Show cover of Big Break Software Podcast

Big Break Software Podcast

Welcome to the Big Break Software Podcast, the show where we discuss the ins and outs of building software companies. Listen in as we have conversations with industry leaders, and experts, about what it takes to build a software company.

Tracks

How Tammy Developed a Security Application that Adults and Teenagers can use to Seek Assistance in an Emergency
Tammy Haldeman, CEO of Your Shield, talks about coming up with the idea, developing it, their pricing plan, and why the application is ideal for adults and teenagers. You Shield is a safety application that users install on their phones. Tammy Haldeman, the developer, tells Geordie about it.  What You’ll Learn How Tammy came up with the idea Lessons Tammy learned along the way Challenges Tammy and her team faced during the development process In This Episode Tammy Haldeman believes the You Shield app can protect users from sexual harassment, sex trafficking, kidnapping, bullying, and domestic violence. After activating it, users need to program a secret word they can remember easily, which comes in handy in an emergency. If you ever experience an attack, your attackers will never know about the app. All you need to pre-program your secret word on the app is shout your preferred term. The app will notify everybody you have programmed, begin tracking your location, and record audio. Tammy gives out an example in the podcast to better understand how the app works. Tammy describes, coming up with the idea as a gift. She narrates how a bullying incident where the victim, a 10-year-old girl, committed suicide affected her. Suddenly the thought of a security application hit her brain. She says aspects of designing and improving her idea kept flooding her mind, and that’s when she decided to actualize it. Investing in application development can be a costly practice. However, Tammy mentions that her heart was ready to go over and above to catch attackers or prevent them from violating other people’s rights. With zero experience in software, Tammy admits that venturing into the industry was intimidating. She struggled with finding the right people to trust with her idea and reputable professionals she could work with. Tammy narrates how she met Geordie, with whom they had an easy conversation. She says Geordie made her comfortable even though she was not conversant with software-related terms. Find out how Tammy and Geordie’s development team collaborated to build the app.  Geordie highlights how they struggled with finding the ideal sequence because they needed to configure the iOS operating system. At some point, they encountered particular regulations that barred changes on iOS. How did Tammy navigate that phase? She remembers one specific week when accessing her account on App Store was impossible for two weeks. However, despite the challenges, Tammy says everything worked satisfactorily because it allowed their developers to focus on the complexities of the application. That phase gave them sufficient time to prepare the app for launch.  Every entrepreneur struggles with the fear of the unknown, and Tammy was not an exception. Sometimes she feared that the app would never go live. However, she was certain she could keep pushing until her dreams actualized. Tammy quickly mentions that developing an application is a long, tedious, and time-consuming process. When it comes to app development, a celebration of the last day never comes because you are always thinking about what to improve to enhance the user experience. What’s more, customers keep demanding new features. Still, Tammy describes two moments when her persistence seemed to be bearing fruits. Listen to the podcast to learn about it. When Tammy started developing the You Shield idea, she had not emphasized sexual harassment. However, her niece was recently harassed sexually at school, which made her regret for not activating her niece’s Shield activated. In today’s world, where insecurity is rising exponentially, every teenager can benefit from using the You Shield app. Do you have privacy concerns regarding this app? Tammy says only app users can playback recordings from their devices. Further, they don’t collect the user’s information. Such data is only necessary for activating the app. She also discussed their payment plans in the podcast. If you are interested in the app, do not miss this podcast section.  This app is meant for both teenagers and adults as well. Tammy says you can never predict when something happens to you and insists that having the app can rescue you from risky situations. One of the most interesting features of this application is that victims can call out for help without their attackers knowing.  If you are an aspiring app developer, Tammy says documenting your dreams about the project is crucial. She says potential app developers should create recordings, draw their plans, and write down their expectations. Collaborating with trustworthy people with whom you can easily communicate is also crucial during the development process.  Your Shield app is only available on iOS, but Tammy says they are working on availing it for Android users soon.  Resources Tammy Haldeman Tammy Your Shield App Your Shield website  
20:51 03/16/2022
How Eric Frankel of AdGreets Navigated Challenges to hit 400,000 MRR and Beyond
Eric Frankel, CEO, and founder of AdGreets, talks about coming up with his MVP, funding it, and gaining his first customers to find product-market fit. Listen in for the insights. AdGreetz is a leading video personalization technology platform that helps brands build robust customer relationships. It also increases engagement between five and seven times by generating and deploying thousands of smart ads by machine learning and Artificial intelligence in real-time. He talks to Geordie about his journey.  What You’ll Learn Why did Eric choose to work with younger people What strategy do Eric and his team use to retain clients? Lessons Eric learned during his search for clients In this Episode Traditional advertising involves creating a generic message or ad for everybody even though people are different. Eric and his team are committed to changing that narrative by making hundreds, thousands, and even millions of advertisement versions customized to speak to and meet individual customers’ needs. He says they leverage data to create multiple versions of messages and ads on different advertising platforms across the globe.  Eric’s passion for advertising started when he was President of Warner Brothers. While there, he spent years trying to make the world understand that television did not have to be about appointments. He believed that the on-demand approach was the idea of the future. Listen to the podcast for more details about Eric’s idea. Unfortunately, some people dismissed it as the worst in the industry, but still, he did not give up. With time, people started embracing his idea. Eric decided to transform the 100 billion dollar worth of advertising business and left Warner at some point. He collaborated with a group of colleagues to focus on AdGreets, a company he has been running for the last decade. Today, the world is fast catching up with the streaming concept.  Eric did not leave Warner without a plan. He took his time to strategize and consider various things he wanted to do before settling for one. He would later develop a business plan before approaching investors. He says convincing the investors was easier because he already had money to kickstart his project. He explains how he hired a team of professionals to work with and the number of errors he made along the way.  Building a platform that works and meets customer demands is an ongoing process. Eric says they spent more than a year in the development process, and they bore fruits. Still, they learned from each client and kept improving the platform. One of the core problems that Eric faced was how to make the platform user-friendly. Listen to the podcast to find out the strategy they used. Eric also gives comprehensive details of how their system works and got his first customers. You don’t want to miss this informational part of the podcast. As the business grew and the cost of running it became unbearable, Eric had to make a tough decision to let people go. He says that was one of the hardest times he has ever had to go through during his entrepreneurship journey. Find out why from the podcast. For Eric, becoming cash positive happened by chance. He says while the investors he spoke to loved his idea, he stopped asking them for money. The business continued running smoothly even during a bad week or month when clients had delayed payment. Today, Eric has not written a check in months and doesn’t see the need to do so, which is a sign that he is breaking even.  The company has evolved tremendously, and investors are reaching out to Eric and his team seeking collaborations. In Eric’s sentiments, what you own is not as crucial as winning in the end. He says he is becoming smarter and believes that having more people on board will make the company better. He looks forward to getting more people to help him push his dream to actualization.  In every business, there are numerous competitors to deal with. How does AdGreets set itself apart from competitors? Eric says they do so by being an effective omnichannel solution. He mentions that they devised unique selling propositions, which they highlight when conducting presentations or comparing themselves with their competitors.  If Eric were to turn the hands of time, he would raise more money initially. He explains his reasons in the podcast. He also mentions that having your own money helps you attract investors.  Resources AdGreetz Eric Frankel LinkedIn  
46:27 03/09/2022
How David Perry, CEO of GetCarro.com, Build a Video Game Streaming Technology that Won Two Guinness Book of World Records Before Transitioning into the eCommerce World
David Perry, CEO, and co-founder of GetCarro.com, talks about developing successful games and transitioning into the eCommerce world. Listen in for more Insights.  GetCarro.com is a platform that collaborates with other companies to help brands increase their visibility. Brands can reach more customers, increase sales, and gain attention by offering innovative solutions. David Perry, the CEO, talks to Geordie about his journey.  What You’ll Learn Impact of influencers on brands How David and his team countered competitors Why David moved to eCommerce Components you need to make a video game work and what they mean Importance of a verification system In this Episode David believes that attention is one of the most critical needs for a company, so much so that some brands are buying Google clicks to get more attention. According to David, that is a costly strategy. As a result, he started thinking about a better way of helping brands get more attention by associating with famous people on social media. David came to this realization at a point when he had sold his company. To keep himself busy, he started building a fantastic man cave that he describes as ridiculous. Among the things he had was a photo studio, and he noticed that people only cared about his pictures when he photographed social media influencers.  At some point, he engaged some of the influencers who had a wide following on social media to determine how life as an influencer was. David was confident that the influencers enjoyed all the attention from the answers he received. However, they would have been comfortable working with their preferred brands instead of being harassed by random brands from various parts of the world. David made up his mind to help the influencers accomplish their dreams. He thought of determining a strategy to match influencers to brands they liked. Together with his team, David developed a technology that figures out available influencers, identifies their preferred brands, and pairs them to the brand. David says the response they received for the idea was overwhelming. They would later develop a technique to circulate their products to the relevant influencers. In this case, influencers would shop free of charge. David says they have developed more than 8,000 homepages to manage that process and ensure influencers request products for free. He explains how brands benefit from that technique in the podcast. He also talks about how they integrated different eCommerce platforms and facilitated cross-selling to help them increase sales.  David discusses how he ventured into the world of streaming video games, and you cannot afford to miss this part of the podcast. He later sold his video streaming company to venture into the eCommerce world. According to David, the actual cost of eCommerce is how much it costs to get customers to walk in your store and how much they spend on average. He notes that the average order value is a critical metric because it determines your survival rate and position in the market.   Suppose the average order size is high, an entrepreneur can invest more in their marketing strategy to acquire customers. What constitutes the average order value? David says many brands restrict themselves to selling only one product instead of diversifying based on their niche. If you are an entrepreneur, listen to this part of the podcast for comprehensive details on this subject. You will understand why adopting a transformational way of thinking about your brand helps you increase your average order value.  David says they had to work hard to prove their worth and get special placement on Shopify. Together with his team, they focused on eliminating all hurdles along the way to convince Shopify of their competence. They also did the same with Facebook, and you can learn about it from the podcast.  While some businesses struggle to raise money, David says doing so is easy, especially when engaging in innovative activities. He mentions that they achieved product-market fit multiple times because their platform comprises numerous solutions. What strategy can platform owners use to charge subscribers? According to David, the most effective method is allowing them to pay what they can afford. He explains their price points in this podcast. Shopify store owners willing to connect with David can click on getcarro.com, install the Shopify application and email the team at hello@getcarro.com. David promises you excellent treatment and attention if you mention that you listened to this podcast.  Resources David Perry LinkedIn Carro  
54:26 03/02/2022
How Bob Miles of Salad.com Navigated Challenges in the Crypto Industry to Come up with a New Incentive Model and Build a Successful Cloud Computing Firm
Bob Miles, CEO, and founder of Salad Technologies, talks about venturing into the SaaS and web three world, funding his MVP, and gaining the first customers to navigate from zero to product fit. Listen in for more insights. Salad Technologies is a firm that collaborates with numerous computer gamers in their inactive PC resources to develop distributed cloud computing infrastructure. Bob Miles, the CEO, tells Geordie about his journey.  What You Will Learn How Bob stumbled on his company's idea  Who does Salad Technologies target? What makes cryptocurrency a trustless monetization system? What are the Folding@home and Seti@home concepts? How the Salad Technologies reward program works Why some people are frowning upon the proof of work concept How will the proof of stake model affect Salad Technologies operations? Challenges Bob and his team experienced before launching their MVP Why influencers are crucial for pushing your marketing strategy and building trust In This Episode: Bob says Salad Technologies is committed to solving the rising demand for computing resources. Based on their findings, up to 90% of resources remain idle even though they are connected to the internet. Salad Technologies introduces a concept that encourages people to share their computer resources whenever they are not using them. In return, the individuals will receive gift card subscriptions, games, and various digital purchases. Listen to the podcast to understand their plan for their infrastructure.  Salad Technologies is introducing a new incentive model that fixes the human challenges of distributed computing that resonates with numerous individuals. While their model is not unique, Bob says they recognized the opportunity in collaboration with his old boss. He explains this opportunity, and you can find all the details in the podcast. At some point, Bob mentions the sudden rise in crypto prices which occurred in 2017. How did the increase affect the gaming industry? They would later identify the massive latent resources and the increasing demand for the same in terms of proof of work mining. They also identified a disconnect where a significant percentage of gamers were not mining crypto. Bob says three core hypotheses formed around their findings were instrumental in forming the company and developing the initial product. He explains this concept in detail. One of Bob and his team's challenges was the two-sided market issue, which crypto fixed. However, they struggled with fraud, forcing the team to work harder into introducing a loophole-free model.  In a bid to test the three hypotheses, Bob and his team compiled their MVP as fast as they could and released it in the market regardless of a few popular loopholes. They intended to receive feedback from the users, which they would then use to improve it to meet customer needs. Bob explains how fraudsters invaded their system. Bob spent eight months fundraising for his MVP, where he raised enough capital to hire a few developers to help launch the MVP in the market and test it. Bob and his team found the MVP when the crypto market was crumbling. He admits that it has taken a miracle for the firm to survive those turbulent times. Still, he was optimistic that better times were coming. Bob mentions that theirs is a reward program and explains how it works. Get the details from the podcast. Even then, Bob is quick to say that theirs is not a cryptocurrency firm but a cloud computing organization. He explains this concept extensively in the podcast.  Introducing a difficult value proposition in the market is one of the critical challenges the Salad Technologies team has struggled with. Bob gives an example of the Airbnb and Uber concept, saying that nobody would have thought they were achievable years ago. Today, however, those approaches are some of the most popular worldwide. Bob mentions the different marketing strategies they tried in vain at the beginning. They would later leverage Discord to market their product. Find out how they actualized the deal.  Bob envisions a future where the web becomes peak centralization, and their online interactions vary from what they are today. The emergence of advanced technologies like web three and peer to peer communication protocols introduces a different incentive model. As a result, Salad Technologies will change its relationship with the web. The team sees a future where many people will be willing to surrender their computers and servers to web three's varying ecosystems and protocols. The emergence of an interconnected digital world is one thing that Bob is scared about. Find out why from the podcast.  Resources Salad Technology Bob Miles LinkedIn
