chat bot and do it the way that i just described bota box academy dot com slash duct tape marketing and they'll see the one that i created for this but this us car little group and you'll experience it an dumb and i think that this is something they were gonna start to see more and more of an i don't i don't wanna miss it i didn't miss ellen extorted i don't wanna miss this well and i will tell a listener of course first off will have the links in the in the show notes like we always do but i will also tell people you know if you're if you're anytime a new topic comes up you've already seen it get rich with bots and all the courses are coming on the people cutting out there and so if you're gonna learn about a new topic i highly encourage you to learn from it from somebody you can trust and and i put andrew in that category so it's a it's a topic you should learn about it doesn't necessarily mean you need to sell your house and the get involved in a chat bots you know for the rest of your life but it's an important topic and you you know like all things even

o'toole partner founder andrew warner ten days ninety seven percent twentysix century twenty percent forty percent three percent five years two years two days
#2047 Fixing the e-commerce value chain

Startup Stories by Mixergy

48:58 min | 6 months ago

#2047 Fixing the e-commerce value chain

"Hey their freedom fighters. My name is andrew warner and the founder mixer g where i interview entrepreneurs about how. They built their businesses. Joining me is paul palmieri. He is someone who's who's done it. He had a company built it up. Sold it sold it. Aol took it public to paul. Ju- remember the day that you went public absolutely eight. Twenty twelve march twenty eight twenty twelve. Tell me what the experience was. Like what stands out for you from the day that you took your company public the breakfast in the morning which was incredible at the new york stock exchange Having your family there. I had gotten some advice from jeff weiner Who had just taken linked in public. And jeff jordan. The just taken open table public and they had recommended. Nyse over nast act to me and one of the things they said was. Hey that day is just incredible day. Put on a great breakfast. Bring your family. Bring your mom. It's such a special special. Moment and boy boy wasn't for millennials. Great great day millennial media. How would you describe what that Company did millennial media brought advertising to mobile devices and enabled an entire generation of developers to have a business model for building free apps We started the company as an economic platform for developers in the very early days where they really only could charge for their apps but apps really needed to be free a look a year or two later along comes the iphone and along comes the app store and we were positioned incredibly well in that moment we were able to then grow the company over seven or eight years take public. Nyse and it was. It was a fantastic build of a comedy team that has gone on now. Members of our team are either the ceo or the founder of forty different companies. And just so proud of the entire experience there in many ways you are so head of your time when when it came to advertising to mobile you also did a bunch of acquisitions then of course you sold the company you are now here as the founder of trade swell and the interesting thing for me right now is twenty twenty just made commerce explode. I see it in my interviews. What i didn't see until i started talking to you is all these companies are selling on multiple platforms because they have to and you help me understand that day then have to keep track of how much inventory they have how much they sold on each platform. What selling well and not. Just keep track of inventory. Not just keep track of what selling but also keep track of what their advertising so that they're not promoting a product that actually got sold out. Because of i know a sale because of a sale where on their shop store amazon. Or something else right. That's a that. Is the big hairy audacious challenge that you've taken on for yourself with traits while you wanna take the whole the whole marketing ecosystem for this business on. Yeah i think for us we did. We looked at this problem and exactly similar to this developer problem. We solved for years ago. We saw market in e commerce with hundreds of thousands of brands that are out there selling their products on various marketplaces and those brands have very little economic power. all of the economic power is held by the platforms because the brands themselves have a very difficult time bringing together the information that they need to be able to grow their business so we we applied a solution that admittedly comes from our understanding of attack but really added in the e commerce retail side of the house and added in the logistic side of the house in terms of an awareness of data which reveal and make great decisions. All right. i'm gonna find out about both these businesses and a little bit in between thanks to phenomenal sponsors. The i do you. Do you still redrawn email. Paul i do you. Do i do too. But i've had my assistant for years. Go through my email. I to just clear it out. I saw your eyes do things that like shocking thing for you is no i. It sounds good to me. Actually it sounds race. It was so helpful. And then i found sane box and saint boxes automatically will do the things that she did. Clear out the stuff. That's jog tell me what's important. Make sure that. I see the things that i need to see in it and not the things that i anyway. They're making it available to people to try right now. If you're listening to me you can go to same box dot com slash or. Do they let you try it for free and the second sponsors hostgator where they'll host your website like they host mine. Let me see if i understand where this idea came from though you were you're working grip partners having conversations as an investor and what would people talking to you about that led you to found traits. Well yeah so really. We saw a whole bunch of deals. Greek capital partners and many of the direct to consumer place that we saw we passed on because the margins where either thin or unknown to the brand or didn't really improve at scale and so after initially investing in a few members of the trades. Well team to work on a project. I really saw a massive opportunity. Opportunity here to join the team. Wait so you're vcu or seeing these ideas come in and you said hey how you people build this and then when it was going you join them. Is that right something like that. But i would say these. Few members of the team i worked within the past millennial media and so i had initially invested in their project and as the project began to have steam. I thought about all of these pitches who i was seeing where the economics didn't just didn't really make sense because e commerce was really figured out. And here's this team trying to figure out of it out. Apply technology and artificial intelligence to this data. and gosh. I thought it was an incredible problem to go solve and joined the team. As co founder and ceo to help direct to consumer brands take advantage of this booming e-commerce market. That here has been dominated by the ecommerce giants. Give me a sense of what you were hearing without. Obviously mentioning the name of the company. What's an example of someone who came to you. That illustrates the problem. That you're solving. An example was a product company that that came to us and they were completely unsure of whether they could be profitable so of course that wasn't their first pitch but as we dug in with questions about their product oriented direct to consumer business type of product. We talking about toothpaste. Something like that is a grocery product grocery products. Okay so they were selling some kind of grocery product online on multiple platforms like i described earlier on multiple platforms and really didn't have an understanding of their profitability because one channel required them to have one logistic scenario. What are the different logistics scenarios that we're talking about one of them. I'm assuming would be amazon. Where they want to store their products at the day could do next day delivery right. That's right okay. And then the other one. What else was available. The other one was the third party. Logistics a solution but again i looked today. I looked at their channels. And look to me. Like whether it's amazon amazon seller and vendor and walmart and those couple of relationships you can have their and target and shop affi- and others each of those requires a different scheme for fulfilment okay or marketing and for the assortment and so we looked at this and we said gosh. How is this problem being solved. And as we look more deeply into it realized it's being solved often by agencies and consultants that are high priced and taking a large percentage of the gmv in addition to all of that fragmentation being generally more costly so they would hire one agency. And say we've got our stuff at walmart. We've got our stuff on our shop. If i store we've got her stuff amazon. Help us sell more and the agency. I'm imagining then would buy ads and then report back on the number of sales that they got from each but nothing more than that am i right. That's exactly that's exactly right. And as a matter of fact. I'll give you a great story of a skew that we saw from this fall. The advertisers spent and the brand spent four thousand dollars and drove twenty five thousand dollars worth of attributed sales and their agency was going back to them saying. Hey we've gotten a five dollar return on bed in fact what we see in our platform that we showed the client was actually that if you then look through to cost of good soul which we are also pulling in from the clients if you look into cost of good soul amazon. Prep fifth fulfilment fees seller fees. Yes ridge fees. You look all the way down. They are actually losing thirty eight cents per unit before they spent before thousand dollars so on one hand. This brand is being told by agency. Hey we've returned five dollars for every dollar that you've spent when in fact. The net situation is negative. Fifty five hundred dollars or something along those lines on on an overall business of you know forty thousand dollars for this one skew. Oh i talked to ecommerce people fairly often. They are so on top of their numbers. But they don't even put this stuff into a spreadsheet they're not keeping track of all these expenses on it because it's so again i think you have you have a world that is somewhat bifurcated. The one hand you have traditional brands and they generally have less visibility into their costs and so they have economic issues having to do with transparency on side to consumer brands who potentially are funded by. Vc's and so caesar telling them you must know your unit economics and they know their unit economics but they're really not sure exactly how scale perhaps they're on their own website and they're utilizing chiappa fi and they are scared to move into the other channels because they don't really want to do business any less profitably but the economic picture that can be made more clear to them is one that yes. It might be three times less profitable miscue to sell your goods on amazon. But you might do seventeen times the sales god and so on and so the platform that we've built helps them to understand that but they weren't even doing this chaotic way. In a time sucking time-wasting way in spreadsheets. They weren't getting this level of depth and as a result they were staying away from selling in certain places because they knew that they couldn't get enough data on it. That's exactly a lot of options. A lot of great efforts in excel a lot of great. You know early. Sort of looker. Instances to try and figure out these these type of problems but never really with the full picture let alone a platform that allows them to not only reveal what the next optimal the next most optimal action is. But one that will take that action as well right and that helps me understand why you wanted to do so much that it does make sense to for period there i said why is paul getting into logistics. Who cares these easy advertising guy. Just tell them what they're selling. Tell them how much they're making on it and then let them sell more of it but you do need logistics because well you help me understand that further out to me again and we treats well. We'll never physically touch a box. So we're not just map perspective. But it's the knowledge in the communication of what's happening within logistics and within the operation side of business is incredibly important for us. It's incredibly important because you wanna You wanna make sure that you're selling the right thing you wanna make sure you're optimizing the right thing and gosh. We arrived on the scene less than a year ago in a market where there were a lot of hands in the cookie jar. Frankly the in two thousand twenty there were elbows in the cookie jar and you can think about agencies that That are charging on a per cent of ad spaniel who don't want to stop spending but you can also think about logistics companies who are pushing multi packs right so you have twenty excuse and logistics company wants to do ten multi. Packs will what happens at the end of the month. You have ten half pallets full of product that are all generating storage fees at interestingly logistics companies make money from storage fees in an interesting. I didn't know this. They're pushing their clients. The ones who are storing product with the logistics company and then paying the logistics company to ship it out. Whenever there's a sale these logistic companies are saying. Why don't you create bundles of your products. And we'll help you sell the. We're pushing that okay. I thought that also one of the reasons why you wanna do. Logistics is to just know what's available when you're selling on all these different platforms. I'm on your site right now. And there's target there's commerce their shop. Obviously people aren't picking both shop if i n will commerce but we're seeing more and more places where where we can sell right. I think in general. You know what you're seeing you know quite a bit What we're seeing quite a bit is brands. That will be selling be the vendor channel for abbas on they'll be in the cellar channel for amazon and they'll have either a woo sherifi or something along those lines and then they will have other Other channels where they are in the cellar mode and the the trick is to bring all of that data together so that they can see one holistic view of their business and generate a dynamic. Pnl so they can see how the business is growing taking into account everything from Again the assortment that they're putting it out out there on a skew level sales data marketing data and then The logistics data and all of that also allows us to help them to forecast as well. I i'd like to go back a little bit too was two thousand six is when you created millennial media. Let's talk a little bit about that company. Where did the idea come from. Well in two thousand and six. So i had just come off a good run working with a team of people to build about a epa time about a four and a half billion dollar business at verizon in mobile data we launched the first app downloads in two thousand two and by two thousand six when i left there and started millennial we had this very large business and again still. It was a year year prior to the iphone So again we looked at this problem. We knew there was gonna be a big market for ads on mobile devices but we also knew that it didn't really have to do with the browser that it really had to do with the apps and it had to do with the economic opportunity and economic power that the smallest developer had. How did you know what apps what what apps existed in the early two thousand before the iphone revolutionized things so in two thousand and two we launched a service called get it now which was downloadable apps to get the i was a motorola seven twenty smartphone and we one hundred million downloads that year. Two thousand to the bowling. The bowling app was the number one app for sure and that actually almost ten percent of the devices we sold were so had had that app. Were were subsequently downloaded that app. So it was casual games yet it was some ringtones and some kind of puzzles and things along those lines and the bill for that when somebody bought one of those games would go on the phone bill and then the phone company would send the money to this the money to jam data or whoever. That's right that's right so are being innovation at the time wise. In japan there was one mobile carrier that was sending the lion's share of that revenue back to developer. We decided to be the first one to do that in the us. And so we created a a seventy thirty rev share. Frankly i think it's the same thirty percent that apple is That people are complaining about apple today as the then prevailing businessman rising created. That's right. I didn't realize that all right we did and so again it was these games ringtones and things along those lines and along the way we were charging i dunno three ninety nine four ninety nine for a game and a we even had some subscription models that were there in the early days but really i always thought there would be an advertising model that would that would really need to drive it. And that's where in two thousand six my co-founder and i founded millennial media with an idea that we would enable a mobile advertising market. But that really what we were doing was building an economic opportunity for the developers and for the apps. And i'm starting to. But i wanna understand. Advertising back then would have meant an ad in the In the game or in the app leading to. I'm assuming something that then verizon would bill for that. Was the original version like a ringtone. The verizon would then bill four split well a person but it also. There was interaction even in those days between the apps in the browser so you could recall. Recall our first. Few advertisers a were electric arts digiorno pizza. I remember doing a very early campaign with us. And they had nowhere to send people so we built a mobile site For them in the browser so it would kick them through over to browser and they were an early. Customer is the frozen to the theatrical. Hollywood theatrical allegory. Very early as well. Yep okay all right so then you came up with this. I'm assuming you partnered with verizon or did you know we okay so now. it's two thousand six. We partnered with developers Or sorry publishers. Major league baseball certainly jammed that because we knew New those folks as well. Anyone who's really building an app for mobile phone and also running a mobile website and we would use display ads whether they were banners or expandable banners. Or something along those lines over time. What we really realized is we needed to build software development kits for the developers to be able to put them inside their apps. the software development kit sometime really had to be robust because electronic arts at the time was considering putting putting this into their games. And you really can't get that wrong if your ea you're trying to launch madden football day and date with your console launch your mobile your mobile game. It really had to be bulletproof. But we became known as as great builders of these software development kits where we would do things like pre cash video And things along those lines so we put out the s decays and then we built a world class advertising salesforce. You're all over the world As we grew and You know it was. It was just fantastic. Of course mobile had other dynamic of location targeting. Yes so we built up three hundred and forty million cross screen profiles that were informed by location and created audience segments and i would say in the middle middle years of millennial i would say two thousand to two thousand twelve that was an incredibly jr part of the business. And then of course things began to go into programmatic. And we we did some acquisitions we made. We made that transition as well and You transition into into the iphone age. How did that go you internally so funny story you know we. We go to our june. I wanna say June two thousand seven. I don't know we went to a board meeting and we have board members say well. What about the iphone and it was you know usage wise it was the fortieth. You know best usage that we've seen and we had one More junior member of our team speak up and say hey. It's like the eighth largest whatever it was like. No no no no. The iphone is different. It's going to change things. And i would say within a couple of quarters of it launching and particularly when the app store launched. I think it was very very quick. Where the iphone usage. It became clear that that's where consumers would begin to have an insatiable desire to go beyond voice on the cell phones and that our model brought through the developers would be compelling any so it took a little while to understand that you needed to go there. You did go into their did you. Did you were you when the app store launched. Were you in the app store. In the app store we ran A few of them. i wanna say pandora angry birds a few others but you know we were in of the top at a point of the top hundred apps. We were in sixty or so of the absence of the at age one hundred advertisers. We were doing business with ninety of those that you raise. What sixty sixty five million dollars somewhere around there funding. I think it was sixty. Nine million over a of four rounds of venture funding raised. We did the ipo. Raised a probably another hundred and fifty million in that primary there. They never talked about secondary's but we had we had fantastic success in that area as well and You know it was good and then you sold for two hundred and thirty eight million dollars. So actually. We took the company public in twenty twelve. Okay in early. Twenty fourteen after delivering one hundred nine million dollar revenue quarter. I stepped out and went into the venture area. And time i did you know the what the what the best practices. The jack welsh best practice which is popular. Ceo stepping down. Don't hang around the board. And i stepped down in early. Two thousand fourteen End of january and we hired michael barrett to committed and be our head coach and he then a continued to grow the company and the company again was acquired yvonne year the following late the following year. October of two thousand fifteen. But i wasn't involved with the company at the time. Is it inappropriate to ask if you divest yourself at that point of business. At the time. I left yeah. No no absolutely not. It's still investor. Still my baby as my team up still at the time of the at the time of the a acquisition i was still the largest individual shareholder. Awhile so then considering how much money this is. This is getting an appropriate. I don't know you well enough but considering how much money you raised and in the sale price. It doesn't seem like it was as strong as you would have expected right. Oh no no no. No no because we actually because our enterprise valuation at ipo where we sold into the ipo was one point six billion and in the secondary which again nobody talks about these things over to and but then but then did you sell for less than that for less than a quarter million dollars. Misreading this maybe misreading the articles. You know the the company the company was acquired for substantially less than the valuation. Yeah in the year or two after we went public. What happened while i. I think that's a good. That's a good question for the for the management team that that that was there but the honest truth is yeah on the quarter that i stepped down the that we were just reporting the fourth quarter of twenty thirteen facebook ad revenue in mobile was and day when i stepped down. They went hard after mobile advertising. I think it was a pretty tough thing to be a mobile advertising company in twenty fourteen and twenty fifteen because facebook was definitely taking a bunch of air out of the room no question and they executed very well frankly as did the team at millennial media but but you know the the reality is in that period of time you saw google and you saw facebook beginning to get the kind of advertising primacy that they enjoyed for at least three or four years before amazon began to really get deeply involved in the advertising space. Got it okay alright. How'd you like being a vc. That was next thing. It was great. I think it's hard to make that transition. I think everybody who's an operator. Thinks they'd be a great investor because you because you've seen a lot and you kind of feel like you're gonna understand things like exit and deal momentum and things along those lines and it's true but there's a lot of nuance in the investing area as well and so you know i you know i learned. I got lucky on a bunch of stuff. And i. I learned tough lessons on a bunch of stuff. definitely learned the value of investing in the people over the idea. Okay and you know definitely have a couple couple of nice size scars from that. Which is great. Would you learn about investing in the wrong people. What makes somebody the wrong person in your experience. Not necessarily the wrong people but i guess my point is that the idea can't be stronger than the people so so the wrong people for the idea yet. Well now we helped me understand. I mean if you have this great idea that's like potentially a world-beating idea and the person who has that idea is has a difficult time raising money. It's not going to be successful no matter what they do. If it's a great idea why would the person not do well raising money. What is it about the person in your experience that keeps them from raising money. probably probably insular thinking small. Thinking things along those lines. But i would say You know could i could. I could nee. I could name names. But i'm not going to but but you know what i'll say is there is. There was one where i still think it could have been a world-beating idea and it still hangs around as a zombie today. Where every nine months the the the team raises another five hundred k to kinda he going and that's been going on for seven or eight years or something along those lines anyway. What do you think that someone could do better in that situation or just give up. If it's if it's zombie at that point just move on and start something else. Well i think that's right thing. Yeah i think knowing when to quit is is really important. I also think it's it's incredibly important. When you're making an investment to make sure that the people you're investing in are going to be incredibly compelling as ceos because a lot of decision making that investors will have downstream of you as a seed investor will will do that calculus and send you know at at any. Hey we used to discussions about you know. Is this any a ceo. Is this the kind of ceo that can get a check from us back. Nea this that's the biggest vc firm. Isn't it yeah. so when i left millennial media i i went to any a for about About two years is a venture advisor and and then started my own ended some my own side investing as well in which i learned this lesson i was referring to and then started by own firm. Greek capital partners with one partner. Mike flannery in new york city and that fund has done phenomenally. Well so glad. I learned the lessons. I learned early on in that Investing run because rick capital's done incredibly well and We're actually Beginning to raise our second fund As we speak. why'd you name it. I feel like that says something about you. I believe that passion and perseverance really trump's a lot of things in life and it does say a lot about me. I'm a kid from jersey living in baltimore and loving it and a so to me. I think you know. It's all about grit. It's all about what are you willing to do to be able to be successful. And that's whether you were whether you are running a youth group at a church or whether you are an entrepreneur building company or whether you're an accountant in a big in a big accounting firm and are going about your day you know if you if you put your shoulder in and you're determined you have a much better chance of succeeding than somebody. Who had the right smarts the right education the right this and the right that give an example of when you did that when you when you showed grit one story kinda sticks out for you about your life. Well i would say i would say this investing piece. I think just to be honest. I i leave millennial media. I'm a wealthy person. And i decide. Hey we'll doesn't everybody get into venture capital area and And in fact you invest you. You learned difficult lessons and you know it. It takes a while to sort of grind. Frankly if it were twenty years earlier and i was a Zero to public. Ceo where everybody made money. I would have been picked up as a as a Full-time gp in a heartbeat. I didn't get many of those offers though. And so i ended up starting my own firm and so that's it. It's just like grit in determination. Learn this. I'm not only gonna learn how to invest but i'm gonna learn how to run a fond i'm gonna learn how to raise my own money as fund and i'm gonna learn how to do the reporting and hit the numbers and hit the marks and be value add to the The companies we invested. And and that didn't you get shot with any a if it's two years and nea didn't you get a shot at nea. It was two years there so again at any i was i was venture advisor. So it's kind of like venture partner so go as you. Please sit on the meetings Help help companies here and there if you really you know if you really wanted to join the firm. I think. I probably could have leaned in. But i was in kind of the motive coming off of millennial and i was probably enjoying time. A little time Less busy at the time a really you know you know figuring all of that out and finding out that really the answer for me with start your own which is much more of an entrepreneurial journey Was was an area where i kind of used grit to get myself from one place to another all right. Let's talk about traits while but i. I want to say that my first my my big sponsor for this interview is a company called top hat. Topsail hostgator paul. You do you have a presence about you. I don't know what it is. But the reason partially that we're stumbling over each other's is a little bit of a lag. But i also have to say there's something very intimidating and very boss about you right from the start. I don't do you always have that. I used to do that to to my friend. I would be even as a seven year old. I would have this. This book in my is like. What are you even talking about. And i would intimidate them through that. And i didn't mean to. Did you always have this. I'm the boss type of attitude type personality. I don't know. I'm not sure and don't get me wrong. You're likable person. I could see it. Smile makes you likable. There's a there's stuff that we've talked about even before we got started making me feel comfortable with you. But there's still a. Hey i'm the boss we're not screwing around here. We're getting to work out a tude. I definitely i definitely have a all business side of me. So that's you know. I don't want to all right so hostgator they will. Host gator will host websites on the wordpress platform with commerce. Let me ask you this paul. You've seen a lot of e commerce company come around imagine someone's listening to us and says you know what i gotta get it on this ecommerce thing. I'm going to go to hostgator all set up a wordpress site. I'll add commerce. I'll be up and running with the store. do you have any ideas for what they should be selling. What's something they could start right now to offer online. What's a good. What would it be seen do well. Well it's hard. It's hard to say what hasn't really done well in pandemic i mean it's it's it's very very broad based but i would say relative to things that do well and ecommerce i mean grocery is hot. Health and beauty is hot. Grooming is incredibly hot right now So those spaces. I would say are are incredibly strong. Groceries is in like you could imagine somebody selling this guy who who had been chatting with online. He sells nothing but onions. I think he owns. I forget the name i think onions dot com even is one of his domains. Yeah he's a. He's totally into onions. Now and Ranch light but you're saying even something like that like a grocery item like that that specialty to them they could sell it ship it. That's hot new. That's right and and then the other just kind of like inside baseball one. is you want You want a low weight. Low cube k cube is the dimension. Yes you can imagine that. A big brick of toilet paper is heavy and the dimensions also drive the shipping price. Something like silicone ring then into an envelope and ship it. If i were advising this person i would say find something that is low cube lose weight and and repeat sales. Like if you're thinking about groceries not potatoes zafran. That's right the spice rack of the internet. The specialty we go direct to the farmer. We grow it ourselves type of thing that could be. That could be very good. Smiled as i said that. I got one of the biggest malls from you. Have you seen someone do well without or do we just hit on a really great idea. No i think it is actually hitting create All right so if you've come up with that idea or anything else are still my idea or wanna partner with me on my idea. Go hosted right and hostgator dot com. We'll take great care of you if you go to hostgator dot com slash mixer Throw that that slash mixer you at the end. They'll give you their absolute lowest price. And they'll take great care of you because you came from me hostgator dot com slash mixer surgery. Did you have conversations with potential customers before you launch or created the first version. Yes get how. What were the conversations like. what did you learn that. You didn't know considering how much experience you're already bringing in. Well i have a lot of. I have a number of co-founders that have incredible experience in specifically in the ecommerce space and so frankly it was then doing the questioning of of of people they knew. Who were you know looking for much. More liquid access to their data much more of a real time view of what was going on and also really understood this interplay between What's happening in marketing. And what's happening in logistics and how that affects the assortment. If you have a five dollar box of pancake mix and amazon's gonna charge you six dollars on prime day to ship it. We want to take that off the market on prime day. We wanna put the twenty dollar box a pancake mix on it and so it's it's insights like this even before we built the a platform that really that really have informed our thinking around why this problem really needs to be solved as holistic matter so it is holistic. It goes from beginning to end. How long did it take you to create this first version to the point where you can actually give it to a retailer and say this or to to to an online creator and and while only greater to well what is it to to to store and online it's not a store third their makers in rams i say we we kind of say in our core is digital first marketplace. Brandt okay are we have we kind of think about it and so what i would say is we got a. We got a minimum viable product. I platform very quickly and we very quickly got Paying customers on it that began The began to use it and first version. What was in that. Mvp well definitely the A data visualization across various channels And definitely the first version of the algorithms around Shopper marketing the first version of. What does that mean the first versions of the algorithm around shopper marketing so the first versions of the algorithms that would drive the spent. That would understand what should be sold based on existing sales based on performance of the ads and also like what should the bid prices be and what is the impact of that on net margins etcetera. So did you work with agencies. I or how'd you get your clients. Now we worked with A couple of our co founders have been in Cpg for a long long time. So one in particular ron coochie He was with pepsico in e commerce. for for for a while and then let e commerce at mccormick spice as well and back to the back. To these spice. Yeah probably probably why the the the wink in the not. So yeah good so actually mccormick was one of our first customers. Yes site right now. What's that i see it on your site right now. Cormick solving this for for a solving The some of these e commerce challenges and mccormick. I think in the very early days was looking for a very specific Kind of a very specific thing that that we saw for them but again we got this minimum viable product up and and very quickly thereafter began to bring customers onto the platform again. I think we have a team that has credibility both in the ad tech space but also in the ecommerce space At so i think people are generally willing to give us a shot especially the things we did. It millennial around building Connecting data sources and appending data to ad impressions and pending audience members to various other audiences. And i think that that really helps what we're doing here. What's working now forgetting customers. What's your number one channel number one channel i would say is our our. Sdr effort is is incredibly strong so So we're we're using a set of it. Str's that we've hired internally and working with consulting firm to kind of help us sort of the get up and running with that and sales development reps these are the people who identify potential customers. Start warming them up and then when there's an interest in talking to one of your one of your sales people they schedule it and then the salesperson does nothing but talk to customers doesn't do any of the canvassing that's exactly right and sorry for the acronym soup but yes definitely this sales. Development rep path is a great path. And it's it's one where there could be a little bit of a low risk communication back and forth with a customer super comfortable for customers as well and again. We're we're doing something here with software and software is supposed to is supposed to make things less expensive and we're also you know we're adding adding that value as well too so all right so if we let's close it out with this if we look back five years from now what what do you hope to see think traits will be doing. I mean i think. I think we want what we want. People to have said about us is that we've democratized. Some of the intelligence so that brands have the tools that they need to sell on any platform and accelerate their their growth across multiple different platforms. I think also We'd also like people to look at it and say hey. Once upon a time people worry worrying about will amazon money to keep my skew alive. And they transitioned over time into thinking about themselves. Am i making enough money on all the channels that hoping that amazon will keep their e commerce business going. It's them getting to do it by putting it in lots of different places. What's what's the most interesting marketplace right. Now that you're seeing what do you see as one of the most promising marketplace's well. I think i think it depends on the category but i certainly think walmart is moving very quickly. They had a at announcement walmart. Connect this past week. They are moving very quickly Target rondell bet is moving very quickly. And and then i would look at you. Know sort of some of the niche areas that are out there ulta even wayfair and that's interesting and then the last thing is the piece around. Do i worker and online and pick up in store and an and so some of the online marketplaces are setting themselves up to really not care either. Way whether it gets checked you or weather gets picked up in store. And i think those are interesting dynamics tune we see that from home depot and others. Do you think social is going to be an all in one solution. Do you think we'll be able to set up a shop completely on instagram. Oh i think so. I think so shop a fis number of shop. Merchants has gone. You know in a very short period of time from seven hundred k to upwards of one point. Two million. I believe and i think that's That's due in large part to some of the partnerships that they've done whether that's walmart whether that's facebook but Absolutely i think social is is a great opportunity. The website is trades well dot com for anyone who wants to go. Check it out. I'd love it if people in my audience starts sign up and gave me some feedback. It i'd love to hear about it. Everyone might email address. Andrew at mixer dot com. I wanna to know about ev. Everything and i know. I can handle it well because i've got a sandbox managing my inbox so that if it does get spam seen by take care of it i do want to hear from you. Let me know how this interview went. Let me know about How trades while as doing for you. At andrew admixture g. dot com. Thank you thanks paul. Wonderful thank you so much by one.

amazon app store paul palmieri jeff weiner jeff jordan verizon walmart andrew warner paul bowling
#2117 Demystifying a BNPL startup

