The SaaS Podcast - SaaS, Startups, Growth Hacking & Entrepreneurship (formerly ConversionAid Podcast)

Each entrepreneur was asked a simple question – “what’s the best piece of business advice that you ever received?”. In this episode we discuss why these made our ‘top 10 list’ and how the advice might just help you get the breakthrough that you’ve been looking for with your business.

Direct download: 100-Omer-Khan-ConversionAid.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Conrad Egusa is the founder and CEO of Publicize, a startup that’s aiming to change the way companies approach PR. As opposed to PR companies that charge $10,000 a month, Publicize provides a month-to-month solution starting from $399 a month. Conrad has been featured in publications such as The Financial Times, Bloomberg and TechCrunch. Hes also a global mentor at 500 Startups and Founder Institute.

Direct download: 099-Conrad-Egusa-Publicize.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Tom Leung is the co-founder and CEO of Anthology, a Seattle-based startup that was formerly known as Poachable. Anthology enables employed tech professionals to explore new career opportunities anonymously. Tom and his co-founder originally launched a startup called Yabbly, a consumer to consumer advice site. When that business didn’t get traction, the team pivoted 8 times to launch Poachable which was later renamed to Anthology. The company has raised around $1.8 million to date and its investors include Vulcan Ventures. And companies recruiting through Anthology include Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, Dropbox, Facebook and around 100 venture-backed startups.

Direct download: 098-Tom-Leung-Anthology.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Diego Oppenheimer is the co-founder and CEO of Algorithmia, a Seattle-based startup that created an online marketplace that connects academics building powerful algorithms with app developers who can put them to use. The company was founded in 2013 and to date has raised almost $2.5 million in funding.

Direct download: Diego-Oppenheimer-Algorithmia-2.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

George Palmer is the founder of SendOwl, a platform that makes it easy to sell digital products online. He founded the company as a side-project in 2011 while he was still working as a Ruby on Rails freelancer. And within 2 years was able to start working on it full-time. He spent less than $50 to start the business and has bootstrapped it from day one. Today SendOwl has 4 full-time employees and is profitable.

Direct download: 096-George-Palmer-SendOwl.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 6:37pm PDT

Vincent Cassar is the founder of Keeping.com, a Gmail extension that adds helpdesk functionality into any Gmail or Google Apps account. It allows you and your team to manage your customer support right from your mailbox instead of using an external helpdesk app.

Now this person first came on my radar, when I came across a free online resource that he'd created called The Growth Hacking Experiment. Basically, he has taken all the growth hacks that they've tried with their startup and documented both the process and results they achieved with each growth hack.

In this episode, we share 3 surprisingly simple growth hacks that you've probably already tried before. But if you didn't get the results you were hoping for, then listen to this episode to learn how to 'hack' those growth hacks.

Direct download: 095-Vincent-Cassar-Keeping.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Mike Muhney is the co-founder and CEO of VIPOrbit Software, a company focused on building great contact management products. Their flagship product, Vipor CRM is available on iOS & Mac platforms. The company was founded in 2010 and to date has raised over $4 million in funding.


In 1986, Mike co-founded a software business that eventually failed. And with only $15,000 remaining from an angel investment of $100,000, they had to come up with another idea or close down the business. The idea they came up with was ACT! Contact Management Software, which they eventually sold for $47 million.

Direct download: 094-Mike-Muhney-VIPOrbit.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Robert Coorey is an author, marketer and reality TV pilot host. He's the author of the book Feed a Starving Crowd which features more than 200 marketing strategies to help you find hungry customers.

The Huffington Post called him one of the most influential online marketers across the globe & Startup Australia named him as one of Australia's top 50 entrepreneurs.

In this episode, we're going to learn what exactly a starving customer is, how you can go about finding them for your business and some practical and actionable advice you can start implementing right away to help you grow your business.

Direct download: 093-Robert-Coorey-Feed-a-Starving-Crowd.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 6:55pm PDT

Nick Kellet is the co-founder of Listly, a product that helps bloggers & publishers engage their ready with continuously evolving lists. According to Listly, 30% of all content on the web is built around lists. But these lists can quickly get stale and don’t do much to engage the audience. So Listly, allows bloggers, content marketers and publishers to create interactive lists which they can embed on their own site or syndicate across other sites. In 1999, Nick sold his software product called AnswerSets to Business Objects for over $8 million. A few years later, he came up with the idea for a board game while talking to his daughter. Without knowing anything about the toys & games business, he jumped into the deep and launched a new board game which has won multiple awards and sold almost 100,000 copies worldwide.

Direct download: 092-Nick-Kellet-Listly.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Adam Dicker is a serial entrepreneur and former VP of GoDaddy. He's a prolific domainer with a portfolio of over 30,000 domains. He's sold many of them for 7 figures and one for 8 figures! He own a number of online businesses, including DNForum, the most popular domain name forum on the internet, with over 500,000 members.