52:05 02/23/2022
Impact before profits with multi-million ARR employee hiring SaaS Eightfold.ai CEO Ashutosh Garg
Ashutosh Garg, CEO, and co-founder of Eightfold.ai, talks about building his team, developing  the MVP,  and finding product-market fit to hit seven-figure MRR. Listen to the podcast and learn.  Eightfold.ai is committed to enabling the ideal career for everybody across the world. The platform facilitates inclusion and diversity, eliminating bias from hiring and assisting American citizens in returning to work via the department of labor in the US. Ashutosh Garg, the CEO, and co-founder talks to Geordie about his journey.   What You'll Learn  Why finding the right job or skilled talent is becoming harder every day Why the company has its focus on the US Why hiring should be based on a candidate's potential instead of what they have done Lessons Ashutosh learned from attending an interview at Google How did Ashutosh convince his co-founder to join him? How Ashutosh and his team executed the pitching process Why Ashutosh and his team are particular about building matches  In This Episode  Finding a job can be a daunting task, as Ashutosh learned during his time as an employee. Ashutosh realized that people were struggling to get the right job while employers had difficulty finding the right talent.   As technology advances and the world evolve, skills also change and become outdated very fast. Any skill you have today will be phased out in the next few years, explaining why there is a significant supply and demand mismatch in today's job market. Ashutosh says that employees should upskill themselves constantly to stay relevant to their client's needs and remain competitive. The supply and demand issue is triggering challenges in society, which drove Ashutosh and his team to establish Eightfold.ai. Organizations must stand out in today's highly competitive world to thrive. How was Ashutosh's AI hiring platform different from others? He explains in this podcast. At some point, Ashutosh talks about an interesting scenario when he had attended an interview. Listen to the podcast to find out what happened then, and the lessons both employers and employees can learn from the same.   Working at Google was an eye-opener for Ashutosh. He says some of the things he learned while there were that; companies are losing out on good candidates due to the lack of knowledge. He also realized that a company's success is highly dependent on hiring the right talent.   Those lessons were instrumental to Ashutosh when he embarked on launching his company. His core goal was to determine what he could do to help people grow. While he started the business independently, his talented co-founder would later join him, and they both collaborated to form a robust platform. Ashutosh speaks fondly about his co-founder, and you can get all the details from the podcast.   One thing Ashutosh has realized about the job market is the emphasis on long interviews, which he is against. At Eightfold.ai, they have adopted a different strategy based on three factors. First, they analyze a candidate's career, assess their journey, and use their findings to determine what the candidate can learn fast, and the roles they can thrive in. Ashutosh talks about the other two factors, and you can learn about then from the podcast. If Ashutok had a chance to re-execute his pitching process, he would do it differently. Listen to the podcast to find out why.   Having worked at Facebook and Google, Ashutosh and his co-founder were conversant with crawling the web. They leveraged any data they could obtain and developed models based on it. They also involved their potential customers from the first day, which saw some of them investing. They later collaborated with a large corporate company from India, their flagship customer today.   In identifying their target niche, Ashutosh says they realized that different companies would be hiring for various roles. Further, each position would change based on the industry, with some firms having more professionals than others. Together with his team, Ashutosh embarked on a research process to identify patterns and learn from data regardless of the language or role, a strategy that worked for them. Listen to the podcast for comprehensive details on this strategy.  Eightfold.ai has evolved and today has customers in different niches, including mining, logistics, insurance, financial institutions, and tech firms. Ashutosh is unaware of when they found product-market fit, but he gives some examples in the podcast. He says they strive to work with organizations with 2,000 or more employees, even though the market often drives their decision. Ashutosh's plan for the future is to continue building and defining excellence. They are committed to offering better services every day.    Resources  ai
43:36 02/15/2022
After years of trying to find product market fit this founder talks about getting through the lean years with 37k MRR clowdwork.com CEO Alexandra Gamarra
Alexandra Gamarra, co-founder, and CEO of Clowd Work, talks about building the MVP, finding their first customers, and navigating their product-market fit to achieve growth. Listen in for more insights.  Cloud Work is a fully automatic time tracking system for organizations that need to track, manage, and report time. Through this system, users can keep their projects on track and budget. It comes with an automatic employee time tracking software and various features like reporting timesheets and screenshots. Alexandra Gamarra, the CEO, talks to Geordie about her story.  What You’ll Learn Why did Alexandra choose to work with a remote team? Why Alexandra and her team were keen to find out what their employees were up to How Alexandra and her team improved their product to make it saleable to other companies Why did Alexandra sell her eCommerce business? How much did Alexandra sell the eCommerce for, and how much did they invest in the software development venture? Why Alexandra and her team redeveloped their software Challenges Alexandra faced during the MVP’s beta testing phase  Importance of determination and patience in entrepreneurship  In this Episode  Alexandra kicks off the podcast by narrating her story to let listeners understand why she founded the platform with the help of her co-founder. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, this section will help you understand how much effort you should invest in building a successful entity.   Alexandra could not afford employees in the UK as a startup, which pushed her to hire a remote team from Colombia, paying lower salaries. She was convinced that the team would make her competitive, but that did not happen. Instead, Alexandra struggled with productivity issues, with the team unable to finish tasks on time. Alexandra mentions how she could not figure out why the team was not delivering while her competitors were more productive even though their workforce was costly. At some point, she thought about doing away with the remote team and hiring someone in the UK before her husband intervened. Listen to the podcast to find out how her husband reacted to the idea.   Even after investigating the team, Alexandra and her husband could not identify the problem. Her husband decided to hire a software developer to develop a system to help them understand what was going on. Alexandra says that was the initial version of Clowd Work. The software could be installed in an employee’s computer regardless of location. They could then rely on it to track what their employees were up to. Was the software effective? Alexandra says the software helped them solve a huge problem. Listen to the podcast to understand their findings.   Alexandra later informed her team about the software, which became the wake-up call she had wished for. The team became so competitive that the company could not stop growing. According to Alexandra, the company surpassed the $ 1 million daily turnovers in less than one year.   From their software’s success, Alexandra and her team felt that other companies with remote employees would gain major benefits. However, they were overly busy at the eCommerce business to think about expanding. At the suggestion of Alexandra’s husband, they decided to travel the world and see if they could run the business on the go. They did, and it turned out to be successful.   Alexandra talks about how they sold their eCommerce business to focus on software development. They would later work with a renowned global accelerator, who played a major role in the business growth. Alexandra and her team had to redevelop their software to make it saleable to other companies. Listen to her extensive explanation on why they invested in software, and the features they added to improve its performance. If you are thinking about venturing into the software industry, you cannot afford to miss this insightful section. Covid-19 was a blessing in disguise to Alexandra and her team because that is when they found product-market fit after a long time of struggling. She discusses the challenges they went through in the podcast. What lesson has Alexandra learned along the way? She says, had she heard her users more, they would not have spent lots of time and money developing features that users were not asking for. Alexandra also mentions that free demos are not valued everywhere, and sometimes they can be a time-wasting approach that bears no fruit.  Resources  Clowd Work Alexandra Gamarra LinkedIn  
47:14 02/08/2022
Starting and Selling SaaS with incubator startup Todd Larsen.
Todd Larsen, CEO of Tech Leaders, talks about growing SaaS businesses and how his coaching program helps founders better their products. Listen in for the insights. Tech Leaders is a company that helps technology startups enhance their products and become people leaders. Todd Larsen, the CEO tells Geordie about his journey. What You’ll Learn What makes a Micro SaaS plug and playable? How Todd’s model works How do Todd and his team execute the sales process? How much equity are companies willing to surrender to Todd and his team? How do Todd and his team assess startups before accepting them into the program? What is the 12-point assessment? Why do Todd and his team prefer real stack instead of no-code tools Challenges Todd and his crew face in their line of work In This Episode Todd narrates how his stint at Groupon helped him understand how to do and maintain things at scale and achieve growth at a particular phase. He would later transition to the startup world to experience what it was like moving from nothing to something. Todd says he did a significant amount of his work remotely. Listen to the podcast to learn how he collaborated with his startup colleague, the CEO of digit.co, an early FinTech firm, and how they grew the team. He explains what the company was all about, and you can get the details from the podcast. Todd’s passion for small companies saw him leave digit.co at a point when the company had grown to nearly 100 employees. Todd says he derives joy from starting because doing so is exciting, and he wanted to experience it once again. How did Todd execute his exit at digit.co? He gives Geordie comprehensive details that you can learn about from the podcast.  After leaving digit.co, Todd took a sabbatical to figure out what he wanted to do before settling for a micro SaaS. He identified an already existing niche because he did not want to go through the hassle of building a market. Todd says he invested in reading lots of stuff on social media during his sabbatical. He spent a considerable amount of time on Twitter, where he would later identify his niche, which he calls money Twitter. At some point, Todd joined a course that one of the popular influencers on Twitter was offering to experience what was happening. While there, he realized that nearly everything was happening manually. He was surprised to see people discussing making money yet using an inefficient process.  Todd went ahead to develop a simple app around that niche. Before then, he built lots of trust in the community, which helped him understand their pain points extensively. He also befriended people who were prominent within the community. He would later use them as affiliates to help him promote the product, allowing him to achieve 1,000 MRR in the first two months after launching. Social media is a powerful tool that Todd and his team use to generate leads. They also leverage paid processes for market testing purposes. Cold email, Todd says, still works wonders. The team maintains complete control over the technical stack as the servant leaders during engagements with their customers. He reiterates that they strive to lead excellent decisions while defining what should happen. One thing that sets Todd and his team ahead of their competitors is that they are order writers and not order takers. Hiring the right people can be challenging, but Todd says they ensure employees have fun working with them on exciting projects. When it comes to the kind of equity companies are willing to surrender, Todd says it depends on how established they are. Listen to Todd as he explains how they use the 12 assessment factor when analyzing companies. So far, Todd has worked with various entrepreneurs in different niches. He narrates how he collaborated with a surgeon to develop a CRM platform for plastic surgeons. Listen to the podcast for more details. Todd concludes the podcast with some words of wisdom for anyone planning to start a SaaS. He says: Focus on distribution in the market. Understand the conversations in the market. What do customers need now and in the future?    Do not embark on building a program without a ready market. Developing a product and waiting for clients to come is not a suitable plan.    Obtaining feedback from the actual users will help you develop a product that meets customer demands.  Resources Sales and Software Todd Larsen  
46:53 02/02/2022
How Dawn Verbrigghe, CEO of Jottful, gave up a Lucrative CMO Startup Position to start SMB CMS
Dawn Verbrigghe, CEO of Jottful, talks about coming up with the idea, funding the MVP, gaining first customers, and navigating the zero to product fit journey. Listen and learn.   Jottful is a SaaS company that allows small and medium-sized businesses to create and manage affordable, professional, and easy to navigate websites to eliminate the need to hire an agency. The company encourages small businesses to market themselves better online. Dawn Verbrigghe, the CEO, and founder, tells Geordie about her entrepreneurship journey.   What You’ll Learn How working in a family business inspired Dawn to build the MVP How Dawn reached out to potential businesses Why the Jottful niche is horizontal-based Why people were afraid of referring Jottful to their friends How a mentor can help you make the best decision The perks of being an entrepreneur How early-stage business funding has evolved over the last few years Why Dawn and her team don’t use their product on their website What is the difference between direct response and brand advertising?  In This Episode  Online marketing plays a core role in the success of businesses. With a robust online marketing strategy, small and medium-sized businesses can accelerate their growth, attract more customers, and increase revenue. Jottful understands the importance of marketing which is why they collaborate with small businesses to help them increase their presence online through their websites. Hiring an agency to build your website can be costly, especially if you are a small business entrepreneur. With technological advancements today and the availability of easy-to-use tools, small businesses can quickly build their websites. However, to leverage some of the available tools, you need technical skills that many small business entrepreneurs do not have. This is where Jottful comes in through their “do it together” initiative. The company gets content from their customers, creates, launches their websites, and helps them maintain the site on an ongoing basis. Listen to the podcast for extensive details on how the company works. Dawn also explains how their pricing model works.   While Dawn is a qualified graphic designer, a business background played a significant role in carving her entrepreneurship journey. She gained tremendous experience and insight from working in a family business. Listen to her story to understand how she came up with her MVP. Dawn signed up her first few customers in unlikely circumstances. She explains how a national bridal event paved the way for her to exhibit her website development skills. Get the details from the podcast.   Dawn says her core focus at the event was to determine whether or not her idea had a viable value proposition. After that, she would focus on building the MVP and ensuring that it worked before figuring out their initial target market. At first, Dawn and her team focused on bridal shops. They would later enroll in an accelerator program linked to the University of Michigan, which was accepted. Dawn says the University is among their most prominent investors. The accelerator program helped them realize that their niche is not industry-based but company size-based. She explains this concept in the podcast. How did Dawn fund her MVP? Even though she was in between jobs, she was looking forward to assuming a powerful CMO position in a full-time company that was planning to go public. She was torn between joining full-time employment and becoming an entrepreneur at some point. She shared her dilemma with her mentor, who advised her that entrepreneurship was her calling. Dawn has no regrets for giving up employment for entrepreneurship. Having a qualified engineer during the MVP development stage is critical. Dawn explains how she met, what she considered when hiring her engineer, and how they collaborated to build a powerful platform. She also talks about funding the MVP. According to Dawn, their product is easy to use, and customers can easily make necessary changes on their websites in record time.   Many entrepreneurs struggle with identifying and defining their niche. Dawn gives comprehensive details on how they went about the process. Listen to the podcast to understand how they struggled trying to get their product to their target audience. If you are a new entrepreneur or aspiring to become one, you cannot afford to miss this section of the podcast. Dawn concludes the podcast with some words of advice for aspiring SaaS entrepreneurs:  Start building an audience as early. Many entrepreneurs focus on product development before determining how to sell it, derailing their growth.   Social media channels can help you reach your target audience better than an email list. Dawn says LinkedIn is a great audience funnel. Resources  Jottful Dawn Verbrigghe Twitter Dawn Verbrigghe LinkedIn  