Startup Stories by Mixergy

40:20 min | 1 d ago

#2117 Demystifying a BNPL startup

"Hey there freedom. Fighters name is andrew warner. I'm the founder mixer g where i interviewed entrepreneurs but i still do interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses Three years ago. I offered a course for. We decided to go all out and we offered for over a couple thousand dollars and it was selling well and then someone on our team said andrew you should offer payment plan and i said i'm not so sure then someone in the in the audience said you should offer payment plan. I thought painting plans two thousand dollars. Plus people have their credit cards. What are they need to give them a payment plan for but it was pushed so much that i finally decided to give it a shot and sure enough. The payment plan was such a powerful option. That i almost could've gotten rid of the pay once because so many people are taking it and that's when i realized that there's an opportunity to break up expenses and that maybe i'm a little out of touch when it comes to how people pay just assumed if someone wants payment plan they have a credit card. They're good to go anyway. Today's guest kind of noticed something similar and then he took it to the next level. A rod levitin levered. I keep saying laverton lever tub. I mean good. Lever deliver tough. Oh yeah good good lever. That actually works well for your business. Deliver exactly a rod is the founder of sun. Bit what they do is they help. Make these necessary. Purchases more affordable. What's the phrase that use to describe sunday. I think it is a formidable. By the way. I think that at the end of the day. We allow people to get the therapies. They named or by what they need right now and pay over time and we focus on necessary purchase. When you need to fix according to go to the doctor which you need to do it to get back to life you want to get done with it but it's a lot of time it's unexpected any. Don't have this two thousand of the one thousand dollar phone with all like a forty percent of american. Did not a foreign with dollar stood these down six expensive and we allow them to get what they need and get mixed with a life. I i'm gonna find out how you figured out this. This was a model. How you actually are able to get basically. You're giving them a short term loan for people who don't have credit cards and often and like you said they don't even have four hundred dollars at times. How are you able to do that. Are you able to put this whole model together and we can do it. Thanks to hostgator out there and you need to start a new business while you're probably gonna want website and host. Gator is a great hosting option. I know i use it. But i'll tell you about those later. I give me a sense of how much revenue you guys do. Where are you guys at some bit. So we are rowing. We build them all. We started in two thousand sixteen officially and then we are right now. Seventy five hundred location and growing in hundreds of hundreds per month if they mentioned focusing unnecessary business anonymous non-discretionary call it like a necessary business like fixing a car going to the doctor and we are having a tens of thousand customers every month using service and we are at the end of the million dollar in revenue transactions. Going through your service. Or that's how much your your share of. It is the transaction actually of for opera months and growing twenty five to thirty percent caught off the quarter over the last seven caught. How many people don't have credit cards. I felt like the credit card companies. Giving them to everyone this great question and We'll probably correct you. It'll be that many people who have credit card which is around called sixty percent of the people in the us forty percent do not have credit card or they have credit card is super limited. Doesn't really feel old needs if they mentioned to you before before we talk as you can hear many mcgrane i came to. I wasn't born here. I didn't have credit. I actually went to buy groceries to defer to apply for for credit card and actually after ten minutes declined which humiliating in costco these. These have been at costco job at the time. I had a job job strategy in operation manager in a in a company lending company. Yeah it was making good money. And then i said okay. It's time for me to get a credit card right. 'cause credit why not so after coming to the cashier and i know if you've been to costco but it's always called like three four hundred dollar when you go there Three of my kids around me Asking me start and personal question. How much do we make. Where do i live. We don't ask don't they. Just give you a form you fill it out. No discredit cassia fitted out for the for me. I was talking to him. And you need me any court for them to ask you how much you make with other people listening is awkward and also worried do aleve and do i went on the mortgage. What they're paying then after around ten minutes of discussion the guy stealthy. I'm sorry i cannot help you right now but you will get a letter in the mail face. Okay so what. They do right now with what they need to buy. You have to find another way to buy this and the that happen and apparently fifty percent which would want out of two people that actually apply for a credit card in store is getting decline and then than getting declined and by the way the people do get the credit cards they pay high fees. They pay over interest. They pay like a lot of a lot of payment that are not from sprint. So this one. I realized that. And as i mentioned i was working in the lending company and eventually people take long to buy staff right. Don't take long to putin savings right. It doesn't make sense. They take long to buy either to pay full for necessary purchases of stuff they realize. Why can't we just cut all this middlemen. And give the people that ability to buy a pallet or in the store and do eat for everybody in the low rate interest in full transparency. Again coming from the from outside of the us. I couldn't believe that fifty percent of the people get declined. A people will get approval actually not necessarily get the great rate so i went to investigate. They went furniture store. Say it's actually happening from sister. I went to talk to to mechanics. Ac- doesn't walk mechanic mechanic and you said hey are people getting turned down for credit. Ask no first of all i go apply to. I applied for ford credit in front of the store and ask how many people how many people get decline set up with my partner is okay. Let's go meet in another french. See what these are pluses. I went to make. I started asking questions. What is the process. And i actually saw paper based application literally paper. And we're talking about five years ago and see lebanese legged paper when you have to fill out like you mentioned you you feel perform. It takes ten minutes and then you need to give it to zero to the doctor of democracy and they need to put it in the computer which is another and then fifty percent of the people get declined. Lucas statistics. I saw it. And then i realized it doesn't make sense. It's wanting to get declining for your banker or your tom along with doing a line. Which is not fast enough funding to oprah but when you do it in front of your doctor who knows if you were a kid in mechanic. It's humiliating not only with the. Was there saying where doctors were. Were filling out forms for people like that credit applications before existing right now. It is idea that this is disappointed. When you've got to the dentist ready to dentist. Maybe now many times detaille performed the. Sometimes i call it the from the computer. The process is the same. You see to endure dentists and maybe the dentist maybe the payment coordinator which is section east and taylor andrew. How much do you make. Whatever all these questions because need to the root canal which goes fifteen hundred dollars and then five out of ten will get. Declined sometimes actually seeks huddleston within decline after ten minutes. And what would the customer death. Because i had no idea this was going on. Did you know this was going on because of your previous experience at. What's the company nova. So i knew this was going out because i was modeled this right. I got only because you've got declined it at cost and then i realized with my previous company. And that's what we do. They give loans for people. Don't get credit cards but but for me as an immigrant. Thank you come. I was thirty when i came to the us and credit so it took me why to build the credit history. I actually were. I was up in customer then. It was a newborn customer. And now i'm I'm in good faith but you're saying because the work that you did your previous company this was you were the coo chief operating officer at inova which gave loans to people. Is that how you understood that there are people who can qualify for loans who can pay off those loans. Who are still not getting it. Is that like how did you know that. This was an opportunity worth pursuing. That's great so the problem. I thought problem declined and then realize that Dock company that give loans to these guys but but also the credit card companies. I mean i really started getting a lot of mail from critical components. And i'm sure everybody gets it all pure for for for credit card right you get it in the mail every day. What you do is nine nine thousand nine hundred nine hundred nine hundred ninety nine one thousand people actually go and throw it to the to the garbage but the critic companies and that i mean there is a reason they do it because both inova which gave lost for people that are not qualified for credit and or company they a lot of money to acquire customers the base sometime five hundred dollars just to get the customer in and what does it mean that means that their lifetime value of the customer will be more than five hundred dollars to make more money on this but these five hundred dollars. The waste value to the customer doesn't go to the to the company. It goes to the advertise house. So here's what here's what. i'm understanding. Yes you had this experience degrade origin story go to cosco and realize that you can't get credit but you also had all the background before that where you realize there. People can qualify for credit giving credit to those people who are who aren't necessarily credit worthy and other people's eyes is valuable. There is money to be had here. You understood how the infrastructure of getting the money to them made sense and you said. I think i see a way to cut out a marketing expenses. We don't have to send out all the mail that is wasted if we can catch them at the store with the product. It's better than credit card and give them a higher Yes rate than credit cards. I yeah okay. i'm definitely being very anal. I see below this together talking together. And i would just one on one thing that we have customers that not only does. Don't qualify to cost critical. We have many customers actually. The the majority of the of the customer do if critic. They have credit cards but they pay so much money for the credit card and they rather manage expenses and be more transparent with us because we as you mentioned. We saved these marketing monday. We will the merchants to walk with us. We give them value. We allow them to sell more and we get the customer. So it's a win win for the merchant and we for the customer because we were give valley for the merchant by allow them to sell more and then we don't have the market because so we can give lower costs for them for the customer. I this makes a ton of sense when you talk to me like that all right. Who's the co founder. So we are fokker founders. I'm the founder. We have which of childhood friend he's the head of sales We are hearing in los angeles. We had two additional founders. Which i knew for many years one is on chief. She's the city. Oh she was walked me almost twenty years ago it intellectually the developer and then professor to which is the head of that offense machine learning in tekken young shifts the equivalent to mit and each will. He's in charge of the data. Five of the fish intelligence and machine learning that allows us to make this decision for these customers. I e get team together. And i think it was just you and tyler co-founded i who decided you're going to walk store to store knows all of our source of data to build data to build the building. Okay so we're still the four of you in the beginning but you decided we're gonna go store door talk to different merchants. See if you could put it in and from what i understand at first you thought it was going to be the local retailer and in fact you walked into this one boutique with your wife in this case and your how many kids do you have did. Now i think for focus all right impressive so you go in there with your wife and four kids and what do you say to this boutique owner so funny i went to. We didn't have the product we just like sketch. The photo come talent. I went first. And then i wanted to target places where when they walk in. I made the decision right because he don't want to be changed so it's cool but i don't know logo took to corporate and this lady's color all the mobile based out of here in colorado city. She loved to say payment lane is good. She said our customers actually use layaway. You know what we're layaway mean. I can't believe you people still use it. My dad used to only stores in the hood or sell to them. It was because someone couldn't afford to pay ten dollars for sweatshirt they would then put two dollars down and keep paying their money until they hit the ten dollars and they get the threats right so for the through like people still use it and say why do you do it. Let's get the sun. Beat get the switch off now and pay overtime so she loved it. She gave us the opportunity. We started walking with that. She was first merchants. Then we collect the different merchants. We try to understand which radical it will work best before we go to the verticals at that point. She is selling something. She needs the money in her account. Right away was it. You taking your own money out of your bank account and sending it to her wiring it to her or is it an iou or what. How do you work that out. We we invested personally into your store later this week. We'll give you the cash. Yeah we we. We give the money thematically from bank account this will be the great We give the money next the next the next day. She got the money in the bay with the lender yourself. This was you personally taking on the risk of the people who came into the story. The risco for my own money would even in the first week. We didn't have any investment banks. No we do of course. We win the first boutique. We check the customer. We look at the customer we gave we got that we start building the model What we didn't have date. We made some guests based on my semester eastern some not but we made some guests but then we send you know the i need to get the data to start working on your model around one things that i love about. Your website is as soon as i get it. I see an ipad. Not a piece of paper right. How many times did you get an application for credit on a piece of paper. It's it's such a ridiculous thing to do because i'm not used to typing on paper. I make mr typing on paper. We'll make mistakes so you created the app on an ipad. David to her she put in front of people. They get a credit check. You automatically say yes here. We'll give you the money. Get let them by the the product. That's how we're giving. One of credit check are frozen one we get the data and then we of course. We use the data to make the decision of based on the credit check. But we the customer doesn't even need to fill in an appreciation. We just can't the back of the driver's license and if you look at your license you will see that on the front your name your address your date or birth so basically we use this to feel automatically feel application for yourself you. Could you check to make sure this works in every state. How did you make sure i eat. Great unanimous. I actually thinking about the idea. I started calling my friend from state shami advisor. Life it's walk. So i actually scan by the win but but he does walk in every state we did. There is a code. If you look at your drive what can. What can somebody get from that. My first name last name did to get the credit card. I mean did he get my My data birth from it. Everything you have the front everything you have on the phone which that is worth and the and the one who wants to get my contact information instead of putting a form in front of me i could just. They could just scan that card correct. You can see there is a there is a barcode in your on your regulars because the information that you have on the front i wish more ninety ninety stumps less information but in general this with your own that's phenomenal. I don't know why bothers me so much. When i have to fill out my name and you know and data birth and all that that makes a ton of sense. I'm with you now. You then go in. It starts to work and still today. You're not selling to boutiques mainly you. Were starting to tell me how you figured out who this would work with. Whose son bit would work with. How'd you figure that out. So so we try to see which radicals the right verticals and try to just really walking in los angeles blake kraken and driving getting into play. Because you want to be in a place that from one hand it's a little bit. It's a few hundred dollars right because it makes sense to split it over them from that only the huge purchase that you spend ten thousand twenty thousand dollars that you have the time to sit and to negotiate with so you want in your also because of apostasy saw fast and within thirty seconds we approve nine hundred ten people. We want funding resides law city. Then we got into my thought. You went to a truly personal period until iota to toyota actually bought a car and then I'm the offering financing. But then he was going on. What about if. I need to fix mica. What do we have. And we don't have anything. We don't have anything if you fix the car. So actually took her diaper then shortage them and the guy told him i wanted to. Now leave it with me. So then we realized refunding over there there. Something in the caliber and then literally today wearing a one out of four dealerships in the us. Now seventeen thousand dealerships are auto dealership on the repair fight wearing more than forty five hundred Grinding one hundred fifty a month for the last year enough and We are the main player there. We held them. We have them to people the copy. Pretty simple thanks a ton of sense. I could understand that. I'm standing there. They tell me that. I need to fix the car. It's going to cost a thousand dollars there. I may not have enough money my credit card. I see maybe. I don't even have a credit card. I get it even if your credit card done. Maybe you don't agree with her right to keep forgetting you're right you know i don't i. Don't pay attention to it. Because i pay off my credit card. Every month that automatically gets paid off you do but many many of the people do have credit card. I'm not talking about the they carry balance. That's how the credit card luke absolutely right. i'm blind to it. Because i don't personally experience it and it staring me right in the face and it makes a ton of sense so i'm not coming at you and saying this makes no sense because of me i'm going. How did i now realize that. I'm dealing with credit in a different way. The most people of course it makes sense and then one will think so then we started who called ridiculed and then we talk very is the places when people are surprised by talking they need to then we went to healthcare and in healthcare. The same idea you go to the doctor you think you have a feeling it. Eight episodes root canal. You go to claiming it happens to be a feeling. And then you need to get done because terrorists. The doctor wants to sell it for you. Say media huge market. These are i call it a month sexy vertical but everybody has everybody the drive the car go to the doctor and also we are pretty strong in iowa in repair. Eyeglass you go you need plus over. There is interesting. It's cost. usually. I less cost maybe three or four hundred dollar. So it's not that expensive but many times. People want to buy the second pair and over there. The retailers are we working with the retailer to offer for every customer. No interest loan for three months for talk for three months and it worked for customer. It's a win for the customer and a win for emergencies. Okay and the way that you discovered. This was because you your partner goes into a toyota repair realizes this thing that they want and then you say what is it that makes them so hungry for this and makes it so effective. It's the people have a big expense that they have to have. Where else can we have that. That's abc to get to where you are today all right. I'm curious about the the mechanics of this. Where does the money in your industry come from. When you're basically borrowing money is it is. It turned into into debt instruments somehow. Is there a company that stands behind you and makes these loans based on your credit assessments. Where does this money come from. So we have different fourth of capital and we have hedge funds gave us money and then the in the basically wants the lowest none again. The lawn is done by bank festival. So we in no down the right to do the bank that we basically dhillon signing us leveraging technology but after the bank is up to the bank is lending a weekend of of them and use use use a different source of capital i capital to leverage it and basically the divergently felt gets the money right away so there's the multiple emergency self. We'll get the money right away. They pass merchant fee. but but they'll get it the next day and they don't have to worry about it so the we have to deal with all the infrastructure where the regular regularly regulations dealing with the customer with new delhi with dealing with the land of. And you're in california. Same state as i am right now because you started out in california because that's a great question because if i were living in chicago my partner was living in new york and california at the best regulation to start with while we started the call state regulation. We started with the nation that the ability to really act which was good in california. That's why we moved into california with families by the way they can huge risk Say okay let's do it. Don't take money put money and see if it works and then must be proved in california we actually have to bother with the bank and then the bank is the letter of the fifty states. I you told producer that one of the reasons why you're from israel one of the reasons why they're so. Many israeli entrepreneurs who do well is because of the army. I wanna come back and ask you about the otherwise. We'd be considered chutzpah that you learned from the army as a good management infrastructure. But first let me talk about my sponsor. It's hostgator rodman. Ask you this like to bring my guests in nam sponsor if you were. Let's say you're a super smart guy. Let's go back to. Let's say when you're twelve before you had all this for you. If i were to say rod happy thirteen happy barmitzvah instead of giving you money here instead of giving you something else. I'm giving you a website. That i will personally host for the next five years. Build a company on it. What would thirteen-year-old rod build on the site. What's a good idea that you could build. It doesn't require regulations and everything else. Let's come up with a quick one. I've kids play games on the bench. So i've Kids are probably play. Games will gain gaming booed stuff create games for kids on your on site animal. How would i would do. I have no clue. I think i have an idea around that the thing that you might experience as a dad which is one of the things that i experienced came good and we came to bad. How do i make this phone. How do i make it so that it's like how do i make sure that i'm picking stuff. That's fun and useful for them. And what are the tools for it and so imagine if somebody puts together a site of games and like guidance for dads let's say focus specifically on dad's in the beginning. And so maybe your dad and you forgot. Chess was fun when you were six years old because in the world today you think it's not but they recommended and they say don't use chess dot com use chess kids by chest dot com. And here's what you should be doing. They're so that your kid can have fun boom. Then what do you do is minecraft useful or not. Put that on there. What else is out there. And what right and then through. All of this is starting to give feedback to dads. Maybe also start to come up with your own game in old game. That people don't pay enough attention to that you believe should be modernized. I'll give you an example of it. What is it go fish. I've noticed you people used to go fish which is a standard deck of cards. Maybe realize someone realized go fish should be played with its own deck of cards. They invented a goldfish car. You come up with your own. And now you've got poor people who you feedback over the years who you've gotten trust from and you sell to them. That is an interesting idea. What do you think. I think can increase the bonding between the thirteen year. Old kid and that was super important right by imagine this they check off a box of what your kids ages are so if you have a five year old and a ten year old and a fifteen year old and the dad. What's one game that they could all play in common. And maybe how do you twist some of those games so that they could all play income. Maybe it's monopoly but you have to have these. This is one crazy idea. We throw these out in every one of my interviews but chances are good that whoever's listening to me has a great idea of their own and they need a website for it. So where do you go to get a website. You go to all these different companies that have now sprouted up. A lot of them are fantastic. But here's the problem number one. They're more expensive number two. They aren't portable. So when you're ready to move on you're stuck with them. Hostgator will let you host with all these open source platforms. Make it easy to get started making inexpensive. They'll scale with you and if you hate their guts you take your site and you walk away or maybe you're like me. You love them and you loved it. They had the lowest price possible. When used this url. It's host gator dot com slash. Mixers you to get that. You are all hostgator dot com slash mixture. All right. let's talk about the israeli army. What was that like the great experience. It's everybody does. He did for mandatory when your team and and you really learned that you can do everything you do. Stop that you didn't think you would do. I spent five days navy. And when you're twenty finish almost one twenty four. You are different man. i think. I think he talked me. That everything is possible if the stay humble and But we'd confident that you can. Do you just need to attribute you also told our producer and this is something that we learned in in management class at college. They said that anyone can challenge the leader and they talked about how that is the way that things are run. What he needs. You've what does it call the person on the head. Is it a commander. Whoever's in charge you in many times many people say army. It's like you need to have rules and discipline which is super important. But what is unique about the by. The israeli armored idea is that you teach the the regular soldier to be commanders and then to to switch positions because people ask okay. Why do we go from here. We go through not all the time when you fight you finding but during the training challenge everybody to do more and when the company right now for some bit. There's only one goal is to make the customer happy into main customer. Some bitter bitter right which is to make the customer happy if the customer happy mississippi is good and he doesn't really five eight or just the company say never the better idea say out loud authorities about the value of the customer. So so that's what you learn the as well. So what's an example of somebody who spoke up to you and said hey boss you're wrong all the time to really like yeah. I mean it's you hire. We started as i said we started like for people with myself and then and calling the people and now you have more people now. We have training. We're heading more many stories all the time and they told me no need to do the training this way or that way. We need to go and visit store renewed to. Actually you cannot try them online. You can and mechanic online. You have to go there and to be with them and to really shoulder to shoulder to do it. So let's build a strategy need. I didn't think about it when i because you remember my back on credit and i go decline. Didn't think about walking the handle end with the retailers but we built it now one of the things that we are doing them. So i'm so proud of is the fact that we have great support for murchison retailers that walker them and to and to the customer so the funding came from one of the employees. What's an average interest rate. So many of the customers actually get zero in just a little easier. Because because the merchant actually take the The white so instead of paying hundred dollars to emerge will pay ninety five when people send but the customer will get zero when we look at the verge interstate. You need to differentiate between the the prime custom on those who actually get credit cards so for those we basically cut at least by you know forty fifty percent of the of the cost or if your credit card if you can you pay everything fun but if you look at your statement you will see the interest rate would be probably twenty twenty five percent. Fosse will the you'll make it along the league. Ten to fifteen percent for those who do not have credit card. We'll get declined for critical. They go to something called payday loan. I know if you heard about this term but these goes to four hundred five hundred thousand percent annual interest rate and what we may be you know high twentieth But it's like ten times cheaper than than what the from otherwise so we thrive to say each customer will get a better offer from family made compatible compatible in the wallet all right i understand that in the beginning that money was coming out of your pocket. Right you then get to arizona after california. Now you're expanding and at that point you went to look for a bank partner. Roughly much how much business were you doing month to month before you went to get a bank partner so relatively not a lot. I mean we. We did like running. We had probably three three hundred to five hundred stores. I mean at the time that we talked to to a half a million dollars in sales that you're maybe one maybe one one off we've had between the four of you one and a half million to shell out every month we did. We did with money before you gotta banking partner. You raise money. We raise my in california raise. Manure is so raise i think. Thirty million dollars between the than the runway which which is relatively big amount because they need to build infrastructure right. You need to build the one in the south people to unite the all the regulation and then the the legal intellectual hundred percent caution because he wants to be clean so we raise this money. And then i think february two thousand eighteen. We raise another thing mula. That's we exactly negotiated with the bank. And then we got the bank on. Something's after the okay. How hard was it to get a bank and partner so we thinks we knew this is something that it has to be right from the beginning. We built it right. It just takes time. Not everybody walks fast like startup. he'd make sense right the so he just took time but but we detroit radio where the great partners we ever read bank. The works with often the lending club's situation impacted you. What happened lending club and then what impacted have on you know many of the off invest or sometimes they follow the hairdryer the follow dangerously. And what happening lennick. Lemon twenty sixteen then some internally. She's actually dropped their the volition for whatever seven eight billion dollars to the time it was maybe some one billion dollars version and any put the entire lending Industry that used to get a lot of money from our venture capitals At the risk so many many vicitms didn't want to invest lending and we needed money from the sea to find people to find people were suburbia within vessel. That actually think yes. I know lending great number here. They're building a different model. Remember the story about the marketing. They're building something that will add value and will not cost a lot of money eventually. Yes we need to believe that they will go to the store and there will be able to get along but we believe in the team. And that's why we found out great. Investigators still there since twenty six hundred seventeen silva was investment. Who's the investor. So we have. We have three main investors that are leading around one of them. Is chicago venture that came from chicago. One groupie levin which local group here in in los angeles which is focused on fintech which of them being with us in two thousand sixteen to two thousand seventeen and then we have venture. She's based silicon valley which joining twenty eighteen is a great investment still with us a living the recently raise one hundred and thirty million dollars. It was like weeks ago. I think right now ago may think is when i saw the announcement. Yep yep hundred thirty million dollars and now you're officially worth more than a billion dollars a unicorn unreal. Why you're not. You're not even smiling. As i say that it's not no because i'm focused on. The the value that we need to do suggest is great. It's a great sentiment from the from the investors. Are we got it from internal there. We got extended insurance companies. That came to to join an and the strong which is a great. I mean we're super excited about it. This is a great A recognition of what is far. But there's so much more we can do so much thing. We can do that so many customers in the us. And in in the dr rodney service and you just put more pressure on men than the great. What's your process for getting forgetting new merchants. So we have. We have a multiple strategies right. We have it all start with boots on ground. Like it's it's actually people going in access showing the ipad and we call it the magic trick giving thirty second. You can. Everybody and approve nine out of ten. So that's what we do so we have people right now as we're speaking with people running in the entire country that actually selling will serve that training people after it so this is start with this but then when you're growing will serve problem shift so we have policy with the big. Oh yeah like with honda with kierra with me. Fan republish even they. They endorse into their dealership and the same with other verticals. So we start with ground. Then we go to the to the big guys And we walk with him and and what happened to kovic when a lot of these locations were shut down and they would definitely not eager for someone to just walk in. That's a great question. So you know march fifteen. We realize that covers much within twenty twenty realize called israel. It's not like somebody like that. Nobody knows about. And then what would you do it right. I mean what what would they do. And then and then we realized that Wander the few persson's one you are. There is people not use the service to you afraid that the people use the savage. We're not pay you back right because what will happen to the terrain and you went to being between still want to approve nine ten people because we have commitments for merchants. But you want to be more careful so we adjust the model to be more to be more careful while still maintaining this ninety percent approval again. Remember all the credit cards and other companies not more than fifty percent and we are nine out of ten and then we realized that since we walk with necessary businesses all the dealerships. Were still open. They didn't they didn't have any lot of cars coming to them. They realize the opportunity to get service that when the when the customer come back they will live and we were a little bit lucky. 'cause they manager more time to join our calls and the faces and they signed the find they found the the Acute to of twenty twenty was a record. A courthouse in the dealership because many of them find And service and the new that when the customer coming back in may and june the we need it and actually for we completed a really nice v-shape between february to june and see if then we keep going and then what about the other businesses like dentists. I think we're seeing russia. And then i were basically down for like two quarter doesn't stop picking up in late two three and four but we took the time we walk them whatever they need then And then we were there with them. What are you doing online. I was surprised that you are online. I i was thinking of sun as the offline company so we mostly offline the focused. But we do offer. We have a full on the line like that by no pill to solution and we offer it mostly for of actually want to get the full omni channel so we have a chain of one hundred fifty stolac ation that actually fell a payroll for motorcycles. And we've been with them for like twenty seventeen and they actually wanted to add into their commerce site so the customer they go to shop online they can bite and when they go to the stock so we we have a solution which is great online. Are we also have a solution when you fix a car. Sometimes you your car in the morning you go to your walk and then you get a text message. Oh it's not only the banks is also the tires but you want to get qualified. So he can do it online and then you come complete the purchase in the in the so. We have the fools scandal solution for meter owning the store. Saltmine fusion style. And i told you before we get started. This is simply seem similar to affirm and the distinction. You told me to pay attention to was that a firm is for regular purchases. Could even be for the really nice jacket that you wanted but sunday is for the thing you have to have like fixing the brakes on your car right. I think the article are doing a great job in bringing bring within the by now. Pay later to ecommerce to what to what we say. Nice to have things when you buy a jacket when you buy bicycles like the cool things like this and most of it happened in the in the ecommerce when they do it online night. Did we build it the same build the same technology which higher approval rate and the in different level into the real life which mostly in the stores right. Let's close out with this way. Why son bit. How'd you come up with that name. That's a great question so we we're looking to find funding that ryan's with credit and debit. Because we knew we want to develop a new payment which is kind of hybrid between debit credit. Right you give credit but you connecticut automatically you don't give you look domestically and and then we came up pixel leave my my My wife came up with idea. Why not because it rhymes with credits to families. Positive the rights to everybody so you prove nine hundred ten people so he tries to everybody and there is a bit which is mystic -nology now we said he can pay bit-by-bit with some super happy about the name delegates to see the twelfth Kind of pieces. Which reminds the twelve payments and now we just need to get it out there. You take it out of people's bank account directly so when when they completely are transaction they also scan the debit card and then they basically paid love to authorize the debut. So they don't have to worry about it to all right. I like the simplicity. Just frigging loved. The you could scan. A driver's license automatically pick up all the data. You need all right. It's all the idea is to be super simple for the customer and super sophisticated in the beckoned each with the best offer that they can right frigging idea. Hang on with me. after it's done. I wanna ask you about a someone in my audience and what they're working on. It's kinda similar. I'd love your feedback on it. But for now i'll say thank you. The website is son. Bit dot com. And i wanna thank hostgator if you need. A website hosted go to hostgator dot com by everyone.

costco rod levitin inova california mcgrane taylor andrew andrew warner tyler co us blake kraken
#2085 Competing in the world of email marketing