Direct download: 091-Adam-Dicker-DNForum.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Benji Rogers is the founder and president of PledgeMusic, an online music platform that allows artists to pre-sell, market and distribute recordings, music videos and concerts directly to their audience. He's an independent musician from London, who has been making his own records since 1999. He founded PledgeMusic in 2009 as a way to engage directly with music super fans who drive the bulk of spending in the music industry. He came up with the idea for PledgeMusic while lying on an air mattress in his mother’s spare bedroom. Almost 6 years later, the company has over 50 employees and has offices strategically around the world to support artists and fans. In 2013, he was recognized on Billboards 40 Under 40 Power Players list and in 2014 at MUSEXPO International Music Awards he won Digital Executive of the Year.

 

In this episode we talk about:

  • Why entrepreneurs should meditate. And it's not just about being less stressed.
  • Benji's moment of insight and how he came up with the business idea literally overnight. * Why sharing your idea and being will to ask (seemingly stupid) questions is important.
  • Why you should expect to face more rejection and what you can do about it.
  • How Benji became a startup advisor and first thing he tells other founders to do.
  • And the hardest thing he wishes he'd known 6 years ago when he started the business.
Direct download: 090-Benji-Rogers-PledgeMusic.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Aaron Epstein is the co-founder of Creative Market, an online platform that lets you sell and buy handcrafted, mouse-made design content such as fonts and graphics. He launched his first software product called Color Schemer when he was still in college and went on to grow that into a 6-figures a year business. A few years later he met his co-founders and combined forces to work on an online creative community called COLORlovers and eventually went through Y-Combinator. COLORlovers grew into a community with over a million users. In 2011, they launched Creative Market and raised $2.3M dollars in funding and 3 years later, sold Creative Market to Autodesk for an undisclosed amount. In this episode youre going to learn 7 proven strategies for building an online marketplace. Its basically what Creative Market did to launch their business. And even if you arent planning to build a marketplace, you will still get a ton of value from this episode and takeaway some useful lessons that you could apply to just about any software product.

Direct download: 089-Aaron-Epstein-Creative-Market.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Aaron Epstein is the co-founder of Creative Market, an online platform that lets you sell and buy handcrafted, mouse-made design content such as fonts and graphics. He launched his first software product called Color Schemer when he was still in college and went on to grow that into a 6-figures a year business. A few years later he met his co-founders and combined forces to work on an online creative community called COLORlovers and eventually went through Y-Combinator. COLORlovers grew into a community with over a million users. In 2011, they launched Creative Market and raised $2.3M dollars in funding and 3 years later, sold Creative Market to Autodesk for an undisclosed amount.

Direct download: 088-Aaron-Epstein-Creative-Market.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Scott Klein is the co-founder of StatusPage, a Y-Combinator backed startup that lets you create a hosted status page for your app or website. You can use the status page to display downtime notifications, performance metrics or any other information that your customers might need to know. StatusPage launched in 2013 and has raised about $250,000 to date. Its customers include companies such as KISSmetrics, Vimeo and Kickstarter.

In this episode we talk about:

  • The pressure that the co-founders felt going through Y-Combinator, the pressure that co-founders felt and the unnecessary stress that Scott put on himself. And how he wishes it had been a more fun time.
  • A powerful lesson in challenging your assumptions. How a super simple idea an advisor gave them turned out to be an incredibly powerful way to build viral growth. The team had assumed that this wasn't going to work.
  • Why you should stop paying attention to what others are achieving and focus more of your time and energy on solving the right problems for your customers.
  • How it's so easy as an entrepreneur to feel stressed all the time, and why it's important to find balance in your life so you enjoy the journey, not just getting to the destination.
  • How Scott manages his own workload and priorities. And we talk about how he structures his day and week.
  • What's the difference between good quality content and great content and a great example of site outside of the tech industry that does an amazing job at that.
Direct download: 087-Scott-Klein-StatusPage.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Scott Klein is the co-founder of StatusPage, a Y-Combinator backed startup that lets you create a hosted status page for your app or website. You can use the status page to display downtime notifications, performance metrics or any other information that your customers might need to know. StatusPage launched in 2013 and has raised about $250,000 to date. Its customers include companies such as KISSmetrics, Vimeo and Kickstarter.

 

In this episode we talk about:

 

  • The importance of finding balance in your life and how to avoid some of the pitfalls of Silicon Valley culture

  • How Scott got to site down with Mark Zuckerberg and learned the importance of knowing yourself to find inspiration

  • How people told them that they’d never pay for their product because they could built it themselves over a weekend

  • How the team overcame those challenges and their own doubts to get to over a million dollars in revenue Why the co-founders didn’t do customer interviews to validate their idea (and what they did instead)
Direct download: 086-Scott-Klein-StatusPage.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Amir Salihefendic is the founder and CEO of Doist.io, the makers of Todoist, an online and mobile task management app. He started Todoist in 2007 when he was still a student with two programming jobs on the side. He needed a way to manage his own work and productivity but couldn’t find the right tool. So he decided to build his own tool. He didn’t see it as a startup and he didn’t have any big ambitions. It was just a tool. Today, the company has over 4 million of users and Todoist is also used by a number of Fortune 100 companies. And the tool that our guest built for himself has grown into a company with over 40 employees and several million dollars in annual revenue.