54:27 01/26/2022
How multi 7 figure ARR WPX.net became a leader in the crowded Wordpress hosting space with CEO & cofounder Terry Kyle
Terry Kyle, CEO, and Co-founder of WPX.net talks about starting the company, building his MVP, and how he sets himself apart from competitors. Listen and learn.   WPX.net is a WordPress hosting platform that specializes in providing excellent customer service and speedy services. Terry ventured into the hosting industry as an entrepreneur in 2013 even though he had already been using hosting companies for approximately 15 years. Terry Kyle, the CEO and co-founder, tells Geordie about his journey.  What You’ll Learn How Planet Hosting evolved to WPX How WPX discovered its product-market fit Why WordPress site owners should audit their plugins Why you should get rid of plugins you no longer use Challenges Terry and his team faced along their journey Why Terry started a non-profit organization  In This Episode:  After using hosting services for many years with little satisfaction, Terry decided to venture into the industry as an entrepreneur. He noticed that many things needed fixing in the entire hosting industry, and knew he could fix them and offer better services. In 2013, Terry collaborated with his business partner, and together they formed Planet Hosting. He explains why they chose that name and their vision at the time.   Many entrepreneurs and marketers often dread product launch days for fear that their websites will crash. Experiencing a website downtime during a critical event is one of the worst things an entrepreneur can experience. Apart from rendering you ineffective, it can demonstrate your incompetence, forcing potential customers to lose trust in your brand. Such unfortunate scenarios are what Terry and his team are trying to save marketers and entrepreneurs from by guaranteeing maximum website speed and reducing downtimes as much as possible. Listen to the podcast for comprehensive details about this concept.     Different businesses discover their product-market fit in various ways. For Terry, delivering excellent services marked their turning point. He talks about how his interaction with a particular SEO blogger bore fruit for his company. The blogger had a bad experience with another provider before engaging WPX, who fixed his website problem. He was happy and decided to write about WPX and its services. The blogger had a high following and out of that post, WPX gained lots of traction.  The pricing model you choose for your company can make or break it. Terry says they chose a cost-friendly and reasonable pricing model that nearly every potential customer could afford. He talks about their model comprehensively. You can get all the details from the podcast. At some point, Terry talks about WordPress plugins, saying they are both good and bad. How do these plugins affect the effectiveness of your website? Terry talks about it in the podcast.   Terry explains an anomaly that, according to him, was unique to the hosting industry, where firms hired non-technical staff. In this case, customers would have a rough time if their websites crashed because all they received were long technical articles that struggled to read and understand. He gives an illustration to demonstrate the complexity of such a scenario. Learn about it from the podcast. To overcome such occurrences, Terry and his team introduced the “Fixed for you guarantee” approach, where they would fix offline websites free of charge. Review websites can be instrumental for your business, and Terry seems to agree. He says Trustpilot, their core review portal has been an instrumental innovation in building their reputation. Terry recognizes the people who write reviews and those that create video testimonials for them as what sets WPX apart from its competitors. The team has overly invested in live chat so they can respond to inquiries or complaints fast.   Challenges in business are inevitable. Terry talks about a time in late 2021 when their website went offline for six hours in what he describes as Armageddon. Find out what triggered this problem and the consequences they suffered.   Every Dog Matters is an NGO that Terry and his team founded. WPX is a key sponsor. Their main goal is to rescue and give each homeless dog a spacious and comfortable shelter with sufficient food, water, proper healthcare, and freedom to socialize with people. Terry explains the strategies they are using to fix this problem in the podcast. In the future, Terry hopes to rescue horses and donkeys too. He concludes the podcast with various quotes that could benefit aspiring and established entrepreneurs.   Do whatever matters as long as you can but start as early as possible The most appropriate time to start is always now Time flows unbelievably fast. Waiting should never be an option Be ambitious and ask yourself how far you can push whatever it is you are doing Never give up. You can accomplish incredible results by knowing what you want and doing everything possible to achieve it.  Resources  WPX Terry Kyle LinkedIn Terry Kyle Website WPX Instagram Every Dog Matters Instagram WPX Facebook    
47:23 01/20/2022
What is shiny object syndrome and how it helped Zip Message Founder Brian Casel
Brian Casel, founder of ZipMessage discusses his transition from Audience Ops to a new venture and what he has learned along the way. Get more insights from the podcast.  ZipMessage is a video messaging tool that facilitates asynchronous conversations with remote teams and customers. Brian Casel recently sold his content marketing company to focus on ZipMessage. He talks to Geordie about his journey.   What You’ll Learn Why Brian sold Audience Ops The difference between a productized service and an agency How did Brian conduct the Audience Ops sale process? What was Brian’s initial idea for ZipMessage? Why the asynchronous approach is ideal for teams working across time zones Why is ZipMessage viral?  In This Episode  Brian has sufficient experience in web and front-end development, and design. He has also spoken about productized services for many years. Over the years, Brian has created a course and developed audience applications. His interest in software, SaaS, and product design and the need to improve his full-stack skills with Ruby on Rails started in the last few years. Brian says he sold Audience Ops to focus on building ZipMessage.   Knowing what you can or cannot do is crucial when starting a business. Brian says he relied on a few rules for guidance during the beginning and running of Audience Ops. While he is a good writer, Brian did not want to complete writing tasks for his clients. Instead, he hired a team of professionals from the beginning, with whom they collaborated to grow the company into a five figures MRR. Apart from being sustainable and profitable, the company gave Brian lots of liberty to focus on SaaS ideas. Brian explains how Audience Ops operates and the tools they use. Get all the details in the podcast.   Brian also touches on his first SaaS idea, Process Kit, and highlights some of the challenges he experienced with onboarding new customers and convincing them to adopt a new tool. He says Process Kit is still operational and sustainable. However, when the ZipMessage idea came along, he focused all his energy on the new venture. At some point, he mentions shiny objects, saying they often solve many of the challenges he may have encountered in the previous project. Brian’s sentiments are enough to conclude that he suffers from the shiny object syndrome, where he gets distracted by new ideas easily, abandoning his current venture to focus all his attention on a new concept.   Audience Ops was already successful, but Brian says the idea of selling it had crossed his mind in the first four years of running it. He decided to delay the plans until 2021 came, and he could no longer continue running it. Brian explains what was running through his mind before he finally sold Audience Ops. He also provides comprehensive details of the sale process, picking the buyer, and why he did not use a broker. Listen to the podcast for the details.   Brians’s previous SaaS experience came in handy to help him build the initial ZipMessage prototype in less than a month. His developer would then come in to help him transform the prototype into a version one MVP, and within three months they had their first paying customers.   During the ZipMessage MVP development process, Brian watched the market closely for patterns and trends. He says he has worked remotely and been asynchronous throughout his career, an experience he leveraged when dbuilding ZipMessage. Brian explains how ZipMessage works in an extensive section that you do not want to miss. The ZipMessage solution is available in three plans which you can learn about in the podcast. ZipMessage features a viral aspect and Brian explains why in the podcast.  With the world adopting remote work, various agencies are using ZipMessage to cut down calendar calls, facilitate team and sales conversations, and offer customer support. Coaches are also using it for student conversations and coaching. Brian explains what the team is doing to market ZipMessage and get more partners on board. According to Brian, the shiny object syndrome has played a core role in his growth. He believes he would not have achieved tremendous success had he stuck with one business concept. Brian concludes the podcast by advising entrepreneurs to learn along their business journey, determine what worked and didn’t, and establish strategies to improve their upcoming products. He also believes that entrepreneurs do not just stumble on ideas. Instead, there is always some form of luck in everything they discover.  Resources  ZipMessage Brian Casel LinkedIn Brian Casel Twitter Brian Casel Website  
44:27 01/12/2022
From failed Wordpress theme service to successful landing buying website & CRM SaaS with Jessey Kwong of Reiconversion.com
Jessey Kwong, CEO, and founder of REI Conversion talks about inventing the idea, building and funding the MVP, and bootstrapping from zero to 30,000 MRR. Listen in for more details. REI conversion is a SaaS company that helps users automate and systematize their land buying business. Jessey Kwong, the founder, and CEO started off as a vacant land investor before upgrading his operations. He tells Geordie about his journey.  What You’ll Learn Why did Jessey’s first WordPress theme flop? Why the current 50/50 equity split agreement between Jessey and his partner complicates planning Lessons Jessey has learned from the 50/50 equity split How Covid affected the business In this Episode While being a vacant land investor paved the way for Jessey’s success in the land investing business, he no longer focuses on the venture. Instead, he is scaling REI conversion to meet growing customer demands. Jessey says his digital background came in handy to help him develop websites fast. At some point, he helped other people build their websites, and before long, he realized that more and more people wanted websites to market their properties. Launching his website played a core role in helping him scale and systemize fast.  After helping various people build their websites, Jessey and his team saw an opportunity to create a product. However, the process was not short of challenges. Jessey says their premier WordPress theme flopped, forcing them to go back to the drawing board, where they redesigned everything and focused on marketing. Jessey explains why their WordPress theme was unsuccessful in the podcast.  Jessey talks about meeting his fellow investor, who was already using a system he had developed for his land management operations. He explains how they partnered in improving the user experience and user interface for the whole system. The team faced various challenges along the journey but later launched the CRM part of the system in mid-2020.  REI conversion, Jessey says, has multiple products, like CRM and marketing websites that help investors systemize and streamline their businesses. Get detailed of how Jessey and his partner split the equity.  Launching a product can be exciting, but predicting how people receive it can be difficult. However, Jessey and his team were lucky to have an existing user base making it easy for them to tap into their audience who were already using their themes. In their first month after launching their MVP, Jessey says they had up to 20 new users coming through their email lists, a Facebook group, WordPress, and lots of feedback. That number grew over the months, and at the end of their first year, they had approximately 200 users. They are planning to double that number in eighteen months.  Taking up investment can open many doors for businesses, and Jessey and his partner are contemplating it. At this point, Geordie talks to Jessey about the cons of taking up investment and why opting for a business accelerator could be a better option. Are you bootstrapped but considering taking up an investment? You do not want to miss this insightful section of the podcast. It will open your mind, helping you to understand why bootstrapping is a good idea regardless of the challenges involved. Business can be challenging, and every entrepreneur can benefit from the mentorship that business accelerators offer.  Jessey says they have figured out that their CRM is incapable of doing everything. As a result, they are considering various integrations in the future to expand their business. For example, they want to venture into a different market like the housing sector. However, Jessey feels like they still have a lot to do in the land industry. Currently, they are focused on adding the most value to land investors.  Mastering the art of marketing takes time. What did Jessey and his team do differently to increase conversions? They partnered with a prominent influencer in the land investing space who guided them on land investing. They formed an affiliate relationship with the influencer, who had a massive email list, giving them a big running start. Jessey and his team leveraged the influencer’s authority to build their user base and an email list.  Content is also a powerful marketing component, and Jessey says they have benefited from running podcasts and webinars. If he had a chance to turn back the hands of time, Jessey would plan for the future, prepare for scale, have a planning structure, and define his standard operating procedures Resources Jessy Kwong LinkedIn Rei Conversion   
44:00 01/04/2022
From bootstrapping to 50m funding & 25m ARR in 24 months with Andrew Butt of Enable.com
Andrew Butt, CEO, and co-founder of Enable, discusses how he gained interest in Enable, raising his initial funding, building the MVP, and navigating zero to product-market fit to hit 25 million ARR. Listen to the podcast for more insights.   Enable is a cloud-based collaboration platform for boosting the performance of B2B deals. It also improves operational efficiency and financial transparency. Enable was launched in 2015 and is used in various industries to evaluate, negotiate, and perform intricate trading agreements to push for profitable growth. Andrew, the CEO and co-founder talks to Geordie about his journey.   What You’ll Learn  How Andrew came up with the Enable idea How Andrew and his team transitioned from customized software to a genuine product What problem was Andrew attempting to solve from the beginning? Importance of pivoting to a SaaS model early Andrew’s experience of raising capital in the US While Andrew and his team decided to raise cash Difference between Enable’s series A and series B funding Why Silicon Valley is ideal for entrepreneurs seeking to grow their SaaS companies In This Episode:  Enable works with different companies along the supply chain who join efforts to deliver products to consumers. Andrew says their end customers are wholesalers, distributors, and eCommerce retailers. Enable also collaborates with manufacturers.   Having a robust software development background was instrumental in helping Andrew navigate the industry with ease. He has built and grown various software development companies that develop software for a wide range of companies. Everything Andrew does is an opportunity to learn different businesses and their requirements, and identifying existing gaps in the market. Listen to Andrew as he narrates how increasing customer demands pushed them into coming up with the Enable idea. At some point, they had to develop custom software to meet the growing customer demands. Their customers kept growing, and that is when they realized the need to build a genuine product instead of customizing software every time. Shifting from customized software to an authentic product can be a complex task. However, Andrew says they experienced fewer struggles. Find out why from the podcast. To fund the MVP development, Andrew says they used cash flow from their core business, an act he says helped them bootstrap for a while.   From the beginning, Andrew and his team were keen on solving business-to-business rebates problems. He explains this problem comprehensively in this podcast. Having numerous customers flowing your way in search of a robust solution is uncommon in many businesses. Andrew attributes this to the fact that he and his co-founder are in the distribution industry. Dennis, his co-founder, runs DCS group, the biggest distributor in the United Kingdom. The two collaborated to form their software development company, through which they met many prospects every day. Andrew says their first rebate management solution customer came from Dennis’s industry. He mentions how someone they knew referred them to a different sector. Find out what happened next from the podcast. Andrew also narrates their experience with their first customer and how they collaborated to build their solution. You will also learn how they finally pivoted along the way.   Transitioning from an agency to a SaaS was exciting and challenging because they were bootstrapping. As a result, focusing on their SaaS product entirely at that stage would have been impossible. Learn how they navigated that period from the podcast.   Marketing plays a significant role in business. Andrew says they had a small sales team whose work was to find customers through outbound marketing. They were also performing well on organic Google search, and potential customers were finding them under rebate management software. As their business grew, Andrew and his team decided to raise capital in the US instead of the UK. What challenges did they face during this phase? According to Andrew, raising funds in the US is different from the UK. He highlights some of these differences, and you can learn about them in the podcast. Businesses encounter numerous challenges, and Enable is no exception. Andrew talks about some of the challenges they faced along the way. One of the key challenges is ensuring that everyone is happy and that the team is positive and engaged. Andrew says. Finding excellent engineers and onboarding them can also be a daunting task. Andrew discusses their strategy of hiring and retaining a team of professional engineers. Andrew concludes the podcast by highlighting the importance of bootstrapping and finding product-market fit before investing colossal sums of money.   Resources  Andrew Butt LinkedIn Enable