Startup Stories by Mixergy

52:51 min | 2 months ago

#2085 Competing in the world of email marketing

"Hey their freedom fighters. My name is andrew warner on the founder mixer g where i interview entrepreneurs about how. They built their businesses for an audience of real entrepreneurs. Joining me is stephan show besta. Stephanie has got the most beautiful video. I've ever encountered over two thousand interviews like the nice blurry background and even though we blurred out his background everything is taken care of in the background by the way stuff. Is that representative of who you are like. What are you using to this. Look so good. I well every purpose. My my digital camera since i'm not able to travel anymore at the moment Repurpose as a as a webcam. So that's why. I have such a nice picture year. What's the camera using. it's a sony. A seven hour mark for. It's that really like guarantee totally over engineered you for the webcom. But i feel like doing it. I i love that attention to detail. Stephan whose voice you just heard is the founder of newsletter to go. It's email marketing software that he created and sold to a company called send in blue and send in blue does It's an intuitive platform. That does email marketing automation. And frankly to even say email alone is to undercut. What does it also does Text messages it also does live chat. It does a lot of the things that we come to expect from from email marketing and so much more. I invited him here to talk about how he founded his company. How why he decided to sell it and what he's doing now. As the head of their north american operations at sending blue and frankly how consent blue compete in the world is so many other email marketing software out there. Aren't we can do this. Thanks to two phenomenal sponsors. If i if you need a website hosted to hostgator dot com slash mixer g the second when you're hiring people and you want to actually no not. Just what's on their resume or lincoln. Whatever but can they do the job. There's a tool tool called virgo. That will help you test them and make sure that they can do the job that you're hiring them for him but i'll talk about later. I stephan goofed up here. Pleasure committee example of how this attention to detail. I told you when. I didn't publishing video but you still pay attention to the video detail. Give me an example of how that expresses itself outside of video conferencing maybe in in your business so actually my background. When when i started my company was really focusing on the product and our number one goal of creating newsletter to go back in the day. When i started was twenty ten twenty seven so about ten years ago we really wanted to provide software to small and medium businesses that anybody could use so we really focused on building features that were very very intuitive and basically nobody could go wrong and one of the features maybe that one of my favorite features. We put a lot of effort and a lot of attention to detail was called to one click product transfer. We were basically a first in the market who allow customers to connect to a to a web store and really transfer product into them mailings into their templates with one. Click and it was extremely easy. Our customers loved it and brought us a lot of business and you know we perfected it over time and i think that was one of the nicest features we ever built. I heard you started this because you doing consulting and this was part of a project you did for client. What type of consulting were you doing back. In the day. I was still in university studying and in my teenage years already. I started programming. My my father is or was a college professor and we had a an old computer. You know back in the nineties. I started programming a bit in in turbo pascal and then later delfi so maybe some of you might remember and that kind of led into small wet programming agency with one of my school friends and one of the products that we took on It was paid by By a company in back in berlin. Germany where where where i come from and that was an email marketing desktop applications. Or maybe even too much. It's basically a newsletter application. Where you where you had to upload your your contact you have to bring your own. Template are encoded. Html you have to bring your own two thousand dollars this stephan just for one client. Couldn't you've used any number of other email marketing software. That was out there. Like aim weber was out there. Yeah beckham today. There weren't really that many thought service email marketing companies out there that really provided a good user experience plus the customer you know paid us and offered offered offered to pay for that product. Could we actually. We didn't really propose anything else. Okay let's that that's a good product for right you out there but the client is said hey created for me and there was no incentive for you to say well what if you use one of these other things we could look for something online. No the customer. The customer has done his research and he wasn't happy with any solution out there. They needed a simple solution that anybody in their team could use so we created a very very simple education that they have to install. The desktop only worked on windows off. You know you can upgrade it or not very scalable either but from there that year of creating a software service and make making it accessible to a larger audience arrive and this is where to go and idea. Can you to go. Who inspired you back then. When it came to sas there were few voices back then. They were strong Who did you listen to. Honestly we when we started we we. We didn't really do that much of research. Yes we looked into the into the space of marketing softwares and sort of submit that were some german companies that we looked into there was already but they're all very very small and not very good so honestly if i think if we had researched maybe more and had put more effort into market research. We might've never started the company. It's a it's a little paradox. but sometimes it's good not to know one hundred percent right and Sometimes it's good if you're a little naive when you when you started start up and i i feel. This was the case for us. We you know we were like okay. Well we have this one customer who obviously needs the solution We're sure they're like hundreds or thousands of customers out. There they had similar needs. We actually wrote a business plan on that and was perceived well by the university as well not that matters so much but you know that gave us more confidence to just go ahead and start and you know the nike claimed. Just do it. This is pretty much what we what what did we did and At actually for us it helped to to do too much research know too much about the market back in the day and your client allowed you to take the code that you created for them and turn it into something that you sell to other people. No that was not reusable. Honestly we just started from from zero because that was what we built there was What's a desktop application and very limited functionality. So we started. We started new from scratch and we built Well simple application at first but which was hosted by ourselves so anybody could use. It didn't have to install anything We could we could updated whenever we liked. And so on so that the typical advantage yourself assaulter service obviously So we we. We have to start completely from scratch. I heard you raise ten thousand euros to start the business. What was the money for from family. That will say family friends and pool and in our case it was family So my dad invested five thousand My my friends family as well and we used to to to pay off first programmer. We didn't pay our anything but we have one software developer. So we've we've paid in the ten thousand euros and be programmed ourselves the first version of to go and this is how we got. The the product started a very hands on. How did you get your first customers first customers. You know. I think with a lot of with a lot of starts at the same. They come from from a network and our case we have We had the opportunity to be in a an office building that our university as subsidize basically gave us a free and we had a lot of other startups in the in office space. And you know email. Marketing is very universal. Online marketing channel. So sooner or later you know we were approached. Our our our friends on on the floor. They needed the same solution. Any you know our solutions so we started working with them and really close to the customer and it took a while until we you know online marketing our own online marketing right and and got the first customer. Said we actually didn't know on a personal level and what you had a. I was the ability to i guess. Was there form or did people have to use their own forms in added to the database and then send out a message what was part of the first version. So the pirker's really you you were able to applaud your your contact at a. You know an exiled former format or csv format. We had this online editor. Which and the first word was okay but then really evolved into a very easy to use drag and drop editor later so you were able to create the mailings. You were able to schedule the mailings. And we had some reporting and that that was pretty much at you. You're able to see you know how many people open the email of click rates what links for clicked and so on very basic by would cover most of the needs the basic needs of our customers and from there. Of course we evolved the product over time and a lot of features much more sophisticated marketing automation and sms. And life chad landing pages. M something you already mentioned before. I heard that you weren't sure if you're going to continue. You aren't sure if this would take off. You decided you were going to set a revenue target if you could hit a revenue target than you would stick with the business if not you just move onto something else. What was the target that you set for yourselves hundred and thirty thousand euros and year three years so i remember exactly but we. Yeah we we. We were able to make it if you wouldn't hit one hundred thousand euro in this recurring revenue or in the beginning. You didn't even have recurring revenue. We didn't really have a recurring revenue model and the beginning was more pay as you go and then later Change that in the beginning. We've weren't really sure that our business model would work in the long term and customers would actually return and And it took us a while to figure that out honestly and have gone through this face right where you try to find. The product market fit. And it's always. It's so hard to know. When is the right time to either quit or to pivot to continue and for us and it took a couple of of years to really understand our business model and to get the traction where we could really project the outcome of the coming month and to see that the trajectory would be followed by in our kick the hard target and we we reached after that. We were very confident. That bottle seven though works three years to get to one hundred and thirty thousand dollars in revenue. Sounds like a lot but it's to people who are co founders of the company plus at least one developer that you had at the time right so it's not that much to go around and then you had cost. Why did you stick with it for three years when you were making so little money. Yeah so we were very lean startup. we have this ten thousand jurors in funding from from a family and then we had one other investor and The co founder of of music software. Which is pretty popular. And he invested fifty thousand dollars back in the day. But that was really little funding. If you compare that to typical funding nowadays and back in the day The startup scene and back in berlin. Germany wasn't you know very develop. There were very little. Vc's that was third little money in the market so we were really an extremely lean startup back in the day. We even had in the first three years. We took on a couple of extra project to try to finance. our our developers said we hired. So that's the reason why fly maybe took a little longer but It it really. Why stick with employees of work on the product and also held to attention but then by then there were competition. You are smart enough known because we well we ended up. Why stick. I should say we're we're trying riverside fm for the very first time to record interviews. And i'm seeing that there's a little bit of a lag with it and that's unfortunate because it's such good software for recording interviews but i wanna acknowledge that's where some of the lag is coming from. So you are starting to say you why you you're sticking with. It helped me understand that. What was it about the business that you saw especially when they were already clearly competitors in the space. What did you see. That was so promising. Well we really thought that we could make a ability better saucer. Yeah there were some competitors out there especially in the market where we operate it though. We didn't really like any of and that was out there. And we saw that. Our customers like our product. And they were you know. In the beginning of our of our. We did everything ourselves from programming. The software buck fixing customer service sales marketing. Everything right so we were really close to the customer and we we understood that we provided a good value to our customers and customers like our product. So you know there was no reason at quit other than not making enough money from it. Really got it into the vision that you had was. What what were you going to do. That was so different. From what existed so the vision voyles and still is for percentage. Lou is to get access to powerful online marketing tools to small and medium businesses. Who wouldn't be able to afford and use these tools Before you know you go sending dukes and really when we started. That was no software. That was easy to use That you could sign up use for free even in the beginning and be successful and compete with the big players in the market and this is you know that was the vision in the beginning and still is and maybe more important than ever like. You know the big players and amazon walmart. you know. they're only business is going is growing and growing. And it's really important that you know the small medium businesses also have a chance to compete with them. Yeah i've got to say. I remember trying out different email back then and if we wanted something stupid simple it existed stupid simple with the nice paint job existed also but if we wanted features it was so complicated. And so needlessly difficult that i remember. It wouldn't even work in chrome. I would have to switch over to fire fox for one of the players. infusion soft would only work and fire fox and then you would have this like random stuff that you'd have to do in order to send out messages it was either stupid simple or incredibly complicated and out of reach and not worth getting distracted by so i get the vision. I guess i get where you were when you started reaching outside of your friends. Talk to me about how you got other other customers. So basically we always focused on forms marketing channels so from from an early day. Right we we started with google google ads. We were extremely strong as in search That was one of the biggest channel that drove business to us and we created good content. And i think that's still a very very successful way to promote your business. Nowadays right of course now you also have more and more social media of course Back in the day was mostly our businesses coming through google and and content generation and later we also went to a lot of trade shows. We partnered with a lot of e commerce Shops and providers. And that helped us. That's also at the time where we started creating this one product features and integrating into a lot of shops systems and dead made easier for customers. I saw that one of things that you did was you had integrations fairly early on right integrations to email. Marketing makes so much sense because people want to take the email addresses. They collect somewhere out into the list. That was a big thing. You added text text messages earlier. Other people had you know about text messages being so important as an aspect of an email marketing company. Kind of comes natural. I mean we. We've to provide communication platform in a way right. You wanna as a customer. You wanna stay in touch with with your customers again. And what better way to do this. On digital level. Men email sms especially Think about like five ten years ago right. So text message was very popular. I mean still is kind of popular now. We have love messengers and instagram. And take talking on as well but back. In the day text messages were more popular than today text messages while being pretty intrusive as well as you. You have to be careful when you've been. They have basically one hundred percent open rate right. So they're very powerful Very sorry your customers ask for or was that something that you offered because you just assume they would need it so i think we assume that in the beginning but then showed that the customers also needed and where asthma and other channels become really powerful is when you can start to combine these channels together and share the data that you have on one customer and he and combined for example in mark marketing automation. Right somebody maybe didn't Read an email and then you want to make sure that they got the notification and you send a text message after these are the kind of scenarios where you know. Of course you can get a lot more sophisticated by these simple scenarios where already make sense to us want to know about growth but let me take a moment to talk about my first sponsor. It's a company called virgo. I'm assuming steph and you haven't heard of irv. Oh my right that's right. I'm going to blow your mind. Here's what it's about. You know when you hire people you want to know. Are they going to do the job. Well and what you do. Is you try to look at their resume on that. Well virgo does says. Let's just test them. Let's give them away to go and get an assessment and then as a business owner as the person in charge of hiring. You could decide if it's a good fit. So let me sum this and imagine if i was hiring someone to take over my email marketing right. I wouldn't want to know what companies they work for. I wouldn't even necessarily want to know. Wouldn't necessarily want to see what they wrote for other companies how they used other companies software. Because i don't know how much interaction they got from other players at the company right. Here's what i could do with virgo. I have a form that they would fill out to apply for the job. And then the form i might have. Maybe a video of myself explaining the message. I want to send out a might say you know what i just interviewed this guy stephan and i wanna tell people about how he got started and i wanna talk about how you understood the power of sms. And i wanna talk about that. And then i do that a video and i say you now as the person applying for the job right the email. That would come from me based on the video that i just spoke. I just told you what you'd go in the in the email you right below and now they get to write the email as part of their job application and then underneath that might say i'm thinking about using email marketing software to send this out. What software would you recommend. And why and now. They answer that based on their experience right so you get to see how they think you get to see how they would do the job. And then when they submit their application. It's not. Here's where i worked in the past. Here's what i did in the past. And you don't even know what i did. I did. how much else did. But here's how. I would handle real world problems that your company has. Here's how i can do the job that i'm applying for and what that allows you to do is hire people based on what they could really do for you and also frankly it eliminates some of the some of the bias that we have. We sometimes assume all right somebody who's younger somebody who's from a certain part of the world is more dynamic more capable of doing the work that we're looking for someone who looks more like us his more capable of doing the work but if you see their results before you even talk to them and you see that a person does well who cares what they look like all right and finally stephan what it does is it allows people to hire faster. A lot of what we do is just a waste of time. When it comes to hiring i could talk my head off about about this deafen instead. What i'm gonna do gonna let people use this software for free as soon as you use it. It's going to make one hundred percents to and so. The company name is virgo. It's v. e. r. v. o. e. dot com. And if you go to virgo dot com slash mixer. The use it for free so here. It is again v. e. r. v. o. e. dot com slash m xy. Rg y verve. Oh dot com slash mixer g. for anyone who wants to go uses for free and see how effective it is. It's beating up your hiring process reducing bias and actually helping you hire people can do the job right now. You know about them steph. And you're going to be able to take back to your people. I'm telling you it's good. All right i get. I get a sense of how you got started. I remember that one of the milestones for you was hitting ten thousand dollars a month and now i understand why i'm looking at early versions of your site. What you used to do is say. Here's how much it would cost like here. It is for ten thousand emails. It would be six euro fifty for cpt. i don't know what. cpt was. I could get a package price for sixty five zero. It was so confusing. But this is what you charge for the first four or five years. Yes so that was a few pm. Basically a mill for four thousand without yes that Yeah that was the beginning the beginning and then and then you switch to subscription when you switch to subscription. what was that switch like. How did you make that switch. And then what were the results from it though we we. We saw already that. I mean customers returning to our to our platform and david you know. Use our our tool. They wouldn't always use it on a regular basis and they would go with you know they would buy a and i don't know ten million Email package and then they would use it over the next twenty four months and right and that's that's fine but it really made it difficult for us to project and To plan ahead so when we switched over to a subscription based service that you know that was from our side made a lot of sense To just from a business perspective and we really you know at the same time we introduce like three different plans and depending on on the feature sets that we that we offered and we we migrated these customers onto these plans was very soft condition for them mostly for the paying customers but then after year we we moved. We forced everybody to and that was yeah. It was quite a quite a bit of work but made a lot of you know made a lot of sense and the customers. Actually you know we were afraid that we would lose a lot of customers which was not the case at all and and really helped our business after all. How big did the company get before you sold it. Rather the company. We grew the company to about seventy employees in in terms of revenue faris. I can't ballpark about low. Millions that talking about tens of millions in revenue. Give me a sense of where where you were. So back in the day was under ten million Here in millions So we we had grown a nice business. We you know. Like i said we had very little funding so we had to be profitable and then having seventy employees on the payroll you more or less can figure it out yourself. But that's that's that was basically back in twenty eighteen when we reached the seventy employees and then decided to join forces within the lie. Why did you decide to sell your you rolling finally. Yeah we weren't rolling and you know we're still rolling. Yeah so the. The reason was that the landscape has had changed a bit over the years So there was more competition there. Were like the male gyms and constant contact and the well had grown pretty large and back in europe we have kind of smaller players in each european country and we have tried to internationalize for year year and a half back in twenty eighteen. We hired country. Managers out of berlin berlin is very international city. So that wasn't the issue but it was really hard to get traction on other european markets. Were focused on first. And and the reason was that there were other smaller players in each of these european markets and for us looking at the at. This situation didn't really make a lot of sense for us to you. Know go against these and everybody was competing with a male champion constant contact at the same time so we looked around and talk to a lot of players on the european market who had the same business us and ended up with sending blue joint join forces with them made a lot of sense for us because we were building a similar project. We had similar vision. We had similar company culture and by merging the companies. We instantly became the european market leader. And now we're stronger stronger than ever before. So we're kind of the airbus of of marketing away with newsletter. Go before you sold. Did you try to raise money beyond the fifty thousand that you raised in the ten thousand that you raise from family. We try very early on and then decided not raise any more money because we we thought we could grow the business nicely with without external money which was true. I guess not to like not to that degree that we were becoming hundred or two hundred thousand employees company back in the day but we we had some talk that also some inbound. You know we're one of the fastest growing companies in the digital digital space couple of years in a row Top top twenty five so we have a lot of inbound as well but it's never really appealed to us that much and then when when the senate tunic and well we thought we could pull it off ourselves and we also heard some some stories. You know where it wasn't that much fun to to work with. Vc yeah so we we really thought we. It's just better and we have more control of the company if we do do it ourselves all right and then you started talking to other companies. What was it that send him. Blue had sent him blue had The raised a big round right before the acquisition. How much did they raise about. Thirty seven million. Us dollars okay. So they had funding. they had. How big was their business compared to yours revenue three times three. Oh wow did they expand beyond what was the original market. France i think and then they were. They have some traction in the south european market and the bit affectionate in uk as well and then the f market really started developing in twenty eighteen to twenty twenty. Got so the thing that you are trying to do beyond grow. You're trying to expand to other countries. They were already doing it themselves without doing. Roll up of local businesses Wow i would think that would make the most sense to do a roll up to say look. There's all of these european companies. They're all doing the same thing but each one is catering to their own market. Let's just go and acquire them all. Keep their brand for a while until we integrated with one big brand. Did that ever happen. Didn't didn't on on the european market. Why why do you think it didn't honestly it's it's heart. It's hard to say positions in in that space. There's an italian company that it's already public on the italian stock exchange. A so. maybe. I honestly i think it was more the founders said. We're really willing to do that. And we've got some german competitors either as well as we're you know we're not interested in any activities we talked we talked to some gym competitors makes sense to you know roll up in germany i but there was really no big interest on the side of things were you selling equity or cash. Both both and i'm still A major shareholder and send him do. So i'm you know still belief in the project and i think we well numbers and the justified that as well and we did raise the large around in october. Seriously one hundred and sixty million dollars which is one of the biggest brown stanton eighth in our industry. So i think we you know they still a lot of potential for us to to grow and where we're doing a lot of things right and you know the m as in a new role as leading the north american team. There's so much potential here as well you sold the business and then it was at first two different brands. Did you assume that the two different brands would stay separate another. There was some challenges. An acquisition yes. That's true. I mean both tied blue in surgical go. All the founders was time. We were merging companies. And it's you know it's not easy to merge two companies that obviously we have similar values and similar dna. But after all it's it's still too to completely you know entirely different companies and you have different processes some tools that you use different minds. Different backgrounds so yeah of course we went to some Some issues which i think is also a novel in a post merger integration and and in terms of brad we kept our brand in the beginning and then switched it over to send him zoo thinking here and a half almost later and that was of course a big transition was well how was that for you emotionally hard from what i heard so on one hand you know we. We always have vision of to come to be routine market leader and growing the company into global company where we are nowadays Of course on a personal level. It's not easy You know knowing you're you're selling company and all the work you've you've put him of course you expect things to change but in a way you know taking taking down the old the old logo that i have That had drafted on a piece of paper in two thousand ten on it it. It is kind of emotional as well. So it's it's it was definitely not the easiest time and of in my founders career and it kind of felt like i'm You know instead of creating something. I'm strong little bit while we did. Of course you know. Use some of our features we put into the senate author saucer as well and a lot of things and offense employees from and a lot of tool the views and a lot of practices that we develop are still in use but nevertheless Was yeah it was definitely It felt felt felt awkward at times. All right i want to switch to talking about sending blue. And what's going on there. But before i switch away from newsletter to go let me just understand why it worked. What was it that that allowed you to succeed. If you could give me a few bullet points what would they be that. So the first one is definitely being very kesselring. Fantastic and productivity and. I think that's that explains like ninety percent success and of course it's a lot of work right. You have to be hard working. And sometimes nowadays founders. Think you know it's it's almost. The startup started culture. Are everyone wants to raise millions of money and they think it's so easy but it's actually a lot of work and our work was really funneled into Into the product and product. What do you mean. Everyone says product is most important feels. Like what is it that you're doing actually live that what's different about you. Well you know we really were extremely close to the customer. Like i said we did everything from all the customer. Carry paul's two bucks fix thing to selling the product and and working on the product and telephone so it was extremely helpful to understand what customers actually needed and it helped us to find our product market fit and and. I think that that's the most important thing that you have to learn when you when you start your business. What do your cats actually need. And so how did how did you do that. You did bug fixes. That doesn't seem like it's it's the magic. What's the magic that allows you to get close to your customers. Customers would call in if they had an issue so and since we end the beginning we were not only the customer but also the programmers. We would just fixed the issues ourself. So ideally something like we were number one two three support at the same time right and and that means the founders would be the people who you to where the people who would also answer the phone if there was a problem with a customer instead of saying we've got customer support people. Yeah and the first couple of years. My co-founder would work in the customer. Care team For four more years so very close to you know he knew exactly what what they were. Got it all right. And i think at first it was available to everyone and then eventually telephone support became part of what the standard and pro plans right. Yes so got it. So we're talking to customers. Sorry andrew but there. There was one interesting detail. We even had a toll free number even for for free customers so you can imagine a free customer. We have like this premium plan right. They were able to send a thousand miles per month completely for free and they would call it and then mostly most of the time. These customers are the ones who who actually tend to call in most more than pay for it right so really when there was something broken something not working in the product. We would get annoyed because we have to answer all these tickets so rather fix the problems right away and that's really that really helped in creating a flawless user experience. With what else did you do to get so close to the customer that you could improve the product. Well i think. I'll on the other hand. You wanna wanna build features at the. You doesn't really know about again. So that's when we started looking around and around our product and building text messages. And that's that's marketing building these e commerce integrations which Initially one of our customers had asked for similar future and then we started basically went further and went to trade shows and talk to a lot of customers on these trade shows. And then we started developing features that we thought would be very beneficial for these ecommerce soft users and and that really helped our product also to to evolve over time and making more sophisticated than bring innovation to the market. Actually and i do see how you doing. Content throughout the throughout the years there was a period there were. I'm looking at the internet archive. There was a whole section of infographics back with infographics. Did really well. You guys were big on those white papers. Of course it email marketing companies should be on those because they they often get an email address from people who want the white papers. All right. i'm with you. Let me take a moment to talk about my second sponsor. It's a company called hostgator. Anyone out there who needs an email web. Not a website hosted should go to hostgator dot com slash mixture de. They'll give you the lowest price if you use my url hostgator dot com slash mixer g. All right let's talk him blue. Now what's the what is it that separate sending blue from all the other companies that are out there and by the way should say send in blue is a is a sponsor Occasionally i don't even know if you guys still even have sponsor ads left but you were sponsor you are sponsor so i've gotten a sense of it but what is it that makes you guys different so we have over one hundred. Eighty thousand Customers mostly from this long medium business side of things so if you have one hundred eighty thousand customers you have a lot of different requirements right so every every business has slightly different needs and expectations so our you know what we do better really ranges depending on the on the business needs but not what i hear most from our customers you know. We have a very fair and affordable pricing on one hand. You know for you pay paper even actually send out not by contact that might be inactive and pure actually not in touch anymore. Yeah i wonder if i feel like most people sign a free meal marketing when they don't realize why that that's an issue what you said. They realize it's an issue. Maybe three five years into their business when they suddenly have a big list of people. They can't to anymore. Because they unsubscribe those people are still in the database and they're being charged by the email marketing company for those email addresses even though they're not mailing to them and i wonder if that's a feature that matters to customers when they're signing up or if it's just a nice discovery later on absolutely i believe you know in in fair and transparent pricing and i don't think charging for full for contact lists that you can't even reach anymore makes makes too much sense so yeah some customers discover that later and the author a couple of years of using a software But yet we love you know love incoming requests On the and a lot of lot of prospects switching over because of this reason art so stat. Another thing these guys do. Is you still do customer. Support phone numbers. I think i saw his phone number on the website. Does that matter to get new business. I'm trying to understand why you guys are growing in a market. That has so many other entrance felt. It felt for a while. They're like email. Marketing was was locked up their handful of companies. That already had it and that was it. And then you saw few players like nathan berry. Come in with his with his email marketing company. And i thought all right. He's going after niche creators. Fine smaller business doesn't have to compete with the big is because didn't raise much money. And then i started to see that there are still other players coming in sending blue continues to grow and i i wonder what are you doing to grow in a business in an industry that felt like it was locked up already. I would be frankly stephan. If i would be too scared to come into the space i would say okay. This is done. let's go somewhere else. Let's go to a place that nobody is our. Nobody's competing and start fresh instead of trying to compete with these big guys who have established brand names and so on. What is it that you're doing that allows you to actually grow their well. I think we do a lot of things right on. I mean on the view. You mentioned the customer service and we do offer twenty four seven. You know customer customer service. We have customer service available in six different languages so that definitely work but also on the on the feature level you know email. Marketing is still the the online marketing kennel that has the highest return on investment for every dollar we invest. You got about forty dollars back right so you marketing is still very strong is still growing right. That's that's always important to to remember because we always a lot of times. I talked to somebody and like okay. Email marketing is dead but really from that and then combining it with with other channels And you know having really powerful marketing automation set up for you when when you really target your customers better and and and are able to get the like the last five percent of your marketing activities. That's where where these other channels can be very powerful and you know. We offer sms marketing. Have we already mentioned that. Landing pages to see 'em feature an inbox feature and the and the chat feature so we're really trying to combine not only the marketing team on our platform with more and more the sales team. The customer care team as well so then you have to one platform net can do all for you you. You have your customer profile on the you know what happened to them in the past and you can really use that information to To be very specific very personalized than very personal life and very targeted messages. That are performing just a lot better than if you have all your data and cluster in different locations. So you went to. I think it was toronto. Right to open up the to expand the north american operations you went to open up an office there right last year and everything got shut down because of corona virus. What happened to the office. You working from home right now. I am working from home but i. I'm hoping we can go back to the often very soon. So runoff is We you know we. We had an office in seattle before. And so we that was thousand. Twenty fifteen and it's up and running. We have almost forty forty employees in seattle and we need you know. A sales business development marketing. Pr office on In the north american market as well and and for us as we are truly global company with offices in three different time zones and it it made a lot of sense to have and another office on on the east coast. just to to kind of Coordinate with with europe and we also have an indian office. And it's very difficult to do that from you. Know from seattle so we. We decided on opening the office here in toronto which they're honestly under their easier things and then moving household during the pandemic and the thing in your office at that time but you know what did you do. Do not even. Did you not even open up the office or did you start to open it up and then lockdowns happen. We started la we were in. I think over basically fulltime. Then we split the team. And everybody's doing currently it's completely shut down and we're hoping that will open again. I think the lockdown here was extended until twenty. And i hope afterwards will be able to go back and i i i do believe you know for a small team. Were were Six people in toronto only at the moment hiring to two more at at this time very small team like start up inside of scale upright. And we i do believe for small team. It makes sense to to be together as well and to learn from one another and it's good for the team spirit in general. Yeah i think as we're all talking about how great it is to promote and it is great to work remote. There's a lot that i miss about it. Office like having the dedicated space where everything is set up. Just right Having people there to handle things like sending out packages. I don't wanna go out to to the mail What else does it. They that makes an office environment great. I guess it's also six people. It's having lunch together. It's just chatting from time to time right exactly and i think the exchange of information that informative for me flow. That's very very very important. Just chat about something having a coffee or you overhear a conversation in the background. Here's somebody else. Maybe pitching the product on the phone. Right these things that that were missing working from home and it can really help Forming a team you know getting to know the other person that are and also helping on a professional level just understanding the product better and telling many interesting discoveries for remote work you found over the last year. What's worked really well for you. Good question question and well. I think it's nice to have dedicated sessions where you can have the talks and can always be just business so We've done we schedule calls where we don't talk about work and we talk about you. Know personal matters. We didn't have you know. We have a daily kickoff. And i would say yeah. We talk about how we're planning to do the day but most of the the meeting is just to catch up and have a small coffee chat basically and that's really nice. And i think it can connect people and gives gives you the sense of well and for. I mean i'm married. I have kids so for me. Home office is very very different. Experience from somebody who's singled alone in a condo in toronto for example and For for if you if your loan and single than you know. It's it's really nice to have this personal connection at least in if it can't be in person at least virtually and you just do virtual coffee sessions where you talk about anything other than work. How long last. It's usually between fifteen and thirty minutes. We have a you slack as a communication tool. We have a plug in that. You know randomly selected people together and then we have so. It's one on one coffee. No three people. Three people coffee got it so it's three people they don't know who it's going to be. And then they get together for coffee and they talk about anything other than work. Oh great idea all right. I did that for anyone who wants to go. Check it out it's Send in blue dot com for the site by the way. I don't know if you're still a sponsor you guys got three three ads. And i think we finished him a while back but the url should still work for. Anyone wants to try it for free. It's sending blue dot com slash mixer. And i wanna thank sponsors made. This happened the first hostgator for hosting websites. Go to hostgator dot com slash. Mickey g and the second is a company that you probably don't get remember because it brand new to me but they're gonna help you hire better by checking in with your people on what skills they actually have as they're coming into to as applying for a role it's called borough and check them out at virgo dot com slash mixer. Gee i'm sorry stephan. I'm gonna i'm gonna spell this out. 'cause i know people are gonna want to write this down. It's v. e. r. v. e. dot com slash emma y dot com slash mixer. Thank stephan better for the pleasure. All right and the bottom line is on this riverside. Here's what i think. I love it. I'm watching as they're recording your side while i'm recording my side. The experience for you seems fairly straightforward. I think you might have had a little bit of trouble logging in. Do you think that was a riverside issue or not. Let's let the audience here. The issues that we're going through riverside is the email The software using to record this interview. What do you think of it. I know i had a. I had a applied technical not river with my own laptop by then at work. I mean at the. I think pretty good good experience in general i like it for me too and i like watching it. It's recording your side of the conversation from your computer. As soon as you and i are done it's going to spend another five seconds uploading the last of our conversation. And then i'll have your side recorded from your computer my side for my computer. And we'll be able to edit it so far thumbs up for riverside dig it. Thanks thanks bye bye bye.

stephan virgo berlin Pleasure committee delfi pirker andrew warner Germany steph google Stephan fox
#1782 Sean Byrnes sold Outlier AI to Yahoo and launched Flurry