 

In this episode we talk about:

 

  • Importance of finding the right distribution channels to reach the right users/customers

  • Why Amir believes that building an minimum viable product (MVP) too quickly can be a bad idea

  • How he manages his team of 40 people who all work remotely and have very few meetings

  • How he manages his own day/priorities and some key lessons you can apply in your life
Direct download: 085-Amir-Salihefendic-Todoist.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Amir Salihefendic is the founder and CEO of Doist.io, the makers of Todoist, an online and mobile task management app. He started Todoist in 2007 when he was still a student with two programming jobs on the side. He needed a way to manage his own work and productivity but couldn’t find the right tool. So he decided to build his own tool. He didn’t see it as a startup and he didn’t have any big ambitions. It was just a tool. Today, the company has over 4 million of users and Todoist is also used by a number of Fortune 100 companies. And the tool that our guest built for himself has grown into a company with over 40 employees and several million dollars in annual revenue. In this episode we talk about how Amir abandoned Todoist, which was still a side-project, when he accepted a full-time job with a startup. And how it took another 4 years before he recognized the opportunity to turn Todoist into a real business. He quit his job, started working on Todoist full-time and in 3 short years turned it into a 7-figure business with 40 employees.

Direct download: 084-Amir-Salihefendic-Todoist.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Maria Dykstra is an entrepreneur, startup mentor & digital marketing strategist. After a 14 year career at Microsoft, she founded her own company, and in 3 years grew it from a 2 and person consulting firm to a digital agency with offices in 3 countries. She also runs the Seattle chapter of the Founder Institute, the world’s largest startup accelerator program. And she’s also on the board of Women in Wireless, a non profit that empowers and develops female leaders in mobile and digital media.

In this episode we talk about:

  • How you can build deeper insights about the problems that your customers have
  • What tools you should be using to better understand your customers needs and pains
  • How to do research the right way and prioritize your content marketing efforts
  • How becoming an authority in your industry might not be as hard as you think it is
  • How Kindle publishing can be a powerful way to get new customers and clients How to build an email list and the missing step between email marketing and closing the sale.
Direct download: 083-Maria-Dykstra-Tredigital.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Maria Dykstra is an entrepreneur, startup mentor & digital marketing strategist. After a 14 year career at Microsoft, she founded her own company, and in 3 years grew it from a 2-person consulting firm to a digital agency with offices in 3 countries. She also runs the Seattle chapter of the Founder Institute, the world’s largest startup accelerator program. And she’s also on the board of Women in Wireless, a non-profit that empowers and develops female leaders in mobile and digital media.

In this episode we talk about:

  • How to use Twitter strategically in a way that gets you results

  • How to find customers for your SaaS product and/or consultant clients

  • The Twitter best practices and the rookie mistakes you should avoid

  • The essential tools you need to be successful with Twitter

  • How you can do all this in about 15 minutes a day
Direct download: 082-Maria-Dykstra-Tredigital.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Syed Balkhi is an award-winning 24 year old entrepreneur with several 7-figure online businesses. He was recognized as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs under the age of 30 by the United Nations. His businesses include WPBeginner, which is the largest free WordPress resource on the planet and OptinMonster a popular lead generation SaaS product that you see on so many sites around the web.

Direct download: 081-Syed-Balkhi-OptinMonster.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Bridget Harris is the co-founder and CEO of YouCanBookMe, a SaaS product that helps you schedule meetings. The product was launched in 2011 and today serves tens of thousands of users and handles almost half a million bookings each month. Bridget started her career in the film and television industry. She then moved into politics where she ended being an advisor to the UK Deputy Prime Minister. And then in 2012 she took on the role of CEO at YouCanBookMe. The company is based in the UK and has been bootstrapped from day one.

 

In this episode we talk about:

 

  • How Bridget and her husband Keith tried several times to build a SaaS business

  • How the first product that they launched had no customers and was killed off quickly

  • How their second product had lots of users but no one was paying them any money

  • How they finally got it right with YouCanBookMe and what they did differently this time

  • What YouCanBookMe did differently to it's competitors to get traction and grow

  • How the business is on track to do $1M in annual recurring revenue this year
Direct download: 080-Bridget-Harris-YouCanBookMe.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Dave Schneider is the co-founder of Ninja Outreach, a SaaS prospecting & outreach tool which was created to streamline the process of connecting with influencers. Before founding Ninja Outreach, Dave ran a travel blog that did six figures a year. Today we’re going to take everything that Dave's learned about influencer marketing and teach you how to apply it to your own business. You'll learn how you can find & work with influencers in your market and use those relationships to grow your brand and generate more leads and customers.