43:37 12/28/2021
How a conversation with one client about an insurance data problem lead to a 2m ARR pivot for Leo Bernstein of Line Slip Solutions
Leo Bernstein CEO and co-founder of LineSlip Solutions, talks about funding his MVP, acquiring the first customers, and moving from zero to product-market fit. Listen to the podcast for more details.   LineSlip Solutions leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to obtain and design insurance data to automate essential tasks and control data vital to corporate insurance companies and commercial insurance brokers. He talks to Geordie about his journey in the entrepreneurship world.   What You’ll Learn What is structured data? How Leo went about analyzing the market and building his MVP Why many insurance businesses were unwilling to adopt technology What’s the initial problem that Leo and his team were trying to solve? How Leo started the company Challenges Leo faced while searching for a CTO Why Leo decided to adopt full-time online operations When did Leo realize product-market fit? Importance of marketing and creating brand awareness  In this Episode:  The creation of commercial insurance has been a manual process in many companies for many years. Leo says he made this discovery when he was a real estate investor responsible for acquiring commercial insurance for the company’s properties. Nothing could have prepared him for how manual the entire process was. He would later spend close to one year wondering and interacting with people in the insurance industry. During that time, Leo realized that many players in the insurance industry struggled with the manual operations problem. Commercial insurance companies dealt with structured data without treating it as structured data. Leo explains the meaning of structured data in this podcast.   Leo narrates the story of how he had attended an insurance renewal meeting and sought to review a few proposals from the carriers. During discussions with his broker, he (the broker) suggested a particular package and Leo sought to see the available alternatives. Unfortunately, the broker could not do so because he could not access the data. Leo found that strange, especially coming from a data-driven industry. Listen to the podcast for the discussion Leo had with the agent and how thought-provoking it turned out to be for him.  Leo would later spend lots of time talking to people in the insurance industry and trying to understand why the problem existed in the first place. He could not figure out why the data-driven sector could not access its data. Later on, Leo discovered the insurance industry had good reasons for that. He explains in the podcast. Leo would later understand why the problem existed, and he explains in the podcast.   While on his inquiry process, Leo met different people, one of whom he had known through a close friend. He ended up meeting another person who happened to be a senior call producer at Marsh McLennan who introduced him to someone at AIG. The team of three brainstormed the problem and tried to figure out whether technology could or could not fix some of these problems. Leo convinced his team that technology could help solve the issues. Apart from Leo, his colleagues were technically co-founders even though they did not join the company full time.   In 2018, Leo met Glen, someone he knew socially through his real estate partner. Through their interaction, Glen, an insurance guy, told Leo about a problem he was facing. It turned out that one of Glen’s largest customers wanted to see the entire commercial insurance data of their portfolio companies. Leo explains the problem comprehensively, and you cannot afford to miss this part of the podcast.  Leo knew he could help Glen, and he told him so. Listen to the podcast to understand how Leo helped Glen fulfill his customer’s demands and how he would later become one of his biggest customers. He also discusses industry lines of business. What are they? Get extensive details from the podcast. Leo talks about the initial idea the team had. This is a comprehensive section that requires your total concentration.   Leo and his team spend a long time trying to figure things out. If he was to do it all over again, Leo says he would have gone full-time from the beginning. His advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is not to spend lots of capital before realizing product-market fit. Leo reiterates the importance of focus for entrepreneurs looking to succeed in the business industry. Leo says recruiting experts from the industry is the best thing he has ever done.  Resources LineSlip Solutions Leo Bernstein LinkedIn LineSlip Solutions LinkedIn  
46:23 12/21/2021
Converting from Translation Agency to 1m ARR AI Translation SaaS with Marko Hozjan of Taia.io
Marko Hozjan of Taia Translations talks about funding his MVP, finding the first customers, and navigating his zero-to-product fit journey to hit €1 million ARR. Listen to the podcast and learn. Taia is an artificial intelligence platform that gives clients fast translations with assistance from human services. Marco, the CEO, is passionate about business processes and leadership. He is also a serial entrepreneur who has founded and exited numerous companies. He talks to Geordie about building Taia Translations. What You’ll Learn How automation has helped Taia Translate How the Taia pricing works How does Taia guarantee accuracy? Why finding the first investment can be a daunting task Importance of mindset for entrepreneurs How did Covid affect Taia? In this Episode: Taia targets medium-sized and big B2B companies to ensure they get excellent quality human translations executed by professional translators. Marco says companies have varying needs, and they (the Taia team) combine everything possible to deliver satisfactory services. For example, they have optimized the ordering of translations, allowing clients to drag and drop any form of document. The Taia Translate platform supports approximately 70 file types. Listen to the podcast to find out how the optimized process works.  Marco says they have developed a tool that enables their clients to execute translations on their own. He explains how the system works in the podcast. Taia’s unique selling proposition is formatting, simplicity, speed, file types, and security. While files are sent through emails, they are always available on the client’s cloud. Accuracy is a crucial factor when it comes to translations. Marco explains what Taia does to ensure clients get accurate translations. Get all the details from the podcast. Before Taia, Marco and his partner were running a language school in Slovenia. They then started receiving translation requests, which pushed them to begin a traditional translation agency. However, they quickly realized there were no unique selling benefits and that the market was outdated. Marco says over 80% of conventional translation agencies in the market today still run their companies in an old-fashioned manner. He supports his sentiments with an example, and you can learn about it from the podcast.  Once Marco and his partner realized that running a traditional agency was not what they wanted to do, they started considering other options. They wrote the entire process from receiving to returning a file. Then, they realized the core unique selling proposition they had to solve was speed and efficiency. The team deliberated on how to optimize and accelerate their translation process. Listen to the podcast for a detailed explanation on this concept. Marco and his partner founded the company in 2017 and hired a CEO to run it as they focused on other projects. Unfortunately, the company performed dismally, and in 2018 Marco took over, marking the conception of the MVP. The team received their 200,000 euro pre-seed funding during summer and launched the MVP in autumn. Their second pre-seed funding of 1.2 million came in October 2020, pushing their growth further. The company has since moved from a team of three to 34 full-time staff spread across various regions in Europe. The team plans to generate one million Euros in revenue in 2021 and 3.5 million in 2022. Every business goes through challenges, and Taia is not an exception. According to Marco, one of their biggest challenges happened when their first investment cash ran out, forcing them to bootstrap, which was difficult to deal with. He explains some of the difficulties they faced during that period. If you are currently struggling as an entrepreneur, this section will motivate you to keep pushing amid the challenges.  As an entrepreneur, having goals helps you define where the company will be in the future. Marco says they want to become the go-to platform for overall business translations. The team is currently working on various projects to make their dream a reality. Learn about these projects from the podcast.  If Marco could go back to 2017, he could be more persistent and develop winning habits. He would also focus on reading, and he recommends a few books such as The Never Split the Difference, The Power of Habit, and Atomic Habits. Reading is vital and a powerful habit. Marco reads 50 books annually. He prefers listening to their audio versions. He also says exercising is good for your health.  Resources Taia Mark Hozjan LinkedIn  
53:38 12/14/2021
How getting on live chat with your customers can give exponential SaaS growth with CMO Michael Epstein of multi 7 figure ARR PostPilot
Michael Epstein of PostPilot talks about building their MVP, gaining first customesr, and navigating their zero-30,000 MRR journey. Get more insights from the podcast.  We live in a digital overload world, where cost-per-click (CPC) is fast overtaking email and email engagement. Today, customers are looking forward to getting real and tangible interactions with brands. PostPilot makes these expectations a reality via direct automated mail drives. Through PostPilot, customers can send handwritten and personalized postcards as conveniently as email campaigns. This technique generates excellent ROI (return on investment) and engagement. Michael Epstein shares critical details with Geordie in this podcast.   What You’ll Learn  What problem does PostPilot solve for customers? How much equity should companies set aside for potential employees? How did Michael and his team get their initial customers? Why entrepreneurs should strive to engage with their customers and understand the problems they face one on one Challenges Michael and his team faced when building their MVP What requirements do Michael and his team look for in customers before onboarding them? At what point did Michael and his team find product-market fit? Why companies should have an ideal customer  In this Episode:  Michael has been in the eCommerce industry for more than two decades, during which he started a company, grew it to millions in sales, and departed to join the private equity world. Having interacted with numerous companies and used direct mail to develop their eCommerce presence, Michael understands how challenging the process can be. Together with his business partner, they figured there had to be an easier and trackable way of sending direct mail drives. They would later meet their third co-founder, who was already building an MVP to solve this problem. Michael and his co-founder invested in their third co-founder, and they all became partners. Together, they developed the product, launched it, and started growing it.   In today’s overly competitive digital world, companies need to go the extra mile to offer unique services and stay ahead of their competitors. One thing Michael and his team did differently was their ability to do granular segmentation, offer individual personalization and track elements that enabled them to determine groups of customers that were responding best. The team also focused on helping their customers track performance and improve their campaigns like they would with any digital-based marketing drive. Michael explains this concept extensively. He also talks about meeting Matt, the third co-founder, and convincing him to come on board.    Michael talks about how the team worked together to ensure the MVP met their standards. What changes and initial investments did they make to prepare the MVP for the Shopify app store? Listen to the podcast to find out. According to Michael, their messaging addresses problems that customers face. It is not an attempt to engage in postcard marketing. The team strives to help their clients reach customers who don’t read emails and those not on their email list. How do Michael and his team get their messaging right?   Michael says Andrew (co-founder) and himself are the target customers. Apart from understanding customer pain points, the team also meets regularly with other CEOs and founders, where they listen to the same pain points.  Together with his team, Michael uses a wide range of strategies to understand the problems their target customers are facing. Engaging customers one on one is a key strategy that entrepreneurs should adopt. It helps them understand customer problems from a personal point of view. Find out more details from the podcast. Every business faces challenges along the way and PostPilot were not an exception. One of the main challenges that Michael and his team faced during the MVP’s initial stages was teaching people about their products. Convincing potential customers to try their product was also a daunting task.  Michael talks about the two pivotal moments the company had. These, he says, did not happen until after some years. The first one was implementing a concierge-level free trial service, and the second was getting the design right. Apart from the free plan, Michael says they have other paid plans and discusses them in detail. Do not miss this part of the podcast if you want to try this service. Are you are a beginner in the SaaS industry? Michael has some tips to help you determine what your target market wants. Listen to the podcast for the details. If he had a chance to do things differently, Michael says he would have made some crucial decisions earlier. Resources PostPilot Michael Epstein LinkedIn Michael Epstein Twitter
45:47 12/08/2021
How Aran Khanna of Archera.ai solved cloud pricing problems worth 6 figures per client