Mixergy

56:58 min | 2 years ago

#1782 Sean Byrnes sold Outlier AI to Yahoo and launched Flurry

"Hey, there, freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner on the founder mixer jewelry. I interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses. I remember when my wife was working at Yahoo, she was doing their social impacts head of Yahoo for good. The big talk there was about, how was changing partially through these acquisitions of flurry was a big one. And at the time feel to me like flurry was his company that just hit that was so impressive that they sold for big number. But also, they were like they were gonna change who through that acquisition. And it wasn't until I got prep for this interview that I realized how many setbacks this analytics company had I still Beal's unfathomable to me, Sean burns is a founder is here to talk about a little bit about that. And a little bit. Also about this new company that he created after burned out or what happened when he's some time way. New company is called outlier again in Anna lyrics, again in data this time, he sang big businesses have lots of. Data at any someone some company, some person to analyze it. We're going to be the ones who do it out. Liar dot AI as the website, they automate business analysis, we're gonna find out about how these two great companies were created. Thanks to nominal sponsors. The first one is one admittedly have not done a great hat for I love the company. I've gotta get better at it. It's eight h refs, if you wanna know what's happening with, with, like links to your website and had improve through SEO and otherwise checkout, aitrlift dot com. And then second is a company us, if you wanna hire developers for a and other things top towel talk about those later, Sean kgab year. Talk about these things. What a coincidence, I turn the founder of flurry, we're talking about today. You are the founder flurry, aren't you? Absolutely. Yeah. I thought, so hey, you do you remember the day that you sold I do, but selling as you know, is not a day it's a process. It's an adventure takes time, but actually, I definitely remember the entire thing. Honestly, I remember the entire process as it was yesterday. And also at the same time as if it was fifty years ago, it's when you start companies each one is like a lifetime. And so I've been doing this new company for about four years now. And so in some ways, it feels like I've been working on my whole life. In some ways, it feels like we sold flurry just yesterday. I know that it must've taken a long time because there was even back when people are using secret, if even a secret post saying our companies being to hold. But I can't say how much or two. This was a day when you could just like exit go. All right. We did it was there. That day was it when you sign a contract was there anything like that. It was about three years after the acquisition have been, I think, roughly, it's just so hard to let go. So you think when I started flurry, it was chosen five okay, it was the early level. Your state of the art cell phone was a flip phone or feature felon. You've got for free usually with your cell phone, plan and mobile as of business in the US really hadn't arrived yet, and it took us nine years, and a lot of nouns that will get into build three into what was what a large top-five analytics and add companies in the world. And then we sold out who but I don't know that you can sell a company like that nine years of your life in just just let go the next day. That's not how it works. All of my friends were at the company, everything we invested in was there it was really years later that I didn't feel the weight of that effort loungers anymore. And of course, by then I had this new company with its new eight on my shoulder. So it's a kind of thing where you either welcomed burden in joy that weight or you'd probably do something else. Until you welcome that burden. You like it. I do. I find that I'm the kind of person in his pressure to do my best, I get bored easily. I liked to do a lots of different things, but I am at my best when there's a lot of pressure in their deadlines, and specifically competitive environment where I can you can win or lose. And in the days of flurry were generations of competitors. We had to face down on the same thing is true today, and that's really when I go home, and I want to be proud of the work that I do and enjoy what I'm doing. I have been that armaments. That's why keep coming back I could have walked away from entrepreneurship after selling flurry. But I decided to come back because there's just no other pursuit. I found that has this kind of this kind of focusing effort where you can do so many things and still be so focused on one kind of outcome kind of success. I wanna hear about what launched flurry, because I think the way that you think about finding ideas is useful. But let me start with the end here. I see a Lincoln post saying that you sold for about three. Hundred million dollars is the tech crunch post saying that you sold for two hundred million. What's the number? Oh, they don't let me tell. It was part of the delays higher than all those though. If that helps you. It's the prising how under reported these acquisitions are. But it's, it's not surprising because the acquisition price is up to interpretation. Right. So do you include the employee retention packages, or the acquisition price? Do you include the whole Bax include the esque rose? Do you include the equity value at the time of the acquisition, or the equity value at the time of the best thing? These things are all very hazy. So it's not surprising. There's lots of numbers, but it was actually higher than all those. It was a great outcome. Everybody debris. Well, I was very proud of that. Okay. It does. Give me a sense of what you build, you told our producer believe in starting with the problem. What's the problem that you found that launched Lori? So in a quick side note on why with problems I think it's easy to fall in love with the solution to fall in love with the product, you want to build or the thing you want to do and the problem that ends up being an issue because it's inflexible. What if that doesn't work with customers change the thing about problems is autumn's as long as you choose them. Well, are can be a, a essentially northstar few forever in that company. It's always something to solve. So with flurry interesting enough, we started out wanting to solve the simple problem of getting our Email. So we had I went graduated from grad school in two thousand one two five I was still the digital native generation loud, Email of messaging, and we had these feature phones, one of the things that when you move from, like an academic campus to the real world is that you go from a where computers everywhere internet, connection everywhere, to having this feature phone in our pocket, which did very little if place phone calls in maybe send text messages. And unless you bought a blackberry back, then you couldn't get your Email you can get the news nothing on. Your phone, you had to wait until you're in front of a computer. Find internet connection and so- flurry was started to solve this problem of connectivity to bring Email news, these things to those devices, we all had in our pockets and specifically to do it in that hadn't been done before. So the rollout of companies that would produce absences for those future phones, but you had a distribute them through Verizon or through AT and T through their stores and consumers could go to those app stores. Nobody did there you could go. Start them. Flurry started to be kind of directed, consumer approach with the idea that in the internet. I don't go to Verizon to get to Google. I go to the little go to rising to Facebook, go to Facebook, and that would happen to mobile and so was started to be the first of that new generation of mobile company where we would bring messaging news to your device direct. You wouldn't have to go through anybody else disclosure. Flirt dot com. We in star app in your off to the races, and it was in some ways, an exciting problem. Because it was trying to usher in the world. We wanted it to be. But it was also challenging because you're going in the face of these enormous behemoths in the form of the carriers and the challenges that we had overcome, but that was the problem we started with, and as like all great problems at turned out. We were solving something totally different than we thought we were. The problem you thought you were solving was. How do I get Email my phone the problem you actually were solving? How do I get any kind of information on my small phone? Exactly. And so we ended up launching this kind of Email service on your future phone in the US into, and five and it was an abysmal failure. Huge failure. Nobody frankly in the US wanted to check Email on their own. They didn't think about their phone, computer. They were thinking about it as a phone. It turned out though, that you know, who found value in direct to consumer Email solution. Designed for feature phones was the rest of the world. So flurry caught fire in Malaysia Indonesia in the developing world, because they didn't have PC's at home. They would go to an internet cafe in creating Jala count. Then they go home if they wanted to check their Email, they'd have to go back to the internet cafe with flurry, because we were directing Sumer you could be in Indonesia and get on your phone. Go to flurry. Download our service and. Yup. Running with your Email on your phone. So. Flurry became the first widely successful directed senior mobile company, because developing worthless, so thirsty for solutions. But all of the incumbent large developers were going through Verizon. They're going through AT and T. Nobody was sending their team integrate with the national carrier in Burma. But since we were directed consumer didn't matter. So we were everywhere, and it became the start of what eventually became mobile to out or direct consumer mobile apps, which still wasn't the problem solving. This was still not what we're in doing. Because it turns out that one of the core problems, there is once you're successful mobile company in that world. There are no tools. There's no support nobody's ever done it before. Right. Nobody's ever figured out. How do you track how many users you have? How do you make money with these mobile apps in these countries? And so we had to build a whole infrastructure around analytics advertising to support what was becoming this large mobile consumer business you doing this for yourself. I absolutely. We were Stolz yourselves as you talking. I'm kinda going back. Into the internet archive to get a sense of how it started. And I could see here it was flurry mail. There was a plus version of the side of my right? And then there's something called mobs, which I think, is what you call it your group section to end that. Right. And then there's so you're offering all this on phones in. You want to know for yourself. Who's using what are what are you trying to understand with this? Exactly the state of the art of metric back. Then if you, if you were a company like flurry with very successful mobile business was how many download you had downloads was the only metric you had imagine yet. You're running this business in the only number you have to manage your business. How many people have downloaded your okay insane? You don't know if they ever launched it, you don't if they use it. You don't they deleted it all you knows. They downloaded it and this was an aphid wasn't like lap or something was these are all apps. So if I had a, a Motorola flip phone I could install an app back then. Oh, yeah. Absolutely. All right. And so, I would install an app and he would know that someone installed an app, but you would know did they use it? Do they prefer flurry male? Or do they prefer mobs is the feeds the hot part of our site? Or is it actually defeats that nobody cares about what you get rid? Got it. And you said we need this for ourselves. Let's create ourselves threat. Nothing. Nothing structure was a business successful at this point, we were successful in the way that consumer venture back desert successful. Now, we were growing fast, but not making any money. No, the metric of growth engagement was high. But we weren't making any money. Okay. Individually, I think that what we realized in having build infrastructures, I would go to mobile conferences. I would talk about flurry and all the things we knew about how often people are checking their Email Murph on and all the other CEO's have come up to me afterwards and say, how do you know that? Like, how do you have those metrics, all I have is? Download and I would talk about these offers belts, and I joking, not even joke in, they would say, listen, I need that will pay whatever it costs to get access to it. Pretty pretty thick headed guy. But if somebody offers opinion, whatever costs for something eventually gets through my thick skull, and I'm like, ha I wonder if there's a bigger opportunity to become a platform ourselves and that was a decision we end up making into eight to, to essentially get out of the. Direct consumer Mullah business ourselves and make our platform available for other developers, and it was turned out to begin timing. How many sales, did you wait to get before you switch to that? I don't know that the mobile app business ever generated a lot of revenue at all, frankly, because most of our we were. I mean, how did you get before? You said you know what we should give up this thing that we'd been based on to jump into the new one. What did you what did you do is gonna work before you did it? I would love to tell you is very scientific process, very thought through, I will tell you what I had personally in very strong conviction that there was a bigger up unity. The gist building a successful app that there is a big seachange happening. We were watching people change momentum how they use their phones. We just believe very strongly. This was behavioral change that will go wider. And the idea that everybody would be doing it if you're on the inside of successful consumer internet company, and obviously, you've been here. One of the things you always worry about, as consumers are fickle what happens on the other shoe drop. What happens when you're no longer considered the hot half something X out? And for me. The question was you keep investing in this your own apps. Or can you make a bigger business in coming platform? The belief was, we could make bigger business out of now, this decision was less scientific because you're ever, the iphone had come out two hundred and Steve Jobs on stage at the iphone announcement saying it will never run apps. It's all gonna run the web, and here's flurry which is a mobile app company moving to being a mobile app platform for native apps in the face of one of the great visionaries of our time saying that mobile apps. Dead long live mobile web, my investors. One of my investors told me she was like listening, never raise another dime of venture capital money. Again, if you make this, there's just it's not a good idea. And the reality was, I think that we just had faith that there was a bigger business there. It was hard outside a lot of it was us watching and seeing how. Changing survey heavier and something that made it look like a genius. Move was right after we decided to make that shift apple launched the app store, and so they gave in they decided to have native apps, and so there was Larry at ground zero of the app revolution with a plan or built from apps refined over three years of using ourselves and apple decided to fit right into what we were. And so did Google there after all of a sudden things exploded, and there really weren't a lot of other solutions, and starting at that point in the fall, two thousand eight flurry as business doubled every six months for the next six years. Wow. We yeah. I see here, the app store launched July tenth two thousand eight I'm looking at your two thousand nine website, not only do I see the iphone on there. But I also see Google answer to the iphone which was their first Android phone with the keyboard, that was on T mobile that before, T mobile is a real competitor. And the thing that I see come across. Ross beyond the interesting old phones is completely free completely free out. You said that Moore was a guy who is being offered lots of money and switched because someone was offering to pay. Why did you keep featuring free free free? And where was the money? So when we made this pivot, one of the things we did was think through the teacher, right? Okay. So we're moving from consumer business platform. How do we think it's a develop in the coming years is a big bet? Let's try to understand it and what we did was related the internet, the web. And we realize that web analytics was gravitating to low or law or prices. Google analytics was was out there at that point. It was driving down the cost of analytics websites. And we realized that, if there was going to be a price where race to the bottom. The best thing to do is start out free. You can't come on ties free if we started out with the free analytics platform, there was no a pressure on the business. We could roll it out. Grow anything that we noticed was while there were some big players out there willing to pay a lot of money. Most people hadn't really feared out how much money they were gonna. Make from mostly. They didn't know how much their lifetime value customer was. They didn't know the business model was. And so it was hard to budget for tools like lary, because they were quite sure how much it was worth to them because they know how much the business worth. So starting out with analytics being free men that there was no barrier to adoption. There was no way to come out of Monroe us. And in the early days the market. That's what you needed to be successful at the same time though, then how do you make money? And so we made when we started, even though we didn't launch our ads business two years later on. We made that if at that was the plan was the use the data from all these analytics of power, a adn at work on mobile. That would be more intelligent more accurate because of the data and years later, we all up with that A C here. Also in the early website, Flers platform supports supports millions of application downloads across twelve hundred devices in over two hundred countries around the world talking then beyond the iphone and beyond. Google my right. Yeah. As I said, we started out as a feature platform, the not is, and Motorola's of the world had enormously, large number died devices in large replace one of the early attractive aspects of the flurry platform was that wherever you're abs- were, we could help support them because again, we had built this first of three years where we had to do the same. So it ended up being powerful the powerful story, then was this is four developers by mobile -veloping. We've lived your life, we've been through those wars, we know what you need. And we built this for you. I thought about my first bouncer. Also a data company called I thought they were called aitrlift dot com. I see other people just call him a trust. It's eight H R, E F, S dot com. Actually did a search on your site there to get a sense like where you getting your traffic where you getting your domain credibility, what I discovered was if I was like a competitive yours. I wanted to write great content. And I wanted to reach out to other people linked to me, I realize you really big on getting traffic from articles about artificial intelligence, so Forbes prediction for artificial intelligence for twenty nineteen thirteen industries soon to be revolutionised by artificial intelligence and so on. So if I was also an artificial intelligence base wanted somebody to write about me. I would see all the people who are writing about you who have a really high domain, rank just reach out to them and say, we're also in this space or maybe if I was actually that easy, one easy win. Then I get to see if I can keep clicking over here, and so insightful to see what's going on with other people to get. Of which broken links, you have on your site. So if I wanna traffic from you, I might say, well, look at this guy's actually sending a link to a couple of broken sites. I should just reach out and say my site can do it. You what's on your side, except it's broken on your site. I mean, the links that you're sending out to, to my competitors, broken link over to me. I could also see what keywords are sending traffic to this thing is so beautiful the way that the site works. I'm underselling it because I am not as knowledgeable about how to use his data to create content based on data and learning. More and more as I use a dress. I imagine if somebody was using it a lot would know even more about how to do this. Here's what I suggest go to a trust dot com sign up for their seven-day trial period for like seven bucks. Just look through your site and look through a few other competitor. I think the basic easy wins are gonna stand out like who's Lincoln to competitors and also has broken links on their site. That could be, you know, you tell them you should be Lincoln me where your competitor is getting. There traffic what key words what, what writers who should also be writing about you? And then do what I did go to their training, which I got some free training from them, and learn how to keep improving our content in a way that will get you more traffic. It's eight h refs dot com. H R, E S, S dot com. They're not even giving us a slash mixture. Jay at the end they have keeping it super simple. Do know them by the way, I used to before no sounds valuable service. They're getting so even their competitors arriving about how good they're dealing. I'm trying to fly flying. The singapore. One interview, the founder I don't think he's going to see me. I think he's trying to be super secretive. At one find him when you started doing the ad business. How did that go for you? Well, the, the advantage of having a new platform is that it levels, applying field all the incumbents, their advantages are negated when a new platform comes out that could be smartphones. It could be the internet. It's the best time to be entrepreneurs. When you have this kind of weird. Inflection point in technology with a new before Google. Analytics like comes in there is no Google analytics, yet, you have nothing. It's not just that all of the all of the existing large websites had no apps. And so two people in a garage, bowling apps had Justice signed him chance of being adopted as the big companies and so wouldn't up happening was research, a hung in thirst Ford advertising on mobile, the crowd, try to reach audiences and it really weren't a lot of solutions, and at that point flurry analytics was so widespread, because it was free because it was initially audit that launching the at platform, wasn't that hard. In fact, we never needed a lot of the analytics at the, the customers, the analytic service, the free customers to convert to our ads platform. In fact, I think we only ever had ten percent of that audience, the audience is so large the ten percent of those apps was enormous on. So it took off for quickly. In fact, the problem. Never was demand. It was only supply, no matter how much supply. Had in terms of how many and you can show what you can promote Haley was always more buyers who wanted to spend more. Oh, it's that was the great problem that time was that mobile was growing, so fast, right? Imagine how fast unlike articles about this in the yeah. Yeah, I remember that, that it was growing fast. I remember, I'm looking at tech Ronald articles about remember Mike Langton saying, even when I phone just started launching apps if you're not a mobile company, if you're missing that than I forget, how tell he made fun of people who are missing it. I see that. So then when was the challenge, it was a period, end where you told our producer that you guys got close to what was it? You insolvent three times you're basically earning minimum wage for years. Absolutely. Also, let's go back through time a little bit. So we were mobile app company. It was it was difficult act. And you're talking about two thousand five thousand six thousand seven you're in the rubble of the dot com. Bubble having first right? Yeah. Apple investment was hard and we were consumer mobile company. We weren't making money in while we were successful. That regard it. If you don't generate cash for your business, you have to have investment. And so it was during that period of trying to build that business prove mobile is thing that we struggled a lot, but even after in two thousand eight when we made that pivot, the app storage, mention came out in July twenty two thousand eight can happen to us and it was a financial crisis higher market exploded overnight. I think two thirds of all the sort of companies, I knew when of business in sixty nine month period, people stopped buying people. Stop spending everything contracted industrial stopped besting. We were lucky in that flurry had always been very capitol efficient. So while we haven't made money we'd had an ethos of being very conservative. What we spent we were the most capital, efficient company in the portfolio harvesters. So when we needed more money to keep growing to keep up with how fast, the businesses going, our investors were willing to invest in us are inside round from internal Beyers because external nobody was besting. New companies during that period. And so we survived that period by bringing in outside of us. But in the middle you have these periods between when you need the money and arrived, that don't materialize. And so, yeah, no. It was a lot of periods where we were insolvent three times minimum wage. I mean I didn't get paid for the first year and a half two years of the company being in business. Why did you continue to do that? Your guy who worked as a software architect for horizon. Your person with who with an MBA y continue to work for peanuts. I mean, honestly part of it is, was brigandage. I mean I came from a family. That supported me I didn't graduate school with a ton of student debt. I had a lot of student up, but not a ton of it. I had a wife. That was a lawyer the lot of things in life. That set it up to make it easier for me to take those kinds of risks to be honest with you. I never felt like I was gambling. Everything I always had health insurance because my way. Yeah, I had chief obviously lawyers get paid quite a lot of money. It was never like it was a huge sacrifice was at a sacrifice on the opportunity costs for me of things. I could have been doing. Sure. But again, I just I love doing this. I couldn't imagine doing anything else. There were moments when I would worry that I had wasted the three years or the four years that I've done it. That was all for not that I had given up getting paid. I should have just gone to work for Google or something. There were definitely moments like that. But I think in the end, I even if the company failed, I would have not had any regrets in term. Of what I learned in the venture that I had, I was very privileged to got us with you. It was very lucky. And part of wise much time giving back is not everybody has that everybody is that lucky to have that opportunity. Take those risks without a lot of downside. Before we get to outlier dot AI, your new company. Why did you decide to sell THEO? Why did you decide sell it? All I read some articles theorizing, but let's hear from, you know, they'll tell you the truth. Su there's a few things happening for me, personally, it was nine years two thousand five to twenty fourteen I was burned out. I was actually there's a point where you don't have any morning give, especially with all the downs I mentioned. And I just I needed a break. So personally for me, I was just Soper, Donna community. More needed a break. I think from the company perspective, two things were happening. One is that mobile was becoming quickly longer its own category. Mobile is blurring with the web, it was clear that to be successful. You couldn't just be mobile analytics from anymore. You had to be mobile and web platform, which competing with a whole different set of competitors. And so it's the question of okay. You jump into this world where you're, you're the big fish in this pond over here jumping in the ocean where you may be a big fish. But there's lots of other bigger fish out there in the final part is, you know, we had a lot of investors frankly, venture funds typically as I'm sure, you know, have a life cycle around ten years, or so, when you get up against that ten year Mark the festers registered in exiting, they want to close out that fund and focus on the other funds and that was true. A lot of early investors to there's a lot of things that came together to make it the right timing. And of course, the good news was the who at the time was being a hit. I Wall Street for not having a mobile strategy and three represented for them a mobile energy in a box, and an executive team that was well proven in this new world, and it was not a coincidence, that after that acquisition happened that the flurry executive team became executive team for a lot of Yahoo. And that flurry became such a prominent part of their entire mobile strategy. So I think overall it was just a matching the needs in the interests. And the timing aren't you will you working out of the old flicker offices here in San Francisco. I did not go to work for Yahoo. So as aquisition I didn't I did. Take you three years to, to. I think you said three years finally come to a point where you could exhale I think that if you're at least may I put a lot of myself into these companies, there's a lot of Sean that goes into these businesses on building, partly because I one of my core motivating factors is I wanna create environments in places work that people wanna work. I feel like a lot of companies don't treat -ployees like people. They treat them like resources, which it's it was important for me to create a place people wanted to work place. I wanted to work, and I invest so much in that, that it's more than a company's more than a legal entity. It's more than the money. It's, it's the environment. It's looking forward to going to work everyday in being surrounded by people that you like that you learned from that you collaborate with and that doesn't just go away. I mean my best of my best friends, working there and still working there years after I left. In fact, we hired sewn work at out, liar years after I left. And so I had ties back to that all adventure. The entire today for many years. So it was really letting go of the community. We built both of the customers and the people and the employee's than the legal entity and some sort of transaction happen. So you're a firm believer, you told our producer that you start with a problem, not an idea. What's the problem that led you out, liar dot AI, but actually started flurries? So we had at the peak of flirt while we have got a choir we had about five hundred thousand customers around the world. And so I got I was like enough to travel in meet, as many of them, as I could places ranging from the US Europe, cross world, N wherever, I would go whatever however big or small company was whatever vertical it was in. They would ask me the same question. They would say, Sean, I love the state at your giving me. Three analytics is great. But when I look for what am I supposed to look for all this data? And I kept getting that question everywhere. And it sounds familiar simple question at the beginning. And when you start thinking about what you realize these companies had so much data. Than all the coping mechanisms that they had in spreadsheets dash or were breaking down. And they really didn't know what questions to ask in the first place. So ally was arose out of my belief that business intelligence needed to change that the state of the art of tools. Today was very good at answering questions but wasn't good ask him. We needed a set of tools that would bring those questions to you. If you run alert business, you wouldn't start your day trying to figure out what you should be asking it would bring it to you in the business with speak to away to tell you what's going on and on Crete. Give me an example of a client who could've used outlier if it existed back when you're flurry what's a problem that they had even if you don't mention the name just anything that's Pacific. I'll understand what you're looking at while, I'll tell you examples in, in terms of case that we have here, outlines good example. So we were one of the largest fast food restaurant chains in the world. They have tens of thousands of locations, hundreds of food items as offer store, you're talking about massive amounts of data and so. So you're talking about millions of just dimensions in terms of product by store by time by location. It's crazy. How much data there isn't? So nobody was looking at any of those individual parts, one of the things that we found our, I got deployed is these companies were learning life changing things about their business. So this fast food chain, the first integrated outlier the running it on their system. One of the questions that brought them was. Why was this one store, one specific store out of tens of thousands selling fountain drinks twice as high as they had been a month earlier? And when you drill into that question, Eller had found this one store was selling drinks pretty consistently and found drink sales went zero for three weeks after it was zero for three weeks came back from zero. It was almost twice what had been before. And this is a big deal because fountain, drink the highest margin enemy selling fast food restaurants. This is a lot of money. And what happened was this company called up that store manager to say what would happen why what's going on found drink sales? It turned out that found drink sales and gone to zero. Because the store had had watered image. They had renovations and fix store. And after the renovations were done they reopen the store, but they didn't set it back to the layout of corporate addicted most s food restaurants have layout corporate dictates they had inadvertently experimented with an entirely new layout, because they just hadn't said it back after renovations, that new layout turns out to be conducive developing sales and sells twice as many found drinks before a change there now rolling out to their entire set of restaurants. The key thing there is that insight was probably hiding their data for ever. It might never have been found by person the data had it was there. It was in clear as they, but there is no way to find it. There is no way to go in there and find aller using artificial intelligence pulled it out immediately for them because nobody's saying show me all the stores that have a rapid increase in sales are thinking to look for that dimension. You'd have to look at every food item, every store or one side undefended at hunter. Hundreds, even if you even if we as people wanted to look through the mall. There's not enough hours in a year for us. Looks every single one of them continuously unnecessary of artificial intelligence is not limited by the hours in the day. Can look through all your data counseling, find these questions for you. The one thing I can't do it as a can't answer the question for you requires that John manager to call a store manager to figure out what happened to take decision wouldn't does is it gives you an advantage by finding those opportunities in those problems in your data. So it's exciting to watch it happen because I will be honest when I started out, I had that problem in my mind that I mentioned, I really didn't know if you could build a product to do it, I had no idea if it was possible to build a solution. I really had no idea. I just I felt like somebody had to solve it. The first nine months of Aligarh was myself, my co-founder renting ourselves out, as consultants to companies in give us all your data. We'll just go look through it. And we will tell you what we find. And you tell me if what we find is useful unexpected. It has value because I was looking does the unknown have Val. Oh, you do people can people take action based in the unknown. Are there hidden gems in their data and specifically wanted to be a consultant understand whether it was useful? Why will you doing it yourself by hand or using software? Doing a by hand smoking by hand to see can we do it. And do you remember what you discovered that helped you see? Yes. This is something that should be turned into software that can solve it in a business that can solve it. Absolutely. Every single company we work with. We found something that changed the entire course of their business every single time. It was amazing. It was by far more impactful than I imagine it. And the reason we did it as consultants as before invested the time in writing software before we, we spent all the time in artificial intelligence, mathematics. We wanted to know was it worth it right? Would is it even gonna matter in the end, and it turned out a did at the same time we were also looking for what kinds of incense kind of known things had the most value. What, what should the product do what should act? And so those nine months, probably saved us a decade of trial and error just offer development because we knew exactly what we wanted to do how it needed to do it. And how customers use it before we even started. I highlighted that is so fellow, boldly in my notes here from your conversation with our producer, Brian Bendtsen. You told him we learned a few things from the consulting work and highlight wise. He's doing consulting work. It must be something in there. Here's one zero effort to integration. You said is one of the things what do you mean by that? So one of the things we learned in that process was customers have a lot of business have a lot of data, but it requires a week or three weeks or months to get set up and try something new just don't have time for that. Nobody time. And if you put that we're selling artificial intelligence. Some in the people still think science fiction. They're not gonna spend a month of time on some in they're not even convinced might work. And so it needed to be so easy to integrate. So simple to click on a button and get up and running. There's no excuse not to try it so that they can get immediate payoff. In fact, our original customers we go into a sales meeting with outlier, and we would tell what we did they'd say okay, cool. I want to try it. Great. Let's do it right now. And they would literally create their account with the button, right there in that first meeting, and see the magic happening on their own data. We don't do that anymore. But that was definitely what we wanted to get to zero effort, because it removes all that friction all that skepticism all those all those questions. It can come up because it's just try it. There's no reason. Not to it's so simple. Why would you not give it a go? You also recognize that companies already have a lot of different data sources in on your website. I was surprised by how many different plug into a lot of different sources of surprised by how many different analytics packages commonplace. So that's another thing that you discovered. And the final one was it had to be really easy to use user getting the most value, the unknown executives didn't have a lot of time. So you had to come up with realization like the one that you just mentioned about out drinks, by the way, as you are doing that. I went to see what could the fricken change that could have such a big impact, and it made sense from one side, the cash register to the other almost imagine now. Almost every fast food restaurant that I know seems to have a situation where the drinks are after you pay like the police style and maybe move before. Then I might want it before order and remember, BT's, an old Britain sites. It sounds obvious in retrospect, and if Ryan had aswering question we would have come to that conclusion. That's why questions are so powerful questions really are the competitive advantage of tomorrow, but to your point about users, what are the things we found to this is funny about outlier is that the average user doesn't have a degree in statistics average business user is somebody who just runs visits. They know their business. Well, and what we found was that Alar headed present these questions in natural language, something that you could read couldn't just be charted could be technical jargon. It had to be some explain it to you because it felt accessible. But even more than that, what we found was people wanted to absorb these things in a personal way. And so, for example, allies, send you a daily Email with the questions used to be. Asking about your business that Email. When we first started sending it many years ago came from, like the outlier notification, and what we found was people would start opening when the first day, and then slowly over time open the less, and less. But when that Email, we change it. So the still Stillie all our system, sending that Email, but it was sent from your customer, success manager, your Carlo or Chris engagement over time, people were able to open it and use it engage, much more. I was like very curious. Why such a simple chain has to begin packed? It turned out that a lot of the users. They felt like a robot lecturing about their businesses panting, but Carl Chris, I can trust them. They're on my team. I believe in them and what they're doing. And some our customers believed the Arlen Chris were doing all the work and that personification of the I was an important part of the adoption people needed. It's the same reason people don't feel comfortable in self driving car, not a human in the driver's, just there's a level of comfort, they need to think about and. You're saying Carl would be a client who signing up the emails would still come from outlier dot A is domain or start from there from your service based on data that Carl gave you access to any Email now comes from Carl to, to. Carla would be your custody account manager outlier so got guiding you know from Carl every day. And so it feels like Carlos emailing you and saying, hey, listen. Check these things out small change. Then it's such. It's such a little thing. What you learn is that a lot of products at Lisa's. What I learned in my career letter products are as much psychology air technology in that, you have to think about how people receive them how they process them, how they think about is at least as important as all of the mathematics, that we do in the data science, and they're on colleges and that's such a key aspect to it subtle subtle changes have an enormously different approach in an absorption by customers. Let me talk about my second sponsor and then come back and talk about why the first customers you picked actually even though you earn money from them. Apparently they were mistake what we can learn from that do real quick ad for top talent. Tell anyone who's listening, if they hear anything in these interviews that they want to add to their business. Like, let's say artif- intelligence, someone's listening in saying, I think you need. I think we can use it. We don't have a developer whose do it. You go to top Cal, and you'll hire you'll be able to hire developer who not only can do it, but has done it to a company just like yours or for a company just like yours. And so that work with anything like maybe you decide that you wanna get into voice assistance. You don't have a developer who can do it. Go talk outs on what you're looking for. They will find that developer in one of the reasons why people interview interviews, top Talal is that you can hire quickly and higher by I talking to a mattress who understands what you're looking for and then goes and gets those people from within their network. If anyone out there wants to go use them, or even you Sean, on top talent us, not just top tau dot com in its top top of your head talent talent, but top towel dot com slash Mickey will get you eighty hours of top tau the per credit when you pay for your first hours in addition to a no risk trial period of up to two weeks. That's T. O P, T A, L dot com slash M I, XY, RG, y tile dot com slash mixer. G who were the first users, the first customers. Why would they not the right? We had a hypothesis the. Best fit. Fratelli was going to be small businesses who can't hire analysts? And so we would be their virtual analyst. We would automate that option for them, and what we found out very early on was that they did have this problem. They didn't have analysts but they also didn't have any resources or any time at all. If you're a small company or struggling just keep the lights on your struggling to make it tomorrow. If we bring you, this mazing, unknown incite, you probably don't have the resources to act on it. And so it was it was an interesting experiment. In a lesson, we probably had learned the hard way Franklin on others any way to know that ahead of time, because these customers would swear up down before this using that allies tower hole for them. And it was only after they were set up using it that they realized that they could act on it, it turned out, we were much better fit for larger enterprises who have resources, but business, so conflicts, they don't know where to look. No number of humans looking through data will help them. So it's part of that customer development process, but I've always found development is a series of mistakes that lead you to the answer where you try. Out of things. They don't work. All they do is help you refine in focus, so one of the first documents, we had an alarm before the was our target customer profile who are reselling to and every lesson, we learn we get put into that document help refine where we were going, and then not giving to be pretty long. You learn subtle things about what kind of company, what are the characteristics? Look. What do you need to look for these overtime? It became this kind of large growing knowledge base about all these lessons that we learned the hard way because the only thing that's wrong. With learning lessons, make mistakes, you don't remember them. And so we go to the mall, and it became the forcing function to help us kind of hone in on our target market. Was it hard to go back to entrepeneurship at hard to go back to not being a role not having momentum? Oh, yeah. Yeah. I'm gonna tell you success is, is an addictive thing. I think once you've been successful. It's, it's a kind of thing where you wanna you wanna feel more of that feeling and granted, you know, very lucky. And I'm very lucky my career and will be asserted without, I think a lot of my friends -ssume that while you've been entrepreneur. I'm sure investors are lineup to give you money. It's gonna be super easy, second time around, and I'll tell you that is not how it works. Really, why not? Well, I think that it is easier as a second time on spur to get that first meeting with an investor or maybe a first meeting with a customer. But that's really where it ends from there on your like everybody else out in the universe. There was more people have told me that outlier could never work. It was science fiction or this was not a problem. The customers have a lot of people. Tell me just go back and do another mobile company, or the mobile guy to do what, you know, and I think it wasn't until about two or three years in people realize it. Actually outlier might be the future of what does Telesis actually might be as aboard slurry was removal in business intelligence industry. But that was years as the adventure, people just I think there's a lot of risk in the unknown. And I think the more aggressive, you are the harder is to convince me your vision is correct. And as a second entrepreneur, it was scary. I was scared that, what if I would if I fail people think that flurry was a fluke that I was lucky the first time around, but clearly he doesn't have the skills make it happen. A second time. And I just had to live with the idea that, you know, the risk was worth it. So did I feel as pain as the first time around not getting paid? No, obviously not. That wasn't wasn't an issue. But I still belt the pressure to wanna succeed to wanna win to wanna prove that I could make it in frankly, like before the wanting to build an environment. I wanted to work in recruit, the kind of people in and have the kind of team, I look forward to work with everyday, and, and I'm done that. And I would say that I. Oily talk about entrepreneurship second around is the first time you started company. It's like a rollercoaster first time on a roller coaster. You're white knuckling at the entire time because you don't know when to be scared you just scared the whole time and the second time on that same coaster man. You know, one to be scared. So most of the time you're relaxed you're enjoying it. But when you not scared you're more scared. You're the first time because, you know it's. And that's what it's like there. I'm probably much more confident in most of the journey than I was the first time. But when I when things get tight, I get much more scared. We have not been insolvent in the life of fire because I, I screwed that too much at flurry, and that's probably because I'm more scared of that than I was. Could you tell the audience about the time that you sent your investors your burn rate, your monthly burn rate? So when our first got started I was still Bisley conservative. I learned that lesson with Lori. And so we were burning as little money as possible. When we raise her verse best around I like to send updates every month, I want to know what they invested. I want to know how we're doing and the very first month. This is the first year we consulting. Right. We were just my co-founder consulting. We weren't spending any money. We didn't have any servers or anything. So I think our burn rate that month was two hundred dollars and I sent this investor updates saying is what we're doing. This is how injure going in our burn rate is two hundred dollars and I got this very awkward enough of investors saying, listen to burn rate seems high. Are you sure that it should be that high? So soon, we plan for the long term and I was very surprised. I think tuna dollars is pretty low, and I realized that they're so used to seeing money, quoted thousands that he thought it was two hundred thousand dollars a month. And I was like, none of there's no cages two hundred. Larry, in a funny anecdote that got shared many investor meetings and stuff. But it was it was funny that it was so low that the best resisted, not a process it. But same thing when I was looking through the not here, I saw that. And I said, okay, two hundred thousand a month. They're getting started. It wasn't until I read Brian's Brian's notes on your response to the invested. I realize I should go back and read that it is two hundred on two hundred K. It's, it's easy to do, but this goes back to, I feel like the best way, the best way to be successful as last as long as you can give yourself as made chances skis possibly at one that it's control. Your cost basis, you don't control on business. But you do control how much you burn you told Ryan the difference between a successful investor successful startup in others is shooting successful, founder versus failed on his persistence. What do you mean by that? I came into this business feeling like the most important thing to be found to be really creative or really visionary smarter realize, arson. Oh, something like that really matters. Because there's so many dark days, wherever, he's telling, you know, and giving up the civil easy and like I said, at some point to be successful. You have to get lucky in the best way to do that to persist, and not give up and proceed through. And so I think that at this point through all of the hundreds of boundaries, I've worked with now in the last ten years, and everybody every persistence is really what matters a lot of wife, succeeded was my persistence, not giving up in the two thousand eight financial crisis, not giving up when, you know, we were not making money as a mobile come as mobile app. Developer in it was not giving up when people thought this was science fiction or not, like, not giving up continuing is the most important you can do because if you give obviously you failed. I it's, it's. Dangerous sword though. Because if you don't give up on something that was never going to be successful. You by definition waste your time. How do you know when you should be jesting or when you should stop being? How do you know the difference between persistence in bullheaded nece? It's it's a hard question. I which I had an answer for you. There's founders, I've worked with that have spent six years long on some in. They should've been left with nothing but credit card debt and depression. And they're Sounders that I know that if push your five years, the come worth a lot of money. I it's unclear line ends of being your contract with yourself your life at how many me lead that. So I mean you think about entrepreneurship in lots of ways it is an opportunity to do something to build a business. It's a it's a career pursuit is job that you have, or it's years of your life. And so how do you wanna spend those years of your life? If you know, honestly after outlier is over. And hopefully it takes nine years for us to become public. The huge business will I have enough years left that I wanna do it again. How many ten year hung, so my life, do I have to spend come in? There's, there's so many I'm not gonna live forever. And so becomes your contract with yourself about how many people into gamble? What if you spend those ten years than you left with nothing? Is that okay? Is that an outcome? You're okay with. And so there is no clear answer. I think in fact, the problem is that the best opportunities look like the worst ideas in the moment because they haven't materialized yet, you know, frankly had apple not launched the app store in two thousand eight would flurry have survived to become as big as it is probably not. I mean, honestly the app store year later might have killed us. So they even came out with it, but it took another year. It would kill you might have been out of business. I mean I don't know. There's no way to know is a lot of unknowns in there. It's tough. So I focus on what I can control, which is, is what I'm pursuing worth, it do, I think the essentials, there for me is, is are those years of my life worth in the answer's always been yester- me, not the one thing that I keep comeback to without lie. Actually two things. One is the domain. They interesting around there, the other one that in going to kick myself, not asking later, I feel like without liar saying somewhere in. Data is some kind of value, and I wonder, how easy that is to communicate to a client and convert a prospect into a client. When you're not saying somewhere in the data is more sales. I will find it or somewhere in the data is, is reduction of churn. But you're saying somewhere in the data is value. And you've always said that from what I can see on your website that tough. It turns out. No. And the reason is, this is a good question because this was one of the risk factors going in and turns out now and the reason is that people have enough tools enough data to know one they're missing things, but they're not finding out. They missed it two months later. So imagine you're constantly getting to the train station. You're always missing the train it doesn't help all, you know, is that I missed something being that cost me millions tens of millions of dollars. So Migo talk about all our. I don't have to sell them all add to connect them with that whenever happened in everyone has story every business has a story, and they will tell you those stories, they'll say, oh, we miss this, you know, huge raw we miss this big opportunity customers. Haven, and that's all it takes. There's so much demand to get ahead of the other thing. That helps us out is that there's such a, a dearth of scientists in the world in all these companies are trying to hire a scientists because they earning decided we have this problem to get data. Let's hire some people in there, just aren't enough people to hire. So they look at Aligarh they've already made the decision. They wanna do something. They had no idea that was a software solution for it. And once they find out, they want to try to let's try. They wanna buy at our Arkan version rate from highly customers to actual customers last year was one hundred percent because, you know, it's a little bit late somebody navigating. Their car is a paper map, and you hand them a GPS unit. Are they ever gonna give back GPS unit? Absolutely not. And he said, what your revenues are was that in the millions of dollars. That's all you'll say. Right now, outlier dot hey, I had you get the domain and talk about what happened there. So what I learned early on in the first year of our was I had to mention that we're using artificial intelligence because before mentioned AI, people just didn't believe software could analyze your business. Then I would say, but it using artificial intelligence. And they do that sounds really. Yeah. Okay. It has to be there. So we need to let's get out loud and dot I wasn't a super popular domain back, then it's a small set of Ireland's. I think that the civic, and there was only one registrar internet that would sell you not a demeans. And so, I went there to ally and it was one of those websites that you'd feel like put your credit card in there. It's mmediately to be still. Sketchy. But I was like, listen. This is a board. Lemme give it a go. And so I went in there, and I tried to buy purchase and I was like that was a mistake. And love evils for four days later, my domain still not live. I'm like, Yep. My was it was definitely a scam, but I went onto that website and ask them I was like, listen you know what I mean? And they were they responded, they said listen, you know the person runs at domain. He only works on Sunday afternoons. You have to wait for Sunday afternoon to come out and we'll go over in hybrid made into their root server and you'll be up and running. And that's exactly what happens. So it was dot I was was I actually regret not buying a lot of data domain back, then I probably would have made at least much money off of that, as I did offer as I will our because it's hot fire, but back then it was the wild west and any, right. Even when I was preparing for this as soon as I saw dot A as soon as I saw a and your name I thought, okay, I heard a lot about the power v. I get it. There's something in here that I wanna find out and gave it a lot of credibility. Meanwhile you're saying when you first started doing this, a consultant you do it by hand. So the data's there, the article intelligence is just software that make slit were doing. Or we could do faster and scale that are all right for anyone wants to go to out, by the way. What is it quickly secret if you want to build an ad company? This is the formula. You basically hire people do the job yourself and slowly use a adder place pieces of that over time, and eventually have service that you want. And so every successfully I company built difference between that versus automation. Don't usually look for automation and looking for patterns automation here looking for repetition, my right, that's true. The thing is a ends up being able to automate more than traditional software as you can eat more of that experience. You can be more ambitious as the what you're doing. But nobody starts out just by building a system and launch into the world. Everybody starts having us do and slowly eating away from the customer may never know the customer may never know that is not doing it anymore. It's it's tried and true practice for billion companies. Just talked to Neil Patel. L who runs digital agency. That's growing really fast. I said, why are you taking the smaller companies when you realize this, Sean, this is something you guys realized outlier enterprises the bunch better client for you? And he said, I'm taking smaller people because now my people are doing the work for them. And I'm slowly bringing in like he said he spending two million dollars in artificial intelligence, slowly automating it expecting that in the future. The automation will take over every part of what they're doing for this molar clients. I've learned a lot from you. Your website is outlined, a I don't have a personal site cut so many tabs open for you. You you writing for a while. They weren't you so Sean, on startups dot co is there. And blog, it has all my Brandon ramblings about starting companies and being a founder also shown burns dot com. A thing that's right website, the turns at they're very cheap. So there's no Sean dot AI ad. It's all you personally writing and wanna thank to, to sponsor made this happened the first if you need tired elevators, do our official intelligence or anything else within your business. Go talk to top tout. Check them out at top towel dot com slash Mickey. The second is a company that will help you figure out how to get more traffic by helping analyze your traffic sources your competitors. Others checkout, eight h refs dot com. That's eight H R, E S, S dot com slash nothing actually just calm and finally, I'm going to be doing marathons all over the world. A my goal is. To run one on every continent by the end of the year. By the time you listen to this I should have four down. And I'm still working on and Artika elected, you guys all that, Sean, thanks so much. You have any hobbies. You don't do I have two young kids in sort of companyman. That's plenty for me. Yeah, I get it. And so much taking a time here by Jonah great that.