In this episode we talk about:

 

  • What is influencer marketing

  • How to find influencers

  • Ways to partner with influencers

  • How to pitch influencers * Influencer marketing success stories

Direct download: 079-Dave-Schneider-Ninja-Outreach.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Douglas Calhoun is the co-founder of Hack Reactor, a San Francisco based startup whose vision is to create the CS degree for the 21st century. Hack Reactor runs 12-week intensive coding bootcamps (which you can do in-person or online) designed to accelerate your software career. According to Hack Reactor, 99% of its graduates receive at least 1 full time job offer within 3 months graduating and earn an average salary in the six figures.

Direct download: 078-Douglas-Calhoun-Hack-Reactor.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Andrew Wilkinson is the founder of MetaLab and Flow. Metalab is a design agency that Andrew founded when he was just 20 years old and has grown it into a business with over 60 employees. MetaLab is the design team behind Slack which is now valued at $2.8 billion. And Flow is a task management SaaS application for teams which is used by companies like Etsy, Tesla, Adobe, and TED.

 

In this episode we talk about:

 

  • How Andrew built 3 multi-million dollar businesses by the age of 30

  • How he works 5-6 hours a day and gets 8 hours sleep every night

  • How Andrew went from thinking he could be successful at anything, having some failures and then learning to focus on what he was best at

  • And we'll talk about how Andrew embarrassed himself in front of Steve Jobs

Direct download: 077-Andrew-Wilkinson-Metalab-Flow.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Andrew Wilkinson is the founder of MetaLab and Flow. Metalab is a design agency that Andrew founded when he was just 20 years old and has grown it into a business with over 60 employees. MetaLab is the design team behind Slack which is now valued at $2.8 billion. And Flow is a task management SaaS application for teams which is used by companies like Etsy, Tesla, Adobe, and TED.

 

In this episode we talk about:

 

  • How Andrew turned Metalab into a multi-million dollar design agency

  • How he met and partnered with Stewart Butterfield the founder of Slack

  • How Andrew has built not one, but 3 multi-million dollar businesses

  • How he learned to manage his anxiety and use it to drive himself

  • The advice that Andrews father gave him which forced him to grow his business
Direct download: 076-Andrew-Wilkinson-Metalab-Flow.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 12:15am PDT

Grant Miller is the co-founder of Replicated, a service that solves the problem for companies who want to install & deploy a SaaS application inside their own firewall. Previously, he was the co-founder of Look IO, a mobile live-chat problem that was acquired by LivePerson after just 9 months.

In this episode we talk about:

 

  • How to go about finding a great technical co-founder

  • How the co-founders came up with the idea for Look IO

  • How they raised money when they had no customers

  • How they sold Look IO for 'millions' within 9 months

  • The 'billion dollar' vision the team has for their new business
Direct download: 075-Grant-Miller-Replicated.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Robi Ganguly is the co-founder and CEO of Apptentive, a SaaS platform that provides tools for mobile app makers to engage with customers for positive ratings, feedback and customer research. Apptentives customers include UrbanSpoon, Overstock and RealNetworks. The company was founded in 2011 and to date has raised $6.5M in funding.

 

In this episode we talk about:

  • How frustration with the app store led to an idea for a new SaaS product

  • How the co-founders waited another 2 years before launching the business

  • The tactics the co-founders used to try and acquire new customers

  • How it took them about a year to get their first 2 paying customers

  • The moment of insight that helped them get to over $100,000 a month in revenue
Direct download: 074-Robi-Ganguly-Apptentive.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Rob Rawson is the co-founder and CEO of Time Doctor and Staff.com. Time Doctor is an app that helps you manage your time (and your teams time) more effectively. And Staff.com is a global recruitment platform that helps companies hire talented people from anywhere in the world and track their hours worked with Time Doctor. Rob originally trained as a Medical Doctor and worked in hospitals in Australia for 3 years. In this episode we talk about:

 

  • How to use Quora to generate traffic and new customers

  • How to do content marketing with product comparison articles

  • How to use infographics and a secret to getting lots of shares

  • How to create real value for your potential customers in advance * Simple techniques to becoming a more productive entrepreneur
Direct download: 073-Rob-Rawson-Time-Doctor.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Rob Rawson is the co-founder and CEO of Time Doctor and Staff.com. Time Doctor is an app that helps you manage your time (and your teams time) more effectively. And Staff.com is a global recruitment platform that helps companies hire talented people from anywhere in the world and track their hours worked with Time Doctor. Rob originally trained as a Medical Doctor and worked in hospitals in Australia for 3 years.