Aran Khanna, the cofounder of Archera talks about inventing his MVP, growing it from zero to 30,000 MRR, and the problem they solve for customers. Listen and learn. Archera leverages machine learning to enable companies automate and eliminate risks on their cloud strategies. The company focuses on giving business leaders and developers sufficient control to use their preferred resources to reduce their expenses. Aaron, the cofounder, talks to Geordie about his journey.  What You’ll Learn How Aran discovered the need for his MVP Why Aran left AWS to focus on his project How did Aran transition from employment into entrepreneurship? How Aran prospected for customers Why many organizations today are investing in cloud-based solutions When did Aran discover the potential of his company? In this Episode: Aran believes he was born in the cloud. He secured his first job at Microsoft Azure, where he familiarized himself with how customers were purchasing servers and moving them from one model to the other. After leaving Microsoft, Aran joined AWS, where he launched various services. Listen to the podcast to learn about them. During his time at Microsoft and AWS, Aran realized that every project needed various cloud resources, and in those resources laid various long-term contracts. Aran knew that assisting customers choose the ideal contract would help them manage different functions within their businesses. Listen to Aran as he explains and breaks down this approach in the podcast.  Together with his team, Aran strives to automate how customers manage organizational functions from management, engineering, and finance teams in Excel spreadsheets to understand the operational cost. With that knowledge, they will predict and optimize costs to facilitate automation and complete tasks promptly. Through automation, customers can get visibility and tag the management team out of the box. They will also get components like budget plans and forecasts automatically. Aran says the team uses resources to meet their goals and ensure that things are not getting over-provisioned.   Archera also helps customers compile their operational enablement data, which they can use to create commitment plans automatically. The customers can then leverage those plans to cut down costs without requiring engineering or resource changes.  Aran talks about automating financial engineering and how customers are benefiting. Listen to the podcast for comprehensive details. While he had a great time at AWS, Aran noticed that customers were struggling to use their services, especially those that required the use of overly expensive GPUs.  At some point, Aran realized that the services were not solving customers’ problems and mentions how organizations today are adopting multi-service and multi-cloud practices. How does this new phenomenon affect your database? Aran gives a detailed explanation in this podcast. Upon noticing that there were natural limitations, he collaborated with a team of salespeople from AWS with whom he shared his idea. He sought permission to engage some of their small customers in testing his new concept, and that is how he started discovering what was sensible to build. From his little study, Aran knew AWS would not be willing to develop the solutions customers wanted. That’s when he started working towards making his idea a reality. Aran gives a summary of the problem his company solves in this podcast. He also talks about contract and pricing complexity, and the sophistication of matching usage to contracts. Find out from the podcast why you should transition from using Excel spreadsheet to automated solutions.  In many small companies, Aran says, the engineering team executes most of the computation tasks, resulting in inefficiencies due to inexperience. Aran says they decided to take a different approach from what competitors were doing to solve their customer’s financial engineering problems. They chose to price their product based on the amount of data they were processing and consuming for their customers. Aran talks about the customer onboarding process, and how they introduced their solutions to customers and guided them to ensure they were comfortable with the automation. Their customers became conversant with the solution within two months, according to Aran. Together with the team, they help customers segment and label data within their accounts and assist  them with forecasts for each segment to determine usage. Based on their findings, they allow their algorithm to build commitment baskets. The process is gradual. Aran concludes the podcast with a story of how he realized the company’s potential. Get more insights from the podcast. Resources  Aran Khanna LinkedIn Aran Khanna Twitter Aran Khanna Website  
44:44 12/01/2021
Cosmin Costin Going from Web Agency Owner to 30% Owner in 7 Figure SaaS business
Cosmin Costin of Coaches Console talks about managing the project with limited experience and propelling the company to a 7 figure ARR SaaS firm. Get all the details from the podcast.  Coaches Console is an application that enables coaches to establish their coaching businesses. It also helps them manage their clients and business. When he ventured into the industry, Cosmin and his team were building websites for different trainers and people in the personal development industry, such as trainers. He talks to Geordie about his journey. What You’ll Learn How Cosmin joined Coaches Console Challenges that Coaches Console founders faced when developing their MVP Why businesses should strive to offer value Lessons Cosmin learned at the web summit in Dublin Importance of maintaining up to date software Why clients benefit from the Coaches Console training  In this Episode: Before joining Coaches Console, Cosmin was running a web design agency which exists to date. After developing websites for his coaching clients under Coaches Console for two years, the projects started to feel repetitive. Everybody wanted the same type of functionality, website, and service. Again, the people Cosmin and his team worked for took a longer time to execute projects with very few launching businesses. As developers, the lack of progress was heartbreaking, and they were unmotivated. Cosmin and his team wanted to transition to something more interesting that would survive amid challenges. He mentions that then, there was a massive financial crisis. Even though they collaborated with big companies, budgets had been slashed, and many people were looking for free services. That’s when Cosmin decided to only work with the right clients and strive to deliver value. He explains how he went ahead to create an internal product that would give clients more functionality. Learn about it from the podcast.  Cosmin joined the Coaches Console team by chance after a client he was working with mentioned his name and how knowledgeable he was in the coaching niche. Listen to the podcast to understand how he met the Coaches Console team and how their first meeting went. He also explains how they planned and launched their operations from there. When Cosmin joined Coaches Console, the MVP already existed. However, it was in its initial stages. While clients were using it, the MVP had limited functionality. Cosmin gives a short illustration of the challenges Coaches Console founders experienced when developing the MVP. Get all the details from the podcast. Cosmin is an optimistic person who believes that everything can be executed. To add value to the business, he encouraged the team to work on one project at a time and monitor its performance before moving to the next. Success and value accordion to Cosmin means a win for everybody involved in a project. These include developers, clients, agencies, and users.  To make Coaches Console more effective, Cosmin and his team kept on integrating more features and functionality. He also became more involved in the business by training customer support people to enhance efficiency. He would later focus on the company and client’s requirements. Along the way, he wanted to develop a wide range of services for his clients. Cosmin’s previous agency’s experience came in handy to help him execute his tasks accordingly. The team would later develop and launch the second part of the Coaches Console in 2020. The new platform had better functionality and more features. Cosmin explains how he would later become the CTO at Coaches Console due to his technical knowledge. He also talks about attending a web summit in Dublin and how life-changing the experience was. At some point, Cosmin felt that he needed equity in Coaches Console to give his best. Determine how he discussed his wishes with the entire team, the outcome, and the transition process.  Cosmin’s interest in the project was not money-oriented. He wanted to do something he was passionate about, participate in growing the company, and have a feeling of ownership while at it. He talks about his role as part of the management team and controlling the company finances. One of the unique things Cosmin and his team did was combine training, coaching, and software support which facilitates their client management activities. Listen to the podcast to understand this concept better. Cosmin concludes the podcast with the following words of wisdom to aspiring SaaS entrepreneurs. Invest your entire energy in projects you are passionate about.   Collaborate with people you enjoy spending time with   Developing software is just the tip of the iceberg. Think about customer acquisition, attracting investors, getting financing, and growing your team.   Do not build a product and expect a miraculous type of success. You have to go to the people, interact with them and tell them the existence of your product. Resources   Coaches Console  
47:12 11/24/2021
Buying 3 SaaS in a year while running 100 employee company with JD Graffam
JD Graffam, digital agency owner, tells Geordie what he considers before choosing businesses to buy and the direction he hopes to follow in the future. Listen to the podcast for more insights.   Purchasing three SaaS products within a year and running them successfully can be a difficult task. How has JD Graffam navigated challenges and risks to emerge victorious? He tells Geordie about his journey in this podcast. What You’ll Learn  The acquisition process of Recharge Why JD does not do outreach What type of business does JD avoid? Importance of delegating  In this Episode  JD Graffam recently acquired Audience Ops, a content marketing service from the previous owner who wanted to spend his energy and time on a new business venture. JD says he has been working with the Audience Ops team to create new services, optimize and propel it to the next level. Before Audience Ops, JD had bought Delegated, a dedicated virtual admins service business. Delegated is ideal for individuals and organizations looking for executive admins, executive assistants, or personal assistants. Delegated collaborates with customers to discharge dedicated virtual admins who engage with customers and become a part of the company and business. Listen to the podcast for more details on what Dedicated does. JD gives a brief narration of how he started buying software businesses. He mentions that every moment he buys a new business is a learning experience.  Over the years, JD was afraid of purchasing something that did not work out because he was investing crucial funds into the businesses. According to JD, a business that has been in operation for three to four years with no customer acquisition cost, revenue churn, or shrink, and still attracts the same number of customers as it loses and gets some traffic can sell itself. By converting such a business into SaaS, you expose it to more people where it will sell itself and things will work out right. JD has always yearned to have a great product, and when he came across ARPU, he knew that was his defining moment. ARPU is a Recharge app for Shopify which merchants can use to sell subscriptions. JD describes Recharge as a grand app with massive growth. When he learned that ARPU was up for sale, it had not yet met his requirements. As a result, he took time to understand it and figure out whether it was worth investing in and the risk factors. JD says he had to learn everything about ARPU, and you can find the details in the podcast. He would later buy the business after a long time of doing due diligence. He talks about the acquisition process and how he continued working with Recharge. When did ARPU and Recharge go separate ways? JD talks about what they have been doing to make ARPU a success. Word of mouth is a powerful tool for marketing and acquiring deals as JD mentions in this podcast. He says he has acquired most of his best deals through human connections. JD and his team are looking forward to buying an influential signature business with a massive following.   JD says his digital agency has evolved from having eight people to approximately 100 people currently. As a result, he believes focusing on what they have right now is the best thing to do, at least to build more experience, learn how to navigate potential risks, and do an excellent job. JD is not planning to buy any new product anytime soon. Instead, he will take it slow to avoid incurring huge losses. For ARPU, he says they are considering acquiring more eCommerce add ons they can utilize to ease communication. For example, ARPU could consider venturing into the gifting or SMS industry. While the team believes they have the momentum to build a robust tool from scratch, JD says that purchasing a well-developed product would speed up their operations. On the other hand, buying as poorly built product could slow them down. Together with his team, they are looking forward to building a robust product that works well to eliminate the trouble of patching systems together. So passionate is JD at what he does that he analyzes every business portfolio keenly. At some point, he was evaluating SaaS businesses that would complete an agency model. As the agency evolves, JD says he analyzes every SaaS platform independently. He mentions how he wanted to venture into eCommerce and email businesses at some point because he saw lots of value and potential in the area. Having a great team is crucial in running a company successfully. JD talks about his team passionately and highlights some insights on running an effective team that aspiring entrepreneurs can learn from.  Resources ARPU JD Graffam LinkedIn JD Graffam Twitter
52:12 11/16/2021
The Godfather of Bootstrapping Rob Walling CEO of Tinyseed & Microconf and what he looks for in his SaaS invrestments
Rob Walling, entrepreneur, investor, CEO of Tinyseed & Microconf, and godfather of bootstrapping SaaS tells Geordie what he considers in his SaaS investments. Listen and learn.   Apart from building and selling different startups, Rob has been collaborating and assisting non-venture backed startup founders for nearly two decades now. He also hosts a popular podcast for bootstrappers, boasting 500 five-star reviews and over 10 million downloads. He talks to Geordie about his journey.   What You’ll Learn What does Tinyseed & Microconf entail, and how do they work? What makes Tinyseed different from other accelerators in the market? Why SaaS founders choose Tinyseed and Microconf over their competitors Importance of having an audience before launching your idea Why pricing is a critical factor in SaaS Why an entrepreneur's goals determine the type of product they build  Why raising your prices too high is never a good idea  In This Episode Rob highlights podcasting for startups, working on Microconf, an in-person and online community for bootstrap founders from different parts of the world, and Tinyseed, the inaugural startup accelerator that strives to facilitate success for SaaS bootstrappers as his key roles. He says he spends most of his time on the latter two. How does he manage? Find out from the podcast.  Unlike other accelerators in the market today, Tinyseed is remote, and its terms enable people to operate a profitable company. He gives extensive details about Tinyseed in this podcast which you cannot afford to miss. Together with his team, Rob has started numerous investments with their 59 launching in the next few weeks. How does Rob identify these startups? Doing due diligence is a crucial part of ensuring that you are dealing with reliable people. Both Tinyseed and Microconf come with an application process that customers should fill before becoming part of the accelerator program. Rob says they do interviews, make offers, and give their applicants a terms sheet to fill. Once SaaS founders agree to the terms and conditions, they become part of the accelerator. Rob and his team then fund them.  Rob mentions that many of the companies they deal with are not interested in funding but want mentorship, guidance, advice, and the proper SaaS network. Before investing in a potential company, Rob’s team considers various factors. However, he only focuses on the three P’s, people involved, product fit, and price sensitivity or pricing. Potential companies have to answer questions about their businesses and competition. Listen to the podcast to figure out some of the questions that companies must answer before being considered. During the application process, aspiring companies must describe their unique advantage over competitors and their average revenue MRR per user. It is at this point where Rob begins his rating on a one to five scale. Rob mentions the importance of MRR for companies, and you can learn about it in the podcast.  To qualify for the accelerator program, applicants should have at least $500 in MRR, but Rob says they prefer SaaS founders with between $800 and $1,000 on the lower end. He insists that they can still fund people with lower amounts.  Running a business comes with various challenges, and Rob says there is no blueprint for doing it right. While entrepreneurs may have numerous ideas, they are never sure they will work, making it one of the core challenges for entrepreneurs on their zero to 5000 MRR phase. Apart from needing guidance, SaaS founders require reassurance to counter challenges along the way and work towards success. The Tinyseed Playbook defines funnels and guides SaaS founders, helping them understand the importance of pricing their products right. This playbook is ideal for -entrepreneurs in their 5,000 to 15,000 MRR phase. In this case, the entire team collaborates to identify what works best for the companies and ensure they are doing things right. Content marketing is a critical factor that Rob and his team consider before collaborating with SaaS founders. However, he mentions that the strategy is ideal for companies within the lower price range. He also discusses the role of LTV (Lifetime value) and SEO.  Pricing is one of the factors that Rob holds close to his heart. He says that a huge percentage of his candidates admit that their pricing is either overly low or off in a way. Listen to the podcast for a more elaborate explanation of why pricing can be a difficult task and what entrepreneurs can do to get it right. Businesses that have a higher price tend to grow faster, according to Rob. Find the reason why from the podcast. Rob concludes the podcast by talking about launching Tinyseed in the UK.   Resources  TinySeed Rob Walling LinkedIn Rob Walling Website Rob Walling Twitter
49:23 11/09/2021
When & How to Pivot from one lucrative market to another with Persosa.com personalisation platform co-founder Greg Lim