Google Flurry US producer founder Yahoo developer Verizon Motorola apple Lincoln AT Sean Andrew Warner
#1971 How the founder of Quack and YouMail is making voicemail sexy again

Mixergy

52:46 min | 1 year ago

#1971 How the founder of Quack and YouMail is making voicemail sexy again

"Hey. Their freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner and the founder surgery where I interview entrepreneurs about how they built business joining. Me Is an entrepreneur who back in the very first Internet boom said you know? It doesn't have to be on computers. What if we could take all this knowledge is being generated by the Internet and make it available to people by phone. I feel like Alex. it's one of the reasons why people were excited about the future of technology back then right? The Fat. You weren't stuck at a computer, but you could connect both with information and people anywhere you went with whatever device was in your hand. That was a really compelling vision for people that really did get them excited. I would even take it beyond that the fact that you took. Information outside of the computer made people feel like what else is possible? We don't know we're now living in a world where anything could be done. Made People feel like star trek come to life rights our first service let you say what you want it. I'm looking for a Chinese restaurant. I WanNa see this particular movie where is it and that was star Trek was the guy with the little communicator thing. Here's what I need. I. Think the fact that that was all connected to the Internet. Just made it. Really interesting people aren't actually introduced the person who whose voice you just heard his name is Alex Quilici. You're right. It is easier to say quality with your hands outstretched the way that you said it, he is the Creator back in one thousand, nine, hundred, nine of a piece of technology company called Quack. He sold it to America Online and became an integral part of one of their services. He is back or not now. But thirteen years ago came back with you mail UK mail is visual voicemail with spam protection and I. Think you guys beat Apple to this right the ability to get my voicemail from you mail in text form. I remember getting from you before apple no a we we were the first round number of things. So we were the first people get your voicemail off your cell phone where you didn't have to call in and get it right where you could just play it through a visual interface. In our case, we did it on the computers he could sit down on your laptop and get your. Mobile Voice. Now, that was kind of our first interesting innovation but we were one of the first transcribe messages. You can simply read your voicemail and that's just a fundamentally different way to look at voicemail mean instead of calling someone hanging up in texting them, you call them leave a message and boom they can read it. It's it's it's actually faster and kind of brought voicemail back. The reason I signed up was because I. Just want an easy way to forward the message to Andrea Assistant and say here, can you please follow up with this person? They seem to be angry at me or I don't want to deal with their system We're GONNA find out about how built these two companies about the sale to America Online and so much more. Thanks to two phenomena. Sponsors. Diverse is a company called delighted. They're going to help you delight your customers. You know something that I've discovered Alex, a lot of entrepreneurs that I've interviewed here, even postcode. Well they're still anxious about churn. What if our customers leave us? There's still worried about whether people still like their product they still want to get a sense of where their businesses the light is going to help them. And get customers and I'm GonNa talk about that's bouncer and my second sponsor which is topped out later on I alex do you remember the day you sold to America Online? They were huge in the day when you sold I did it was a spectacular ride from us because we went from being in a literal garage type environment to selling what was one then one of the biggest companies in the world in months so it was it was a wonderful ride and completely unexpected. Inappropriate task if you've got rich from that sale. You, if you remember the story, AOL and Time Warner had a little merger in AOL fell apart. So maybe not as. I didn't do as well as I could of done but you know how entrepreneurs locked into there stock and there's all sorts of issues. But let's say I'm I'm plenty happy and it's allowed me to do another company. I remember Ted Turner was famously really upset because he owned a lot of Time Warner stock and then he ended up boning AOL stock and road that down a bit. Is it. Can you say how much a sale was four back then? Was Two hundred million. Wow We. And then by the time you able to sell how much had this shares gone down in value or remember what people forget is they think of entrepreneurs, the face of the company. So in the company sells the entrepreneur gets that check and then you go by Gulfstream McLaren's and all that. It's not actually what happens you build a company you have investors, you have partners I two co-founders we were all in it together at the start we got some angel. We went and got some VC money by the time. You put that altogether the pie it's a big by, but it starts getting split up. So it's still interesting, but it's it's not a number like that will percentage roughly back then Gosh I can't even remember anymore I I it was decent right if you figure typical typical cap table by the time you sell the founders have five, ten, fifteen percent of the company twenty. It's in that ballpark right back. Then he was even less because they didn't believe the founder really worth that much right but then again, it's only been eighteen months. What did the idea come from for quack? Quack was really interesting. It was frustration of being in a store to I think purchase a mountain bike at the time and willing my getting a good deal or not I. Guess I go home I could google. Back. Then it was even Google right? It was like a ultimate whatever I could go do bunch of Internet searches and see if I could find it somewhere less but you know I really WanNa buy it. Now aren't what do I do and so the idea was why which I could just say into the phone what the product is free smartphones I can island number I, say it's a specialized mountain by it's brand this this. Variant tell me how much it is online where it was. Let me choose buy it online or by near. So think of it as the very first mobile price shopping and that's what started us down the Hall Quack Pat. Now, you didn't create the voice recognition software. I found an old press release where you talking about your partnership with Lycos, which was one of the big search it back. Then where you said I, I can't find it right now but you said you partnered up with someone else to use their voice recognition technology. My right yeah. It was a company called speech works but when you think about building what was then called. The voice portal or would I guess now it'd be called right as accented version of what we did the actual handling and recognizing the voice is only a small part of it. It's mapping it to what the person is trying to do, and so we speak trekking recognition technology built a layer on it. So that can connect to all the information out on the Internet at the time like the movie show times in the restaurants and your email and a host of other goodies how I mean. We're talking about before API before open protocols before was accepted, the two companies should get data from each other you know. So back then of what started. Out By just scrape sites build grammars and provide access that way and if there's interest talk from the site and see if we could partner with them and that's that's how we got started with an example of a company that you did not with I'm actually trying to remember now I think we had a partner on the weather side it's it's been a long time, but we found a place where we can get the weather and they were fine to have us get it and what we got to all that we had access all the different AOL verticals, which made it easy partner with movie thumb partner with I think digital city all all. The companies with a nail and so you went to them. You said, can we get? We started scraping their data showing them look this is how we can get the weather's the weather from your site into our system, and we'll give you credit for being the weather source. Is that what it was? It was it was roughly something like that. Yes we block we build the thing have it running have been going then be able to go to say, would you like your data here? Would you like people to access your content this way and some people are interested some word I remember uh, some restaurant guide was really unhappy so we didn't use them. What was in it for them for giving you their data I think initially, it was the brand, but there was a model over time we're advertising or commerce would be integrated into the portal. And so they would get more more business basically, right we drive traffic to them or we'd have as flip the revenue was pretty nascent business model because we went and got bought so fast we never really got to launch the product before the initial kind of initial product launch right? It was initial product launch was I think in May of Two Thousand and we were sold in August of two thousand. So all those business model questions never really got answered just became part of AOL and became a subscription service and was it was easy. Once you're part of Dale. Why did you sell to? AOL? The money. I mean there's that's a big part of it but the other thing for us as an entrepreneur, you want to impact people as much as you can't. Right. So when someone gives you a good price and says, you know get you in front of at the time it was this astonishing number of twenty plus million AOL subscribers. That's super appealing. We can be the phone interface today AOL email for twenty million people I. Want and I'm GonNa get paid a lot of money to do it. This seems like a no brainer I want to explore this. That's why it's the combination. You sold them then they turned it into AOL by phone right? Yeah. So that was thinking how Siri let you access the different pieces of information. Now on your phone, it includes email it can include a voicemail include other things. Well, we did that way back then with AOL's content so you could get your email you or your phone line into. We get your voicemail. We had weather we had phone it's gotten to be a long remember some other pieces but the idea is that whole experience of the wall desktop can eventually be brought over by voice to. Mobile. And people could just do it on a flip phone with nine numbers, pound in the ads in the star sign and just be able to get all their data that way that that's right and in fact, leaving it or not people could use it from a landline phone to. Online like calling grandma, you could call and get the weather or call in your email. So there were a lot of different use cases for that kind of model of interacting with a Web. It looks like you stayed at America Online for about seven years. What did you learn from working at? America Online is the VP of a voice services. How hard it is to get anything done in a big company it's really difficult right so you're not too preneurs. You have a story, you tell it to investors they buy inter they don't you get some funding and you're often running it's your vision. You'RE GONNA push it, and the realities of life will influence where you go people don't WanNa, use your product or people use the product differently but. It's a very quick fast cycle in a company. You're just selling everybody all the time I'm selling that I need resources I'm selling that I need inventory to advertisers service to get it. I'm selling I need people on my project as set of somewhere else since a much different environment where you're not in control I. Think it's it's like out you know skateboarding into a brick wall for how it feels. So, used to go and really fascinating just boom. Is there an example of something that you are specially eager to do that? You knew was right and you had to just go through this process of selling I really wanted to do a phone numbers so where the phone number would be accessible online could make like a cell phone you can do through your computer hit eventually be like a second number. You can have access to second button on your cell phone you press dials and you can always get calls. So thinking like Google, voice, right I really Wanted to do that in two thousand one and when we finally got built, we built it in aim. So as part of instant messaging in two, thousand and five. So take me four years to convince people to do it and we launched it was like what's the business model? Let's slow it down. So it's not what you experienced entrepreneur. You get a bunch of people using your product is not You're like fine. I'll figure out what to do if they company. It's like, Oh are GonNa go where we should we want that in a whole different ballgame. You. Google launched two, thousand nine. Years after you I don't think they ever figured out the business model either though now it's part of G. Suite. So it's a nat- on right but they didn't figure it out I. Think if you look at WHO's figuring out second phone lines, it's very specific use cases. So you mail actually has a second phone line service and we focus very specifically on the very small business. You're a dog walker you're a babysitter you've got a catering business of it had sort of one person they're. Calling you on your cell phone, you WANNA move that traffic to another number and use that number for your business. We feel a lot of success with that model, but you know it's there's no way to do that for you need to charge people but you should charts people because they're making money using your service. So it's a fair trade ultimately though maybe it was right for a while not to have a push for that right considering that they had a very consumer based customer. Base I. I would disagree because if you look it instant messaging, it was used for phone calls all the time right people started doing messaging back and forth, and then they had the first audio calls and and what we saw is that the messaging clients expand take over everything right look at what's out. So it was the first step. It's like let's become a communication hub on both the mobile phone and on the desktop. And I think AOL was in a really unique position back then to do it was before skype and taken over the whole world. But you know it's tough because in the company if you don't have a great business model and so it's going to take while and got gotta figure it out. It's a tough place to be. That's why people are entrepreneurs go do it separately. How'd you learn how to sell within a company? The hard way, right It's you watch the people who really good at it and see what they do, and so the they find out, they go through an actual. Process of trying to figure out what people's needs were more than just hey, we need these numeric targets but what is this person wanted to do with his business or does he want to go and there's a whole process of taking your vision and putting it inside that goal that somebody has you get champion and they do it kind of working up the chain working with their peers and Grassley idea of fits in with what other people are doing it's it's a long painful process. That is so painful. It's a B., two B. Sales for a new product new business without any of the upside of of a win right well, the win is if you do get it launched, you get a lot of people on it right and get the satisfaction of something he built and dreamed of being used by a lot of people. So when we first at AOL by phone everybody thought Ted Leonsis was crazy because he was going to charge five dollars a month for right and in the first six months twelve months of launching we had three, four, five, hundred, thousand people paying that amount. And you know that's a big audience by the end of two three years we added other features were over a million people a million people pink five bucks a month to be able to get their email and other services via phone integrated communications, email, and voicemail over the phone together. Right by voice you're driving, you can do it all. The weather plus you know there's the whole vision about their stuff to fold in there. So back, then that was a lot of money remember. The dial up era right people were we're one of the first premium services that anybody did. I want to talk about my first sponsor and then we'll get back into what happened after you left. I also want to know what did you did you get to buy something for yourself? A treat yourself after the sale but I I want to tell you about the lighted dot com. You know one of the things I was just talking to the team of from delighted. They told me that before. The businesses were asking the net promoter score. How likely are you to tell a friend about this business or recommend to someone else on a scale of one to ten? They're saying that right now that's just not the right. The right question to ask for many businesses and I understand this I don't know about you, Alex. but someone just asked me that question the other day and I, gave him a zero because to be honest the market was down that day and I thought Oh man what's going to happen to my savings and then we got a note from the city of San Francisco saying the schools were closed. Recommending anything to anybody right now, of course, it's going to be zero I'm worried I'm worried that we're still going to be around here as a family. Well, maybe not that dramatic the you know. and. So we're delighted his been noticing is since the light is a way of surveying your audiences many of their users are asking not just quantitative questions to get people to hit a button to tell them one to five how happy they are it's at her but more open a new questions about why are you feeling this way about our product? How are you feeling this way about our product and it's the way to understand whether customers are going to stick around with you or leave whether somebody. was on the bubble are experiencing your product is going to buy or just move on and the way to do that is you go to delighted dot com slash we're gonNA give you a url while you're going to get a great deal where you go to their site, you add this to your side to your email so many different ways that you can had it and put it in front of your audience you ask them questions that will get you meaningful information and delighted will help you get. Value and understanding out of that so that you can use what people have told you to actually continue doing business with them I. There's so many benefits to using delighted. They're going to give you an incredible offer and it's going to be at the URL that. Are He's GonNa put right here because we don't have it yet. It's that fresh of an ad and our he's GonNa put it in the URL is delighted dot COM Slash Mix Surgery That's delighted. Dot Com. Slash. Mc Suit. Thank you Ari? Alexandra by anything for yourself? I did I got my first home. So I went from a rent controlled apartment in Santa Monica that you know could barely stood into a nice little home in Malibu. So that was pretty cool. My wife and I got a force which we'd never had. It was always my dream and mostly we started staying in hotels were nicer. The Motel six is sort of the big differences that I'll tell you what when I sold my company. One thing that I was able to do is go to the Caribbean and this is such a small thing expertise for a guy who never took vacations that was big. Here's the biggest part for me. It was Guy Jetskis who is just taking people on Tours I said great. Go doing when the thing was over. I had so much fun. I said, can I just pay you one on one to do an I have never done this type of thing before Said sure and I got to do it. I said I have the freedom to go and do this I have the money to say this guy how much is it going to cost and it's not that much now I get the finally experienced the non were part of my life that I never was comfortable experiencing anything like that. You know it was actually the first time we went out to eat we said, let's go have a seller at Selah Vittori. Dinner right and I don't know if I'd ever spend more than one hundred dollars for two people and dinner and it was like a dollar dinner and I didn't feel bad right. I felt like we had a four hour dinner grade setting John George's in New York like this is amazing and I didn't stress like Oh. My God how am I gonNa pay for this this is gonNA suck at the end of the month what it was just this is great. Little things like that to. Then why did you leave? America Online. You know five years longtime actually almost six years is a really long time to be anywhere right especially the big company but I'd achieve some goals. I made what we did. We prove that we can have a voice portal and drive a lot of usage over million subscribers. I got the second phone number, the aim phoneline service laws, and I said, you know I want to do the next thing for me only take some time off I wanNA spend. A year you know figuring out what I WANNA do next find some idea I'm really in love with and go drive it, and so that's that's when I left. What was you mailed history? How did it come about? It's it's a really interesting history. There was a call Center Services Company called Z calm and they had some guys there who had come up with this that everybody should get their own greeting, right? Like at a call center, it'd be better. If, you could just greet the person by name was coming in automatically and say, Hey, Alex, please hold shortly and they decided they wanted to build a company out of that. So Z. Com let them spinoff that idea of let's become mobile voice like ingred people by name and could access the voicemail on a computer to a little bit of productivity a little bit of fun. So wasn't fully baked but I thought it was really interesting have this little. Company with this idea that potentially had a big market. If you could sell it to the carriers, you could influence hundreds of millions of people. You could Chesley make some real money by becoming the new voice layer within the carriers and I thought, Hey, this is a pretty interesting company when they came to the all investments tech coast angels, I'll put some money in and see where it goes. You know move onto the next that was that was the plan. I remember Tech Coast Angels when I lived in Southern California, it was a group of entrepreneurs who decided they're all gonna listen to pitches together and I'll go in together in an invest right and very importantly due diligence together. So you got the expertise of people in the group. So when you're doing it by yourself as an angel investor, you'll know everything about everything right. But if there's an expert who understands the market, someone's trying to do better than you or understands our strategy for Biz debt better than you or has. The right context you want that expertise. So the idea was banded up like a group were different people look different deals and really help out and then everybody would get a summary and you could decide what deals you wanted to to go into and I happen to be on the diligence for you mail when they were looking for TCI. C. Money and it's right up my alley and I thought well, you know I don't really like where they are now but the money in as a group and see what were they get And what point did you end up leading the company? While really really quickly after that, right so I think I resigned from AOL on. January two, thousand, seven maybe February I'd been home I was actually Fed Xing my badge back to them and I got a call from a director on the email board saying, Hey, we need your help is companies s can you help us fix it unlike? Thought. Lenny, in this what he made, it's a mess. It's been like two weeks. They just said now we have some issues talk to you. Do you think you can help due diligence? Not Not bring that up you know one of the problems with diligence is you don't really get to see what all the people are like and how they handle different situations right and so sometimes you know when somebody's pitching completely different than how they'd be operationally and the minute they see. They're they're sitting here with way got money I've got to get back to my shareholders got to get product built a got you this they suddenly kind of threes up a little bit and can be really stressful and not quite know what to do and you know you can spot that when it's happening not necessarily before and so in this case, the people in the company were just not quite the right in the right positions that was thought at first, they just needed some. Guidance someone to help push them forward on their strategy I thought, yeah. Sure. I'll do that. An antidote is a part timer for awhile and try to help guide them. Make sure they built a product that was good tried to guide them in. Do they brought into the team and after a while it became apparent the company eat a lot more money was going to play in this market it needed a bigger team it needed real direction in a time person and I. was sort of their to do it. So we ended up having me go full time at some point in two thousand seven with strategy of building full consumer product with the goal of selling it to the carriers and becoming a white label provider to the carriers. That was you males, you males game you male version ones game. I can't believe that you were thinking that you could convince the carriers to buy anything I felt like first of all, there aren't that many of them. And second. It doesn't seem like they're open to buying things in adding services the only thing that they seem to open to ringtones back then. You know it's when you look back at it. It was like, how can we be that? Stupid, right. Then how could the VC's put money into that vision Ben so stupid It's all this delusion of where you think I can sell to a carrier that's three hundred million people are one, hundred, million people even if I'm only getting, you know twenty cents person a month look at my giant business. It's it's great and that's how you were thinking at the time that we were thinking. We can scale it at the time we thought we were. Pretty differentiated but I think the big things we learned in our scarier cycle. We also thought let's start with medium and smaller carriers and work our way up. Right. What what we saw wasn't completely delusional if we could get some traction than we become more interesting I think what we learned is if you can't control your destiny, your destiny is not gonna be one you want. And so with the carriers, we just couldn't control. We'd get deals with smaller carriers wouldn't pay launch struggle no medium carriers we'd get lost, but they would have problems getting their with their users and it was just it wasn't. It wasn't working right and just too much too much entrenched bureaucracy in the carrier behold into the existing players so bad idea very bad idea to do that. But the one good thing was we built a consumer service in order to sell to the carriers and after two and a half years we're running out of money because the sale cycle was long couldn't do it. We. Realized we had a million people who downloaded are blackberry. Ah, we're not even paying attention to it, and this thing was off a number one even in the blackberry stores free APP but number one, it'd be in the top ten and twenty five, thousand downloads some weeks it was it was insane, and so we said you know what guys we blew with version one let's become a consumer company and that was a male recapping the company be writing some pretty good sized checks is part of that and saying, okay, we're now going to go after consumers and see where consumers takes us. And this was also you launched I think before the APP store on IOS but not much before that. It was called I fono as at the time but. The the first version it seems like what you did was even before blackberry, you ask people for their phone number and you're going to do a redirect from the carrier is that right? We still do that we're the largest place out there that calls are diverted off the carrier networks. So the way voicemail works is a call comes in. If you don't answer it, it gets ordered to a phone number eight, your carrier which. Has a server answering your call and doing the magic of a voicemail. So we said, well, why does it have to afford to the carriers number? Why can't afford to us and sure enough there's a feature that most cell phones support GSM supports CDMA supports where people can dial code and a phone number, and that becomes the number that's used for voice mail. If that's going to be something that's a little bit hard to overcome. Some users but if we can put a good enough product together, they'll be willing to trust us with the boys failing go through that process. It's just like star. Star, your phone number pound, the phone number you WANNA forward to if you don't get the call pound some random thing like that. But once you hit that your phone says great we're going to go for three rings and then I'm going to forward you to this number or if you do a different code, it automatically will Ford all phone calls to that other number right? That's a that's diverting calls off one destination to another and carriers had that even back in two, thousand, seven, three of them did so t mobile eighteen, verizon sprint. But after a couple of years or enough people pounding on sprint's door saying we want to have these right already voicemail services. It wasn't just as back. Then it was Hugo voice I think was another one really big. So they said sure let's open it up and why are we care whose voice men who has voicemail right? They weren't charging for anyway but. then. What did what did the blackberry APP DO? So the blackberry APP was was basically like the iphone visual voicemail for blackberry. It was just a way to see the visual voicemail way to see the voice fills. But importantly, especially for blackberry users, we had the web component. If you were sitting at your desk at work, you didn't have to go get your phone and fiddle your voice. Just. Popped up on your computer by e mail or in a web browser you can handle everything there. That was huge for business use and the personal greeting people love that personal breeding, Your Business, and you know someone's GonNa call you a client who calls you once a month you can have it breath the climbed by name and tell them how important they are really sorry you're not airport. Greeting reported bills that connection that you want. I wouldn't have thought that people would care much about it, but it is kind of a nice thing. T mobile does that now I think when I, call it this welcome. Andrew. With you I brush over the difficulty of creating a product. How long did it take you to create this product which did visual voicemail had an APP on blackberry for people see their visual voicemail greedy people by name even had an e mail component where you would email the message over how long and how did you create that. So remember back then there were no platforms out there to do voice services. So we built our own platform. You name it is a super constraint Willio with the kind. Of Platform Services that we need, it took a couple of years to build that and improve it to get to the point could scale well, and then you build the absence clients report of that that platform where they're using the API to do various things and you start optimizing the user experience on the phone. So it's an ongoing thing. I. We we like to say that it once we decided to do a real blackberry APP it took about a year to get a really good one. But surprisingly wasn't good. We had a lot of people using it, which is often a sign that you're on the right track. Right you've got people using your product and complaining every day about it, but they don't lead and so when you have that, you know you're you need to focus on improving it but you've got the right idea. I keep thinking visual voicemail being the big thing. I'm looking at the list of eleven, things that you listed as features in the first version visual text me converting the voice to text was not one of those items there was custom greeting based on caller ID, allow people to cancel their voicemail if they started recording something and they sounded dopey cancel and rerecord you allow people to your larger customers to play the recording on their desktops you allow them to delete the recordings you had something called ditch mail which. Callers after playing accustomed greeting, it wasn't the the thing that I know you for, which is a transcript of the voicemail didn't come 'til later it seems like great. Yeah and in fact, there was a long list features of which only a few nattered. So the personal breeding matter to people, they liked the different greeting for mom versus their spouse versus A. Client right they. They loved that feature people love getting their voice mail away from their mobile phone through email or on the computer that was that was big and then you mentioned ditch male ends. Ditch mail was a really bad name for the feature but it was basically you can play a Doodoo this numbers out of service greeting to specific caller who oh. So that was designed for hookups gone bad getting rid of stalkers that sort of use case sales guys you don't stop calling you and that was pretty popular. So we kind of built all that step because all the economics of it was in our control, we wanted to do voice to text and we eventually got there when it was really hard to do in a free service. So we had to build a platform back then to accept subscriptions in charge people, and then we can do voicemail to tax. It wasn't something you can do for free back in the day. So we always wanted to deal we thought. It was super sexy something people wanted, and we still be most of the big handset makers but it took a while to do that to be didn't Jamie Semenov who ended up grading ring he created something like this to right. Did you guys come out before him? We were both about the same time. I think email was out. He focused on voicemail the tax focused on the other features and I came out around the same time as as the clearly about the text but it was just that it was stop listening to Your Voice Mail we'll have it transcribed and I think he even had humans doing it too. I remember hearing the stories from Jamie too. So yeah, it was it was great where he was really focused on the business market we were focused because we'd been blinded by going after the carriers we were focused on the consumer market what features are. What's what are the soccer MOMS GONNA use? What? What with that feature as opposed to hardcore? WHO'S GONNA pay? We wanted to get scale person worry about WHO's GonNa pay US later. So the the people who are blackberry were not paying you for anything. They were just finding this APP, installing it, getting their voice mail through it having all these features that we just listed when you discovered that you should just go direct to your customer instead of going through the carriers. How did you did you out of business model? How did it change what you created? We did we realize that you know somebody's got to pay for this. So we thought about advertising and we tried it a bit but it's just until you have massive scale advertising is not not really doing much more than annoying your free customers to hopefully converts a page to get rid of the ADS. That's that's the main purpose. So we did see voicemail the tax being something that professional users were interested in selling they want it. So we created at the very beginning with subscription services like. where. You'd pay for different volumes of messages to be transcribed and that did really well, we went from zero to two million a are in about. Twelve months. which was really cool. There's a way to monetize their audience and had we not done that we never would have survived right his it's you've got you've got a burn rate you've been around for a while there would have been no reason to take this company say let's could convert it to really focus on consumers and put our investment in and bat. But sure enough. That's that that model where we grew pretty fast worked well and got US started. I wonder how you sold on blackberry, how you sold on irs but let me take a moment talk about my second sponsored and comeback in Alaska that my second sponsored, you know a company called top cal. No I'm about Uraba on here about it. They have this system. You know what? Let me tell you what people who are listening to this could use top down for magic someone's listening to us and says, you know what I have few ideas for how boys could help our product but I don't have developers who know voice who voice design. I think I think we should add it. I don't know that we want to be distracted by though you go to top out they get. You the top developers in this space, they introduce you to them. If you like them, you get to hire them off and you get to get they get started within days. Often they built. Would you wanted for other companies and so they have that experience and so they could get you the results you're looking for, and if you're happy with it, you can continue to build. You can even ask them to help transition into your team. You can keep hiring the person if you want and. Continue to work with them and the beauty of it is if it works, you got a person who's experienced who setting it up. If it doesn't work, you call back top value say this isn't working. We're actually going to cut this off and you don't have to do layoffs in order to switch direction of your company many people who I've interviewed of abuse towel a lot of them because they've heard me talk about them the way that people hearing me talk about them right now. If, you haven't tried them you owe it to yourself to go to top towel dot com slash mixer dirty. When you that you are l., you'll get on a call with one of their one of their matters and they'll help you figure out whether it's a good match and understand what you could expect from working with them, and of course, since use my Yaro, you'll get eighty hours of developer credit when you pay for your first eighty hours in addition to a no risk trial period. Top towel dot com slash mixer. G. Just you still like deals Alex. Deal. Yes. I do I find that some people just like all right I takes me too much time to care about a deal just pay full price and other people will go to the end to make sure that they get the lowest price. Possible. For me, the deal has to matter I. Just bought my daughter, a Mac. She's going to high school and got my wife a new one because she needed a better one than my daughter and I shop for deals for that but it's twenty minutes. Oh, here's a two hundred dollar coupon. That's good. Enough. I'm not GonNa, spend a lifetime trying to save money buying cereal you know I think it's Bloomberg that has a podcast called foundering about they did a series on we work and they show how in the early days of we work Adam Newman stood up and told all of his. People, we have to be aware of cost we will lose if we don't pay attention causing you really hearing him talk to people being shut the lights off. If you're here at night, make sure you turn things off we need to save money companies die by not saving money and then fast forward after he raised a bunch of money hear him talking to his office employs again saying, are we as a company to spend a lot of money? Absolutely we will continue to be a company that spends and he's talking about really side-by-side hearing these things is just shocking. It's just shocking not shocking. To me because in the first case, it was his money in the second case, some SMU and it's always easier to spend other people's money. It's really hard to treat their money as as if it were your own by the way was more and more of your own money I wrote down a note to come back and ask you about how you recapitalize the business. You mentioned it and I didn't ask a follow up question how how significant was it? How much of an ownership where you taking a business? I put in something close to two million dollars over a three year period of. Company going and I leveraged it where other people came in with me, and that was our way to to make it to the point where we got to where we started doing robocall blocking started doing the curve in a much better direction. So as a really significant check, but I really believe that there was a need for third party services that weren't coming from the carriers that may communications better, and if we can survive, we would find the right. We would eventually find the right path, our consumers our business customers someone would put us on the right path where we get some real success. And so when you are starting to charge. How did you charge blackberry users way the first people you charging they were. So one of the great things about you was, we have everybody's email address. So we just send him an email saying, hey, we've got a subscription service click here they click they go to a little you know site we built in their credit card and built a little. We took some open source thing and turn it into a subscription engine and that's how we got it in fact that technique works to this day really really well. I. Will get to how I I've seen you guys work now but back then people were coming to you for free service. How do you tell them now it's going to cost money. What were you doing? Where was the line between free and paid? So there were a couple of one was the how much do you use us? I think I forgot the message box size was, but once you restoring more than one hundred messages which surprising a lot of people get their in weeks you know if they're. Depending on what they're doing it third contractor, they get tons of voicemails at WanNa Save Them. That was one driver second driver was, hey, we really don't WanNA show you ads. So just pay we won't show you ads and number three was the voicemail to text like you could be reading this message save time and spend a little money and we'll give you really high quality voice on the tax those those were the three big drivers that I remember from way back. Then do you know what to charge? We try different things. In fact, one of the lessons I learned was we started low and tried to move high and you have to start high and low. So we didn't know how much are transcription was worse. So we start off with like two ninety, nine, a month on his ninety, nine or four, ninety nine, and you know eventually realized we charge nine, ninety, nine or nine, hundred, ninety. Nine depending on the volume. So we'd started really really low but we were scared, right we knew all the problems of our product. We think that consumers do all the problems and they would have discount whatever we wanted charge and turns out not to be the case people look at how much value do you give them and you're not perfect but if you're saving them ten hours a month. That's worth. Ten Bucks. A month is nothing for that. What's what's the problem that you knew what the product that made you hesitant to charge? Just it was it didn't have a great you I I mean these interface was was problematic. It was harder to use than it would've liked I thought there were other some features were in the website and not in the APPS you'd have to go to the website to configure them thought that's crazy who's going to the website and I'm sure I could go back to eight years nine years whatever it was in. The list that we had, but you know the entrepreneur, you've got your whiteboard with yours might ten things that are that suck and I to fix and that's in your head. Sometimes it's Kinda like with kids you see all the bad things. Do you forget about all the things they do right? You got as in six classes, but I'm going to focus on that be it's the same thing with the product right? We're doing some stuff really really well, and we're all kind of focused on. Oh, we're doing this badly. I saw tree on one of your sights. I was GONNA. Ask you about that those old phones or something how big of a share of your market did iphone end up becoming? right now it's about fifty fifty of iphone users and android users. So it ended up being we mirror what a marketplace's in the US for those aunts. So what I saw about. So I tried you mail. I, forget. I forget what I don't think it was a span blocking and I think it was visual voicemail that I could email to my assistant so that I could have her give me feedback or handle issues. I think you guys made it easy to use the free version, and then at some point you your emails don't give me the transcript but say you've hit your limit it's going to reset in a few days. But if you WANNA get unlimited pay a few bucks that's the way it works right yep exactly got more aggressive. So when we email you in the free version, you get the voicemail, you can't read it and so when you get emit when you pay the transcription is in the emails to and so for people with the business use case like yours of sharing you y. You're assistant to not have to play the message. You don't have to play the message WanNa Ford it. So people are willing to pay for the transcription and some of the other goodies that come with that I have to say I, don't think people understand how annoying it is to listen to audio. Now I'm doing the podcast and intentionally saying this because people think that because I'm doing a podcast, they send send me audio I messages on my iphone listen to it two minutes of going hey, Andrew Hope you're doing okay. Things are a little wacky right now right but by the way and Just. Let me read it twitter came out with their audio tweets and they thought they were genius adding new feature nobody wants to listen to. Do. A transcript. If you're GonNa let me play when I hit play. Let me see the tax on the screen. Don't you agree I agree completely I mean the fact is we essentially turned voicemail into a text message somebody can read it. The idea is still around and there are times when audio matters right? Like you know my dad left me voicemails and after he passed away, it's great to have is voice every. So often I can go listen to right and we have a ton of users with a similar use case or someone got. A message from their friend congratulating where they actually took the time to call a message, they'll play it hundreds of times over the years. So there is some real power to the human voice, but it's rare. It's the exception not the right and don't get me wrong the times I just WANNA walk around, listen to it and not have to stand around and read it. I think with you mail. I. Get to download my message and I get to save it easily. Right I'm not saying they should get rid of it. I'm saying if you do audio at all, don't make people listen to it gives them a transcript somehow, and if it's in a tweet or something like that. Make with it. So is visual voicemail. Still the number one US I'm looking at the list of features on your site today. What is now it's not actually able blocking. It's yeah it's it's actually spam protection. So it kind of robocop blocking involved in this spam and scam protection. So we talked a little bit about that feature. We had played the out of service message. Yeah. About four or five years ago we went and tried understand help our people really using that feature and what we saw was putting in one eight, hundred numbers that same at the same never shopping a bunch of people's block in. Greeting lists or like what's going on? We realized start bent. The robocalls have become enough of a problem that people were using you mail as a tool to try to get rid of the Robo callers, and that was when the light bulb went off in our heads saying you know we have a massive sensor network of of users and data content that we can use to figure out the bad guys are automatically, we can use that to provide a really compelling automatic blocking of robocall experience, and so we started building that out built. Some really cool technology to do this, and essentially what happened is you mailed became as a free service about hall protection. So we're GONNA stop the calls so you don't get a scammer calling you if there's a voicemail that comes in for some reason we'll check if it's a scam or not and put it in a separate folders enough to worry about it you go to dial out a number we'll check at that numbers on a bad list. Warn you we started saying we can really protect your phone call experience from Annoy Ed's Calls and fraud. So you're ill when these guys want even Robo calling calling with scams you you're protected and we moved in that direction and it's been really good for us. I'm glad we admitted that way. You still have to have our voicemail to take full advantage of that feature, which is good but it's really about the spam protection first voicemail second for a lot of people. It's like eighty twenty right? He is that I know that I've interviewed a few people who have companies that do nothing but spam protection what they do is they have a list the. Numbers that they block and then the iphone will within the phone APP allow me to connect into their list of block numbers. You guys handle it differently you need me to redirect you somehow how does it work does two part so we still use the iphone block list, right and fill in the list of bad numbers. The key though is what does that list formed? How do you decide what numbers to give apple so that when calls come in? It's GonNa be blocked, and so what we do is we use all the content that's coming indoor users to say. This number it's it's doing an irs scam call because it matches one of those calls in our database. Bad content. Now, we know we can block that number for some period of time. Right so it'll be in the blockbuster irs scams like for one day after that, they switch the numbers and so we use the voicemail box in the same g mail does to figure out what the content is and does it match bad medicine like scammer messages but does the numbers bad and we can block it and put it in the block lives, and that's really think of emails having a massive sensor network of all these points of traffic coming in a database of scams and a way to map the two together outlets a list of bad guys. Did. You know that was going to be the top feature. You know what I didn't realize that you guys are changing now in the APP store two things stand out for me number one, you have a four point, seven rating of five. Dude isn't that exciting? Do you ever get that framed? We should. But once again, we look at that and go dang whereas the other point. That's pretty high for a platform where people just want to go and complain I don't see the benefit of telling an APP maker. Your stuff is great and sixty four thousand ratings too. So we're not looking at three hundred and five people who said it's out. It's a lot. So I. Do see that you guys are now shifting towards saying the free service gives you wrote spam caller robocall blockers had you. Know that was going to become the that was a big thing. What did you do to figure out who your customers were, what they wanted our customers told us we saw what they were using it for. So they were getting emails, voicemail service and focusing on blocking individual phone numbers left and right like would you even see that how did you know that that's what they were doing? So we have ways of counting. How many calls are blocked in any given day? Oh, that's going way up. Well, let's see you. You know ratio of number. It's like a histogram what numbers are being blocked. Oh. There's a few that are blocked by everybody others much less and as you start doing that you start getting a feel for Jeez, what are they doing and then all of us got robo calls. Right, I remember my CTO was doing some work on his house and the contract was over there. He couldn't have a meeting with the contractor. So many Robo calls were coming in the contract regarding robocall Dang as a robocall and it it just became obvious right and I would go to events. If you'll go what are you do? A wellard block robocalls Oh thank God. So it was just this whole feeling like we could. See there were all these Robo calls were in issue right consumer didn't like it, and then what we did is we said you know what we know which ones Robo calls. Let's let's estimate what's happening with the country as a whole. So back in late two, thousand fifteen, we said if if our users a representative, a big user base, the representative and we multiplying extrapolate to the country, what is that look like and it was like? Crap, there's a billion plus Robo calls, and of course, it went up to almost six over the last five years. So we happen to just serpents wave there. I can't believe that the phone carries haven't handled this better and the government is definitely saying woods not for us to handle. An iphone and android with all their efforts they still haven't. They still haven't squashed this shocking if a really really hard problem to solve. So the way everybody tries to address is by some sort of reach and frequency heuristic. Right? So here's a number calling in. It's calling a whole bunch of people doing it really fast right Oh probably a bad guy well, maybe not maybe it's a Red Cross desperately getting blood donations has some event just happened so unless you have the content of calls and you can use that. To understand what the call was about that. This was an irs as the social security imposter it was an illegal telemarketer unless you can see that you can block the outliers but not the ones that caused all the harm I don't know what feels to me a problem. It feels like basic capture and address booker. All we need if I could give you the fifty email fifty phone numbers that are likely to call me and ask you for everybody else to go through some kind of capture that should eliminate almost everyone. So the problem is that eliminates the good guys twos. You have to build a list of the good guys like CVs pharmacy calling you don't want their robocaller and it just be blocked because it doesn't know how to deal with the capshaw and you don't find out that your insurance didn't cover your medicine and you've got to call CVS so capture can help but it's kind of overkill at one extreme. You can say you know what I'm really anti-social if it's not in my contact list Dolan Group we provide that OPS, right? That's that's doable. But most people are in the middle it's like. Is To get through I want comcast to get through in my payment methods fail because I don't WanNa lose my I can't give you ca or suddenly a teacher at my kid's schools using her cell phone to call me because my kid cracked his head open I got to rush out of office to go to the hospital which has happened number I don't recognize. I get it. You don't want. A Robo call like, Hey, there was an incident at the school. Don't worry everybody's safe and they WANNA blast to everybody. If you're hanging up, you're just sitting there going what happened I don't know so they need to get their messages through. So it to do it right requires some pretty sophisticated technology and plus Franklin the bad guys are smart. They're highly motivated they know it. The 'cause they're gonNA work there. You know with whack-a-mole Smart Smart Moles and they work overseas where the laws don't necessarily apply to them. All right I was going to give out your website at the end of this but I feel like that's not the best place for people to go anyone wanted to go check out you should go to their APP store right and just take out you millionnaire. Yes. Absolutely. At our website is pretty good because we've talked a lot about basic email, but we also have the second line service and it's got. A great virtual receptionist. So the website talks about that. So I think we become robocall blocking free call protection for free and a really great robocall free second phone number for businesses as our faith tier that other thing is called auto attendant where I can say Dow one to talk to Andrew Del to Livia etc. one for sales to for customer service, and then it all goes over to Andrea my assistant. Great feature right everybody needs an auto attendant. I. Thank you so much for doing this. What's the total sales? Now give me a ballpark. That if we don't clear ten million by the end of the year, I'm going to be really upset. So even now after Kovic, you're GONNA hit over ten million I'm going to be upset if we don't and we've done surprising well through Kobe, we were all terrified like everybody else yet people are not getting ready you mail they mail serving the eat. So we're we're in good shape now. All right. If you want to understand your audience and get a sense of how happy they are with your service, how likely they are to continue how likely they are to buy how likely they are the canceled really get in their heads there's no better service than delighted. And of course, if you need higher developer, go to top towel. Thank them both thanking. I'm thinking the both sponsoring. Thank you Alex. Thank you.