 

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In this episode we talk about:

 

  • How Rob started his career as a medical doctor working in hospitals in Australia

  • How his real passion was in building his own business but he couldn't get traction

  • How he launched Time Doctor without any technical skills or software background

  • How he turned that into a business that's now doing over a million dollars a year

  • The highs and lows of being an entrepreneur and how Rob deals with that

 

Direct download: 072-Rob-Rawson-Time-Doctor.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

John Warrillow is the founder of The Value Builder System, a company that helps business owners improve the value of their company. Prior to starting The Value Builder System, John started and exited four companies, including a market research business that was acquired in 2008. John is the author of the bestselling book Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You, which was recognized by both Fortune and Inc Magazine as one of the best business books of 2011. His latest book, The Automatic Customer: Creating A Subscription Business In Any Industry was released by Random House in February 2015. John has been recognized by B2B Marketing as one of the top 10 business-to-business marketers in the United States.

 

In this episode we talk about:

 

  • John's latest book, "The Automatic Customer: Creating A Subscription Business In Any Industry"

  • The 9 subscription business models that John's identified in his book

  • We discuss case studies across a variety of industries using each model

  • How any industry can build a subscription business & how you can too

Direct download: 071-John-Warrillow-The-Automatic-Customer.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Peter Shallard is known as The Shrink for Entrepreneurs. He's a renowned business psychology expert and therapist gone renegade. He works with all types of entrepreneurs around the world and helps them get measurable results. He's also the founder of CommitAction.com, a service that pairs accountability coaching with cutting edge digital productivity tracking tools.

In this episode we talk about:

  • How entrepreneurs should be optimizing for courage instead of productivity
  • What people like Bill Gates and Peter Thiel do that you're probably not doing
  • How one idea or insight could significantly grow your business
  • 5 simple but powerful strategies for to help you optimize for courage
Direct download: 070-Peter-Shallard-The-Shrink-for-Entrepreneurs.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Peter Shallard is known as The Shrink for Entrepreneurs. He is a renowned business psychology expert and therapist gone renegade. He works with all types of entrepreneurs around the world and helps them get measurable results. He is also the founder of CommitAction.com, a service that pairs accountability coaching with cutting edge digital productivity tracking tools.

In this episode we talk about:

  • How Peter discovered his 'superpower' and became 'The Shrink for Entrepreneurs'
  • How he's helping entrepreneurs get measurable results with their own businesses
  • How you can leverage the latest in neuroscience to improve your productivity
  • A simple but powerful technique to improve your chances of getting things done
Direct download: 069-Peter_Shallard-The-Shrink-for-Entrepreneurs.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Ankur Nagpal is the co-founder and CEO of Fedora, a platform that enables anyone to easily create and sell online courses. The company was founded in 2013 and to date has raised $2M in funding. Prior to launching Fedora, Ankur launched a business while at college building social widgets between classes which generated over a $1M. Bloomberg Business called him a widget mogul.

In this episode we talk about:

  • How you can create an online course even if you're not an expert
  • How 2 guys learned to code and made $2M creating an online course
  • How to get positive reviews for your course and deal witnegative onh es
  • How an online course can help you build authority in your market
  • How you can use an online course to sell services or a SaaS product
Direct download: 068-Ankur-Nagpal-Fedora.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Ankur Nagpal is the co-founder and CEO of Fedora, a platform that enables anyone to easily create and sell online courses. The company was founded in 2013 and to date has raised $2M in funding. Prior to launching Fedora, Ankur launched a business while at college building social widgets between classes which generated over a $1M. Bloomberg Business called him a widget mogul.

 

In this episode we talk about:

  • How Ankur built Facebook widgets and earned over a $1M by the age of 21
  • How earning a million dollars created a sense of complacency and lack of drive
  • How Ankur built the first version of Fedora in 3 days and launched the product
  • How he used AngelList to raise funding for the business in just 2 weeks
  • The importance of product focus and some key mistakes Ankur made early on
Direct download: 067-Ankur-Nagpal-Fedora.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Walter Chen is the co-founder and CEO of IDoneThis, an email-based productivity tool that allows people to track their productivity with a daily email reminder. You reply to an evening email reminder with what you did that day. The next day, you get a digest with what everyone on the team got done. The company was founded in 2011 and its investors include folks such as the CEOs of Zappos, Shopify & Wistia. Walter is a software engineer and former big law firm lawyer.

In this episode we talk about:

  • How a blog post Walter wrote got the attention of Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos)
  • And how that led to them hanging out with the Zappos leadership & having Tony become an investor
  • How Walter writes shareable posts even when he's not a subject matter expert
  • A counter-intuitive approach to content marketing he learned from Buffer's founders
Direct download: 066-Walter-Chen-IDoneThis.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Walter Chen is the co-founder and CEO of IDoneThis, an email-based productivity tool that allows people to track their productivity with a daily email reminder. You reply to an evening email reminder with what you did that day. The next day, you get a digest with what everyone on the team got done. The company was founded in 2011 and its investors include folks such as the CEOs of Zappos, Shopify & Wistia. Walter is a software engineer and former big law firm lawyer. In this episode we talk about:

  • Why Walter quit his job as a lawyer to launch a SaaS business
  • How iDoneThis was just supposed to be a side project, not business
  • Why bringing on a co-founder was one of Walter's biggest mistakes
  • The single most important metric that many startups ignore
  • How a single email to a customer resulted in a high profile investor
Direct download: 065-Walter-Chen-IDoneThis.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Katherine Sears is the co-founder and chief marketing officer of Booktrope, a web platform that allows authors, editors, marketers and designers to form a team and work together to create and market a new book. The company is based in Seattle and was founded in 2011. In this episode, we talk about: * How Booktrope turned a simple idea into a new innovative category in book publishing. * How the business launched and operated for 1.5 years with no software product. * Going through Y-Combinator & the experiences/lessons learned by the co-founders. * How Katherine used Twitter to build authority and attract new customers. * What Booktrope did to start generating their first $1M annual run rate.

Direct download: 064-Katherine-Sears-Booktrope.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Ruben Timmerman is the founder and CEO of Springest, a comparison website that helps you find the right training program or course. Ruben launched the business as a side project in 2008. Today the site has a presence in 4 countries and helps you compare over 160,000 programs and courses. The company is based in the Netherlands.

Direct download: 063-Ruben-Timmerman-Springest.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Trevor Owens is an author and entrepreneur. He’s the co-founder and CEO of Javelin.com - the makers of QuickMVP and Lean Startup Machine. QuickMVP is a service that lets you quickly and easily test business ideas. And the Lean Startup Machine is workshop that teaches you how to build something customers want and run the right experiments to steer your business in the right direction. Trevor is also the author of the book, The Lean Enterprise, which details how corporations can apply more innovation and Lean Startup to launching new products.

Direct download: 062-Trevor-Owens-Javelin.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Trevor Owens is an author and entrepreneur. He's the co-founder and CEO of Javelin.com - the makers of QuickMVP and Lean Startup Machine. QuickMVP is a service that lets you quickly and easily test business ideas. And the Lean Startup Machine is workshop that teaches you how to build something customers want and run the right experiments to steer your business in the right direction. Trevor is also the author of the book, The Lean Enterprise, which details how corporations can apply more innovation and Lean Startup to launching new products.

Direct download: 061-Trevor-Owens-Javelin.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Ready to launch your startup? What if there was a proven training program that could give you all the skills and knowledge you needed? What if you could take this training over a few months without even quitting your job? Today's guest founded an organization that has helped to launch 1563 startups so far and if you get through their training program, you have an 87.5% chance of your startup surviving. Adeo Ressi is the founder and CEO of the Founder Institute - the world's largest entrepreneur training and startup launch program, which helps aspiring founders across the globe to build successful technology companies. FI has helped launch companies such as Udemy, Virtual and Retailigence.

Direct download: 060-Adeo-Ressi-Founders-Institute.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

If you’ve ever watched the TV show Shark Tank you can probably empathize with me. We see aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their business to a panel of ‘shark’ investors and most get rejected. Today’s guest, auditioned for Dragon’s Den, the Canadian version of Shark Tank. But he was rejected before he even got on the show. The ‘dragons’ told him that he didn’t have a ‘real business’. He took that rejection and turned it into a multi-million dollar business.

David Ciccarelli is the co-founder and CEO of Voices.com, an online marketplace that connects business people with professional voice over talent. The company was founded in 2005 and its customers range from small business to Fortune 500 including NBC, Comcast and Cisco. David bootstrapped the company and grew it from nothing into a multi-million dollar 

Direct download: 059-David-Ciccarelli-Voices.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 5:25pm PDT

Today's episode is part 2 of the interview with Josh Haynam of Interact - a SaaS product that makes it easier to create shareable quizzes for your website. In this episode, we're going to get tactical and learn how they used content marketing to do that. We'll talk about the 30 or 40 posts that Josh wrote which didn't even generate ONE free user of their of their product. And we'll talk about the one blog post that he wrote which suddenly started generating paying customers.

Direct download: 058-Josh-Haynam-Interact.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Josh Haynam is the co-founder of Interact - a SaaS product that makes it easier to create shareable quizzes for your website. You can create a quiz to engage with your audience or generate new sales leads. Josh and his two co-founders bootstrapped the company since its launch just over a year ago. In 10 months, they went from $0 to $15,000 in monthly recurring revenue. And they landed clients like Disney, NBC and the American Red Cross. And they did that with zero outbound sales calls, and all through content marketing.

Direct download: 057-Josh-Haynam-Interact.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Pete Koomen is the co-founder and CTO of Optimizely - a leading website optimization and A/B testing platform. The company was founded in 2010 and to date has raised over $88 million in funding. Optimizely has over 8000 customers including major brands such as Salesforce, Disney and Starbucks. Prior to launching Optimizely, Pete worked at Google for 3 years.

Direct download: 056-Pete-Koomen-Optimizely.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Tim Sae Koo is the co-founder & CEO of Tint, a platform that enables brands to aggregate, curate and display social media feeds anywhere - including desktop, mobile, retail TV displays, event walls or jumbotrons at big events. Tint was founded in 2013 and was profitable within 3 months or launch. Today, their platform is used by over 45,000 brands around the world.