Greg Lim, co-founder of Persosa, talks about coming up with the idea, funding the MVP, finding his first customers, and finding market fit twice. Listen in for the insights. Persosa is an experience and data platform that enables businesses to boost website conversions by directly speaking to each customer using personalized internal experiences. The platform also leverages connected campaigns to display customers' needs when they need them. Such efficiency increases conversions, reduce bounce rate, and improves sales. Co-founder and founder Greg Lim talks to Geordie about his journey.   What You'll Learn Why brands should personalize their websites  Why Persosa has two products Who is the ideal Persosa customer? How Greg and his team priced their product  In this Episode: When businesses understand their customers, they can utilize that awareness to increase revenue. Greg says they have two key products one of which allows customers to track their customers across different channels. Listen to the podcast for more details about this product. The second product involves knowing how to convert the understanding you have for your customers into revenue. Greg says they have a personalization medium that enables their customers to utilize the data they collect to; personalize experiences for people visiting their mobile app and website. Persosa also solves two problems in the marketplace, which he explains in depth in this podcast.  In the beginning, Persosa was one comprehensive platform, but the team realized they were almost losing it at some point. They then decided to separate their products to serve their customers better. How do Greg and his team introduce their products to customers? Understanding the customer and their needs is one of the team's most effective strategies. They always use it before talking about their products which helps them determine the right product that best fits the customer’s needs.    Greg narrates how he became the chief marketing officer of a company by chance and without any marketing experience. During his stint, he had numerous questions but no concrete answers until one day, someone he had met earlier, who also happens to be his co-founder at Persosa, called him and shared with him an idea he had. That was a defining moment for Greg, seeing that he had been seeking a similar solution and even had a ready client. He quit everything else and joined hands with his co-founder. Listen to the podcast for some background story about Greg's co-founder. His co-founder has tremendous experience in data usage tracking. At some point, he worked for a small startup company whose product was good. However, they (the company) struggled to discuss and sell their product. When Greg's co-founder came on board, he worked out a solution for them which he later realized was some form of an MVP which could become an entire product and whole platform. It was then that the two colleagues connected. There are some misconceptions surrounding personalization in today's world, especially in terms of privacy. How does Greg's system work while guaranteeing customers of their privacy? To deliver a personalized and engaging experience, all the team needs is to understand what attracted a potential customer to the website. Greg supports his answer with an example that you can learn about from the podcast. Together with his team, Greg tracks website performance through geo-location, UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) parameters, and collecting data first, meaning new users only get a personalized experience after a few interactions. Greg's co-founder enjoys building products. When he was starting, the buzzwords in the industry were real-time data, a term that was frustrating to him but one he relied on to unlock value in real-time. Greg says his co-founder did not do any market research during the development of his MVP. However, when they crossed paths, the MVP was working, save for a few elements, but they still tried it on Greg’s client. Greg explains the concept of the MVP in relation to what the client wanted and what they did to deliver an exceptional experience.   The lack of a repeatable sales process threw Greg and his team in disarray even though they had already found a product fit. Greg illustrates some of the challenges they faced along the way and what they did to redeem themselves. The team first pivoted in web personalization before shifting tact after realizing that consumers interact with brands in different places. Greg's co-founder altered the platform to include personalization API, data tracking, and personalization to make it more accommodating. Find out how the system now works.   Along the way, Greg experienced some significant failures. For example, he did not focus on customer acquisition, finding product fit, and learning his customers. Instead, he spent time worrying about how much he would spend on marketing when he was losing huge sums in the real sense. If Greg were to turn the hand of time today, he would invest more in marketing. He speaks about another important lesson that you can learn from the podcast. Greg concludes the podcast by highlighting the importance of being confident as an entrepreneur. Trust your gut feeling, talk to your customer, know them and find out how they interact with your product, then align that with your vision, says Greg. Resources  Persosa Greg@persosa.com
45:42 11/02/2021
Why Interviewing People Could Be One Of The Most Undervalued Skills You Could Have For Your SaaS Startup with Mixergy Founder Andrew Warner
Andrew Warner, founder of Mixergy, talks about mastering interviewing skills, his book, and lessons he has learned from interviewing founders. Listen to the podcast and learn. Mixergy is a platform where SaaS founders can listen to startup stories and learn from experienced mentors through courses and interviews. Andrew talks to Geordie about the progress he is making with the company. If you are considering venturing into the SaaS industry, this is a must-listen-to podcast.  What You'll Learn Why chat messages are more effective than email Why surveys don't generate sufficient data Importance of being focused Why techniques are crucial when it comes to interviewing Importance of a personal/social touch during interviews Why storytelling is crucial during interviews In this Episode Andrew's entrepreneurship journey started with an online greeting company which was also an email newsletter company. While the company was successful, he decided to take a break and focus on non-work-related stuff. When he finally went back to entrepreneurship, he started doing interviews, and it has been 14 years and counting now. The core of Mixergy is the podcast, but Andrew says he integrated an educational component in the form of a master class. Get details of how the educational element works from the podcast.  Together with his team, they sold the master class on a membership basis. Andrew talks about getting ridiculed during the inaugural part of the master class project with the online community claiming that he could only sell software and not information. Still, the information courses continued to grow amid the challenges. Andrew learned one big lesson from interacting with and interviewing from the membership space. Learn about it from the podcast. SaaS entrepreneurs can learn numerous lessons about their audience by attempting to sell them something. He supports his sentiments with a detailed explanation. How does the pricing component work? Andrew says the first step of doing it is; not knowing what you have. Sometimes you may run ads even though you wouldn't know how much income they would bring in. Andrew seeks to understand his audience's worth and maximize value from what he is offering. At some point, Andrew discovered Fresh Books and sought to learn more about advertising. He says Fresh Books played an integral role in helping him come up with pricing. How can entrepreneurs leverage interviews to grow their businesses? Andrew starts by giving out an illustration that you can listen to from the podcast. He then mentions that developing a personal connection with the person you are interviewing is critical. It allows you to remain in touch with them regardless of where they are. Andrew illustrates some techniques that interviewers can use to develop closeness with their interviewees. Anyone can be become a good interviewer, says Andrew. He mentions how being different as he grew up helped him build a strong foundation for what he does today. Do not miss that captivating part of the podcast. Paying close attention to detail is one of the skills Andrew mastered from the start. From spending thousands of dollars transcribing his interviews to evaluating the transcriptions, figuring out what he said that made a difference, and hiring producers, Andrew has gone over and beyond to give his customers the best. He discusses some of the techniques he uses to understand the other person better during interviews. You can learn about them from the podcast. Many interviewers want to listen to the successes only without paying much attention to the failures. However, Andrew is always interested in learning about the failures involved. Discussing failure not only eliminates some of the pain of failure but also normalizes failing. By discussing failure, interviewers understand what people who fail have in common with their counterparts who succeed. Discussing challenges is critical because it enables people to understand that interviewees are human. Listen to Andrew talk about one of the best failure stories he has ever done. What makes a good interviewee? According to Andrew, that would be a relatable person who has done something the team aspires to do themselves. Andrew says he would appreciate it if readers of his book pointed out any issues with it. He mentions that they already made some sales before releasing the book, something which occurred unexpectedly. Listen to the details in the podcast. Some readers have already started implementing lessons from the book as Andrew narrates and gives examples in the podcast. How can you get people to open up with you? Andrew says he does that by opening up about himself first. That way, he creates an environment where interviewees feel free to open up. Resources Mixergy Andrew Warner LinkedIn Andrew Warner Twitter
51:27 10/26/2021
How To Get Accepted Into A SaaS Acceralator and Get Funded with Forum VC founder Michael Cardamone
Michael Cardamone, CEO of Forum Ventures, talks about what he considers in potential SaaS investments and his lessons from the industry. Get more insights from the podcast. Form Ventures is a leading B2B SaaS focus accelerator that helps early-stage businesses grow and scale. They have invested 50 million USD in over 250 companies, with their portfolio hitting an approximate valuation of 3 billion USD. Join the podcast and listen to Michael as he tells Geordie about his journey.  What You’ll Learn How the Forum Ventures seed fund works How to know a great founder What companies need to succeed during the accelerator program The framework that Forum Ventures use to help companies track KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) Why do companies join accelerator programs Which is the ideal place to source a SaaS company? In this Episode: Forum Ventures was recently rebranded from Acceleprise, an accelerator B2B SaaS which has been in existence for close to seven years. Michael says they come in at the early stage of a business and run a four-month associate-based program acting as a continuation of the founding team. Forum Ventures helps companies devise the right market strategy to identify their ideal customers and edge closer to getting funding. Forum also has a seed fund where they invest in institutional seed rounds. Listen to the podcast to understand how the seed fund works. The core part of the business is to invest $100,000 to each company that joins the accelerator program. While they may not have enough capital to invest in every company that sets up a seed round from the accelerator program, they strive to invest in companies outside the accelerator. Michael and his team consider various factors when deciding who to recruit in the accelerator program. First, they look for companies that are in the earliest stages of their operations. To understand a company’s product and vision, Forum works closely with the founders whose product may be in the early stages but not fully developed. Some of them may have customers while others may not. Michael defines that stage in detail, and you can learn all about it from the podcast. Much of what Forum Ventures does is focus on the team and the market opportunity. When looking for a team, Forum considers their founder market fit and tries to understand what they know about the problem they are solving or their target market. They also seek to determine how great the founders are; a term Michael says he detests. Find out his reasons from the podcast. According to Michael, you do not know a good founder. Instead, he says they determine the characteristics that a great founder and leader would have. Listen to Michael as he gives an in-depth explanation of these traits. How big or small should a team be to qualify for the Forum Ventures accelerator program? Michael says they do not have complicated rules regarding the team’s size as long as they have an excellent market fit and understand their products extensively. Michael mentions some common traits that make companies successful during the accelerator program in this podcast. Forum Ventures has a structure that helps companies track their KPIs, which Michael says is different for each company. Get details of how the structure works from the podcast. To acquire the $100,000 funding, companies give up 7.5% equity to Forum Ventures. This arrangement may not make much sense to all companies, but it works for a significant number of companies, according to Michael. Forum has carved a niche in the industry as a reliable provider capable of acquiring more funding for the companies after the accelerator program. Michael gives some practical examples in the podcast. Michael says the $100,000 capital that companies joining the accelerator program get should last for the entire four-month program. He also mentions what a company should achieve at the end of the program in terms of performance. Get all the details from the podcast. The SaaS industry is fast becoming overly competitive. What criteria does Forum Ventures use to determine a company’s potential for success? Michael says they focus on five things: vertical SaaS, the future of work, supply chain logistics, and FinTech, insurance, and tech-based stuff. Michael explains these concepts in detail, complete with illustrations. He concludes the podcast by mentioning that while angel investing can be great, it’s one industry where being connected to the ecosystem is critical. Investors should also know that some of the companies may not work. If you are new to angel investing, consider doing it in angel groups where you can learn and gain experience before risking your money, he says. Resources   Forum Ventures Michael Cardamone LinkedIn Michael Cardamone Twitter  
48:16 10/19/2021
Taking a Regional approach to build a B2B SaaS problem for the Thai market with 300k ARR platform founder Saroj Ativitavas of Wisible.com
Saroj Ativitavas, CEO of Wisible, talks about funding his MVP, gaining his first customers, and navigating his zero to 30,000 MRR journey. Get more insights from the podcast. Wisible is a sales intelligence platform that enables B2B firms to reduce sales cycles, increase conversion rates, and enhance sales prediction accuracy. Listen to Saroj as he shares his exciting journey with Geordie. What You’ll Learn The core problem Wisible solves for customers Why the Chinese market is not ideal for the Wisible concept How Saroj transitioned from the corporate world to a startup job How Saroj and his team transitioned from an agency to a SaaS platform The impact of content marketing for businesses In This Episode: According to Saroj, many customers who approach them seeking a tangible solution often have a leaky sales funnel. The team behind Wisible strives to help their customers determine the critical spot and underlying bottlenecks. They work together to provide a robust solution based on their needs. Wisible focuses on CRM tools while tracking any interactions and data that may have been generated during the sales procedure. The platform also features a dashboard and an analytic report that can display in the sales funnel interface. Customers can also track their conversion rate, determine their average deal amount, and sales cycle.  Saroj has been in the B2B sales sector for 20 years, during which he encountered a wide range of challenges and learned crucial lessons. He was a salesperson for a mobile telecommunication operator in Thailand before graduating to become a sales director. During his stint in the sales industry, Saroj tried numerous tools and software but could not identify the ideal option to meet his needs and those of his customers. The quest for an effective solution pushed him into developing a platform they could rely on to solve their problems. Saroj explains why he left his job at the mobile telecommunication company, and you can learn from the podcast. Currently, there are numerous click funnel options in the market. Why did Saroj feel the need to develop a new one? To answer this question, Saroj begins by defining what B2B businesses do and why they need aggressive salespeople. Get all the details from the podcast. Saroj reiterates that their system integrates with their customer engagement’s business channel. This feature relieves salespeople from having to feed data into the system manually. He gives an illustration to help listeners understand this concept better. Nearly 100% of Wisible customers come from the Southern Asia region, but Saroj and his team plan to expand their business to other regions. He explains why they are not yet ready to venture into the Chinese market.  After leaving his job, Saroj first launched a robust product that focused on giving software developers a healthy platform to exercise their talent. They later quit the market to launch the sales intelligence agency. Saroj and his co-founder had worked together in the telecommunications company for ten years and were conversant with their customer’s pain points. They also knew there was a ready market for their idea in Thailand. Saroj and his team would spend an entire year developing the Wisible MVP and another year before acquiring their first paying customer. At first, Saroj says they gave out the system for free and explains how they finally won their first paying customer. Find out the details from the podcast. Promoting a startup can be a difficult task. How did the team reach their target audience? Saroj says they run a blog where they share content about their services before sharing it on different social media platforms. The journey from zero to 5,000 was easier after winning their first paying customer; Saroj says and explains the phase further in the podcast. Did you know you could make money from customizing customers’ platforms to meet their specific needs? Listen to Saroj as he discusses this concept and explains how it worked for their business. Apart from content marketing, Saroj and his team engage in teaching as a marketing concept, where they create courses and train their staff. Saroj mentions their go-to content marketing strategy that aspiring entrepreneurs can benefit from. While some online businesses grew tremendously at the peak of Covid, Saroj says they experienced slow growth rates. What would Saroj do differently if he had an opportunity to go back in time? He would be more focused. He concludes the podcast by explaining why he thinks Wisible is the best in the industry.  Resources Wisible Saroj Ativitavas LinkedIn