America Online Alex Quilici US Google Time Warner Apple founder AOL Alex. Andrew Warner UK
#2098 He sold his company to WeWork (and bought it back)

Mixergy

1:12:01 hr | Last month

#2098 He sold his company to WeWork (and bought it back)

"Hey their freedom fighters andrew warner and the founder mixology. You i interview entrepreneurs about how they built their business. I read entrepreneur stories. All the time. Because i'm just so freaking excited about like the world business about tack joining me as an entrepreneur who story i kind of heard and truthfully all i heard about it was ga bought by we work and then we work sold it back to the founders and the in between the before and after i didn't know much about and then my producer sent me notes on him and i couldn't believe it his name is set. Besmertny key is the founder of conductor. It's organic marketing. Software that helps customers create and optimize content. The story here is about how he built a twenty five million dollar company. Went down to zero dollars. Built it back up and yes. Of course there is the sale and the repurchase and then hopefully we'll get into some of the some of the stuff that he did even in his childhood that's a little bit Wow i wonder if your parents thought maybe there was something wrong with you and as a paranoia. I sometimes look my kindle taste bad one to get a good one. I wonder if your parents thought that about you i. We're going to find out all that. Thanks to two phenomenal sponsored. The i will host your website right. It's called host gator. and the second if you're hiring. Sales people are considering hiring sales people. You should go checkout overpass. But i'll talk about those later. I step tabare very excited to be here. Actually my father at my my father's speech at my wedding was for all of you. That all of the people who have children and think there's no hope don't give up separate the testaments that you know what i've heard father's laugh about stuff like that but then you start to think. Well maybe let me. Let me spend a little bit of time on this little article that i saw that you wrote on lincoln you said in the article we sold to we work and you said i called every investor and thanked them. I put my phone on speaker. My wife and kids were listening in people cried because what what happened to them that you sold this business. So i i am. I only anytime. I talk with entrepreneurs or leaders about a equity in companies. And i always say people call me up like hey equity. Should we do around which we put on any said. You're never greg at. I don't think you're ever going to regret giving away too much equity to the people who help you build the company right. And i share my experience at one of the most joyous moments of my entire life so we the company was going to get announced that we sold the business all the former employees listening glaze. Were gonna get we're gonna make money and I call them every shareholder. Who helped us build a company former employees advisors. Even folks who are maybe were weren't the most fondest I called every single one. And i told him what was happening. I told him how much money they were going to be getting. I told him i was going to happen. And you know people were crying. People were They were screaming they. You know there's one guy and he he actually. He couldn't afford to buy stock options. So we we let them have them and we let we let everybody roll their stock options. We didn't we didn't force them to buy them and and he just started cursing and cursing. And i'm like i'm like thank you know. My kids are in there. My kids stop doing that. And he just couldn't stop saying yep words kept saying saying saying and it was moving. You know i. It was really moving and i just think it's it's When we created the new company which is conductor that we are today amazingly enough the employees of this company we call them co-founders they own At least ten times more than we had last company and It's certainly something i look forward to. The future is how we can have an impact on their lives. You had what ten percent of the business when you sold it. So when we sold the business myself and all the employees we owned about seven percent of the company. Oh wow and it was a cash sale cashing so You know the way. These things worker like people who have stock options and begin cats and and it was a mix by all the all the employees got Got a caspers. Their stock options all the employees got cash for their stock options. Didn't get we work shares. The dan they got we were and we weren't shares meaningful manner. We were shares that bay on data to go forward basis was tough afterwards when the sorry interesting logos one interrupt comfortable. I feel like i cut you off from saying something really good. When when the stock went down for we work did they. Did they suffer from that. Yeah i mean we so we got a conductor myself at any and all the people we were given a substantial amount of we were stock as part of a consideration for selling accompaniments now when i look back in time in even knowing what happened with we work and i think conductor benefited. You know we had a great We we ended up We almost lost everything. But we ended up having the sort of unicorn scenario that we are now which i can talk about maybe later but I would go back ten. At its times and i would do the deal again In spite of all the craziness and all the bad things that happen because on the deal we weren't while it was just at the at from where i was sitting. It was the absolute best thing to do. So the company actually was coming off of fourteen quarter straight of accelerating revenue growth and we were about thirty million dollars and we sold the business. Twenty eight twenty. Nine million air high margin saas revenue. Great customer is great your very best companies in the world using the product. The business was performing the best ever was our investors wanted to put more money and it was for the for once for the first time it was really starting to get traction and then all of a sudden we get an offer to sell the company. But when i looked at it it was the offer was like we'll give you a blank check to do basically whatever you want by. Companies can can invest. Hires many people as you want Tommy and your your cap. Your basically your employees are gonna get so much equity that you know you. They they would have to do twice. Conductor would have to be ten times later for that actually happen and when someone gives me an opportunity to do such a great thing for the employees of the company. I mean i couldn't. I couldn't say no to it and bad huge amount of stock stock options and stock and actually most everyone. That's here that that was that conductor. During the we work days they also have their we work stock and You know as we work workers public and things like about the all bent actually ironically. I'm the only one that has the we work socks because part of when we bought the company back the way that the transaction work was. I contributed all my we were stock as part of the consideration for buying the company. My goal is understand how you got here but let me just ask you one side note question in the founder of we work bright guy genius. Yeah i mean this very complicated person Very you know very complicated. I and An incredible strengths incredible brilliance incredible weaknesses. Right incredible Blind spots what's the what's a blind spot. What's a strength. Shrank is that. Adam can in a in a one to one one to five or one to five hundred setting almost at one hundred percent success rate. Get people excited about something in huge way. He has such certainty of who of the future. That it's it's it's so attractive. It's lowering its It's the reason why so. Many amazing people who became in the vortex of we were telling my wife last night. I'm like it's shocking to see all the all the ceos and entrepreneurs that are better former we work employees. That are now starting companies raising rounds. And it's like there's so many good people there and it was because adam was a magnet for back to strength blind spots The growing discontents and lack of trust for him that That happened in the last song. And and not on an not being cognizant of that and finding a way to solve rationalize The the the really dark things that were starting to grew in the minds of the people that you meet it so to get him to what he wanted to go to and the dark. Things were distrust. Disengagements You know lack of buying lack of comfort and ultimately you know y when we work had you know it was. It was like a swing crowd. It's like yeah the yankees are good. Then yankees aren't good. I'm not a yankee fan. You know it's like that we work was good everybody's on the train but as soon as the associate things weren't bed i mean all the bad cress. Large lot of it was seated from all of the disc all the people who used to work. There worked there. Who just were so fed up with the company were exhausted from what i understood from all the demands it was that were made of them. They stop believing in this vision and then they looked around in these all the challenges and they started to speed started a lot of his credibility right. So you know when you say something that you're going to do and you don't do it. Yeah is that a lie now I would say you could argue. Yes and if you do that enough times if you say enough things you do them. You lose credibility and i think i think that is what at least you know. I wasn't a. I wasn't around it. We work during the glory there. All the glory days. I was only there for march eighteenth to december nineteen They already had six thousand poisoned. Obviously they did so many things right to get them point. But i i basically joined right when things started to turn. I think where sentiment went from like whirl all in. I'll eat my family for this company. Like i'll do anything for this company to then this disconnect between mike. There's austin there's leadership and i'm going to be successful in spite of their ship. All right i. i think that we're going to. If he has a second act. I think will reconsider the past like the wing of twins right they were they were like the evil schemers who are trying to take away mark zuckerberg's company for a while and then they became the geniuses who saw bitcoin before anyone else and evangelized it right. So i i i see both sides. I kind of wish that we didn't make entrepreneurs into heroes and goats in the world. You know because we can't really fully understand them if they're the goat the failed and that's what we need them to be. We're not getting any depth. They're the heroes and we're not understanding how they got there and it gives us a better option. Adam was. I mean we work with so successful. I mean it ended is today it. So many billions of dollars revenue. The product is phenomenal. You know i mean. That's the thing people miss not. It wasn't baroness. it wasn't fraud. People love we were yep over extension over ambition and just got too far out ahead at and it collapsed. You started conductor. This company that sold to we work and then re bought the now are a whole new path with it but it started in college as what i a started I started the company right. Click right at the end Actually knows in college. My my the end. I was starting to company to deliver therapy online mind empty and that never really got the grandma and spent a good eighteen months two years off on. What did it look like. I heard about mind. Md did it look like betterment and some of these new apps that are out or what it looked like it was basically it was. It was a portal that you can call up or you can have a text message. I mean it's the message Conversation and You basically go into like a hit ball compliance private room and have the conversation and tax fifteen minute session on a phone on earth s. And then you've got video conference and appetite. I mean the the stigma therapy was much different than it is today. Much more negative than it was It was it was not an idea. I got much tracking with them lots therapist. Who wanted to participate with anyone. In the business world thought it was a whack yet. Yeah and and people weren't. Yeah you know what. It's hard for me to imagine now. But frankly when i had the founder of betterment on here years ago i didn't believe it until i dug into the business understood how it worked and didn't realize. Oh yeah of course. This makes more sense than going out to your friends recommend therapists. Long now i mean now. It's like i mean. I see a therapist every tuesday and last week he wrote me he wrote an email said. Hey if you wanna come to. The office on tuesday were open. I'm open and i was going to go. And then i was like you know what i'll just do. Zuma dam like it's just it's a little easier. I didn't think i'd be one of the people say that. But that's that's that's what i say so you built up. How far did you get with it before. I mean we. We built this platform and we ended up. I mean there i. I basically lost on mostly by money doing legal diligence because there's so many illegal restrictions on out people like if someone's in new jersey and they're talking to a therapist new york. The license doesn't matter over. So i actually. I burned a lot of cash. And i was only twenty. Wants me to you know avalon. Gas i am. I had loans from school to fund it and making money playing poker in the evenings and and then i I decide business. I had a roommate. Has jeremy and he. He became basically went from being on unemployment to being pretty rich during the time we were living together. All this fancy steps. Are john my apartment like electronic drums giants knees and he basically when did search google for the word business cards. His websites showed up one two and three and he built a basically an automated wedge design of business and had someone else drop ship it and he would. He had no employee's he didn't even have to work all day and he just was basically print literally printing money. Can he came to me one day and he said hey why don't we. Why don't we start little business where we can help. Companies build links to their websites and And know you do all the work. And i'll put in the money and it'd be like a little kind of get rich quick sightseeing so i said okay. I'm like this therapy. Business wasn't anywhere close to making me any money to pay my bills. You know so site but got a calculator find he. He contributed about twenty thousand dollars. And i started working on building websites. And it was gonna put links on them and in doing that. I'm like why why not instead of building new websites. Why don't we build software and go to existing websites and we start rehired. An edge started building a product and we eventually built the product called originally lincoln management systems. But then it was called linked spurts ally and xp rt s. We couldn't afford that. The that was eight hundred eighteen hundred dollars and we put up a website and we actually have links that you can buy. Jeremy's isn't scarred website. That's how we started. And i got two calls that i get stained my life because they called me on my gosh my bondage phone and i'm like in my underwear just like my apartment one morning and it was like. Hey this is a priceline dot com and we. We saw their product. And we've got fifty thousand dollars a month to link building. Can you give us all your inventory. And i'm like oh yeah okay let me let me get back to you. What's your name and number anyway. We only have three websites. The most we can salvage company was was like five hundred dollars right. But i'm like we literally have people calling us to give us money. And that started to change my attitude towards zap business. Got one business where no one wants. Everyone thinks i'm crazy. When i walk in the room to talk about it and then i got this business. People literally calling me and giving and throwing money and we ended up. I ended up shutting down the therapy business And i started Restarted links experts. And we went. We went fulltime. I got. I got forty thousand dollars to start the company my wife. Who was my girlfriend at. The time gave me all the money she had which is fifteen thousand dollars. My dad gave me twenty. And then i took a ten thousand dollar loan out some from bang and he put in germany putting forty five forty five the a ninety day. We rented an office right here. In twenty eight th and park for two thousand dollars a month yorkie building and we got. We found a cto who had worked for free. Richard safran we got to engineers that. I worked for four hundred dollars a week and we were starting to build this company and into a a a a link building network business effectively where you can go in and you can have by links that were s yo friendly so instead of them going through ad servers they were wheat. We built a technology far. Followed them on your website. So what ended up becoming of the business whereas all these big companies Microsoft and companies that guy. Microsoft one example. I always use was if he did a google search for exchange server which is microsoft's products. They didn't show it was all. These resellers showed up because google wasn't good at at crawling deep in the big companies websites. So we would give them links that they would buy new point to their websites and then they start to rank so fruit for companies they give us money and they start to ranked and we then had all this money behind us so we went to forbes pc magazines and all the big publishers near towns and basically conductor built the biggest link. Experts link experts violent. We bought the. We bought the link experts by one points we built. We went from zero to a million dollars in revenue. In our first year we raised two. And a half million dollars. For i mark capital which was peak wipe benchers johnny. I sparked and then and then over the course of three years. That business was doing twenty five million dollars and we had the who's who of best brands as immerse before we take it any further. What you're talking about was it was kinda greyhound. If not black hat at the time it was a little more accepted. But i know that there was the idea of how can bloggers sell links without No follows was a big issue can bloggers a content. All that stuff was a big issue. What was it like internally talking about microsoft. They're they're not going to run on my first major professional struggles Because when we started actually who was one of our first customers The search engine member yang gotten travel and and right would do they had a big seo team from or at least take a strong seo team. And i said why do you need. Seo people need to do seo to rank on your side. I said no. We also have our products. We're going to rank on google product. It was it was one of the smarter than you are. Mercer bears buying actively links from us. Okay and what we did is we. Only we only work with fortune. One thousand companies. We only have the best pop publishers. All of our links were only relevance and had good at combat. Good contents But when happening was the search engines actually had a real loophole in their algorithms. Where you can pretty much get a link to hear from any company to any website and you start the rank and this became a real problem for google and like like all things like that. There were a lot of bad companies that were really taken advantage of this. So as that happens you know. I found ourselves in a situation where we started. We were just building lengths for companies and now all of a sudden. We're in this highly controversial area where there's like good stuff and bad. And there's a guy named mac thoughts from google and he started saying you know you shouldn't do this and all of a sudden now we're in like arena black that area black company and we we this for a long time. I hired a guiding shall berry from google and michelle was our qualities are his first title and he built these giant these quality guidelines to help us figure out how to do this in a way that made the internet that we really believe. We made the internet better. I actually did But ultimately it became too big of a mountain to climb and actually got to the point where google was calling our customers And telling them that if they work with conductor they would like stick them out of the search engine. And actually i mean. I don't even know how they were able to do that. But we remember someone from eighteenth and called up and they're like listen we'll keep we'll pay you guys the money. Just take all the links dow and this became your google. Basically went all on tackles as we were the biggest company. Doing this and basically business went from at the height of april. Two thousand nine. I think was about twenty five million dollars and we ended up selling it. fi- six months later. It was doing seven million dollars and we basically got nothing for the business. And we have to start from scratch kaz because google didn't like what we were doing because they didn't like the idea of someone having being able to pay for lengths than That affected their algorithms and we became the company that was the most well known And again our customers were the only. The best company didn't sell to billy. It's didn't let publishers islands at all. I think we we really did a lot of good work. But it just became like yeah. We had a full our cards at some point. Because the then i wanted i started. I wanted to be an entrepreneur to build an enterprise that can last forever and something children can be proud of and all the sudden we weren't we weren't like making money from this company. Like i was making a hundred thousand dollar. Eighty five thousand dollar salary like it wasn't like we were like printing all this money we're again it was just. We were hiring people and growing the company and now all of a sudden. I'm gonna business. That clearly is not going to be a company that's been go public one day and How how did you now freak out. You're using your your wife's money using a dad's money it's you. It's frankly i'm a new yorker to you. See all this wealth around you. You see success equated with doing good work. You had you not feel bad about all this and just in yourself. Well this was this was this was not the hardest moment in my professional career but it was epic it's talks or Kept rates up for Very hard because we had put all the work incident company and And watching it vaporize was very hard. Now there's there's there's a silver lining as there always is right. Which is that. I had started to have the idea to build. Seo software while doings so what we found was all these big companies like microsoft for example who is a customer. They didn't have any tools to measure their organic marketing. Like how do we show up in search engines. What's competition jong maar sites getting better in our pages getting better and i just like scratching my head. I'm like how do these companies not notice stock and google analytics and amish her. Which is now adobe analysts. They didn't tell you any of this stuff so after work i hired a designer and we would meet about three days a week for about four months and we started to get out an idea for building and software products to To to manage your seo like salesforce dot com or an the furrier organic marketing. And your seo and we built a prototype out. It was like a pdf document. And then i was like. Let's start showing. It's our customers. The league building customers. And they're like they they they're like you can build. This will buy it for. We'll pay you fifty thousand where it will pay you. Eighty thousand so. I gotta mitch from i mark to come to what we did a few of these meetings at his office. He saw the reactions and he wrote us a check for i think two million dollars start hiring engineers to build this product and then actually we raised in on. We raised The day the day leman brothers went out of business. I started my process to raise a series b. for conductor which was the software company and we were still linked building business but we wanted to build the software company And we raised financing for matrix ago five term sheets in that one of the hardest times to raise money and we started building this product and what made the what made this process a little easier of losing the whole link expert business was that it's not like we went. We went back to zero but we had. We had the beginnings of a software product. That was going to become the future of the company and that's only change the names and come and customers that were willing to pay significant money for it and what when we dealt chronic. Whether is a long way from that but there was clear there was a clear. Need for the next. And you weren't trying to. But then what could do that that the google analytics couldn't do frankly people who are in the seal space use. Google analytics like wizards. But but right. What is it that your pdf showed that the google analytics didn't the big thing is so google analytics or on the chur. Dobie they tell you everything that happens once a person lands on your website. What we do is we crawl the whole web search engine and crawl your website. We crawl the search engines. We crawl the competition and we tell you what people what consumers and buyers before they get your website so when they so we wanted to see. How many times do i show up when someone searches or laundry detergent prints. Is you show up. Thirty five percent of the time. This company shows up sixty five percent of the time. Here's the pages that perform. Well here's the ones who don't and we were able to give them their visibility on their their digital press. That's what the first version in its at when people are searching for this. Here's who's showing up and hear the pages specifically on those sites that show up and now when you do more work you could see as you rise up got it. And then we gave them a little score on their pages that we would score their agents. Say here's things you can do on this page to make this age have a better Got it kind of like some rush today right yet. So some rush is a partner of ours long term partner. You've partnered with thinks about almost ten years since we started conductor actually But they've they focus on they have they have like seventy thousand. Smd customers we've focused on enterprises so it's very different work on big companies and it's a different type of bra it's like comparing like adobe analytics with them Yeah i mean something. That's very acid bjornson. No i wanted to get a sense. Though of what it did and i see now with the first for first version did let me take a moment about my sponsor and then come back in and understand how the how the the business folded my sponsor is overpass. In fact set them. And ask you. There are a lot of people out there who have this understanding that the internet means. You don't have to have salespeople anymore you build a great landing page. If it doesn't work optimize optimize. Have you found that. Hiring sales person has helped how you thought about doing it. And i'll use that as my ad for overpass. Just talk about your experience even though you haven't used them yet. A lot of misperceptions is impossible. Almost impossible if not impossible to sign. Enterprise deals with the company's without sales people. You have to go through security reviews. You have to go through procurement you have to go through. Pricing negotiations legal reviews. You need salespeople. I was actually talking to someone last week from atlassian which is notorious for saying we. Don't use salespeople and the person's that's not true we have tons of salespeople here So y- salespeople are essential if you're dealing with contracts that are over five thousand dollars a year you need south. You know what. I didn't know about until i moved to san francisco. This was like ten years ago. Or so i come in here one of the first things that we do is hosted a drinks for my wife. Her friends come out. And i start to see all these people work tech companies and i was talking to a guy who worked box and i said what do you do. Sales go on the web page style and start telling me about the calling process and how they work enterprise and a completely open. My is something that was always there but we don't talk about all right. Listen up people. If you're considering adding salespeople or you want to grow your sales team the beauty of overpasses they make it easy for you to go to the marketplace. Find the right salesperson. See their ratings. See what they're experienced in. Are they better. 'cause they better email. What have they done for other businesses. See their See their ability and then hire them and if you decide that you want to hire them you of course you get to do an interview. I actually test them out. But if you decide you want to hire them. Overpass will even make it easier for you to work with them remotely. Because they've got software to help manage a relationship. Go give it a shot right now. You can get started very quickly. And frankly if it doesn't work out you can also unwind it very easily. Because that's what overpass does makes it easy for you to hire and work with your sales people so if you go you're out you're going to get a discount and frankly you're going to get educated on the power and the speed with which you can get this up and running for your business. It is overpass dot com slash mixer. Sergio overpass dot com slash mixer g. How long does it take you to build. I wish. I wish i thought of it. I can't believe nobody else started doing it right there. These platforms where you can go and hire writers. Do these platforms. You can go and hire developers. Of course salespeople and sales people were great remote and sometimes what you need is like the the mom who's at home and waiting for her kid to come home from school who can give your product that touched it. A salesperson in office is not going to do all right. How long did take you to build that first version of conductor so the league expert the league expert business or the or the The link experts starting to sunset. Right that was now. I understand why you need it so much money because what you were doing was actually writing on people's websites. It wasn't got it. It wasn't like a simple as banner ad you sold it. You said you got next to nothing for it. You re starting on this new business with Which becomes conductor yup. A amish is behind you by the way he's still there at first mark we're talking about. I don't know his whole life has basically been there yet. You he's not and then one of the most successful. Vc's here in new york. It's actually shop. I can go through listened to you. I guess he was involved in shop. Affi- brooklyn through the list. All right so then. How long did it take to build that new version. The new business. We i mean so i mean this is. This is where we went from one fire to the next during those days You know we had the link building business. That was collapsing And that was. That was the thing. I was providing on cash in the business to funds the whole company rights on the are hiring. Lotta engineers for dr. So and then we have this weird dynamic where we had like the new business. Were creating this thing called conductor but then we always people working on the other business and then we sold that business and as bizarre when we sold the business We had about thirty people went to the company who bought it and that they still work in our office for like three months so so that we have these people who were part of our company out with friends right that we're going to the new company in there and then we were launching conductor and it's agus it. It really took many years to get a good product that actually provided value and part of that was that it was very hard product to build but then part of that is. I'm i screwed up so many things in the beginning largely because you know when you go home at night as a bounder and you've got a twenty million dollars fast growing business. You feel pretty good right when you go home at night. And you've got a startup that has no products and and your pre revenue. You're like what are we gonna do to make this products that we can get customers. But i had a team in on a different floor that was building conductor and i hired ciccio and hired a vp of products. Who were two of the least successful hires have ever made in my life and the thing just turned out to be a giant disaster wasted. A lot of money we had to rebuild the whole products are seats. You okay man. And he was crying because the product wasn't working you know we had a we had kinda clean the whole leadership team up and then rebuild the products that took us a number of years to get the product to be really good. And frankly i mean it's even longer to really make up for some of the architectural sin that we had made that we had committed. The problem was that you wanted this new business to grow as fast as the last business. Maybe even faster because other businesses starting to go away yeah the other businesses a much better business right but the conductor business is a. It's it's a it's a sas recurring revenue software high-margin s. You know that those are like valuable company other and then the link billing business was a you know. we had a share half the money with the publishers. And you know it's an ad networks model which is the lower was so let's say yeah when you quickly that when you got to think. He's had a million dollars within twelve months. You had asked him as Offering you money before you even got started your wanted to grow fast absolu- and we ended conductor conductor didn't grow as fast it took you a while to get it off the ground and then once it did did it. Helen did it take for it to start. I dunno start holding. Its own we launched. We launched a product in june of two thousand seven and we started to. I mean we started to. We got to ten million dollars in air our annual recurring revenue in a couple of years. Actually we grew various fast. Wow always fasting had now. The thing is that's different. We grew fast because we had. We had good commercial chops. Oh salespeople right good sales me moment that's we had a brand But the products on the product was worse than are selling. So i actually. I started writing. Some of the stories of conductor and one of my post is called the unconscious ponzi scheme and misses a story of conductor. The early days dr where we were adding customers a lot faster than we releasing them but we still were losing customers and eventually when you stop adding customers as fast as you were adding them in your business flat doubt right and this is what's happening to us and it was largely because we the companies were so focused on selling and we were not focused on customers. And that's what you made a comment earlier about hardware every time you see me. I'm wearing a shirt with customers first. And that's because i a. I went through a very cathartic fundraising process where the company almost didn't make it at the end of two thousand fourteen and coming out of that. I realized that we had to run the company hold differently and we just made off hundred eighty one hundred eighty degree turn and we became a customer obsessed company and that became the beginning of goodyear's sales. I got you to grow revenue but not to build a better product and a better business. It was unsustainable customer. I did what was it that made you so good at sales. What what was your process for doing that. Were i think that we had a great vision. we had a great vision and we were able articulate our And it was. I