Direct download: 055-Tim-Sae-Koo-Tint.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Tim Sae Koo is the co-founder & CEO of Tint, a platform that enables brands to aggregate, curate and display social media feeds anywhere - including desktop, mobile, retail TV displays, event walls or jumbotrons at big events. Tint was founded in 2013 and was profitable within 3 months or launch. Today, their platform is used by over 45,000 brands around the world.

Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Joshua Parkinson is the Founder & CEO of PostPlanner, a Facebook tool that makes it easy for people to find and post amazing content to increase their social media engagement. Joshua founded the company in 2011 and to date Post Planner has over 25,000 monthly active users.

Direct download: 053-Joshua-Parkinson-Post-Planner.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Joshua Parkinson is the Founder & CEO of PostPlanner, a Facebook tool that makes it easy for people to find and post amazing content to increase their social media engagement. Joshua founded the company in 2011 and to date Post Planner has over 25,000 monthly active users.

Direct download: 052-Joshua-Parkinson-Post-Planner.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Today's episode is a little different. I don't have a guest. It's just me. And you! Earlier this week, I published episode 50. I can't believe there are already 50 episodes of this show. So I thought this would be a good time to look back at the last 6 months, reflect on the awesome conversations I've had with so many amazing guests and share some of my own personal insights and lessons with you.

Direct download: 051-7-Lessons-Learned.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Chris Barton is the co-founder of Shazam, a mobile music recognition service which started out as idea that Chris had in 1999. Today, Shazam has over 100 million active users each month. In 2004, Chris joined Google and currently he’s working at Dropbox, where he’s responsible for business development for mobile operators. He also continues to serve the Shazam Entertainment board.

Direct download: 050-Chris-Barton-Shazam.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Josh Pigford is the founder of Baremetrics, a product that provides SaaS analytics for Stripe. Josh founded the company in Oct 2013 when he built and launched the first version of the product in just 8 days and within 8 weeks he was already doing about $2000 in monthly recurring revenue. In this episode we get tactical and learn how Josh uses content marketing as the primary channel for acquiring new customers.

Direct download: 049-Josh-Pigford-Baremetrics-2.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Josh Pigford is the founder of Baremetrics, a product that provides SaaS analytics for Stripe. Josh founded the company in Oct 2013 when he built and launched the first version of the product in just 8 days and within 8 weeks he was already doing about $2000 in monthly recurring revenue. In this episode, we explore how Josh took his business from $0 to $30,000 per month in recurring revenue.

Direct download: 048-Josh-Pigford-Baremetrics1.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Guillermo Sanchez is the co-founder and CEO of Publitas.com, the easiest way to turn your print catalogs and magazines into interactive, shoppable publications on all devices. Guillermo has bootstrapped the business since it was founded in 2006 and currently Publitias.com has over 600 customers including many leading retail companies.

Direct download: 047-Guillermo-Sanchez-Publitas.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Rob Walling is the founder of email marketing tool Drip and the owner of SEO keyword tool HitTail. He's also the author of the book "Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer's Guide to Launching a Startup". And his blog "Software by Rob" is a top 20 startup blog and is read by about 20,000 web entrepreneurs each month. In this 'Mini Crash Course for Startups' we explain what marketing automation is, why you should care about it and we share a step by step plan to help you implement your first marketing automation campaign which puts your customer acquisition efforts on auto drive.

Direct download: 046-Rob-Walling-Marketing-Automation.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Rob Walling is the founder of email marketing tool Drip and the owner of SEO keyword tool HitTail. He's also the author of the book "Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer's Guide to Launching a Startup". And his blog "Software by Rob" is a top 20 startup blog and is read by about 20,000 web entrepreneurs each month. When Rob launched Drip, he was doing $7K in monthly recurring revenue. But he quickly realized that his revenue had already flat-lined and that he had a high customer churn problem. In this episode, we talk about the 'semi-pivot' that Rob made and how that exploded revenue growth for Drip

Direct download: 045-Rob-Walling-Drip.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Patrick McKenzie is the founder of Kalzumeus Software. He's best known for two software products - Bingo Card Creator and Appointment Reminder, both which he has bootstrapped. Patrick's also a well known blogger who has been very transparent and open about his experience bootstrapping a software business. Patrick currently lives in Tokyo with his wife and newborn daughter.

Direct download: 044-Patrick-McKenzie-Kalzumeus.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:30pm PDT

Peter Coppinger is the Co-Founder & CEO of Teamwork, an online collaboration tool that allows teams to work together more efficiently. Peter and his co-founder Daniel Mackey founded the Irish based company in 2007. Peter and Daniel have bootstrapped the company and to date Teamwork has almost 1.5 million users and $14M in annual revenue.