50:31 10/12/2021
Zero to product market fit with mobile app competitor analysis tool SaaS COO Eugene Kruglov of AppFollow
Eugene Kruglov, cofounder and COO of AppFollow, talks about funding the MVP, gaining his first customer, and navigating his 0-30,000 MRR journey. Listen in for more insights. AppFollow is a platform that enables you to assemble your mobile app data from diverse sources into a centralized place. Join Eugene Kruglov the cofounder in this podcast as he tells Geordie how they navigated various challenges to build this app. He also discusses lessons they have learned along the way.   What You’ll Learn   The problem that AppFollow solves for its customers Three key things that Eugene and his team offer through their service Importance of visibility for app developers  Why tracking your competitors is crucial How did Eugene and his team know that users would appreciate their app? Why video marketing can be an ideal concept for increasing visibility How did Eugene and his team come up with the pricing model in the early days? Why product developers should manage their customer support department The importance of search optimization on product visibility   In this Episode:   Eugene has been passionate about mobile for a long time. Previously, he was involved in the entrepreneurial space, where he helped launch companies in the mobile industry. He has also worked with mobile operators in the value-added services divisions, where he gained tremendous experience.    With the launch of App Store, Eugene got excited about the possibility of developing applications. He has been involved in developing products for other companies, which they used to pitch in the beginning. Find out how Eugene met his cofounder and how he (the cofounder) shared an idea with him which they would later bank on to start a company.     Eugene says they collaborate with teams and help them navigate app stores with ease. The team is committed to offering solutions from the product perspective because they have encountered the same problem before. AppFollow helps developers navigate through customer feedback. It also intensifies the customer’s voice and provides numerous tools to work with reviews and feedback in the app stores.   AppFollow increases your visibility in app stores. Eugene says they understand how the algorithms function and use unique keywords to ensure users are visible in search. Through AppFollow, users can track their competitors with ease. Listen to the podcast for a detailed explanation of these features.   Developing a product that target users will appreciate can be a challenging journey. Eugene discusses what they did to ensure users would love the product. Listen to the podcast for the details. Eugene says they spent between 15 and 20 thousand dollars building the MVP in six months. All that time, Eugene was still running a different business while helping to set up AppFollow.    The platform was operating under an acceleration program that gave them some visibility. However, they needed to do something to popularize their brand, and this is where word of mouth and video came in. The team started shooting short videos of them navigating the acceleration program and distributed them in various platforms like Twitter and Facebook. They forwarded links to their friends and did everything to make the videos funny, irresistible but still relatable context-wise.    Determining the ideal pricing for an app can be difficult, especially when you are just getting started. Eugene says they are still trying to come up with the best pricing model. As beginners, they had three basic payment plans, which Eugene admits was relatively low.   Eugene says they needed to accommodate as many users on the platform as possible in terms of the pricing. As a result, they ended up giving out the app for small amounts expecting a high adoption which would translate into a high ROI. That was not to happen, and they had to go back to the drawing board.   What is their pricing currently? Find out from the podcast. Eugene also talks about the features they have added to the app to make it more effective for users. Eugene says the team was committed to handling every operation independently, seeing that they had no money to pay staff.   As a founder, he was tasked with handling customer support and answering user queries round the clock. He adopted this strategy as a way to encourage users to love their product. He was also convinced that doing demos was an effective strategy for promoting their product, mainly because they understood its features better.   AppFollow experienced tremendous growth from increased visibility. Listen to the podcast to find out some of the techniques they used to become more visible. Eugene gives a detailed explanation of how they achieved product-market fit, and you cannot afford to miss this section. The AppFollow platform has evolved over the years, and Eugene explains what they have done to improve it. Eugene concludes the podcast by mentioning the things he would have done differently when starting. Get these crucial lessons from the podcast.  Resources   AppFollow Eugene Kruglov LinkedIn Eugene Kruglov Twitter
51:14 10/05/2021
How Ching Goh took lessons learned from running 7 figure ARR Piktochart to start videostory SaaS Piktostory
Co-founder, Ching Goh talks about building Piktostory, navigating challenges to hit a 7 figure ARR, and founding Piktostory later on. Listen to the podcast and learn.  Piktochart is a web-based communication platform that enables less experienced users to develop professional-level visuals with the help of themed templates. Piktostory is a transcription-based video content creation tool. Ching, the co-founder, strives to help passionate entrepreneurs increase their knowledge in bootstrapping, culture shaping, and talent management. She talks to Geordie about her journey.  What You’ll Learn Why video editing can be complex Ching’s entrepreneurial journey Ching’s marketing strategy Mistakes Ching and her team made that cost them the number one position for infographics on Google Why ranking number one on Google is no longer good enough Importance of talking to users In This Episode: Storytelling and videos are two compelling forms of communication that businesses can leverage not only to scale but attract more customers. Piktochart is a renowned infographic creation tool. Together with her team, Ching realized the rising adoption of infographics in different departments and industries by experts seeking to promote their projects. From their research, they concluded that all those individuals had a story they needed to communicate visually.  After being in the industry for nearly ten years, the team was confident that storytelling was getting better, bigger, and more popular. They then sought another effective storytelling medium apart from infographics and settled on video due to its portability. They were also hopeful that video would be an excellent medium for conducting and transmitting stories. While they made all these decisions before the pandemic, many people considered the team opportunistic after the pandemic hit the world. Ching explains what they are doing to make the two platforms valuable for users. Ching says Piktostory was designed to ease video editing, without which users would need between three and four tools to get their work done. She talks extensively about these tools in the podcast. Do not miss this comprehensive part if you are an aspiring video editor, webinar developer, social media manager, or podcaster.  Why would entrepreneurs, consultants, and coaches need a video editing tool? In today’s pandemic times, webinars, podcasts, and zoom calls have become the order of the day. It’s worth mentioning that convincing people to watch long videos can be a difficult task. However, shorter videos get more traction, and this is where Piktostory comes in. Ching agrees that they leverage their tool for marketing purposes as well.  Every entrepreneur has an exciting story. Ching narrates her journey and you cannot afford to miss it. Find out how she transitioned from the UK to Malaysia, her first job, and her passion for organizational development and marketing. Ching also talks about suffering burnout so much so that she had to undergo surgery. Find out why together with her husband, they settled for infographics and her role in their venture then. How did they navigate the business industry without prior experience? Ching explains in the podcast.  Ching admits their product was ugly in its initial stages, but that changed after doing demos and pitches, and getting coverage from media and news institutions. They recorded high traffic, which Ching also attributes to the fact that people realized there were more storytelling and video editing tools apart from the common ones.  A robust marketing strategy is critical for business growth and revenue generation. Ching explains their preferred marketing plan in detail. She mentions that they had retained the number one position in infographics for a long time before some of their competitors overthrew them. She also discusses the mistakes they made that cost them the number one position on Google. Listen to the podcast for more insights.  The quest to break out in business and move deeper into storytelling pushed Ching and her co-founder into developing Piktostory. She mentions that while they have done little to promote Piktostory, they have seen people opting in. What are their conversion rates? Find out from the podcast.  In every story, there is a lesson to learn. Ching says she has learned various lessons along the way. She believes in the bias for action concept, which defines that it does not matter how great your plans are. You will only know their potential and what can happen once they hit the market. Ching supports this approach with a detailed explanation which you can learn about from the podcast. She also says having and maintaining a small team has been valuable. Clarity is another critical lesson, and Ching achieves it by experimenting with different tools available in the market to gauge their position. Interacting with users is an activity Ching takes seriously. Listen to the podcast to find out how she engages every new user. Getting to profitability can be a difficult task, especially for startups. While the team is yet to achieve profitability on Piktostory, Piktochart gained profits six months after launching. Find out strategies the team used to market Piktochart and achieve massive growth. Ching concludes the podcast by explaining the workweek approach they adopted to spare staff from burnout.   Resources Piktochart.com  Piktostory.com  Ching Goh LinkedIn Ching Goh Twitter
49:49 09/27/2021
From 0 to 30,000 MRR in 2021 with Powered By Change author Jon MacDonald
Jon MacDonald, CEO of Powered By Change, talks about coming up with his idea, funding the MVP, his first customers, and navigating his 0-30,000 MRR. Listen in for more details.   Powered By Change (PBC) is a comprehensive, advanced, and robust business growth SaaS platform. It is based on the book powered by change, a Sunday Times Bestselling publication. PBC provides an integrated outlook of an enterprise's product, people, purpose, and process components. Jon McDonald, the founder, talks to Geordie about his journey.   What You'll Learn  The concepts of Powered By Change How companies started implementing powered by change as a SaaS way before the introduction of the SaaS platform What impact did Covid have on the Powered By Change platform? The Powered By Change pricing model.  In this Episode:  Being in the business industry for nearly 30 years is no mean feat. Apart from gaining tremendous experience, Jon says he has interacted with some of the biggest and fastest-growing companies across the globe. During his interactions, he helped the companies increase their turnover from 30 to 40 billion. Jon says he is delighted and blessed to have had the opportunity to watch how some of the highest-performing organizations operate. As an entrepreneur, Jon has founded nine startups where he has applied much of his lessons. Jon would later become a speaker, an entrepreneur, and an author. At some point, Jon started journaling all the lessons he had learned along the way into what would become the book; powered by change. He explains how they would convert the book's concept into a SaaS platform. The platform contains practical tips that no one teaches in business school.    Before writing his book, Jon says the entire business setting was similar to the Chinese proverb: "when the winds of change are blowing, some build a wall, and others build a windmill." During his years as an entrepreneur, Jon has learned that while there are numerous wall builders, few are willing to build a windmill. Many people, especially startup entrepreneurs, often look at larger businesses and wonder: how did they achieve such growth? What do they do differently? Do they have a big brand or colossal amounts of money in their bank accounts? Such businesses succeed because they focus on constructing a robust and functional windmill. Jon says. In his book, the term powered by change is based on the four different blades of a windmill. To facilitate change as a sustaining technique, you need four different blades of a windmill, Jon says. This observation is something he has noticed from assisting up to 45% of Fortune 500 companies and his startups. He explains the four concepts/blades of his book; powered by change in this podcast.  Powered by change includes numerous case studies. Jon and his team distributed the first publications to the people who had been featured in it. All the companies that received the book would then start applying it as a toolkit before a SaaS platform was founded. Later, those companies chose to utilize the book as a SaaS, which pushed Jon and his team to work hard to get to where they are today. What was the process of converting the powered by change book into a SaaS platform like? Jon says his co-founder played a massive role in developing the product. He gives more details in the podcast. They would later hire a developer, making him the third team member to date.  While some sections of the book were not applicable as an online platform, Jon says they released the MVP as a beta for people to test. They would then make changes on the go. He admits they have changed approximately 10% of the MVP so far. Even then, they have discovered that clients have a wide range of iterations they did not consider. Building the self-funded MVP took Jon and his developer approximately one year. Another crucial lesson that Jon has learned along the way is accomplishing your plans will cost more than you had planned for, and you will make half of your expected amount. He recommends running your MVP on half the income where possible. He expounds on this subject in the podcast. Jon also talks about their plans and expectations when they were starting, the challenges they encountered along the way, and how they countered them. He describes the pricing model that they later had to change. Get more details from the podcast. It took Powered By Change nine months to hit the 30,000 MRR. Jon explains how the journey was from 0-5,000 MRR and beyond. The team is considering angel investors to accelerate the company's growth. Jon concludes the podcast with the following nuggets of wisdom for aspiring SaaS entrepreneurs. Everything you know is wrong. Consider learning on the go Launch quicker and lighter (with fewer features) Ignore detractors, especially those coming from competitor platforms Do not raise capital if you can avoid it  Resource  Powered By Change Jon MacDonald Website Powered By Change LinkedIn
47:20 09/15/2021
Tapping into the One Trillion Dollar impoverished agricultural markets with $1m ARR AgUnity founder David Davies