think it wasn't just that and the timing was really good. The problem is our ability to execute on the software side was was knock it but it was that people were starting to understand that businesses start to understand the value of search engine optimization. But they didn't know how to measure it. They were spending real money behind it. Got it so it was that you tap the real need absolutely and you understood. This was a need because what was it that let you discovered because we have this link building business and we were dealing with companies. Who wanted to shop in the search engine cut it and they were willing to just throw some money on it and in working with them. We realized that they didn't have the tools to do this. And and just logically. Google more and more people in the world are searching on google every day every year and most of the traffic that goes through. Google goes to the organic results yet. So the the need to show up was only going to get bigger over time. And you know now post in this kind of saline of. I'm not sure where we call ourselves right now. Like that has gone up by exponentially in the last twelve months where now enterprises all over the world are popping out of the woodwork. And saying that we got. We have to have a bit organic presence. Because that's the only way to compete. So it's it's it's kind of actually just getting going actually even though we've been doing it for for a while seth will you finding customers. Were coming to you back when you were doing. Link experts saying to you. How do i showed. How do i justify this to my boss. How do i know whether the money we're spending on links are working. How do i know what else we need to do. I'm lost where you specifically hearing that. That's a lot of products listing we. We we gave them the links and then we had to do all the reporting for them to show them why it worked and it was very surprising to me how little they knew about how people find their websites. They knew a lot about other things. But very little about that. And that was when i just i don't know i know what which triggered that from coming out of me but that was when i was like let's build a software product back then. Help them manage this. I think logically. I was like their software for sierra on their software for hr software for web analytics. There's no software harass ceo. And at that time there was nothing so that was the beginning of coming of coming up with an in customers validated. The whole time. In that article that i mentioned earlier that you published the day that you soldier company that we work. You said that you had to keep reading the struggle ben. Horowitz is Writing what was going on that made you have to keep come back to that book. Got our air. I'll look at the hard thing about hard things. The book well in our in our for some a victim so i don't wanna i don't want to ever make that. I'm not a victim. I'm very privileged. Lucky to have gone through all the experiences that have gone to But it is i. I took the path of most resistance. Right i started a company out of college with no experience. You know. I did everything completely. Learning on the job ends. And i just happened also have a lot. I made a lot of mistakes. So it's interesting. When i was talking about being sales. I the real thing was not by. We didn't care about our customers. But when we have problems with customers. I i chose the to come up with versions of think we were fixing those problems. We really weren't and the customer. Gross rocus was staring our problems in the head and making the hard decisions to fix them on but why why why the struggle always resonated me. It's one of the most profound pieces of business writing. I think is that You know we had times when When i mentioned that time we were raising money where you talked to thirty four different venture firms and It was the last one who invested and we were. We were a couple of weeks away from not making payroll and and looks like we were not going to get an investor in on. You're sitting in the room and it's glass and you can see everybody's smiling happy great time and you know knowing that there's a very high probability that jehovah probably let them all go There was a time when the business was not performing well at all and also. We're running out of money and not competitor strength by us and the process. Got out of my hands And i had that called us. The arab the switch. That's my. I was watching robotic nine months There was a time where when we actually when we sold the building business and we were starting conductor. I had a bad board member at two board members of mitch and then a guy for matrix was not there anymore and he he wanted to force us the salva company and replace me. He's got replace you and sell the company immediately fire sale and it came as a complete surprise no feedback everything was actually going according to plan and you know it was like i just lost every it was just before the rug had just been taken out from underneath me and the next day i had to go presents at our kickoff meeting for the new company. So there's a few of these things that we have come over the years. I'd say the biggest struggle is actually getting. We were even though. I was the most season than most mature at that time. That was the hardest moments of my life Because when you when you face when you face the threats of losing everything you've worked for and letting everyone who you care about down and potentially causing real damage in their life you it's it is a untolerable pain right that you feel for. How would you have caused damage in their life. If you didn't extract conductor from we work we would have had a terminate their employment. We would not we would've. I'm not provided the financial performance that we had promised is part of joining the company. Like stock wasn't going to be worth anything. They were going to lose their job on. Meaning all these people who are who are screaming with enthusiasm the data you said the sale went through. We're going to have some loss not all of it because you mentioned cash also but yeah absolutely i mean most of the upside was actually on the other side of the equation but just losing their job and then also being part of something like it's not it's not just losing your job at also being a part of something that that was a failure and just as a side note most of the companies that we were bought. Unfortunately they got destroyed. You know they. They ended up Not really making it out and were were they did but they were oviedo highly dismembered at the what's an example of that managed by q. This was a company that was growing break company dancer and founder and they got bought for a lot of money by we work and layoffs and layoffs and layoffs and eventually they sold it to a competitor with thirty employees. Went down to fifteen and like two hundred and fifty points I mean all of them actually except for us really didn't meet you know didn't go through the pain that they went through at me and we almost end. I went through the pain but But the our organization was pretty actually came away very unstable right. I want to find out what happened new after the sale. I i should say my second. Sponsors hostgator. In fact seth i'm gonna ask you. This hostgator allows anyone to host a website. Use wordpress you. Whatever you've seen tons of content sites. Do you have an idea if you had to start today. This is seth your dad says. You know what. You're no good nick. I need you out of the house. Go make your money but pay for your hosting package. You can start from scratch. What would you start today. Twenty twenty one. What's an idea that. Seth could launch with nothing but a hosting package light a website. I i remember website. You could launch with nothing else. Yes is there site that you would launch. It would help you get back on top business you would create. I mean with any with a good idea. Good hosting package and a good you anything. I can say you know what i would do right now. Here's the easy. Here's one you tell me if this would work for you. Your team is mostly remote today today. Yeah people are all going to go back into the office somewhere else. Someone for the people who are home. I think they're going to have an inadequate connection to the office. I suggest somebody get a website or you say here are the three or five different packages that you can have for work from home connection and work from home mike and all this stuff that you need press a button and have it shipped out to to people so that you could do that exact thing everyone that your company right right all right and you can do it just by ordering from amazon frankly version and then you ship it out and then you start making these things improvement. Listen me people whether it's that idea or anything else. You need a website to host your. If you need a hosting company to host your website for your business good hostgator if you go to hostgator dot com slash mixture g. They'll give you the lowest possible price. They have frankly. Their prices are so low that that's not why you're doing it. You're going to give me credit. Let's be honest. Hostgator dot com slash mixers. Save a few pennies. And help out your buddy andrew. They'll know that. I could deal what was going to be new. Now you've got the company started back up again. I mean. I started back up now. You're running it yourself again. What changed after you bought it out. Well it started with the ownership of the company the corporate structure and the intention so You know i. I've i've always been a very a people i Leader in the sense. That i care a lot about the culture of the company. I even to my detriment at times. you know. we've we've won countless numbers workplace awards. What what do you do. But i'm looking at you right over. Your head is a drawing that says change yourself to the world. I don't think i could do justice by describing it You've got a book. What was the book that you showed me before. We got started Oh my culture breath yes better. This is a book we wrote when we were out. We work about the culture of the company. So you clearly care about this stuff. It's surrounds you. What is what's your vision for culture. How do you. How do you manage your team. I mean i for me. It's like a business is more than about the product and then you know making money right. The path is is everything to me. And i deeply care about and it's deepened my blood. It's just even my blood that about the workplace. And i care about the people and i hear that and i want conductor mission which is about how do we how do we make the workplace a place that makes that lets you be the best version of the person you can be and i believe very much that that. There's a lot of taboo at work where it's gone. You puff up your chest and you pretend to be someone you're not and you never you. Don't talk about your feelings. You don't talk about what's you don't shit you don't wanna share your weaknesses and the gaps in your skills and go home and you become back to yourself. I mean that's the any work for a company. You do labor. Give you money right. I mean that's the old mentality. When and what i believe is like the people at your work. They they have the secrets to your growth. And in many cases the people who you work with you spend more hours with them than anybody else in your life even more than your significant others. If you're not besides the time you sleep in bed together. So they have. They have a lot of secrets that can help you become a better person. And if we created a work environment where people can really realize the benefits of each other helping each other than that will create the that will make it so people can grow faster and it will make the company more successful So it's always been. I've always been passionate about doing this. And and i think what you asked me the question about the new company and the new company. We wanted to actually embed the culture in the corporate foundation. So now that. I've been doing this for a while. I learn a lot more about corporate structures and and all that kind of stuff so when we created the new company one is We distributed equity in the company equally the terms of the type of equity. We use for everybody so everybody got founder stock but same kind of stock. That i got. We're all at the same level playing field. No stock options No preferences kind of weird things that would that would that would inhibit the employees. That's that's one thing we call them. Co-founders there about two fifty when we did that. Then we we actually created a co founder voting agreement which gave the co founders rights For example the people who work at conductor have the rights to get the information on the performance of the business The people at the conductor can sell stock to each other without any subject to any like rights of first refusal. The death benefits if they die on bay. They have the ability they have. There's a springing right to create a board member for themselves so if the employee base which includes me ever goes below fifty percent ownership which is likely to happen as we grow. We raise money and so forth the they can elect a member amongst themselves as board member to represent the employee based on the board of directors. Right which is Is a concept that actually is in your in. Some european companies like german companies have employees. Were bruce but in america american companies. This is a nonexistent idea. So i really wanted to have a culture that was rooted in the corporate structure and now that we have the business back. It's about growing mean we're about a fifty million dollar air our business we are. We're accelerating our growth every quarter since we came out of we work The pandemic has done as well in the sense that your website is now more valuable than it's ever been before in large corporations all over the world are need our help. We've got the best product in the whole industry. Our competitors are you know are barely see them in a river mirror. And and i think there's a chance to build a really meaningful company that that can be a company that's up there with the adobe as in the big companies of the world has a positive impact me our mission is to help companies us user wisdom because every company has wisdom to do marketing better and to help people because instead of selling people stuff we we kept we convince companies to use their knowledge to make content to make websites to do marketing. In a way that's helpful and the more successful. We are the better. The world is because if they're buying more ads they're basically what seth godin said was interruption marketing versus content marketing which is educating entertaining being useful. And by the way. There's some positive feelings that come from that then translate into order. That's your vision. You wanna be the guy who does that only software. You don't wanna hire the writers who are going gonna write for your clients. You just want to empower those writers that they want to get. We want to be the connection point to get everything you need for enterprises and we have a marketplace in our product where you can if you want to have a content brief granted. You could like an uber experience. You can just request press a button and requested and We're gonna have all the services that you need in the marketplace and we have partners that are connected in the marketplace that can deliver that. What's on your wrist when you're gesturing with and at mcmaster The you gotta keep it around. The new york is still using that us to here in california. I i wondered now that you've got new. Cut new employees coming in. Are they getting the same rights the same equity as the ones that that relaunched the company with you. Yes so the rights on good question so the rights that we give all the new people are is the same rights the equity we just flip the switch on a different kind of equity so so yeah a different equity. So i'm be cost of because now the company is past the year and four or nine where you have to get your stock evaluated We can't grant stock to people anymore as co-founders because they they would have tax implications with that and then you know in becomes a lot of money to pay their taxes so we're giving people stock options but to the extent of your We make the stock options In the best possible way You know like ten year extension. No no no exercise. That's like At we basically make employee friendly as possible. But it's still stock options. What do you think of what's going on right now. Where companies are starting to say. Let's not talk about politics. Personal stuff you good with that. Yeah very very very tricky topic. We've had more contention here at conductor. And i think all the talk to. It's it's become a very hard time to be a leader. You know where. Hey why didn't you say something about this. Why are you this and then and then when you are talking about it people are upset that you're talking about stuff. Hey why are you talking about this. South the to build a company or a rea- social justice company. So it's been a little bit of a no win situation for leaders in the short term but in the long term. I think it will all make things better. My perspective is you gotta have values company if your values are about equality if your values are about are about supporting your people. I'm then there are things that happened in the world that are either anti equality or not or your people need support for example the members of the api community here in in in conductor. And they're worried about getting attacked on the street. I think he i Asian asian pacific. Islanders okay right. So you're saying if they're worried about getting attacked on the street on the way over to work here. We can't be insensitive to their concerns. A crimes against Asians are know skyrocketing. So you have to say something and you have to let them know you have your support and and it. It means something to them. So i think that as leaders we have a responsibility to provide to provide inclusion in membership in support to the communities in the company and where it gets hard as a segue to you whereas lying about wet. Where you talking where you don't. But i think companies that are saying listen politics and all this stuff in advocacy like seven signals. You can't talk about it if it two overlapping with diversity and inclusion and things that people really care about and you can't just drop out of it. I'd like to find a way to cop out of that stuff. I i want to not have politics into every conversation in my life. But i think what you're saying is it's not politics if somebody's feeling unsafe on the way over to work whether it's because all six right if the if if the sidewalk is broken if there's if there's crime there or if there's hate crime there it's all the same and we people are getting attacked on the street. Long black people are getting murdered by cops These are in our politics. These are american values of equality and world where people are equal. And i think that the workforce of today they demand to be at a place where their leadership will advocate for their in that they at least i know for me conductor. I can't speak for other companies. I wanna make sure that the people at our company Know that we got back like. You're a conductor like i will i will i will. I will come out on the street and fight your battle with you. If that's what it takes like it'd be like. Ross perot who somehow i think he flew into a random rescues people or send somebody interesting people but the fact that they were his people in iran meant that he had to go and find a way people. Your people and and i don't care what we're know. The once there are people there are people will do anything for them. You'd be proud by now. Don't you think yeah. My dad's right. Yeah yeah my dad's around his. He's a good good dad. What was it that made him worry about. You is bad kid as a really bad deal. I know you sold drugs can say that. I can't say what made you think that. I'm just throwing stuff out there to see what happens can make myself of anything. But i did a lot. I did a lot. I did things i mean. I did stuff that i just back. I would say i mean starting from nursery school producer. You bit a kid. First day preschool. I had filed on my first day of preschool expelled it. I bid a girl. Because she wouldn't give me raisins and i get kicked out. A lot of schools is spent a lot of time in the principal's office. I got a lot of parents. Call my parents about things to them. I lot police come in my house. Wow i didn't realize it was that simple you around. Well you my money From what time. I was thirteen to eighteen. You know my parents got divorced and my dad was working. I live with. My dad. And i was working. He worked a lot and then he ought to jobs and then he also was doing his own grieving and he was dating at night and stuff. So i had a lotta time by myself when i was like thirteen eighteen. I taught myself had to drive. Like when i was fourteen. I would drive my brother's car to school island yan long island him. I'm on i. I barely went to school as it was And but i just i got it all out of my system right so you know The things i just did. I did so many things that i got it out of my system but by the time i was eighteen i moved to manhattan the day i turned eighteen. I went to city college here in. And i was like okay. I'm here like i don't have to go in like do anything. I don't have to go in like soil my oats somewhere. Do some crazy stuff. I did it all. Yeah and i'm looking around. And i'm in the city and i'm like this city has unlimited potential. But you gotta have some bucks to do something you know you gotta you gotta have some currency because you can't do anything without currency in this city and it's also a city that is you could do anything so i just i. I went from one semester. At hunter college where i went to school during the day and after that i got fulltime jobs for the rest of my college i went to school at night. I had is aware suit everyday to work out a full on salary. And and then after i worked for four years i had corporate jobs that work for nautica corporation. I work for the software Cross-border solutions. I was like a guy was a sales guy. Can the committing cole calls. And i go to school at night. I was like i don't wanna do this. The rest of my life like for those companies. They were terrible cultures on like this socks and sit here the rest of my life and while some you know some guy some jerk comes and tells me that he doesn't like how i look that day and you know work in for the man and i. I was fortunate that i had these bad experiences. So i'm like. I don't want to be doing their stress in my life so i was like i gotta start my own thing and you know one thing that's next and and that's that's what that's what got me here. I do find it when when you live in new york you do see these possibilities. For both sides. I used to go and like separate hangers in a in a basement. Because that's the job. My dad got me. And i saw that. There's a life over here that i didn't realize existed of people who are going to spend the rest of their lives in the basement because they they weren't going to school they didn't have future they and frankly many times they were they were illegal immigrants right and you saw what they were hoping for the future and then you looked up and saw the possibility what was out there and he said i said this is amazing. I want that to. I'm with you on this dude. I'd like to see write a book. I told me before we get started united facing life. Or you're sitting around talking about your story. I feel like you know what it could be. I don't know if you've got the patience for it but you're the content guy so for you to sit and write more about what what the right culture is for business how to think about it from the beginning i think it's meaningful in its and you've got the authority the credibility to do it and then from there you just frankly right the my life story i mean the the we work stories Were unbelievable Yet chair one or two with you. If you're interested yes yes yes. I was trying to figure out how much you want to say. Yeah no extra. i'll share anything about it. The a share of with you One good one. I've never shared before that. You like By we're we're we're in the beginning. We're the we're in the early chapters era we. We've got a great road ahead and And i will find out how me figure out how to write a book. I'll figure figure out if we can but we got. We have great story there So we work the story i've never shared So we just sold the business and we got we join. We were and as i said we were like twenty eight million dollars an air and Adam newman's like you to be a billion dollars in three years or you're knocking mean anything. And i'm like okay. Okay yeah like guy. And he's like you gotta come back with a plan of how you're going to be a billion dollars in three years now there's physics Sas you don't go from thirty two billion dollars right. So i think we came back with a plan that was like at I remember sitting with my team in a room. And like we're gonna we plan. We can get one hundred and forty million dollars in four years or something anyway so we start building this plan. We've got all these ambitions hiring snp product and we're going to distribution through. We work on all the stuff anyway about a month later. Adam's okay let's go on a let's go You know we like taking a trip. You wanna come with me. We're gonna go meet the mayor of l. a. and we're gonna do this little tour with l. a. Went to san francisco. And i'm on the on the plane and there's a guy who just joined we work. Who was the top top. Five guys amazon guy named fashion gun phenomenal phenomenal guy that that i really really have. Very fond of and sebastian. When he work beat me being very opportunistic. I emailed him the day. They announced it on my k. I'm just joining the company. They just just sold. You wanna come meet me so he met me at the end of the meeting. He's like he's like yeah. This is cool. We're doing and you're you're good guy. But i don't understand why you're here. We were already way. I'm now on the plane on adams private plane and it's it's it's sebastian myself and me sitting at a little table and adams like hey seth so we've been thinking thirty days after we bought the company we've been thinking we think we're going to sell conductor and i'm like okay i'm like what do you mean he's like yeah. We're going to sell the company. I think we're going to sell it to salesforce and We're going to sell the company and we keep your best people and you can hire anyone that you want from the company and we're going to sell it and we really think we should have. We should be focused. How have everybody focus on the core business and literally might my heart sunk in the worst. Because he wasn't joking. And i had felt like again this this feeling of wow like you just got. Punched in. The stomach was so excited about building. Conductor told everybody. How excited i was and then and then the conversation kind of abruptly ended. He's like he's like mark benef- coming over next week. We will be ready. And and we'll We'll give him a good deal. I know you like salesforce south. Because he knew that he knows. I like salesforce like mark. Benny off quite a bit. And adam is pretty good friends with mark benny off. At least that's fine You know when we were selling the company. He was like texting with benny off face. Timing him about our deal And anyway So the the the trip goes on. We don't talk about this again and then like the bay were back. I got a text message from the cfo. We work he's like. Hey benny ups gonna be here tomorrow. Be ready eleven. Am tomorrow be an adams office. So i go to someone here at conduct. I'm like i'm like. I don't know i mean keep in mind. I'm running the company. We just sold that. Everything's all this happening. And i the hell's going on i So i talked to this. I talk to lindsey. Who's here conductor. Had a marketing. It's phenomenal conductor. And i'm like hey we're we're having really big partnership meeting with salesforce like tomorrow and we need to make a deck for it really is back and the next day. I go over there in adams like he's got this big giant office and couches and tv's everywhere got spun there. And i got my slides up on the screen Benny offs in the building. Doing the tour is going to be making his way to room. And we're gonna have this conductor meeting and mark mark walks in the room and adams with him introduces me and adam changes his mind the last second and we never talked about conductor once and then adam never brings it up ever again. Wow you never brings it up ever again and actually once. And then he ad he had the nerve to tell me months later that i'm too emotional. And he referenced. The time when he told me that in the that he had to leave the meeting because he saw our emotional. I was getting that he couldn't. He couldn't stand to look at me anymore. Because i was too emotional. So that's kind of like you know manip- be manipulative technique. The the emotion did you. You're not you're not going. Have this meeting where he showed. Emotion right i was. I was emotional. When he told me on the plane that he wanted to sell the company. I was excited to be a part of we go so then so then that turns out to That turns out to be. You never talked about it again. And then he. He didn't want he. It was just a it was a so. I talked to we work about it. And they're like. Don't listen to adam. So i came back. I came to the first board meeting. We had two months later with a plan to buy the company out from. We work. and i'm like you guys don't want me here. I got a plan. I'll get out of here if you're going to salesforce than just me to me instead. A i was going to partner with the private equity firm a bunch of money and then i got screamed at it. That's what we're not doing. A deal with p. and we're not we're not we're not selling the business we just bought it so so then i was like okay and then i just got back to conductor and i leaned into what we're doing here and and never that conversation never came up again and but that's that's just one of many stories like that. That are just when i talk about roller coaster i mean. It was a roller-coaster his mind. Right there in the meeting with benny off. I don't know you know. I don't know maybe he was just riffing to see possible and or does it make sense. Is that what it is. you know. that's not enough logic as as for you. A person who sold logic who's who's oriented that way this makes no sense on standing up so it has a great authority and influence. The implications for me were drastic. That basically was a three month. That put me in. Its houseman for three months because again the hard part about being a leader especially in those times is that i gotta put my game face on for all my people here. Meanwhile i'm you know i'm like i is. This is this. They don't want us here anymore. And i'm like i. I just i just told everybody how excited they are even want you. What was the connection to we work. We work with our biggest customer. Can we had done phenomenal for them. We do for our customers and we made them a lot of sales right on because we grew there organic presence tremendously in the in the multiple hundreds of percents in hundreds of millions of dollars. We made for them. So i think they wanted us to help them with their marketing but atom of adam had a strong affinity to me. He and he. I i would. I refuse to accept any offers to join the company in this was the this was the only way to get to to to make it happen. So we you know that that had a lot to do with it right that he liked working with you. He wanted more of you for his company. It's not that he wanted to get into the. You wanted me to be an executive at work and i. There was a vision for humanizing night conductor being the the marketing arm of we were like we would have an enterprise products. And that's what i wish joining for. I'm like hey we're gonna use their platform and we're going to build a giant marketing platform using all their customers and it was the fastest growing enterprise customer base in the world. So i was excited to do that. But i think he had other things in mind and and you know it definitely created a lot attention to madame would call me all the time. And he's like hey. When are you gonna leave conductor. Come join me here. We work and and young each other from school right from what i understand you went. We were like barely acquaintances in school. we built a relationship in two thousand sixteen when they became a customer. Were start to get to know each other. I haven't had since we since we since we bought the company back and since his last day at work. I haven't talked to him once would you. Of course of course are talking. You know. I wouldn't i wouldn't. I don't think i would get into a business transaction. I don't think so either. I wonder how he's gonna come back though. I wonder what the next version of him is going to be. I mean he likes real estate real estate people. Don't care about all the other stuff and like you said earlier. I mean i mean. I look at like alex. Rodriguez right For those of you know like he's a baseball player but he was like the most desai's despise person in professional sports. You got suspended from the major league baseball Using drugs selling drugs and now. Alex rodriguez is like the head guy for espn mean. I think up until recently. He's jay dating j. Lo he's like. Everyone loves alexander yet. Got so i think we live in a very forgetful world for good and for man and i think adam you know hopefully adam adam has so many superpowers if he can you know if you could shore up some of the some of the parts that he needs to work on i mean he's he's he's very powerful person. I wonder what it's gonna end up being. I will say. But he's not telling his story yet. At least you're you're telling your story. I feel like what's happening today. I i haven't talked to talk. No no no. I'm not saying you're telling history. I think do better to start taking a little bit of the narrative into his own hands for his own life. I think what you're doing now. Let's come back to you. I'm glad that you're out there talking about this. You know why. I think that there are people who are going to be working for you. Who are wondering. Who is this guy sat. Where did this company come from. Does he really believe it is like. Can i look in his eyes or listen to his words and see something i believe in. I'm glad you're doing this. Yeah thanks for the opportunity. All right thanks so much. I usually will give out the website so people can go and sign up but no one signing up. My audience is all entrepreneurs. I don't think they're at the place where they're ready to work with you right. Yeah well conductor actually has a free product that we just came out with called conductor for chrome extension and it's actually useful for really anybody any marketer any anyone who's doing digital and if they want to get that that's a great way to start working with astle treats reefer life and By we have a lot of great content that we share. We've lot good events that the company has our welcome for everybody in and Yeah we're happy to have to do well if you heard this interview. And he gets even person goes. Hey thanks so much amazing opportunity. Thank you for doing what you do for the community. That right i'm in.

Google Microsoft tabare lincoln management systems andrew warner yankees Richard safran
#2060 Process-driven outsourcing