Direct download: 043-Peter_Coppinger-Teamwork.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Maciej Zawadzinski is the co-Founder & CEO of Piwik Pro, the business arm of Piwik.org. Piwik is an open source alternative to Google Analytics, which puts users in control of their data, never shares data with other servers and never sells data for ad targeting. Piwik Pro focuses on providing Piwik cloud hosting and extra paid services for enterprise level customers.

Direct download: Maciej_Zawadzinski_-_Piwik_Pro.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Kevin Lee is the founder & CEO of We-Care.com, a service that allows online shoppers to donate a percentage of their online shopping (at no cost to them) to a non-profit, school or association. It has partnered with over 2,5000 merchants from Travelocity to Sears, 1800Flowers and Apple. To date We Care has raised over $7.8M. Kevin is also the co-founder & CEO of Didit, an award-winning full-service online advertising and marketing services agency that has been in business for almost 20 years.

Direct download: Kevin-Lee-We-Care-2.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Kevin Lee is the founder & CEO of We-Care.com, a service that allows online shoppers to donate a percentage of their online shopping (at no cost to them) to a non-profit, school or association. It has partnered with over 2,5000 merchants from Travelocity to Sears, 1800Flowers and Apple. To date We Care has raised over $7.8M. Kevin is also the co-founder & CEO of Didit, an award-winning full-service online advertising and marketing services agency that has been in business for almost 20 years.

Direct download: Kevin-Lee-We-Care-1.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Collis Ta'eed is the Co-Founder & CEO of Envato, a network of sites used by millions of people for their creative projects. The network comprises Envato Market, Envato Studio & Tuts+. Envato was founded by Collis, his wife and best friend in 2006. The company is based in Melbourne, Australia and has been bootstrapped since day one.

Direct download: 039-Collis-Taeed-Envato.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Rand Fishkin is the Co-Founder of Moz, a Seattle-based SaaS company that sells inbound marketing & marketing analytics software. The company was founded in 2004 as a consulting firm and shifted to software development in 2008. The Moz website has an online community of more than one million digital marketers. To date, the company has raised just under $20M in funding.

Direct download: 038-Rand-Fishkin-Moz-2.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Rand Fishkin is the Co-Founder of Moz, a Seattle-based SaaS company that sells inbound marketing & marketing analytics software. The company was founded in 2004 as a consulting firm and shifted to software development in 2008. The Moz website has an online community of more than one million digital marketers. To date, the company has raised just under $20M in funding.

Direct download: 037-Rand-Fishkin-Moz.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Dan Norris is co-founder of WP Curve, one of the world's fastest growing WordPress support companies. He's an entrepreneur with an obsession for content marketing and was voted Australia's top small business blogger by 'Smarter Business Ideas', Australia's largest business magazine. He's also the author of 'The 7 Day Startup: You Don't Learn Until You Launch'.

Direct download: 036-Dan-Norris-WP-Curve.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Ryan Hamlin is the Founder & CEO of PlaceFull, an online marketplace that allows merchants to offer real-time booking of their spaces, services, camps & classes. PlaceFull was founded in 2011 by Ryan and his co-founder George Webb. To date the company has raised over $2.5M in funding.

Direct download: 035-Ryan-Hamlin-PlaceFull.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Gabriel Weinberg is the Founder & CEO of DuckDuckGo, the search engine that doesn't track you, with over a billion searches in 2013. He is also an angel investor and co-author of Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers. Gabriel has been featured on CBS, FOX, the Guardian, the Washington Post and many more.

Direct download: 034-Gabriel-Weinberg-DuckDuckGo-Part2.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Gabriel Weinberg is the Founder & CEO of DuckDuckGo, the search engine that doesn't track you, with over a billion searches in 2013. He is also an angel investor and co-author of Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers. Gabriel has been featured on CBS, FOX, the Guardian, the Washington Post and many more.

Direct download: 033-Gabriel-Weinberg-DuckDuckGo-Part1.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Michael Pryor is the CEO of Trello, a free app that makes working on group projects as easy as using sticky notes on a whiteboard. He is also the co-founder and President of Fog Creek Software, the makers of products such as FogBugz and Kiln. To date Trello has raised over $10M in funding and is used by millions of people and companies of all kinds and sizes including Google, Adobe and The New York Times.

Direct download: 032-Michael-Pryor-Trello.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Hiten Shah is the co-founder and president of analytics companies KISSmetrics & Crazy Egg. He founded KISSmetrics with Neil Patel in 2008. The company has raised over $10M in funding and is used by thousands of companies around the world. Hiten is also an advisor and investor who's actively involved in the software industry.

Direct download: 031-Hiten-Shah-KISSmetrics.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Aye Moah is the co-founder and chief of product of Baydin, the maker of email productivity tools such as Boomerang for Gmail, a plugin which lets you schedule emails to send later, get email reminders and track the emails that you send. Baydin was founded in Jan 2010.

Direct download: 030_Aye_Moah_--_Baydin.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

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