David Davies of AgUnity tells Geordie how he came up with his idea, and how software and SaaS founders can identify and solve complex problems. Listen to the podcast and learn. David boasts more than 30 years of experience in innovative applications design. He has served as CEO for SaaS (Software as a Service), Fintech, and mobile companies during his career. In 2016 Davis founded AgUnity, a Blockchain for Good establishment leveraging smartphone and blockchain technology to enhance the lives of small-scale farmer cooperatives in developing countries. The venture has won numerous awards since its inception.  AgUnity developed the AgriUT utility token built on the Celo blockchain network as an independent charitable entity. It complements the AgUnity smartphone blockchain for smallholder farmers' platform. He talks to Geordie about his journey.  What You'll Learn Why every solution provider must think big Importance of record-keeping Why having an identity and proof of income is crucial How do organizations determine deserving individuals? Why teaching disadvantaged people how to do things better is critical. In this Episode: While agriculture is a vast global industry, some farmers live in overly remote areas and below the poverty level. AgUnity is a specially designed platform that aims at providing cost-friendly strategies for supporting and connecting people living in remote areas. The company recently launched the only Smartphone operating system for the people that technological advancements have bypassed. David grew up in a massive sheep and wheat farm in Australia, where he gained his farming experience. However, he has spent all his working life in technology.  Working for UNESCO in West Africa allowed David to interact with low-income earners and discover their challenges. Together with other founders, David had established a company specializing in Blockchain for Good technology for the market data scope in banking. At some point, they received an invitation to attend a hackathon in London, but David could not attend, so he sent one of his co-founders. In the process, John, the co-founder, discovered there was a prize to be won as part of the conference. David and his team worked hard to develop a winning product, and win they did to the amazement of many people in attendance. Listen to the podcast for more details.  Record keeping is critical in David's niche market. He mentions that recording every transaction creates clarity, promotes trust, and eases the payment process. How did David and his team come up with the AgUnity idea? Find out from the podcast. David says they understood the importance of smartphones in transforming various processes. Further, working for UNESCO exposed him to low-income farmers who, while they had smartphones, were not using them to do valuable stuff.  According to David, they source their smartphones from China and customize them to meet the farmer's needs. The phones, he says, come with the applets only, which you can learn about from the podcast. Before David started working with the farmers, many of them had nothing to show as proof of income. Apart from lacking an identity, they had no record of their land ownership. Lack of proper records denied them the opportunity to get credit from any financial institution.  David admits that penetrating the blockchain for agriculture industry can be a difficult task. He says they usually collaborate with various organizations such as NGOs to ease the process. Doing so facilitates a smooth provision of blockchain for the last mile communities. David says one of their key goals is collaborating with authentic and ethical companies who then introduce them to corporative societies and farmers. Collaborating with corporatives allows them to convert it (the cooperative) into a financial venture capable of scaling faster and larger. Often, David and his team start off working with smaller groups who later grow in their hundreds. According to David, once farmers have more money the entire community benefits. What does it take to create a new cooperative? David says the initial investment can be quite costly, even though big organizations pay for the pilot program. He explains that concept extensively in the podcast. He also discusses the stack and explains things farmers are capable of doing with their smartphones.  AgUnity has experienced tremendous growth over the years, with David saying they solve unique problems farmers face. Currently, the team deals with 17,000 farmers in remote areas. Together with his team, David is considering launching a project to reward farmers who do extraordinary things like planting trees to help with climate change. He also talks about other projects they have in the pipeline. The team focuses on creating an opportunity for people in a developed market to connect with their counterparts in developing markets and create something positive.  Resources AgriUT Foundation Farmer Reward Platform Marketing, Business Development, and Token Gateway AgriUT Discord Server David Davies LinkedIn David Davies Twitter
56:26 09/14/2021
Solving His Own Agency Problem on Increasting Profitability To Agency Solutions AI SaaS with Santi Bibilioni of COR
Santi Bibiloni, co-founder and CEO of COR, talks about his entrepreneurship journey, building the MVP, and navigating his 0-30,000 MRR journey. Listen, learn, and share. COR is a SaaS platform that provides effective solutions for professional service organizations. It also helps the firms determine how to run their projects, resources, and finances in a single platform. Apart from being an entrepreneur, Santi Bibiloni, the CEO, is also a mentor specializing in startups. He talks to Geordie about his journey. What you'll Learn How COR operates What is profitability? How did Santi come up with the COR idea? What strategy did Santi and his team adopt to scale his MRR? Why do entrepreneurs need a mentor How COR acquired its first customers How effective is the COR platform in terms of ROI? Challenges that affected COR's growth What are Santi and his team doing to improve COR in the future? In this Episode Many businesses today struggle to earn profits from their projects, and this is where COR comes in. Santi says COR is an end-to-end solution targeting the billable hour's industry. The platform encourages time tracking, allowing project managers to understand, and predict their profitability per client, per project, and in real-time. Santi says a big percentage of his customers have switched from other project management platforms to COR. What differentiates COR from other project management platforms? Santi explains in the podcast. Running a project comes with numerous challenges like collaboration, but Santi says the biggest of them all is spending money on the project. He supports his argument with an eye-opening illustration that you cannot afford to miss. COR is a robust platform that collaborators can use for their collaboration, project, and task management needs. It can determine where people are spending most of their time and matches every task with the suitable project and client. COR multiplies the time spent on a project with an individual's hourly rate and subtracts all expenses from the client's budget. It calculates profitability in real-time. Service providers can leverage the COR platform to renegotiate fees, forecast, and send accurate proposals. Santi gives more details about the platform and how it works in the podcast. Profitability, Santi says, is more than earning dividends. It is what entrepreneurs require to be able to compensate their employees better. Listen to the podcast to get a more extensive explanation of the term profitability. Santi talks about strategies different entrepreneurs use to increase profitability. He says every new project comes with unique demands. For example, some projects call for more employees, but some entrepreneurs choose not to hire more workers to evade extra expenses. In that case, your employees will need to work extra hours to deliver the project on time. Such a scenario not only results in burnout but also triggers a high employee turnover rate. Santi explains this concept in depth. He also mentions that their agency struggled to make profits in the beginning. What did they do to manage the problem and pay their employees better? Research is critical in any industry. Santi and his team sought to determine what big companies were doing to deal with non-profitability, and to their surprise, there was no solution. They would then embark on developing an internal minimum viable product before proceeding to Silicon Valley. It took Santi and his team nine months to develop the MVP. They would later try it for their agency first before introducing it to some of their family members and friends in Argentina. Their first consumers thought the product was ugly even though it was functional. That feedback is all Santi, and his team needed to hear. However, he agrees the product's UX and UI needed lots of improvement. COR's first customers were small and medium-sized businesses. What was their payment model in the beginning? Santi explains in the podcast. Acquiring the first customer for a new business can be challenging. Santi says they started by understanding the critical pain potential customers were facing and the specific people that were directly affected. They would later send cold emails or give them cold, and discovery calls before scheduling a demo to show how their product worked. Listen to Santi as he explains the challenges they faced while negotiating contracts. Many companies today would pay anything to manage their time well. According to Santi, time management and its impact on profitability are the key points they are currently using to approach new customers. The team plans to invest more in time estimation and time span; that is, determining where people are spending most of their time and how long a task takes. If Santi were to turn back the hands of time, he would not second guess thinking big. To aspiring entrepreneurs, he says, think big, practice resilience, and think longer term. Resources COR Santi Bibiloni LinkedIn Santi Bibiloni Website Santi Bibiloni Twitter Santi Bibiloni Instagram  
45:21 09/07/2021
How to position your product in Hubspot marketplace to achieve your SaaS Big Break with Post
Dennis Kelly, the CEO and founder of Postalytics, talks about building his MVP, attracting customers, and navigating his 0-30,000 MRR journey. Get more details from the podcast. Dennis Kelly has tremendous experience in sales, marketing, HR, and finance. He started his career journey as a sales representative and spent time running data centers, developing products, and being the CEO of venture and angel sponsored startups. During his career, Dennis has developed numerous self-financed businesses. He talks to Geordie about his journey. What You’ll Learn What triggered the creation of Postalytics? How the Postalytics concept works Importance of research before venturing into a similar project How Dennis and his team handled technology-agnostic challenges Marketing avenues that Dennis and his team are currently focusing on What is it that Dennis would have done differently when starting? In this Episode: Technology has evolved tremendously over the last few years. With more advanced communication options available, no one would ever think direct mail would become relevant again. While traditional direct mail is no longer effective, the automated version is what many marketers are reaping huge benefits from. Dennis says their direct mail automation software solution solves three crucial problems with traditional direct mail marketing. These problems are production speed, integration, and analytics. Listen to the podcast for his detailed explanation of these solutions. Starting a business can be challenging. Dennis gives a brief explanation of how he started his Postalytics journey out of chance. He says he has been developing software companies for the past 30 years. At some point, he collaborated successfully with a young architect, but they would soon lose touch. When they later reconnected, they discovered they were close neighbors. The architect introduced Dennis to some technology he had developed as a side project to help direct mail marketers digitize their marketing channels. Dennis and his team saw potential in the project and pitched it. Listen to the podcast and learn how they developed the software together and the struggles they faced along the way. However, the project did not work according to their expectations. Find out how some customer’s problems came as a wake-up call to the team. Postalytics offers a cloud-based SaaS solution where marketers can log in and create a letter or postcard. It allows users to import data from lists directly in their marketing automation tool, spreadsheets, files, and CRM (customer relationship management) platform. Dennis says they have incorporated a model to accommodate direct mail. Listen to the podcast for his extensive explanation of how that system works. More people today are using email marketing than direct mail. Dennis says they leveraged email marketing as a model for their project. The team came up with a concept to develop an email experience that people would use to send direct mail. They were armed with email marketing software for their first product and knew what people wanted in an email marketing experience. How did they execute the business model? Find out from the podcast. As Dennis and his team pivoted their product, they focused on developing their website and producing marketing materials. Upon launching the product, they realized their ideal customer profile overlapped with the Hubspot customer profile. Still, they went ahead with the launch while targeting the Hubspot customer setup. Dennis mentions one unique thing that helped them get off the ground, and you can learn about it from the podcast. He also explains further about the Hubspot platform and customer profile. Should you want to venture into a project similar to the Postalytics platform, Dennis says, you need to research and focus on one platform at a time. Did they use the same approach when starting? Dennis says their first product gave them an advantage. Find out how from the podcast. Dennis mentions their response rate has doubled recently and attributes the growth to reduced competition in mailbox currently, unlike in the past. He adds that there is better targeting today, which leads to better technology, data, and reduced competition. Dennis explains another use case that you can learn about from the podcast. You will understand how to leverage direct mail to target people who often ignore email and convert them to increase ROI. Dennis talks about leads and outlines strategies they use to attract leads. While competitors have emerged in the market; Dennis reiterates they have maintained a targeted approach towards the technology-enabled small and medium-sized businesses as their primary audience. He discusses some of the things they do that their competitors don’t. Get all the details from the podcast. Having a unique business model has been instrumental in helping Polystatics remain ahead of its competitors, Dennis says. He concludes the podcast with some wise words to people considering introducing a SaaS tool in the market. He says: you cannot be all things to all people. Focus on building something that a specific audience will find value in. Resources   Postalytics David Kelly LinkedIn David Kelly Twitter
43:22 08/31/2021
Why SaaS founders should podcast & writing killer outbound sequences with Erik Jacobson of lemonpie.fm & usehatch.fm
CEO and founder of Lemonpie and Hatch talks to Geordie about how he built the two MVPs and navigated his zero to 30,000 MRR journey. Listen in for valuable podcasting tips. Erik Jacobson is a firm believer that podcasting is a fast-growing industry. In a bid to help brands get in front of a wide audience of podcast listeners per month, he built Lemonpie and Hatch. The former is a podcast production and PR agency that helps brands achieve growth via podcasting. Through Hatch, Erik creates original podcasts for companies seeking to connect with potential customers directly, develop authority in their industry, and ensure their team understands the company’s mission. He talks to Geordie about his journey. What you’ll Learn How Erik ventured into the podcasting world Importance of research before venturing into the podcasting world What is the value of a podcast How to best track the performance of your podcast How do Lemonpie and Hatch work for SaaS customers? Importance of sharing expertise in a non-salesy way Why a podcast can be a saleable asset to a company Erik’s outbound strategy What the five-minute favor rule entails Hatch’s onboarding process In this Episode:  Currently, having a podcasting channel is fast becoming a must-have for companies that want to reach a wider audience and scale their businesses. Erik says Lemonpie is a comprehensive podcast agency that helps companies considering starting a podcast to attract customers. It also enables them to develop an audience, brand awareness, and a deep connection that triggers higher conversions. The team at Lemonpie helps your brand create a podcast from scratch, produces it, and promotes it continuously. Listen to the podcast for more details on how Lemonpie helps you along your podcasting journey. Hatch is a platform that provides an entry point into podcasting for teams who plan to DIY lots of podcast pieces but require someone to edit them. Through Hatch, interested parties enjoy unlimited podcast editing services for an affordable flat rate. The team works on one podcast at a time with a turnaround time of two working days. Get more details on how the Hatch platform works from the podcast. Erik says they discovered an opportunity in the market during Covid, which indicated that 100,000 new podcasts were being created monthly. According to Erik, both Lemonpie and Hatch are equal. He says there is considerable potential for both enterprises to solve a wide range of pain points. None of the two ventures is superior to the other. Erik discusses the pricing model for both platforms in this podcast. He says they believe in not charging more for something customers can get for less as a company. They also live by the mantra that creating the wrong podcast is one of the most costly things you can do. The team has developed a strategy to ensure they create the ideal show that helps customers achieve their goals and strike key performance indicators. If you want to venture into the podcasting world, Erik and his team will help you develop the right strategy that works best for your audience. He gives a comprehensive explanation of how they go about it, and you can get all the details in this podcast.  For many people, the success of a podcast depends on the number of people that watch it, something that Erik disputes. Find out his reasons from the podcast. A podcast, Erik says, comes with numerous benefits. He highlights some of the ways businesses can benefit from having a podcast. Brands can leverage podcasts to market their brands. However, podcasters should be skilled, and possess excellent storytelling skills to succeed, and stay ahead of competitors. Erik and his team believe that expertise can be the reason why one person would choose your SaaS platform over your competitor. One of the methods of displaying expertise is through a podcast and not a blog, Erik says. Listen in to find out why they hold that belief. When you start a podcast, focus on creating a podcast that listeners are compelled to listen to. Your podcast should be irresistible enough to convince listeners to listen to the entire session, subscribe to your channel, and keep coming back for more. Erik mentions that they opt to invest more time in podcast creation to increase their chances of achieving success. Hatch, Erik says, is founded on a company structure, but it’s fulfilled through SaaS. He concludes the podcast by explaining how they pair the platform with expertise. Listen to the podcast for more valuable insights.  Resources Erik Jacobson LinkedIn Erik Jackobson Twitter Lemonpie Hatch
47:15 08/24/2021