Mixergy

1:02:59 hr | 4 months ago

#2060 Process-driven outsourcing

"Hey freedom fighters. My name is andrew warner and the founder mixed jewelry interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses. Joining me is barnaby lashbrooke. He's got a virtual assistant company called time etc and i would have thought. These businesses are just no brainer easy businesses to start because it just makes so much sense somebody needs a virtual assistant by the hour they go to time etc. They hire a virtual assistant. They pay him a little bit more than he pays his assistants. It just seems to make so much sense. And i've seen other businesses that do this and still as he told our producer it the model took a while to make work. And i wanna understand about what he did to make that model work. I'm also going to understand in this interview about can this model work for other businesses and barbie. I'm curious later on in this interview to hear your take on. Do you think somebody can say. I'm going to do marketing automation. A virtual assistant. So i'm going to do virtual assistants. Who only handle this one type of task or is it. Just virtual assistance that are generalists will work and finally Barnaby had this company. That just did really well right out of the gate. It's a hosting company. And i want to find out how he did. So and frankly how changes life to have done well early on. We're going to do it. All thanks to phenomenal sponsors. The i if you're starting in business you need a hosting company. I want you to go to hostgator dot com slash mixer g. You'll get a great price and great service and the second. It's a hate to save barnaby but they kinda replaced my assistant in some ways sane box and i'll talk later about how my assistant used to go through my inbox and now i don't need it. I don't need to do but first barnaby could have year. Thanks it's great to be here. What's your revenue right now. a run rate is about eight million dollars annually. Wow we profitable right. Yeah l. Outside funding entirely. I put a bit of funding the beginning the equivalent of about three hundred thousand dollars k old. I mainly that went on cash. Burn because i massively mismanaged costs at the start of this business but yeah no external funding stock right under our staying learning as we. Do you feel uncomfortable talking about money. I noticed as i asked you was the first time that i saw you can have your shoulder and up until then it was late. I'm british what i thought i. Let's talk about what's the upside. We're going to talk about the difficulty of getting the business to this level. Is there one good thing that makes it worthwhile that you look back on and you say yeah now i can do this or now. Life is better because of that. What's that one thing i think they. You know the most incredible aspect of it has been the impact we've had on the stakeholders for want of a better word. So we've we've just literally in the last couple of weeks come past two million tasks that we've done for kind base and that's incredible to know that we've saved our climbs from two million things that imagining individual tasks that they do not ours. I won't do bhai Coming up for a million hours but the the supermodels This week happened to be two million tasks but yeah we really all about the. Because you know that's what that's what the value is for. The client is the hours that they save. You came up with the idea for this business because you had a problem in the past right. I mean i. I was expected to so many entrepreneurs have had this issue almost any entrepreneur. You speak to but growing my first business. I was working a hundred hours plus every week. I was doing everything myself. I was spinning lots and lots of plates. Just didn't have. I didn't know where to find someone to help me with that. I recruit you hire people. You had a whole team of people right. Yeah had six or spend the time that we sold it. But you know it's a funny thing in a small business recruiting someone to help us specifically as an individual is very different to solar fulfilling a role in your business so you know we. We needed people to do customer support so he hired customer support people but actually what since realized as as an entrepreneur. I needed personal support. I needed someone alongside me. Who could take anything. That wasn't a good use of my time from me. Really and i struggled with that many many entrepreneurs do i struggle. I wonder why you told our producer that this this is common. That most on that many entrepreneurs don't feel comfortable passing it on. I'll tell you my experience. And i'd like to know from you what you've noticed from other entrepreneurs that you noticed that you've worked with from me. Click until a friend of mine. Aaron dragon said that he was at some playground. He took his baby into the bathroom to change the diaper. And then there was no changing table in the men's room and then he went to just fire off messages assistant. He said. Please send them a letter to say that they need to have a changing table here and to me as a non data at the time especially it seemed like the stupidest thing to have an assistant. Do for you. It's so personal and so petty and still he did it and then that reassured me. It made me think. Oh all these little things that i'm not passing onto someone else are way more significant for my business way less personal way more impactful than his little need. And that's what made me finally say. Okay i now can hire somebody who does all that. And it's still a problem higher but what you're seeing it. Can you describe it. How the entrepreneurs and the businesses people that you've worked with have experienced the problem of hiring an assistant i think it it's site wide ranging at his hub can be you know if you started a business from scratch no movement where someone tells you. Look you you'll time is important enough now. Perhaps that you shouldn't be doing all of this stuff yourself. So i've seen a lot of entrepreneurs can sleep walk into doing everything themselves but i think it can also be. How'd you find someone. Who is that person. A lot of the entrepreneurs. I speak to replicate themselves and spend a lot of time and effort trying to find that magic person who has their skill set. kinda double. All of what they're doing. So i think i think that's sort of probably five or six raisins that more people. I do it you owned by. I have to have segment self belief in the future value of your time. The actually studied a lot of very successful entrepreneurs. And you look at people like richard branson for example and he just had that belief he just knew somehow from a very early stage in his business empire vat. His time was so valuable that he needed people around him which he would massively delegate. You hired his personal assistant of what twenty nine years to be an advisor at your company and so what's her name penny pike. I went back to just make sure they lying just using her name she really associated should was associated and then i started going down the rabbit hole of reading about her relationship with him. And what i discovered was he said about her that he had no other way of working because of his dyslexia to learn to not learn to delegate he had to delegate in that forcing function is what got him to work well with her and and allowed him to keep hiring other people into delegate. So i understand that i didn't have and a lot of people were listening. Didn't you then said okay. I sold my company and we'll get moment about how you sold your company and what that business was said. This is the business. I'm going to get into providing virtual assistance to other business people. How did you envision that happening. Well the the beginning. I have no day relate. It was a concept. I just knew that something i would have used in my first business and so i think probably the lack of knowing how we would do this. We're going back thirteen fourteen years ago so quite a long time ago we launched in the uk whereas now we mainly in the us. So it's a very different business these days. We didn't really know how we invest you happening. And i think that was. It was quite difficult to kind of get it off the ground initially a because we were doing in the uk where the market's quite services bay. Because you know honestly apart from it just being a man. I didn't even know the word virtual assistant when we started The and i think we called it but you know we used really concrete phrasing like personal system by the hour you know pay as you go personal assistant just. We fished around for a long time. Okay that gives me a sense of it. So then told our producer one of the first things i did was. I got office space. How much office space did you get. Oh just a casual thinking was three thousand five hundred square feet a goal just building an old warehouse in the uk stunning building and had a lift a huge spiral staircase at the front. But i think we signed a five year lease on three thousand five hundred square feet. Why did you think you'd need an office for what we are now. Calling virtual assistance. Well because actually most joel aim at the beginning of this company was to build an incredible culture because i sort of just encountered at the end of my last business how to build an incredible company culture and how to put values in place had a strong desire to do that and that meant hiring people physically and to work in person with each other so the irony is the beginning of this business. Although it was going to deliver service to entrepreneurs remotely we hired all of our assistance on full-time salaries in one geographic location on came into the office. How many people did you are are. We had i think at our paik that stage of the business. We have thirty. Okay all right and this was all coming out of your pocket. I think we should talk about how you ended up with the money to invest in this. What was the previous business that you created so i had a hosting company so i guess similar to hostgator it was it was a hosting company but this is going back a long time and the time domain names were really very expensive things and hosting was even more expensive so it wasn't like now where you can go to someone get hosting. I dunno ten fifteen twenty dollars a month. This was really expensive. How much talk about this is the year. Two thousand roughly right. Well i think you could. You could easily spend several hundred dollars. You could spend several hundred dollars on the domain name. You could spend several hundred dollars annually to get. It was just an expensive business. It was very niche okay. It wasn't really consumer is back then. And so what i did was i. I started selling news. But i gave away hosting when you bought the domain name so it just it was just better value than the incumbent players this was in the uk and started it really is a side project from my bedroom and in my parents house with nothing but a hundred and fifty pounds investment with money down just built two websites and started started selling. How did you sell it. Yes a question. But amazingly in the uk they were magazines physical printed magazines. Okay the internet okay. And so what i did was i risked well first of all. I bought tiny little adverts in the back of these magazines and they got customers started trickling in every month. I saved the money. That we have made an reinvested back into bigger and bigger adver until at one point we were the biggest appetizer in some of these little magazines. That people were physically buying an amazingly you know. The entire business was growing based off the back of magazine verse. We didn't do any good thing. It was just all these magazine ads. That kickstarted everything. How did you get the the domain names where we were you going i con. Is that how it works. We went so i never went directly. So i can. Just reselling there were various wholesalers. At the time he which kind of it was set up to sell to smaller companies. Like mine okay. And and so we had a relationship with the u k version of icon could nominee But yeah we would just reselling the demands and then where people buying it on your website back then or did they call up a credit card number. It was all it was all done online. Only reason it was all done online was because i was running it from my bedroom whilst going to school and so i couldn't onto the fire. How old time seventy-nine hunting which okay about okay. And so they create two things that you added to this. Were buying ads in these magazines and then throwing in hosting for free. When somebody bought domain and i imagine it's the first year hosting was free and then after that you start making some money. Just we picked price point for the domain. That seemed reasonable but just was enough to cover the cost of the hosting and then later in the business we introduced the features are very limited when you came on board as a client with that kind of free offer okay later all way literally just listen to what our customers wanted what they were telling us the features they needed and introduced various services that Exactly what they wanted it just it just sort of grew very organically really from from that. How did you what people wanted from what i understand. Though you're also doing design for your customers you are doing this to that. Anything they needed in the early days. Weren't you so that's how that business started. I was really frustrated web designer so i was doing design work for people but having to go out and get this hosting and buy these domain names for these. This was a time where lots of people were just putting their businesses online and so i just encountered housing companies are so how come they were. How inflexible they were mean. We're talking about where you place. An order for some hosting this was an internet company and they would literally print your order out in their office. And then sally. The accounts department would walk across the room and the other person in past the printing paper and cheat it. These qui- antiquated businesses. And that's so starting as a designer and having to be on the other end of that is what inspired me to try and do it better. Can you tell me about. The acquisition apparently came in from a random phone. Call right. yeah so. I've been running this company and we built it to about twenty four thousand websites that we hosting and i was minding my business. It was a very intense companies run very challenging because there are a lot of plights to spend a lotta service to cape operating literally in the course of about six months. I just started getting letters. Voicemails the occasional find coal from people asking to buy the business and being twenty two probably was at the time maybe twenty three. I didn't really know what to do with those. You know i'd haven't really encountered that. No one in my family had ever been in that kind of position. So i started talking to some of these people and and went to a couple of meetings. An amazingly ended up sega that same year that these cold started ended up doing my first set of exit. Any tips based on how you sold for. Who's who's in a similar business. I the biggest tip. I have to speak to multiple people. So i think if you're in the hosting company there's no shortage of people that will come baio business. That's the good thing. But i went to meeting the company that were based up the road which is extremely unusual rally. They happen to be based very near where. I was and went to meeting with the and by the end of the meeting. They announced that they wanted to buy business. Offered me about a million dollars. Seven hundred and fifty thousand pounds. I think it was. And i happened to become tainted by another business. Two weeks later he wants to buy the company and the figure i ended up selling it for was two point one million pounds inside that that would my number one piece of advice. Is you just never know who else is antler. Who else will see value in. What you've built that may be someone else won't say what it said. That was roughly three million dollars at the time. We're talking about a guy who's twenty three years old right sold. The company was called super names in two thousand six beyond starting a new company. What's one thing you did with the money. Well i i look back at this and i'm slightly embarrassed but then i think well i was twenty three so i bought a penny a penthouse apartment. Which is a of still got. That was that was probably a good move. I bought a ferrari as you and else really. I think that's pretty much all i did. I worked for the company that acquired my business which was really interesting. I learned a lot about how business works which was really helpful. And then i got over the ferrari a few years later and sold it and serve of calmed down ever since. I think it is good to get that out of your system. I don't. I don't think i've ever had a passion to do that but i did. Have a passionate go and just be out in the world and do whatever. I wanted so glad. I got to do that. Because now i've got two kids and you know you've got responsibilities and you can't just hop on a plane and go wherever you want to get the nicest hotel room and and so on but i feel like i did that. It's okay you know. I can't imagine that you're looking at well are you. Are you looking at someone in a ferrari in going. That used to be me. I want to go back and do that now. Or is that ninety. i'm. I'm happy to left that behind. I think at the time it felt really important to do to me. At the time i don't i don't really know why it was an incredible experience to widen that that was you know it was. It was incredible. I wouldn't change the history. But i wouldn't wanna do it now. What are we take from that from super names. If if you're looking at it as an entrepreneur trying to get your personal best lesson for how to hustle from it. What's your takeaway. I think it's probably for me the ability. There's never forget you have the ability to strap. Don't forget that growth is possible without going raising lots of money. That was really my biggest message from it is sometimes. I speak to a lot of people in startups. I've invested in a few businesses myself and often the dialogue in certain communities is that it's not really possible to exit without raising money and without vc funding and that's my biggest takeaway was. It gave me this rail knowledge that i could build a business without having to go and raise a load of money. I think also just gave me huge financial security which i'm very grateful for the age of twenty three. I had once. I stop spending on cars. I had this muddy behind me. That meant that i felt safe. Starting my next business. What else taking away from it. Barnaby is that it's product. Mix that you came up with where you added something that didn't cost much but had a high perceived value to your service right that if there's something that people really value a lot but doesn't cost you much to provide it it pays include and i'm trying to think of other examples of that that none come to mind but that seems like a big insight that domain cost money hosting probably didn't cost you much money right especially the smaller version that you are offering it for. Free has a high perceived value. I mean that's true. It really was just a repositioning of how it was sold it. It was just really just maneuvering how it was sold to reduce people's perception of how much else i mean. It was genuinely cheaper than the incumbent. Plays at the time but really it was just sort of. They just felt much nicer for people to buy a domain name at a fair price and get the hosting for free. Yeah right speaking of housing. My first sponsors a hosting company hostgator. Let me ask you this barnaby as a guy who's who's bootstrap now to companies if you if you had to start over with nothing but a hosting package today and you need to build up to build on that website. What would you. What would that first thing that you hosted be that would allow you to build a big business side you preferred starting point is not good five template website template for thirty dollars. And you know i build out a set of basic one pager. That explains what the concept is so. That's exactly how. I would use a new hosting package today. Is i build a one pager. Concepts put on google and see what interest i can get from that. We're going to get later into whether the time the time it cetera model would work for other products. I wonder if that's something that somebody could do. Can somebody say. I am only going to be the company that that organizes your crm. Or i'm only going to be the company that does nothing but creates and manages your notion databases and hire people by the hour to do that. And what do you think of that as a service and if they would would you recommend starting with nothing but a hostgator single page explaining what. The service is with the buy button. I think we've seen these kind of vertical niche is. Were really well and so for example. There's a there's a fiscal content fly only articles. So it's kind of what you're talking about really that's all later. I think are phenomenally. Good at that. You know that very very good at doing that. one thing. Well so i think generally you know if you can if you've got an addressable market. That's big enough. I think that's that's a strong direction. Go down and you know really this whole idea of putting up a one page website. I absolutely advocate that as a way of testing the market because it costs so little to get a hosting account by template put a one pager up maybe spend a little bit of money on google may be on their display. Maybe the search it tells you so much about you know other any pay is the content on their resonating with people. Getting enquiries from it. I think is the best form of intelligence that you can go as an entrepreneur. And if that's where you wanna go go to hostgator dot com slash mixer g and when you are all that full slash mixer g at the end. Url they're gonna give you the lowest possible price in fact in march who better this in march. Because in march they're going as low as seventy five percent off. They've got this big push to get as many of my customers up and running as possible and they've got good hosting package that will get you started right go to hostgator dot com slash mixture g to do that all right so coming back then to time etc now we know where the the The money came from that. You use to start the business. You had a team of people. How did you get your first customers. The ones who are paying for this these assistant services you as a funny story behind that because the the way what i was doing web design before i started my hosting company the way that i got my customers was me and my sister picked up the phone book so the yellow pages. That's what we have in the uk at the time and we started folding businesses and saying geneva website and when we started time etc and unbelievably. That's exactly what we do. We hired these this team. We got everyone going through nothing but go through the yellow pages well now that we hide them to be our first assistance to assist lives. But we didn't have any clients and so we got. We got everyone involved in basically cold calling and finding office. He finds an amazingly answered. It got us started. We found our first few incredible people that were found by this clueless company. Wow trying to cold call them and these amazing clients said yeah give it a guy will events that sounds like it's worth a try and and that's how we go out. I probably i would say i. Twenty customers came through the door. A person what was the. What was the script. Or what's the what's the message that you that you asked your team to convey that got them to close sales. I think it was appealing to people's better nature. So i think from memory. This was a long time ago fourteen years ago from memory. We pleaded with people and said we're a brand new business based locally a needed that support. And i think we would just very genuine about our predicament paypal. I think ended up using us. You know really a probably to help us out as much as because they wanted to use the service really and it was but you still had to put in people's imagination. The idea of what kind of work they could pass on to a stranger who just call them up and i think that's one of the things that tim ferriss is four hour workweek communicated people that they could outsource and he gave people ideas for what to outsource but two thousand seven. It was. I don't i don't know if he'd published a book by i think he did. But it definitely wasn't a popular book by I didn't capture the world understanding what was possible. How did you in that single phone call. Communicate to systems can do for you. I'm not sure we did it very well. Because all of our marketing back then was about saving people time. But we didn't explain what to do with that time that we were saving you. And so i think probably it worked because we started talking about the hassle that you were going to save you know token to most people about administration about is about invoicing. They don't really want to do that stuff. It doesn't really set anyone's heart's on fire to do that in their business. So was it like that. What is it we can handle things like sending out invoices for you or collecting receipts or making appointments for you. I mean literally would do anything that anyone needed us today and say i you know. I think we probably in those very early days. We just pleading with people to let us into their business and and do take some of this work like the way from them. But i think it took. It probably took a year at least to get to the point where people really understood what it was that we were offering all right tim. Ferriss book was published april. Twenty four two thousand seven so same year as you started time etc so you had this team of people you're getting customers and still you told our producer you went to the basement one day and you confronted by. What was on the windows in the this. The there was a beautiful building down the where are meeting remorse in the bottom of it was basically a basement or cellar and they were bows on the window and i was sat in this very dark very damn room with the bars on the window. An suddenly sort of struck me that the bars. I didn't know whether the bows were to stop people breaking in order to stop me breaking. Don't center and radio was because i'd put much money and time and effort into trying to this business and it was just kind of flat lining. We stuck i think about a million dollars revenue. Something like that just stuck. We had the losing money. I'm making a very small amount of money. So this is it of self criticized a little bit about the early days of the spacing spent. Actually when i look back it was break-even by year and then probably generating cash by four something like that. That's a good. That's a good start. Great start what. Is it that you think about your your personality that made you look at that and say i'm not doing well enough. I think because my expectations. It's it's purely that my expectations were so you know i expected not to three hundred thousand dollars into it. I you know looking back. I can have a lot of compassion for myself. At the time. It felt very scary. That i'd put three hundred thousand dollars into this business and then it was flat lining and i just couldn't get it passed a news really common problem to kind of revenue sailing not be up to get past it and that's when i found myself in the basement that day. That's really the moment i was. Just you know knowing. I had to change how that business works. Because we've been going all put all this money into with got our first revenue we just couldn't grow. And then what did you do what you're sitting there. You feeling like i'm trapped in this business. It's like i'm in jail. I can't get out of this business. Because i've already started but i can't get it to grow and some trap and then you had a realization soon after that feeling. What was that next realization. That changed everything. Well i feel that. The the fundamental realization i had was that i needed to go back to my roots and my roots were using technology. Really the hosting company had it was all about automating. All that's how we were able to sell stinger the right that we sold it out and i turned myself into a people person and people manager not a very good one as many of the people involved at time etc at the beginning will probably tell you i'm and i was not using the skills the i head really built my foundation. I wasn't using any of the things that are driven my first business ford and so when i sat there that day the revelation was about saying You know there is a different way to grow this business that something very different we can do have lost san what was that. What's that news digital way of growing the business. So you know we heard had retired these fairly junior a people in office in one geographic location and throughout as we've been contacted by hundreds of incredibly experience very talented assistance who had given up corporate craze normally to start a family and now wanted to get back into a little bit of work but actually didn't want to commute didn't want to go back into the corporate world. Those people have been contacting us for years to say. Look i come to work for you. Can i do about it worked remotely for you and when i sat there that day i suddenly realized that you know i could build a platform that would make it very easy for those remote people to to work through us and to offer their services into engage directly with clouds and that that was it. Sounds really basic saying that now. Because you know that's just the way everything now works but at the time. That was a fairly big change from that day on. I set out creating this platform and making this business much more scalable really using these incredible experiences that people had had as executive assistants who were willing to give that experience to us. I understand how that would help your expenses barnaby but not your revenue. The expenses i imagine would go down because now when you weren't employing the virtual assistance you didn't have to pay them and then when you were you could scale up i am i am i right about the expense side of it. Yes but actually enabled us to do was deliver. The service at a price point people were willing to pay and employing people full-time and then trying to split their time up so that they could do with several different clients. If you do that say legal services it all works out because the fees are so high and actually arguably legal services work people very very hard as well but it all works out because the fee base is so high that you can kind of justify the cost when you do that with low value services like administration you end up having to charge your service at a price point that people okay so now by renault senior expenses you can reduce your price which then brings in more customers and allows you to grow okay and in order to do that. You said that you needed some kind of some kind of system software. Imagine what did you build to allow bill really a kind of brain that sits at the center of it all but still the thing that runs business. Say it's eight site on. The one hand allows our assistance to lock time but it also allows clients in the systems to communicate with each other. It does things with email and itemizes all the billing for people. It acts as a big. Crn for all kinds of h. Hugh team said that they can provide customer so it was really a a complete pace of technology that runs every aspect. And what we said was we wanted to automate ninety five percent of what we do and the five percents that we couldn't automating. We wanted to amazingly well. So we'll throw lots of results. It doing those touch points that we can't automate ranga reddy well. What can't you automate. I think well actually at one point. We always made it almost everything so but a classic examples is if you to come to us as a client. Six years ago you'd have been aborted without any human touch so you could come onto our website taika a free trial send your first task. Be matched assistant get it. Done work with assistant ongoing without talking to a member of our team and actually we found. Maybe predictably that if we invest that time in talking to you i'm really consulting with you and finding out specifically what you're all about and what your needs are the outcome is much better. So that's that's an example of the five percent of the we now. We know that we can't make we wanna do that. Really really well. I didn't think about the software involved in managing all this. Because you do want to be able to pass work onto a virtual assistant. No who has time no also that she has worked or he has worked and then be able to bill your customer and keep track of the tasks i I feel like the founder of design pickle was working on creating software like that for companies like yours right so i think he realized that they were going to be more businesses that were in the business of offering services on an hourly basis any and they need the type of software. You're talking about but you had to create yourself that meant investing more money. Does that mean going back into your bank account and taking more of your savings into the business now so we sort of because i went back to my rates really. I was able to produce quite a lot in this myself. I had a developer at the time who built a large amount of the platform. And then we've kind of just reinvested organic it over the years so the actual development of the platform was was really affordable but it just enabled so much because it enabled us to go to market with this really scalable predictable service that when when we were doing it without this platform just things like monitoring the quality of the work being produced for clients fray difficult to do. It's really hard to intercept work and monitored for quality. This platform made all of those kinds of challenges that are being the thing stopping us from growing our revenue address. The more you know. It occurred to me that i was asking. What are the business could be done like yours Go beyond virtual assistance. Yaro star created in inbox done which is a studio the service or heard of it. Yeah he matches business people up with individuals who will handle their for them because email is such a big headache that their services now are at least one service that does nothing but allow you to hire people to handle your email all right that kind of brings me into second sponsor it's a company called sane box. I had my virtual assistant of many years. Go into my email on a regular basis. She'd start her day going through my email responding to what she could organizing and leading. Cause i never like anything deleted archiving. Anything that wasn't that wasn't critical for me and that saved me so much time. I actually start my days now. Barney going through my journal entries from a year ago eight years ago etc. I can't believe how much eight years ago day after day. I could see in my journal. I had to answer email. Email is such a problem. It's just like such a frigging nightmare. No way to andrew. She went through my inbox. She helped organize it. And then our old producer. Jeremy weiss said. I'm using sane box. It's phenomenal. i certainly try it. Sign up for saint box. What they do is they start to organize my better than a human being could because they could kind of tell what's a newsletter and what's not. They could do it multiple times day where she would have to do. In the morning they could start to pick up on my rhythms and autumn. Mattingly put things into a black hole. If i wanted to go into a black hole or pause a message if i want or if there's a message that i don't wanna handle now but i want to respond to a a month later automatically bring that back in my inbox it just does it magically signed up. It was incredibly easy to sign up. I gave them Access to my inbox after spending a longtime weeks and weeks making sure that i that i trusted them. And i've been so happy. I told andrea. I'm sorry there's one less thing for you to do. You don't have to go through my inbox and now i don't have that headache anymore. If you're out there listening to me and you've got a problem with your email you don't have to suffer through it. You could hire virtual assistant frankly time etc. Your virtual systems barnaby today do that. Yeah e. email is a big part of what we do it. Certainly it's probably the number one day a benefit for me is having someone sort of understands what i want to action. What dimes looking at my email. And frankly if you want to do it. I think that's a great use of virtual assistant. If you'd like to try the automated way. I'm gonna let you try it for free right now. All you have to do is go to sane box dot com slash mix or do that sane box dot com slash mix surgeon. I should spell it. Because i talk very quickly. It's s. a. n. e. b. o. x. dot com slash. Misc rg y. Go try right now for free All right so now you had this model and you were starting to talk about how the price brought in more customers where you still at that point making phone calls or did you find an online channel. Wouldn't you find that work for you for bringing in customers. I said google search was really at that time where customers were coming from the other thing that this platform enabled us to do is we created a free trial We we just said look. You know you can come in a task that you can give to one of our virtual assistants type it in and we'll do it for free. Just let people directly experienced. What virtual system for for that. That was that's huge. When i read that you are doing that. That felt like the felt like a mistake that you were going to have to come back from. What did you get people to do for free. And how did you make sure well. Let's talk about that. What are people able to ask you to do for without getting the whole on boarding experience. Okay we'll say on day one. It was a free tech's failed in. That didn't work and it didn't work for two reasons one because it allowed people to type in utterly bizarre requests. Which is maybe what you were imagining the other thing. That was really interesting that we found was that. If you just give people a free text field and say go on get tasks done. People cannot think they really struggle to think of what to get done and so we ended up doing was we had what we still to this day. Actually a big drop. damn we've got loads of predefined tasks in there really that we've kind of tweet so that that good safe ways to test avert assistant now so you go to website. You can say a big list of tasks that you can get them for free and you can tweet them in. You cannot details to them and really. That's massively helped us to reach more people with the free trial because it just makes it very easy to think of something that you could. You could get a virtual assistant to do for you. Can you give me an example. What are some of the things that without being on board you could do here. I elected category. I see you've got marketing. You've got adleman. You've got writing selling so if i select selling research prospect. Oh got it you can then schedule a phone call for me for. So that's that's one area Document okay you know your research so a slide. Okay so if i were trying to use you guys i get it. I might say i have a guest coming up. I'm going to send the my list of questions. Let's see if they could do a good job and if they do a good job now i've got a sense of how i could work with them. Got it all right and says twenty five dollars in free credit. Got it i see all right. I was thinking that anything that virtual system would do is got to be personal. Like take my credit card and go buy me an airplane ticket somewhere or cancel my comcast cable. No it's more of these types of Less personal services that you can offer free. All right i see and then. Did you offer account a call in onboard conversation for people who did that or was that just Web form only. Yeah saying what what we do these days is you know we really want to engage you into a bigger conversation inside will reach out when we offer people the opportunity to book in for coal. That's designee so far you can go buy trialing it for free. We want you. We want you to be able to try it for free to really experience consistent and to have that way you get something done without having to yourself but then we also want to guide you through the price s if you decide that something that's for you. If you decide that actually a virtual assistant could went really well for you want to be very available to you because we want to make sure that we get. You started along the right lines okay. And so now you've got this thing that starting to work and it's starting to build up. What's the next big headache that hits you after this free trial starts to work. Well the the next major thing was we were in the the time and and because we're a uk based business that's where we started and the uk is quite far behind the us in terms of the ability to outsource the ability to get delegate. There's a quite a big risk perception with outsourcing delegating in the uk versus the us. And so we lost the platform and we had this free trial going but actually we were still hitting a bit of a ceiling and so the next thing that happened was really going back to what i was saying earlier about creating a one pager and throwing it up on the internet because i think one afternoon i've got a bit frustrated by the slow growth in the uk. And so i just put up a us. Version of our website changed a few words around started. You know customizing episode slightly. Took me a couple of hours locked into google ad. Words put some ads live and almost immediately. We had a flow of people. Trialing the service for freight the we just couldn't have dreamed of in the uk just a constant flow of people that wanted to engage in wanted to speak to us and wanted to find out what it was about this whole model that already worked just brought into the us. What year was this Twenty fifteen think twenty fifteen. Wow even as far or as recent as two fifteen. The uk wasn't Embracing virtual assistance. And you know what. I'm on some rush to see where you're getting a traffic now. Directive courses number one but google is still google paid is even bigger than organic google combined is still your number one outside source of customers right yes. It's a lot of our client flow is word of mouth and so what the free trial has done is created a huge pool of people have experienced time etc may not have gone onto to buy a service from us have experienced time etc in one way or another and so google probably about a third and then the rest is fairly strong word of mouth i directly relate to the free trial i think the free trial is really helped to to reach a lotta people. One of the big issues is still business. People do not know what they could delegate and so you've written a book you've done of course how how it. How do these fit into your marketing. I will at the moment you know. They're not a fundamental parts of the mock. Sing but we've got a new website. The way launching hopefully in the next couple of months and they really will become much more of a positive our marketing because where we want to go is all out on education and helping people to not only see how they could use a virtual assistant but more importantly how they could achieve more without working longer and longer hours that something. I'm really passionate about whether or not you using same box or whether you do it using birch assistant. I'm passionate about helping people to understand. That and growing a business isn't always about the amount of arizona. You work and it is possible to work a sensible amount of hours instill grow a business. You know barnaby. I feel like there are two things that i could still use help with. I still think that. I'm not passing enough onto my assistant. Because i don't think of the things that i do is taking up my time. If that makes sense. I realize some of the things that i do with but the end up sucking Time and the other thing. I was thought would be helpful is so i've got. I've got an assistant. I feel like she's not being. She's not getting enough external understanding how other people work. So i guess the first one. Maybe you could solve for us for people like me and say andrew. Here's what you could get done with the virtual assistant. Here's some stories that will fire up your imagination. Make you realize you're doing things that you shouldn't you shouldn't be doing and you can pass on but also there things you're not doing that in assistant can do like as i was going through your site. I realized your systems can actually write. Blog posts can send out promotion right. it's it's not just the little menial tasks. It's real significant marketing. Yeah i think you know. Our focus is on the things that i mean. Really you can split your to do. My theory is you can split your to list into on one on one side. There's things that only you can do because they require specialist knowledge or some sort of skill. Set that you possess agni you can do them or all represent you personally and on the other side at most people have a list of things that someone else could tag actually if you showed them to do them and so that's that's really the the sort of the is to help people that really instead of just saying wanted to do list that should be two sides to it. The other thing that i did personally was. I went from working one hundred hours a week and i restricted the number of hours. The i allowed myself to work which is very severe but i restricted it to thirty five and was waiting on purpose and what that did was absolutely incredible because it forced me into really appraising which tasks i could afford today in those thirty five hours i took my time is not for no from feeling like it was unlimited everywhere to figuring are very thirty five hours you know i really really have to think carefully one. I felt i started. I've i was with because otherwise the business doesn't grow or don't make moves that i should have made. I don't find that new marketing journal. That i should have found and that really helped me to sort of to realize how much i needed to handover to other people house. Podcasting bid for you. You've been doing interviews. His that helping grow your business. I don. I don't know the answer to that to be honest. I think we've got a reliable wave tracking it. But i think what the appeal of podcast for me is the ability just to talk about you. Know helping people to achieve more they. Just you know entrepreneur. At heart i love having entrepreneurial conversations with paypal. It's in my blood vats. Why you know. That's why i love to podcast is because you know. It's just a moment where you get to really dive into that stuff all right so then. Let's trigger some ideas for entrepreneurs are listening it seems like this verticalisation of virtual assistants model could work. What areas do you think people could turn this the your model into working for them on a on a niche talked about yarrow's idea for email right. Nothing email. What else is out there presentations. I imagine but presentations. I don't know that there are enough people who need them done on a weekly basis right so i think something. Very similar to presentations is proposals. So people who are maybe in a sales role who are having put together like proposals. I am or pitch documentation. I think that is a very clear sort of niche vertical. If you found some of that was talented could've interpreting. What needs to go in the i think invoicing billing back in things. I appreciate that lots of tools that are kind of taking over that space but actually a lot of consultants for example waste some of their billable time doing their office stuff and i think that's a sort of niche that could be failed and likewise scheduling for perhaps consultants people in a fee-earning capacity. You know a lot of people in feared incapacities have caught new scheduling needs Not so much during covid but pre covid in nuance travel needs in scheduling. That had to take into account things travel to different places. And i think five kissing all not of vertical. I can see that being know pretty strong market in in in really supporting those people who have complex scheduling needs. And what advice would you give somebody. Who's who's doing that. Who's following that niche there whether it's one of the ones that we've discussed here in this conversation or another one. What where could where the opportunities that they might miss. And where could they Workaday go wrong. I think i fill out my advice to come up with a process so where you possibly can try and figure out a method or loose method. How you manage. Someone's complex schedule right. Because i think a lot of time people starting out in this kind of business think that the client is going to know exactly what they need an exactly how to give them the service and they sit there and let the client. Tell them what they want an exactly how to do it now. Some kinds will do that in some clients. Know exactly what they want and they know exactly how they wanted to be done. Now have an existing process but a lot of people that were going to engage with a service like that have never outsourced to before they've never delegated it before they haven't written the process down and actually you can really add value to them by saying this is exactly hung going to help you do this so you could imagine somebody saying what sales people would do much better if they created a beautiful customized proposal for each one of their prospects. Right you get a sales call instead of saying thanks. Here are prices you say. Thanks your prices and customize something to you with your logo with your photo with the whole thing in it. Make it look nice. They don't even know what software to use for that they don't they don't know what the process should be for taking for passing that data onto their Assistant so if i were to create a business like that i might say the way. You're gonna pass it to us is. Here's a form where where you press a button and you could talk into video about what you discussed. What the deal is here is a form where you tell us what their company is. And what their logo it and maybe not their logo. But what you what you've offer them. You take all that stuff in and then you pass it onto the assistant who puts it together and whatever proposals software you pick for them and then you send it back to them. And they give you some edits and that makes total frankencense. I wonder if that's something you're gonna wanna do barnaby if you're gonna eventually verticals i would you. Would you turn it into its own site or would you say are assistance now do that. I would if i if i was going to do that. I'd turn it into its own site. I think i think i would want it to be a market in itself with time. Rise at dreux. I think are. It's very broad right. And the client can define you know exactly and there were points during our breath where we thought about you know julie restrict what we do. We'll do a limit how we do each data's but really i think the appeal of thomas enters its wide. Do is its own site. But i'm very very intrigued. In the idea of the process driven process process driven outsourcing. It's also what this company content fly do. That is exactly the model that they've got and they do just for content and i could imagine somebody. I love the idea of proposals. I feel like the beauty of that is. It is a pain in the butt barnaby to find the right logo to make sure that it's that it's got a transparent background that it looks good on the proposal software that you've updated everything that i actually sent a proposal to somebody by accident and included the wrong company name. Because i read the proposal that i loved that did well. This was just a few days ago. It's so painful Thankfully they understood it and then he signed up. They're going to sponsor but that whole process is a pain to do. And you feel. I feel minimized by it. Because i'm now going and finding a logo and that's not what i'm great at and customizing and all but it helps every single person who saw a follow up message back to them with a page that said here's what i would do for you with their logo and all that with their messaging. They said you really took the time to do this. This is this shows us that you will care about us and so it contributes to people's bottom line. Obviously i'm getting excited about it. I'm going to close out with just one thing. One of the things that that i took away from was find that extra hide perception product that you could attach to your offering. The way that you did by saying hosting is included with the domain. You did that even as a kid. Because your entrepreneurial from the timer kid Talk about what you did with the school magazine. Nobody could sell that thing when you're when you're a kid. Oh yeah so we we we. We had a very badly written very poor circulation school magazine that no one wanted to buy and me and my friend. Matthew tried to sell it extensively. We were whole king this magazine in the playground. Trying to get people to buy it couldn't do it. And then we realized that a land suites at school was abandoned in contraband candy and so we went and bought a massive backlog of candy and we celebrate a little individual candy to the front of each of these magazines and we sold it for twenty peso line fifty cents or some things that nobody can buy sold and so they bought it for the candy on our circulation went through the roof. We were delighted. That is one of the big takeaways. And i love that. You got to do that as a kid and continue doing it later on as an adult. Congratulations on the success with time etc for anyone who wants to go and check this out and sign up for free. I i just wanted to process. It was so fast. I was surprised. You might have noticed as i was asking you but what is in the drop down and i said oh wait. It's actually right here. You made it super easy. It's t. i m. e. e. t. c. dot com time. Et atc dot com. And i wanna thank sponsors. Who made this happen. The i if you got an idea and you wanna put it up on a website to see if people like it see if it makes sense and to be able to get started with fast and inexpensively i urge you to go to hostgator and if you use my special. Url they'll give you a phenomenal price that is host gator dot com slash mixture and. Finally if you wanna have software handle your email and simplified for you do what. I do every single day. I see that sane box working on my inbox giving me sanity go to same box. Dot com slash mixer g. s. a. n. e. b. o. x. dot com slash. Mx rg y barnaby. Congratulations and thank you for being on here by everyone.

barnaby uk barnaby lashbrooke Barnaby Aaron dragon penny pike andrew warner google tim ferriss richard branson